The killing of Osama bin Laden after a fierce firefight in his Abbottabad compound is a great victory for our military and intelligence forces and for our civilian leadership. But the handwringing about whether it looked as though bin Laden was reaching for a gun or suicide belt, as if this were some who-is-the fastest-gun-in-the-West movie, and about whether we violated Pakistani sovereignty by going in after him is risible.
As the code of war that Abraham Lincoln promulgated in 1863 — the first anywhere — made clear: “military necessity admits of all direct destruction of life or limb of armed enemies . … Seguir leyendo »
Since November, Opinion has been publishing a series of articles on the challenges facing Barack Obama when he takes office. In the latest part of the series, contributors focus on how the incoming administration should deal with the legal legacy of the war on terrorism.
1) A Body of Inquiries. Not one truth commission, but many.
2) Forgive Not. Prosecute officials who authorized torture.
3) History’s Verdict. In this instance, justice won’t come via trials.
In the wake of the Abu Ghraib revelations, the White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2005 that “we care very much about finding out what happened and holding people accountable.”
There is now ample reason to believe that Mr. Gonzales was among those at the highest level of government who allowed Americans to engage in torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of those in our custody. Mr. Gonzales’s misleading and cowardly testimony certainly deprives him of any claim to our indulgence, but nonetheless neither he nor any of the others who participated in this abuse of detainees should be criminally prosecuted — not for their sakes but for the country’s.… Seguir leyendo »