So I tried to escape the toxic levels of wingnuttery this evening by flipping through my roommate's copy of Newsweek. Amazingly, I flipped to page 36 and found this:
To get a full accounting of how U.S. interrogation methods were used, the president should give those accused of 'war crimes' a pass.
By Stuart Taylor Jr. | NEWSWEEK
Dark deeds have been conducted in the name of the United States government in recent years: the gruesome, late-night circus at Abu Ghraib, the beating to death of captives in Afghanistan, and the officially sanctioned waterboarding and brutalization of high-value Qaeda prisoners. Now demands are growing for senior administration officials to be held accountable and punished. Congressional liberals, human-rights groups and other activists are urging a criminal investigation into high-level "war crimes," including the Bush administration's approval of interrogation methods considered by many to be torture.
It's a bad idea. In fact, President George W. Bush ought to pardon any official from cabinet secretary on down who might plausibly face prosecution for interrogation methods approved by administration lawyers.
Question: why did we ever develop the Geneva Conventions in the first place? Why does the Constitution ban cruel and unusual punishment? Hell, for that matter, why did we ever sign the goddamn Magna Carta*? Because what Stuart Taylor, Jr. is telling us is that government officials should simply be able to break the fucking law. And not just the laws against lying about blowjobs under oath — we're talking about laws against goddamn torture. We're talking about laws that for years have prohibited the government from performing cruel and heinous acts on prisoners. This is important shit. But to Stuart Taylor? Pfffffft, yeah it's bad, but so what? We'll only learn the truth about this stuff if we just pardon everyone beforehand. Because fuck it, laws are only meant to be obeyed by the little people.