Sunday, June 07, 2009

Graham: Bush Acted 'Out Of Fear' To Approve Torture

Lyndsey Graham now argues that the Bush administration did not make criminal mistakes, "as their mistakes were made out of fear."

That would certainly deserve to be accepted as a mitigating circumstance in their defence, but it isn't in itself a valid reason to preclude prosecution.

Since when was "fear" a reason not to prosecute? Saddam gassed the Iraqi Kurdish town of Halabja out of fear that he was about to be overthrown. Indeed, one could factor in "fear" to almost every war crime ever committed, and say that the perpetrator feared what might happen next, which is why they took the extraordinary action that they did.

Of course, the US recognised Saddam's actions as the crimes which they were, which is why Graham's argument that the Bush administration's war crimes were essentially different - because they were afraid - is such a nonsense.

I've said it before but these are not called peace crimes. They are called war crimes because it is precisely at a time of war that one might be tempted to commit them.

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