It's decisions like the OPR Report On Torture Memos that have fueled the backlash against Washington from both left and right and caused much of Obama's current strife. The lawyers and politicians get off, while grunts like Lynndie England get the blame. As Andrew Sullivan writes:
"That Lynndie England went to jail for doing things that John Yoo made legal, and Yoo does not even face disbarment, tells you all you need to know about the current state of justice in America. In the end, the current president and attorney-general have assented to this massive injustice. The responsibility is theirs'."
But even more appalling is the realization that the US suffered so much more under Bush than I previously thought. His administration's dark legacy continues to influence policy and the center has shifted so far to the right that injustices like those war crimes are now debated as legitimate tools to be employed. Failure to do so now brings hoots of "coward," while Obama appears to lack the courage of his convictions. It's that old Yeats poem, "The Second Coming" all over again:
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;Here is George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley discussing the loss of "one of the core principles of Nuremberg" with Keith Olbermann:
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.