No More Nuremburgs
Of course, the things that have been happening in secret CIA prisons these past few years are considerably less evil that than attempted genocide, so maybe it's all right that today, President Obama said [absolutely nothing about “just following orders,” but he did announce] that “relying on good faith” is a good enough reason not to prosecute torturers in the CIA:
Central Intelligence Agency interrogators who tortured detainees during the administration of George W. Bush will not be prosecuted, President Barack Obama said on Thursday as his administration released legal memos that Mr Bush used to justify harsh techniques such as waterboarding.And if they’re not allowed to commit occasional acts of sadism, how the devil can they do that?
In releasing the documents, which underpinned the Bush administration’s “war on terror” detention and interrogation policies, Mr Obama said CIA employees should not be punished for “relying in good faith” on legal authorisations provided by the Bush-era justice department.
“The men and women of our intelligence community serve courageously on the front lines of a dangerous world,” said Mr Obama. “We must protect their identities as vigilantly as they protect our security, and we must provide them with the confidence that they can do their jobs.”
The memos provided detailed accounts of how interrogators would use waterboarding, a technique that the Obama administration has deemed “torture” and banned, in which interrogators pour water on to a cloth covering a detainee’s mouth and nose to simulate drowning…. The memos permitted the use of numerous “enhanced interrogation techniques”, including sleep deprivation, “facial slap”, putting insects inside confinement boxes and “cramped confinement.”And the people who did such things won’t be prosecuted or even identified, since they were only following orders upon which they relied in good faith. There's no accountability here, nobody's being punished and we've set a scary precedent: government agents who obey illegal orders won't face prosecution so long as they claim they're “relying in good faith.”