Hubris ad infinitum?
One thing that hasn’t received much attention in conservative and Republicans circles is the ongoing conversation on the left about the possibility of Nuremberg-style war-crimes trials for members of the Bush administration should a Democratic president take office. I’m not exaggerating or introducing the Nazi analogy myself; they actually use the phrase “Nuremberg-style” when they discuss “war-crimes tribunals.” And they are quite serious (although the more moderate of them prefer a “truth commission.”)
At the Netroots Nation gathering in Austin, Texas last month — that is the successor to YearlyKos — Dahlia Lithwick, of the Washington-Post-owned website Slate, did an interview with the Talking Points Memo site in which she described a panel discussion she had just taken part in on what is known as the “first 100 days of accountability.” Among Lithwick’s observations:
[i]"We're already falling into this trap of either positing Nuremberg-style war crimes tribunals, or nothing, immunizing everyone from John Yoo up and down…but everybody says there's a lot of gray area in between that, and that accountability doesn't necessarily mean Nuremberg, it doesn't necessarily mean nothing, it means possibly a truth commission, possibly appointing a special prosecutor to look at it…"[/i]
Lithwick recommended a massive retrospective investigation of the Bush administration, going through every piece of paper, before moving forward:
[i]"Certainly long before we make a decision to do what Stuart Taylor suggested this week, which was immunize everybody in advance, or alternatively make a decision to trot them out before a war crimes tribunal before the whole world, we should really find out what happened…"[/i]
But Lithwick recognized that there are those who argue such an action might be divisive:
[i]"We talked a lot about this notion that it's bad for America, that it will rip America apart if we have hearings or we have criminal trials or if we have war crimes tribunals. And I think it's really worse for America if we don't…"[/i]
I think the thing to emphasize here is that this is a serious conversation going on among people who might have influential voices or play influential roles in an Obama administration. Many of them want to put John Yoo — a special favorite of theirs — on trial, whether before a Nuremberg-style tribunal, a criminal court, or a truth commission with as-yet unspecified powers. And, of course, they wouldn’t stop with Yoo; if they had their way, they would likely have a long list of former Bush administration officials to put in the dock. They are serious.[/quote]
Well, IMO, ripping America apart is exactly the intentions of people promoting this fools errand.