Coercive Interrogations: Politics and the Law, Part II
Yesterday, I read this post about why the Justice Department should stop its investigation of “enhanced interrogation.” Maybe I’m reading into this person’s post wrongly, but it seems to say that because the Bush administration Justice department allowed the methods used by interrogators then it shouldn’t be investigated by Obama’s Justice Department. Consequently making any investigations into the interrogations less about legality and more about Obama’s political objectives.
This view is wrong to me, a) because Obama stands to gain nothing politically b) because Attorney General Holder initiated the investigation and c) the authorization for “enhanced interrogation” was of dubious legality, thus should be investigated.
The real question should be was the law broken, not what is the political reason for an investigation? If the legality of the interrogations were questionable, then an investigation is justified. To claim that an investigation should not be done is an affront to what this country stands for.
We can’t really know if the interrogations saved American lives or produced valuable intelligence that we would not have gained otherwise. But what we do know and what should drive us, is that the law is not fungible and cannot be made malleable on a whim. If there is a question about the law being violated then it needs to be investigated. Arguments against investigations are in essence a political attempt to subvert the rule of law.
Related links: Dick Cheney stars in A Few Good Men