War Crimes: prosecute or the terrorists win

Vigil for Malala 2012 courtesy of

Vigil for Malala 2012 courtesy of

Killing children is the new scare tactic. The Taliban of Pakistan have resorted to killing children. It’s like September 11, 2001 except only a weak echo. The death toll is 1/20th, and the fear factor is slightly less in light of current events.

It’s terrorism. It’s fear. It’s only fear. The thing that the terrorists hate most about us is that we are still not afraid. They cannot break us. We know the law, letter and spirit, and we believe in the spirit. If you know the law, no one can use it against you.

Or so we say. We still haven’t indicted any war criminals for abducting and torturing random Pakistani citizens. The taliban have a point. On the hunt for Bin Laden, war crimes were committed. This is not the same as “mistakes were made.” Someone must answer to the world for violating the spirit of the law. If we don’t prosecute war criminals, the terrorists win. That is their end game. They are doubling down on our hypocrisy.

Our hand is thoroughly shown at this point. We knew about “black sites,” secret CIA prisons. We knew about waterboarding. There was a waterboarding booth at Coney Island. We all watched Jack Bauer use torture instead of deductive logic to solve crimes. To say that the Senate Torture Report comes as a surprise would be poor form.

We must put ourselves on trial. We must answer for our crimes. And as much as it pains me to say it, our spokeman must be President George W. Bush. Whether these tactics provided useful data is irrelevant. We have all agreed that, regardless of efficacy, chemical weapons, biological weapons, nuclear weapons, and torture, are off limits. This is a standard to which we hold ourselves. If we do not hold this trial, no one else will.

The warped logic of the Taliban is that the end justifies the means. They believe that they can kill children for the greater good. If we accept that we can torture innocent Pakistanis for the greater good, then we agree with them. The terrorists win.

I sincerely hope the current President pardons him. I also hope the move does not hurt Jeb Bush’s chances at the presidency. It will, but it shouldn’t. Jeb Bush is not responsible for American torture in the same way that I am not responsible for American torture. It happened on my watch, after all, all of our watches.

George W. Bush shares a bit more responsibility because he was President of the United States of America. The buck stops here. Does it not? Still, we are all on trial. That’s why we need to have a trial. To show that we are not above the law.

1 reply »

  1. National security, World Police, Defending Democracy, Economic Freedom, just a snap shot of some of the reasons it has been acceptable to paint western leaders exempt from prosecution. Hypocrisy has always been the spring board for inhumane behavior. Thank goodness for the information age. We are now aware. Bravo on the post.