Obama wants a commission to come up with the truth about what US did to its detainees and who authorized it and how. He has more or less promised that those whose motivations were exclusively the pronouncements of the legal office at the White House would not be punished, Nuremburg precedents notwithstanding. But as for those who may have chosen to ignore the Constitution, giving as authority their having spoken the word “war”, he has indicated that the AG must pronounce on the validity of their excuse.
Cheney has spoken to keep the truth from the US People, saying that his use of the word “war” confers upon him and his underlings the authority to do whatever they say they need in order to protect us. Some on both sides say they know all they need to pass judgment, but I say that until we know with more certainty what was actually done and before we validate the authority of office-holders to grant themselves cartes blancs we should not extend the Eichmann defense to those who hire and fire those who are said to advise them on their right to go around the supreme law of the land. Even those under military discipline are said to be obliged not to go beyond certain limits, but we do not know what they are. The US People must be careful about what we tell the world our word is worth. After decades, it seems the German People have accepted that there are limits to making excuses for inhuman behavior, which puts them in a position morally superior to that of the Japanese and if the US People decline even to castigate those who went beyond the limit, we will have to live with the opprobrium of Humankind. And in some of those cases, even opprobrium leaves us with the mark of sin and leaves us contaminated before the world.