Thursday, February 03, 2011

"Because It Is Wrong"

Charles Fried, who was solicitor general under Reagan and now teaches at Harvard Law, has written a book with his son, Suffolk U philosophy prof Gregory Fried: Because It Is Wrong--Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror. Scott Horton interviews them. Worth a look. Charles:
It has become increasingly clear that the political will is lacking to conduct either prosecutions or congressional hearings on torture. Outside of the United States is another matter, and it may well be the case that figures such as Donald Rumsfeld and John Yoo, and perhaps those even higher up in the chain of command, will have to think twice about traveling abroad, where they might be arrested and put on trial for war crimes.

That would be a terrible situation for the United States, not only because it would be a diplomatic disaster, but also because it would underline the fact that we as a nation have been unable, by ourselves, to come to terms with this departure from our long-standing traditions in law and in principle. At a time in our history when we are conducting military occupations to bring democracy to previously autocratic regimes, this would be a sad irony indeed.
Ain't it though.

... Papa Fried also testified yesterday on the constitutionality of the individual mandate (shorter Fried: "uh, yeah, duh"); click through for a priceless quip he made about his former student Randy Barnett, who was there to testify what the Constitution would mean if James Madison and John Marshall had only been able to read Ayn Rand.

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