So the real question here is, what do honorable men do when faced with great risk and few options? Do they abide by the law even when doing so will result in the worse consequences? Or do they do what's necessary to preserve life, or as much of it as possible? There's a saying bandied about in the world of martial arts that goes like this: "I'd rather be judged by twelve men, than carried in a box by six." This has to do with the use of lethal force when confronted on the street and whether it is better to risk one's life or the judgement of a court of law. The same dynamic played out for Give 'Em Hell Harry Truman. I have every confidence that the leaders we elect are likely to make such judgements from the same place Truman was when he made his, rather than rashly. Thus, though the life saving actions they take may be on Dan's and the law's list of war crimes, rational men will spare them and pray that such decisions need never be made again. It's a good prayer to pray now.
Serendipitously enough, the following post appears tonight at Crooks and Liars, linking to this article in Forbes magazine (hardly what one could classify as "liberal media"). Part of the story is as follows:
One after another, the men and women who have stepped forward to report corruption in the massive effort to rebuild Iraq have been vilified, fired and demoted. Or worse.
For daring to report illegal arms sales, Navy veteran Donald Vance says he was imprisoned by the American military in a security compound outside Baghdad and subjected to harsh interrogation methods.
There were times, huddled on the floor in solitary confinement with that head-banging music blaring dawn to dusk and interrogators yelling the same questions over and over, that Vance began to wish he had just kept his mouth shut.
For his trouble, he says, he got 97 days in Camp Cropper, an American military prison outside Baghdad that once held Saddam Hussein, and he was classified a security detainee.
I would truly be interested to know if the illegal detention and harsh treatment of American citizens who are doing their jobs trying to make sure our money is not wasted, or used illegally, is ever justified? Since we have started down that very steep, very slippery slope of torturing certain individuals under certain conditions, why not just expand those conditions and those individuals who meet the qualifications for torture? After all, it's OK some of the time, right?
We are all destined for hell.