My email to President Obama (a series)

Is it OK for an ordinary citizen to escape a trial for a felony (e.g., murder, armed robbery, rape) in Federal court using the same rationale that the Obama Administration, like the Bush Administration before it, is using to avoid its positive obligation to investigate and prosecute war crimes committed by the United States government; to wit, that we must look forward and not backward, and that any investigation into such crimes and attempt to uphold the law of the land is simply angry revenge-seeking?

How far do you think an ordinary citizen would get with that defense in Federal court? Why does the Obama Administration feel that that is an adequate defense for obvious war crimes like torture, indefinite imprisonment of non-combatants, and pre-emptive war? Why is such a defense allowed only for a few in our free society? Surely a citizen accused of a most hateful crime would be willing to affirm that the crimes that had taken place shall not occur again, if they could be relieved of the obligation to face the consequences of their actions? Surely anyone can justify a past action to be in their own best interest, or the best interests of society as a whole? Of course anyone could view the judgment of a jury and court of law as “a force to divide us” or simply an action taken in “strong views and emotions”, instead of, you know, the price of disobeying the law.

In fact, even having to make that argument in court, before a Federal judge, means that the ordinary citizen has a greater burden than the civil servants, appointed officials, and elected political leaders, that have designed, justified, implemented, and carried out detention and interrogation schemes that violate international treaty and our own laws. Detention and interrogation schemes that were in fact denounced by military leaders and civilian intelligence agents, in addition to being denounced by Senator Barack Obama, candidate for the United States Presidency, campaigning on a platform of hope and change.

As a side note, by what legal rationale are non-military civilian employees of the CIA allowed to adopt the defense that they were “only following orders” when it comes to acts that, if pursued by any other world government, would be considered torture and a violation of our international treaties and our own country’s laws? I’m just curious.