In a very disappointing op-ed in today’s New York Times, Roger Cohen argues that President Obama is correct that we need to “look forward and not back”. I disagree strenuously. I voted for Obama, in no small part, on the strength of his policy that we do not torture and that we, as a nation, respect the rule of law in both our rhetoric and in our deeds. If crimes were committed, and by any rational definition of the term torture is a crime in both American and international law, then those who have done the acts should stand trial for them. I’m not saying that I we should round up every CIA agent and frog march them in chains. I would actually be willing to give the agents who did the torturing light sentences but Cheney and Zen Master Rumsfeld should definitely stand in the dock for their participation as should Condi Rice.
I would like to think that Obama would have the courage of his convictions. He knows what the Constitution demands in this situation. He should do it.
Op-Ed Columnist - No Time for Retribution - NYTimes.com