Leave It To Charlie

Charlie Pierce at Esquire:
Today, with the release of the executive summary of the congressional investigation into the American torture program, we have lost forever the right to moral leadership that we claimed at Nuremberg, and at the tribunals that investigated the actions of the Japanese in the Pacific. Those proceedings were based in two fundamental beliefs: a) that there are some activities that are beyond the law, even in wartime, and b) that the people responsible for those activities, even the worst of them, deserve a fair trial, and a trial that is open to the world, not only because the world needed to see the savagery of which humans are capable, but also because the trial would demonstrate to the world that there is a better way to resolve the issues raised by the native savagery of which people and nations are capable than the masturbatory exercise of blind vengeance. Justice Robert Jackson, in his eloquent summation for the prosecution in the trial of the Nazi warlords, saw all of this with coruscating clarity.
Dunno about losing it "forever".  I guess we can only hope the republic lasts long enough to get some of it back.

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