By Ben Cohen
Tom Friedman makes the specious argument that Obama should not prosecute those guilty of torturing detainees, because, well, it would be difficult. He writes:
The president’s decision to expose but not prosecute those responsible
for this policy is surely unsatisfying; some of this abuse involved
sheer brutality that had nothing to do with clear and present dangers.
Then why justify the Obama compromise? Two reasons: the first is that
because justice taken to its logical end here would likely require
bringing George W. Bush, Donald Rumsfeld and other senior officials to
trial, which would rip our country apart; and the other is that Al
Qaeda truly was a unique enemy, and the post-9/11 era a deeply
confounding war in a variety of ways.
This is kind of like saying in the face of a crime wave,”We shouldn’t prosecute gangsters as it would require bringing gang leaders to trial, which would rip our city/town apart”. It’s a fraudulent, dishonest argument made by a fraudulent, dishonest man.
Torture was one of the lesser crimes committed by the Bush Administration, and just about the only one the mainstream media seems willing to consider prosecuting them for. Perhaps if Friedman were President, one could make an allowance for such moral triangulation. But Friedman is columnist who risks nothing more than some nasty emails, and can’t even stick his neck out for a crime so abhorrent even Shepard Smith is more outraged.
I know it is popular in Leftish circles to bash Friedman (Matt Taibbi has literally made a career out of it, and Glenn Greenwald does a mighty good job), and I try to give him a chance every time I read him. But he relentlessly churns out sniveling bullshit like this that does more to further his career than anything else, and I can’t help but get angry. After all, this is a man who gets paid more money per year than I will see in my lifetime to essentially regurgitate Democratic talking points, something any 10th grader could do with a little training.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.