Andrew Sullivan called for the prosecution of former Vice President Cheney because, he says, Cheney broke the laws against torture. Sullivan now says that if congressional leaders, including Speaker Pelosi, knew about the alleged felonies but did nothing, they too should be held accountable. But he hasn't yet written that Pelosi should be indicted and prosecuted as an accessory to a felony.
I'm not accusing Sullivan of hypocrisy, because I don't think he has partisan motives for dogging the Bush administration so relentlessly over torture. But eventually he'll have to confront the preposterousness of prosecuting government officials. We now know that in the wake of Sept. 11, all three branches of government, including leaders from both parties, acted as though the U.S. was facing an existential threat. We're talking not about a lawless administration but a government-wide state of mind, reflecting the mentality and wishes of voters, in the face of a danger that felt and appeared virtually unprecedented in our national experience.
A truth commission to understand what happened and why in order to guide future Presidents, yes. Locking up a former VP and the woman who is second in line to the Presidency, no.
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