The president’s decision to open the door to prosecuting former Bush Administration officials for policies developed and used in the war on terror is not just the threat of the worst sort of unconstitutional ex post facto prosecution, it also greatly endangers the United States by obliging current front-line prosecutors, intelligence operatives and even uniformed members of the military that if it becomes politically useful to classify their conduct as “potentially criminal” this Administration will do so. The impact of that posture will be devastating to the security of the United States.
There is no serious prosecutor who would bring a charge against any of these Bush Adminstration officials. No one not from the far left side of the political spectrum can even frame the indictment or explain how the tactics less coercive than water-boarding could be considered criminal when Congress, offered the opportunity to declare water boarding a crime, refused to do so. When the left turns up a former United States Attorney or even senior prosecutor not named Ramsey Clark willing to lay out his theory of prosecution, that will be an argument worth responding to. This is a witch hunt, a political prosecution, one that should be a central issue in the campaigns of 2010.
I’ll discuss these topics with Andrew McCarthy, Frank Gaffney, Michael Gerson, and Mitt Romney on today’s show. Fair minded Americans of both parties and none should be denouncing this politicization of the war on terror, if only to assure that we remain vigilant and on the offensive against our many deadly enemies.