Prosecuting members of the Bush regime

Scott Horton rightly counsels his readers against extending a tacit or explicit amnesty to those Bush administration officials who committed crimes during George W. Bush's tenure.

Americans may wish to avoid what is necessary. We may believe that concerns about presidential lawbreaking are naive. That all presidents commit crimes. We may pretend that George W. Bush and his senior officers could not have committed crimes significantly worse than those of their predecessors. We may fear what it would mean to acknowledge such crimes, much less to punish them. But avoiding this task, simply "moving on," is not possible.

I agree with Horton that "moving on" is impossible but also believe that "avoiding the task" of prosecuting those individuals who can be rightly prosecuted is all too possible and even the likely course history will take. Prosecuting these individuals should be considered a moral and political duty because the effects produced by the Bush regime's criminal actions will linger long into the future if not forever. They would linger because they would stand as legal precedents and as institutional capacities available to any sitting executive.

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