National Journal's Stuart Taylor (whose legal analysis is, quite inexplicably, taken very seriously by the Beltway media) acknowledges that the Bush administration tortured detainees, but argues that those responsible have already “suffered” enough for their misdeeds. See, they've been called names, and their public appearances have been picketed:
Of course, when all is said and done, there is little doubt that some CIA detainees were tortured. This is a stain on our nation's honor that should never be repeated. But the responsibility was so widely diffused, across such a large number of honorably motivated officials who tried (and sometimes failed) to stay within the law, that it makes no sense to seek to atone for the nation's sins by singling out individuals for bar discipline or other punishment.
This is especially true when those individuals have already suffered greatly from being trashed as “war criminals,” picketed at public appearances, stalked by grandstanding Spanish judges, and otherwise harassed across the country and around the globe.
Sure, John Yoo said it was fine with him if George W. Bush wanted to order interrogators to crush a child's testicles. But the man has been picketed! What more must he endure? Leave him alone!
Oh, and Taylor worries that a torture “truth commission” might become “adversarial”:
The sort of fact-finding “truth commission” that many have advocated could report on what was done and the lessons learned -- although it could do more harm than good if such a panel conducted the sort of adversarial hearings that would become a public circus.
Yeah, we wouldn't want anyone to raise their voice to a guy who said it is OK to crush a child's testicles. That would be ... Rude. Or something.
Once again: Who cares what Stuart Taylor thinks?