Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns


Crimes of the Mind

I previously noted the likely DOJ reversal which would clear Bush administration lawyers of politically-driven disciplinary action for providing legal opinions on interrogation techniques. The 5-year witch-hunt has now concluded as expected, though leaks confirm the partisan malice which motivated the unjust investigation. Andrew McCarthy uncovered a letter from DOJ leadership which "shredded OPR's initial Draft Report and the process by which OPR's preliminary conclusions about ethical misconduct were reached." McCarthy highlights the letter's criticism of basic factual and legal errors in the Draft, exposing the extreme liberal bias of the investigation (Paul Mirengoff dissects the issue here and here).

I mentioned that the curbing of this tyrannous legal assault on free-thought would not sit well with the fanatical Left. On cue, the NY Times runs an op-ed lamenting that the lawyers were not punished for their legal opinions and pleading for disciplinary action against doctors associated with the program. In a summersault of logic, the authors regard the constant and documented medical monitoring and consultation involved in interrogations as evidence of a crime. They admit that both the military medical teams and independent CIA-DOJ teams later charged to investigate the interrogations concluded the methods did not constitute torture.

Of course, that is the very element of their crime. The Left does not seek to punish negligence, recklessness or even behaviour under the criminal statutes of the law. They want to punish thought with the power of the government. It is precisely because these doctors followed the law that they ought to be punished - their dutiful upholding of the law suggests that they willfully consented to those laws, and the policies and beliefs which led to their enactment. And such people - let's call them conservatives - need to be punished when they succeed in passing or obeying laws which are disagreeable to the Left. The NY Times article is a call for political thugery reminiscent of communist Russia - the authors and Times should be ashamed of their hypocrisy, touting tyranny of the mind as the path to liberty.

To the Times and extremist Left: You have met the enemy, and it is you. 

Categories > Courts

Discussions - 1 Comment

I wouldn't call it a free speech issue (any more than restricting abortion recommendations is): Are government attorneys (as private attorneys) free to give advice to their clients without fear of punishment? Should we go after the public defense attorneys defending terrorists? (Good reason not to put them in such a situation.) The issue is whether lawyers are free to be lawyers. The issue now is restraining the Senate, not the NY Times.

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