All of this underscores a crucial fact: a major reason why the Bush administration was able to break numerous laws in general, and subject detainees to illegal torture specifically, is because the media immediately mimicked the Orwellian methods adopted by the administration to speak about and obfuscate these matters. Objective propositions that were never in dispute and cannot be reasonably disputed were denied by the Bush administration, and -- for that reason alone (one side says it's true) -- the media immediately depicted these objective facts as subject to reasonable dispute.
and his (typically sarcastic) conclusion:
And besides, even if you want to get all technical about it and say that they "broke the law," everyone Serious knows that "criminal prosecutions" weren't created for high government officials. As Goldsmith so movingly points out, it's already bad enough that Good and Important People like John Yoo, David Addington, Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney and friends have suffered what Goldsmith describes as "severe criticism" and even "enormous reputational losses." Criticism and reputational damage! In the name of God, what more do you want to do to these people?
As Goldsmith pleads, these are people who have been so severely punished already. They are banished to toil in shameful, humiliating labor conditions -- as, say, tenured Professor at Berkeley Law School or Chief of Staff to the Vice President of the United States, with unimaginably grim futures involving millions of dollars in fees for giving speeches and writing memoirs and living in retirement off Halliburton stock. What kind of monster would want to heap still more punishment on these noble, suffering souls, just because they committed some so-called "war crimes" and other felonies? Haven't they suffered enough? Shame on those who want to keep harassing them, wringing what Goldsmith calls "further retribution" by holding them accountable under the law.
"people" should continue to pressure the Obama admin. to investimagate, and prosemacute the deciders....