The Torture Party and the Rule of Law

An interesting ideological feature of the torture-prosecution debate is that the liberal and conservative positions on the matter do not precisely fall along party lines. Generally speaking neither of the duopoly parties seems particularly interested in uncovering the truth and prosecuting any alleged crimes, and the reason why is not difficult to comprehend: high ranking members of both parties will be implicated in the matter. Liberals and civil libertarians want an investigation and potential prosecutions. Conservatives and a significant number of independents want neither. While conservatives allege that the calls for investigation and prosecution are politically motivated, liberals and civil libertarians argue that is a matter of upholding the law. Of course, impugning partisan political motives to your political opponents is itself an openly partisan gesture, and so the ideology of the duopoly becomes explicit. A bipartisan consensus is thus possible in which neither the agents who committed the alleged crimes (which Obama ruled out) nor their superiors (as the Republicans want) shall be held accountable for any crimes that may have been committed. If upholding the law is considered both partisan score settling and an attack on the two party system, as Republicans maintain and many Democrats would seem to agree, and these are held to be strong objections against executing that law, then the two party system is inimical to the rule of law.

No comments: