The drive for prosecutions is a furiously partisan project. The Democratic left is plainly out for revenge more than for justice and Mr Obama is wavering in the face of their rage. Already, little hope remains of a bipartisan approach to the myriad problems that confront his administration. If the president fails to get a grip on this new controversy, the prospect of any such co-operation will be nil.
New controversy? The existence of war crimes has been around for several years now. And since Nancy Pelosi, among others, may be sweating as the truth emerges, "furiously" partisan seems to me to be inaccurate. Moreover, there is simply no room for doubt as to the illegality of waterboarding, under US and international law. There is equally no room for doubt about the other array of horrors devised by Bush and Cheney to torture, destroy and traumatize its victims, including more than two dozen tortured to death in US custody. Henry Farrell responds.