A reader writes:
I’m sorry, but President Obama is going to break your heart on this one. He is not playing some long game, rope-a-dope, clever strategy which will allow him to ultimately expose Bush’s war crimes and prosecute them. In fact, he is going to do everything he can to squash all of this.
Imagine what such prosecutions would entail: years of courtroom drama, depositions, lawsuits and counter-suits; the long parade of powerful and high ranking ex- and current members of government, including a goodly number of Democrats, being called on the carpet and having to testify against one another; the enormous rancor and bitterness. This would be Watergate on steroids. And imagine the shot in the arm this would give the zombified Limbaugh Right.
The prosecutions you are asking for would simply swallow the Obama presidency whole. It is the kind of energy draining, oxygen consuming drama that is the nightmare of every president. It would come to define his presidency in the same way the Hostage Crisis defined Carter’s and there is zero chance he will opt for this.
President Obama is making a realistic, cold, clear-eyed cost-benefit analysis. This is the choice: Does he fix the economy, fix healthcare, get a handle on the two wars he’s dealing with, or does he prosecute Bush era war crimes? He has chosen his agenda and is asking us to choose that to.