War Crimes! An Elaboration

Thanks to Memeorandum, this short post on an ABC News story has received much attention and much more misinterpretation.

It is a fact that many liberal Democrats believe President Bush and other senior administration officials to be guilty of war crimes.

It is my educated conjecture that, in a Democratic administration, there will be some DoJ political appointees and/or administration advisers who share that belief.

Indeed, the director of the CIA, Michael Hayden, shares my conjecture. He recently agreed to purchase, at $300 a pop, legal liability insurance for about two thirds of his agency's workforce, including virtually all of the National Clandestine Service, precisely to protect against any future administration's attempt to hold officers legally accountable for their actions.

Another source of potential prosecutions comes, of course, from the Hague, although the failure of the US to participate in the ICC kind of puts the kibosh on that possibility.

It is within the realm of possibility that reports like ABC News's are used by the government, by private citizens, or by international actors, to substantiate charges against the Bush administration, against CIA officers or against the Department of Defense.

I'm not endorsing the idea of prosecuting anyone; I'm not calling President Bush or anyone else a war criminal; I'm not even saying that prosecutions will go forward; I'm just describing a scenario that may intrude upon our politics in 2009 and beyond.