"But now Obama is being lobbied by politicians and voters who want something more -- the humiliation and/or punishment of those responsible for the policies of the past. They are looking for individual scalps -- or, at least, careers and reputations.
Their argument is that without identifying and punishing the perpetrators, there can be no accountability -- and therefore no deterrent lesson for future administrations. It is a plausible-sounding rationale, but it cloaks an unworthy desire for vengeance." - David Broder in The Washington Post
or perhaps it is about justice. You know, that expectation that laws are to be followed and the guilty punished for committing crimes that all but ruin their victims' lives.
"One administration later, a different group of individuals occupying the same offices has -- thankfully -- made the opposite decision. Do they now go back and investigate or indict their predecessors?"
Absolutely. An egregious crime may have been committed in our name. There can be no debate about the efficacy of torture since it is against the law to torture. The only question that can be asked is if there is enough evidence to bring the issue before a court of law.