When Attorney General Eric Holder last month announced he was naming a special prosecutor to determine if CIA personnel had violated federal laws against torturing prisoners during the prior administration of George W. Bush, former Vice President Cheney went ballistic. Even though Holder made clear the reach of the special prosecutor’s jurisdiction would extend only to those who had exceeded even the broad legal “justification” for torture provided by lawyers in the Bush Justice Department, Cheney found Holder’s move outrageous.
Obviously, Cheney believes that so long as violations of federal law were committed by persons in a previous administration, the perpetrators should be forever thereafter immune from being held accountable for their offenses. To even suggest otherwise apparently strikes the former vice president as a purely “political move,” for which “there’s no other rationale,” according to Cheney.
Evidently, Cheney has never read of, or has long forgotten the fact that — as noted for, example, by our nation’s very first vice president, John Adams – ours is a ”government of laws, and not of men.” To our immediate past vice president, such sentiments represent nothing more than “partisan politics.” Thankfully, our current attorney general agrees with Mr. Adams.