When The Devil Turns Round On You

Robert, who I think of these days as the blogosphere’s moral compass, points out a giant elephant in a room full of male escort prostitute reporters:

If the attorneys are prosecuted, they can expect, at trial, to be conflated with their clients – just as Stewart was. The prosecution showed an old tape of Osama bin Laden promising revenge if Rahman were not released. In a courtroom only a short distance from Ground Zero, the tape must have meant a great deal. But it related to Rahman, not Stewart. Though Rahman may be a Bin Laden confederate, that does not mean his attorney is.

The larger issue here is not whether Stewart “stepped over the line” from lawyer to criminal co-conspirator, as the jury verdict implies. Nor is it whether terrorism fears caused the jury to reach an irrational verdict – as may well be the case. The larger issue is that those who face terrorism-related charges will now be entitled to a government-crippled defense.

I say it all the time but I’ll say it once more: the question is never whether using such tactics on the enemy gets your America-loving rocks off. The question is never whether you are comfortable knowing such techniques were used against the guilty.

The problem with doing something horrible to a guilty person is that someday, someone will look back at your actions and use them as an excuse to do the same thing to an innocent. The question is, always, are you ready to look at yourself in the mirror knowing you midwifed a future tragedy, that you sowed the seeds of what was to come? And if not, what are you prepared to do to stop it?