Why waiting to prosecute against torture could be smart

/ 21 April 2009

Here’s an experienced prosecutor pointing out why we absolutely need to prosecute people who made the torture program happen — but also why we do not need to be in a hurry to do so. Indeed, smart strategy would argue for restraint and good evidence:

I would like nothing more than to join with so many friends and associates whom I respect in calling for immediate appointment of a special prosecutor.

Unfortunately, however, I can't do it. Not yet. We must have a prosecution eventually, but we are not legally required to publicly initiate it now and we should not, as justifiable as it is. I'm not concerned about political fallout. What's good or bad for either party has no legitimate place in this calculus. My sole consideration is litigation strategy: I want us to succeed. And our best hope of doing that is to unflinchingly assess - just as any lawyer would do when contemplating choices of action in a case - what we would have tomorrow if we got what we think we want today. We should obviously think twice about pursuing an intermediate goal, however satisfying it may appear, if it would be counterproductive in the long term. There are times when it's smarter to wait before taking a prosecutive step and this is one of them.</blockquote>

Her essay is much longer, and definitely worth reading. I FEEL a lot like Hunter, but I THINK this prosecutor makes sense.