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Do you have a civilized government in mind? If so, where has it been throughout the "civilized" history of mankind?

Civilisation is obviously a matter of degree, and no actual state in history has been what I'd call "fully civilised." But on this particular subject, I would say that the British, French and Americans in the immediate aftermath of the second world war were more civilised than contemporary Americans. Of course you can find other issues where this is not the case (colonialism, institutionalised racism, treatment of the poor, ill or mentally infirm, to name but a few). But on this particular topic, things have been slipping.

Please don't take me wrong.  I agree with your ideals; things should be that way, but it ain't gonna happen.

And I understand that. I just think it should be made clear that the reason it's not going to happen is that certain named political actors are determined and able to obstruct justice, not because there is a lack of jurisprudence on the issue or because their pseudo-legal defences have any merit.

I can accept that we're going to lose the political battle over whether due diligence will be observed in the investigations of Anglo-American torture programmes. What I will not accept is the fiction that due diligence was exercised and there was nothing there that could be prosecuted.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Sep 21st, 2009 at 04:29:33 AM EST
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