Saturday, October 9, 2010
War and the law
War profiteering, marauding mercenaries and such have been part of war throughout the history of war. Likely the problem is even worse when war is chosen for dishonest or dishonorable reasons. It might not be immediately obvious on the outside but insiders would know that an anything goes tone has been set and that all manner of crime would be quietly countenanced in the heat of battle. Misdeeds up to and including outright atrocities are covered up or rationalized away in order to not distract from prosecution of the war or cause questions to be asked about its propriety. Being the ultimate exercise of power, war is also the ultimate source of corruption. Lawyers should be among the first to recognize the danger except so many of them are merely mechanics using the tools of law to achieve ends defined by the providers of their pay checks. While war fever holds sway, they can't be bothered to also be defenders of the rule of law. More often they are among the agents of its corruption.