YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Crimes should be prosecuted

June 20, 2008

Re "Torture began at the top," Opinion, June 18

Although I agree with the substance of Tim Rutten's Op-Ed article, his conclusion is mistaken. Torture is not a "policy." Torture is a crime. We may disagree on policy and make our grievances known at the ballot box, but crimes should be addressed by the justice system.

Prosecuting these crimes would be the surest way to regain the respect of the community of nations and to make sure another administration will think long and hard before breaking the law.

Michael Hittleman

Los Angeles


Rutten calls torture and lying to take us to war "policy mistakes." Others call these crimes, and crimes should be prosecuted. Our leaders should not be immune from the law.

I am old enough to remember when Richard Nixon was forced out of office. At the time, it was often said that after Nixon left office, his crimes should not be investigated -- that losing the presidency was punishment enough. And that, of course, is what happened.

It doesn't take much to guess the message that Dick "Unitary Executive" Cheney took from that turn of events. Perhaps if Nixon had had to undergo a criminal trial, Bush and Cheney would have a different attitude toward the Constitution than they seem to have now.

Garry Eister

Arroyo Grande

Los Angeles Times Articles