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We're still a nation of laws

August 30, 2009

Re "We don't need the pain of torture indictments," Opinion, Aug. 26

My hat is off to Tim Rutten, who has brought brilliant new insight to the administration of justice.

With Rutten's approach, we can save literally billions of dollars. No more do we need "an absolutist, narrow reading of the law." From now on, there is no need to prosecute people who clearly and knowingly violated both the law and common decency, because "it would be a travesty" to go after them without also going after those above them.

Mafiosi and gang members nationwide can relax, secure in the knowledge that the pesky "absolutist" view no longer prevails. Unless we can manage to catch their bosses, they're safe as long as they say they were "pressured" into misbehaving.

Our prisons will be empty. The California deficit will be a thing of the past.

And all will be well, now that we have "resolved never to repeat such reprehensible conduct."

Geoff Kuenning

Claremont

::

"Policies they believed were crucial to national security" does not excuse torture.

Other presidents managed to safeguard national security without instituting torture as policy.

George W. Bush and Dick Cheney and the Republicans would wrap themselves in the flag and scream for the heads of anyone who tortured our people.

I admire Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. for doing the politically inconvenient.

He is obviously so repulsed by what he has learned about the Bush/Cheney torture policy that he's willing to pay the price for seeking justice.

Barbara Schratwieser

Studio City

::

I am astounded.

Rutten presents a long-winded explanation of how he has no doubt that criminal activity was perpetrated by some people in our government. But for some mind-boggling reason, he does not want these people held accountable because he wants to make nice with those who see nothing wrong with these actions.

My only conclusion can be that Rutten sees nothing wrong with this criminal activity either, or he would instead be trying to educate those who see nothing wrong.

His column is a smoke screen.

Mark L. Hildner

Goleta

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Rutten is one of my favorite columnists. But his concern that "rancor will split this country if CIA interrogators or Bush administration officials start being dragged into criminal courts" overlooks the fact that our country is already split.

And that we are a nation of laws that holds lawbreakers accountable.

Hal Rothberg

Woodland Hills

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