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A history lesson for Panetta

March 03, 2009

Re "Senate panel to probe CIA methods," Feb. 27

As a longtime admirer of Leon Panetta, I am disappointed to discover he has lost his moral compass. His position that CIA agents who may have committed war crimes should not be prosecuted because "they did their job, they did it pursuant to the guidance that was provided them," disregards history and the principles our country claims to stand for.

This strategy was rejected by the Allies at the Nuremberg trials when the Nazis tried to use it after World War II. Nuremberg Principle IV states, "The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law, provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him."

It's time Panetta and others who would prefer to ignore the crimes of the Bush administration reacquaint themselves with history and take a hard look in the mirror.

John Walker

Foothill Ranch

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