Of course, the Bush people who dreamed up and made legal the practice of torturing prisoners should be investigated and prosecuted.
I think that the underlings who carried out the orders should be held accountable, too.
For this reason:
“How was school today, sweetie?”
“It was okay. A bunch of boys beat up a kid on the playground.”
“But the kid is usually the one getting into trouble and the playground monitor let them do it before he brought them to the principal.”
Or, at summer camp:
“We put shaving cream in Olivia’s bed.”
“Did the counselors let you do that?”
“They used to do it when they were little and they showed us how.”
Joining in, when you know you shouldn’t, is really a bad thing for kids to do. So, we teach them to be the one to stand up and say that what is going on is wrong, then leave the scene. We teach them not to follow orders simply because they are orders, let alone orders from people who shouldn’t be leaders. I’d rather my child trust her instinct and her knowledge about whether those orders should exist in the first place. Sometimes, it is not obvious. Safety, danger, violence, that’s pretty obvious, even to a kid. We do not want them to say, one day…”Okay, I’ll do it to because someone told me to.” That is Parental Doomsday. Okay, I’ll smoke. Okay, I’ll taste that drink. Okay, I’ll let you do that to me.
I realize that the military functions on hierarchy, on taking orders and not contesting them. I guess that might be useful in combat. This was hardly combat. Prosecute away, I say, sir, yes, sir.