Monday, April 27, 2009

The Nuremberg Syllogism

You've got to love the way the Right is trying to escape having to answer for eight years of illegal treatment of prisoners. I call their argument the Nuremberg syllogism, for the similarity it holds with the "I was just following orders" defense made famous at the Nazi war crimes trials. The syllogism goes like this:

Premise: You can’t prosecute a lawyer for simply doing his job and giving an opinion.
Premise: You can’t prosecute torturers who thought what they were doing was legal based on the opinion of the lawyers.
Ergo: You can’t prosecute anyone.

Repeat after me: I was just following orders. I was just following orders. I was just...

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