Paul Krugman is perplexed, and rightly so I'd say, over the claim (made by some in the Obama administration) that we cannot investigate (and therefore prosecute) torture because we have too much on our plate right now–an economy in the tank, health care to reform, energy policies to write, etc. Krugman says:
What about the argument that investigating the Bush administration’s abuses will impede efforts to deal with the crises of today? Even if that were true — even if truth and justice came at a high price — that would arguably be a price we must pay: laws aren’t supposed to be enforced only when convenient. But is there any real reason to believe that the nation would pay a high price for accountability?
For example, would investigating the crimes of the Bush era really divert time and energy needed elsewhere? Let’s be concrete: whose time and energy are we talking about?
Tim Geithner, the Treasury secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to rescue the economy. Peter Orszag, the budget director, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to reform health care. Steven Chu, the energy secretary, wouldn’t be called away from his efforts to limit climate change. Even the president needn’t, and indeed shouldn’t, be involved. All he would have to do is let the Justice Department do its job — which he’s supposed to do in any case — and not get in the way of any Congressional investigations.
I don’t know about you, but I think America is capable of uncovering the truth and enforcing the law even while it goes about its other business.
Seems right to me. But I think the real problem lies with the media. I don't think they'd be able to sustain focus on the torture investigations (which I earnestly hope for) and the pooping habits of Obama's dog. I don't think they can spare the people.