Obama Must Oppose Spain's Bush Lawyer Probe: Bolton

Only our Constitution should judge policy decisions
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 6, 2009 8:19 AM CDT
Former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton.   (AP Photo/Wally Santana)
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(Newser) – President Obama’s "John Ehrlichman approach" to Spain’s investigation of Bush officials may be “smart politics,” but it’s dangerous for the country, writes John Bolton in the Washington Post. If the administration doesn’t speak out against the probe, it allows an “unaccountable foreign court” judge US policy actions, but “our Constitution alone” should assess such matters, the former UN ambassador argues.

The issue “is not abstract,” Bolton writes. It has real consequences for the six lawyers in question and their families. But it also sets a dangerous precedent: What if, after Obama leaves office, a foreign body decides drone attacks in Pakistan are war crimes? Then Obama could be “hauled before the bar of some mini-state.” The administration should “think carefully about that scenario—now.”