For those who think the country should actually have principles and stick to them consistently, here’s a perfect example of how we rarely do so. A federal court is about to rule on a torture lawsuit against Iran:
A federal judge in Washington has entered a default judgment against Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a lawsuit brought on behalf of victims of his radical Islamic regime.
The case will now proceed to a hearing to determine damages, according to a lawyer who brought the case and predicts the world will be horrified by the coming testimony.
The complaint asks for damages of $10 billion.
The plaintiffs in this case were the victims of torture and false imprisonment at the hands of the Iranian regime; the country of Iran simply ignored the case, since the court has no jurisdiction over them anyway. I am all for holding the Iranian government liable for their crimes, of course. But Iran clearly handled the case badly. They should have shown up and invoked the State Secrets Privilege. After all, it works for our government as a get out of jail free card when it comes to torture.
This is why the rest of the world laughs when we talk in such grandiose terms about freedom, democracy and the rule of law. And why they should.