Allowing today's leaders to get away with war crimes will send a dangerous signal to future leaders that they can do the same.
"The battle to impose criminal responsibility upon them (Bush, Cheney, etc.) is not for today alone but to safeguard a vast future," points out Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.
"Otherwise the future will be threatened by Executive lawlessness undertaken because of knowledge that leaders need fear to no personal consequences," he writes in his recently published "America 2008"(Doukathsan Press).
"Today, there is no accountability for our leaders, nor do their own families face death on the front lines as occurred during the Civil War when several Cabinet officials' sons or brothers faced battle and World WII when one of FDR's sons participated in extraordinarily dangerous missions in the Pacific."
Instead, there are numerous factors today that make it easy for a President to wage war, Velvel continues, such as "half trillion dollar appropriations, huge standing military forces which the President orders into combat all around the world at the proverbial drop of a hat, a compliant Congress that refuses to do its duty, and an incompetent, if not venal, mainstream media."