The topic of war is not one lawyers are generally qualified to address. To be sure, there are rules of engagement and principles of national relations that can properly be considered by lawyers. And once in a while, the Supreme Court hands down an opinion addressing the the president’s war-making power. But the topic of war is more of a political question than a legal debate.
When it comes to punishment, though, lawyers may claim their rightful province. Deterrence, retribution, perhaps even justice — these are things we learn to consider from the start. And “contempt” and “rehabilitation,” well, those too are something we lawyers know more than a little about.
In the current debate over General Stanley A. McChrystal, it is worth asking what, if anything, McChrystal is guilty of and how, if at all, he should be punished for his conduct. On the first issue,Read more