I recently had a discussion with someone regarding the Constitution Project Report on “extraordinary renditions” and torture encouraged by the Bush Administration. This man still tries to make excuses for his own behavior or that of people he ideologically identifies with (right-wingers).
He argued that the U.S. had engaged routinely in torture prior to the Bush Administration, as though, if that were true, it would excuse the Bush Administration for its unlawful actions. But the logic of that argument doesn’t hold up; if it did, one might be tempted to go out and rob a bank, and then try to justify it by saying, “Bonny and Clyde and Willie Sutton robbed banks.” (Bonny and Clyde were famous bank robbers from U.S. history)
When we are children, it is quite common for us to try to justify wrongful actions committed by ourselves or our friends when we are caught by saying, “So-and-so did it.” But hopefully, as we grow up we learn that is no excuse.