Don’t Try Bush Officials for Torture

John Bolton is right that Obama should quash Spain's prosecution of Bush officials--just not for the right reasons, writes Ken Gude in the Guardian.

John Bolton is back. The disgraced former diplomat has returned to the policy debate, throwing out his usual xenophobic rant against the Spanish investigation into Bush administration torture policies.

The fact that Bolton is against it, however, does not make the Spanish action any better of an idea. No matter how doggedly Baltasar Garzón chases former Bush torturers, they will not end up in a Spanish prison. But even an unsuccessful prosecution would impair relations between Washington and Madrid and provide an avenue for embarrassments like Bolton to get back into the limelight.

The former Bush UN ambassador, who once famously argued for the destruction of a third of the UN’s headquarters building, Bolton’s love of American sovereignty and unchecked power is well known. As is his low opinion of Europeans, whom he once described as having "never lost faith in appeasement as a way of life".

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Ken Gude

Senior Fellow