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Don’t do as I do

In a classic case of irony, U.S. prosecutors are pushing for a sentence of 147 years in prison for someone who was just convicted of torturing people. The defendant is Charles Emmanuel, son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor. Emmanuel was born in the US, but the torture was committed when he was chief of a brutal paramilitary unit during his father’s presidency, between 1997 and 2003. His conviction was the first use of a 1994 US law that allows prosecution in the US for acts of torture committed overseas.

As part of his defense, he argued that he was being unfairly prosecuted for acts similar to hose committed by the US in Iraq and elsewhere.

UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald has an excellent article on this.