August 4, 2010
A Letter to the Editor
What do the Rod Blagojevich prosecution and the current Afghanistan operation have in common?
At the outset of one of these campaigns a remarkably incompetent governor was impeached and removed from office; at the outset of the other campaign a regime that had evidently tolerated on its soil preparations for an attack on the United States was severely penalized. That which has happened thereafter in both cases—in a Chicago courtroom and in Afghanistan—may have hurt this country more than it has those have been chastised.
Are would-be culprits truly deterred by disproportionately costly efforts punish them? May not some be encouraged to be still more offensive, especially if they are of an exhibitionist turn of mind? That is, may not even be flattered into mischief upon being regarded as far more dangerous than they can truly be?
Professor of Law,
Loyola University of Chicago