LOSING THE WAR, PART 456….Hilzoy points out the following wording in the Graham/Warner bill on military commissions. The subject at hand is coercive interrogation of suspected terrorists:
….it shall be a defense that such officer, employee, member of the Armed Forces, or other agent did not know that the practices were unlawful….Good faith reliance on advice of counsel should be an important factor, among others, to consider in assessing whether a person of ordinary sense and understanding would have known the practices to be unlawful.
I guess this isn’t quite “I was just following orders,” but a person of ordinary sense and understanding would sure have a mighty hard time figuring the distinction.
In any case, Hilzoy is actually more concerned with the habeus corpus provisions, which apply to everyone, even those known to be innocent of wrongdoing. That’s your “moral basis” for the war on terror right there. Go read.