The Russians may have thought those people were as bad as Mr. Magnitsky's handlers. They may also have thought that keeping Mr. Magnitsky in jail for less than a year was much less worse than what the U.S. has done to prisoners at Guantanamo. If they thought that, they were right.
Scolding Russia has never resulted in warmer relations between the two countries; it is certainly not going to do so now. Rather, Russia will more likely prove to be an impediment on both subjects, at least in part in response to adoption of the Magnitsky Law.
Short-sighted attempts to placate the Russian bear to get immediate diplomatic help mortgage our future. America should not make deals by walking over the mangled fingers of tortured, 37-year-old lawyers. We are better than that.
There is renewed hope that Mikhail Khodorkovsky may one day breathe the air of freedom. And yet, the bizarre posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky, is a chilling reminder that the Russian winter is by no means over.
Lawlessness has been working out pretty well for Putin -- when courts don't work, and when the investigators are specialized in inventing cases rather than solving crimes, the Kremlin becomes the ultimate arbiter in the system.
In recent years, dozens of lawyers have been forced into prison, out of the country, or worse. Yet despite these outrages, and the fraud schemes they're associated with, not a thing is being done to stop this.