… seems about right. The court was right to reject his attempt to blame his acts on his superiors; surely, if he received what he thought were orders to do some of the things he did, he must have known those couldn’t have been lawful orders.
That said, the verdict and sentence shouldn’t be taken as exonerating his chain of command, right up to Rumsfeld and Bush. Graner has been held accountable; now it’s their turn. Graner surely wasn’t responsible for the grossly illegal and totalitarian practice of keeping off-the-books “ghost detainees,” for example.
Again, I think it’s fair to criticize those who voted for Bush for implicitly ratifying his actions, since they (and especially the bloggers and other journalists) knew or should have known what he’d been up to. But since he didn’t campaign on being in favor of torture he can’t claim a democratic mandate for it, any more than he can for the Social Insecurity plan.