The problem of “dirty hands”

Are politicians responsible to a different moral code? Are there extreme situations where even non-politicians might follow a different moral code than they otherwise would? These are the issues at the heart of the philosophical problem of “dirty hands,” which is also the subject of this typically thought-provoking episode of Philosophy Bites. Of course the first example that comes to mind is the 24-esque ticking time bomb scenario, but philosopher Tony Coady teases out a more nuanced case he dubs “extrication morality,” in which a political succsessor might be forced to extend the moral wrong of his predecessor into his own administration rather than immediately reverse it and risk further harm to the public.