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July 01, 2010


in order to appear as though they weren't taking a side, media outlets treated the issue as unsettled, rather than confronting a blatant falsehood.

This is called "argument to moderation", and it's a logical fallacy.

The common current-day political application of this is called "moving the Overton Window", where an idea previously considered beyond the pale is introduced in the interest of making other, less drastic options acceptable, at least in theory.

Here's my contribution.

Gonzales, Feith, Yoo, Addington, Bybee and Haynes should immediately be seized and surrendered to the Spanish courts to answer charges brought last year by Judge Baltazar Garzon.

Overton Window moves both ways.

it wasn't just newspapers, of course. NPR went along with the newspeak, too.

yet another reason i won't donate.


Great post Eric, I like the line about "flophouses."

This always makes me wonder how the collusion/fawning of the news organs was different during different wars. Is it peaking? Or is the outcry against it just more audible now because of the internet?

Unfortunately, Obama and Holder have more-or-less legalized torture by failing to prosecute either the order-givers or the order-followers.

The OLC does not interpret law for the United States, that's the Supreme Court's job. Its opinions are valued because it performs good analysis, but its opinions must stand alone -- advice from the OLC should provide legal protection only to the degree that that advice is a good-faith interpretation of the law.

Torturing suspected terrorists polls very well in America.

What else do you need to know?

elm, reprehensible as it is that the current administration has not moved forward on war crimes prosecutions, it isn't quite the same as legalizing them (even "more-or-less). Nobody has passed a law, or issued a formal legal opinion (not counting the legal shills in the last administration), saying that torture is legal.

Last I heard, war crimes are part of the select group of offenses for which there is no statute of limitations. Which means that there is still the opportunity for a future US government (or even this one, eventually) to do what needs to be done.

wj: My fear is that Obama, as credible reports have indicated, has been permitting/authorizing torture at black sites in Afghanistan, and elsewhere, and thus will never really investigate/prosecute same.

Eric: If he has, he better hope Barak Obama doesn't hear about it!

(As Jon Stewart put it.)

Eric, I fear you are right, while hoping you (and I) are wrong. But either way, even if the current administration has been co-opted by a failed methodology there remains the possibility of the next one, or the one after that, doing the right thing. I just hope it doesn't take a Nixon-to-China moment; that getting it right doesn't require a President with decades on the theocon right.

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