links for 2009-05-15
Why Is Marty Feldstein Worrying About Whether Tax Increases Kill The Recovery?

Questions of Fact

The corrupt and mendacious Charles Krauthmmer writes:

Charles Krauthammer : This month, I wrote a column outlining two exceptions to the no-torture rule: the ticking time bomb scenario and its less extreme variant.... The column elicited protest and opposition that were, shall we say, spirited. And occasionally stupid. Dan Froomkin... asserted that "the ticking time bomb scenario only exists in two places: On TV and in the dark fantasies of power-crazed and morally deficient authoritarians."... On Oct. 9, 1994, Israeli Cpl. Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The Israelis captured the driver of the car. He was interrogated with methods so brutal that they violated Israel's existing 1987 interrogation guidelines, which themselves were revoked in 1999 by the Israeli Supreme Court as unconscionably harsh. The Israeli prime minister who ordered this enhanced interrogation (as we now say) explained without apology: "If we'd been so careful to follow the [1987] Landau Commission [guidelines], we would never have found out where Waxman was being held"...

I had thought that Yasir Arafat had told the Israelis where Waxman was being held. Anybody know anything?

And, of course, the most interesting thing is how narrow Krauthammer's defense of Cheney, Bush, Rice, Powell, Rumsfeld, and Tenet is. As I understand things, we imprisoned 15,000 people at black sites around the world, tortured 5,000 of them, and killed 100 under torture--and our principal aim in torturing people was "for the hell of it" while our secondary aim was "to establish a link between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein."

A half-competent and half-moral editor would pull Krauthammer's column and replace it with something informing his readers. But Fred Hiatt of the Washington Post is neither half-competent nor half-moral.

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?