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O Wise One


I realize I need to let go when it comes to my continuing frustration (see here and here and here) with Thomas Friedman, but he pushed me over the edge once again in his column last Wednesday. In his opening sentence, we learn that “President Obama got it about as right as one could when he decided to ban the use of torture, to release the Bush torture memos for public scrutiny and to not prosecute the lawyers and interrogators who implemented the policy.” What follows, which fails in any sense to be a serious argument for this statement, reaches its crescendo with the passage below:

So President Obama’s compromise is the best we can forge right now: We have to enjoin those who confront Al Qaeda types every day on the frontlines to act in ways that respect who we are, but also to never forget who they are. They are not white-collar criminals. They do not care whether we torture or not — bin Laden declared war on us when Bill Clinton was president.

WTF? You’ve totally lost me here, Tom. Americans on the front line of the war on terror should remember who we are (and so not torture people?), but if our front-line people do torture, we shouldn’t prosecute because we should remember who they are (people without morals?) Is that it? Am I close? Now that you are the most famous and prestigious columnist in the country, with your three Pulitzers and your huge bestsellers and your enormous speaking fees, you get to write such drivel? Have you forgotten how to think?

Categories: Torture
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