Hypocrisy on Stilts

by Clifford D. May

On the New York Times Bloggingheads site (linked here on NRO), Adam Serwer of The American Prospect makes the case that conservatives, because of their rhetoric, were complicit in the Tucson shootings.

I think it’s worth noting that Adam Serwer has himself attempted to incite violence — against me. He wrote that I held the position that “torture is justified against Muslims because they’re Muslim.”

This was, of course, a lie. It was based solely on the fact that, in a Corner blog item, I had quoted Abu Zubaydah, the captured al-Qaeda terrorist, telling his interrogators: “Brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardships.”

I suggested that this was

an important and potentially life-saving insight into the thinking of militant Islamists. “Imagine an al-Qaeda member who would like to give his interrogators information, who does not want to continue fighting, who would prefer not to see more innocent people slaughtered,” I wrote. “He would need his interrogators to press him hard so he can feel that he has met his religious obligations — only then could he cooperate.”

Serwer is smart enough to know the effect his charge could have on someone who is either unbalanced or militant. Had I been attacked — and I still could be, since his charge lives on forever on the Web — would Serwer be complicit? Yes, I think so. Is he sorry for that? On the contrary, he is out in the media attempting to tie conservatives to the acts of a madman, exploiting a tragedy for partisan benefit.

If that is not hypocrisy on stilts, what is?

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