The Corner

Yoo Too

Like Mark, I was struck by the extreme editorializing and spinning in the Wash Post story on John Yoo this morning. Is it possible the reporter and his editors are unaware of the recent Chicago Times op-ed by John Schmidt, an associate attorney general in the Clinton Justice Department, stating clearly that the Bush administration’s understanding of the law relating to warrantless searches is identical with that of the Clinton administration – and previous presidents going back to Jimmy Carter?

One other gross error in the piece: The reporter asserts that Yoo “redefined torture.” Not at all. The redefining is what is taking place now. Suddenly, “stress and duress” techniques that were never considered torture in the past – psychological and physical methods that CIA interrogators formerly studied, experienced themselves and mastered – are now “degrading” and/or “tantamount to torture” and to be prohibited for the first time under the McCain Amendment. (Prohibited for us, that is; our enemies will still be able to do whatever they want.)

Surely, no one with a byline is so ignorant of history as to believe that enemy combatants captured out of uniform in the past (e.g. WW2, Vietnam and Korea) were not coercively interrogated when they were in possession of information that, if revealed, could save lives?

Isn’t this the kind of biased reporting for which the Post hired an ombudsman? I guess we’ll see.

Clifford D. May — Clifford D. May is an American journalist and editor. He is the president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative policy institute created shortly after the 9/11 attacks, ...

Most Popular

White House

The Problem Isn’t Just the GOP, Mr. Comey

During a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, James Comey alleged that the Republican party allows President Trump to get away with making inappropriate statements without holding him accountable. “If the Republicans, if they just close their eyes and imagine Barack Obama waking up in the morning saying someone ... Read More
Law & the Courts

‘Judges for the #Resistance’

At Politico, I wrote today about the judiciary’s activism against Trump on immigration: There is a lawlessness rampant in the land, but it isn’t emanating from the Trump administration. The source is the federal judges who are making a mockery of their profession by twisting the law to block the Trump ... Read More
White House

Trump’s Friendships Are America’s Asset

The stale, clichéd conceptions of Donald Trump held by both Left and Right — a man either utterly useless or only rigidly, transactionally tolerable — conceal the fact that the president does possess redeeming talents that are uniquely his, and deserve praise on their own merit. One is personal friendliness ... Read More

Columbia 1968: Another Untold Story

Fifty years ago this week, Columbia students riding the combined wave of the civil-rights and anti-war movements went on strike, occupied buildings across campus, and shut the university down. As you revisit that episode of the larger drama that was the annus horribilis 1968, bear in mind that the past isn’t ... Read More

Only the Strident Survive

‘I am not prone to anxiety,” historian Niall Ferguson wrote in the Times of London on April 22. “Last week, however, for the first time since I went through the emotional trauma of divorce, I experienced an uncontrollable panic attack.” The cause? “A few intemperate emails, inadvertently forwarded ... Read More