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Memo to Goldberg and Reynolds


Just a quick note to Doughbob Loadpants and Rubble Boy:

The possibility that Al Gore recommended — fourteen years ago — the rendition of a single terrorist to the United States does not in fact make him a hypocrite for opposing the Bush administration’s objectively ghastly policy of relying on pariah states like Syria to brutalize innocent people like Maher Arar. Without defending Gore’s alleged views in 1993, I would submit that there is at the very least a gaping moral difference — to say nothing of the potential legal ones — between (a) endorsing the “snatching” of a suspect abroad for return to a country that had, at the time, something resembling credible legal processes for dealing with such detainees; and (b) the actual delivery of suspects in unknowable numbers to countries that don’t even care to maintain the pretense of due process. Moreover, all this has occurred under the wings of an administration that has redefined and bragged about its right to torture people without scrutiny or reproach; that has developed a parallel universe of international norms that coincides quite nicely with the parallel universe in which genuinely despotic regimes have usually operated; and fabricates both fact and law to suit its narrow needs, all while pretending that the nation is somehow engaged in the Greatest Existential Struggle in human history.

Among other things, this means that court jesters like Glenn Reynolds — last seen fighting wars that don’t in fact exist — and Jonah Goldberg — last seen somewhat seriously hoping that Democrats come along and fuck the goose in 2008 — are perhaps to be forgiven for discerning no meaningful difference between Uzbek justice and the variety dispensed by their own government.

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