Tag Archives: Terrorism

The Illusory Status of the Enemy Combatant

Over the course of the past week, we focused on the media’s dominant line of discussion about the January 8th shooting in Tucson, Arizona — namely, whether the chance of violence, made manifest by this particular madman, necessitates a nationwide reevaluation of political discourse. We answered in the affirmative and, for the sake of completeness, […]

But He’s Still Guilty: the First Civilian Terror Trial

Coverage of the conviction of Ahmed Ghailani on the charge of destroying government property (in connection with an embassy bombing), and his acquittal on other counts, seems to elide a certain basic truth: the man was convicted. In grim obeyance to Rove’s Law, conservative websites focus on the minimum sentence (20 years), and omit any […]

Torture Undermines The Rule of Law

Presented without further comment: Minutes before a major terrorism trial was about to begin, a federal judge barred prosecutors in Manhattan on Wednesday from using a key witness. The government had acknowledged it learned about the witness from the defendant, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, while he was being interrogated while being held in a secret overseas […]

How Long Until Someone Gets Hurt?

With Islamophobia seemingly spreading, two questions come to mind: first, why now? And second, when do we worry that we, as a country, are suddenly in the process of stigmatizing an entire class of peaceful, integrated citizens? Islam is by no means ancient to America, but nor is it particularly new. We’re nine years, and […]

The Financial District as a Crusader State

Against the plans by Muslim associations to open not one but two mosques (gasp!) in New York City’s Financial District — Manhattan’s tiny, densely-packed tip, where any building is necessarily within sight of Ground Zero — Human Events raises two racially-tinged, needlessly nasty complaints. First, that the mosques are unnecessary for the District’s tiny Muslim […]

Cives Romanus Sum

For all the blame the right heaps on President Obama for apparently ignoring American exceptionalism (but see our criticisms of their limited view of the concept, here, here, here, and here, among others), elements of that faction seem peculiarly quick to dispense with one of the most critical ideas that makes us us — the […]

Simulated Bipartisanship

How did I miss this? In a column late last week, everyone’s favorite historical revisionist, Jonah Goldberg, sets a new record for intellectual mendacity. He starts out with a fairly belated defense of the USA PATRIOT Act as (1) just about notification of search targets, (2) reasonable as “considerably weaker than similar laws in Europe,” […]

Cheney Acknowledges a Patriotism He Once Rejected

In its never-ending task to glorify all things Republican, and transform politics into page-six tabloid fodder, Politico offered over the weekend an examination of “Why Dick Cheney Attacks [President Obama],” with predictable analysis. The Republican narrative is reported as fact, with pushback occurring only late in the article, as what “critics say”: Cheney’s just a […]

I Am For the LAW, Cousin. Is There Another Side?

On March 5, 1770, a line of British soldiers fired into a crowd of Boston citizens, killing five. The British commander, one Captain Preston, was promptly charged with murder, but he, and Tory loyalists, argued that it was self defense — the crowd, vastly outnumbering the British soldiers, taunted, provoked, and first assaulted them. An […]

Issue Framing

We can laugh at a recent poll showing fewer Americans support equality for “homosexuals” than support the same for “gay men and lesbians,” but first, we should acknowledge its deeper meaning: framing matters, in a very serious way. On this site, I’ve always referred to gay Americans as just that — and sometimes as “gay […]