Too Close to Kafka for Comfort

Is there any convincing rebuttal to this powerful series of posts advocating for the release of the Uighur Muslims into the United States? What a shameful episode for America, and especially for the politicians who continue advocating an abhorrent position on this matter.

As long as I’m linking to Hilzoy, I’d also like to join her in decrying the idiocy of Harry Reid, who wins the prize for the most transparently dishonest and absurdly obfuscatory rhetoric of the year.

UPDATE: Just as I posted the above a Newt Gingrich column appeared in my e-mail in box. It asserts that Nancy Pelosi, a woman for whom I have no love, should step down as Speaker of the House. I’d care very little if she lost her seat in Congress, but I feel compelled to address a couple arguments from the column that are wanting.

Mr. Gingrich writes:

The case against Nancy Pelosi remaining Speaker of the House is as simple as it is devastating: The person who is No. 2 in line to be commander in chief can’t have contempt for the men and women who protect our nation. America can’t afford it.

To test how much damage Speaker Pelosi has done to the defense of our nation, ask yourself this: If you were a young man or woman just starting out today, would you put on a uniform or become an intelligence officer to defend America, knowing that tomorrow a politician like Nancy Pelosi could decide you were a criminal?

Would you?

As it happens, I decided against joining the Armed Forces and the CIA in the late 1990s, long before the reign of Speaker Pelosi began. Were I magically transported back to that time, however, I’d be far more put off by the fact that I’d one day be ordered to torture human beings whose guilt isn’t even established than any amount of contempt a future Speaker of the House might feel toward me.

Mr. Gingrich also writes:

If Nancy Pelosi believed that waterboarding was justified in 2002 – just like Porter Goss, President Bush, Vice President Cheney and CIA Director Tenet – then a policy of selectively using enhanced interrogation techniques in carefully circumscribed ways in order to prevent future attacks – in other words, the Bush Administration policy – is vindicated.

This is just too much. Whether or not Nancy Pelosi is a hypocrite or a political opportunist doesn’t say anything about the efficacy, legality, or morality of President Bush’s interrogation tactics! Though the dubious logic Mr. Gingrich employs here is a common enough flaw in Washington DC policy debates, it is astounding that on the specific issue of whether the United States is justified in brutalizing prisoners, so many politicians and pundits apparently believe that the posture one takes should be dictated by the behavior of political antagonists.

Shorter Newt Gingrich: Nancy Pelosi exhibits such poor judgment that she is unfit to be Speaker of the House, and on the matter of interrogation techniques, her judgment was the same as mine.