Sunday, May 17, 2009

Second Letter to the Inquirer

written in response to harold jackson's column this morning.

Oh, OK then. If being "pleasant" is all I need to do these days to get a job at a newspaper, I would like to submit my application for employment. I am a very pleasant individual. This probably bodes well for the future of the industry if all you have to do is be "pleasant" in order to write a column, no matter what your past transgressions are.

In case you need this spelled out for you a little more, those crazy Internet readers such as myself, do not protest to Yoo on ideological grounds. We protest his presence at the Inquirer because, as you wrote yourself in today's column, he was the author of the "torture memos". Let me say that again....he was the author of the "torture memos". He provided legal justification for people to be tortured. Even to say the words "torture memos" does not sit right with me. The fact that we are even having a debate over "torture memos" is something that I never thought we would do in the United States. It makes me sick. You also claim that Yoo's presence at the paper "has not changed our Editorial Board's opinion that torture can never be justified." Really? So to acknowledge this point is OK, but giving a forum to the author of the torture memos doesn't in any way mean that you think Yoo should be rewarded for his complicity in providing legal justification for an act that you believe should never be justified? How on earth does that make sense?

Your complete ignorance on this subject is quite appaling. You seem to want to confuse the issue in your column. Yoo started writing for the Inquirer in 2005, before the presence of the "torture memos" was known. Once those documents were released with Yoo's name all over them, you still thought he would be a good representative for the Inquirer. In a day in age when people are losing their jobs left and right because of issues that are no fault of their own, I'm glad that the man who made one of the worst legal blunders in history still got to keep his job. That is what this is all about. It's not the fault of some blogger (I must say thank you to Will is a guy you can actually learn something from in how newspapers can operate in the digital age) but the fault of the Inquirer to reward someone for committing actions that are against the very moral fiber of this country. Your arrogance in the face of the facts is truly unnerving.

I would also recommend you pick up a copy of Hannah Arendt's "The Banality of Evil". Even people who are "very pleasant" can sometimes do things that are morally indefensible and their pleasantness should not be a way to get let off the hook. John Yoo has no place at the Inquirer. If you are looking for a local to provide commentary on topical legal issues, pick up a yearbook for any area high school. I'm sure there are a number of people out of any class who went on to law school. And I am sure that quite a few of them might be able to provide interesting legal commentary to the paper. And I am positive that you chose the ONLY ONE with a background in justifying torture. Good work. If this speaks to how the Inquirer does its research and reporting then I am sure that the fate of the paper is nothing to worry about.

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