Monday, May 10, 2004
New York Times nutcase: Paul Krugman is at it again, with a column full of distortions and half-truths.
Just trust us, John Ashcroft said, as he demanded that Congress pass the Patriot Act, no questions asked. After two and a half years, during which he arrested and secretly detained more than a thousand people, Mr. Ashcroft has yet to convict any actual terrorists. (Look at the actual trials of what Dahlia Lithwick of Slate calls "disaffected bozos who watch cheesy training videos," and you'll see what I mean.)
The Lackawanna Six. Portland. Northern Virginia.
Apparently, for Krugman, the following isn't evidence that you're an "actual terrorist:"
In 2000 and 2001, a group of Muslim extremists in the Washington, D.C., suburban area trained to become mujahideen engaged in violent jihad. Some of them hoped to die "shaheed" - that is, as martyrs - while waging violent jihad.
In furtherance of the conspiracy, these individuals engaged in paramilitary training on secluded land in Northern Virginia to simulate actual combat. Evidence entered at trial showed that as part of their preparation for violent jihad, the organizers and recruits purchased AK-47-style rifles as well as hundreds of rounds of ammunition.
The group also met covertly in Northern Virginia suburbs to hear inflammatory lectures on violent jihad. They were told that it was appropriate for Muslims to take up arms in jihad against American soldiers and to kill civilians during jihad.
One of the defendants convicted today, Khan, was found in possession of "The Terrorist Handbook," a document containing instructions on how to manufacture and use explosives and chemicals as weapons.
In all, seven of the defendants traveled overseas to Lashkar-e-Taiba camps for training in the use of machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns. The evidence presented at trial showed that four of the defendants left the United States for the camps just days after the September 11 terrorist attacks.
Each of the three individuals convicted today face up to life in prison. [emphasis added]
Cheesy training videos? Sounds like something more than that. But Krugman and the facts don't cross paths often.
Just trust us, George Bush said, as he insisted that Iraq, which hadn't attacked us and posed no obvious threat, was the place to go in the war on terror. When we got there, we found no weapons of mass destruction and no new evidence of links to Al Qaeda.
Iraq hadn't attacked us, if you ignore the almost daily SAM launches on our jets enforcing the no-fly zones. Iraq hadn't posed a threat if you ignore Saddam's plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush. Saddam wasn't a threat if you ignored his efforts to build banned rockets that could reach our ally Israel (after all, Jews don't count when it comes to being victims of terrorism).
Just trust us, Paul Bremer said, as he took over in Iraq. What is the legal basis for Mr. Bremer's authority? You may imagine that the Coalition Provisional Authority is an arm of the government, subject to U.S. law. But it turns out that no law or presidential directive has ever established the authority's status. Mr. Bremer, as far as we can tell, answers to nobody except Mr. Bush, which makes Iraq a sort of personal fief. In that fief, there has been nothing that Americans would recognize as the rule of law. For example, Ahmad Chalabi, the Pentagon's erstwhile favorite, was allowed to gain control of Saddam's files — the better to blackmail his potential rivals.
Dumb. Dumb. Dumb. Somebody help me here. Congress passed laws setting up the governments of post-World War II Germany and Japan? The Constitution gives the Congress the right to set up the costitutions and pass laws in nations conquered by the United States?
I'm also curious if Krugman's column was "lawyered." Ahmed (as near as I can tell one "a" one "e" is the preferred spelling) Chalibi is certainly a public figure and would have to prove malice on Krugman's part, but throwing around a charge of blackmail is disturbingly cavalier.
If you're looking for truth, reason and sanity, don't go to the Times, because Paul Krugman's fresh out.