The Rittenhouse Review

A Philadelphia Journal of Politics, Finance, Ethics, and Culture

Monday, May 17, 2004  

Together With Miscellany
May 17, 2004

“Rumsfeld Must Go”
The Philadelphia Daily News today joined the ranks of American newspapers calling for the resignation or termination of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld.

In “Rumsfeld Must Go,” the editors write:

[N]ow it really is time for Rumsfeld to go, with the weekend revelations that Rumsfeld approved of the interrogation techniques that have so horrified civilized countries and deeply stained our country’s honor.

On Saturday, Pultizer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh uncovered a secret plan, approved by Rumsfeld, to use mental and physical torture techniques not only against high-ranking members of the al Qaeda terrorist network, but on Iraqi civilians as well.

Rumsfeld’s decision to export the torture techniques, used on suspected terrorists held in Guantanamo Bay, has “embittered the America intelligence community, damaged the effectiveness of elite combat units, and hurt America’s prospects in the war on terror,” Hersh writes in the New Yorker, which is on newsstands today.

What is particularly scandalous about this latest revelation is that the Secretary of Defense was willing to court-martial several foot soldiers -- the ones who took the pictures and abused the prisoners -- for essentially following a plan he approved.

Does this man have any honor at all?

To ask the question is to answer it.

Misdirected E-mail
If she has any integrity, or decency, at all Dorothy Rabinowitz of The Wall Street Journal editorial page will be issuing an apology to Kristen Breitweiser, a prominent Sept. 11 widow, for this misdirected e-mail outburst, picked up by Editor & Publisher: “[T]his is just an opportunity for these absurd products of the zeitgeist -- women clearly in the grip of the delusion that they know something, have some policy, and wisdom not given to the rest of us to know -- to grab the spotlight. Again.”

And Rabinowitz is one of the saner people working for that page.

(Thanks for reader M.P.)

Neo-conservative Nonsense, Part I
The editors at the New York Post criticize Hersh’s latest piece in the New Yorker by trying shift blame for the Abu Ghraib prison scandal from Secretary Rumsfeld to the C.I.A.

In “More Hash from Hersh,” the editors claim against massive evidence to the contrary, that, among other things, the C.I.A. “failed to convince [President] Bill Clinton that al Qaeda presented a mortal danger” and “guaranteed [sic] President [George W.] Bush that it a had ‘slam-dunk’ case on Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction.”

Neo-conservative Nonsense, Part II
No, Brown Isn’t a Bust,” by Abigail Thernstrom, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, in today’s Los Angeles Times. There’s plenty of pleasant pabulum, but here’s the rub:

When we misleadingly label schools in California with few whites “segregated,” the implication is that learning is likely to be compromised. Of course it’s desirable -- where demographically possible -- for children to grow up in a multiracial, multiethnic setting. But surely we don’t want to suggest that the racial mix in a school inevitably determines the quality of the children’s education -- that children in schools without “enough” whites are doomed to academic failure. The doomsayers today who moan about Brown’s failure would have people believe that the problem with urban schools is that they aren’t white enough -- that whites are needed if children are to learn.

Were that the case, American public schools would be in deep and permanent trouble.

Someone needs a reality check.

The Rittenhouse Review | Copyright 2002-2006 | PERMALINK |