The bio of Los Angeles Times columnist Rosa Brooks couldn't be much more impressive in terms of conventional credentials: Harvard, Oxford, Yale. Adviser to State Department. Kennedy School Fellow.
But despite having her ticket prestigiously punched time and again, her column of today reveals that nowhere has she learned much in the way of nuance or common sense. Her opposition to President Bush's efforts to clarify interrogation rules so as to allow some more forceful techniques is absolute and implacable, utterly failing to acknowledge the realities of terrorism on a scale unimaginable when the Geneva Convention was drafted.
We can and should debate the limits on methods of interrogation. Maybe at the end of the day there would be agreement that, for example, waterboarding should be banned, though I would certainly disagree at least in ticking-bomb type cases.
But for Brooks, there is nothing to be argued. There is no acknowledgement that President Bush might be motivated by an honorable desire to protect the American people from catastrophe. So virulent is her anger at President Bush that she appears blinded to the bigger picture.
Examples of her unreconstructed rage:
- The column's headline itself: "Torturer-in-Chief."
- Brooks' assertion that only "psychopaths" wouldn't realize that the techniques the President advocates are unacceptable.
- Her claim that "it's far too late for [Pres. Bush] to leave a legacy that won't be a source of shame to future generations."
- Brooks' theory that W's motivation in seeking legal clarification has nothing to do with protecting Americans and everything to do with giving himself protection from future criminal prosecution for his misdeeds.
In its own way, Brooks' column serves a useful purpose, illustrating how the Bush-hatred of the American left could ultimately endanger the American people.