Saturday, January 01, 2011

James Cole

Charles Krauthammer on the recess appointment of James Cole as deputy attorney general:

This is a man who denies that the war on terror exists. We heard him write about the rhetoric of war. Well, it’s not just rhetoric. It’s a matter of law. A week after 9/11 Congress passed authorization of use of force against the people who did 9/11, al-Qaeda and those affiliated with them, and indeed the nation of Afghanistan which was harboring al-Qaeda.

So, Congress itself, in a law it passed — not as a matter of rhetoric but as a matter of law — categorized what had happened as an act of war. In modern times the authorization of the use of force is the equivalent of what used to happen in antique times with a declaration of war.

So you’ve got Congress acting as a matter of declaring it war. And here’s a guy who’s saying it’s a matter of rhetoric. And he says because the war on terror is a fiction and only rhetorical, you have to treat these [terrorists] as if they were domestic rapists. In fact, the Congress has categorized these people in a different way. They are essentially enemies of war, they are in fact unlawful enemies of war. And thus, even if you appeal to the “rule of law,” as Cole does, under the rule of law these people ought to be treated differently. His entire argument is bogus.

No, I'm not sure what his take is on voter intimidation. But a guy who's willing to call terrorism a crime should have no trouble supporting the administration's position of candidate specific voter intimidation laws.

Regardless: Happy New Year!