YOO HOOEY: Inky’s Harold Jackson And Daily News’ Will Bunch Trade Blows Over ‘Torture Guy’ Editorialist


HAROLD JACKSON:  Paris. Yes, the one in France. That’s the farthest point from which The Inquirer received e-mails protesting our contract with John Yoo to write a monthly column, which mostly centers on legal topics. The hundreds of e-mails received are a testament to the power of the blogosphere, and of its superiority to newspapers in getting the word out about, well, about anything. But I’ll save my whining about the murky future of my preferred vehicle of employment for a later date. Obviously, people would prefer that I talk about Yoo, the former Bush Justice Department official who penned memos legitimizing torture of terror suspects. Unfortunately, most of the critics of our contract with Yoo have their facts wrong. But that happens when your information comes from those bloggers who never let the facts get in the way when they’re trying to whip people into a frenzy to boost Web site hits. It’s a shame that one blogger who disseminated poor information is actually a full-time journalist for a sister publication in The Inquirer building. MORE

WILL BUNCH: The empire struck back today, as Inquirer editorial page editor Harold Jackson (that’s our policy here at Attytood, to use people’s actual names when we know who they are) gave what amount to a three-quarters-throated defense of giving U.S. torture architect  — and (native) Philadelphian! — John Yoo a monthly contract. This is my third post in the last seven days regarding Yoo — I can’t promise it will be my last because with blogging you can never say “never” — but I hope Harold’s column is a good point for winding this thing down. […]

I hate to keep repeating myself, so I’ll try to do this succinctly as I can. Torture isn’t like mass transit funding or filling a Supreme Court vacancy. It is something that is both unlawful and immoral and falls into those categories of things — like racial discrimination or any kind of violence (which torture is) — that are clearly beneath the core standards of the community. A newspaper that make such an overt (and unforced, and unnecessary) hire as John Yoo is normalizing torture to its readers and the world, stating that waterboarding and other violent interrogation tactics are just another one of those “on one hand, on the other hand” kind of things. I find this torture normalization highly offensive, as do scores of other people who have written the Inquirer. MORE

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