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Call for "Institutional Consequences" for a Professor Because of the Professor's Speech:

Paul Campos, a University of Colorado lawprof writing in the Rocky Mountain News, asks:

[D]oes academic freedom insulate a law professor from any institutional consequences when he advocates murder? ... Certainly, it's worth asking [the professor's] administrative superiors at the University of Tennessee what limits, if any, the terms and conditions of [the professor's] employment put on his behavior.

The professor whose job Prof. Campos would apparently like to place in jeopardy is likely well-known to our readers: He's Prof. Glenn Reynolds (InstaPundit) of the University of Tennessee's law school. And the speech that Campos would rule out of bounds as "advocat[ing] murder" is Reynolds' call for a limited "soft war" against Iran in which the U.S. eschews invasion but instead "respond[s] quietly, killing radical mullahs and [I]ranian atomic scientists, supporting the simmering insurgencies within Iran, putting the mullahs' expat business interests out of business, etc." (Reynolds defends himself here, among other things pointing out how many others endorse targeted killings of various sorts as instruments of national preemptive self-defense.)

Assassination (especially assassination of those who merely preach rather than building nuclear weapons, and who are targeted under standards of "radical[ism]" that may end up being pretty broad or vague) is surely dirty business that generally violates all sorts of moral rules that we would normally hold dear. So is an ordinary war, even waged in the most scrupulous possible manner. Many more times so is threatening to incinerate millions of the enemy's civilians — including those who are entirely lacking in culpability or connection to the enemy's military machinery — as retaliation for a nuclear attack. While thankfully Mutually Assured Destruction stayed an unrealized threat, of course we would have had to make good on it if the deterrence had failed and the enemy bombed one city to send a message or test our resolve; and a nuclear-armed Iran would increase the need for yet another round of Mutually Assured Destruction. Recall that just a few weeks ago President Chirac reminded us of this position: "Where will [Iran] drop it, this bomb? On Israel? ... It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed."

What sorts of killings are morally proper in war, or in actions against one's enemies that are short of all-out war, is a difficult question. When are targeted killings today proper to avoid the need for threatened nuclear bombing in the future — a threat that we might have to make good on, or for that matter that the Israelis might have to make good on? Should the rule turn on whether we're in a state of war with Iran, and if so may there be states of war short of hot war? Should the rule turn on whether an "Iranian government official has ... said Iran wants to use nuclear weapons against the U.S." (one item Campos points to in condemning Reynolds)? Should the rule differ for killings of atomic scientists, who are directly involved in what we strongly suspect is a weapons program, than for killings of mullahs, who are just spreading an ideology of war against us?

Unless we're more or less pacifists, we can't just assume that all killings of hostile states' civilians, atomic scientists, and fomenters of jihad are categorically immoral; that's certainly not an assumption on which the world — not just America and France but I suspect virtually all countries — operates. Nor can we just assume that such killings are proper only during war and that there is no war now between the U.S. and Iran. Perhaps that would be a sensible rule, but it's far from obvious that this is so, especially given that not all wars involve active traditional combat. (I suspect that targeted killings of Iranian citizens would themselves constitute an act of war against Iran; but that still leaves the question of whether it's a proper act of war.)

Nor can we simply say that "Murder is the premeditated unlawful killing of a human being" and appeal to some abstract legal principles to decide that targeted killings are "unlawful" and therefore beyond reasonable discussion. First, the legal rules are far from clear — for instance, some have pointed to Executive Order 12333 as a categorical prohibition on "assassination," but an influential, and, in my view, persuasive, 1989 memo concurred in by various Executive Branch legal officials concludes that many targeted killings remain permissible despite this. The memo likewise concludes that many such targeted killings do not violate various international law norms.

Second, legal rules can be changed: Executive Orders made by one President can be unmade by another; statutes can be repealed or amended by Congress; treaties can be renounced. Some argue that some international obligations can't be renounced, either by the obligations' own terms or because of some broad international norms, but there we're getting into "law" that's a very fuzzy and contentious sort of law indeed. Third, it's far from obvious that legal obligation should trump all other considerations, including national security.

In any case, these are serious questions that serious people should discuss seriously. But Campos isn't in the mood for discussion. He is so confident of his position that he wants his academic adversaries fired, the usual rules of academic freedom suspended, and the debate presumably shut off at all levels: After all, if discussion about this is improper for academics, it is presumably at least as improper for journalists, think tank members, Congressmen, executive officials, and everyone else.

I take it that Campos's view that "if the American government were to follow Reynolds' advice, his employer would have an accessory to murder on its payroll" is hyperbole, or at least not legally precise. If I'm mistaken, and Campos means this literally and legally, then he's actually calling for criminal punishment — presumably many years in prison — for people who have the temerity to speak as Reynolds did. But at the very least he seems to be calling for "institutional consequences" related to "terms and conditions of ... [university] employment" "put on [the] behavior" of scholars who want to express views such as Reynolds'.

I'm inclined to think that maintaining a norm against international assassination is generally in the interest of free countries, since our scientists, religious figures, and politicians are more vulnerable targets than those in more closed regimes. Eroding this norm is thus very costly to us, and it may well be that this cost exceeds the likely minor benefits of targeted killing (given that one atomic scientist will likely be replaced with another who's pretty much as good, and who'll be quite well hidden). And as I said up front, there are of course serious moral costs here as well. There are likewise serious moral costs with a nuclear balance of terror, or with an ordinary invasion, even one that scrupulously attempts to minimize (but can never eliminate) civilian casualties.

But only an unwise certitude — and a certitude that I think is unlikely to yield moral action, especially if you have even a modest amount of consequentialism in your moral reasoning — would simply cut off all this debate and fire those who endorse one side of it. That, unfortunately, is the error that Prof. Campos seems to have fallen into.

donaldk:
Well sure, Campos is talking politics here, not morality. Usual disgusting lefty.
2.21.2007 5:56am
Shawn-non-anonymous:
A little off topic:


"Recall that just a few weeks ago President Chirac reminded us of this position: 'Where will [Iran] drop it, this bomb? On Israel? ... It would not have gone 200 meters into the atmosphere before Tehran would be razed.'"


No. Iran gives the bomb to one of the terrorist organizations it is aligned with. That organization takes the bomb on a suicide mission and levels a chunk of Israel. Iran condemns the act and creates just enough doubt in the international community that they escape M.A.D. (Perhaps France or Russia will veto UN Security Council measures to authorize retaliation.)

Chirac assumes anyone that uses such a weapon will do so openly.
2.21.2007 7:52am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Reynolds notes that it's not only important to have the right idea--to mollify Campos and his sort--but to have it at the right time. Quoting democrates on this issue seems to have annoyed ReVonna, which it would, of course.
2.21.2007 7:54am
John (mail):
I'm troubled by your statement that "I'm inclined to think that maintaining a norm against international assassination is generally in the interest of free countries, since our scientists, religious figures, and politicians are more vulnerable targets than those in more closed regimes."

This thought presupposes that other regimes will follow our lead in being nice. Do you really believe that?
2.21.2007 7:55am
rbj:
I take it that Campos's view that "if the American government were to follow Reynolds' advice, his employer would have an accessory to murder on its payroll" is hyperbole, or at least not legally precise. If I'm mistaken, and Campos means this literally and legally, then he's actually calling for criminal punishment — presumably many years in prison — for people who have the temerity to speak as Reynolds did

I did not realize that Prof. Reynolds was that powerful; that his mere suggestion that perhaps it might be more moral to kill the leaders of a hostile nation rather than thousands of innocent civilians would actually lead any US administration to follow that advice.
2.21.2007 8:02am
David M. Nieporent (www):
(Perhaps France or Russia will veto UN Security Council measures to authorize retaliation.)
I can assure you that Israel will not be waiting for a UN resolution before responding.
2.21.2007 8:12am
SAB:
An intriguing post. Would Campos be equally opposed to those who advocate for doctor-assisted suicide in those states where it has not been legalized? Aren't they committing essentially the same crime but perhaps in a more acceptable (to some) political context?
2.21.2007 8:23am
PersonFromPorlock:
Modern Americans don't seem to understand that 'war' means we've already given up on doing things inside the law, or indeed that there is such a thing as justifiable action 'outside the law'. Sending the Army isn't the same thing at all as calling the cops, at least the pre-SWAT team cops.
2.21.2007 8:28am
AppSocRes (mail):
It has always seemed absurd to me -- and a relic of the age of hereditary princes -- that some would blanch at targeted assassination yet be ethically comfortable with either forcing hundreds of thousands of innocent young men and women to kill each other or indiscriminately killing thousands with bombs, artillery and other devices.

Actually, targeted assassination would probably be one of the most effective weapons a liberal democracy could use against authoritarian and closed societies. By definition these societies have a limited cadre of leaders whose primary aim in life is looking out for themselves. Targeted assassination would be a crippling blow to the essential being of these societies. On the other hand, liberal democracies experience a constant upswelling of talent from the ranks, always waiting to replace those above them. The more idealistic of these, if truly imbued with democratic ideals, would/should happily make themselves targets, if it would preserve the lives of tens of thousands of their fellow citizens.

Imagine the consternation among the leadership of North Korea and Iran (and the jubilation among the enlightened masses in these countries) if President Bush were to announce that the US was at war with these countries, but had no intention of targeting ordinary citizens. Instead we would do everything in our power to kill Kim Il Jung, the ruling Mullahs, nuclear scientists, etc. Bush could add that he was happy to make himself a target and had polled other US leaders who were happy to do the same. After all, what democratically elected politician would dare say he'd rather his constituents' sons and daughters be placed in harm's way rather than himself? In addition, Bush could point out that if he were to die many others were available to take his place and continue US policy until all targeted enemy leaders were dead. My suspicion is that these targeted individuals would cave pretty quickly: The Mullahs, Kim Il Sung, etc., seem far too fond of their creature comforts to stomach this kind of danger for very long.
2.21.2007 8:36am
M (mail):
I don't agree that Reynolds, vile and disgusting though his views and those of other eliminationists are, should be fired for them. But I wonder how many of those who condemned Ward Churchill and called for him to be fired (a nobody known by almost no one before his vile writings were made public, unlike Reynolds)(note that Eugene isn't in this group) will now defend the claim that the political speach of a professor, even when advocating genocide, should not be grounds for dismissal.
2.21.2007 8:51am
Patrick_Brown (mail):
The issue isn't going to go away, and Campos's call for an end to discussion seems particularly inappropriate in the light of, for example, Robert Haddick's recent TCS column on how war is changing from a state-to-state contest to one involving lots of non-state actors. Haddick makes the point that our enemies are already diffusing destructive power away from organized militaries out into the public - through various terrorist groups, supplied by state actors such as Iran or able to extort money from a state (for example, al Qaeda and Saudi Arabia) to be used against us. It is very possible that massed forces engaging on a battlefield will not solve this problem.

Haddick argues that any vacuum will be filled by rich Westerners buying themselves some special forces soldiers and some helicopters and cargo planes and using these to achieve foreign policy goals the government won't or can't achieve. So, the issue is, what do we do when our army meeting their army on the battlefield isn't the solution? In that debate, Campos obviously has little to contribute, other than moral posturing. And by the way, Haddick isn't advocating such private foreign policy initiatives; he's saying, get ready for them, because they're on the way.
2.21.2007 8:52am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Campos has been a local embarassment for quite awhile now with his weekly columns. I have on multiple times sent letters to the paper complaining, to no avail, of course. But Boulder is part of Colorado, so I guess it has to be heard from too. It just bothers me to see my tax dollars going to support someone that wacko teaching law. But then, I suspect that Campos would say the same about the tax payers of Tennessee with Reynolds.
2.21.2007 9:00am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Let me add that I try to avoid ad hominum attacks, but my previous post was venting. I will admit that I like to read Glenn Reynolds, whether at Instapundit, or TCS, and seethe when I read many of Paul Campos' columns in the local papers.
2.21.2007 9:03am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Let me add the obvious with Paul Campos - he works at the university that wouldn't fire Ward Churchill for his speech, but only did so when he was found to have repeatedly plagarized (my memory is that lying about his ancestry to get affirmative action preferences there was also not sufficient). During all that time, I don't remember a single Campos column calling for Churchill to be fired.

Yes, that is guilt by association, but because of his weekly columns in the regional papers, he is probably the most visible law professor at CU to the residents of Colorado. In other words, he is to some extent the public face of the CU law school.
2.21.2007 9:13am
dorkafork (mail) (www):
Campos could make the same argument in a discussion of capital punishment, couldn't he?
2.21.2007 9:19am
Stacy (mail) (www):
Campos' column is all politics and no scholarly analysis. Not worth taking the time over. People on both sides of the aisle (but mainly the left) have long flirted with criminalizing their opponents' views and this is just another blade of grass in that field.
2.21.2007 9:24am
Anderson (mail):
Well, yeah. Reynolds is a contemptible idiot, but that's not a firing offense, since he's a *tenured* contemptible idiot. The shut-them-up branch of the Left always creeps me out.

I just wish all Americans had the same kind of job security for expressing their views that R. enjoys. Maybe then we could even post under our own names on the Internet.
2.21.2007 9:26am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I wonder here how backing abortion rights wouldn't fall into this same category. There is a significant portion of the population that believes that to be murder. This is esp. true when you are talking third trimester abortions, when the fetus is viable, and is a couple of minutes away from legal citizenship via an emergency C-Section. I would think that killing a viable third trimester fetus would be closer to the traditional definition of murder than attacking a country that has declared itself, both by words and actions, as being our enemy, and, indeed, is probably actively involved in killing our soldiers in Iraq right now.
2.21.2007 9:27am
mikya (mail):
Just as Andrew is excitable; Paul is hysterical. Both are long past the day they could be taken seriously.
2.21.2007 9:35am
dk35 (mail):
Bruce,

Too bad for you that the majority of modern Western Civilization (including majorities in the U.S.) don't agree that you have the right to stick your hands into a woman's uterus. You might have better luck with your argument in Iran, though. I'd just advise not to become an atomic scientist if you decide to move there, though. Or, at least, watch your back for U.S. covert ops.
2.21.2007 9:39am
Steve:
Gosh, if you read only this post and the comments, you might actually be under the impression that Campos had called for Reynolds to be fired.
2.21.2007 9:42am
MDJD2B (mail):
I wonder how many of those who condemned Ward Churchill and called for him to be fired... will now defend the claim that the political speach of a professor, even when advocating genocide, should not be grounds for dismissal.

Wasn't the problem with Churhcill one of weak academic credentials, misrepresentation of credentails and academic fraud?
2.21.2007 9:47am
Stacy (mail):
Steve: "Gosh, if you read only this post and the comments, you might actually be under the impression that Campos had called for Reynolds to be fired."

From Campos' column: "Certainly, it's worth asking Reynolds' administrative superiors at the University of Tennessee what limits, if any, the terms and conditions of Reynolds' employment put on his behavior. After all, if the American government were to follow Reynolds' advice, his employer would have an accessory to murder on its payroll. "

Cut and dried.
2.21.2007 9:47am
Jeek:
Iran gives the bomb to one of the terrorist organizations it is aligned with. That organization takes the bomb on a suicide mission and levels a chunk of Israel. Iran condemns the act and creates just enough doubt in the international community that they escape M.A.D. (Perhaps France or Russia will veto UN Security Council measures to authorize retaliation.)

Pshaw, do you think Israel is going to wait for "UN authorization" to retaliate, no matter what the circumstances? If they get hit covertly, they are going to unload on all the "usual suspects" - including especially Iran - without waiting for a forensic examination to prove who is guilty, and without waiting for a UN permission slip. I am sure Israel has made this policy plain to all interested parties in the region.

I'm inclined to think that maintaining a norm against international assassination is generally in the interest of free countries, since our scientists, religious figures, and politicians are more vulnerable targets than those in more closed regimes. Eroding this norm is thus very costly to us, and it may well be that this cost exceeds the likely minor benefits of targeted killing (given that one atomic scientist will likely be replaced with another who's pretty much as good, and who'll be quite well hidden).

Our scientists, religious figures, and politicians are vulnerable regardless of our policy on assassination. Forbearance gains us nothing. Nor is it clear that Iran has a "deep bench" of capable nuclear scientists. We would not have to kill so very many in order to delay their program seriously, and that is well worth doing. As for the "moral costs", the moral cost of killing a few dozen (or even hundreds of) scientists is far less than incinerating their country if deterrence fails or if we strike preemptively.
2.21.2007 9:56am
Prufrock765 (mail):
As this is my first comment, I would first like to thank Prof Volokh and those responsible for this site.

This topic brings up an issue which has intrigued me for quite a while. In the context of the discussion, I would ask:
What would Prof Campos and his ilk say if Congress were to grant a letter of marque against a particularly offensive cleric/terrorist leader?
This is a specifically enumerated power in Art 1 Sec 8 of the US Constitution.
I would appreciate also any general scholarly analysis of this provision and its possible utility in other contexts.
2.21.2007 9:56am
CDU (mail):

No. Iran gives the bomb to one of the terrorist organizations it is aligned with. That organization takes the bomb on a suicide mission and levels a chunk of Israel. Iran condemns the act and creates just enough doubt in the international community that they escape M.A.D. (Perhaps France or Russia will veto UN Security Council measures to authorize retaliation.)


If terrorist blows up a nuke in Israel, do you really think the Israelis are going to wait for a UN Security Council resolution before retaliating? No way. They'd turn Tehran into a smoking crater within hours.
2.21.2007 10:00am
rarango (mail):
I second Prufrok's question. Letters of Marque were used for naval actions in the war of 1812; the privateer brig Rambler captured numerous British prizes and fought a significant engagement with British ships. Why wouldnt a letter of marque accomplish what Reynolds and others are advocating?
2.21.2007 10:08am
Kovarsky (mail):
im not clear here. has campos called for any action, or has he said that he wants to know what limits, if any, they can place on his speech.

i mean, i would like to think about what limits, if any, could be placed on his speech. i would say "none" after i thought about it. but did i misread something? has any sort of official action been taken?
2.21.2007 10:11am
mcallen (mail):
I think it is interesting that you lawprof types assume you should be the arbiters of the actions of state employees. Seems to me the owners of the school--the people of Tennessee and Colorado ought to have the biggest say. Wonder how either of them would feel if they had to undergo review by a committee of the state legislature. My guess is that Campos would like it less than Reynolds.

mca
2.21.2007 10:13am
Justin (mail):
Ah, Stacy. Context is the great defeater of clever arguments. The immediate sentence following:

"Reynolds and Hewitt, after all, certainly didn't object when University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's celebration of the murder of American civilians raised serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person, and led to an investigation of Churchill's academic record."

Campos, rightly or wrongly, wrote the sentence "calling" for Glenn Reynolds (who should have been fired quite a long time ago for incompetency, not for politics) to be fired, as a rhetorical tool for showing Reynolds' HYPOCRACY, not his unsuitability for professoral office.
2.21.2007 10:14am
Justin (mail):
Even supposing EV's strawman is accurate, I am not sure I completely agree with him. Certainly, a law professor (lets say one who teaches Constitutional and International Law) who claimed that genocide of African-Americans was legal and proper could be fired, if not for moral recklessness, at least for a failure to understand the subject matter that he supposedly teaches.
2.21.2007 10:17am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Yeah, Ravonna. The right idea at the right time is when the democrats advocated such things. That didn't get Campos' dander up.
Only when non-lefties talk about it does Campos take note.
2.21.2007 10:19am
Justin (mail):
mccallan,

Campos's "The Chaotic Psuedotext" in the Michigan Law Review is one of the more insightful and interesting articles on statutory interpretation ever written. I do not think he would have a problem finding employment at any one of a number of law schools if Colorado had dismissed him for political reasons.
2.21.2007 10:19am
Spitzer:
The legal question is simple: a mere executive order, statute, or (as a poster suggested above) a grant of a letter of marque would suffice to authorize targeted assassinations. Israel has done it for years, and it has had some success with the policy, undermining the leadership of various terrorist groups quite a bit. Of course, Israel has also not been wildly successful, so we should not be beguiled into thinking that assassinations represent a panacea. Looking to the late 16th and early 17th century, when targeted assassinations became briefly frequent (remember, remember the 5th of November, and all that).

The moral question is even easier: if our beef is with a nation-state's political leadership, why must we inflict pain merely on the (possibly) innocent citizenry through military action or economic sanctions? It may be "ungentlemanly" for leaders to target other leaders, and they may not want to encourage such thoughts (for obvious reasons - see Guy Fawkes Day), but it is certainly more humane to kill those responsible for a war rather than those who are herded into it - wouldn't it have been preferable had Hitler been successfully assassinated (Churchill certainly tried), or had the leadership of Japan been decapitated before the fire bombings and atom bombs killed or injured million? Therefore the moral question is easy: war is always a last choice, but war involves killing people and breaking things. International law ostensibly protects civilians in time of war, expressing a preference for restricting (to the maximum degree possible) the killing of people and breaking of things to the military. On that principal, how would it be wrong to try to restrict the killing and breaking to the most culpable members of the enemy state?

As for scientists, it is a relatively easy matter to redefine scientists involved in military research (including nuclear scientists) as de facto members of the military, just as it is appropriate to bomb factories involved in war production. Targeting them may undermine a state's attempt to obtain or improve improved weaponry, and though they may be replaced in some measure, a consistent policy of assassinations may reduce the incentive for students in such countries to take up the study of military-oriented science, which in turn may stem the future flow of weapons development in enemy states. Nuclear science, after all, may not be rocket science, but it's not far removed.

In fact, one may wonder whether it would be in the interest of certain states to issue and enforce international regulations regarding nuclear scientists? It is one thing to say that a country cannot have nuclear weapons; it would be a logical extension of that policy to say that certain countries cannot even have nuclear scientists (being the sine qua non of a nuclear program). Why not target the universities in such countries that train students in those sciences, and why not regulate who can take up the study in the West?

Now I have to wonder: Will this comment cause me to be arrested?
2.21.2007 10:27am
MDJD2B (mail):
I second Prufrok's question. Letters of Marque were used for naval actions in the war of 1812; the privateer brig Rambler captured numerous British prizes and fought a significant engagement with British ships. Why wouldnt a letter of marque accomplish what Reynolds and others are advocating?

I can't supply a citation, but I read somewhere in a book about naval history that there are treaties agianst privateering that we have ratified. These might preclude issuing letters of marque.
2.21.2007 10:32am
WHOI Jacket:
Jeez, I never expected the blogfather to have so many enemies on this site.

Campos's "logic" can be easily applied to defenders of Capital Punishment as well. Is this how he normally treats his idealogically opponents?
2.21.2007 10:32am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
dk35

First of all, I am neither pro-choice nor pro-life. I am making an argument that many, if not a majority, of Americans would consider an elective late term abortion to be murder, and that is what Campos is alleging here, incitation to murder. I disagree that a majority of Americans agree that a woman's right to privacy is supreme during the third trimester, regardless of her reasons for an abortion and the viability of the fetus. You are jumping from the fact that a majority accept some abortion to that they accept all abortion. The recent polls I have seen would seem to refute that. And the appeal to western civilization norms doesn't work, because most of us in this country don't really care what the French think.

Let me also point out that it is the abortion that is reaching into the woman's uterus, not the normal delivery. My point on emergency C-Sections was to point out that premies of the same (or even younger) gestational age as those being aborted in 3rd trimester abortions are routinely being delivered (either way), are viable, and are full citizens. All that is standing between that late term fetus and full citizenship is a couple layers of maternal tissue.

Of course, if you were to poll Campos' law school, you could probably count the number of professors who consider even late term abortion to be murder on the fingers on one hand (if you even need that many of them).

So, back to Eugene's implied question, what is murder? Why is killing national enemies murder, and not third trimester fetuses? Both are arguably collateral damage. Campos seems to consider killing mad mullahs and Iranian nuclear scientists to be murder while likely (given where he works) not consider a third trimester abortion to be murder. There are a lot who consider the later to be murder, and yet Campos would presumably be appoplectic if those at his school who espoused unlimited abortion rights were to be censured by his school.
2.21.2007 10:36am
Steve:
At least Justin gets it. Most of the commentors, as well as Prof. Volokh, are suffering from a lapse in their reading comprehension.
2.21.2007 10:38am
Stacy (mail) (www):
Would some of the commenters who are calling Reynolds incompetent like to substantiate those claims?
2.21.2007 10:39am
Stacy (mail) (www):
Steve: "At least Justin gets it. Most of the commentors, as well as Prof. Volokh, are suffering from a lapse in their reading comprehension."

No, the hypocrisy claim is a red herring. Ward Churchill wasn't fired for his speech, it simply drew attention to him. He was fired for being a fraud when that attention turned up his phony background.
2.21.2007 10:42am
Justin (mail):
Stacy, I very clearly said "rightly or wrongly." Whether or not Campos's hypocracy attack is fair doesn't negate the fact that it was a hypocracy attack, not a call for his termination.
2.21.2007 10:44am
Adeez (mail):
"Let's not unwittingly call for a return to those times. Remember the best days in civilized societies, when violence truly was the last resort not the primary destination -- and countries had accessible tools like dialogue, negotiation, and hard work and sweat equity to get along with others?"

You got it. It's so sad how so many have been duped into thinking that violence is always an answer. It's so disgusting how people so matter-of-factly speak about committing acts of war while simultaneously ignoring the enormous consequences of such actions. What is the pain felt by a soldier with PTSD? A soldier w/missing body parts? What about the fact that for every soldier of ours maimed or killed are about, say, 10 family members whose lives will never be the same as a result. What about the 600,000 innocents in Iraq killed? Are their lives less worthy? What about the millions affected by the deaths of these innocents? Why has the vast majority of those who served become Democrats, which to some are the party of pussies? Why are those who push for war the most those have no personal stake in the matter?

These are moral issues, so I have no retort to those who disagree. I mean, war with Iran was a neocon goal since before 9/11. I expect that those who frequent this site, regardless of political affiliation, would be astute enough to be able to see through this nonsense. If you think that in this day and age we can't figure out a way to live peacefully, then you're not thinking hard enough. The same game that this adminisration played with Iraq is being played again with Iran. Our only hope is that enough people who couldn't see through the first wave will wisen and not fall for it again.

And no, Reynolds shouldn't be fired.
2.21.2007 10:45am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Justin

I have no doubt that Campos is an accomplished legal scholar. My problem with him is that he routinely strays from his legal specialties in his over the top weekly columns in our regional papers. The people in Colorado don't see his scholarship, just those columns. Some of his columns are legally well reasoned, and some are (IMHO) not. The ones that are not seem to be more frothing left wing diatribes than what you would expect from a law professor at our flagship state university.
2.21.2007 10:45am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Stacy

That was my point with Churchill - he wasn't fired for the content of his speech, but rather his scholarship, or lack thereof. My question was how Campos could call for the University of Tennesee to fire Reynolds for the contents of his speech, when his own university wouldn't fire Churchill for the contents of his speech, and the vast majority at least here in Colorado would consider Churhill's speech much more egregious than anything Reynolds has ever said.
2.21.2007 10:50am
JB:
Justin, first of all it's "hypocrisy," not "hypocracy." When you write in all caps, you ought to spell things right.

Second, what Stacy said. You're the one putting up a strawman.
2.21.2007 10:51am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
Let me add that I don't remember Campos calling for Ward Churchill's dismissal on the grounds of what he said, and indeed, if he had, that would have carried a lot more weight, given that they both worked at the same university.
2.21.2007 10:52am
rarango (mail):
OT: Bruce Hayden: I agree generally with your point about ampos'straying from legal specialties; however, I thought his contrarian book about the Diet/Obesity Myth to be quite good.
2.21.2007 11:01am
WHOI Jacket:
Adeez, I'd love to see the reference for "the vast majority of veterans become Democrats" claim. Also, it could be said that we've been ready to engage Iran since 1979.





"Why are those who push for war the most those have no personal stake in the matter?"



Hey, I might be in graduate school, but my best friend from high school just got deployed to Iraq, so take your chickenhawk (+ chicken family?) BS elsewere.



[EV says: Folks, please keep it polite.]
2.21.2007 11:01am
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
After jumping all over Campos about Churchill, I did a bit more research, and it turns out that once the CU report came out confirming Churhill's academic fraud, Campos led the charge against him. In particular, this RMN article: "Campos: Churchill report sickens" is at least a partial refutation of my previous point.
2.21.2007 11:02am
DWPittelli (mail) (www):
MDJD2B: "I can't supply a citation, but I read somewhere in a book about naval history that there are treaties agianst privateering that we have ratified. These might preclude issuing letters of marque. 2.21.2007 10:32am"

As Wiki notes: "Letters of Marque were abolished by the April 16, 1856 Declaration of Paris, which was an annex to the 1856 Treaty of Paris that ended the Crimean War. The United States was one of the main nations not to ratify the Declaration."
2.21.2007 11:13am
jgm (www):
Bruce Hayden, Stacy, et. al:

Ward Churchill has NOT been fired. Yet.
2.21.2007 11:33am
hey (mail):
Anyone who advocates for or excuses the behaviour of a communist regime is guilty of aiding and abetting crimes against humanity. Accessories to crimes against humanity should be hanged. Easy peasy, 75% + of university faculty can be removed and hanged for their crimes against humanity.

Advocating the extinction of classes in Vietnam and Cambodia is a real crime, while discussing strategic options in war is not. The Left ignores this, as it ignores all reality and morality. It is time for the accounts to be settled. Let's start with Janey straddling an AA gun of the North Vietnamese and Johnny's false testimony before Congress. Hang'em high!
2.21.2007 11:41am
Adeez (mail):
WHOI Jacket:
I see I touched a nerve with my "BS." What exactly was BS: the immense, too-difficult-for-words pain experienced by those directly involved in combat? The suffering of the families? The fact that the admin. had Iran in its site for years? That the rhetoric being spewed now about Iran sounds eerily similar to that about Iraq?

As for your request for a link regarding the political affiliations of those who served, please see:
http://www.awolbush.com/whoserved. It's a comprehensive site, and I invite you to explore it. When you're done you can return and insult me and my family some more b/c I have the temerity to push for peace.
2.21.2007 11:44am
Friedrich Foresight:
Possibly I'm stereotyping wildly here, but can someone who follows Campos' columns please confirm my hunch that, when The Lancet claimed 600,000+ Iraqis had been killed since the US-led invasion, Campos would have seen a higher death toll figure as a moral black mark against the invasion?

IOW, if "only" (say) 600 or 6,000 or even 60,000 Iraqis had died instead of the alleged 600,000, that would have counted to mitigate the Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld triumvirate's bloodguilt for war crimes against the iraqi people[s]?
2.21.2007 11:49am
Xrlq (mail) (www):
Does Campos advocate termination for all law professors who advocate that any law or executive order be changed, or just the ones who advocate changing the ones he personally holds dear? More generally, between this guy and Althouse, can just anybody be a law professor these days?
2.21.2007 11:52am
toby928:

If you think that in this day and age we can't figure out a way to live peacefully, then you're not thinking hard enough.


I'm all ears.

Tob
2.21.2007 11:52am
WHOI Jacket:
Awolbush.com

Now that's an unbiased neutral source of info if I've ever heard of one.

Also, how did I insult your family? I said "Chicken family" because you (apparently) suggested that I don't have a personal stake in the war, thus I'm a warmongerer. I don't have kids, my parents are schoolteachers, my connection to the military is my friend from school. Now, I'm disqualified from speaking on the war, not only because I'm non directly involved, but my loved ones aren't as well? That may fly with Nancy Peolsi, but not with me.


[To EV: Sorry if that wasn't clear in the original post. I suppose Chickenhawkfamily is a bit too ambiguous a response.]

[EV responds: That was part of it; the "BS" was another. Not a huge transgression, but it still led me to want to caution people to be polite, and thus to prevent further deterioration.]
2.21.2007 12:07pm
KeithK (mail):
It's so sad how so many have been duped into thinking that violence is always an answer.

No, violence isn't always the answer. But sometimes violence is the appropriate course. Denying that is foolish.

What about the 600,000 innocents in Iraq killed? Are their lives less worthy?

600,000? Oh please. Not even the discredited Lancet study claimed a number that high. Source?

Why has the vast majority of those who served become Democrats

Source? Yes, there are some who serve and become Democrats or anti-war due to their experiences. but based on my anecdotal evidence I'd expect that most who have served in Iraq support the mission and continue to do so when they come home, even those who have lost limbs.

If you think that in this day and age we can't figure out a way to live peacefully, then you're not thinking hard enough.

If you can tell us all how to live peacefully with the madmen who want to see Western civilization destroyed and replaced by an Islamic caliphate please let us all know. I'd love to hear it. if you can tell us a nice peaceful way to get along with Iranians who are inciting and facilitating bloodshed in Iraq simply to destabilize the country and increase their influence please let us know.

Keep in mind that diplomacy only works when you have leverage. You can't convince a country to change it's actions without either the carrot or the stick. A credible threat of violence can work wonders. Personally I feel that exclusive use of the carrot is morally indefensible and just leads to future bad behavior. See North Korea.

And no, Reynolds shouldn't be fired.

Finally something we can both agree on. Criticize him all you want though.
2.21.2007 12:10pm
KeithK (mail):
Note: Someone else said that Lancet cited 600,000 deaths. maybe I'm remembering wrong and it was that high. Still the study was thoroughly discredited.
2.21.2007 12:20pm
K Parker (mail):
Adeez,

What a hoot!

1. When was this golden age you refer to?

2. How did you come to the (badly mistaken) impression that we haven't been dialoging and negotiating with Iran?
2.21.2007 1:00pm
Kevin P. (mail):
AppSocRes:

It has always seemed absurd to me -- and a relic of the age of hereditary princes -- that some would blanch at targeted assassination yet be ethically comfortable with either forcing hundreds of thousands of innocent young men and women to kill each other or indiscriminately killing thousands with bombs, artillery and other devices.

Actually, targeted assassination would probably be one of the most effective weapons a liberal democracy could use against authoritarian and closed societies.


I agree 100%. During Gulf War 1, we may have killed around TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND young Iraqi draftees while their murderous leader escaped unscathed. This has seemed to me to be the only morally questionable part of Gulf War 1.

It is the moral course to pursue the targeted assassination of our enemy's leadership and their supporting personnel while avoiding the inflicting of mass casualties upon the enemy's innocent civilian population.

And yes, that exposes our own leadership to such attacks from the enemy. But they run this risk right now anyway.
2.21.2007 1:07pm
Clayton E. Cramer (mail) (www):

I mean, war with Iran was a neocon goal since before 9/11.
Bad news for you: Iran has been at war with us since 1979, funding terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens.
2.21.2007 1:15pm
K Parker (mail):
Why has the vast majority of those who served become Democrats?

I think this canard has its roots in the fact that the D's recruited a number of Iraq veterans to run for House seats, at a perhaps-younger and less-experienced point in their political careers, precisely because they were vets and could trade on their status as veterans. Note this does not include Webb, who ran on his own right (and indeed, those who were doing the recruiting would probably have run away from any non-big-name person who was even half as conservative as Webb is.)

Unless we're more or less pacifists
There's a huge amount of disengenuousness in the pacifist arena. I'm not sure whether Eugene is unaware of it, or simply didn't consider it germane to the topic (if the latter, please forgive the tangent!)

The problem with far too many pacifists is that they advocate a selective pacifism. Take my denomination, for example. I don't think this has actually passed the General Assembly, but just about every biennium there's a resolution supporting some kind of gun ban. Now, if they instead proposed a resolution that read, "No Christian [or, less arrogantly, 'No Presbyterian'] should ever be involved in self-defense, or own any tools for the same", I would still strongly disagree with them, but at least it would be an honest and coherent proposal.

But irony or hypocrisy of saying "We want some armed people to come and disarm other armed people" would be laughable, except that I think the proposers are quite serious. Whether they're simply deluded, or instead are closet (or non-so-closet) statists, I leave as an exercise for the reader. But the moment you call for the police to enforce something, 99% of your pacifist credibility goes out the window.
2.21.2007 1:24pm
Justin (mail):
"Bad news for you: Iran has been at war with us since 1979, funding terrorist attacks on U.S. citizens."

Bad nwes for Ronald Reagan, then. This would make him, and many others involved in Iran-Contra (including many still serving in the Executive branch today) guilty of treason.
2.21.2007 1:29pm
Seamus (mail):

It has always seemed absurd to me -- and a relic of the age of hereditary princes -- that some would blanch at targeted assassination



We are *so* over LBJ's distaste at how his predecessor was running "a goddam Murder Incorporated down in the Caribbean."
2.21.2007 1:33pm
Seamus (mail):
So I'm sure Campos agrees that anti-Zionism should not be protected by academic freedom, right?
2.21.2007 1:44pm
PrestoPundit (mail):
Campos writes dreck week after week in the syndicated column. More proof that the universities are crammed with government subsidized moroons.
2.21.2007 1:58pm
Adeez (mail):
I find it perversely hilarious that my plea for peace is getting attacked by so many. Or maybe it's the same few and I'm just not paying careful enough attention. And I also got a huge kick out of Keith K's:

"600,000? Oh please. Not even the discredited Lancet study claimed a number that high. Source?"

Why? Because when I wrote this I was going to add a parenthetical urging those who disagree to not bother disputing the number, but said forget it, that'd be dumb. But sure nuff, someone bit. So, Keith K, what if it's 300,000? Is that enough? 200,000? What is your acceptable threshold for the death of innocents?
And regarding your question: "If you can tell us all how to live peacefully with the madmen who want to see Western civilization destroyed and replaced by an Islamic caliphate please let us all know. I'd love to hear it. if you can tell us a nice peaceful way to get along with Iranians who are inciting and facilitating bloodshed in Iraq simply to destabilize the country and increase their influence please let us know."

I don't know. How about for starters we get the hell out of their backyards? How about we stop threatening them? I hope my critics here are aware that Iran offered us a ton of help following 9/11. And that their population is remarkably pro-West. And that they have as much respect for their "leader" as we do for ours, but many backed him b/c of fear that they'd be "preemptively" attacked as well.

Finally, saying Awolbush.com is a "liberal" site is utterly irrelevant. My point was that the vast majority of those who were in war or who were in service are Democrats, which by popular perception is the party of pansies. This site supports my contention with purported facts. If you can disprove these facts, do so. If 100% of liberals wholeheartedly agree that the earth is round, it's still round.
2.21.2007 2:29pm
wooga:

Why has the vast majority of those who served become Democrats, which to some are the party of pussies?
That's a lie. 2004 polling
Or, an anti-war poll showing Republicans outnumber Democrats among veterans by almost 3 to 1.
You're site falls into the common fallacy of saying "look how many prominent democrats were (ticket punching) members of the military," while ignoring that the rank and file veteran - that middle America which you hold in such contempt -- are primarily Republican and Conservative/Libertarian.

These are moral issues, so I have no retort to those who disagree.

Ah, a moral relativist... the scourge that is college students who have only completed one month of philosophy 101. There are such things as good and evil, even if you want to strip all religious trappings from the concept of 'morality' and boil it down to utilitarianism or Kant.

Folks like Campoy ignore that pacifism is surrender in the face of fascism. Military intervention cannot logically "always be wrong," as it oftentimes is necessary to prevent dramatically worse results. Diplomacy is the failure of war. Always has been. Always will be.
2.21.2007 2:43pm
LatinNazi (mail):
Would Campos have considered the targeted assasination of Osama bin Laden prior to 9/11 "murder"? And would he have considered the advocacy of such a potential firing offense, and the advocates "accessories to murder"?

If so, he is a fool. If not, he is a hypocrite. What else is there to say?
2.21.2007 2:45pm
Jeek:
How about for starters we get the hell out of their backyards? How about we stop threatening them?

I thought appeasement was discredited in 1939 and isolationism in 1941, but I guess not...
2.21.2007 2:46pm
keypusher (mail):
"I thought appeasement was discredited in 1939 and isolationism in 1941, but I guess not..."

Opposing the invasion of a country 10,000 miles away is isolationism? Refraining from killing tens of thousands of people is appeasement?
2.21.2007 3:07pm
Mark Field (mail):

I thought appeasement was discredited in 1939 and isolationism in 1941, but I guess not...


I thought arrogant and bullying behavior leading to war was discredited in 1914, but I guess not....
2.21.2007 3:10pm
toby928:
Opposing the invasion of a country 10,000 miles away is isolationism? Refraining from killing tens of thousands of people is appeasement?

Can be.
2.21.2007 3:10pm
Adeez (mail):
"that middle America which you hold in such contempt"

Wow Wooga. I start with a plea for peace, for Americans to see through this drum-up to war, and a claim of how horrible war can be to so many people. Please indicate where I held middle America "in such contempt." You needn't do much research: just scroll up and check out the two comments I posted.

To my comment that "These are moral issues, so I have no retort to those who disagree" you state "Ah, a moral relativist... the scourge that is college students who have only completed one month of philosophy 101. There are such things as good and evil, even if you want to strip all religious trappings from the concept of 'morality' and boil it down to utilitarianism or Kant."
Re-read what I originally posted. The thrust was that war is hell and that we need to account for the suffering of both our troops as well as innocent Iraqis, who have also suffered dearly. If your claim is that innocent Iraqis are evil and not morally equivalent to us, then we sir (or maa'm) disagree on a moral issue. There is no way that I could convince you otherwise, and vice versa. That's not moral relativism. On the other hand, if that's not your claim, then please, explain what I stated that you deem morally relativistic. And please try to do without all that sarcasm. It doesn't help your argument and only serves to insult.
2.21.2007 3:17pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Ah, Stacy. Context is the great defeater of clever arguments. The immediate sentence following:
Ah, Justin: Facts are the great defeater of unclever arguments. Reynolds did not call for Churchill to be fired for his political statements. A 30 second google came up with multiple links, where Reynolds explicitly answers "No" to that question. In short, no "HYPOCRACY," or even hypocrisy.
2.21.2007 3:33pm
Justin (mail):
Oh my god, I don't spellcheck my blogposts. You got me. That was so much cooler and more effective than trying to discuss my point!

As I mentioned previously, I made no claim as to whether Campos's actual point was correct, only stating that his actual point was not that Reynolds should be fired.
2.21.2007 4:04pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Well, as other people mentioned previously, you're clearly wrong. Campos's point was not about hypocrisy.

Even if Reynolds had argued that Churchill should be fired, it still wouldn't make any sense to charge Reynolds with hypocrisy in this context, because Reynolds didn't claim "academic freedom" as a defense of his own comments. Campos, not Reynolds, raised the "academic freedom" argument, in passing, only to question whether it should apply. Campos's point was that Reynolds should be fired.

"Certainly, it's worth asking Reynolds' administrative superiors at the University of Tennessee what limits, if any, the terms and conditions of Reynolds' employment put on his behavior."
2.21.2007 4:40pm
Justin (mail):
David, you may want to avoid unsupported assertions, such as "as other people mentioned previously, you're clearly wrong. Campos's point was not about hypocrisy."

Until you, the only assertions made that I were wrong used as support the fact that a hypocrisy attack would not be supportable, and that Campos would be wrong to make such an attack. Without going to the merits, such a defense is irrelevant and does nothing in consideration of the clear language of Campos's argument.

Likewise, you also ignore the second sentence in a two sentence paragraph, pretending it does not exist or is otherwise not related to the first, in order to justify your conclusion. This is bad reading and even worse lawyering.

Finally, the point that Reynolds - after Campos wrote his article - defends his arguments on the merits - as not being out of the mainstream - is also irrelevant. As a lawyer, you really *should* be aware of timing sequences.

Courts will forgive spelling errors. They're a lot less easy going on taking sentences out of context, or trying to make arguments that ignore critical aspects of evidence, such as their timing.
2.21.2007 4:51pm
wooga:
Adeez,
Re contempt for middle America. I apologize, I overstepped the content of your post. I read into it a high level of 'condescension' towards people who supported the war (initially the vast majority of Americans, on grounds aside from WMDs) and a patronizing tone towards the troops. That is usually indicative of the contempt I mentioned. However, you did not actually express that, and I apologize for the assumption.

Re moral relativism - you preemptively dismissed any response which argued that the war was the morally right thing due to, which cut off any discussion about the cost/benefit of lives, value of freedom, and so on. I do not claim that Iraqis are all evil, and I don't know how a person can be "morally equivalent" to someone else. That's a behavior label, not a human status one.

The 600,000 claim has been debunked many times. And yes, it does make a different whether it is 600k, 200k, or 50k. There are degrees of evil. Although "war is hell," it may be worth it if the result tends to improve life (quantity and quality wise).
2.21.2007 4:52pm
Justin (mail):
The 600,000 claim has been debunked attacked many times.

Fixed your post.
2.21.2007 4:54pm
Friedrich Foresight:
> "But irony or hypocrisy of saying "We want some armed people to come and disarm other armed people" would be laughable... the moment you call for the police to enforce something, 99% of your pacifist credibility goes out the window."

Not necessarily. Gun control may be a bad policy, but it's not self-contradictory to say "The State should have a monopoly on deadly force." Smart guys like Hobbes and Weber thought this the very point of having a state. If there's only one armed faction out there, you can't have two or more armed factions shooting at each other and citizens getting caught in the crossfire.
2.21.2007 6:14pm
Elliot123 (mail):
Adeez,

1. Pleas for peace are very nice. They are also very easy. It's much harder to achieve. Perhaps you can tell us how to do it?

2. The rhetoric about Iran is also similar to that employed against Nazi Germany. So what? What does the style of rehetoric or argument tell us? Is it your contention that anything supported by this version of rhetoric should be opposed? I suppose I could use the same type of rhetoric in support of both Israel and Hamas. What would that tell us about the validity of the cause of either?
2.21.2007 6:16pm
KeithK (mail):
So, Keith K, what if it's 300,000? Is that enough? 200,000? What is your acceptable threshold for the death of innocents?
I don't think there is a threshold for the death of innocents. You have to weigh the likelihood of civilian casualties against the potential positives of a military action. Maybe it sounds callous to say, but collateral damage is part of war. The US military does go to great lengths to minimize civilian casualties. In short, there is such a thing as acceptable collateral damage. The fact that civilians have died does not in and of itself make military action immoral.

I don't know. How about for starters we get the hell out of their backyards? How about we stop threatening them?

We can't "get out their backyard". We have significant economic interests in the region. We have individuals in the region who have dedicated themselves to our destruction. Leaving them alone just isn't an option.
2.21.2007 6:34pm
josh:
Stick with it Justin.

I'm really surprised by the reading of Campos' column and comments on this thread. Even Glen Greenwald came out in opposition to Reynolds being fired for his assassination speech. But, to me at least, the second reading of his column was indeed about the hypocrieousy of the Right generally when it comes to these types of issues. At least Reynolds' post here: http://www.instapundit.com/archives/020810.php says nothing about needing to fire Churchill for fraud. It paints him as the face of the Left. Please read the whole thing, as they say.

I have to say this is the first time I've been really disappointed with the intellectual honesty of EV. I usually find him well above the usual partisanship of the blogs. And while I agree Campos is wrong for advocating the firing of Reynolds for his murder-advocacy speech, certainly the secondary reading of Campos' column is on point.

I'll even go as saying I find Churchill's speech more abhorent than Reynolds'. However, that doesn't make Campos' point of hypocreaousssyyyy an less valid.
2.21.2007 7:08pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Finally, the point that Reynolds - after Campos wrote his article - defends his arguments on the merits - as not being out of the mainstream - is also irrelevant. As a lawyer, you really *should* be aware of timing sequences.
What on earth are you talking about? I didn't mention anything about what Reynolds said, before or after Campos's article. (I did mention that Reynolds wasn't citing academic freedom, but that's simply a statement about what Reynolds didn't say, not what he said.)

Let's review: several people said that Campos was calling for Reynolds to be fired based on GR's political views. Your claim is that this isn't the case, that Campos was actually just accusing Reynolds of hypocrisy because of GR's inconsistency with his views on Ward Churchill.

I'm saying that this is completely wrong in every respect. If Campos were charging Reynolds with hypocrisy, he'd be wrong, but Campos isn't charging Reynolds with hypocrisy at all. A charge of hypocrisy requires (at a minimum) pointing out an inconsistency, and Campos doesn't even purport to point out an inconsistency in GR's view.

He's criticizing the substance of GR's view, and calling for GR to be fired.

Because you know that GR doesn't deserve to be fired, and hence Campos would be wrong to demand that, you're trying to rehabilitate Campos's piece by making it say something it doesn't.
2.21.2007 7:13pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
However, that doesn't make Campos' point of hypocreaousssyyyy an less valid.
Again,

(1) It would indeed be completely invalid.

(2) Campos doesn't even try to make any point about hypocrisy.
2.21.2007 7:15pm
Adeez (mail):
I unfortunately don't have the time this evening to respond to the good issues raised in response to me. I'm sure my brethren could do a better job than I.
But to Wooga: your apology is wholeheartedly accepted.
2.21.2007 7:21pm
TJIT (mail):
M

You said,
I don't agree that Reynolds, vile and disgusting though his views and those of other eliminationists are, should be fired for them.
Please educate me and define what "eliminationists" stand for just so we are on the same page. And once defined would you please cite examples of Reynolds "eliminationists" stands.

Thanks.
2.21.2007 7:30pm
c.f.w. (mail):
"Campos could make the same argument in a discussion of capital punishment, couldn't he?"

I agree - in both cases, targeted killing and the domestic death penalty, there needs to be a strong self defense justification, in my view, and almost perfect evidence (to the extent there is no self defense justification).

Where Reynolds erred, and Campos scored heavily, is in the Reynolds suggestion that he has proven a case for self defense against mullahs and scientists in Iran. That he assumes and does not even attempt to prove. There is no cite to anyone who he thinks has proven the justification.

That materially excessive brevity is properly subject to admonition or censure - but not academic discipline.
2.21.2007 7:39pm
Enoch:
Oh my god, I don't spellcheck my blogposts. You got me. That was so much cooler and more effective than trying to discuss my point!

Well gee, since you, like a lot of Lefties, think that Hypocrisy is the 8th Deadly Sin, and must be exposed and reviled whenever possible, you should at least learn how to spell it.

Josh, that goes DOUBLE for you!
2.21.2007 8:53pm
Bruce Hayden (mail) (www):
I couldn't see this as I scrolled down, but Glenn responded today in the Rocky Mountain News: Arguing from ignorance. BTW, Glenn's response is possibly where/why EV posted about "beclowned".
2.21.2007 8:53pm
K Parker (mail):
Adeez,
I start with a plea for peace
OK, and if the reply from your aversary is, "We're not fighting you because we want something from you; we're fighting you because we want to kill you", then what?

Friedrich,

Sure, I'll agree that "the State should have a monopoly on deadly force" is a coherent position, though it's not the one I hold (nor is it the default in the common-law world.) What I was objecting to was people who take that position calling themselves "Pacifist".
2.21.2007 9:01pm
Friedrich Foresight:
K Parker,

Thanks for clarifying. I agree, you can't really call pro-gun control people "pacifist" unless they plan for the Gun Confiscation Corps to be armed with feather ticklers or something. However, you also said there is "irony or hypocrisy" in saying "We want some armed people to come and disarm other armed people" and I don't think Hobbes, Boudin, Weber et al are ironical hypocrites for saying "All else being equal, paying one lot of protection money ['taxes'] is less bad than paying two or more lots of protection money."

What the default is depends whether you count India as part of the common-law world (following Mark Steyn, I'd stop counting Pakistan and half of Nigeria and Malaysia). If you do include India, or if you count per nationem instead of per capitum, then most of the common law world has - for better or worse - quite strict gun control. Only if you count heads only, and confine it to common-law countries where most of the populace speak English (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ, Ireland, the Indies), does the USA's gun-rights position outweigh the strict controls in the rest of the Anglosphere.
2.21.2007 9:23pm
josh:
David

"Even if Reynolds had argued that Churchill should be fired, it still wouldn't make any sense to charge Reynolds with hypocrisy in this context, because Reynolds didn't claim "academic freedom" as a defense of his own comments. Campos, not Reynolds, raised the "academic freedom" argument, in passing, only to question whether it should apply. Campos's point was that Reynolds should be fired."

I don't think that Reynolds' excuses for his post are relevant to the quesiton of hypocrisy. Considering he has never admitted error in the time I've read him (unless I've missed the occassional mea culpa somwhere), I have no reason to believe he would do so now. However, it simply is hypocritical to lambast Ward Churchill for his speech (please read the InstaPundit link in my prior email before claiming he was complaining about Churchill's alleged fraud) and then to get upset when he is taken to task for the same.

As I said earlier, I think Campos is wrong for calling for Raynolds' firing based on that speech, as unfortunate as it is. So does Glen Greenwald, btw, so the other comments in this thread about the "Left" are a little tiresome.

But conslusory statements that this is not hypocrisy I think don't add much to the discussion. Campos certainly refered in his piece to the hypocrisy:

"All this raises several interesting questions. For instance, does academic freedom insulate a law professor from any institutional consequences when he advocates murder? Reynolds and Hewitt, after all, certainly didn't object when University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's celebration of the murder of American civilians raised serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person, and led to an investigation of Churchill's academic record."

Not only did Reynolds, Hewitt, et al not object, they piled on, and not because of any alleged fraud on Churchill's part. Instead, they simply went on the attack because of Churchill's admittedly abhorrent speech. Many reasonable people take issue with Reynolds' speech. The parsing between Reynolds' speech and Churchill's speech is hypocritical.

Enoch

My misspelling of "hypocrisy" was a joke. "Lefties ... think that Hypocrisy is the 8th Deadly Sin, and must be exposed and reviled whenever possible" because the intellectual dishonety they often see makes debating the merits of real issues quite difficult. I've never encountered a defense of hypocrisy such as yours, no matter how it's spelled, but have at it.
2.21.2007 9:42pm
Erisian23 (mail):
Stacy:

>> People on both sides of the aisle (but mainly the left) have long flirted with criminalizing their opponents' views

Anderson:

>> The shut-them-up branch of the Left always creeps me out

It could be worse. Campos could have been Vice President of the United States of America suggesting that people who discuss the failures of Bush's prosecution of the Iraq War are traitors by way of giving comfort to the enemy.

No offense, but "I don't want to address what you're saying so I'll argue against your right to even say it" is hardly a hallmark of the *Left*. How many years of the Right's "shush, traitor! Don't point out his abysmal failures as a wartime president!" do you have to ignore to make statements like that? Seriously, when searching for moral high ground on which to perch, one ought not make a mountain out of a molehill. Brave American soldiers are still dying over failed policies and poor decisions that arguing against even today will get a person accused of "not supporting the troops" or "wanting the terrorists to win". The shut-them-up branch of the Left always creeps me out too, but the shut-them-up branch of the Right has a lot more blood on its hands and I personally find that a heck of a lot creepier.

I generally find most of Reynold's policy positions disagreeable but the fact that most options (including assassination) should be on the table when it comes to protecting ourselves and allies against a biochemical or nuclear attack seems nothing but reasonable. Premeditated murder is always a situation that must survive serious and intent ethical scrutiny, but that's not to say it can never survive such scrutiny. Prof. Reynolds and I may disagree on the suitability of mullahs as targets, but that's not to say he can't or won't prevail in making an ethical case for even that.

The suggestion that embracing assassination opens the door to future retaliation in kind may be a real cost to consider, but if we're saving the lives to 100k present citizens at the expense of tens of future politicians, that's a sacrifice I'm willing to see our political caste make.

I also believe Prof. Volokh is correct to frame this as an attack on academic freedom. Some people, Left and Right, only seem to support freedom when its used in ways they approve of. That's a pretty shoddy definition of freedom in my book, so necessarily I'm with Prof. Reynolds on this one.
2.21.2007 9:48pm
Anderson (mail):
(1) Erisian, the shut-them-up Right doesn't creep me out, it just revolts me, for the reasons you cite. Since I lean left myself, I find totalitarian sympathies on the Left particularly unheimlich.

(2) Who was it above who was surprised to hear Reynolds called "incompetent"? I can't speak to his teaching, but his "punditry" is incompetent in the extreme, as his "let's assassinate nuke scientists!" post under discussion so very amply shows. The guy is a joke, except he has too many admiring readers for me to be laughing.
2.21.2007 10:44pm
Mr. Blather:
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the USA PATRIOT Act specifically list calling for assassinations of leaders in order to bring about political change as a form of terrorism?
2.21.2007 11:16pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I don't think that Reynolds' excuses for his post are relevant to the quesiton of hypocrisy.
Then I don't think you're clear on what hypocrisy means. In fact...
Considering he has never admitted error in the time I've read him (unless I've missed the occassional mea culpa somwhere), I have no reason to believe he would do so now. However, it simply is hypocritical to lambast Ward Churchill for his speech (please read the InstaPundit link in my prior email before claiming he was complaining about Churchill's alleged fraud) and then to get upset when he is taken to task for the same.
...I'm sure of it. First, there is nothing "hypocritical" about treating different speech differently. If (A) celebrating the deaths of thousands of American civilians in a terrorist attack is very different than (B) suggesting that killing a few enemy leaders might make more sense than going to war, then there's nothing "hypocritical" about condemning the former and praising the latter.

Second, there is nothing hypocritical about distinguishing between criticism -- which is always legitimate -- and calling for someone to be fired. Since you concede that Campos did the latter, and was wrong to do so, I don't see what your point is.

Not only did Reynolds, Hewitt, et al not object, they piled on, and not because of any alleged fraud on Churchill's part. Instead, they simply went on the attack because of Churchill's admittedly abhorrent speech. Many reasonable people take issue with Reynolds' speech. The parsing between Reynolds' speech and Churchill's speech is hypocritical.
But this is false. Reynolds criticized Churchill's speech, but he explicitly -- see the links I posted earlier in this thread -- defended Churchill's job from attack based on that speech. Whereas Campos called for Reynolds to be fired.
2.21.2007 11:50pm
K Parker (mail):
Friedrich,

It seems we're mostly on the same page then. India isn't really a counter-example, at least not in my book, since it's got an Anglosphere overlay on top of a very non-common-law substrate. They have moved significantly in the common-law, free-market direction lately, and that's encouraging.

The UK, Canada, and Australia are on the opposite tack. Their gun control--especially the more stringent aspects--is of fairly recent origin, and in the case of Britain there's a whole lot of the Magna Carta and its descendents that are hanging on by a fingernail, not just firearms law, and way more than just self-defense.
2.21.2007 11:51pm
Justin (mail):
David, you can make fun of my spelling all you want, but it doesn't make you competent. The claim that you were not making a timing error by using "because Reynolds didn't claim 'academic freedom' as a defense of his own comments," as a defense makes you either a liar or an idiot. By trying to split the irrelevant hair that you were not citing what he said but what he "didn't say," you're making the type of argument that would get you laughed out of every courthouse in this country.
2.21.2007 11:51pm
Enoch:
My misspelling of "hypocrisy" was a joke.

Yes, I know. My response to you was also a joke. =)
2.21.2007 11:52pm
Justin (mail):
And David, you're still making the laughable mistake of conflating what Campos was arguing with whether it was valid. Whether Campos has a valid hypocrisy defense - something I lack the knowledge to discuss and have made no claim on - is a completely different question as to whether he made it. Taking your logic to its conclusion, because you don't believe he has a plausible argument against terminating Reynolds' employment, he didn't make that argument either. So what the hell are you whining about?
2.21.2007 11:55pm
advisory opinion:
Haha Enoch. Good one.
2.22.2007 12:39am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Justin, if you put a tenth as much effort into reading as you did into ad hominems, you might make a contribution. Maybe. Both of the following are true:

1) Reynolds wasn't hypocritical.
2) Campos did not make a charge of hypocrisy. Campos argued that academic freedom doesn't protect Reynolds' job given what he said.

It's okay. You can admit you were wrong. It won't kill you.
2.22.2007 3:34am
Stacy (mail) (www):
Anderson: "(2) Who was it above who was surprised to hear Reynolds called "incompetent"? I can't speak to his teaching, but his "punditry" is incompetent in the extreme"

That was me, and I was referring specifically to Justin's assertion that Reynolds "should have been fired quite a long time ago for incompetency, not for politics", which several other commenters piled onto. I'll take you at your word that you're not questioning Reynolds' skills as a lawyer or a professor. Others did, though, and I want them to offer evidence for that claim, especially since Campos' implied charge of hypocrisy vis a vis Ward Churchill rests on conflating Chuchill's proven academic fraud with the opprobrium he received for his political views.
2.22.2007 9:39am
Justin (mail):
David, you cannot just strike the entire sentence that destroys your position and pretend it does not apply to the sentence that VERY PRECEDES THAT SENTENCE. Once again, for your review:

"Reynolds and Hewitt, after all, certainly didn't object when University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's celebration of the murder of American civilians raised serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person, and led to an investigation of Churchill's academic record."

The charge here is hypocrisy. The charge is that Reynolds and Hewitt would support the scrutiny and termination of liberal extremists while promoting extremism of equal, and perhaps greater, force and vile. The charge may very well be false, but there it is.

If Campos was really going to call for Reynolds's job, wouldn't it be evident from more than one sentence in one two sentence paragraph - particularly when you insist on ignoring the content of that second paragraph? Wouldn't Campos, for whom brevity is not a natural trait, have devoted at least some explanation as to why a tenured professor could be discharged for such an act?
2.22.2007 9:48am
SG:
Justin:

Just to be sure I'm reading you correctly: it's your assertion that an American posing the question of targeted killings against a regime aiding and abetting the killing of American soldiers is guilty of "extermism of equal, and perhaps greater, force and vile" than "celebration of the murder of American civilians"?

Really? That's your opinion? I haven't misread you in some way?
2.22.2007 12:38pm
Joshua Jacobs (mail):
I'm curious -- under Campos' logic, what "limits, if any, the terms and conditions of [a professor's] employment put on his behavior" when it comes to advocating the violation of the civil liberties of citizens of the United States. Would such advocacy be grounds for the termination of said professor, especially a law professor, when he advocates the specific violation of the First Amendment rights of an American citizen? In particular, does such advocacy indicate the fundamental incompetence of a law professor to teach his subject in a manner consistent with the law and Constitution of the United States and those of the several states in a manner which indicates his either his hostility to those principles or his fundamental incompetence in his supposed field of expertise?
2.22.2007 1:44pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
If Campos was really going to call for Reynolds's job, wouldn't it be evident from more than one sentence in one two sentence paragraph
Indeed it would. For instance, he might also say something like "Certainly, it's worth asking Reynolds' administrative superiors at the University of Tennessee what limits, if any, the terms and conditions of Reynolds' employment put on his behavior."

Oh, wait. He did.

Now, if he were really going to charge hypocrisy, wouldn't he use the term "hypocrisy"? Or wouldn't he at least identify a statement by Reynolds that was hypocritical?

I am not ignoring the sentence you bring up. I am pointing out that it doesn't even purport to make out a claim of hypocrisy. For your edification, a charge of hypocrisy would be in the form of "He said X before, but now he's saying not-X." This has the first part, but not the second. Therefore, it isn't an accusation of hypocrisy.

A more intelligent reading of that statement is, in conjunction with the next sentence, as a pre-emptive strike against a hypothetical defense of Reynolds. That is, "For anybody reading this column who is tempted to say that academic freedom protects Reynolds, it doesn't. After all, Reynolds himself was fine with having a professor fired over his public statements."
2.22.2007 2:04pm
josh:
Clearly, David, no one is going to change your mind (like Reynolds', ever) about hypocrisy, but here's my last attempt and then have at it:

Reynolds says in the post I linked to above about Churchill: "There was a time when the Left opposed fascism and supported democracy."

Reynolds than writes a post that (at least some) reasonable minds would interpret as being the dictionary definition of facism (advocating the contravention of existing law).

So, so far, we have Reynolds criticizing one thing as facist and then advocating that which at least some people (obviously not you) find to be facist.

So now we've established hypocrisy. Turning back to Campos, again, he said, "Reynolds and Hewitt, after all, certainly didn't object when University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill's celebration of the murder of American civilians raised serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person, and led to an investigation of Churchill's academic record."


Rather than bicker over this, please provide a link in which Reynolds (or Hewitt. How did he get lost in any discussion of what Campos did or did not say?) "objected" to the raising of "serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person" as Churchill, which led to an investigation. That statement does not allege that Reynold's advocated for Churchill's firing. It notes that he did not object to questions about Churchill's tenure and the investigation that resulted from the attacks on his speech. If you have an post by Reynolds with this narrow objection, please provide it.

But you can't. In reality, Reynolds made copious posts breathlessly linking to people who did advocate Churchill's ouster because of his speech. He did not "object" to the questions about Churchill's tenure or the investigation that resulted from the attacks on his speech. He criticized Churchil's (and the "Left's") facist tendencies, and then demonstrated his own. He is a hypocrite.

Moreover, I find your analysis on the relative negativity of Churchill's and Reynolds' speech to be a red herring. Ideed, one may be more abhorrent than another. But that doesn't make Reynolds' advocacy of lawlessness less hypocritical.

Finally, I suggest reading Campos' response to Reynolds on Salon.com today. I think you're misreading his alleged advocacy for Reynolds' termination. There, he says, "I certainly respect the views of people like Glenn Greenwald and Scott Lemieux, who if I understand them correctly go very far toward arguing that no expression of opinion per se should ever be a basis for the sanctioning of an academic. How far I myself would go in that direction is something on which, not being an administrator, I can afford to keep an open mind."

At least in his response, he seems a little more interested in the question of academic freedom, rather than wholly adopting that opinion.
2.22.2007 3:03pm
Stacy (mail) (www):
"There, he says, "I certainly respect the views of people like Glenn Greenwald and Scott Lemieux, who if I understand them correctly go very far toward arguing that no expression of opinion per se should ever be a basis for the sanctioning of an academic. How far I myself would go in that direction is something on which, not being an administrator, I can afford to keep an open mind.""

Well I would read that as saying that if it were up to him he would fire, maybe not Reynolds, but some academics in some situations for expressing an opinion. Otherwise why not just say he agrees that a professor shouldn't be fired for expressing opinions?
2.22.2007 3:27pm
SG:
josh:

reasonable minds would interpret as being the dictionary definition of facism (advocating the contravention of existing law).


My dictionary doesn't give anything resembling that as a definition of fascism. You've just defined civil disobedience as fascism. Were everyone in the civil rights movements fascists?

Perhaps it's your personal definition of fascism that enables you to see hypocrisy where other's do not?

Or could you provide a different explanation of why advocating targeted killings against a regime that is actively abetting the killing of their country's soldiers is something "reasonable minds would interpret as being the dictinoary definition of fascist"? Perhaps something that doesn't implicitly define Chruchill (who unsuccssfully targeted Hitler) and FDR (who successfully targeted Yamamoto) as facsists?
2.22.2007 3:42pm
mikemt:
To me, Glenn's original post seemed to be calling for secret US government-sponsored death squads to kill civilians in Iran. Thankfully, he seems to want to limit this sort of activity to foreign countries.

I could make a joke about a slippery-slope: first death-squads, then prison-based rape squads, then spitting squads, but I think the topic is too serious.

If you had asked me last year if a US law professor would ever call for secret government-sponsored death squads (or any sort of death squad), I would have said you were being ridiculous.

At any rate, Glenn certainly has the capability to surprise me.
2.22.2007 7:20pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Josh, I don't think you're going to change my mind on this point because I don't think your arguments are sound.

Reynolds than writes a post that (at least some) reasonable minds would interpret as being the dictionary definition of facism (advocating the contravention of existing law).
I don't know any dictionary that defines fascism as "advocating the contravention of existing law."

Not only do I not think it reasonable to label that as "fascism," but I don't think it's reasonable to interpret GR as having done that. First, because I don't know that there is such a law, and second, because I don't think it's charitable to interpret an opinion column which states, "I think the government ought to do X" as "I think the government ought to violate the law and do X" as opposed to "I think the government ought to change the law and do X."

Moreover, while I acknowledge that you found a post where GR mentioned the word "fascism" near a discussion of Churchill, Campos never cited that, or any post where GR called Churchill a fascist. Campos's cite of Churchill was about GR not objecting to Churchill being fired.

Rather than bicker over this, please provide a link in which Reynolds (or Hewitt. How did he get lost in any discussion of what Campos did or did not say?) "objected" to the raising of "serious questions about why the university had chosen to employ and tenure such a person" as Churchill, which led to an investigation. That statement does not allege that Reynold's advocated for Churchill's firing. It notes that he did not object to questions about Churchill's tenure and the investigation that resulted from the attacks on his speech. If you have an post by Reynolds with this narrow objection, please provide it.
I was wondering if someone would try that defense. Unlike Justin's, it at least has the merit of being literally accurate; technically, he doesn't accuse GR of calling for Churchill to be fired. But he was certainly insinuating that, because otherwise, the mention of Churchill is a total non-sequitur. But if you don't buy that argument, then check out the Salon column you mention, where Campos explicitly falsely accuses GR of calling for Churchill's firing.

In reality, Reynolds made copious posts breathlessly linking to people who did advocate Churchill's ouster because of his speech. He did not "object" to the questions about Churchill's tenure or the investigation that resulted from the attacks on his speech.
First, GR "linking" to people is not an automatic endorsement of everything they say. (Except when he says "Indeed.") Second, why should he object to questions about Churchill's tenure which were legitimately related to his academic credentials?
He criticized Churchil's (and the "Left's") facist tendencies, and then demonstrated his own. He is a hypocrite.
I disagree, but I'm not going to argue with you calling him a hypocrite. I am arguing only that Campos didn't do that. (Nor did he do so in the Salon column.)

Finally, I suggest reading Campos' response to Reynolds on Salon.com today. I think you're misreading his alleged advocacy for Reynolds' termination.
Thanks; I went and read it at your suggestion. I find Campos's dishonesty astonishing. (For instance, he claims that Reynolds said that it wasn't illegal because the law can be changed; Reynolds actually said that it wasn't illegal because only an executive order forbids it. At another point, he claims that GR never refuted his claim that "the US isn't at war with Iran, and the Iranian regime has never threatened to use nuclear weapons against our nation." GR argues that in fact the US is at war with Iran (in Iraq), and that we have been at war since 1979, and his argument is that Iran threatened to use nuclear weapons against American and its allies.

The part you cite, where he claims that he's not sure about whether GR should be fired, seems to me to be simply playing coy.
2.22.2007 8:22pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
Just one point in response to MikeMt:
If you had asked me last year if a US law professor would ever call for secret government-sponsored death squads (or any sort of death squad), I would have said you were being ridiculous.
Calling them "death squads" seems so sinister. If he had just called for the U.S. to declare war on Iran and bomb their nuclear installations, would that be less shocking? If that seems less sinister than "death squads," consider that it would cause a lot more people to be killed. And doesn't that suggest that one's shock-o-meter might need to be recalibrated?
2.22.2007 8:29pm
Mark Field (mail):

Calling them "death squads" seems so sinister. If he had just called for the U.S. to declare war on Iran and bomb their nuclear installations, would that be less shocking? If that seems less sinister than "death squads," consider that it would cause a lot more people to be killed. And doesn't that suggest that one's shock-o-meter might need to be recalibrated?


Hardly. Bombing another country assumes a casus belli in which we understand, though deplore, the loss of civilian life. Intentionally targeting civilians of a country with which we are NOT at war goes under the name terrorism. Reynolds' suggestion was despicable.
2.22.2007 9:24pm
mikemt:
David M. Nieporent -

I think "death squad" is the right term for a government-sponsored military (or para-military) team that targets specific civilians for killing outside the context of legitimate war-time operations. I realize it might sound inflammatory, but I believe it to be an accurate term.

To me, it's very important that (1) these assassination teams would be secret, and (2) we have not declared war against Iran. Per item (1), I think it's incredibly corrosive of a free society to let government officials secretly kill people.

Let me address your hypothetical: "what if he called for declaring war and bombing their nuclear installations?"
(1) First, Glenn didn't say this in the original post, so the remainder of my points are not "directed" at him
(2) Openly declaring war (going through Congress) would be better than secretly waging war, it seems to me. (Note: analogies to our conduct pre-WW II are not necessarily relevant to the present case with Iran). If there's a clear danger, the president should level with the American people.
(3) Maybe this would kill more people. Maybe not. In general, I think killing people is wrong. I recognize that civilan casualties are expected in war. In any case, it should all be above-board - we should not casually, secretly condemn people to death or suffering.

I believe that if someone (anyone) calls for the government to kill civilians, then they should be open about it (as Glenn was), but they should also think through the consequences. For me, if I were to call for someone to be killed or tortured, I would personally feel wicked (can an atheist use that term?). Glen is responsible for his own words, but I think he made an awful suggestion. I don't know if he sees the same potential consequences as me (and rejected them) or if he simply made an off-the-cuff remark and is too stubborn to back down.

Suppose someone knows that killing a particular man will prevent many other deaths in the future. In that case, I think it would likely be morally acceptable. Unfortunately, we are not dealing with that case in the present instance. For a recent example, suppose someone knows that Iraq has WMDs, or (as in the 1950s) knows that toppling the Iranian regime is the correct course of action. If they know, then there's no reason to be secretive.

Enough about hypotheticals.

Do I think the US should declare war against Iran and bomb their nuclear facilities. Based on my current knowledge, no.

Do I think the US should ever send teams of assassins to kill civilians? A definite no.

Do I think government-sponsored assassination teams would be corrosive to American democracy? Yes.

I grew up in the South (after the Jim Crow era). Based on the South's experience, I will never call for "vigilante justice" to be meted out by masked or secret men.

Am I judging Glenn too harshly based on a (possibly off-the-cuff) remark on a fast-paced blog (i.e., Instapundit)? Perhaps. In any case, I will no longer give him the usual open hearing, or even benefit of a doubt, for cases related to the application of Government power.

Should anyone else care about my moral concerns? Only to the extent my views make them think more about the issues and their own moral concerns.

Would my ethics students hate that last comment? Yes...
2.22.2007 10:37pm
josh:
DMN

"Facism" (per Webster's)

"a tendency toward or actual exercise of strong autocratic or dictatorial control. early instances of army fascism and brutality."

Now, I know you don't care what others think or believe, but some reasonable people read Reynolds' advocacy for killing civilians as "an exercise of strong autocratic control ... army control ... brutal." So when I wrote "the contravention of existing law," in the context of Reynolds' post, I thought you'd figure out the meaning of "autocratic control" "lawlessness" and "brutality" as applying, particularly on a legal blog, to someone who advocates using all the State's powers to kill civilians. Now who's being coy (or dense)?

"Not only do I not think it reasonable to label that as "fascism," but I don't think it's reasonable to interpret GR as having done that. First, because I don't know that there is such a law."

You obviously, therefore, didnt read (1) Reynolds' first post, (2) Campos' column, (3) reynolds' reply, and (4) Campos' sur-reply on Salon. That's exactly the point Campos made, which Reynolds (and now you) utterly ignored in response. There IS a law. Prof V noted it in this very post. It's called Executive Order 12333, and even the permissible assassinations that still may be exist don't contemplate the killing of civilians that Reynolds has advanced. And Reynolds merely advocated for the killing with the assumption that the law could potentially maybe possibly be changed. Campos derided that, rightly, b/c NOW there IS a law, and the action being advocated for is illegal.

"second, ... I don't think it's charitable to interpret an opinion column which states, 'I think the government ought to do X' as 'I think the government ought to violate the law and do X' as opposed to 'I think the government ought to change the law and do X.'" This isn't even coherent. If I remotely get your point, you're saying a law professor who argues that the government should do X shouldn't be held accountable for advocating law breaking???? This sounds like Bush's incompetence defense with WMDs. OK. You win. Reynolds doesn't know law. Regardless, Reynolds did not call for a change in the law. If someone wants to advocate changing the law to do X, they say it. Don't even bother replying to this point unless you can cite something Reynolds actually said about changing the law. .

"Moreover, while I acknowledge that you found a post where GR mentioned the word "fascism" near a discussion of Churchill, Campos never cited that, or any post where GR called Churchill a fascist. Campos's cite of Churchill was about GR not objecting to Churchill being fired."

Christ, you're reaching. I can hear your nails screeching across the surface, grasping for purchase. Campos wrote a column in a newspaper. Sue him for not linking to the post that Reynolds wrote. Anyone who reads Reynolds enough knows the content of his posts. He called Churchill (and the Left) fascist. He advocates the lawless killing of civilians using the full strength of the State. Your comment basically admits all the points I made here and then tries to argue that because Campos didn't link to the original Reynolds/Churchill/fascism quote, there's something saving you? Weak.

"I was wondering if someone would try that defense. Unlike Justin's, it at least has the merit of being literally accurate; technically, he doesn't accuse GR of calling for Churchill to be fired. But he was certainly insinuating that, because otherwise, the mention of Churchill is a total non-sequitur. But if you don't buy that argument, then check out the Salon column you mention, where Campos explicitly falsely accuses GR of calling for Churchill's firing."

Christ, could you read my original post?!?! I said the first time that Campos was wrong for calling for Reynolds' termination. Unlike you, I am able to read what was implicit in Campos' original column -- that he wants Reynolds fired. I am able to criticize him for that, even though I agree with his general premise. I don't blindly defend those whose side of the political spectrum I fall on. Either way, you accused Campos of calling for Reynolds' firing in his original column and now admit that it didnt come out until the salon sur-reply. You "literally" were wrong, but Campos saved you later (even though he didn't. He said in the salon piece that he "had an open mind" about firing Reynolds, and recognized Greenwald's criticism of that notion) Ultimately, though, this issue has nothing to do with the accuracy of Campos' hypocrisy charge against Reynolds.

"First, GR "linking" to people is not an automatic endorsement of everything they say. (Except when he says "Indeed.") Second, why should he object to questions about Churchill's tenure which were legitimately related to his academic credentials"

I'm not even addressing the Reynolds'-link issue. Your blind fealty wont see the facts on that one. As to you second point, stop lying. The INstaP post I linked to in my first comment says nothing about Churchill's academic credentials. It focused solely on his speech, with which Reynolds disagreed. Please try to be honest.

"I disagree, but I'm not going to argue with you calling him a hypocrite. I am arguing only that Campos didn't do that."

So, on the one hand, you're able to read the implication in Campos' column that he wanted Reynolds fired (remember, you admitted above that he didn't expressly call for it in the first column), but not the similar (not explicit, but implied) argument of hypocrisy? Again, you're dishonesty doesn't help your position. Campos criticized Reynolds' fascism, and then point out that Reynolds has devoted copious space to accusing others of fascism. If you can take a momentary step back, put your intellectually honest cap on only for a moment, you'd realize that that is a demonstration (or at least an accusation) of hypocrisy.

Campos' salon sur-reply "claims that Reynolds said that it wasn't illegal because the law can be changed; Reynolds actually said that it wasn't illegal because only an executive order forbids it." Yes an executive order currently forbids it. Please take the position that executive orders are not law, so I can chuckle, snort, brwwwaaah-hhhaaaa-haaaa. But, at least you are addressing the charge. More than can be said for Reynolds. Regardless, an executive order forbids it, which … wait for it ... makes it illegal. Reynolds in his original post did not call for the order to be rescinded.

Campos "claims that GR never refuted his claim that "the US isn't at war with Iran, and the Iranian regime has never threatened to use nuclear weapons against our nation." GR argues that in fact the US is at war with Iran (in Iraq), and that we have been at war since 1979, and his argument is that Iran threatened to use nuclear weapons against American and its allies."

We're not at war with Iran. So Reynolds' argument that the US is "in fact" at war with Iran only demonstrates his stupidity. The best part is seeing the Right's ears start smoking when they realize that a claim that we've been at war with Iran since 1979 means Reagan, Poindexter, North, et al are all guilty of treason for selling the mullahs arms in Iran-Contra. A "moderate" "libertarian" like Reynolds simply can't make a claim about war with Iraq AND implicate the Reagan administration at the same time! The horror! My head is melting!!!!

Thanks for playing, though. You're funny. Keep scratching away for something to hold on to.
2.23.2007 12:34am
David M. Nieporent (www):
Josh: you're confused about many things, but here's a huge one: executive orders are not laws. (You may want to check out the Constitution; it will explain that laws originate in Congress, not the Oval Office.)
2.23.2007 12:54am
SG:
First, the Islamic Republic of Iran declared war on the US in 1979 when it seized US sovereign territory. There has been no peace treaty, nor has the territory been returned. Clearly a state of war exists between the two nations. (And no, Iran-Contra doesn't disprove that fact. Warring nations negotiate prisoner swaps all the time.). Nor would Iran-Contra negate the ongoing state of hostilities between Iran and the US in Iraq

Secondly, civilians contractors for armed forces are considered combatants (GCIII, Article 4.A.4).

So, GR has advocated a legitimate escalation of existing conflict. The wisdom of his proposal is up for debate, but the legality isn't.

But if you want to stick to your guns...then I'll advocate that we should commit genocide against the Persian people and sieze the Iranian oil fields in order to establish the US as an autarky. If the most minor, legal escalation of existing hostilities is enough to make one a fascist, well, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Or perhaps you might want to calibrate your outrage a little more finely.
2.23.2007 12:36pm