Framing a guilty man, pt. II

The memos are bogus. The facts in them are real. If Mr. Bush is so pleased with his honorable discharge — even though he didn’t actually earn it — why don’t we give him another one?

So it turns out that the purported Killian memos are fakes, but their content is more or less accurate. (We still don’t know whether there was or was not a direct written order for 1LT Bush to take his flight physical.)

[If you’re in the mood for irony: note that the actual typewriter used for Killian’s memos did have the raised “th” character.]

Heads should roll at CBS.

And the Bush campaign should be slobberingly grateful to Dan Rather and his colleagues for diverting attention from the basic fact that wasn’t in legitimate dispute before the memos came out: that 1LT Bush did not, in fact, earn his honorable discharge.

Not that an honorable discharge is anything to crow about: all it means is that you didn’t get caught violating any really outrageous rules.

Just another case of Mr. Bush, who sometimes doesn’t think America can win the war on terror, setting low standards for himself and then failing to meet them.

Still, we ought to be generous. If Mr. Bush regards his honorable discharge as a great honor, perhaps we should give him another one.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com