The Saudi terror money story has ’em, and the Bushies are ducking for cover.

Please remember this the next time someone proposes to make it a crime to reveal classified information. Not only was this stuff classified, it was no doubt properly classified. The standard is that that information can be classified not only if it reveals intelligence sources and methods but also if revealing it would tend to damage the foreign policy of the United States. Since it’s our current policy to roll over and play dead for the House of Saud, and since this information makes it harder to pursue that policy, the information is legitimately Top Secret. It isn’t even a close call.


My question about the warbloggers is answered. Glenn Reynolds is all over the story (here and here and here).

Glenn hopes the Administration “is pursuing a one-terror-supporting-nation-at-a-time strategy that will address Saudi Arabia later.”

Much, much later, I’d guess. About the Twelfth of Never.

If the administration had any long-term plans vis-a-vis the Saudis other than saying “How high?” when they say “Jump!” it would at least be admitting that the facts mean what they say rather than inventing reasons they couldn’t be true.


[Bill Quick at the Daily Pundit is also on the case, and reports that other warbloggers have it too. But the warblogosphere doesn’t seem to me to be confronting the hard choice: Iraq first or Saudi Arabia first, particularly if in practical terms “second” is the same as “never.”

[Glenn Reynolds expresses some surprise that I should be expressing bellicosity, because I’ve been a skeptic about war with Iraq. But one of the strongest arguments against war with Iraq is that setting up for it means having to make nice to the Saudis, along with the Pakistanis, the Russians, and the Chinese. I don’t think the position “I support the President on invading Iraq, though I wish we’d do Saudi Arabia first” is really a coherent 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

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