Memorandum to Secretary Rumsfeld

If you’ve lost Max Boot, you’ve lost everybody.  Now please retreat back into your money or your vast carelessness, or whatever keeps you together, and let other people clean up the mess that you’ve made….

Author: Jonathan Zasloff

Jonathan Zasloff teaches Torts, Land Use, Environmental Law, Comparative Urban Planning Law, Legal History, and Public Policy Clinic - Land Use, the Environment and Local Government. He grew up and still lives in the San Fernando Valley, about which he remains immensely proud (to the mystification of his friends and colleagues). After graduating from Yale Law School, and while clerking for a federal appeals court judge in Boston, he decided to return to Los Angeles shortly after the January 1994 Northridge earthquake, reasoning that he would gladly risk tremors in order to avoid the average New England wind chill temperature of negative 55 degrees. Professor Zasloff has a keen interest in world politics; he holds a PhD in the history of American foreign policy from Harvard and an M.Phil. in International Relations from Cambridge University. Much of his recent work concerns the influence of lawyers and legalism in US external relations, and has published articles on these subjects in the New York University Law Review and the Yale Law Journal. More generally, his recent interests focus on the response of public institutions to social problems, and the role of ideology in framing policy responses. Professor Zasloff has long been active in state and local politics and policy. He recently co-authored an article discussing the relationship of Proposition 13 (California's landmark tax limitation initiative) and school finance reform, and served for several years as a senior policy advisor to the Speaker of California Assembly. His practice background reflects these interests: for two years, he represented welfare recipients attempting to obtain child care benefits and microbusinesses in low income areas. He then practiced for two more years at one of Los Angeles' leading public interest environmental and land use firms, challenging poorly planned development and working to expand the network of the city's urban park system. He currently serves as a member of the boards of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy (a state agency charged with purchasing and protecting open space), the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice (the leading legal service firm for low-income clients in east Los Angeles), and Friends of Israel's Environment. Professor Zasloff's other major activity consists in explaining the Triangle Offense to his very patient wife, Kathy.

3 thoughts on “Memorandum to Secretary Rumsfeld”

  1. Of course a (tangential) corollary is that if Max Boot disapproves, you must be doing something right, as Mr. Boot is invariably wrong. But it’s not unusual for him to be wrong on so many levels that his conclusions, while not following from his arguments, are in fact, correct. This could be one of those cases.

  2. Boot’s review would be strong even for a liberal. The following three quotations are from the first four paragraphs, which is as far as I read:

    “Although it scarcely seems possible, Known and Unknown may even lower Rumsfeld’s standing.”

    “a miserable failure in managing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq,”

    “a masterpiece of buck-passing and score-settling written by a man who seems to shrink in stature with every page.”

  3. No, no, no. The memo should be to Democrats, who should bring full force of rhetoric to bear and use this episode to political…um…gain and pound this opportunity…and at every chance…uh…

    Oh, never mind.

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