Minimal aspirations dep’t

C’mon fellas. If you’re going to kidnap and torture a German citizen, make sure it’s the right guy first, ok?

If we can’t have an Administration that knows the difference between right and wrong, it would be nice to have one that knows the difference between the kind of crap you can get away with and the kind of crap you can’t get away with: snatching and torturing an innocent citizen of a friendly foreign power, for example.

Note that they don’t even bother to deny it. Nothing but silence.

A senior administration official said the Bush administration had been aware of these allegations for some time, but he referred questions to the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. In a series of interviews, neither the C.I.A. nor the F.B.I. would deny or confirm Mr. Masri’s allegations. A C.I.A. spokeswoman said the agency would not comment at all.

There are signs at airports saying “Many bags look alike.” Can’t we have signs at Langley and Fort Fumble saying “Many Arabic names are highly similar to one another”?

Done in your name, my friends. And mine.

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