Waiting for retractions

The Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee says the Senate Majority Leader was wrong when he accused Richard Clarke of having perjured himself.

Sen. Pat Roberts (R, Kan.), chair of the Senate Intelligence Committe, says that there were no contradictions between Richard Clarke’s testimony before his committee and his testimony before the 9-11 Commission.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist had previously charged on the Senate floor that “Mr. Clarke has told two entirely different stories under oath.” That is, Frist, standing behind his Congressional immunity, accused Clarke of the crime of perjury.

That charge was repeated both in the mass media and by many bloggers.

Everyone who mentioned that charge now has an obligation to state clearly that it was false: not in an update to a now-dead post, but in a story or post as prominent as the one that carried the original charge.

That starts, of course, with Sen. Frist, who owes Mr. Clarke a full retraction and apology delivered on the floor of the Senate. If he fails to follow through, the appropriate remedy is as clear as it is unlikely to be invoked: a resolution of censure.

[Greg Abbott has been on this.]

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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