Where the buck never stops

Greater love hath no man than this: that he lay down his friends for his life.

So the President is letting it be known that he’s displeased with the Secretary of Defense over the Pentagon’s handling of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. (Apparently Mr. Bush continues to think that he can best usher in an era of personal responsibility by personally refusing to take responsibility for anything.)

Note that what the President is said to be really angry about is not being told that the photographs were in circulation. Well, the policy of “PR over substance” has been working for him so far; why change course now?

But at some point it might occur to somebody that the President’s utter lack of basic loyalty-down is a serious character defect.

I wonder what all the warbloggers who have been dumping on John Kerry for Kerry’s perfectly sensible, and rather restrained, criticism of the Pentagon’s handling of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal think about this?

[Yes, the reserve MP general in charge of the prisons was relieved of command in January. But Col. Thomas Pappas, commanding the intelligence batallion that had direct charge of the prisoner interrogations, has not been relieved, and an investigation of the role of military intelligence in the scandal didn’t start until April 23.]

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