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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Radical in the Defense Department

The appointment of Rosa Brooks to a mid level post in the defense department has largely gone under the radar, however it is one of the most perplexing and radical appointments of the Obama administration. Brooks, most recently an L.A. Times columnist, now heads to the Pentagon.

A number of journalists, coping with the industry downturn, have already headed to work in the government.

Now, LA Times columnist Rosa Brooks — who's taking a job as an adviser in the Pentagon


In her latest column, Brooks called for a bailout of the newspaper industry. Brooks, like many journalists, was a frequent critic of the Bush administration's policy on the GWOT. Of course, Brooks criticism goes beyond mere criticism and into the looney conspiracy theories and deranged hate.

For the many Americans who read of Karadzic's arrest but wondered, "Yes, great -- and when will George W. Bush and Dick Cheney face trial for war crimes?" this is something to keep in mind. Karadzic was the leader of a small, unrecognized rogue republic and presided over a genocide -- but he evaded justice for more than a decade and still keeps a loyal fan base.


Opinion L.A. Blog: The best and latest...

For the many Americans who read of Karadzic's arrest but wondered, "Yes, great -- and when will George W. Bush and Dick Cheney face trial for war crimes?" this is something to keep in mind. Karadzic was the leader of a small, unrecognized rogue republic and presided over a genocide -- but he evaded justice for more than a decade and still keeps a loyal fan base


Bush and Cheney are the leaders of the most powerful state in the world, and their misdeeds, though egregious, aren't on the same level as Karadzic's. (Unless -- ahem -- you count the Iraq war, on the "it was all a tissue of lies" theory. But for the sake of the argument, let's give them the benefit of the doubt.) So no one should be surprised that there's still a Bush fan club (albeit a small one) or that the prospects of criminal proceedings against the president and his henchmen are virtually nonexistent.

It's not that Bush, Cheney and Co. don't deserve to end up in the dock. Retired Army Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba, who was commissioned by the Pentagon in 2004 to investigate the abuses at Abu Ghraib, recently concluded that "the commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture. ... A government policy was promulgated to the field whereby the Geneva Conventions and the Uniform Code of Military Justice were disregarded. ... There is no longer any doubt as to whether the current administration has committed war crimes."


In her role in the Pentagon, Brooks will have significant security clearance. That means that the proprietor of the sort of lunacy I just linked will have access to more of our secrets than many Congress and Senators.

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