Affirmative action policies that will come before the Supreme Court in the upcoming Fisher v. University of Texas case have long been the target of right-wing misinformation that distort the benefits of diversity in higher education. Contrary to the conservative narrative in the media, these admissions processes serve important national interests by promoting equal opportunity and are based on long-standing law.
National Journal's Stuart Taylor (whose legal analysis is, quite inexplicably, taken very seriously by the Beltway media) acknowledges that the Bush administration tortured detainees, but argues that those responsible have already "suffered" enough for their misdeeds. See, they've been called names, and their public appearances have been picketed:
Of course, when all is said and done, there is little doubt that some CIA detainees were tortured. This is a stain on our nation's honor that should never be repeated. But the responsibility was so widely diffused, across such a large number of honorably motivated officials who tried (and sometimes failed) to stay within the law, that it makes no sense to seek to atone for the nation's sins by singling out individuals for bar discipline or other punishment.
This is especially true when those individuals have already suffered greatly from being trashed as "war criminals," picketed at public appearances, stalked by grandstanding Spanish judges, and otherwise harassed across the country and around the globe.
Sure, John Yoo said it was fine with him if George W. Bush wanted to order interrogators to crush a child's testicles. But the man has been picketed! What more must he endure? Leave him alone!
Oh, and Taylor worries that a torture "truth commission" might become "adversarial":
The sort of fact-finding "truth commission" that many have advocated could report on what was done and the lessons learned -- although it could do more harm than good if such a panel conducted the sort of adversarial hearings that would become a public circus.
Yeah, we wouldn't want anyone to raise their voice to a guy who said it is OK to crush a child's testicles. That would be ... Rude. Or something.
Once again: Who cares what Stuart Taylor thinks?
Fox News' special about Judge Sonia Sotomayor misrepresented Sotomayor's quote that "the Court of Appeals is where policy is made" to claim that she "apparently confess[ed]" to "legislating from the bench." The special also misrepresented President Obama's quote about "empathy."
Some media figures have postulated that if a white male or a conservative had made the equivalent of Sonia Sotomayor's "wise Latina" remark, they would be branded a racist, "run out of town," "properly banished from polite society," or "railroaded off the [judicial] bench."
In his National Journal column, Stuart Taylor wrote that, according to the CIA, the harsh interrogations of Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed "averted a planned attack" on the Library Tower. But according to the Bush administration, the plot was thwarted at least a month before Zubaydah's capture and more than a year before Mohammed's.
Commenting on Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) alleged involvement in the firing of U.S. attorney David Iglesias, National Journal's Stuart Taylor Jr. said he "doubt[s] that there'll be anything discrediting to Senator Domenici," ignoring Domenici's reversal on his contact with Iglesias. Taylor also asserted that Joseph Wilson "was not very well qualified" to investigate whether Iraq had attempted to acquire uranium from Niger.