The Emanuel-Holder War

The mouthpiece for the pro-torture right and triangulating left, the Washington Post, has been puffing up the genius of Rahm Emanuel in recent weeks. Eric Holder himself has been publicly lamenting that he has not been "political" enough in his job, as attorney-general. In other words: Washington as usual. And look, there is a genuine debate about whether military commissions - now rid of the torture and more blatant framing of the Cheney years - or civil courts should be used to try terror suspects. I prefer the great example of demonstrating what makes the West superior to those regimes based on Islamist theology, i.e. civil courts. But decent military commissions are not some terrible fate, if handled properly and if the defense lawyers have real tools at their disposal. It was only the rigged, coerced kangaroo courts of the Cheney years I objected to.

But whatever your view, this must not, it seems to me, be a politicized decision. It should be a matter of justice. And to go from a Rove-driven Justice Department to an Emanuel-driven Justice Department is not the change most of us who supported Obama wanted to see. Or believe in.