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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 27, 2009 / 3 Iyar 5769

The Left's Angry Mob Recalls Madame Defarge

By Michael Barone


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's tough trying to please people who crave vengeance almost as much as Madame Defarge, the unsparing French revolutionary in Dickens' "Tale of Two Cities." That's what Barack Obama found out last week — and will find out next week and for weeks to come unless he settles once and for all that he will follow the practice of all his predecessors and not prosecute decision-makers in the previous administration.


The Madame Defarges of the Democratic left want to see the guillotine flash down and heads roll. Specifically, they want to see the prosecution or impeachment of officials who approved enhanced interrogation techniques — torture, in their view.


The president, it appears, is of two minds. On April 16, he released memorandums from the Bush administration Office of Legal Counsel approving the interrogation methods and said that CIA interrogators relying on them would not be prosecuted. Also released was the partial text of a letter from Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair characterizing those memos as "graphic and disturbing."


Obama was criticized for revealing intelligence information useful to our enemies. "Nobody should pretend," wrote Washington Post columnist David Ignatius, who approved of Obama's decision, "that the disclosures weren't costly to CIA morale and effectiveness."


On April 20, Obama journeyed to CIA headquarters and defended his decisions. But the Madame Defarges had their knitting needles out, hauling in petitions with 250,000 signatures and demanding blood. On April 21, Obama caved, saying that Bush administration officials who approved the methods could be prosecuted if the attorney general wanted to press the cases. He didn't give the Madame Defarges all they wanted, resisting Speaker Nancy Pelosi's call for a 9/11-type commission.


It is an article of faith among the Madame Defarges that the interrogation techniques they consider torture didn't produce useful information. All along Obama tried to pay homage to this dogma.


The text of Blair's letter released to the public carefully omitted his admission that "high value information came from interrogations in which the methods were used." Just normal editing, said his spokesman. Yeah, sure. Nor has Obama showed any sign of agreeing to Dick Cheney's demand that the full results of the interrogations should be released. That might embarrass the Madame Defarges.


Whence cometh the fury of these people? I think it arises less from revulsion at interrogation techniques — who thinks that captured al-Qaida leaders should be treated politely and will then tell the full truth? — than it does from a desire to see George W. Bush and Bush administration officials publicly humiliated and repudiated. Just as Madame Defarge relished watching the condemned walk from the tumbrel to the guillotine, our contemporary Defarges want to see the people they hate condemned and destroyed.


It doesn't seem to matter to our Madame Defarges that it's not clear that Bush officials violated any criminal law. One of the core principles of our law is that criminal statutes must be construed strictly against the government. If the government wants to deprive someone of his liberty for doing something, it should be very specific about what that something is. This distinguishes our system from authoritarian and totalitarian regimes that demand, like Alice's Red Queen, "verdict first, trial later."


It also doesn't occur to the Madame Defarges of our times that revolutions like hers tend to devour their own. Robespierre followed Marie Antoinette to the guillotine not so many months later. Today we see Pelosi trying to explain how she was present at confidential briefings where the enhanced interrogation methods were described and did nothing to stop them from being applied.


If there is going to be a "truth commission" — a title that is redolent of Stalinist purges — shouldn't she be one of the first to testify? As for Barack Obama, asked in a September 2007 if we should "beat out of" an al-Qaida higher-up details of an impending attack, he said "there are going to be all sorts of hypotheticals, an emergency situation, and I will make that judgment at that time." So "torture" just might be OK under the right circumstances.


In the meantime, Obama's appeasement of the Madame Defarges carries a political price. Pollster Scott Rasmussen reports that 58 percent of Americans believe his release of the CIA memos endangers national security. Show trials of Bush administration officials could raise that number. Appeasing the Madame Defarges may cost more than it is worth.

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JWR contributor Michael Barone is senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner.




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