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In today’s Washington Times, one of the last remaining Republican office holders in the Northeast has an immediate response to suggestions that a special prosecutor will be appointed to probe allegations of torture:
Rep. Peter T. King, New York Republican and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called for his party to pursue a “scorched-earth policy” of refusing to cooperate with the administration if it pursues such an investigation, which he called an effort to appease Europeans and U.S. intellectuals. “It’s a wrong and shameful criminalizing political differences,” Mr. King said during an interview with The Washington Times. “I would find it very hard to work with the administration on bipartisan issues if the attorney general and the administration start going after patriotic Americans who have dedicated their lives to protecting us.”
Evidently, in King’s view, only “Europeans and U.S. intellectuals” have any problem with torturing prisoners to death. That’s curious, because in other settings, King has been vocal in standing up for the rights of accused terrorists.
King is easily one of the most colorful political figures in Washington. He recently caused a kerfuffle by launching a tirade against Michael Jackson after receiving word of his death. Said King,
He was a pervert, a child molester, he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we’re too politically correct. No one wants to stand up and say we don’t need Michael Jackson. He died, he had some talent, fine. There’s men and women dying every day in Afghanistan. Let’s give them the credit they deserve.
Jackson, of course, was acquitted of charges of child molestation following a trial in 2005. Earlier, King expressed the view that there were “too many mosques in this country.” He suggested that U.S. security forces should be “infiltrating” all the mosques.
However, King shows considerable flexibility on questions relating to terrorism. While he is a staunch opponent of terrorists who can be connected to Islam, he is indulgent with respect to terrorists who battle for Irish independence. For years, King openly backed one of the leading terrorist organizations in Europe, the IRA, and associated himself with NORAID, an organization that raised money and collected arms for the IRA. He also repeatedly expressed his concern for the conditions in which IRA prisoners were confined by Britain. His support for the IRA softened, however, following the conclusion of the Good Friday Accords.
More from Scott Horton:
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
i. stand with israel
I listen to a lot of conservative talk radio. Confident masculine voices telling me the enemy is everywhere and victory is near — I often find it affirming: there’s a reason I don’t think that way. Last spring, many right-wing commentators made much of a Bloomberg poll that asked Americans, “Are you more sympathetic to Netanyahu or Obama?” Republicans picked the Israeli prime minister over their own president, 67 to 16 percent. There was a lot of affected shock that things had come to this. Rush Limbaugh said of Netanyahu that he wished “we had this kind of forceful moral, ethical clarity leading our own country”; Mark Levin described him as “the leader of the free world.” For a few days there I yelled quite a bit in my car.
The one conservative radio show I do find myself enjoying is hosted by Dennis Prager. At the Thanksgiving dinner of American radio personalities (Limbaugh is your jittery brother-in-law, Michael Savage is your racist uncle, Hugh Hewitt is Hugh Hewitt) Dennis Prager is the turkey-carving patriarch trying to keep the conversation moderately high-minded. While Prager obviously doesn’t like liberals — “The gaps between the left and right on almost every issue that matters are in fact unbridgeable,” he has said — he often invites them onto his show for debate, which is rare among right-wing hosts. Yet his gently exasperated take on the Obama–Netanyahu matchup was among the least charitable: “Those who do not confront evil resent those who do.”
Average number of Americans who are injured by chain saws each year:
A farmer in Kenya bit a python who tried to eat him.
A former prison in Philadelphia that has served as a horror-movie set was being prepared as a detention center for protesters arrested at the upcoming Democratic National Convention, and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump fired his campaign manager.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”