The Magazine

John Ashcroft's Lazy Critics

Jun 30, 2003, Vol. 8, No. 41 • By DAVID TELL, FOR THE EDITORS
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We're pretty sure this isn't the right way to settle disclosure policy about American anti-terrorism programs. And so we're not especially surprised that the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, forced to choose between such a self-evidently crackpot, speculative "all," on the one hand, and the Justice Department's "nothing" on the other, has chosen to go with Justice. What if the right answer lies somewhere in the middle, though: How would we, or the courts, or anybody else be able to tell? We'd first need to hear from Justice Department critics prepared to engage such questions in good faith, with abundant care for the facts, and without hysterical hostility to the people who currently populate the executive branch. The war on terrorism's almost two years old. Where on earth are these necessary critics, anyhow?

--David Tell, for the Editors