Jon Stewart: Truman Was a War Criminal, Too
5:46 PM, Apr 29, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
It comes at about the 5:50 mark. Cliff May asks Stewart whether Truman's use of the atomic bomb was a war crime, Stewart ruminates and then responds with an unequivocal "yes." He's certainly not the only American who would take that view, but it's a useful reminder that the most vocal and popular criticism of the Bush administration's war on terror policies comes from people who, if they were being as honest as Stewart, would also judge Lincoln (suspension of habeas), FDR (internment), and Truman (use of nuclear weapons) as war criminals or tyrants or worse.
Stewart repeats the charge again later in the interview, but you have to wonder whether this was one of the rare times that he just got outmaneuvered on his own show. Serious people have debated Truman's decision for 60 years, but even those who disagree with that decision rarely describe it as "criminal." And if it was criminal, whatever crimes the left alleges of President Bush seem pretty trivial in comparison.