They can’t be serious

Andrew McCarthy at NRO demonstrates the fundamental lack of seriousness of the three witnesses trotted out by the Democrats on Friday to oppose the confirmation of Alberto Gonzales. None of the three — not Douglas Johnson (a torture victims advocate), John Hutson (Judge Advocate General during the Clinton administration), or Harold Koh (dean of the Yale Law School) — was willing to take on in a serious way the question of whether torture is permissible in the following situation: a bomb is about to be detonated in a major metropolitan area, and the military has as a captive a known terrorist who, we have reason to believe, has knowledge which would allow us to save hundreds of thousands of lives if we could get him to provide it.
Like the Democratic Senator who invited them to appear, these experts wish only to make high-minded pronounements and, more likely than not, to embarrass the president — they have no desire to think about the tough issues inherent in the debate over interrogation techniques. As McCarthy puts it:

A number of us have tried to grapple with the hard stuff about the war against terrorists


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