US Politics

What’s So Bad About Being Risk Averse?

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In an intriguing defense of his friend, the war criminal Jon Yoo, John Chapman argues that pursuing action against Yoo and the other lawyers who authorized illegal torture and violations of civil liberties would be dangerous because it would make future officials afraid to do the same thing:

But John C. Eastman, the dean of the Chapman University law school and a friend of Mr. Yoo who invited him to teach there this semester, argued that it was deeply unfair to single out the Bush lawyers for the advice they gave under intense pressure after the 2001 terrorist attacks. “It’s unfortunate, and quite frankly it’s dangerous,” because it could make officials risk averse, Mr. Eastman said, blaming partisan politics.

Yes, Dean Chapman. That’s exactly what it would (and should) do.

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