Nicholas Kristof admits his own disqualifying gullibility about the Bush Administration's line on the prison at Guantanamo Bay:

Most Americans, including myself, originally gave President Bush the benefit of the doubt and assumed that the inmates truly were “the worst of the worst.” But evidence has grown that many are simply the unluckiest of the unluckiest.

The worst criminals in the United States have done something straightforwardly illegal.  It seems it would follow that the prisoners at Guantanamo, being the worst of the worst, will have done something even more obviously illegal.  As the worst get a trial in a regular US court, as a way of shining a light on their heinous crimes, wouldn't it follow that the worst of the worst ought to have at least an equally transparent trial?  

Of course, Kristof thinks the whole thing is a travesty–now.  But his employment of the superlative underscores the bewildering ontological specialness granted, sometimes, to our enemies.  

2 thoughts on “Superbad”

  1. Is this the same ontological specialness as Gerson’s diagnosis of Evil?

  2. Very much like it I think. Our hapless enemies–purchased from our friends–are yet so capable that we need to confine them in an extra legal limbo from which news of their evil cannot escape to infect others.

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