This pretty much encapsulates the intellectual, and I use the term extremely loosely, rigor of the antiwar movement when it comes to the GWOT:
How did he do it? It’s a question John Yoo has been getting a lot lately. How did he manage to outwit Jon Stewart? (“He slipped through my fingers,” Stewart recalled after Yoo’s recent appearance on The Daily Show. “It was like interview sand.”) Easy, says Yoo. “I’ve spent my whole career learning to settle down unruly college students who have not done the reading.”
…yes, pretty much. From what I watched of the interview I’d say that Stewart’s mistake was classic: his assumption that of course everyone agreed with his faction that torture was ordered; torture was committed; and that everything that his faction calls ‘torture’ was in fact torture caused him to walk into punch after punch. What made it exceptionally painful (for given values of ‘painful’) was seeing Yoo take pity on Stewart a couple of minutes in and gently start presenting both sides of the core argument of What does the government need to do when faced with deliberate, unconventional attacks on its citizens? That lapse on Stewart’s part is actually a lot more damning than his inability to lay a few zingers on Yoo, but try telling that to his disappointed fanboys.
Mind you, I like Jon Stewart: he was making fun of the President back when it was still secular blasphemy. But a man’s got to know his limitations.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.