Tuesday, September 1, 2015

crossing the bullshit-terrorist line

It seems that even those imbued with the most heart-felt of what passes for patriotism these days have their limits on the amount of loud-mouthing they will tolerate:
William C. Bradford
WEST POINT, N.Y. (AP) — A West Point professor criticized for writing an article calling some legal scholars treasonous and "lawful targets" for the U.S. military in its war on terrorism has resigned a month after he was hired to teach a law course.
A spokesman at the U.S. Military Academy said William C. Bradford resigned Sunday. He said no further details would be released because of privacy and legal constraints.
In an article published this spring in the National Security Law Journal, Bradford said legal scholars who criticize U.S. tactics in the war on terror are helping the Islamic State group undermine America. He argued that these academics should be considered enemy combatants and charged with treason and supporting terrorism.
Trying to out-red-white-and-blue the red white and blue is no easy business. William C. Bradford's story, which has all the trappings of pure satire a la The Onion, is unfortunately not some imaginative send-up. It is the actual-factual times in which we live. The 185-page article he wrote is positively viscous in the way that unedited or poorly edited academic papers can be. I tried and failed to read it all: It sounds important and it sounds caring and it sounds patriotic but at some juncture I felt that I was being hornswaggled by yet another second-rate academic who was afraid of simple, straight-forward argumentation in English.

The most fearsome part is that someone -- though not West Point apparently -- is likely to believe Bradford. And, as usual with inflammatory rhetoric, and incredible amount of time and energy has to be expended in order to set the record straight ... effort that might have been put into something nourishing and constructive.

1 comment:

  1. The prover provers what the believer believes as they say in shrink parlance. And maybe, sometimes, the prover fails to satisfy outside scrutiny. And maybe, sometimes, the believer comes up with stuff that's just outside of the provers abilities.