They were in mourning at Pacifica Radio on Thursday when radical Obama administration official Harold Koh failed to live up to his Bush-trashing writing during the last administration. He defended the legality of U.S. drone attacks on suspected terrorist locations. This dismayed Democracy Now host Amy Goodman:
AMY GOODMAN: Robert Mackey points out over at the New York Times that Harold Koh wrote in 2004 about America’s disregard for international law after the September 11th attacks that earned it a place along with North Korea and Iraq in the “axis of disobedience.” He also told a Senate hearing that the Bush administration had imposed, quote, “unnecessary, self-inflicted wounds, which have gravely diminished our global standing and damaged our reputation for respecting the rule of law.” And, of course, Harold Koh is being talked about as a possible Supreme Court justice now.
He is?? After comparing Bush to Kim Jong Il and Saddam Hussein?? To Goodman and her guest, Philip Alston of the United Nations, this was what made him a man of great principle:
PHILIP ALSTON: Well, I think it’s important to recognize what Harold Koh said, and that is that the standing of the United States, in terms of its respect for international law, was extremely low when the new administration came into office. So the question is, what do you do then to reestablish that standing? You get Harold Koh, a man for whom I have immense respect, a man of great principle and so on, but for him to come out and simply say, “Listen, I’ve looked at it. Trust me,” is not going to persuade the people of Pakistan, it’s not going to persuade those who we are trying to influence, and it’s certainly not going to persuade those for whom we’re trying to establish law that they might use in the future.
Of course, the ACLU, America's leading advocates for terrorist plotters, is planning to sue to force Koh to explain how he could possibly defend this Bush-echoing decision of his.
Over at NRO's Bench Memos, Ed Whelan offers a conservative take on what Koh is now arguing.