Michael Chertoff, Euroweenie

by Henry Farrell on July 24, 2008

Kevin Drum “links to”:http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/archives/individual/2008_07/014163.php an unusually stupid (by which I mean ‘unusually stupid, even by the standards of the Corner’) post by Byron York on Obama’s Berlin speech.

It’s a small passage from Obama’s Berlin speech, but this formulation, common in some circles, grates on some ears, like mine:

The terrorists of September 11th plotted in Hamburg and trained in Kandahar and Karachi before killing thousands from all over the globe on American soil.

Yes, the victims were from all over the globe — places like Brooklyn, and the Bronx, and Manhattan, and Queens, and Staten Island, and New Jersey — all over. And most were Americans, weren’t they?

I knew when I read this that I’d seen the same sentiment expressed in a speech by Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Michael Chertoff. And indeed, Google confirms that “it is so”:http://useu.usmission.gov/Dossiers/Data_Privacy/May1407_Chertoff_EP.asp.

Homeland Security’s Chertoff Addresses European Parliament Committee on Data Transfer, Privacy May 14, 2007

…Today’s terrorists fund their operations internationally. They recruit members, they train, they plan and they carry out attacks by exploiting the gaps in the seams in our international systems. The attack of September 11th was a clear illustration of this. The plot was hatched in Central Asia, the recruits came from Saudi Arabia, the training occurred in Afghanistan, the planning occurred here in Europe, and the attack culminated, of course, in the United States with citizens from many countries including many countries represented here lost in the World Trade Center.

I’m eagerly looking forward to Byron’s follow-up post on the dubious sentiments common among ‘some circles’ of senior Bush officials, Chertoff’s shameful failure to mention that most of those killed were American, und (to use the mots justes) so weiter. Byron?

Fiduciary obligation vs creative capitalism

by John Q on July 24, 2008

The creative capitalism blog has been set up to examine the idea that corporations could do a job of promoting social goals like improving health in poor countries (that is, better than they do now and better, in at least some ways, than governments or NGOs). Richard Posner objects to this on the ground that corporate managers have a fiduciary obligation to maximise profits. I don’t find this convincing (reposted over the fold).

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