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Pundits & Editorials

Orszag defends the fiscal responsibility of health care reform, and pundits square off on a New York trial for 9/11 mastermind. Plus: Mixed reviews for Geithner.

November 20, 2009

• By assuming 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed will be convicted, Attorney General Eric Holder "is undermining the fairness of the trial, the demonstration of which is the alleged rationale for putting on this show in the first place," Charles Krauthammer charges.

• In the Washington Post former Bush officials Jim Comey and Jack Goldsmith applaud Holder's decision to trust the civilian court system.

• The controversy around Mohammed's civilian trial "is really about the word 'war,'" Eugene Robinson contends. "Outrage is being voiced by those who worry that Holder and President Obama are abandoning the Bush-era doctrine of a 'war on terrorism' that must at all times be conducted by military means."

 

• "It's fair to ask whether any other country would go through so much angst, so many debates, so much soul-searching to put on trial its most heinous enemies," USA Today maintains. "But in doing so and then trying the accused mastermind of 9/11 in open court, America leaves no doubt that above all, it values the rule of law."

• In the opposing view for USA Today, ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero still finds it "troubling that the administration plans to continue the use of military commissions for other detainees."

• "It is unquestionably better for Iraq's political leaders to wage their battles through legislative maneuvering than in the streets," the New York Times contends. "But their repeated delays in completing the election law (there have been nearly a dozen attempts) threatens their fragile constitutional system as well as the American military withdrawal."

Michael Gerson notes that leaks about the Afghanistan policy decision-making "have been attempts to rig the outcome of a national security decision."

• The Washington Times delivers a message to world leaders meeting about Iran's nuclear aspiration: "If you want peace, prepare for war."

• Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag lays out the case in the Washington Post that health reform is financially responsible. "The greatest risk we run is not completing health reform and letting this chance to lay a new foundation for our economy and our country pass us by."

• In Politico, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Calif., defends her failed abortion amendment and insists "the Stupak-Pitts amendment goes well beyond the status quo and is in no way the simple extension of the Hyde amendment its proponents claim it is. It will result in a major step backward for women's access to abortion, a legal medical procedure."

• "Throughout the financial crisis key officials -- most notably Timothy Geithner, who was president of the New York Fed in 2008 and is now Treasury secretary -- have shied away from doing anything that might rattle Wall Street," chastises Paul Krugman. "And the bitter paradox is that this play-it-safe approach has ended up undermining prospects for economic recovery."

David Brooks disagrees: "The evidence of the past eight months suggests that Geithner was mostly right and his critics were mostly wrong. The financial sector is in much better shape than it was" in the spring.

• The Wall Street Journal calls on Geithner to explain the reasoning behind the decisions he made last year as president of the New York Federal Reserve now that he's changed his tune about the dangers posed by AIG's potential failure.

• Reps. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Paul Ryan, R-Wis., argue in the Wall Street Journal that the economy has not recovered because of "a growing fear that the federal government is retreating from the free-market economic principles of the last half-century, and in particular the strong growth policies that began under Ronald Reagan."

Kim Strassel creates a job posting for "a wildly optimistic individual to oversee a national jobs-creation program."

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