Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Who's This Koh Fella Anyway?

Harvard's Jack Goldsmith notes that "for a quarter century before heading up State-Legal, [State Department adviser Harold Koh]was the leading and most vocal academic critic of presidential unilateralism in war." On the strength of that reputation, Koh rose to the deanship of Yale Law School in 2004.


Yet the implications of Koh's position today are that the president can rain down destruction via cruise missiles and robot death kites anywhere in the world, and unless an American soldier might get hurt, neither the Constitution nor the War Powers Resolution are offended.


Koh was in his mid-50s when he joined the administration, coming off a distinguished career built on opposition to the Imperial Presidency. Yet the lure of being "in the room" when the big decisions are made seems to have turned him into the Gollum of Foggy Bottom.

It's the kind of story you hear again and again in D.C. -- on the right and the left -- of principles sold out for the dubious rewards of "access" and "relevance." This town is "Hollywood for the Ugly" in more ways than one.

  Washington Examiner

And a bit of a digression...because the beer is making me do it....Foggy Bottom. I love that name. And Foggy Bottom makes me think of Langley. And Langley makes me think of a young woman with whom I work, recently from the DC area, who has a very funny story of how she and some girl friends had their Halloween spoiled one year while trying to get to a corn field maze, but taking a wrong turn and ending up on a one-way no turn-around road to CIA headquarters. They were stopped and questioned for a long time, after which they didn't much feel like going to a corn field maze, and during which time they were informed that their names were now recorded, and they should be very careful not to ever trespass on federal property again unless prepared to spend time in the pokey. She says they were really scared, but it was impossible not to laugh when she told it. I keep forgetting to ask, but I hope they were in costume.

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