Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shame Inside the Prison Walls

The Opinionator

The domestic Abu Ghraib, continued: National Review Online writer Andrew Stuttaford praises the “lengthy letter” by David Kaiser, president of Stop Prisoner Rape, that was published in The New York Review of Books. At The Corner, Stuttaford writes:

The letter is important in that it once again focuses attention on a state of affairs that has remained a national disgrace for far too long, but more than that it offers a number of useful suggestions including better educational facilities (yes, it shouldn’t be necessary to say this, but they matter..), proper use of protective custody, and more effective law enforcement within prisons. The Eight Amendment is there. Use it.

Stuttaford also excerpts a quote from Kaiser’s letter (making this item a blogtastic quote within a quote): “DeParle writes, ‘Since 1980 the murder rate inside prisons has fallen more than 90 percent, which should give pause to those inclined to think that prisons are impossible to reform.’ We could similarly reduce the incidence of rape in prison.”

  • Requiem for Boris: “Yeltsin, unlike his predecessor Gorbachev, was a genuine man of transition,” writes Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum. “He knew things had to change, but he had neither the ideas nor the tools to change them.”

    That Yeltsin failed was forgivable,” says The Los Angeles Times editorial page, before adding, “But it was because he failed so spectacularly, while passing off his incompetence as the inevitable byproduct of capitalism and democracy, that the Russian people embraced the thuggish authoritarianism of Yeltsin’s handpicked successor, President Vladimir V. Putin. Will history judge this last blunder most harshly of all?”

  • The Washington Post editorial page explains why President Bush favorably reviewed Alberto Gonzales’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Maybe that’s because he didn’t actually watch the testimony — he was on the road that day.”

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