Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Outside his field

Robert "Robby" George is perhaps George W. Bush's favourite public intellectual; he holds down a professorship at Princeton University and is a specialist in the philosopy of "pro-life" issues; he is also a usual suspect in the various front groups that pop up to push aligned Republican and pro-life positions. But in the manner in which right-wingers like to branch out (such as Commentary magazine diversifying from angry pro-Israel positions to opposing Israel-style healthcare for Americans), Prof. George has decided to tell National Review of his outrage about the indeed outrageous release of Pan Am bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.

But here's the problem. He's blaming Barack Obama for it. And specifically, he's blaming Barack Obama for not doing enough to get Gordon Brown to stop it. But read his comments. They show no awareness of the difference between "United Kingdom" and "Scotland", let alone the primacy in judicial matters of the latter -- the critical factor in how al-Megrahi was released. If the London government was indeed angling to release al-Megrahi (as cynics maintain they were), then Obama would have had more leverage. But Scotland explicitly chose to avoid the seeming route offered by London -- the Prisoner Transfer Agreement -- and made the decision on their own moral grounds. This is all stuff that's easy to look up, but apparently too much effort to do so in the quest for a 103rd reason why he doesn't think anyone should vote Democratic.