February 24, 2003

Semi-Daily Journal Welcomes Jane Galt's Return to Her Normal Self

At the conclusion of our last episode, Jane Galt had been bitten by a werewolf and turned into a slavering lycanthrope. She chortled with glee in the expectation that "violence... applied in a firm, pre-emptive manner" by a 2 x 4 would teach demonstrators what's what. Rabid foam dripped from her slavering jaws. The fascist undead rose from their graves and shambled forward into her comments section. And then...

But now it's time for the next episode. And she has recovered completely--expressing concern for the due process rights of those accused of terrorism in a manner that would win her the chairship of an ACLU chapter based in Berkeley, California.

Welcome back.

Asymmetrical Information: So the Florida professor who engendered a storm of controversy when his university tried to fire him over his alleged ties to Palestinian terror groups has now been arrested, along with eight others, for raising money for Islamic Jihad.

I don't know enough about the particulars of the case to comment on whether it's likely that he's guilty. What I want to say is this: we need to watch this case like hawks.

We're emotional about terrorism, justifiably so. But that emotion has got to make it tempting for a prosecutor to make too much out of a weak case because of the political payoff if it sticks has to be enormous. And in cases like this, the evidence is often tenuous. It's better we free a man who is likely guilty than imprison one who is possibly innocent, even in a case involving terrorism.

I'll be looking for bloggers and journalists who expose the facts of the case beyond the press releases from the DA and the defense, and cheering them on whatever the conclusions they draw. I think it's really, really important that we make it attractive for them to try to discover the truth.

Posted by DeLong at February 24, 2003 11:57 AM | TrackBack

Unfortunately for Jane, that little 2*4 incident was the full moon that brought out the freaks on her comment board. The thread where he posters were busy explaining why a) HIV does not really conclusively cause AIDS and b) that AIDS could not seriously be as big a problem as made out to be given how fast Africa's population is growing and c) that the AIDS pandemic is really just a ruse by special interests to drag money to Africa drags a decent site unfortunately close to the loony world.

Posted by: achilles on February 24, 2003 09:36 PM

Yes. That comment thread is really, really, really scary... Scarier even than Steven den Beste in full rant...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on February 25, 2003 08:37 PM

Why would anyone read a commentator who names herself Jane Galt? Sounds like people have too much time on their hands.

Posted by: andres on February 27, 2003 08:22 AM
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