Michael Mukasey's nomination as attorney general has been approved by the
Senate judiciary committee and, as the Times reports, this "virtually
assures" his confirmation. Mukasey's designation has provoked all kinds of
discussion about "waterboarding" and torture generally in the context of
what the constitution permits and forbids. Some of the discussion has
advanced the argument, certainly Andrew Sullivan from one side and
Bret Stephens from the other.
In this morning's WSJ, Stephens expands the discussion to the use of
weapons that will inevitably kill innocents. He believes that the heavy
bombing of Japan hastened the end of the Second World War. He is not sure
that the firebombing of Germany did that at all. It's a gruesome
calculus. Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (and Harry Truman, too) did
this arithmetic of death. Were they wrong?