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No Matter What, D.C. Insiders Don’t Lose Expert Status

4 Sep

The latest staggering example: treating John Yoo as an authority on the president’s authority to intervene in Syria.
john yoo reuters full.jpg
Earlier this week, I complained that no one ever seems to lose expert status in Washington, D.C., especially in the realm of national security. Being proved repeatedly, catastrophically wrong by events just isn’t all that damaging — so long as you have the right affiliations, social standing, or partisan connections. Status as an expert is almost totally severed from one’s track record.
On Wednesday I came across an example. 
The Federalist Society alerted journalists, via a PR firm, that they’d be holding “a teleforum conference call to discuss the President’s authority to intervene in Syria.” Look at the experts they lined up:
John Yoo, Professor of Law at the  University of California Berkeley School of Law and Saikrishna B. Prakash, Professor of Law at the University of Virginia School of Law will be the featured experts on the call.
John Yoo.
As a former Bush Administration official, he’s well-connected in Washington conservative circles. A bogeyman of liberals, he enjoys a certain standing in the conservative movement. His track record?

Read the rest at The Atlantic.