Knucklehead of the Year Awards
The 2006 Knucklehead of the Year Awards have been announced, and former President Jimmy Carter has taken top honors, beating out the New York Times and Duke rape trial prosecutor Mike Nifong.
Carter won for pronouncements about Israel’s “unjustified attack on Lebanon” and the Times for its reporting on Top Secret intelligence operations, notably the Swift program tracing transactions of people suspected of having ties to Al Qaeda.
Like fellow judge Steven Taylor, I would have given the award to Nifong. He has engaged in months of public grandstanding, at the cost of considerable misery to falsely accused young men, despite it having been obvious almost from the beginning even to outsiders that the accusers had zero credibility and that there was zero evidence backing up the accusations.
By contrast, Carter’s views on Israel have gotten much more extreme over the years but his frustration with the attacks on Lebanon was at least understandable.
And, while I think the NYT should have kept the Swift program under its hat, the natural inclination of newspapers is to publish important, interesting information when they obtain it. It’s not as if they published information on troop movements or put spies in danger. The persons deserving of a Knucklehead Award (not to mention serious time at Leavenworth) are those who broke their oath and revealed the program to the press.