I am not sure how I stumbled into the role of unpaid fact-checker for the New York Times editorial page on matters of law and security. But as long as the Times keeps publishing editorials like this one, there needs to be some correction mechanism somewhere. And since the Times itself insists both on making serial factual errors and on not ever correcting any of them, the sad burden seems to fall on me. The Times, of course, has policies about correcting factual errors–not to mention presumably about not publishing facts its writers know to be false. But the editorial page on detention matters, as I have documented in the past, has not been scrupulous about observing those policies. So until the page begins correcting its own errors, Lawfare will have to serve as the correction column it should run–at least on the issues of concern to Lawfare readers. I will not, at least not in this post, argue with any of the Times’s opinions–just with factual questions that seem to me beyond reasonable argumentation.
I count at least seven erroneous statements in today’s editorial–most of them variants on the same theme I have been pounding on since last year. In the order in which they appear in the editorial, here they are: