Opinion Brief

Is it impolite to call Karl Rove a 'war criminal'?

A heckler hurls accusations at Rove during a Beverly Hills book signing — igniting a debate over civility

Anti-war protesters heckled Karl Rove in the middle of a March 29 promotional event for his memoir, Courage and Consequence — calling him a "war criminal." Jodie Evans, a co-founder of the antiwar group Code Pink, approached Rove with handcuffs at the Beverly Hills event, saying she was making a citizen's arrest because Rove and other leaders in the Bush administration had "lied to take us to war" and "totally ruined the country." Rove said the interruption demonstrated the "totalitarianism of the left... They don't believe in courtesy." Was the protest justified, or simply uncivil?

Rove has the right to speak despite his errors: "I am not exactly a fan of Karl Rove," says Jay Bookman in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "but I’m even less a fan of this kind of confrontational 'street theater.'" The "idiots at Code Pink" only elevated Rove's status as a victim, and denied him his right to speak. Such boorish buffoonery has "no place in American civil discourse."
"Even Karl Rove, wrong as he is, has a right to be heard"

Rove got off easy: The Code Pink hecklers only gave Karl Rove "a tiny taste of the anger that people have about his lies about Iraq" and his part in the politically motivated outing of CIA agent Valerie Plame, says blogger Leen in Firedoglake. This "sociopath" is lucky he hasn't been cast out of polite society completely.
"Code Pinkers Make My Day.. Code Pink tries to arrest Karl Rove and the right wingers freak"

Code Pink's war criminal charge is just wrong: The hecklers say Karl Rove is a "war criminal," says Andrew Swift in Foreign Policy, but, according to the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, he isn't. As former president George W. Bush's political and communications strategist, he "was in no position to authorize" using military force or order harsh interrogations. The "protesters need to get a new line."
"What's the definition of war criminal?

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SEE MORE OPINION BRIEFS ON THIS TOPIC:
Karl Rove's memoir: Worth the wait?
Karl Rove's memoir: Revisionist history?

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