Twitter forces Jack Welch to backpedal

April 23, 2013
Key Speakers At The World Business Forum
Jack Welch (Bloomberg)

Former General Electric boss Jack Welch declared last night that for all his business wizardry, he doesn’t read much these days on civic affairs. Or, at least, the most pressing civic affair out there. The tweet above, on Welch’s official account, conveys his disgust that authorities are using the country’s plain-old criminal justice system to handle the case of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, instead of somehow treating him as an enemy combatant, as some lawmakers have urged.

Simple debunkings of the enemy combatant non-option are easy to find in and around the Internet. When such matters arise, though, the Erik Wemple Blog generally refers to the Lawfare blog, which bears the tag line, “Hard National Security Choices.”

Even Welch would have little difficulty understanding the four reasons that Lawfare’s Benjamin Wittes cites for why it would be “not merely ill-advised but absolutely nuts to try to treat Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant.” A fast-twitch summary: No evidence yet that Tsarnaev was connected to certain terrorist organizations; Tsarnaev is a naturalized American citizen; he was taken into custody in the United States; military detention “offers no clear advantages in this case and has several big disadvantages,” according to Wittes, a Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution.

Welch’s Twitter followers buttressed Wittes’s points in response to the mogul’s little outburst:

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last week has seen the limits of crowdsourcing, following a disastrous effort to find suspects based on the great many photos and videos posted by event attendees. Yet when it comes to the ill-informed meanderings of a once-grand captain of industry, crowdsourcing is the only antidote.

After all, it forced Welch into this fine backpedaling specimen:

 

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.
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Erik Wemple | April 23, 2013