Couched in bogus language like “waterboarding,” a torture technique that this country used to convict Japanese soldiers of war crimes after World War II, our government has made it official that we feel free to torture people.

This is un-American. But it’s just one more example of the corruption of this nation in the past few years.

And it will come back to haunt us. We have just given permission to the rest of the world to torture Americans if they choose.

We should be ashamed. Too many of us are not.

We have an opening at Arizona State for someone to work with me at the new Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. Here’s the official listing (feel free to pass it around):

Business Development Coordinator, Digital Media

The Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication seeks a business development coordinator for the Knight Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship. The center, which was established this year, is devoted to the development of new media entrepreneurship and the creation of innovative digital media products. It is funded by grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The ideal candidate will have experience as a new media entrepreneur and possess a solid understanding of business planning and principles. He or she will work closely with the Center’s director, Dan Gillmor, and with students from journalism, business, engineering and other schools, singly and in teams, to plan, prototype and, if possible, launch new-media projects. (This is not a fundraising position.) The business development coordinator will report to the director of the Knight Center and will hold the faculty rank of lecturer in the Cronkite School.

Minimum qualifications: Bachelor’s degree and experience in the business development of digital media.

For more information on the Knight Center, click here.

To apply: Submit cover letter, resume and three (3) professional references and contact information to:

Search Committee – Knight Center
Walter Cronkite School of Journalism
PO Box 871305
Tempe, AZ 85287-1305

Applications may also be submitted via email at jjobs@asu.edu.

Applications must be received by 5:00 PM, March 1, 2008.

Arizona State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply.

The Citizen Media Law Project has launched the first iteration of its Legal Guide, which

addresses the legal issues you may encounter as you gather information and publish your work. The guide is intended for use by citizen media creators with or without formal legal training, as well as others with an interest in these issues. You can search by keyword, browse by state, browse by section, or simply jump right in.

This is prodigious work by David Ardia, Sam Bayard and a team of interns at Harvard Law School. Congratulations to all.

Microsoft’s Offer To Buy Yahoo For $44.6 Billion is likely to turn in large part on whether the founders, who still hold a great deal of stock, go with their investors who want to take the money and run. I’m betting they will, reluctantly, though I still believe Yahoo could have a great future as a stand-alone company. More than almost any other Web company, Yahoo understands aggregation and the best of bottom-up media. Microsoft barely has a clue.

But Google is getting pretty worrisome in its own way — too big and powerful to trust. We need large and small counterweights, and perhaps a Microsoft-Yahoo combination will be one of them.

It’s worth noting, meanwhile, that the offer of slightly less than $45 billion isn’t much higher than ExxonMobil’s 2007 profits. The juxtaposition in today’s NY Times, below, is pretty startling.

Msftyahooexxon

BBC: Afghan senate backs death penalty. Afghanistan’s upper house of parliament has issued a statement backing a death sentence for a journalist for blasphemy in northern Afghanistan. Pervez Kambakhsh, 23, was convicted last week of downloading and distributing an article insulting Islam. He has denied the charge. The UN has criticised the sentence and said the journalist did not have legal representation during the case.

This case shocks the conscience. Journalists — all of us — should be trying hard to stop this outrage.

If Afghanistan kills this man it will lose support from people who care about liberty, and at a time when it most needs that support. Surely Americans will ask themselves why our soldiers are dying to preserve such a loathsome regime. I know I will.