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Friday, June 30, 2006

The American Way 

Glenn Greenwald is being sarcastic in this description:
The American way is to place blind faith in our political officials and let them operate in complete secrecy, especially when it comes to spying on American citizens on U.S. soil. Anyone who disagrees must want to help Al Qaeda commit terrorist acts against Americans. What other reason would anyone object?
Unfortunately, for millions and millions of Americans, this now describes their simple truth.
It is so sad to see this happening. America used to be a nation that was proud of its moral, legal and constitutional standards, a "shining city on the hill" whose people led the world in their respect for law, truth and justice, and who had an independent spirit which scorned obesiance to authority.
America was never totally consistent, of course -- they never totally achieved their ideal, but what nation ever does? In their hearts, Americans always thought of themselves as some combination of Cool Hand Luke, Tom Joad, Harry Callahan, Rooster Cogburn, Rocky Balboa.
Now they have Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld telling them all the time to be afraid, be very afraid. And millions of Americans believe them. Today we see the craven Wall Street Journal following orders to join the pile-on of the New York Times for publishing the story about government searching of bank acounts:
Would the Journal have published the story had we discovered it as the Times did, and had the Administration asked us not to? Speaking for the editorial columns, our answer is probably not . . . The obligation of the press is to take the government seriously when it makes a request not to publish. Is the motive mainly political? How important are the national security concerns? And how do those concerns balance against the public's right to know? The problem with the Times is that millions of Americans no longer believe that its editors would make those calculations in anything close to good faith. We certainly don't . . .
Interesting, isn't it, to see how the good Germans talked themselves into believing their government was right and their constitution was wrong.

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