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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

...Not as I do

The one thing the Bush administration excels at is the defamation and cheapening of the Constitution in the pursuit of "American values." The latest examples, thanks to a media that finally seems to be remembering that its job is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.

The CIA is taking prisoners in a zeal to find every potential Arabic-sounding surname, even if they are wrong -- and unwilling to acknowledge it. The highlight, or lowlight of his story (which suggests that you suck it in if you have an argument with your spouse) is this comment from a CIA operative:

"It was the Camelot of counterterrorism," a former counterterrorism official said. "We didn't have to mess with others -- and it was fun."
Before the wingnuts howl about how this is the typical wooly-headed liberal unpatriotic endorsement of terrorism: NOT. But how about an apology or compensation for wrongful imprisonment? Even a secret deal would have bought Masri's silence and our corporations do it all the time.

The Bush administration views the American people as empty-headed dolts who, if force fed the same pablum over and over again, will follow blindly. At least that's the view of Peter Feaver, the Bush's administration's favored pointy-headed intellectual and author of a form of the winning the hearts and minds strategy that didn't work in Vietnam.
"The Pentagon doesn't need the president to give a speech and post a document on the White House Web site to know how to fight the insurgents. The document is clearly targeted at American public opinion," Christopher F. Gelpi, a colleague of Dr. Feaver's at Duke and co-author of the research on American tolerance for casualties, told the New York Times.
In fine Orwellian fashion, this story by the excellent Knight-Ridder team of Walter Strobel and Jonathan Landay says the administration believes that to fill people's heads with the official view also requires that they not hear another side.

I guess H.L. Mencken was right about freedom of the press belonging to those who own it. The Bush administration must think its owns the Constitution. Or that their arguments can't stand up without scrutiny. When that happens, you silence the critics.

And last but not least, there are the other, financial costs of this war on terrorism and freedom. The administration (and Congress) that insists that we are spending way too much money on victims of Katrina and Rita and every day life in American cities does have limits on the where they draw the line on fiscal responsibility.

The scariest thing is we still have three more years of this shameful stain on American history.


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