Monday, July 03, 2006

National Security Gnostics

My personal 3rd Rule Of American Politics is this:

Losers blame the press.

Over and over we see this pattern of politicians who couldn't cut it piling onto the fourth estate. From The Big Dick's drunken "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore" speech after he lost the California Governor's race, to Spiro Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativity" attack when the press inconveniently dug up the brown paper bags of cash he's been receiving through the back door of the Governor's Mansion in Annapolis, to the bitching of my Kerry-supporting friends when the press went to town with the swift-boat accusations, as if those attacks would have lasted one day if John Kerry had had the authenticity to confront them head-on.

Losers blame the press.

And what better opportunity to do so then as you manage to lose a war?

The recent attacks on the press for the crime of doing their job is the symptom of a larger dysfunction. Our founders explicitly recognized the role of the press as a check on government power, and that is what reporters are doing when they bring to light the ugly things the Administration is doing in the Endless Struggle Against A State Of Mind that they love to call teh war on terra.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote a book shortly before he died called Secrecy to warn us that the expanding secrecy of the national security state was a grave threat to democracy. Reading the book now eight years after it was published, it is possible to see exactly how the ever-expanding regime of "classified" information is threatening the basic functioning of our system, as decisions are increasingly made by those with "clearance" working in a vacuum free of criticism or even open feedback, and not by the citizens who fund this increasingly secretive hegemon. The hacks and lackeys of the right-blogosphere and media who publicly support this ever-hungry beast must see themselves as priests guarding the secrets of the Holiest of Holies without ever actually knowing the knowlege within; they count their own ignorance as a blessing and ask for more. It's just these kind of blindfold reactionaries who demanded physical retribution against the staff of the New York Times over the weekend.

Happy Independence Day.


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