I get it: it's
okay to pledge allegiance to the State, but not to God
– and that about sums up the official ideology of our ruling
BEARISH ON THE WAR
that only one in three Americans think we're winning the "war
on terrorism," and that 49 percent say neither side is
winning is being blamed on the scare tactics of an administration
that publicly muses on the "inevitability"
of a nuke attack. But what percentage of Americans even understand
what this war entails, aside from the Afghan campaign? How
many can identify the enemy – is it the now-never-mentioned
Osama bin Laden? Al Qaeda? Iraq? Iran? The "axis of evil"?
Cynthia McKinney? The entire Arab world? The most significant
number to come out of this USAToday/CNN Gallup poll,
however, is that support for a large-scale long term war is
way down from its November high of 62 percent, to 51 percent.
The War Party's stock is sinking, which is why their war-whoops
are getting louder and ever more militant.
tries to ignore Glenn Reynolds
in the hope that we'll all wake up, one day, and find that
he was just a bad dream. But this howler from his
Fox News column pretty much confirms that the State-worshipping
cluelessness of the new "conservatives" is pretty
much embodied by this Tennessee law professor-cum-warblogger:
the war on terror is going to succeed, we have to be able
to trust the government."
that case, I guess, the "war on terrorism" is unwinnable,
and we might as well drop it right now. For Americans have
never trusted the government, and I don't care what
push-polls tell us about how Big Government is back. This
innate skepticism of all things governmental is even truer
now, as we are regaled with revelations of how the FBI not
up real bad, but also obstructed
the investigation into terrorist activity on US soil.
And that's just the beginning. …
Americans get wind of what
whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is saying about how a certain
Middle Eastern country infiltrated and disrupted top secret
FBI operations, you can forget about people trusting
government officials – because the problem will be preventing
patriotic Americans from lynching them.
from the government and we're here to help you. So you've
just gotta trust us, and
means not just the President, or the Secretary of Defense,
but the people who will actually be operating where the rubber
meets the road."
rather, where the rubber
truncheon meets the skull. It's pathetic, really, to contemplate
the mentality of dutiful little Stalinists like Reynolds,
whose enthusiasm for employees of the federal Leviathan
something out of Pravda in the 1930s:
have to trust them to do their best; we have to trust them
to be honest; and we have to trust them not to cover up when
they make mistakes because understanding mistakes is crucial
to learning, and learning is crucial to victory in any war
– but perhaps especially this one."
right, we have to trust them not to cover up. Forget Watergate,
and the long record of bald-faced lies that have gotten us
into every war in modern times. Don't bother recalling Kuwait's
incubator babies, the Gulf
of Tonkin deception, April Glaspie's green
light to Saddam, and the Pearl
Harbor investigation whitewash. Because everything's
changed since 9/11. Or haven't you heard? We're all lobotomized
dummies now. So just repeat after me: Hail Dubya! Rummy rules!
All power to the feds!
finds it "disturbing" that Thomas
A. Kelley, the man who whitewashed the crimes of the FBI
Ridge, has been appointed to investigate intelligence
"failures" prior to 9/11. Why, it seems the FBI
was "more anxious to cover up its mistakes than to learn
from them." Imagine that! Oh give me a break,
willya? It is doubtful that this kind of naivete exists anywhere
outside a kindergarten. Does Reynolds really expect us to
believe that he's shocked – shocked! – that "misleading
statements were issued" to justify the spectacular public
execution of 74 Americans, 21
of them children? Heavens to Mergatroyd,
exclaims young Reynolds, "some of those at fault were
actually promoted and given awards."
weirdly inverted behavior is naturally incomprehensible to
especially the younger ones for whom the oxymoronic dogma
Government conservatism" poses no dilemma at all:
in their view, we can go rampaging all over the globe, militarily
occupy entire continents, and maintain the Jeffersonian
purity of our institutions. But such "split-screen Republicanism,"
Jim Henley's phraseology, is just not tenable.
all the pragmatic toughness of these
"warblogger" types – who brush
off every criticism of the Bush-Ashcroft regime with "don't
you know there's a war on?" – they all seem to have an
almost childlike theory of the State, like something out of
a high school civics textbook circa 1950. I have news for
Reynolds and his fan
club: the State acts like a gang of self-interested careerists
because that is its nature. These
guys have the power – and they aim to keep it.
It's that simple.
whines that "understanding mistakes is crucial to learning"
– but that's precisely why all governments everywhere inevitably
try to cover up their "mistakes." They don't want us to learn that we're being fleeced by a gang of
power-crazed fools, lest Jefferson's opinion that a
little rebellion now and then is a good thing becomes
more widely appreciated….
Instapundit is baffled by Kelley's appointment, but libertarians
can hardly stifle a yawn. Reynolds makes the point that in
a working organization "bad news flows to the top"
– but fails to see that this market mechanism cannot
work for government agencies. Market institutions must adjust
to new conditions or face failure when they lose (or fail
to attract) customers. But State institutions, unlike private
entities, have no "customers" – because they aren't
selling anything except the
myth of their own legitimacy.
enjoys a monopoly on coercion in a given geographical
area – and, in the case of our own government and its "pre-emptive"
foreign policy, you can extend this monopolism to the entire
planet. Short of being invaded and conquered, however, there
is no question of a government agency losing out to the competition
– since none is allowed. The worst that can happen to a government
official is that he or she will be demoted, or, rarely, fired
(i.e. pensioned off). Reynolds is simply appalled that government
employees found guilty of wrongdoing are rewarded, but the
culture of government institutions dictates that the very
worst always rise to the top.
wartime "good government" piety of would-be government
"reformers" is a sham and a diversion away from
the really interesting question: Why is our national security
bureaucracy desperately scrambling to whitewash its own behavior
in the crucial months prior to 9/11? A
little birdie tells me that more
than mere incompetence is being covered
leaders are demanding the right to spy
on our email, our reading
material, and our
political associations and opinions, an assumption of
powers that would be "tolerable" to Reynolds, albeit
somewhat problematic, "if only the American public can
be assured that those who wield them can be trusted."
They can be trusted, alright – in the sense one can count
on them to use their power to undermine their political enemies,
buttress their own positions, and smear anyone who dares challenge
their dominance. Which is why the seizure of such untrammeled
power by an out-of-control executive is absolutely intolerable
and the greatest threat to our liberties since the Alien
and Sedition Acts.
shouldn't give the authorities our "blind trust,"
says Reynolds. Gee, thanks for the tip, but there was never
any danger of that. Instead, he avers, we must "trust
but verify." Yet how do we verify anything when the new
"Homeland Security" legislation outlaws
whistle-blowers and "loose
lips sink ships" is the byword as far as this administration
is concerned? Government officials – used
to running their wars without interference from bothersome
journalists – keep all pertinent information from the
public as a matter of routine. Remember, these are the same
guys who wanted to set up an "Office
of Strategic Influence" mandated to manufacture
and distribute disinformation – in order to mislead our
"enemies," of course. The problem is that, to the
bureaucrats, the public is the enemy.
main danger to liberty is not hiding in the wilds of Central
Asia, but is right out there in the open, tearing up the Bill
of Rights and tearing down the constitutional order. Osama
bin Laden is cowering somewhere in a cave, but John Ashcroft
dares to appear in public proclaiming his "right"
to hold an American citizen, Jose Padilla, without
charges – indefinitely. Never mind that Padilla – as Larry
Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department's
office of counterterrorism, puts it – "couldn't
make a dirty burrito, never mind a dirty bomb." Trust
the government in exchange for "winning" an undefined,
increasingly wider "war on terrorism"? It's a bad
deal for Americans – the kind of offer that a free people
can only refuse.
my June 21 column, "Treason
is the Reason," I wrote about Sibel Edmonds, a wiretap
translator formerly employed by the FBI who has stepped forward
with allegations about infiltration of the FBI by a mysterious
"Middle Eastern country." Citing "a trusted
source," I wrote:
to his Justice Department sources, the mysterious "Middle
Eastern country" the [Washington] Post couldn't name
for reasons of ‘national security’ is indeed Israel."
am now informed by this same source that the
country in question may not be Israel.
the column is not completely invalidated by this backtracking
on the part of my source, it is nevertheless important to
make clear that there is no solid evidence that Israel
is indeed the country referred to in the Washington Post
I regret the error, and apologize to my readers.
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