And a GREAT big Season’s Greetings to y’all as well.
In today’s fine front-paged post on My left Wing, Did I Feel A Draft?, the poster know as “forgiven” made a number of points about the current CIA-driven scandal regarding the destruction of tapes that documented torture proceedings on a suspected enemy of the state.
Here is a quote from a NY Times article that was used in that piece.
“There is never any justification for destroying materials that any reasonable person would believe might be requested in a civil or criminal proceeding,” said Mr. Remes, of the law firm Covington & Burling. “The C.I.A. had every reason to believe the videotapes would be relevant down the road.” NY Times
Forgiven then wrote:
I beg to differ with Mr. Remes, but yes there is a justification for destroying evidence if you have been involved in illegal activities. It happens all the time and with the impotence of the current Congress it will probably go unpunished.
In a comment upon that idea, Miss Mannered wrote:
A reason is not a justification. Obstruction of justice is never justified, only excused.
Now what we have here…at least on the surface…is simply a semantic miscommunication.
Reason, justification…both posters consider the act of destroying those tapes criminally negligent at the very least.
But…and here is the important part, as far as I am concerned…the people who did this do NOT consider what they did `wrong”. NONE of it. Not the torture, not the hiding of evidence of that torture, not the overall thrust of their actions from 9/11 and even before right on through today and most certainly well into tomorrow if they can somehow manage to stay in power.
None of it.
So I started a reply to Miss Mannered.
Which grew well beyond the bounds of its original aim.
Read on if you are interested.
A reason is not a justification? Obstruction of justice is never justified, only excused?
But these people think that national security IS a justification, Miss Mannered.
A valid justification for anything right on up to mass murder and the pre-emptive use of WMDs if all else fails.
And apparently all else HAS failed. They are on the brink of a total electoral defeat.
They really are “believers”.
Most of them.
Which is what gives them their power and also what makes them so dangerous.
Cornered rat-style dangerous.
bet on it.
I am sure that there are a few who are totally cynical and just out for the big score, a number of others who are basically working for Israel’s national security, (plus a putative few who are true double agents working for hostile foreign powers) but the majority of them from Semi-President Butch on down are simply stupid motherfuckers who cannot see past the ends of their national security-obsessed noses.
Compulsive security staters who cannot see past the end of a taser, a waterboarding, an Abu Ghraib or a nuclear missile.
Cannot see the GRAND view.
YOU know…the one that Martin Luther King Jr. so often referenced? Do you remember when he said “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice” ?
National security validates vote fraud, validates new reality-making by the BOATLOAD…it validates every criminal act that they commit, every violation of those pesky, short-sighted, now outmoded laws that were put on the books when terrorists were wild-eyed Slavic and Eyetalian anarchists who threw comical little round sputtering-fused bombs that went “POOT!!!”
They are true believers, M.M. Which makes them REALLY dangerous. You cannot argue with a true believer. You cannot change their minds; you cannot “reason” with them. In the end, you have to either eliminate them from access to any and all power or from existence itself.
They WILL keep trying.
This next election?
Another step in a long (and hopefully still ongoing) process that actually started in the late ’50s/early ’60s with JFK’s election and President Eisenhower’s belated realization that people of this sort had qite literally stolen a great deal of the real power in this country.
(From Eisenhower’s Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961.)
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence – economic, political, even spiritual – is felt in every city, every Statehouse, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
“Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
Well…we have NOT been alert. Nor knowledgeable.
Largely due to the second factor in Eisenhower’s prophetic warning speech.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central, it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
He was not such a prophet that he could see the scope of the coming information revolution…or the counter-revolution that occurred as the Permanent Government progressively took over the dissemination and direction of that information…but he knew that something evil was afoot.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present – and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
He was a little wide of the eventual mark with that one. The direction of public policy was not captured by a “scientific-technological” elite. It was captured by a financial/political elite that used the technology of mass communication to completely hornswoggle, hypnotize and Judas-goat the people of America into blind, unquestioning, clomp-clomp-fucking-clomping obedience to whatever that elite thought was good for “national security.”
From macro to micro.
From massively murderous wars and the assassinations of leaders who opposed their plans right down to the tasing of minor lawbreakers and the whole unnecessary and uselessly incompetent apparatus of the Homeland Security State in which we now live, each and every one of us.
They excused and validated every move that they made because it was “Necessary for the survival of our blessed democracy.”
Of course, in the process of doing so they have damned near killed that democracy. Which, flawed though it may have been, was at one time the best set of compromises between and among human freedoms and the exigencies of sheer survival that has ever come down the human pike.
And now their backs are to the wall.
Other, more long-sighted factions of the PermaGov have aligned themselves against them, as have many of the heretofore TV-blinded sleeple. Sleeple whose eyes have been at least partially opened by the ongoing financial disasters of the past six years of so and the sheer horror of the humanitarian disasters that the policies of these NeoCriminals have caused, from Iraq and Darfur right on down to New Orleans and the credit/mortgage/bank crisis that threatens the United States of Indebtedness with a financial collapse that will rival if not surpass the Great Depression of the `30s in its scope.
The Great Compression, as the 90% of the world that lives on about 10% of its production leans ever more heavily on the 10% that consumes its bogart-that-joint overshare of the kill.
Pain will awaken even the SOUNDEST of sleepers from that night after Christmas, satiate sleep.
And baby, it’s been Christmas in America since about 1945.
Bet on it.
So…as we lurch towards the Alka Seltzer in the electoral closet…we must remain alert to the possibility that the Alka Seltzer bottle itself may have suffered some NeoCon, Bushite, PermaGov-sponsored tampering. And also to the equal and parallel possibility that even the purest of Alka Seltzers may simply not prove adequate to the task at hand and we we might have to eventually resort to even stronger measures to cure this bellyache that we feel coming `round the bend.
The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and punishment of his guilt.”-John Philpot Curran from his speech on the Right of Election of Lord Mayor of Dublin, July 10, 1790.
LISTEN to this old Irishman.
It ain’t over until the last wishbone is broken.
And in the immortal words of one NYC cabdriver I heard say to someone who had just cut him off in holiday traffic:
Merry Christmas. Ya FUCK!!!
My ALL time favorite New Yawk City holiday greeting.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays of all sorts.
And a Heavy New Year to y’all as well.
May you ENJOY being born into interesting times.
Because As Winston Churchill once said about old age, “The alternative is TOTALLY unacceptable”.