Monday, December 26, 2005

How bin Laden Ruined America With Bush's Help

Robert Steinback of The Miami Herald shows how the reaction to 9/11 did far more harm to this country than the harm caused by the terrorist attacks:

One wonders if Osama bin Laden didn’t win after all. He ruined the America that existed on 9/11. But he had help.

If, back in 2001, anyone had told me that four years after bin Laden’s attack our president would admit that he broke U.S. law against domestic spying and ignored the Constitution — and then expect the American people to congratulate him for it — I would have presumed the girders of our very Republic had crumbled.

Had anyone said our president would invade a country and kill 30,000 of its people claiming a threat that never, in fact, existed, then admit he would have invaded even if he had known there was no threat — and expect America to be pleased by this — I would have thought our nation’s sensibilities and honor had been eviscerated.

If I had been informed that our nation’s leaders would embrace torture as a legitimate tool of warfare, hold prisoners for years without charges and operate secret prisons overseas — and call such procedures necessary for the nation’s security — I would have laughed at the folly of protecting human rights by destroying them.

If someone had predicted the president’s staff would out a CIA agent as revenge against a critic, defy a law against domestic propaganda by bankrolling supposedly independent journalists and commentators, and ridicule a 37-year Marie Corps veteran for questioning U.S. military policy — and that the populace would be more interested in whether Angelina is about to make Brad a daddy — I would have called the prediction an absurd fantasy.

After further discussion of these issues, Steinback concludes by asking:

Ultimately, our best defense against attack — any attack, of any sort — is holding fast and fearlessly to the ideals upon which this nation was built. Bush clearly doesn’t understand or respect that. Do we?


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