Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Assault on National Reason

Since the Vietnam War era and continuing through the current war in Iraq, we've had a longstanding national discussion about how appeals to emotion can undermine the national will during periods when success or failure in conflict is significantly dependent upon that will. I would suggest that in the same manner that we speak of a 'national will' in a strategic sense, we should also do so regarding a 'national reason'. There has been little or no discussion about how a continuous assault on national reason, intentional or otherwise, can undermine national will.

Reason and Will

Jean Porter,
Professor of Theology at Notre Dame has written:

"...will and reason do not operate in isolation from one another...reason and will are always in a process of dynamic interaction...reason presents the will with possible objects for pursuit, and suggests courses of action directed towards these goods..."

In a democratic nation, if national reason significantly gives way to the irrational in a large enough portion of the body politic, that national reason can fall below the threshold to where it can by consensus suggest or identify the action that the national will must pursue or persevere in to attain to the good?

I believe there has been a growing validating and dignifying (even if unintentional) of unreasonable conspiracy theory and the thought processes (or lack of same) that are the growth media of what is in effect an assault on national reason. This has come about due primarily to two factors. One, the media, driven by business decisions and the pursuit of revenue, has sought to foster conflict and continuation of a storyline based on the "unanswered questions" or "questions remain" theme. That has provided a media outlet for ideas and speculations that at one time would not have been dignified by such exposure. Two, politicians, primarily on the Democratic left, in the pursuit of politicall gain have fostered an environment where reflexive leaps to even the most absurd conspiracy theories is increasingly becoming an
accepted norm.

Further, enemies of ours, both foreign and domestic, who may not have conspired to bring about this assault on national reason have none-the-less recognized a weakness of ours that they believe they can exploit. Notable among those seeking to use conspiracy theory as an opening to undermine our national reason and thereby our national
will is the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I do not think Ahmadinejad will have much personal success in that in our country beyond such as the Daily Kos' self described "Jewish lesbian" with a "little crush" on the Iranian President and like folks on the fringe end of the fringe. However, I do believe it is worth noting that Ahmadinejad and others most surely believe an exploitable weakness exists, and with that proposition I agree.

Almost a year and a half ago at The American Thinker, Rick Moran
pointed out President Ahmadinejad's hat tipping to the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, aka the 'Truthers', in his letter to President Bush. Ahmadinejad asked how the 9/11 attacks could have been:

"...planned and executed without coordination with intelligence and security services...?"

That portion of the letter was largely ignored by the media. Ahmadinejad is something like the highest ranking poster boy on the planet for conspiracy theory. He has been spouting about Zionist conspiracy for years. He has charged that conspiracy with everything from the publishing of the
Mohammed cartoons to preventing him from attending the World Cup Games in Germany to the Zionist cabal oppressing America and Europe, including by control of the media. He uses conspiracy theory as a political tool in Iran, and seeks to use it as a weapon of division against us and our national will.

Divide and Conquer

In Scott Pelley's
interview of Ahmadinejad that aired shortly before his speech at the U.N., the Iranian President spoke on a theme that he has invoked before, the division of beliefs in the American body politic. When Pelly pointed out that the Iranian President must have known that a visit by Ahmadinejad to Ground Zero would infuriate Americans, Ahmadinejad shot back "How can you speak for the whole of the American nation?". He followed that with "The American nation is made up of 300 million people. There are different points of view over there...".

In his later
talk at Columbia University, Ahmadinejad said:

"First, the wrongdoers reveal only a part of the reality...and conceal the rest...they deceive people by...creating nonexistent enemies...and an insecure atmosphere...to control all in the name of combating insecurity and terrorism...in order to justify their warmongering acts in different parts of the world...If the root causes of 9/11 are examined properly --why it was happened, what caused it, what were the conditions that led to it, who truly was involved, who was really involved..."

Ahmadinejad is targeting a segment of the American public he knows exists and hopes to provide with support and even growth.

On this last September 11th, Zogby released the results of a
poll about the 9/11 attacks showing that by their methodology 42.6% of Democrats, 30.5% of Independents and 19.2% of Republicans believe that the Bush administration either let 9/11 happen (had advance knowledge) or made it happen. Those results appear on page 8 of this pdf. If those results are even remotely to be believed, this is a frightening testament to the state of reason in our country and reveals the weakness that Ahmadinejad knows exists and is seeking to exploit.

The poll was commissioned by the '9/11 Truth' organization and
Press TV, an Iranian state media outlet. One easily understands why the Truthers at '9/11 Truth' would commission such a poll. One can also understand why the Iranians would do so, with details released shortly before Ahmadinejad arrived in New York, by connecting those two events. I believe that Ahmadinejad was hoping that a visit to Ground Zero would have given him a platform to connect to that audience.

Conspiracy happens. Years ago Wm. F. Buckley humorously offered up the quadrennial Democratic National Convention as clear and compelling evidence of that fact. There are of course various types of criminal, political, corporate and intelligence conspiracies. Conspiracies survive on secrecy and keeping the machinations of that conspiracy in the dark. As any mafia capo will tell you, assuming you could get him to talk, the fewer people who know of a conspiracy, the greater the chance of "keeping it quiet" and therefore pulling it off. Vice versa, the more people in the know the longer the odds of keeping the secret - a secret.

Grand Conspiracies

I will call conspiracies that can, do or could possibly succeed because there are a limited number of operatives involved a 'petite' conspiracy. Then there are I what I will call 'grand' conspiracies, of the type that many conspiracy theorists cling to and spread. They necessarily involve dozens, hundreds or even thousands of people "in the know" who will keep the secret under all circumstances, well past the point of reasonableness. Grand conspiracies, by their nature, are an assault on reason.

Like the poor, grand conspiracy theory adherents have and will always be with us. There will always be that portion of the population that is susceptible to and even eager to believe such. Some years ago, I had cause on numerous trying and tiring occasions to contend with an assortment of grand conspiracy theorists, including the neo-Nazi types. I concur with Rick Moran who
pointed out:

"The problem with debunking conspiracy theories...is one of time. It takes an enormous amount of time and effort to lay out the facts to refute these theories on a point by point basis..."

And also to my experience, Moran continues that even with a point by point debunking:

"...this is inadequate to the tidal wave of conspiracy spittle flowing from the corners of nutjob mouths."

I had spent hundreds of hours in point by point debunking for the sake of the observers of the debate, and not the person I was arguing with. I came to realize very early that overall ardent conspiracy theorists
cannot be reasoned with.

Patterns and Characteristics

I have followed more recent discussions, including with Truthers, engaged in by others. The 'unreasonable' and impossible to 'reason with' patterns of behavior and characteristics that I've seen demonstrated by grand conspiracy adherents inevitably manifest themselves. The logic, or illogic, of the person holding to the theory is simplistically linear while hiding behind an avalance of supposed facts , in the order of 'the rooster crowed, the sun rose, and therefore the rooster made the sun rise.' Only those 'facts' that provide linearity for the desired conspiracy conclusion have weight, and all others, whether mitigating or countering, are deemed irrelevant or simply ignored. The standard set by the conspiracy theorist is that the conspiratorial accusations have to be disproved beyond any shadow of a doubt or they stand. The conspiracy theorist pictures himself or herself in heroic terms, challenging power at considerable personal risk. Attempt to disprove the grand conspiracy theory is itself evidence of a conspiracy cover-up by the presumed conspirators and/or their lackeys, and demonstrates that the theory adherent has the conspirators unnerved. Persistent attacks on the veracity of the grand conspiracy theory is taken by the purveyor of the theory as persecution and attempts to enforce silence by the powerful forces of the conspiracy.

More importantly though are the characteristics the grand conspiracy theorist credits to those believed to be the conspirators. The presumed conspirators are inherently evil, totally without moral scruples. Nothing immoral is beyond them. The conspirators are invariably immensely powerful and able to accomplish extraordinary things as a matter of course. For example, they can pull off a plot that involves many dozens or hundreds or even thousands of co-conspirators with not one member of the conspiracy breaking ranks and divulging the secret for years or decades or more.

Grand conspiracy theories are nothing new in our history, but I cannot recall or find a situation where widespread acceptance of the theory could undermine our national will while we were faced with a threat. In battle, it is rarely necessary to completely annihilate the enemy force. It is much more possible and even desireable to inflict enough damage and casualties that the enemy no longer has the capacity to win and quits the fight. It is not dissimilar in the kind of struggle we are now in as it involves the national reason and therefore national will. Inflict enough damage on that national reason, and we may no longer have sufficient national will to prevail. That is what Ahmadinejad (and others) are working towards. That a large and possibly growing portion of the American body politic has allowed reason to give way to unreasonable grand conspiracy theory is a danger to us and our resolve.

The Pearl Harbor Conspiracy

The closest historical parallel to the 9/11 grand conspiracy theories of today is the Pearl Harbor conspiracy theory. Even so, where they are disimilar is noteworthy. As recounted in Ronald Lewin's 'The American Magic: Codes, Ciphers and the Defeat of Japan', during the election season of 1944, Republican Thomas Dewey was challenging FDR. Dewey and other Republicans in Congress had found out that the U.S. military had broken the Japanese diplomatic code (not Naval or military) prior to the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. That led to questions somewhat familiar to our post 9/11 experience. Was the attack known about beforehand, could it have been prevented and did the FDR administration "drop the ball" as we would now say. Dewey and his advisors were considering whether they should bring the matter up in the campaign as an issue, and demand answers.

General George C. Marshall, the Chief of Staff of the Army, got wind of the consideration given by Dewey to going public on the matter. Marshall sent a letter to Dewey, asking that Dewey not make the matter public, for national security reasons. According to Marshall, that code was still being used by the Japanese attache in Berlin, and valuable intelligence was being picked up that was saving American lives. If the Japanese knew the code was broken, they would change it. Dewey acquiesced and did not bring up the issue in the campaign.

The conspiracy theory that FDR and the government knew about the attack beforehand but failed to prevent or prepare for it didn't get started in earnest until 1945, the year the war ended. It quickly evolved to the more sinister claim that Roosevelt goaded the Japanese into the attack and intentionally let Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Fleet suffer that attack in order to garner public support for the war with Germany that FDR wanted. This tale is often called the "Mother of All Conspiracies".

Contrast that to our post 9/11 situation. With the FDR conspiracy, the claim that a President allowed or even facilitated an attack so as to enter a war that he was eager to engage in came when the war had basically ended. A political attack on that President during an election was not engaged in out of patriotism during a time when our troops were in harm's way. While this conspiracy theory is still debated and supported by some today, it was not used or encouraged for partisan advantage against FDR and it never hurt the war effort.

A Politicl Liability or Tool?

In our time, politicians have found, or believe they have found the acceptance of conspiracy theories, petite and even absurdly grand, to be of benefit to them, and the potential cost to the nation is not even taken into consideration. While some Republicans, particularly during the Clinton administration, have explicitly or implicitly endorsed conspiracy theories, particularly about President Bill Clinton, it is the Democratic Party that for some years has been progressively granting dignity and validation to grand conspiracy theories and the thought processes that keep them alive and growing. If the Zogby poll is anything like accurate, Democrats are twice as likely as Republicans to accept some kind of U.S. administration 9/11 conspiracy.

In the mid 1960s, the extremist and conspiracy theory laden John Birch Society, led by Robert Welch, was seen by many as the face of conservative-right politics in America. To Birchers like Welch, President Dwight David Eisenhower was a communist stooge. A group of young conservatives at National Review, including Wm. F. Buckley, William A. Rusher and Frank Meyer, publicly took on the Birchers, challenged their "paranoid and unpatriotic drivel" and drove them and other extremists out of the conservative right. That allowed the conservative movement to come to dominate the Republican Party and elect Ronald Reagan in 1980.

On the Democratic side, nothing like that has happened or is on the horizon. The current Democratic leadership has been both courting and encouraging the conspiracy theory extremists.

Watergate

Watergate and the disgrace and resignation of a Republican President remains a great political triumph in Democrat folklore. In the wake of the Watergate scandal, the Democrats picked up three Senate and forty-nine House seats in the 1974 election, and the Presidency in 1976. There was indeed Watergate conspiracy, as there were also cracks as parties privy to the machinations broke silence. Yet most of what falls under the heading of Watergate was tawdry, banal, inept and at times indeed criminal, but criminal in ways that were far from unusual for either party at the time.

During the 1964 Johnson-Goldwater election, President Johnson had used both the FBI and CIA as political instruments against his opponent, including having agents bug Goldwater's campaign plane. Attorney General Robert Kennedy authorized the wiretaps of Martin Luther King, with the result that President Johnson could listen in on King's sexual encounters so as to presumably protect national security. But the Watergate mythos created by the Democrats and assisted by their media auxiliaries was that the Democrats had saved America from the tyrant and his slavish horde who would "shred the Constitution" and turn our freedoms to ash.

The back to back Reagan landslides and the election of Bush Sr. flummoxed the Democrats, who had been riding high post-Watergate. Desperate for a winning approach, Democrats began presenting elections in terms of good (them) vs evil (Republicans), and every election the possible harbinger of Armageddon should the Democrats lose. This presentation has also increasingly fit the conspiracy theorist's predisposition to believe that ones opponents are pure evil and totally without moral scruples.

Much has been said of the decline of even basic civility in our political discourse. It is quite true that the vituperation has increased, but it has not been noted that this is largely because the grounds for that has shifted.

Disagreement Becomes Evil

In broad generalization of earlier vituperation, Carter was a self righteous and pompous incompetent, Reagan was an intellectual lightweight with a dangerous "cowboy" attitude, Bush Sr. was an out of touch corporate lackey, and Clinton was a slick salesman and corrupt schemer. After a brief but ultimately failed trial run in 1992 and 1993 against Reagan, the tag of "evil" had to wait until George Bush Jr.

The October Surprise

In 1992, the Democratic led Congress investigated the charged October Surprise conspiracy of the 1980 election, followed by a Democrat led Senate investigation in 1993. The charge was that during that 1980 race, the Reagan camp was concerned about an October Surprise that would give Carter the election. By that October 1980, Iranian militants had been holding fifty-two American hostages since the previous November. The Republicans supposedly feared that if Carter managed to obtain the release of the hostages before the election, Carter would win. Reaganites supposedly made a deal with the Iranians that they would not release the hostages until after the election, thereby aiding Reagan and hurting Carter. The charge was blatantly moronic and the investigations a shameful exercise in "seeking political gain". The public was supposed to accept that if the week before the vote the hostages were released, a mass of voters would disregard the Carter double-digit trifecta of inflation, unemployment and interest rates, the first and only invasion by Soviet forces of a country beyond the Iron Curtain (Afghanistan) since the end of WWII and the previous three hundred and fifty odd days the hostages were held to proclaim "Great job, Jimmy!". Reagan's ten point plurality and forty-four to six state victory would supposedly have vanished.

Of course, the conspiracy theory assumed that Reagan and other top Republicans were evil enough to arrange for the continued holding of American citizens by a hostile power. That didn't sell with any but the then fringe true conspiracy believers.

The Democrats claimed they had to investigate because of the logical fallacy of "the seriousness of the charges". That was self serving political nonsense. I could make the charge that the masked man beheading Nick Berg in the video released by the terrorists in Iraq was none other than Democratic Congressman Barney Frank. That would be a most serious charge, but no one would take it seriously because there are no reasonable grounds to assume the charge holds any merit, no matter how serious the charge may be.

The Democrats dignified a scurrilous conspiracy theory that still holds water for the nutroots at Daily Kos. Incidentally, the most prominent proponent of the theory was former National Security Council member and now Professor at Columbia University, Dr. Gary Sick, author of the 1991 "October Surprise: America's Hostages in Iran and the Election of Ronald Reagan". Only days ago at American Thinker, editor Thomas Lifson linked to a commentary that alleges that Dr. Sick was instrumental in arranging for Ahmadinejad's speaking engagement at Columbia.

A Petite Lull

With the Democratic capture of the White House for the eight years of the Clinton administration (Jan. 1993 - Jan. 2001), the desperation driven appeal to conspiracy theory laid fairly dormant, but not totally.

In 1998, when the Monica Lewisnsky scandal was breaking, First Lady Hillary Clinton claimed the existence of a "vast right-wing conspiracy that had been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president." She went on to claim, with some justification, that the various Clinton scandals (Lewinsky, Whitewater, the White House Travel Office firings, the Arkansas State Troopers, Paula Jones, campaign financing, etc.) were being used by Republicans for political gain. However, the flood of scandals were not mere fabrications and were in large part indications of less than wholesome behavior by Clinton and those around him. At the time that Hillary said that, at least publicly she believed her husband's denial of the Lewinsky affair. And as the current Hsu affair shows, the kindest thing that can be said about the Clintons is that they never developed or exercised a finely tuned moral olfactory sense so as to avoid that which fails the smell test.

Even so, the numerous charges against Bill Clinton were overwhelmingly not built and maintained on the idea that President Clinton and his administration were inherently and thoroughly evil, intent on destroying the nation, its laws and Constitution, and eliminating freedom to usher in something like a police state. There was nothing as fantastic as the 1980 October Surprise conspiracy or equal to a charge that he lied and mislead the country into an unnecessary war that led to thousands of American dead. That degree of conspiracy theorizing took off in 2003 when Bush was President, and increased dramatically during and after his successful run for re-election in 2004.

The Wilson-Plame Affair

In the summer of 2003, not long after the invasion of Iraq, we had the Wilson-Plame affair. Plamegate was nothing other than an absurd conspiracy theory at its inception. The theme immediately latched onto by Democrats and their media auxiliaries was that members of the Bush administration had outed covert agent Valerie Plame to reporter Robert Novak, to punish her husband, former Ambassador Joe Wilson, for an op-ed piece published in the NY Times. Wilson claimed that he had been sent to Niger by the CIA at the request of the Vice President's office to investigate possible purchases of nuclear material by Iraq, and that he had debunked any such idea. He further claimed that President Bush had lied in his SOTU speech when Bush said the "sixteen words". Several paragraphs down in a column published a week after Wilson's op-ed piece, Novak revealed almost offhandedly that it was confirmed to him by two administration officials that Wilson's wife was a CIA operative and that she was the person who recommended Wilson for the trip to Niger. That Wilson was sent by the CIA at the urging of his wife was both true, and by that time an essential but until then missing part of the story as the WSJ later pointed out. For a week, virtually the entire mass media until Novak's column had gotten the story wrong. Wilson intentionally mislead the media, and they and the lockstep left followed compliantly, down the path of presenting Wilson as something like the administration's "hand-picked" go-to-guy on investigating a WMD story. That was exactly how print, radio and television news presented the story and what gave the story "legs" until the Novak article. Novak asked what should be the good reporter's questions of "Who, How and Why" whereas the rest of the media just went where Wilson pointed. Years later, even the very same left blogger and Hillary campaign supporter who had touted the "hand-picked" story the day after Wilson's op-ed piece was apoplectically insisting that no one was so mislead by Wilson!

There was no attempt to explain why with the existence of myriad political critics of the Bush administration, Wilson-Plame had been singled out for punishment. It was never shown that Plame was even a covert agent or ever explained how the revelation 'punished' Wilson or Plame, who continued to work at the CIA for the next two years. No evidence of this conspiracy was ever uncovered after years of investigation by a Special Prosecutor. Wilson was indeed deserving of punishment, but not by the administration for criticizing it. He should have been punished in the press by the press for intentionally misleading them. However, two things prevented the press from doing so. One was that if they did, they would have to admit that they had been snookered, and probably willingly so. Second, exposing Wilson could conceivably help Bush, and that could not be allowed to happen.

So for many, the Wilson-Plame conspiracy stands, against all reason, and it fits the conspiracy theory mindset. Wilson falsely enlarged his own stature as the chosen investigator, so he would not be seen as what he was: a non-WMD-expert former State Department functionary with a disagreement with the administration. When countered by actual fact, he ran to conspiracy theory paranoia and the powerful forces seeking his punishment for speaking truth, and the Democratic left and the media ran with him. A reporter doing as reporters should do and not taking someone's story at face value but checking the facts was twisted to be a grand conspiracy. The result of it all was that the media gave a conspiracy theory fabricated pass to the man who more than any other led the charge that Bush lied about Hussein's WMDs, when the month before the invasion of Iraq the same man was arguing against the war on the grounds that Hussein most certainly had WMDs and would use them on our troops:

"There is now no incentive for Hussein to comply with the inspectors or to refrain from using weapons of mass destruction to defend himself if the United States comes after him. And he will use them; we should be under no illusion about that."

Misleading Us Into War

The Wilson-Plame affair opened the floodgates for the truly grand conspiracy that the Bush administration had mislead the nation into war by cherry picking, falsifying, corrupting and otherwise manipulating intelligence on Iraqi WMDs. "Bush lied - people died" became a mantra for the left. For that conspiracy to have worked, the Bush administration had to have had powers so diabolical and indeed magical that they managed to corrupt not only the product of our intelligence agencies, but also those of many other nations. Further, they had to have manipulated that intelligence even before they took office so as to mislead numerous Democrats in the years preceding their taking office. Even more, they had to have mislead Hans Blix, the chief U.N. weapons inspector prior to the war to be concerned that Iraq might have been holding 1,000 tons of chemical agents that were unaccounted for.

The charge that Bush had mislead the country into war became a set piece of the Kerry campaign in 2004 and in his speeches since:

"There is no greater breach of the public trust than knowingly misleading the country into war."

Media Diversion Conspiracies

Speaking to Mort Kondracke and others, former Secretary of State under Bill Clinton, Madeleine Albright speculatively asked "Do you suppose that the Bush administration has Osama bin Laden hidden away somewhere and will bring him out before the election?' "

After the capture of Saddam Hussein, in a conspiracy mindset common to the comments section of Daily Kos whenever news that favors Bush is reported, Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott stated that the U.S. military could have captured Hussein:

"...a long time ago if they wanted. . . . Yeah. Oh, yeah. There's too much by happenstance for it to be just a coincidental thing. . . . It's funny, when they're having all this trouble, suddenly they have to roll out something."

Fahrenheit 911

During the summer of 2004 Michael Moore's 'Fahrenheit 911' was released. It was a scurrilous conspiracy fantasy masquerading as a documentary. The Democratic 'establishment' went to great lengths to grant credibilty to the absurdist claims in the film. At the Democratic convention later that summer, Americans got to see Moore sitting in former President Jimmy Carter's box. A Who's Who of Democratic Party leaders were shown on television attending a screening of the film, including then Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, Montana Sen. Max Baucus, South Carolina Sen. Ernest Hollings, Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Florida Sen. Bill Nelson, New York Rep. Charles Rangel, Washington Rep. Jim McDermott, and DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe. Sen. Harkin was quoted by AP as saying that all Americans should see the film. DNC chairman McAuliffe was asked about the film's implication that we went to war in Afghanistan to allow Unocal to build a gas pipeline across the country to Dick Cheney's financial benefit. He answered "I believe it after seeing that." McAuliffe also answered in the affirmative when asked if the film was essentially fair and factually based.

As DNC chairman, McAuliffe traveled in a social and professional circle that included Democratic leaders of the Senate and House, and some of those sat on the various intelligence and defence committees. For McAuliffe, with those connections, to claim that he came to believe we went to war in Afghanistan over a gas pipeline and for private profit because he just saw it in a movie was a leading Democrat making appeal to and encouraging the basest grand conspiracy unreasoning lunatics in our society.

Stolen Elections

No matter which way it turned out, the 2000 election was going to leave bitterness in its wake. It was tremendously close, and the outcome was seen by many to have been determined by a judicial as opposed to an electorate decision. It was the Gore campaign, however, that first took the issue before the courts, and hoped it would end at the Florida and not Federal Supreme Court. The 2004 election was not so close, and the vote tally itself was decisive without recounts. Yet Democrats have persisted in feeding the idea of a conspiracy that stole the 2004 election. During the incident earlier this month at the University of Florida where student Andrew Meyer was tasered by campus police during a question and answer session with John Kerry, the taser story and Meyer's screams drowned out Kerry' remarks about that election. Meyer questioned why Kerry had not challenged the outcome of the election, citing the book 'Armed Madhouse' by Greg Palast. Palast's book claims to prove that the election was stolen. Kerry said he had "already read it" and said that his reason for not contesting the election was that "We just couldn't do it in good conscience because we didn't have that evidence." Kerry gave credibility and legitimacy to the absurd conspiracy theory. If Kerry were a man of principle and one who cared for our democratic system, he would have flatly stated the truth that he didn't contest the election simply because Bush had won and he had lost.

NSA Wiretaps

Shortly after the NY Times revealed details of the NSA intercept program, Democrats and the left went wild charging the administration with "spying on Americans", "invading our homes", "trampling our freedom", a "violation of constitutional rights and liberties" and engaging in "conduct right in the strike zone of the concept of high crimes and misdemeanors", the last from Senator Russ Feingold. From Sen. Pat Leahy we got "We need to know what our government is doing to spy upon Americans". Senator Jay Rockefeller had been briefed on the program as the ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committe prior to the NY Times disclosure. He wrote the infamous CYA letter admitting that without the aid of others parties with whom he could not discuss the issue due to security, he was absolutely clueless as to what the program was about. The complexity was beyond him, and Rockefeller has never been accused of being the sharpest knife in the pile of discarded old knives. If he were a principled man, he would have asked to be replaced as ranking member by someone who could understand, acknowledging that of course the Intelligence Committee leadership would have to be privy to national security items they could not divulge to others. That would be sacificing the personal for the national good, and as such, it never happened. But the Rockefeller letter and subsequent events have indicated that the program was and is more complex than the Democrats realized (or cared about) when they were railing against the administration. In the last year, the issue quietly died down, with increased understanding and some fine tuning to sooth the Congress. However, the Democrats have never retracted the shrill and absurd charges made, leaving them permanently interwoven with the conspiracy theories about the Bush administration.

The Conspiracy Norm

Conspiracy theory, including the grand variety, is now commonplace. The unremarkable (by Democratic Party standards) dismissal of seven federal prosecutors whose four year terms had expired becomes a "coup d'etat" and "a secretive attempt to expand executive power" and the White House and Justice Department's "scheming is tainted with a nasty whiff of authoritarianism." Former VP Gore speaks of a conspiracy of polluters. General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker were part of a conspiracy to cook the books on the Iraq war and Democratic members of the Senate and House went along with the theme if not the same words.

Add that and more up, and we have an administration so evil that it misleads a country into a war that costs many thousands of lives and does such things to financially reward its members and friends, violates our Constitution and laws with impunity, plots to put the families of political opponents in danger, spies on the average citizen, corrupts law enforcement, steals elections repeatedly, manipulates the intelligence product of our own and foreign agencies so as to further manipulate members of Congress even across space and time...

...and at what point are the '9/11 Truthers' that unreasonably far from the Democratic mainstream?

Reasonable people can have serious disagreements - reasonably. If those who are polluting our national reason continue down this road, we become more and more open to failure to counter threat to our survival as a society, from abroad, or from within, because we will not be able to reasonably arrive at a national consensus.

If the left and the media doing this cannot see the strategic danger to the nation, then they should at least see the danger to themselves and their positions. They should read the comments at Daily Kos, DU and the Huffington Post. They should notice something that should chill them to their bones. Every time the Democrats fail to counter something seen as Bushite, and every time the media reports a story seeming to help the Bushites - the Democrats and media are seen by a growing number as part of the 'evil conspiracy'.

Ahmadinejad and other foreigners will most certainly seek to attack our national reason and therefore national will to weaken us. But even if they fail, how long before the irrational horde the left and the media are busily creating turns and devours its creators?

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AV,無碼,a片免費看,自拍貼圖,伊莉,微風論壇,成人聊天室,成人電影,成人文學,成人貼圖區,成人網站,一葉情貼圖片區,色情漫畫,言情小說,情色論壇,臺灣情色網,色情影片,色情,成人影城,080視訊聊天室,a片,A漫,h漫,麗的色遊戲,同志色教館,AV女優,SEX,咆哮小老鼠,85cc免費影片,正妹牆,ut聊天室,豆豆聊天室,聊天室,情色小說,aio,成人,微風成人,做愛,成人貼圖,18成人,嘟嘟成人網,aio交友愛情館,情色文學,色情小說,色情網站,情色,A片下載,嘟嘟情人色網,成人影片,成人圖片,成人文章,成人小說,成人漫畫,視訊聊天室,性愛,聊天室,情色,a片,AV女優

劉德華Andy said...

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Anonymous said...

I couldn t agree more! GJ! financial help