Jul 4, 2007

More on Scooter Libby's Commutation

Glenn Greenwald writes at Salon.com in an essay on the Libby matter what I think are touchstone words:

What kind of country do we expect to have when we have a ruling Washington class that believes that they and their fellow members of the Beltway elite constitute a separate class, one that resides above and beyond the law? That is plainly what they believe. And we now have exactly the country that one would expect would emerge from a political culture shaped by such a deeply insulated, corrupt and barren royal court.

In Federalist No. 70, Alexander Hamilton described the defining power of the King which made the British monarchy intolerably corrupt: "In England, the king is a perpetual magistrate; and it is a maxim which has obtained for the sake of the public peace, that he is unaccountable for his administration, and his person sacred." Thomas Paine proclaimed in Common Sense "that so far as we approve of monarch, that in America THE LAW IS KING." But little effort is required to see how far removed we now are from those basic principles.
If you don't know Greenwald's work, go to it via the link to the right----->

Or you might start with a wonderful piece he did on the failure of the Media to do investigation and fact checking of the most basic stories. I have argued with a few of my friends over the past years--and it was one reason why I went to Memphis in January for the conference on the Media--that truth has not been and still is not given to us by most of American journalists and broadcasters. They are lazy and understaffed, slavish to the whims of their corporate owners, and cannot be bothered with checking government statements. They are indeed merely regurgitating government press releases like the drones out of Orwell's
1984 in the "Ministry of Truth. "

Reading his piece you will at least see the deep connection between the stories we are given by our major news sources and what used to be called the Global War on Terror (GWOT), the term that is no longer being used by the current administration, given that it has been burned so indelibly into our consciousness there is no more need for it. But as soon as you see the word "Al Qaeda" you unquestioningly accept it as truth, and shiver, and throw out all other important concerns out of deep fearfulness.

Read Greenwald's essay on War Reporting if you do nothing else this week, and put a little independence into your mind. His piece is priceless if for no other reason than the excerpt from David Halberstam's commencement speech at the Columbia School of Journalism on this past May 18.

Happy Fourth of July! Honk if you love Justice.

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