The contest between liberty and security has been…fought on the public stage by every President from George Washington to Barack Obama. Each generation, from those facing rebellion in the 1860s to those pushing back against government intrusions a century later, has debated where to strike a balance. But in the…world of 21st century law enforcement, where terrorist threats can hide behind our most cherished freedoms, the battle sometimes takes place in government documents so obscure that they escape public notice.
There was George Bush himself, on Thursday…at the dedication of the Presidential library whose archives will hold evidence of the disaster of his war. It is important to…wonder which Iraqi ghost we are confronting. We have heard about false intelligence before, and, rightly, want to know why it’s different this time. But there is also the question of how to deal with chemical weapons if you do know that they’re there. If, in the first few days in Iraq, we had secured a cache of sarin, would we now be content with the images from Fallujah, with the bungling of the occupation, with the terrible human price that ordinary Iraqis paid? The falsity of the opening adds a sordid layer to it all—but war, even scrubbed of lies, isn’t pretty. Of course, unlike in Iraq, Syria is already engaged in an increasingly unhinged civil war, and, in a basic, human, way, we are…keen to do something. But what?
[MSNBC] managed to hang on for a couple more years before accidentally hitting upon an identity that worked. Right after Hurricane Katrina, in the summer of 2005, Keith Olbermann delivered a “Special Comment” at the end of his show about the Bush administration’s incompetence. Even though it was an instant sensation, picking up millions of hits online, [it was] demanded that Olbermann stop…But Olbermann, being Olbermann, persisted…This is how MSNBC as we know it developed: haphazardly…
more. and see Olbermann’s comment, above.
Republican reformers are reluctant to admit the obstacle that Bush’s legacy poses to public confidence on foreign affairs. Although they acknowledge that the wars have been unpopular and expensive, they present these facts…as if the deaths of nearly 7,000 Americans were the result of weather or other uncontrollable forces…Who do they think they’re fooling? Then there’s the economy…long-term problems of unemployment, wage stagnation, and rising health-care and education costs…they are reluctant to acknowledge that the Bush administration did little to reverse these trends, and in some ways exacerbated them…the Bush administration regarded tax cuts as a signature achievement. Ordinary citizens have long…memories.