Truth to Power

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Fear destroys what bin Laden could not

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

By Robert Steinback

12/27/05 “Miami Herald” – – 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.

That’s no America I know, I would have argued. We’re too strong, and we’ve been through too much, to be led down such a twisted path.

What is there to say now?

All of these things have happened. And yet a large portion of this country appears more concerned that saying ‘‘Happy Holidays’’ could be a disguised attack on Christianity.</i>


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