Truth to Power

The contemptible Mr. Clinton

A Lethal Hypocrisy

By JAMES BOVARD

Yesterday, on the fifteenth anniversary of the attack on the federal office building in Oklahoma City, former President Bill Clinton had an op-ed in the New York Times headlined: “Violence is Unacceptable in a Democracy.” The article settles any doubts about whether Clinton was one of the most talented demagogues of modern times.

Casting a net of collective guilt over much of the 48 contiguous states, Clinton announced that the 1995 bombing was the fault of people who believed “that the greatest threat to American freedom is our government, and that public servants do not protect our freedoms, but abuse them.” People who distrusted government helped echo ideas which somehow persuaded “deeply alienated and disconnected Americans” to carry out the attack.

In other words, people who harshly criticize the government are guilty of – or at least complicit in – mass murder.

Clinton warned that “there is a big difference between criticizing a policy or a politician and demonizing the government that guarantees our freedoms and the public servants who enforce our laws.”

And who is to judge when criticizing turns into demonizing? The politicians themselves? Or perhaps the Department of Homeland Security, with its reports on the perils of “extremists” who believe in the Constitution and civil liberties? And then there is always the FBI, which views practically anyone who thinks Washington is full of crap as a dangerous extremist.

And what of the “public servants” who violate citizens’ rights, unjustifiably shoot or Taser them, fabricate evidence against them, or otherwise make their lives hell? What of the congressmen who vote in favor of laws that authorize torture or suspend habeas corpus? What of Justice Department lawyers who craft briefs proving why the president is a Czar?

Fifteen years after the Oklahoma City bombing, we must also remember the danger from politicians who place government above the law and above the people.</em>


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