November 13, 2005
What a difference a presidency makes
[W]e’ve been at war before, nasty, brutish wars, one war with civilization itself on the line, yet somehow, we always managed to be the good guy. That is not to say our soldiers and sailors and fliers were always good, immune from committing atrocities. It is not to say our officials were always good, untouched by dirty deeds done in clandestine ways. Finally, it is not to say our cause was always good, free from the taint of imperialism or expedience.
But we - the collective we, the official we, the face shown in light of day we - were the good guys.
… And you know what? People believed us. They rush to our shores because there is freedom here, yes, because there is opportunity here, yes, but also because we stood for something, which was more than the tin-pot tyrants who ran their countries could ever say.
What a difference a presidency makes. “We do not torture,” he says.
In the name of fighting terror we have terrorized, and in the name of defending our values we have betrayed them. We have imprisoned Muslims in America and refused to say if we had them, why we had them or even to provide them attorneys. We have passed laws making it easier for government to snoop into what you read, whom you talk to, where you go. We have equated dissent with lack of patriotism, disagreement with treason.
And we have tortured.
Yes, we have.
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