Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

"Serving the Goals of Al-Qaeda"?

The president's top advisor for homeland security claims that at least some critics of the administration's anti-terrorism strategy "serve the goals of Al-Qaeda."  More evidence that "dissent is patriotic" only when a Republican is in the White House.

Discussions - 2 Comments

I was initially thinking that this op-ed would bother me, since I'm always disgusted when The Leaders question the patriotism of the dissenters (I've been accused of hating America and other nonsense plenty of times) - and I know that far too often Obama has just proven to be doing things in a very Bush-lite kind of way - but then I read the op-ed itself:

http://blogs.usatoday.com/oped/2010/02/opposing-view-we-need-no-lectures.html?csp=34

and I didn't see anything in it that actually questioned the patriotism of the critics of recent anti-terror policies instituted since Obama took office. To say that

"Politically motivated criticism and unfounded fear-mongering only serve the goals of al-Qaeda. Terrorists are not 100-feet tall. Nor do they deserve the abject fear they seek to instill."

is only to say that, not to say that the critics actually don't love Our Homeland (cue trumpet blare). If there's anything that the Right loves to do, it's to play up just how scary and terrifying The Evil-doers are. To instill fear (to terrorize?). So, I think the author is correct in assessing that such critics ARE "serving the goals of Al-Qaeda." - despite the fact that the critics obviously hate Al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists at least as much as the next guy. Al Qaeda wants people scared of them, wants people fearful, as does the Right. There's a certain paradox involved, but it's not that complicated, really.

Whereas, during Dubya years, questioning CIA black sites, renditions to countries that torture, torture at Abu Ghraib, torture and deaths at Gitmo, questioning the necessity for the war (Iraq), civilian deaths in Afghanistan and Iraq - all of that was actually lumped in with hating America and WANTING to help Al Qaeda. That was truly about calling the dissenters' patriotism into question. This (the op-ed at issue) is not that.

So, this post is a red herring, as Brennan isn't calling anyone's patriotism into question.

And this, really, is the money quote from the piece:

"Would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid was read his Miranda rights five minutes after being taken off a plane he tried to blow up. The same people who criticize the president today were silent back then."

So, if the author actually were questioning the patriotism of administration critics, you'd have a case, and your "evidence" - but he didn't, so you don't.

Did you think that dissent was patriotic during the Bush years?

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