Friday, November 24, 2006

No Paradise Lost

[posted by Callimachus]

I am surprised that so many of my anti-administration friends, who for as long as I have known them have spoken eloquently and often about America's hypocrisy and guilt, profess at the same time to believe they are thwarting Bush in some fiendish plot to subvert America's hitherto-flourishing freedoms and virtues.

The White House's policies on interrogation and wiretapping may well be antithetical to American virtues and poisonous to democracy. But they also have been standard practice for most of the administrations that led America since the middle of the last century -- and quite a few before. Lincoln was the first who showed how it could be done. In Bush's shoes, Kennedy (and Bobby, too) certainly would have done the same.

If we are to refuse the federal government the power to eavesdrop on us without some prior legal approval, or the CIA the ability to detain and torture suspects in secret, let us at least acknowledge these things for what they are: A new course for our government, not any sort of return to normal.