Thursday, January 26, 2006

Walter Cronkite on Secrecy and Lies

This is an old column by Walter Cronkite, but it's been making the e-mail rounds again lately, maybe because the White House is telling all its aids not to say anything in the Katrina hearings. Or maybe it's because Bush said he was getting warrants and now proudly says he's not. Or maybe people just like hearing the calming words of a man they trusted for so many years.

At work this past week, two Republicans whom I've known for years looked like I punched them in the stomach when I answered their "how are you's" with, "I'll be better when Bush is impeached." One of them, the more honest one, I suppose, admitted how disapointed he is with the Bush Junta. I find their grief amusing, to say the least. When greedy people who buy into bullshit suddenly find themselves swimming in it, I'll be damned if I'm going to throw them a life preserver. After all, these are the people who say I hate America, that I'm as bad as the terrorists, that I want to help the terrorists, that I'm weak on defense (I supported Wes Clark, for Christsake), and that John Kerry didn't deserve his medals. These are the same people who want to force creationism to be taught in schools, who want to have mandatory prayer in school, who have increased poverty (what would their Jesus say about that) and laughed about it because it's only fair that all those lazy poor people should get off the free ride.

So, no, I don't feel bad about their grief, shame, and disappointment. In fact, I think it's just the beginning of what they should feel. After all, these are the people who fought Oregon's Death with Dignity Act, who fought the right of cancer patients to smoke cheap, effective medicine. These two acts together mean they wanted cancer patients to suffer painful, horrible deaths without options their doctors might otherwise offer them. If I were like them, and belived in Leviticus and all those other quaint Old Testament rules, I'd say they should have to suffer the same pain and horror they wanted inflicted on those people. Now that would be justice.

But I'll settle for impeachment.

WHEN SECRECY PROTECTS A LIE
Walter Cronkite, April 5, 2004

The initial refusal of President Bush to let his national security adviser appear under oath before the 9/11 Commission might have been in keeping with a principle followed by other presidents -- the principle being, according to Bush, that calling his advisers to testify under oath is a congressional encroachment on the executive branch's turf.

(Never mind that this commission is not a congressional body, but one he created and whose members he handpicked.)

But standing on that principle has proved to be politically damaging, in part because this administration -- the most secretive since Richard Nixon's -- already suffers from a deepening credibility problem. It all brings to mind something I've wondered about for some time: Are secrecy and credibility natural enemies?

Read the rest here.

1 comment:

monica v said...

nice to read the truth somewhere other than Democracy Now war and peace report. what about people w/o computers who are glued to corporate tv. what to do, what to do.