Thursday, June 29, 2006

NYT Vs. The Flag

You know, I'm still exercised about the whole revealing war secrets thing. But there are people angrier than me and more eloquent too. Via Glenn Reynolds, he quotes Robert Cox:

We will never know the full extent of the damage caused by The New York Times in disclosing the SWIFT monitoring program but have no doubt it was not a benign act. Whatever agony Keller may have gone through in deciding to publish the story will pale in comparison to the agony of the victims of the next terror attack, an attack that might have been prevented save for Keller’s choice.

Playwright David Mamet once wrote of elites “you’re all the same … It’s always ‘What I’m going to do for you.’ Then you screw up and then its ‘we did the best we could. I’m dreadfully sorry’ and people like us live with your mistakes the rest of our lives.”

We may be living with Keller’s mistake for a long time to come.

No kidding. Meanwhile, a lot of other people are exercised about Flag Burning. I'll say it up front: I"m not. Frankly, I don't give a termite turd. Yes, yes, burning the flag is offensive and ignorant and annoying and disrespectful. Everyone knows this. But in a free country, I think people should be free to reveal that they are complete asses. Flag burning is one activity that reveals this.

You see, I want to be free to burn what I want. It doesn't bother me if someone wants to burn a flag, a Bible or a Koran, for that matter. It's a free country homeslice. If you want to piss-off God, you have to answer to Him on the other side. Why should us mere mortals have more fragile sensibilities? Are any of these activities nice or polite or politically correct? Well, burning the Bible and Flag, that's okay with a big minority. And yes, it bugs me that such "counter culture" intellect-wanna-bes think they demonstrate profound truths by peeing and defecating and burning Christian symbols. Mostly, it bugs me if my tax dollars go for their stupid "art".

If, on the other hand, some arteeeste wants to make a "bold statement" with his own two pence and piles of poop, may the force be with him. It's America. It reveals our strength as a nation that even unimagininative 40 year old basement dwellars are allowed to live in peace and pursue their happiness, warped as it is.

So while Flag Burning is like red ant bite, painful and irritating, the New York Times revealing national security secrets with less circumspection than the neighborhood gossip is like a bullet wound to the guts. America is bleeding right now, maybe to death, and we don't even know it. During the next big attack, when fellow Americans take their last ragged breath at the hand of demented but well-informed terrorists, the New York Times can at least have the satisfaction of knowing their treacherous paper will be the last thing people think about. At least they are notorious.

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