Monday, August 27, 2007

The Post-Post-9/11 Era

The resignation of political hack Attorney General Al Gonzales today is the latest sign we are entering (for lack of a better term) the Post-Post-9/11 era. It feels a little like waking up from a hangover after a massive drunk.

The Post-9/11 era was most clearly identifiable by the cynical manipulation of fear for political purposes and the willingness to allow America to slip dangerously towards a police state in order to "protect" ourselves in the "War on Terrorism." This became the blanket reason used to justify any act, no matter how onerous or petty, including erosion of civil liberties, domestic spying, extra-legal kidnapping and torture, to name a few.

I finally saw the Bourne Ultimatum this weekend; in it, the CIA is depicted as running amuck outside the law. One of the trailers included Rendition, which depicts an "extraordinary rendition" of a woman's husband and her efforts on his behalf.

We can thank Al "I don't recall" Gonzales for much of this: he wrote many of the legal justifications used by the Bush Administration. The house of cards built by him and Karl Rove seem to be collapsing under the scrutiny of Congressional oversight.

Karl Rove, who also recently jumped ship, boasted he'd built a "permanent Republican majority." That phrase reminds me more than a little of the "Thousand Year Reich."

And tell me, am I the only person for whom the term "Homeland" (as in "Homeland Security") is just a little too reminiscent of "The Fatherland?"

1 comment:

Dan Brekke said...

Dr. Ralph, the word "homeland" has precisely the same resonance for me. In fact, one of the more startling things to me about the term is how quickly it came forward and was embraced after the attacks. On one level that phenomenon made perfect sense: it crystallized Bush's apparent pre-9/11 preference for reducing the federal government to a military and security institution (everything else would be spun off to the states, where it would die for want of funding, or to private enterprise, which would kill it through excessive profit-mongering). Still, the manner in which "homeland" was one day just a word in a few analysts' and insiders' vocabulary and the next part of a cabinet title -- that's startling.

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