Fearful authoritarians like Brian Kilmeade and his ilk are pretty quick to sell their American birthright for what Franklin called a little "temporary security." These are the kinds of Americans who brought us the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act of 2006. I wrote about the latter at the time it passed (Asheville Citizen-Times 10-22-06):
The detainee treatment question is not about the blackness of terrorists’ hearts.I have run out of patience with even describing these "principled patriots" as torture apologists. They are torture deniers.
It is about our own hearts. About our standards of behavior, not theirs. Neitzsche cautioned, “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster.”
Fighting terrorism requires tough measures. Tough, but smart. And effective.
Promoting democracy requires living by our principles, not retreating from them.
America aspires to set a standard for the world, a moral high bar so high that sometimes she fails in reaching it. In our post-Sept. 11 zeal we allowed our enemies to re-set that bar for us — ankle-high. Stay one step above those who cut off prisoners heads on videotape and we can still claim moral superiority. Not that the world will pay attention any longer.
Osama bin Laden wants to destroy America? He needn’t bother. We just might do it for him.