…and so, for that matter, was Naomi Wolf:
All those who seek to close down an open society invoke a terrifying external threat. Why is it so important for such leaders to whip up this kind of terror in a population?
Free citizens will not give up freedom for very many reasons, but it is human nature to be willing to trade freedom for security. People fear chaos and violence above all. Before 1922 in Italy and before 1933 in Germany, citizens of those nations suffered from mayhem playing out on the streets and labored in economies ravaged by inflation and war. In both Italy and Germany, many citizens were eventually relieved when fascists came to power because they believed that order would be restored.
The End of America, Chapter 2.
If this brings to mind all those “orange alerts” and likely “imminent” terrorist attacks, then…welcome to the crazy, dirty, hippie, left wing: where you’re always wrong, even when you’re right.
Now that former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge has publicly admitted the terror alert levels were manipulated for political gain, can we expect a flood of apologies from all those Very Serious People who implied Governor Dean was some kind of lunatic for saying as much? Will the Mainstream Media and pundits actually admit they were wrong? Why, that’s hippie talk! Go sit in the corner with your hemp blanket and your Ben & Jerry’s, hippie. The Grownups are talking.
Ambinder’s belief that there is nothing other than blind “Bush hatred” that could have justified such a belief — and his accompanying self-defense that journalists like him had no way of knowing any of this — is patently false. Here is a 2006 Time column by Josh Marshall that details the ample empirical evidence suggesting that “that the Bush Administration orchestrates its terror alerts and arrests to goose the GOP’s poll numbers.” And here is an exhaustive and lengthy (17 minutes) segment from Keith Olbermann early last year that “weaves from each revelation of an intelligence failure or a Democratic political victory to an almost immediate orange alert or ‘new threat’ from al Qaeda.” Olbermann’s conclusion after examining all the evidence: “what we were told about terror, and not told, for security reasons, has overlapped considerably with what we were told about terror, and not told, for political reasons” (Olbermann had been raising the same suspicion for many years).
The reason journalists such as Ambinder saw no such evidence wasn’t because it didn’t exist. It existed in abundance; you had to suffer from some form of moral, intellectual or emotional blindness not to see it. It’s because they didn’t want to see it, because — as Ambinder said — they trusted the Bush administration as good and decent people who might err but would never do anything truly dishonest. It’s because only loser Leftist ideologues distrusted Bush officials and the overriding goal of establishment journalists is to prove that they are not like them, that they’re much more Serious and responsible and thus would never attribute bad motives to government leaders such as those who ran the Bush administration.
That’s the same reason most establishment journalists instinctively oppose investigations of Bush officials: the people who rule over their Washington court may make mistakes, but they never do anything dishonest or criminal. They certainly don’t blatantly lie. These journalists are the anti-I.F. Stones. And that’s why political leaders know they can get away with blatant lying and lawbreaking. Why is that, Marc Ambinder? Because “most journalists are going to give the government the benefit of some doubt, even having learned lessons about giving the government that benefit.”