Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Media Matters - CNN's O'Brien questioned the patriotism of Vietnam vets protesting administration's actions in Iraq

Media Matters - CNN's O'Brien questioned the patriotism of Vietnam vets protesting administration's actions in Iraq:

"The two guests, Air Force veteran David Patterson and Navy veteran Joseph DuRocher, returned their medals accompanied by letters addressed to President Bush. In his letter, Patterson objected to the 'hate, torture and death' provoked by the Bush administration's foreign policy. DuRocher, who sent Bush his lieutenant's shoulder bars and Navy wings, wrote in his letter:

Until your administration, I believed it was inconceivable that the United States would ever initiate an aggressive and preemptive war against a country that posed no threat to us. Until your administration, I thought it was impossible for our nation to take hundreds of persons into custody without provable charges of any kind, and to 'disappear' them into holes like Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and Bagram. Until your administration, in my wildest legal fantasy I could not imagine a U.S. Attorney General seeking to justify torture or a President first stating his intent to veto an anti-torture law, and then adding a 'signing statement' that he intends to ignore such law as he sees fit. I do not want these things done in my name.

In introducing the segment, O'Brien immediately called into question the patriotism of Patterson's and DuRocher's actions. He asked, '[I]s it the patriotic thing to do?' "

Why, yes, Mr. O'Brian, it is.

Now, in reading the transcript, which one may find exerpted at the above link, it is possible that O'Brian was playing the devil's advocate, or practicing defensive journalism.

But O'Brian, and all his less and more conciencious collegagues need a "come to jesus moment" on this fundimental Constitutional principle; there is nothing more purely Patriotic in an American sense than questioning authority and demanding an intelligable, coherent, factual and relevant response.

They are accountable to us. And they are accountable to public debate and consensus. So when members of the "fifth estate" start speaking as if the reverse were true - it reveals a pungent whiff of rot in the edifice of our Freedoms.

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