It’s a shame and one of my biggest complaints is that people’s attention span now fits in 140 character or less bites. I think it’s a Chinese water torture death to the brain one Tweet drip at a time and dovetails with media’s financial and social responsibility bankruptcy. Long(er) form journalism and intelligent social commentary do exist, but finding it and getting people to read it are also a problem. Unfortunately.
One person I follow to fill that void is Glenn Greenwald.
One of the reasons I pay attention to him is he doesn’t seem to have a political agenda in addition to his background as an attorney wit a background in Constitutional law and civil rights. He is not some baseless blogger. Sure his column is on the liberal Salon.com website, but he is certainly not afraid to hold Obama responsible for his shortcomings. He doesn’t seem to blindly follow rhetoric or emotion but tends to stick to the facts. I don’t always agree with him, but recently he has been on the money.
There’s been a few pieces he has done recently that I had wanted to blog about but today’s just summed things up pretty eloquently.
If you have read this far, please continue reading at least this first piece by him.
The invasion of Iraq was unquestionably one of the greatest crimes of the last several decades. Imagine what future historians will say about it — a nakedly aggressive war launched under the falsest of pretenses, in brazen violation of every relevant precept of law, which destroyed an entire country, killed huge numbers of innocent people, and devastated the entire population. Have we even remotely treated it as what it is? We’re willing to concede it was a “mistake” — a good-natured and completely understandable lapse of judgment — but only the shrill and unhinged among us call it a crime.
He pretty succinctly sums things up while pointing out some of the hard to face truths as a country we can’t seem to admit or own up to.
A post of Greenwald’s from a few days ago.
Just think about this for a minute. Barack Obama, like George Bush before him, has claimed the authority to order American citizens murdered based solely on the unverified, uncharged, unchecked claim that they are associated with Terrorism and pose “a continuing and imminent threat to U.S. persons and interests.”
This one outlining the United State’s sanctioning of killing it’s own citizens without any criminal trial. (And I thought the death penalty was bad. At least people on death row have had the luxury of a semblance of justice.) It sounds inflammatory, but Greenwald strikes a few points where you realize the title of the article is not as sensationalistic as it first sounds.
This post was after Obama’s State of the Union address.
There’s a reason that Supreme Court Justices — along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff — never applaud or otherwise express any reaction at a State of the Union address. It’s vital — both as a matter of perception and reality — that those institutions remain apolitical, separate and detached from partisan wars. The Court’s pronouncements on (and resolutions of) the most inflammatory and passionate political disputes retain legitimacy only if they possess a credible claim to being objectively grounded in law and the Constitution, not political considerations.
I posted earlier about my horror of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in the Citizens United case and there has been a dust up about catching Justice(?) Alito’s mouthing when their ruling was mentioned.
Greenwald takes what would likely be blown over or missed by most media (not even just mainstream media) and talks about the subtle implications. Well done.