Star Chamber.  Lettres de cachetLos desaparecidos.  I used to wince at the counter-productivity of such hyperbole.  No longer.

Jim and his crew have some sober thoughts, including the not-useless perspective that the Republic has been stained by previous outrages and returned to sanity.  Dahlia, however, points out the truly depressing aspect of Congress’s vote: up until now, the Bush Administration’s extraordinary rendition, secret gulags, and pervasive culture of "smacky-face" were unilateral, exigent, and certain to be found illegal.  Now, in a breathtaking lunge of hubris and cynicism, Bush has bluffed Congress into making it legal.  Our Generalissimo asked if he needed to justify the detention of "enemy combatants" or let them have a trial, and Congress—we, the people—said "No, thanks."

I don’t really know what to say about this; before all Americans—those who came before and shed their blood against George III, Jefferson Davis, and Hitler; and those yet to come who will look back with contempt—I feel a deep and abiding shame.  Letting this wound demoralize us into apathy is surely Rove’s fondest hope, yet decency requires a moment of mourning and anguish—it simply hurts too much.

In due time, we shall remember the 253 and the 65, as will history.  I cannot say who will be less forgiving.



Congratulations to that Straight-Talkin’™ Maverick™, Sen. John McCain (R-Gulf of Tonkin), who has managed to Sen. Hillary "Helen Lovejoy" Clinton (D-Turtle Bay) seem a model of courage and integrity.



Everything you ever needed to know about The Corner:

I wish everyone would choose sides so forthrightly and unambiguously. I know where America stands with Hugo Chavez. Do you know where we stand with Jacques Chirac?.



Thomas Hoepker, whose photo I posted previously, responded to the controversy sparked by Frank Rich’s interpretation.  I responded in turn:

The picture, I felt, was ambiguous and confusing: Publishing it might distort the reality as we had felt it on that historic day.

It doesn't matter what the subjects or the photographer were thinking at the time that the photo was taken.  What matters is what the photographer was thinking when he (initially) withheld it from publication.  As Hoepker said, he felt the pitcure was ambiguous, and ambiguity was the last thing many people wanted to feel in the days and weeks (and, unfortunately, years) after 9/11.  They wanted it to be Pearl Harbor.  Others wanted it to be Dealey Plaza. Some couldn't shake the impression that it was just Die Hard.

The people who would have been outraged by Hoepker’s photo in September 2001 and continue to express outrage five years later were relieved by the simplification they thought 9/11 brought to their lives.  "It was an act of war," they declared, and they have been desperate to keep that state of war going, lest they have to start thinking critically about enormously complex subjects, as the people in Hoepker’s photo appear to be doing.



Five years of craven narcissism is more than enough.  This is what self-respect looks like:
Give it a try.