January 11, 2011


While everybody (and me) has been looking at Arizona, for good and varied reasons, it has fallen to Glenn Greenwald to point out another piece of the puzzle that deals with the devolution of American society, and just like hate speech, just like the gun fetish that is growing more and more in the United States, the politicians themselves have set the moral bar so low that is dangerously close to being hopped over by Vladimir Putin, most of the Middle East dictators and hell, give it a few more years, and Goebbels himself could jump over it by merely lifting his foot about half an inch.
And now we have the spectacle of Julian Assange's lawyers citing the Obama administration's policies of rendition and indefinite detention at Guantanamo as a reason why human rights treaties bar his extradition to any country (such as Sweden) which might transfer him to American custody. Indeed, almost every person I've spoken who has or had anything to do with WikiLeaks expresses one fear above all others: the possibility that they will end up in American custody and subjected to its lawless War on Terror "justice system." Americans still like to think of themselves as "leaders of the free world," but in the eyes of many, it's exactly the "free world" to which American policies are so antithetical and threatening.
It does remind you, that attitude, of that movie Dave I once saw, starring Kevin Kline as the White(watered) version of Charlie Chaplin in the good-humoured yet poignant semi-remake of Chaplin's The Great Dictator, you know, only without the historical significance of that earlier movie (it's hard to beat Hitler as your villain or your target. Ask Lubitsch).

The movie also starred Frank Langella in one brilliant Pre-"Nixon" performance, as chief of staff Rahm Em.. uh, Bob Alexander, who had this to say when Kevin Kline's Dave started to actually do something for, uh, ordinary Americans, like, gosh, a jobs program... and remember, boys and girls, that movie was made in 1993. That is 17 years ago, almost 18 years ago. Kids trying to enter the jobs market today were merely gleams in the eyes of their parents when this had been written.
Bob Alexander
I'm going to kill him.

Alan Reed
You can't kill a President.

Bob Alexander
He's not a President. He's an ordinary person. I can kill an ordinary person.

Alan Reed

Bob Alexander
I can kill a hundred ordinary people!
Scary how some things stay the same, ain't it?