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Sat Dec 31, 2011, 11:07 PM

Wow, Greenwald in a new light [View all]

I owe it to reader Rob that I can cite the following from the preface of Greenwald’s first book, “How Would A Patriot Act? Defending American Values from a President Run Amok.”

During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.

It is little known that Greenwald supported the Iraq War, and the war in Afghanistan before it. He does not mention it in writing anymore and rarely speaks of it. He supported the war for the same reason I did: he believed that Iraq possessed WMD and that the potential consequences of that possession could not be risked. When no WMD were found, it made no difference to Hitchens, who too characteristically belittled the significance of the non-finding, and those to whom it mattered, and continued to promote many other rationales for the war that were forceful and honorable, but for me circumstantially undeterminative. Without a belief in the existence of WMD I would not have supported the war and neither, it appears, would Greenwald have. For Greenwald, however, the knowledge that a government in which he had placed a level of trust, had, at the very least, gotten it so wrong – if not manipulated the nation into war – has led to an abiding campaign of extraordinary vituperation against not just the government officials responsible, but others, outside of government, particularly journalists, who had argued for action and the rightness of it.

http://sadredearth.com/christopher-hitchens-glenn-greenwald-and-the-war-of-ideas/

h/t Bolo Boffin

More:

<...>

Soon after our invasion of Iraq, when it became apparent that, contrary to Bush administration claims, there were no weapons of mass destruction, I began concluding, reluctantly, that the administration had veered far off course from defending the country against the threats of Muslim extremism. It appeared that in the great national unity the September 11 attacks had engendered, the administration had seen not a historically unique opportunity to renew a sense of national identity and cohesion, but instead a potent political weapon with which to impose upon our citizens a whole series of policies and programs that had nothing to do with terrorism, but that could be rationalized through an appeal to the nation's fear of further terrorist attacks.

<...>

The 9/11 attacks were not the first time our nation has had to face a new and amoral enemy. Throughout our history, we have vanquished numerous enemies at least as strong and as threatening as a group of jihadist terrorists without having the president seize the power to break the law. As a nation, we have triumphed over a series of external enemies and overcome internal struggles, and we have done so not by abandoning our core principles in the name of fear but by insisting on an adherence to our fundamental political values.

http://www.bookbrowse.com/excerpts/index.cfm?fuseaction=printable&book_number=1812


Maybe this explains why he's so touchy about other people supporting President Obama.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=95092

Afghanistan and Iraq wars and Citizens United?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/100293141


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