Good Democratic operative Leon Panetta comes before us to say that the CIA and the Bush administration should be excused for all of their crimes because it was to be expected that they would behave like frightened children after the 9/11 attacks. This is the “reality of 9/11” to which Panetta refers. This is a bold attempt at normalizing incompetence and shoddy behavior in America’s leadership.
A stupid, ignorant thug, or a terrified young child, would lash out blindly and break the rules, so why should this standard not apply to the President of the United States and his underlings? This is the final argument of the head of the CIA to protect his agency from repercussions for torturing human beings to extract false confessions to serve the White House.
What is being attempted here is nothing less than the overthrow of our Constitution and laws in favor of the supposedly superior principle of impulsive decision making driven by fear and confusion. The American Founders would be horrified by claims like this. The main purpose of government is to subdue and control the wild impulses of humanity and curb the worst insticts of powerful leaders. But Panetta tells us that the highest principle is to trust the gut decsions of frightened men.
Is our nation truly so debased and dishonored that it will tolerate such offensive nonsense? How low have we sunk if we allow such sophistry to destroy our Constitution? What is to prevent the next rogue President from playing the fear card to inflict even greater outrages on our people? Don’t ask Leon Panetta. He is too busy protecting the frightened children who used to lead our government.