21st Century Wire says…
It’s still astounding what you hear from the mouths of some of the country’s most familiar faces…
FOX News has become almost legendary for its plastic line of female “news” pundits, which includes more than a few debutantes, bad nose jobs and plastic surgery sessions gone wrong. Beyond the looks and the teenaged rhetoric, however, FOX talking heads reveal a deeper, fundamentally flawed world view.
One veteran American journalist shares his insight on the reemergence of the narrow Neoconservative reality in the wake of the Senate’s Torture Report last week…
Consortium News reports: America has an extraordinary capacity to submerge unpleasant truths about its past and present, from African-American slavery and Native-American genocide to bloodbaths in Vietnam and Iraq. Now faced with clear evidence of torture, one cheerleader simply says the U.S. is “awesome”.
By Robert Parry
Fox News host Andrea Tantaros is facing some well-deserved ridicule for refuting the stomach-turning Senate Intelligence Committee report on torture by declaring that, “The United States is awesome. We are awesome” and claiming that the Democrats and President Barack Obama released the report because they want “to show us how we’re not awesome.”
Tantaros’s rant did have the feel of a Saturday Night Live satire, but her upbeat jingoism was only a slight exaggeration of what Americans have been hearing from much of their media and politicians for decades. At least since the presidency of Ronald Reagan, any substantive criticism of the United States has been treated as unpatriotic.
Indeed, a journalist or a politician who dares point out any fundamental flaws in the country or even its actual history can expect to have his or her patriotism challenged. That is how debate over “how we’re not awesome” is silenced.
Fox News may be the poster child of this infantile anti-intellectualism but the same sentiments can be found on the Washington Post’s neocon editorial pages or in the higher-brow New Republic. If you dare point out that America or one of its favored “allies” has done some wrong around the world, you’re an enemy “apologist.” If you regularly adopt a critical stance, you will be marginalized.
That’s why so many serious national problems have lingered or gotten worse. If we don’t kill the messenger, we denounce him or her as un-American…
(…) Which gets us back to Andrea Tantaros and how “awesome” America is. The context for her remarks was the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s torture report which detailed what can no longer be euphemized away as “enhanced interrogation techniques” or EITs as CIA officials prefer.
The only word that can now apply is torture, at least for anyone who has read the page-after-page of near drownings via waterboard, the hallucinatory effects of sleep deprivation, the pain inflicted by hanging people from ceilings, and the sexual sadism of keeping detainees naked and subjecting them to anal rape under the pretext of “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding.”
The various apologists for this torture – people like Tantaros, Vice President Dick Cheney and Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer – prefer to counterattack by questioning the patriotism or the intellectual consistency of those Americans who are outraged at these actions. The torture defenders excuse the behavior because we were scared after 9/11 and wanted the Bush administration to do whatever it took to keep us safe.
All of these excuses are designed to prevent the sort of soul-searching that one should expect from a mature democratic Republic, a country that seeks to learn from its mistakes, not cover them up or forget them.
Instead of Americans confronting these dark realities of both their history and their present – and making whatever amends and adjustments are necessary – the torture apologists or those who don’t see racism would simply have us wave the flag and declare how “awesome” we are.
Author Robert Parry Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s.
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