this is somewhat a continuance of my previous post.
the wire-tapping scandal made me think of how results-based this administration is. if the outcome is desireable or somehow noble in their view then the means are justified.
apply this to the torture issue, the war in iraq, tax cuts at the top (and supply-side economics), election fraud, and now our national security and privacy. if they have to cheat, sacrifice innocent lives or act otherwise nefariously to ensure what they perceive as national security and furtherence of the american ideal (good luck defining that) then the methods by which those goals are achieved are irrelevant.
but isn't the underlying american principle that a civliized and free society can be maintained through righteous means? aren't the measures by which we glean and maintain freedom the critical aspect of having that freedom? it would be easy to just nuke any country threatening us, kill anyone suspected of a crime, recess-appoint someone congress would not approve of, torture someone who may have pertinent information and lock up protesters, all in the name of maintaining "freedom".
but doesn't that defeat the whole purpose of the american principle?
we are supposed to be better. we are supposed to rise above the inhumane tactics of our enemies. "an eye for an eye" isn't good enough for us. in order to maintain that america is the greatest country on earth and preach morality we have to actually live morally and emphasize principle, regardless of circumstance or emotion.
the 2001 attacks were horrid (why do i even need to say that), but our actions since have been almost purely vengeful and paranoid and opportunistic.
revenge is not the same as justice. it is a weakness. it is failure. it is the inability to keep emotion from trumping reason. the desire to retaliate against someone or something regardless of their implicated responsibility is only blind, carpetbombing bloodlust, which has been an almost subconscious manipulator in our culture during this regime.