Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Glenn Greenwald's article today describes a particularly egregious example of one of our principle newspapers, the New York Times, collaborating with the Central Intelligence Agency on a story it published last year. Rather than try to summarize, I think I'll just refer you to that article. Toward the end, though, Greenwald described the environment of government secrecy we live in, and its consequences:
The more important objection is that the fact that a certain behavior is common does not negate its being corrupt. Indeed, as is true for government abuses generally, those in power rely on the willingness of citizens to be trained to view corrupt acts as so common that they become inured, numb, to its wrongfulness. Once a corrupt practice is sufficiently perceived as commonplace, then it is transformed in people's minds from something objectionable into something acceptable. Indeed, many people believe it demonstrates their worldly sophistication to express indifference toward bad behavior by powerful actors on the ground that it is so prevalent. This cynicism – oh, don't be naive: this is done all the time – is precisely what enables such destructive behavior to thrive unchallenged.

Correspondence and collusion between the New York Times and the CIA

I wish I had a dollar for every time some citizen has told me that corruption and foolishness is what they expect out of government, and that there's no reason to try to prevent it. I could buy a real government with that money. Declarations like those of these acquaintances should be music to the ears of any corrupt politician or government worker, because it's exactly the attitude they need to thrive.

I think it goes without saying that there will be corrupt and foolish people in government. Identifying them and rooting them out is the cure, not apathy.

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