Freedom from Paranoia and The Death of Thought: Go Ahead and Panic!
by Frank Wynerth Summers III on Thursday, May 5, 2011 at 11:49am
Now that we have successfully stormed the modest palace of the Resident Hero of the Pakistani Military and Darling of the British Commonwealth in Pakistan. We could ask ourselves some questions.
We could start with:
1. Is there intelligent life in Washington DC?
However, that question seeems nasty and mean-spirited and unpatriotic so let’s skip it and go on to others. Let’s lump in with that question things like:
— Does anyone have any idea what reasonable means?
— What evidence means?
— What credibility means?
So if we cannot ask that question can we ask whether it is reasonable to ask everyone to be happy with as little information as has been given out? Is there no question as to whether the crashed helicopter took remote fire going in? Is there no question whether the real tip-off came because a longlasting program protecting Usama bin Laden got ratted out? Is there no doubt that killing such an elusive and mysterious target and then quickly disposing of him is completely bizarre and goes against all principles of transparent and open government that have developed over the last thousands of years?
Any reasonable person would have to concede that the longer it takes to release images, documentation and accounts the less credible they are. Any reasonable person would have to agree that finding Osama bin Laden where he is means we are in much more danger than we have been told for many years and always have been. But reason is pretty well dead in our policy.
Obama, would feel obliged to have given full and credible account of how he got this man and his household nursing at the breast of the military in a nuclear armed member of the British Commonwealth if he understood or believed in constituional governemnt instead of teaching it. The death of Osama bin Laden, and I assume it has occurred, indicates our danger, weakness and isolation in a bad, bad world far more than almost any other new story of my lifetime. I think there is a healthy version of the kind of uncontrolled tension which people call panic. In the sense of a healthy constructive reaction motivated by intense emotion this is an excellent time to panic. Every day’s reaction underscores it. I am too tired to panic myself. But if anyone has the energy then instead of deciding this is the end of our worries then I highly recommend panic — I can’t think of a better occasion for it in my lifetime.
People are very relaxed in my view. I truly honor those who killed bin Laden. I truly rejoice at seeing the place they say he was. However, for me this is because it is better to know if your house is being broken into and you have cancer than not to know either one of those things. But in either case a little constructive panic is in order.