I’ve never actually read How Would a Patriot Act, or assessed the claims that Glenn was pro-Iraq War, until today:
During the lead-up to the invasion, I was concerned that the hell-bent focus on invading Iraq was being driven by agendas and strategic objectives that had nothing to do with terrorism or the 9/11 attacks. The overt rationale for the invasion was exceedingly weak, particularly given that it would lead to an open-ended, incalculably costly, and intensely risky preemptive war. Around the same time, it was revealed that an invasion of Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein had been high on the agenda of various senior administration officials long before September 11. Despite these doubts, concerns, and grounds for ambivalence, I had not abandoned my trust in the Bush administration. Between the president’s performance in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, the swift removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and the fact that I wanted the president to succeed, because my loyalty is to my country and he was the leader of my country, I still gave the administration the benefit of the doubt. I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country.
It is not desirable or fulfilling to realize that one does not trust one’s own government and must disbelieve its statements, and I tried, along with scores of others, to avoid making that choice until the facts no longer permitted such logic.
Setting aside the obvious, overwhelming contradictions in the first paragraph, I gotta wonder; why should anyone ever take seriously a person who wrote the sentence “I believed that the President was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to, and to the extent that I was able to develop a definitive view, I accepted his judgment that American security really would be enhanced by the invasion of this sovereign country?” It’s actually quite a bit worse than “I thought Iraq had WMD,” or “I believed in the possibility for Iraqi democracy,” or “I believe we need to throw a little country against a wall every now and then.” All those are wrong, but they at least involve independent, engaged political thought; “I believed then that the president was entitled to have his national security judgment deferred to” is, in effect, an abdication of the duties of citizenship. Glenn insists that the claim that he supported the Iraq War is a lie; seems to me that “deferred to” and “accepted his judgment” rather clearly indicate support. You gotta own that shit, Glenn.
The first paragraph is also rich; a seventh-grade belief in the notion that the American Republic was fine, dandy, and largely self-balancing until the “creeping extremism” of the last decade. I suppose I’d find this less irritating had Glenn not spent the day delivering tirades against fellow Iraq War supporters with characteristic bombast.