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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/8/21

Violence in the Capitol, Dangers in the Aftermath

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From Substack

From the Cold War to the War on Terror: the harms from authoritarian "solutions" are often greater than the threats they are ostensibly designed to combat.

2021 storming of the United States Capitol
2021 storming of the United States Capitol
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org), Author: Tyler Merbler)
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In the days and weeks after the 9/11 attack, Americans were largely united in emotional horror at what had been done to their country as well as in their willingness to endorse repression and violence in response. As a result, there was little room to raise concerns about the possible excesses or dangers of the American reaction, let alone to dissent from what political leaders were proposing in the name of vengeance and security. The psychological trauma from the carnage and the wreckage at the country's most cherished symbols swamped rational faculties and thus rendered futile any attempts to urge restraint or caution.

Nonetheless, a few tried. Scorn and sometimes worse were universally heaped upon them.

On September 14 while bodies were still buried under burning rubble in downtown Manhattan Congresswoman Barbara Lee cast a lone vote against the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF). "Some of us must urge the use of restraint," she said 72 hours after the attack, adding: "our country is in a state of mourning" and thus "some of us must say: let's step back for a moment, let's pause just for a minute, and think through the implications of our actions today so that this does not spiral out of control."

For simply urging caution and casting a single "no" vote against war, Lee's Congressional office was deluged with threats of violence. Armed security was deployed to protect her, largely as a result of media attacks -- suggesting that she was anti-American and sympathetic to terrorists. Yet 20 years later -- with U.S. troops still fighting in Afghanistan under that same AUMF, with Iraq destroyed, ISIS spawned, and U.S. civil liberties and privacy rights permanently crippled -- her solitary admonitions look far more like courage, prescience and wisdom than sedition or a desire to downplay the threat of Al Qaeda.

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[Subscribe to Glenn Greenwald] Glenn Greenwald is a journalist,former constitutional lawyer, and author of four New York Times bestselling books on politics and law. His most recent book, "No Place to Hide," is about the U.S. surveillance state and his experiences reporting on the Snowden documents around the world. His forthcoming book, to be published in April, 2021, is about Brazilian history and current politics, with a focus on his experience in reporting a series of expose's in 2019 and 2020 which exposed high-level corruption by powerful officials in the government of President Jair Bolsonaro, which subsequently attempted to prosecute him for that reporting.

Foreign Policy magazine named Greenwald one of the top 100 Global Thinkers for 2013. He was the debut winner, along with "Democracy Now's" Amy Goodman, of the Park Center I.F. Stone Award for Independent Journalism in 2008, and also received the 2010 Online Journalism Award for his investigative work breaking the story of the abusive (more...)
 

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