Somewhere There’s a Hero

Michelle Malkin gleefully notes that whoever leaked information about Bush’s illegal NSA activities likely committed a felony and is subject to prosecution.

And, as Auguste at Malkin(s)Watch notes, so was Daniel Ellsberg. The law may not care what the leaker’s motives were, but history surely will.

We are a nation of laws. But a corrupt and despotic government can always use the law to hide its illegal activities. In that case, it is an act of high patriotism to place oneself in jeopardy to expose the truth.

As Henry David Thoreau said, “Must the citizen ever for a moment, or in the least degree, resign his conscience to the legislator? Why has every man a conscience then?” Most men serve the state with their bodies, or with their heads, Thoreau continued.

Such command no more respect than men of straw or a lump of dirt. They have the same sort of worth only as horses and dogs. Yet such as these even are commonly esteemed good citizens. Others-as most legislators, politicians, lawyers, ministers, and office-holders- serve the state chiefly with their heads; and, as the rarely make any moral distinctions, they are as likely to serve the devil without intending it, as God. A very few-as heroes, patriots, martyrs, reformers in the great sense, and men-serve the state with their consciences also, and so necessarily resist it for the most part; and they are commonly treated as enemies by it.

I’m not encouraging citizens to break laws whenever they feel like it. I’m saying there are rare times in which the patriot must choose between his country and his government; between his duty as a patriot and the letter of the law. And in these cases the “perp” is not guaranteed a walk, because much evil is done by misguided individuals who believe they are right. Such people are subject to judgment by their peers.

But if our republic has any chance of remaining a nation that values liberty — instead of just paying it lip service — it will be because of courageous people who stand in the way of tyranny.

We may never know who it is, but somewhere, there’s a hero. Maybe more than one.

10 thoughts on “Somewhere There’s a Hero

  1. Where is mighty mouse when you need him?
    See the article about increases in aerial bombardment of Iraq as U.S. to reduce troop levels
    Dov Zakheim now says we aren’t spreading the democracy thingy afterall, just making the area safe for Iraq’s “neighbors”.
    Yeah, depleted uranium dust should impart a pleasant glow to the night sky and the veggies, makes for unusual surprises in the maternity wards also.
    The heros have been silenced and fired, but will “get ‘er done”.
    The tide is turning ( as my stomach has for the past several years).

  2. The leaker has provided the American public with important information about crimes committed by the President of the United States. As you said, “somewhere there’s a hero or heroes.” I for one would like to say thank you.

  3. Bush might be making a mistake in pursuing vengance against the one who exposed him. There’s alway’s the possibility that whoever disclosed Bush’s evildoings might be in possession of even more damning information. If evidence or testimony shows up that Bush’s spying was more than just data mining in the national interest, like targeted spying on Americans for political reasons,than Bush’s fate would be sealed for impeachment. Maybe Bush should consider this leak as a shot across the bow..kinda like the shot across the bow Bush and company gave Joe Wilson.

    I think that Bush is using an act of outrage in the leak to support a claim of misunderstand in the interpetation of his presidential powers. He can only escape impeachment if he presents his spying as an honest and well intentioned mistake. He’ll only get his hand slapped by Congress for being the victim of poor counsel.

  4. I think the righties may be making a huge mistake here, pressing this issueThere is only a handful of places the leak could have come from..
    It could have come from the NSA.If this is the case last week some righties were claiming the NSA is a branch of the military(you know,, Army ,Navy, Air force, Marines,NSA right?) so therefore the NSA was covered by AUMF.IF that is the claim how can they not know that no one in the military has to follow or cover up illegal orders given to them. Perhaps on this front finding the leaker is the rights WORST nightmare, given a NSA employee could know A LOT and would have a very vocal lawyer to inform the public just how wide the net really is.

    It could have been one of a select few who knew about this program in the legislative branch.In which case, the fact that there are more reps aware of it, makes the odds in favor of it being a republican leak by shear numbers alone.Boy howdy wouldn’t that be a turd in the punch bowl for bush and the righties?Imagine if one of their own turned and leaked on them over this issue?

    It could have been someone in the white house(gasp!). Now I know, you are saying no way, they don’t have a history of leaks,, but……..How would the righties ever weather that storm?

    I guess my point to righties is at this point DON’T ASK QUESTIONS YOU DON’T ALREADY KNOW THE ANSWERS TO.It’s a dangerous game.Do they really WANT to know who the leaker is?

  5. But when a long Train of Abuses and Usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object, evinces a Design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.

    I think we can safely say that this train is getting pretty damned long. Mr. Jefferson told it true. As for the whistleblower breaking the law and getting into trouble, the act is that of a true decendant of the Founders:

    And for the Support of this Declaration, with a firm Reliance on the Protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honour.

    Peace be.

  6. It’s odd to think that anyone would even question the need for whistle blowing. It’s part of living in a democracy — though I think many have forgotten what that means: being willing to do what’s right and pay the price.

    One heavy price we’ve paid for being a democracy spread over an immense acreage has been a tendency towards conformity and autocracy. The McCarthy era is a great example of what can happen and I think history will put the Bush era in the same category.

    But it’s not as though Bush and McCarthy had some magical powers — they wouldn’t have gotten a grip on power, either of them, had we not allowed them to (and in some cases, positively enabled them). Now we’re in a position where some of us will have to speak out, do the right thing, hit the table and ask “Have you no sense of decency?” Or close the door to our office for the last time and meet with the reporter from the Times or Newsweek. Or call the lawyer at Justice and arrange to hand him the documents…

    We know we’re doing the right thing when we’re dead scared and have left our egos — and our security — behind.

  7. It is worth repeating the question, “Why did not a leak investigation happen a year ago when, purportedly, the White House called in editors and persuaded them to sit on the leaked story?” In other words, why did Bush sit on and do nothing about such “serious law-breaking” until it made a political difference to his image by becoming public information?

    If we care about freedom and our heritage, I think we need to seriously try to understand what creates the motivation[s] for those who would destroy them. I’m not writing about some outside enemy here, I am writing about power brokers within our own society. PW above uses the phrase, “Have you no sense of decency?” Folks, that idea of decency is a big clue.

    For some time, I have wondered if we may be dealing with sociopathic [no inner values, i.e., amoral] criminals in high places in this administration, particularyly Dick Cheney whom I have long considered to be one of the most dangerous persons in America [google to find his voting record back when he was in the US House of Representatives].

    A sociopath will appear normal because he/she is smart and adept at saying the right things, but that inner sense of morality, totally missing from the personality, is replaced by inner schemings that focus on what I call ‘the secondaries’. The simplest example of going for ‘secondaries’ is the starving child who fills his belly with dirt to try to handle that awful continuous empty feeling. A sociopath has a different kind of emptiness, and substitutes pleasures like power over others, enjoying the distress of others, power for power’s sake, or filling up the psyche with consumption of expensive things. There is no consideration of decency except in pretending to have values that others have [which the sociopath learns to manipulate, just as the Bushies manipulate the religious right].

    My post could go on about how sociopathic trends develop in a society and economy that rewards cunning manipulation over honorable moral behavior…….but I’ll leave all that for now.

    Just try to imagine yourself watching the suffering of another and having no anguish inside. For most people, that is near impossible to imagine. For those who are sociopathic, such suffering of another may even be weirdly stimulating and ‘filling’.

    With the idea at hand of sociopathic amorality, now look at the trends of the Bush administration. Could the continuing Iraq turmoil be planned and fomented by the Bushies as an intentional strategy to give reason to stay there for years to bring about an end result of ‘divide and conquer’? While moral folks focus on the human suffering, all may be going according to plan for the power brokers who have no deep caring for others.

    With the idea at hand of sociopathic amorality, look at the the Bushies domestic agenda, which continually erodes our freedoms, and our opportunities and our happiness and even truth itself. Buying journalists and news stories, destroying a clean environment and public lands, tax breaks for friends and donors and no-bid contracts for crony corporations, while ignoring or taking more from the poor and neediest. I cannot think of one piece of legislation passed by this Republican majority in collusion with the Bushies that is designed to protect ‘the common good’ , let alone help the neediest in our country.

    Now we have learned about an illegal domestic spying program uncovered by a whistleblower, a program instituted by executive order which bypassed the Constitution, the Congress and the Judiciary. Sounds like the Peeping Tom President’s sociopathic
    advisors were trying to develop nefarious ultimate power over others. So to answer the question with which I started this post: Why was there no investigation more than a year ago when the whistleblower acted? For these sociopaths, the illegality and immorality of spying on Americans means nothing, and the leak itself wasn’t a problem, but to have their secret program exposed by the NYT gave back power of knowledge to the citizenry……..anthema to those who enjoy their ‘secondaries’ in secret.

Comments are closed.