Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Department of Stupidity
Notwithstanding the recent (conservative) estimate that 85% of people are morons, the level of stupidity revealed by Jane Mayer's NewYorker article* on Jihad Johnny Walker was disturbing. The astonishing stupidity of Mr. Walker was always apparent by his actions (though it doesn't mean other stupid people should beat him), so one was (somewhat) prepared for his shock and dismay at learning that he was a stooge for the expansionists fantasies of the ISI instead of a martyr for the coming theocratic paradise in Kashmir. But the waves of stupidity that swirled around him, from the "intelligence" "analyst" who did not understand the words "al-Ansar" while he was interrogating Walker, so simply replaced them with "al-Qaeda", to the Justice Dept. hacks who based their prosecution on that interrogation, destroyed internal documents pointing out the manifold stupidities of the prosecutions approach, then fired and crudely intimidated the only woman smart enough to protest -- this stupidity seems unbelievable, unacceptable in the career professionals on whom we must increasingly rely to get anything substantial done by our government. We all know about the theocratic thuggery of the boss, but doesn't he have professional lawyers to actually execute the law, or whatever it is they do? Or were all the competent people working on those crucial bong cases?

Ashcroft's stupidity springs from the same source as Johnny's, namely, religion -- and the latter's is only a predictable perversion of that American "moral compass" that has always plagued us, described by Simon Schama in the very same issue of the New Yorker:

�If there be an object truly ridiculous in nature, it is an American patriot, signing resolutions of independency with the one hand, and with the other brandishing a whip over his affrighted slaves.� After the Civil War, European critics pointed to the unprotected laborers in mines and factories as industrial helots. Just as obnoxious as the fraud of liberty was the fraud of Christian piety, a finger-jabbing rectitude incapable of asserting a policy without invoking the Deity as a co-sponsor. This hallelujah Republic was a bedlam of hymns and hosannas, but the only true church was the church of the Dollar Almighty. And how could the cult of individualism be taken seriously when it had produced a society that set such great store by conformity?
Attention fanatical douchebags: the American Revolution was the fruit of the enlightenment, which means that our sham republic is supposed to represent the application of reason to public life. However provincial and hypocritical our american enlightenment, however discredited and forlorn its ideal of reason, the puerile cruelty and simplistic chiliasm of the crimes against humanity that constitute your contribution to our society make Jefferson look like Mahatma fucking Gandhi. Your "belief" "system" is a bankrupt fraud, which is too bad because there is no hell to torment you for eternity. Except the one you're about to unleash on the rest of us.**

* Published in the New Yorker (home of terrorists like Sy Hersh) -- not online, but see this TalkLeft description -- and I've been waiting for it to pop up on Lexis-Nexis, but it hasn't, and presumably won't, so the details above are dredged from memory.

** If you didn't hear Col. Mike Turner on NPR this morning, lucidly describing the end-times shitstorm we're about to unleash, listen to it now.


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