Cliff Notes- 9/11: "We became a harder people. Less forgiving. More on edge. No longer our brother’s keeper."



My dear friend and mentor, Cliff Schecter, now has a regular column; hence, because Cliff has given me permission to share his work with you, I’ll give you the latest edition of what I call Cliff Notes.

He skewers better than a chef at Smokey Joe’s BBQ. He has insights that rival those of our mutual friend, the hilarious Lizz Winstead. He’s sharper than the point on Sarah Palin’s pin head.

Here are a few excerpts from his latest, with permission. Please, please read the whole thing, because he has way more than I’ve included here. He tells me that his is probably the most personal piece he has ever written, one that caused me to tear up, and may even aggravate some of you:

[T]his past week former Vice President Dick Cheney has been on his media tour to promote his memoir, openly bragging about the use of torture, warrantless wiretapping and other illegal actions that he approved while in office. [...]

...Cheney, as much or more than anyone else in the post-9/11 period, used the loopholes in our system, the lack of nerve in Washington and fear created by that day to transform this nation slowly into something we would not have recognised as recently as the late 90s or dawn of the 2000s.

We became a harder people. Less forgiving. More on edge. No longer our brother’s keeper. More fanciful.

Along with President Bush, Cheney made it mundane to operate prisons overseas, beyond the reach of due process. House GOP Majority Leader Eric Cantor thought nothing of demanding budget cuts to offset the costs of helping those whose lives were destroyed by Hurricane Irene. The response of Texas Governor Rick Perry to a drought in his state is to pray for it to go away.

Meanwhile, President Obama, whose campaign of hope and change was exactly the antidote to the cultural angst that became the norm in post-9/11 America, has not only continued many of the Bush Administration’s civil liberties violations. He has actually added a few gems of his own that even Bush didn’t try, such as condoning the assassinations of American citizens without due process.

Please read the whole post here.