Day: <span>May 18, 2002</span>

Matthew Engel in The Guardian: US media cowed by patriotic fever, says CBS star.

The White House was to blame for its failure to provide adequate information about the war, [Dan] Rather said. “There has never been an American war, small or large, in which access has been so limited as this one.

“Limiting access, limiting information to cover the backsides of those who are in charge of the war, is extremely dangerous and cannot and should not be accepted. And I am sorry to say that, up to and including the moment of this interview, that overwhelmingly it has been accepted by the American people. And the current administration revels in that, they relish that, and they take refuge in that.”

He said his view of the patriotism differed from that of the administration. “It’s unpatriotic not to stand up, look them in the eye, and ask the questions they don’t want to hear – they being those who have the responsibility, the ultimate responsibility – of sending our sons and daughters, our husbands, wives, our blood, to face death.”

As I’ve said before, if our country is going to go to war on our behalf, torture suspected terrorists, tolerate collateral damage, and for that matter, execute death-row inmates — if we are going to do all that, we damn well better know the truth about it.

If we’re too lazy, numb, frightened, or self-censored to ask the important questions and share what we learn with each other, we might as well sign over what’s left of our civil rights right now. It will be a lot easier to lose them, than it will be to get them back.

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I have no idea what this means, but I was just chosen as Geek of the Week for the week of May 19, 2002. Funny thing is that the site they’re pointing at is my first weblog, J-Space, which I haven’t updated since October, 1998.

It might be interesting to some that J-Space was the site I recovered from Google’s cache in Janurary of last year, after a bad hard drive crash — the second in three months. Leander Kahney wrote a story about it for Wired News, which still generates hits to both that site and this one, to this day.

(I later found a nearly up-to-date backup of the J-Space database, so I was able to fully restore it, images and all, but Google was still very helpful.)

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