Thursday, December 1, 2011

Remembering Iran-Contra

I don't know where Charles P. Pierce has been hiding (just from me, probably), but witnessing his sudden appearance and meteoric rise on the internets via his position at Esquire's website has been inspiring, and provides an opportunity for a learning experience unparalleled I think in recent internet history. I honestly have the feeling that if I were to read everything he's written in, say, the last ten years, I'd emerge a smarter—and wiser—person by several factors.

An example:
... Iran-Contra was a straightforward constitutional B&E. The Reagan people wanted to fight a war in Central America. Congress did its constitutional duty and shut off the money. The administration then broke the law by arranging private funding for its pet war. One of the ways it did that was to sell military hardware to the government of Iran, which sponsored not only terrorism, but also the kidnapping of various American citizens abroad. All of this was in service to a private foreign policy, devoid of checks and balances, and based on a fundamental contempt for the Constitution and the rule of law… 
Iran-Contra was the moment when the country decided — or, alternatively, when it was decided for the country — that self-government was too damned hard, and that we’re all better off just not knowing. It was the moment when all the checks and balances failed, when our faith in the Constitution was most sorely tested, and when it was found most seriously wanting. Iran-Contra is how all the crimes of the subsequent years became possible. It is when the Constitution became a puppet show.

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