In the last two weeks, two stories have made national news that posed challenges for journalists on the national security beat: the Washington Post's blockbuster investigation of the sprawling national security empire that has emerged since 9/11, and Wikileaks' online publication of tens of thousands of internal military documents related to the Afghan War. Taken together, the stories raise important questions about the nature of journalism and the state of public discourse.
A few days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Rev. Nathan Baxter, then Dean of the Washington National Cathedral, cautioned Americans against "becom[ing] the evil that we deplore."
I think of that as I ponder Vice President Dick Cheney's blithe acknowledgement that he helped obtain approval for interrogation tactics against terrorism suspects that have been widely condemned as torture. This includes Waterboarding.