Some Gave All
Something from the comments as well as current events reminded me of this recent post from List Universe concerning the Intelligence Community. From a list titled “Top 10 Excuses People Use To Hate America“, here is #3:
Despite the hyperbole bandied online, strong political opinions won’t get your door kicked in at 3 AM like in the Gulag Archipelago. There are no Stalinist purges or killing fields here. And the FBI/CIA/ATF/DEA/PTA will not shoot you on sight simply because you speak against The Surge or march against the Economic Stimulus Plan. But it’s certainly fun to claim a fear of it! You become an instant radical and feel intellectually enlightened to boot– patriotism is an uncritical, reflexive act, right?– only a deep thinker would hate his country (yet stay on to enjoy its privileges). And don’t worry about proof, because all that matters is the accusation. Volume and conviction win the day, so toss that bibliography—grab half the story and make the rest up. If you get caught in a logic box, claim satire. Other countries see this lack of consequences and pile on.
We often think that the Military gets little credit for putting their lives on the line everyday for little enough pay. If that’s the case then certainly, the FBI, CIA, and others do the same with no credit, save in the fact that we are still free and free to speak our opinions. Perhaps when everyone stops complaining, it will be time to worry!