One of the frustrating things about blogging is that the list of topics I'd like to write about far exceeds the amount of time I have to blog. One example of an item that slipped through the cracks was this hysterical screed by author Naomi Wolf, which was linked by LISNews at the end of October:
Jim Spencer, a former columnist for the Denver Post who has been critical of the Bush administration, told me today that I could use his name: he is on the watch list. An attorney contacts me to say that she told her colleagues at the Justice Department not to torture a detainee; she says she then faced a criminal investigation, a professional referral, saw her emails deleted — and now she is on the watch list. I was told last night that a leader of Code Pink, the anti-war women’s action group, was refused entry to Canada. I hear from a tech guy who works for the airlines — again, probably a Republican — that once you are on the list you never get off. Someone else says that his friend opened his luggage to find a letter from the TSA saying that they did not appreciate his reading material. Before I go into the security lines, I find myself editing my possessions. In New York’s LaGuardia, I reluctantly foudd myself putting a hardcover copy of Tara McKelvey’s excellent Monstering, an expose of CIA interrogation practices, in a garbage can before I get in the security line; it is based on classified information. This morning at my hotel, before going to the sirport, I threw away a very nice black T-shirt that said “We Will Not be Silenced” — with an Arabic translation — that someone had given me, along with a copy of poems written by detainees at Guantanamo.
In my America we are not scared to get in line at the airport. In my America, we will not be silenced.
Where do I begin with such nonsense? First of all, I'd like to salute Ms. Wolf for her courage and ingenuity in having this piece smuggled out of the Halliburton-run labor camp where she is currently being held. Oh wait, she's actually on a speaking tour promoting her new book, which warns of the incipient fascism being imposed by the Bush Administration. Ms Wolf and many others have spent the last few years raising the alarm about Bush's fascist repression. Yet none of them ever actually wind up being repressed.
Ms. Wolf may not know this, but Canada actually has its own government that determines who gets into their country. As for the Justice Department lawyer being punished for standing up against "torture", this is absurd. Jack Goldsmith, the most prominent Justice Department lawyer to have had issues with enhanced interrogation, has been so cowed into silence that he wrote a widely cited book about his experiences.
As for airport security, I've carried books about terrorism and radical Islam aboard a number of flights without incident. Nor have I seen anyone else have an issue. This is purely anecdotal evidence, of course. Then again, that's all that Wolf is offering.
I wrote a piece a few months ago debunking the hysterical paranoia of Wolf and others who argue that America is somehow becoming a police state under the Bush Administration. So why am I revisiting this topic now, and addressing a two month old opinion piece? Because of this video clip that I came across a couple days ago, courtesy of Hot Air:
"I don't have an opinion about 9/11". "There hasn't been a real investigation". "Boxer Rebellion"?????? Ms. Wolf, with this nauseating flirtation with 9/11 Trutherism, has now forfeited any residual credibility she had.
Lest you think I'm being a bit harsh, please note that Ms. Wolf has appeared on the radio show of conspiracy nutcase supremo Alex Jones.
Naomi Wolf has now all but completed the journey from moderately influential liberal feminist to conspiracy obsessed Bush hating crackpot. In other words, the odds are good that she'll be a featured speaker at ALA 2008 in Anaheim.