Friends Don’t Let Friends Write Insane Columns In Counterpunch

by John Hawkins | February 8, 2006 9:48 am

Paul Craig Roberts, a man who was once, (admittedly long, long, ago) a fairly reliable conservative, has now gone so far off the deep end that even the likes of Pat Buchanan may start to get a little nervous about associating with him.

From Roberts’ latest editorial in Counterpunch (Counterpunch! What self-respecting conservative would ever write for that digital rubber room for liberals?):

“Having eliminated internal opposition, the Bush administration is now using blackmail obtained through illegal spying on American citizens to silence the media and the opposition party.

Before flinching at my assertion of blackmail, ask yourself why President Bush refuses to obey the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The purpose of the FISA court is to ensure that administrations do not spy for partisan political reasons. The warrant requirement is to ensure that a panel of independent federal judges hears a legitimate reason for the spying, thus protecting a president from the temptation to abuse the powers of government. The only reason for the Bush administration to evade the court is that the Bush administration had no legitimate reasons for its spying. This should be obvious even to a naif.

The United States is undergoing a coup against the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, civil liberties, and democracy itself. The “liberal press” has been co-opted. As everyone must know by now, the New York Times has totally failed its First Amendment obligations, allowing Judith Miller to make war propaganda for the Bush administration, suppressing for an entire year the news that the Bush administration was illegally spying on American citizens, and denying coverage to Al Gore’s speech that challenged the criminal deeds of the Bush administration.

The TV networks mimic Fox News’ faux patriotism. Anyone who depends on print, TV, or right-wing talk radio media is totally misinformed. The Bush administration has achieved a de facto Ministry of Propaganda.

The years of illegal spying have given the Bush administration power over the media and the opposition. Journalists and Democratic politicians don’t want to have their adulterous affairs broadcast over television or to see their favorite online porn sites revealed in headlines in the local press with their names attached. Only people willing to risk such disclosures can stand up for the country.

….Consider the no-fly list. This list has no purpose whatsoever but to harass and disrupt the livelihoods of Bush’s critics. If a known terrorist were to show up at check-in, he would be arrested and taken into custody, not told that he could not fly. What sense does it make to tell someone who is not subject to arrest and who has cleared screening that he or she cannot fly? How is this person any more dangerous than any other passenger?

If Senator Ted Kennedy, a famous senator with two martyred brothers, can be put on a no-fly list, as he was for several weeks, anyone can be put on the list. The list has no accountability. People on the list cannot even find out why they are on the list. There is no recourse, no procedure for correcting mistakes.

…How long before members of the opposition party, should there be one, find that they cannot return to Washington for important votes, because they have been placed on the no-fly list?

…Many readers have told me, some gleefully, that I will be placed on the no-fly list along with all other outspoken critics of the growth in unaccountable executive power and war based on lies and deception. It is just a matter of time.”

Roberts is completely out of his mind.

“They’re blackmailing the Democrats and the press! They’re going to block Democrats from voting by putting them on the no-fly lists. They’re going to put me on a no-fly list and then I’ll be grounded for life! Gargle floppity floop!”

Someone put Paul Craig Roberts back on his medicine before he writes another insane editorial in Couterpunch. In fact, let me make a plea: if you’re one of Paul Craig Roberts’ friends, a family member, maybe even someone who used to be a pal of his: pick up the phone, call him right now, and say, “Paul, you’re acting a little crazy and I’m concerned about you.” Hey, Paul Craig Roberts, back when he was sane, would have done it for you.

Remember, friends don’t let friends write insane columns in Counterpunch.

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