Friday, July 22, 2005

When the CIA Becomes The Good Guys

I don't consider myself unpatriotic, just profoundly non-patriotic. By that, I mean that patriotism is a foreign concept to me. I don't feel any stirrings of emotion when I see the flag or hear the national anthem. I'm an American because I was born and raised here, and thus it's more convenient to stay here than shop around for another place to live (although I will tell anyone who asks that I felt much more at home during the two years I lived in the United Kingdom).
Having come of political age during the late '60s/early '70s, I've always been accustomed to thinking of the CIA as a dangerous organization. Thus, it's disconcerting to find myself appreciative of the patriotism of the former agents who have taken a stand in defense of Valerie Wilson. They are unwilling to let pass without comment the untruths and distortions being spread by the Republican smear machine and parroted by their allies in the MSM.
But there you have it. People are endlessly surprising (except for the Bush team, who always seem to do the most dastardly and offensive thing in every situation). These former agents have remdinded me that patriotism, while it may be the "last refuge of a scoundrel" (thank you, Dr. Johnson) or even "the first" (thank you, Mr. Bierce) can also engender behavior that is noble, loyal, honest and true.