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Jed Bartlet Addresses Terrorist Attack

It is a testament to the genius of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin that in moments of import many people turn not to the real President of the United States, but to the President created by Sorkin for his hit 1999-2006 drama The West Wing. In the wake of this week’s terrorist…

It is a testament to the genius of screenwriter Aaron Sorkin that in moments of import many people turn not to the real President of the United States, but to the President created by Sorkin for his hit 1999-2006 drama The West Wing.

In the wake of this week’s terrorist attack in Boston, Massachusetts, a poignant clip from the show’s fourth season premiere has been making the rounds – a clip featuring fictitious U.S. President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet (portrayed by Martin Sheen) addressing a terrorist bombing.

“They’re our students and our teachers and our parents and our friends,” Bartlet says of the bombing victims. “The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels, but every time we think we have measured our capacity to meet a challenge, we look up and we’re reminded that that capacity may well be limitless.”

Take a listen …

(Click to play)

Impressive, huh?

Of course before you get completely swept away it’s important to remember America has provoked “assaults” on its freedom and its way of life. And we have “invited” a confrontation with evil … (several of them, actually). How did we do that? By pursuing an interventionist foreign policy our nation cannot afford – in lives, dollars and consequences.

Aside from that, though, it’s hard to argue with the premise that “the true measure of a people’s strength is how they rise to master” assaults on life and liberty like the one launched in Boston.

Unfortunately, America has fucked that up too … choosing to degrade individual liberty in the name of a security that clearly remains elusive.

It’s important to find out who attacked our citizens. It’s even more important to hunt them down and kill them.

Or, as Bartlet says in another West Wing episode, “I’m going to blow them off the face of the earth with the fury of God’s own thunder.”

That’s sound policy advice that Barack Obama – the actual President – should follow.

But what Obama and other leaders in Washington, D.C. cannot do is use this attack as another excuse to impose the “Bush doctrine” – i.e. invading other nations on wafer thin intelligence as part of a broader “War on Terror.” Nor can we use it as another excuse to further erode our liberties.

Such responses would not “master the moment.” In fact they would provoke many, many more such moments in the future … of course that could very well be the idea.

After all, as former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel once said, “never let a crisis go to waste.”

***

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18 comments

Robert April 16, 2013 at 9:13 am

#1, great, great show….miss it. #2, we don’t know who is responsible for yesterday, just that the people dead and injured are not.

Reply
Will Folks aka Sic April 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

Obviously … but it is folly to assume our interventionist policy isn’t making us more vulnerable.

Reply
Robert April 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

I agree that our government has raised the ire of other governments or groups, if by nothing more than backing the wrong horse at times. But we voters can do something about that. As for innocent victims of terror, I would never paint them as “inviting” terror. And, we don’t know yet. This event may be some twisted American caused terror.

Reply
RHood2 April 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

If I recall the episode correctly, the terrorists turned out to be home grown.

Reply
jwebsc April 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

There are layers to this that we don’t know about and may never know about. Why were there simultaneous bomb drills being run by homeland security in Boston on that day? How is it that a bomb could have been planted next to a guard shack in a part of the city completely covered by cameras on any day, let alone on Patriot’s Day, without being detected before it detonated? For an interesting take, go to groundzero ‘dot’ fm to listen to the podcast dated 16-04-2013…

Reply
Robert April 16, 2013 at 9:13 am

#1, great, great show….miss it. #2, we don’t know who is responsible for yesterday, just that the people dead and injured are not.

Reply
Will Folks aka Sic April 16, 2013 at 9:26 am

Obviously … but it is folly to assume our interventionist policy isn’t making us more vulnerable.

Reply
Robert April 16, 2013 at 11:12 am

I agree that our government has raised the ire of other governments or groups, if by nothing more than backing the wrong horse at times. But we voters can do something about that. As for innocent victims of terror, I would never paint them as “inviting” terror. And, we don’t know yet. This event may be some twisted American caused terror.

Reply
RHood2 April 16, 2013 at 1:20 pm

If I recall the episode correctly, the terrorists turned out to be home grown.

Reply
jwebsc April 16, 2013 at 1:40 pm

There are layers to this that we don’t know about and may never know about. Why were there simultaneous bomb drills being run by homeland security in Boston on that day? How is it that a bomb could have been planted next to a guard shack in a part of the city completely covered by cameras on any day, let alone on Patriot’s Day, without being detected before it detonated? For an interesting take, go to groundzero ‘dot’ fm to listen to the podcast dated 16-04-2013…

Reply
Bubbas Brother April 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

Will, I will agree that our interventionist policy may cause us to be targeted more but that doesn’t make us more vulnerable, we’d be a target regardless because of our freedoms that much of the rest of the world despise so much.

It would be simple to go back to the “nineteen teens” or late thirties and “mind our own business – how’d that work out?

Reply
The Colonel (R) April 16, 2013 at 10:32 am

Will, I will agree that our interventionist policy may cause us to be targeted more but that doesn’t make us more vulnerable, we’d be a target regardless because of our freedoms that much of the rest of the world despise so much.

It would be simple to go back to the “nineteen teens” or late thirties and “mind our own business – how’d that work out?

Reply
William Wallace April 16, 2013 at 10:33 am

We fail to elect people of character, vision, integrity and patriotism. These (our elected and reelected officials) people are a selfserving bunch, who pass laws, exempting themselves and feel the people and their money are there for their benefit, rather than they work for us, the people.

A case in point is the National debt. We the people cast NO votes on any budget, nor defecit. We cast NO votes on increasing the debt limit! Our elected officials have created the mess we now face!

All are responsible, Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

We cast no votes on the budgets, defecits, nor debt limits. They, themselves did; but, who is suppose to pay for their folly? The answer, we the people!

Have these elected officials suffered or sacraficed? Not a bit. Their health care is the best, their salaries and retirements protected, their expense aaccounts flush with our money. They, however, are promoting cuts to our retirements, our services and clamoring for more of our money to fritter away on their whims, pet pork projects, the hiring of their friends and family.

Our children and Grandchildren will be the BIG losers; but, we the apathetic, disengaged voters share in the blame aand will share in the pain, before we leave a legacy of suffering to those who inherit our frivolity and uneducated votes for the same old worn out, moraly and ethicly, and legaly corrupt officials.

Reply
William Wallace April 16, 2013 at 10:33 am

We fail to elect people of character, vision, integrity and patriotism. These (our elected and reelected officials) people are a selfserving bunch, who pass laws, exempting themselves and feel the people and their money are there for their benefit, rather than they work for us, the people.

A case in point is the National debt. We the people cast NO votes on any budget, nor defecit. We cast NO votes on increasing the debt limit! Our elected officials have created the mess we now face!

All are responsible, Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

We cast no votes on the budgets, defecits, nor debt limits. They, themselves did; but, who is suppose to pay for their folly? The answer, we the people!

Have these elected officials suffered or sacraficed? Not a bit. Their health care is the best, their salaries and retirements protected, their expense aaccounts flush with our money. They, however, are promoting cuts to our retirements, our services and clamoring for more of our money to fritter away on their whims, pet pork projects, the hiring of their friends and family.

Our children and Grandchildren will be the BIG losers; but, we the apathetic, disengaged voters share in the blame aand will share in the pain, before we leave a legacy of suffering to those who inherit our frivolity and uneducated votes for the same old worn out, moraly and ethicly, and legaly corrupt officials.

Reply
BigT April 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Leftwing Nut-jobs who think TV is reality. That may be your problem.

FITS and the Liberals HATE Fellow Americans, if they are Christian and vote Republican…Yet you will defend the most Murderous Religious Jihadists…just because those Islamists Hate Bush and freedom…just like you do…

I’d LOVE for your Sorry @$$ to be put in a room w/ the Muslim Terrorists you identify with..You’d be BEGGING for the American “Interventionists” To come stop the Muslims you so admire from slitting your throat..

Never have Ignorant America-Hating Dumb@$$#$ been so bold as you Fantasy Dwellers…If only you could party w/ the monsters you think are like you…you’d come running back to the shelter of the burbs…

Reply
BigT April 16, 2013 at 12:52 pm

Leftwing Nut-jobs who think TV is reality. That may be your problem.

FITS and the Liberals HATE Fellow Americans, if they are Christian and vote Republican…Yet you will defend the most Murderous Religious Jihadists…just because those Islamists Hate Bush and freedom…just like you do…

I’d LOVE for your Sorry @$$ to be put in a room w/ the Muslim Terrorists you identify with..You’d be BEGGING for the American “Interventionists” To come stop the Muslims you so admire from slitting your throat..

Never have Ignorant America-Hating Dumb@$$#$ been so bold as you Fantasy Dwellers…If only you could party w/ the monsters you think are like you…you’d come running back to the shelter of the burbs…

Reply
Pluvlaw April 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

This one was better: Joy cometh in the morning, scripture tells us. I hope so… http://youtu.be/eSTTc_-JTpo?t=1m5s

Reply
Pluvlaw April 16, 2013 at 3:11 pm

This one was better: Joy cometh in the morning, scripture tells us. I hope so… http://youtu.be/eSTTc_-JTpo?t=1m5s

Reply

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