Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Hoover Correction is Due

One of America's most admired traits is that it is a land of laws and equal justice - illa ma sha'Allah - meaning, with some unintended exceptions within the realm of human imperfections.

Yet, it seems, every once in a while, a man rises who challenges this core of this great nation, and gets away with it. In a prior generation, such a man was J. Edgar Hoover. An amazing feat of this man was that he headed the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1935 to 1972. Only death managed to get him out of that powerful position he frequently and abundantly abused. Not quite the tenure of Fidel Castro, but definitely that league.

There is a beautiful hadith where the Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said the equivalent of the fact that it doesn't behoove a believer to be bitten out of the same snake hole more than once - the Islamic equivalent of "fool me once, shame on you - fool me twice shame on me." And boy do we believe in this in America! A fool tried to bring a plane down with explosives in his shoes, so for six years now we have been removing our shoes to be screened before boarding a plane.

It's what I'd like to call the Hoover Correction. After Hoover's highly controversial and abusive career-to-grave, congress passed a law that limits the tenure of an FBI director to a max of ten years. That doesn't mean we won't ever be abused by a crook of a FBI director again, but it won't be because he or she is in power for that long.

I think a Hoover Correction is also due over the abuses of Dick Cheney. For eight years this man has reduced transparency and accountability in public office not just to nothing, but lives to ridicule it. This has been documented in an award-winning series by Washington Post journalists Barton Gellman and Jo Becker. I just can't find enough people who have read it...

I hope they take measures so America's democracy is never tarnished and abused by a man like Cheney again.


Anonymous said...

you may be interested in

Anonymous said...

Hamza seems to be doing a great job articulating the muslim case. In this world you can explain and some can even justify terrorism. And as an afterthought people say "well, in Islam, really, terrorism isn't allowed." This immediately leads to feeling good but doesn't do away with the problem. When I read ATM's posts the sense I am getting is we need to do more. Muslims should have been immuned from terrorism as we know it no matter how hard their oppression. A handful of Muslims resort to such violence but a large number of Muslims, by failing to be appalled by it, are not doing their part in preventing it. And by explaining it away, we are almost justifying it.