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By Daniel Ross

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The ends justified the means. No further justification is necessary, and no further evidence is important. The consent of the “beneficiaries” ensures legitimacy. Any further debate about the sincerity and validity of the prior insistence on the existence of thousands of barrels of anthrax, on roguish foreign policy, and on association with terrorists, is nothing more than a point of historical debate. To assert that the invading powers justified their invasion on spurious grounds, to assert that they lied to their respective publics in order to build support for the invasion, is to argue against the rationales offered in the past, rather than to “deal with the reality” that the invasion has been accomplished.

The heritage of thought that leads from Leo Strauss to Allan Bloom to Paul Wolfowitz indicates a way of thinking that remains in many ways a reaction to the devastating events of the National Socialist period in Germany. But this haunted relation to the past is not confined to the minds of government strategists. Rather, there is a “structural” and ineradicably “destructuring” presence of the past at the level of political foundation. In this chapter we will examine the meaning of this claim. This chapter was begun as the government of one sovereign state succumbed to the military might of another.

Not all enemies are known knowns. The entire logic of “classified” secrets in a democracy has no defensible foundation other than the existence, external or internal, of enemies. Without such a presupposition, it would be absolutely unjustifiable to suppose that public knowledge of government activities and government thoughts presented a danger to democracy, rather than its precondition. The Guidance is both cynical and optimistic. What is cynical is the means by which American hegemony is to be protected.

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