I've got my own bone to pick with young Conor:
In recent months, I've had several people ask me why it is that I criticize my own team in blog posts . . . . [T]he answer for some people I criticize is that they're just not on my team, and they shouldn't be on yours either.
What follows is a clip of Glenn Beck interviewing former CIA analyst Michael Scheuer. The clip, taken not from the Fox website, but from a YouTube reproduction of a Media Matters post, presents Scheuer saying with almost no context:
"The only chance we have as a country right now is for Osama bin Laden to deploy and detonate a major weapon in the United States -- because it's gonna take a grassroots, bottom-up pressure -- because these politicians prize their offices, prize the praise of the media, and the Europeans. It's an absurd situation again, only Osama can execute an attack which will force Americans to demand that their government protect them effectively, consistently and with as much violence as necessary."
A couple of points here. First, I do not count myself among the fans of Glenn Beck, whose on-air persona I find . . . lacking stability. Second, I do not endorse Scheuer's statement. But let's be honest about the context here. Scheuer is arguing that America's political class won't be roused to defend the country short of another terrorist attack.
There's plenty to disagree with here. You never know what you are going to get from a terrorist attack. Osama bin Laden predicted that 9/11 would persuade America to abandon the Middle East and embrace Islam; as it turned out, he was wrong. Meanwhile, I would have predicted that 9/11 would have caused us to curtain our student visa program and begin returning Muslim aliens to their countries of origin. I, too, was wrong. Who, other than their advocates, would have predicted two 8-year-and-counting wars and a new mammoth security bureacracy as our response? So be careful what you predict to be the downstream effects of this or that act of violence that you don't fully control.
But it should be obvious to everyone, including MM and, by extension, Friedersdorf, that Scheuer is not advocating another attack on the U.S. to get his preferred policies implemented. Friedersdorf's implicitly endorsement of that slander shows him to be either incredibly disingenuous, or incredibly stupid.