Washington is mourning the passing of Pennsylvania Democratic Congressman John Murtha today, with everyone from President Obama on down issuing somber remarks praising his long legislative career. Notably, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, who in the ’80s headed the CIA when the Reagan administration was funneling arms and money to the Afghan mujahideen (folks who later would join the Taliban, and some guy named Osama bin Laden) as they fought the Evil Empire — the other one — dedicates much of his statement to praising “Murtha’s personal efforts on behalf of the Afghan resistance fighting the Soviets – efforts that helped bring about the end of the Cold War.”
And helped bring about 9/11. But it would be uncouth, I understand, to say so at a time like this. And why not take the opportunity of a man’s passing to try and further embed a convenient mythical narrative in the national psyche?