Doggedly seeking truth

It's a Familiar Scene on TV news-magazines and evening news programs. A journalist is relentlessly questioning someone, trying to get the whole story from a reluctant storyteller. The journalist is like a dog with a bone—no giving up, no artful dodging allowed.

My comparison doesn't tell the full story about journalism, or the whole truth about dogs, but it's a useful comparison. Following the revelations of prisoner treatment at Abu Ghraib in Iraq and the report of the United States Congressional September 11 panel, I found myself wondering if under similar circumstances I would be dog with-a-bone tenacious in holding to better sense of what's right. What might save me from the "failure of imagination" that the 9/11 report attributed to many good people among the intelligence community? What would keep me from following a downward spiral of cruelty like that which occurred at the Abu Ghraib prison?

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August 23, 2004
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