Thursday, March 26, 2015

French Rule: The Germanwings 9525 Investigation

Okay, so props to the French prosecutor who didn’t spoon-feed information to us for weeks as is generally done in investigations following mysterious plane crashes affecting U.S. carriers. Felt sorry for the man – it’s a dismal, sad, sorry business.  He acquitted himself with a nobility, a toughness,  and an admirable truthfulness through these difficult moments in a difficult time.

Among many striking moments during the now famous press conference was when the chief prosecutor, Monsieur Brice Robin, said that the victims of the terror, including the families, deserve to know the truth as soon as possible. This is very true. This is also very different from what we Americans have become accustomed to. The thinking in Washington these days is that we must be guided like children toward what can at best be described as well-meaning fantasies. If Germanwings 9525 had been downed in the Rockies, I am quite sure Americans would not yet know the plane was intentionally downed. The possibilities and various scenarios would be endlessly investigated with never a conclusion, nor an honest public statements.

There is a great tendency of the current administration in Washington to deny what is self-evident. It is a kind of phony, deceitful posturing that vaunts its supposed “concern” for victims of terrorism. The popular meme that the Obama administration cannot utter the words “Islamic terrorism” is only one thing. The same thinking “protects” us from seeing photos of the dead Osama bin Laden.
Certainly, there will be those who do not wish to see such photos but there are plenty like myself who would find it somehow healing, particularly those who most directly suffered the consequences of the 9-11 attacks.  The same sort of thinking applies to other recent aspects of government. Think of the health care law, passed by an unusual procedure without a public referendum. Think of the current nuke talks with the Iranians, about which nothing is known except that it is an obviously bad deal which will precipitate and arms race in the Middle East. This cavalier government-knows-all attitude is contagious, afflicting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Assembly who passed the inaptly named “Safe Act” in the dead of night and without public debate.  The list is long of incidents where government potentates diminished or crushed the right of the people to know what is necessary to know if the republic is to function effectively.

So much for philosophical meanderings. The world right now is all the wiser for the honest candor of the French prosecutor who made no attempt to hide the bad news.  The hunt now settles on the background of 28 year old Andreas Lubitz, who defeated the German system and managed to get himself hired as a pilot for Germanwings  so that he could murder 150 people.  

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