david halberstam, rip

Sad news today that journalist and author David Halberstam was killed in a car accident in the SF Bay Area.  I have enjoyed reading his work, and remember watching him interviewed by Charlie Rose on Election Night 2004, just after Kerry conceded the race to Bush.

Mr Halberstam wrote many fine books, among them several about how the brightest minds in the US were responsible for miring us in the Vietnam War.  In recent years he drew parallels between Vietnam and Iraq, most ominously between the government impulse to CYA (from msnbc.com) :

Speaking to a journalism conference last year in Tennessee, he said government criticism of news reporters in Iraq reminded him of the way he was treated while covering the war in Vietnam.

"The crueler the war gets, the crueler the attacks get on anybody who doesn’t salute or play the game," he said. "And then one day, the people who are doing the attacking look around and they’ve used up their credibility."

I mourn our gradual collective loss of intellectual curiosity.  Mr Halberstam communicated his very eloquently.

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