Here is an overt premise. There is just no way that 2004's reelection could have taken place--not to mention extraordinary rendition, legalized torture, FISA-flouting, or the passage of the Military Commissions Act--if we had been paying attention and handling information in a competent grown-up way. "We" meaning as a polity and culture. The premise does not entail specific blame; or rather the problems here are too entangled and systemic for good old-fashioned finger-pointing. It is, for one example, simplistic and wrong to blame the for-profit media for somehow failing to make clear to us the moral and practial hazards of trashing the Geneva Conventions. The for-profit media is exquisitely attuned to what we want and the amount of detail we'll sit still for. [...] You'd simply drown. We all would. It's amazing to me that no one much talks about this--about the fact that whatever our founders and framers thought of as a literate, informed citizenry can no longer exist, at least not without a whole new modern degree of subcontracting and dependence packed into what we mean by "informed."