It's a simple question, really: What motivates terrorists to keep coming after the US? It deserves an honest answer, writes Glenn Greenwald. But when Helen Thomas pressed security chief John Brennan on it yesterday, he resorted to the "cartoon idiocy" that al-Qaeda members are simply evil murderers. She kept pressing, and he kept giving patronizing non-answers, until everyone just ignored her and moved on.
"What is Brennan so afraid of?" Greenwald asks in Salon. "Why can't he just say what's so obviously true?" Terrorists cite US interference in their part of the world and such things as civilian deaths, Guantanamo, torture, and Israel. "To acknowledge motive is not remotely to imply legitimacy or justification," says Greenwald, who's amazed at how rarely the question is raised. "In fact, the opposite is true: pretending motive doesn't exist legitimizes it more than acknowledging (and refuting) it would." (Read more Helen Thomas stories.)