speaking ill of the dead

Hunter S. Thompson was, I believe, born to write Richard Nixon’s obituary.

I’m not sure if any journalist alive or dead can be said to have the same dibs on Ronald Reagan: frankly, most of the American media spent the 80s in a cocaine- and alcohol-fueled haze, and there’s not a one of them who escaped untouched by shame.

But when a genuinely monstrous man passes, and the official media is dutifully reciting its pre-approved script of amnesiac twaddle, someone needs to step up to the plate. Ladies and gentlemen, Mister Greg Palast:

For my own part, I will say only this:

When I was a much younger lad in Ann Arbor, Michigan, my family played a (very) small part in helping shelter a family of refugees from El Salvador. The kids were my own age: we played together, hung out, did normal kid stuff. I had lost my father to cancer. They had lost their uncle to paramilitary death squads who yanked him out of his house at 3am in front of his family, never to be heard from again. The sound of footsteps in the hallway would wake them, screaming, out of a sound sleep. It put my issues in perspective then. It still does now.

The thugs who ended their childhood were armed and paid for by my government, by direct and conscious policy of Ronald Reagan and his administration. What happened to them was not only normal for the time and place, it was mild compared to what some suffered. They say we should only speak good of the dead. Well then: Ronald Reagan is dead. Good.

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