Glenn Greenwald recently gave an incredible speech, after an outstanding introduction, during an event hosted by an organization that I am unfamiliar with and doubt I would support. Be that as it may, the speech was stunning in that it captured the essence of what it means to be a great American in my mind - principle, courage, character and a real serious respect for the truth. I recommend the video be started at the 03:20 point.
It reminds me of the first of our core values. Integrity First. Sometimes integrity comes with extremely serious risks to our own convenience. Who would demonstrate integrity when it might risk their promotion, or their next assignment, not to mention their liberty or even their life? Who would have the character to go beyond the recruiting posters and actually put such skin in the game? The answer is those who can appreciate General Fogleman's third core value. Service Before Self. This ain't no chump game and bar talk is cheap.
I am an enormous fan of Glenn Greenwald. I very much appreciated his latest book, With Liberty and Justice for Some. The frau and I flew half way across the country, not too terribly long ago, to meet him over the weekend and to listen to him speak at an ACLU function. He gave a wonderful speech during that event. He's one powerful and principled orator, and he is razor sharp. The speech embedded above is far better than the one he gave that weekend.
Courage. Our oath. America. Doing the right thing when those above you demand that you do wrong, when they threaten and intimidate you and make it clear that your SELF will be in serious jeopardy should you choose SERVICE. These are some of the themes that Glenn's speech touches on, and as ironic as it might seem, these themes are those of great American servicemen. There is a reason for our Air Force Core Values, and I think Glenn touches on it in his speech above. The truth. Integrity. Courage. Above all, integrity.
Integrity First. Why integrity first? Because if you have that, everything else will follow accordingly.