Watch CBSN Live

A Violent Attack On America

Two big hard news stories developing, still developing this afternoon.

Number one: Terrorists exploded bombs within minutes of each other outside U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, killing many in Kenya, a few in Tanzania. While Muslim extremists in Saudi Arabia or Egypt are prime suspects, no one knows who is responsible--and the initial suspicions could prove to be wrong.

Number two: A federal judge in Washington apparently has been presented enough evidence to indicate that Republican special prosecutor Ken Starr has probably violated grand jury secrecy laws by making orchestrated leaks of information to carefully selected reporters, whom could be counted upon for favorable telling of stories.

These two headlines of today, and tomorrow, are worth analyzing for what they tell us about ourselves, we Americans--who we are, what we are, and what we have and have not been consumed with as priorities this past year.

The Unites States of America, at this moment in history, is the world's only full-service super power. That is, the only nation that is both an economic and military superpower. But to say that we are a superpower is not to say that we are all- powerful.

We are not. There are limits to power. We have been reminded time and again, Vietnam, for one example, and there are many more, that there are limits to power. Sometimes severe limits.

In the post-communist, post-Cold War era, the world in some important ways is more dangerous than ever. Especially for America and Americans. There are people in the world who hate us, abhor us. And some of them are all too willing and able to strike viciously. That is what has happened in Eastern Africa.

And with what has happened in Eastern Africa fresh in our minds, we may be well advised to ponder the future, and how we deal with it. And, at the same time, ponder our current national fixation on alleged sexual matters involving the White House and this president.

As for the judge's apparent finding that the Republican special prosecutor probably has been violating grand jury secrecy laws: If this is true, as it now appears, what it means is, Ken Starr, who says he has been investigating possible criminal activity, has been leading an operation which has, itself, been engaging in criminal activity.

Where this may lead is impossible to say at the moment.

©1998 CBS Worldwide Corp. All rights reserved

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue