During the earlier phase of Greek domestic terrorism (1970s through 2000) 17N regularly sent its endless manifestos to a major “progressive” Athens daily which, punctually, published them in their entirety, often adding its own commentary and interpretation. At one point, one of this paper’s senior writers, in a major editorial, extorted the “comrades” (sic) to put down their guns and join democracy! With the passage of time, and as more murders, bombings, and rocket strikes piled up, this body of published 17N “literature” grew steadily in volume. After 17N stumbled and fell in 2002, there was even a publisher who collected all these memorable “revolutionary” texts into a thick book, numbering 800-plus pages, that went on sale in bookstores throughout Greece.

The current crop of terror cells makes full use of modern technologies. Gone is the old 17N typewriter (never recovered by the authorities) and in comes the laptop and rants burned on CD, ghoulishly placed on the grave of the 15-year old student whose shooting by the police last December ignited the worst riots Greece has seen since the end of WW2. At least two newspapers, one weekly, the other a high-circulation left-of-center Athens daily, have picked up the baton as the terrorists’ press platforms. The killing of Officer Savvas by the Sect of Revolutionaries last month was quickly followed by yet another computer-generated spillover of “revolutionary” pseudo-analysis that found its way to the major circulation daily’s printed pages right away.

Nobody among the Greek media seem disturbed by this casual, business-as-usual spreading of the terrorists’ bloody message. Television talking heads, and their counterparts in the print press, appear not the least concerned with the deeper implications, not to mention the morality, of such willing, conscious, unfailing, and widespread sustenance of terrorist propaganda masqueraded, of course, under the one-size-fits-all excuse of “the right of people to know.”

None from among the Greek media seem preoccupied with the question of what this “right” exactly entails and why an anonymous screed by cold-blooded murderers, threatening others with violent death, warrants such unobstructed propagation throughout the country. None from among the Greek media seem concerned with the impact of making public these criminal rants upon the victims’ families – who, by the way, have never won such free and ready access to print and broadcast media as the killers.

Such no-questions-asked, matter-of-fact printing of terrorist proclamations constitutes another deeply disturbing mutation of Greek “democracy.” The silence of Greek “intellectuals,” politicians, “concerned citizens,” “opinion makers,” and the litany of “analysts” on this unquestioned acceptance of the proverbial “banality of evil” as a legitimate component of a “democratic” discourse is even more telling of the severe moral, attitudinal, social, and political problems Greece faces as she descends deeper in her crisis of institutions and founding principles.


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