It's something that I think about a lot, letting yourself be the bad guy if you can handle that. That sometimes loving and protecting America means cutting little chunks out of your own soul, to the degree that you can handle that. I think regular people find that a lot less appealing than, say, I do. That movie The Dark Knight was so great because they kept coming back to this central idea of, doing good things for no credit is just a step away from doing bad things for good reasons, and being vilified for it. If you can handle being hated, if you can handle being the bad guy, it really opens up the playing field as far as stuff you can do. I mean, there's your parallel with Carrie, who was willing to blow Saul Berenson of all people once upon a time, to get the job done. Who was willing -- like a week or so ago -- to send the man she loved to Gitmo, if he didn't manage to snap her neck first, to get the job done. The job being, of course, to save the world.
The major reason I love soldiers and anybody with a calling, in fact, is because of this idea, that service of any kind means laying down your own stupid ego on behalf of something bigger. And "Yourself As The Good Guy" is always the most elusive part of your ego, because there is nothing in the world that is ever going to convince you to let it go. Yourself As The Good Guy is the only thing for which you will spend your life receiving 100% validation and encouragement for at all times -- which makes sacrificing it practically unthinkable. Turn it a few degrees, and you get Walden, huffing and puffing and trying to be in charge of taking down Abu Nazir through sheer force of bluster. I tend to find Yourself As The Good Guy pretty nauseating, a lot of the time, because it inevitably seems to end up with you treating other people pretty poorly, in order to maintain it.