“No one man can terrorize a whole nation unless we are all his accomplices.”?
~ Edward R. Murrow
We’ve walked a strange and harrowing road since September 11, 2001, littered
with the debris of our once-vaunted liberties.
We have gone from a nation that took great pride in being a model of a representative
democracy to being a model of how to persuade the citizenry to march in lockstep
with a police state. In doing so, we have proven Osama Bin Laden right. He warned
and human rights in America are doomed. The U.S. government will lead the
American people in – and the West in general – into an unbearable hell and a
These past 15 years have indeed been an unbearable, choking hell.
What began with the passage
of the USA Patriot Act in October 2001 has snowballed into the eradication
of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.
The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants
to do in exchange for the phantom
promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where the nation
is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic,
self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this
nation was founded.
This is not freedom. This is a jail cell.
Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT
team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance
drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, roving VIPR raids and
the like – all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and
the courts – our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away at, undermined,
eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.
Our losses are mounting with every passing day.
Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing,
due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability
and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily
integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties
in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown more pronounced
Since the towers fell on 9/11, the American people have been treated like enemy
combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to
all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored,
silenced, shot at, locked up, and denied due process.
In allowing ourselves to be distracted by terror drills, foreign wars, color-coded
warnings, underwear bombers and other carefully constructed exercises in propaganda,
sleight of hand, and obfuscation, we failed to recognize that the true enemy
to freedom was lurking among us all the while.