Sunday, November 27, 2005

What we have to Fear After 9/11

CLICK TO READ: Pentagon Expanding Its Domestic Surveillance Activity by Walter Pincus, Washington Post

The "F" word is back, as in "Fear", that is. It's being used yet again to frighten us ignorant Americans into giving up all of our rights. Big Brother is getting bigger and nosier and sneakier and he just may be looking into your private affairs. How does that make you feel? More secure? Because that is the reason they are giving us for creating yet more secret organizations to spy on U.S. citizens. Remember 9/11? Well, in a post 9/11 world it seems we are all suspect.

But that's not the scariest part. The scariest part is that Congress and the News media are allowing all of this happen without so much as a whimper. The White House answers to no one. No more balance of power, no oversight, my friends. We're all on our own. Where, pray tell, are our illustrious Representatives--our fine, upstanding Senators and Congressmen? According to Pincus,

"The proposals, and other Pentagon steps aimed at improving its ability to analyze counterterrorism intelligence collected inside the United States, have drawn complaints from civil liberties advocates and a few members of Congress, who say the Defense Department's push into domestic collection is proceeding with little scrutiny by the Congress or the public."

Is it not Congress' job to protect our rights? Or at least to be aware of the fact that our rights are in jeopardy? Should they not be screaming for hearings? Ooops. Forgot. That was BEFORE 9/11. Before they had no excuse to trample all over our rights. Now they do. And evidently, with few exceptions--if any--they are all facilitators of the process. They surely don't seem very concerned.

"Kate Martin, director of the Center for National Security Studies, said the data-sharing amendment would still give the Pentagon much greater access to the FBI's massive collection of data, including information on citizens not connected to terrorism or espionage.

The measure, she said, 'removes one of the few existing privacy protections against the creation of secret dossiers on Americans by government intelligence agencies.' She said the Pentagon's 'intelligence agencies are quietly expanding their domestic presence without any public debate.'"

I saw "Good Night. And Good Luck" yesterday. Go see it. The comparison between the McCarthy era and today is blatant and brilliant. The film is superb in every respect--screenwriting, acting, direction, cinematography. But, if you are over a certain age, it will make you want to crawl back under the covers of some earlier and more idealistic time. We need an Edward R. Murrow right now. We need someone of his integrity and courage--with the power of the media behind him. And I sure don't see anyone close to that description anywhere in sight.

So, my fellow Americans, be afraid. Because, increasingly, we're on our own. And if the administration continues on its relentless hunger for limitless power, every one of us who sees what is happening will become the enemy--if we open our mouths to protest. When that happens, the McCarthy era will look like a Disney movie in comparison to how they deal with post 9/11 "citizen enemies of the state." They can, as they did with Jose Padilla, accuse us of any damn thing they like and incarcerate us indefinitely--even torture us-- with no charges and no recourse on our part. Habeas Corpus, bye bye.

I wonder at how Pincus can report this story ever so matter of factly without the slightest outrage. Maybe that IS the journalist's job. But what of the commentaries? The editorials? I haven't heard any, have you?

There are only two ways to explain this:
1. The people in all areas of government and media know exactly what is going on and are complicit in the goals of the elite.
2. The people in all areas of government and media are too lazy or too stupid or too fat and happy to understand what is happening.

My guess is, it's no. 1. And that alone is reason enough to fear.

SEE ALSO: In Terror Cases, Bush Law Is Law by Adam Liptak, New York Times:

"When Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales announced last week that Jose Padilla would be transferred to the federal justice system from military detention, he said almost nothing about the standards the administration used in deciding whether to charge terrorism suspects like Mr. Padilla with crimes or to hold them in military facilities as enemy combatants.

'We take each individual, each case, case by case,' Mr. Gonzales

The upshot of that approach, underscored by the decision in Mr. Padilla's case, is that no one outside the administration knows just how the determination is made whether to handle a terror suspect as an enemy combatant or as a common criminal, to hold him indefinitely without charges in a military facility or
to charge him in court."

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