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While the petty bickering and squabbling continues about whether its better to elect a Democratic or Republican "Neville Chamberlain" in November 2012, the very essence of what America prides itself is being discarded, at a pace that accelerates each passing year.

If people are unaware of the trends...is it out of lack of interest, or lack of time? Too much stress? The concept is too nebulous? or the belief that "it can't happen here"? Those who do know may be in denial, or don't care, being generally skeptical that any negative consequences could affect them: The "maximum security" oriented society that is gradually evolving is directing its energies away from we law abiding citizens, towards "those" against whom have been indoctrinated. Then, of course, there are always those who say "if you obey the law, you have nothing to be bothered about".... the attitude that paves the road upon which dictators and henchmen strut

We may still be under the impression of living in a "free society". We get up, we go to work, watch TV, choose to drive or take public transport, we can start a business, go outside after dark etc. ... but isn't that true of pretty much anywhere else on Earth, barring a few anomalies, like North Korea?

If we really think we are that free, consider this article in the Washington Post. Yes, it's written by Jonathan Turley, a man hated by right wingers on account of his passionate "civil libertarianism"... but here he is sounding the warnings.

--- extracted below ---

Quote:
Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they dont operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of free, but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

The list of 10, as quoted by Turley, are the following:

* Assassination of U.S. citizens
* Indefinite detention
* Arbitrary justice
* Warrantless searches
* Secret evidence
* War crimes
* Secret courts
* Immunity from judicial review
* Continual monitoring of citizens
* Extraordinary renditions

No matter which position one occupies in the political spectrum, it is impossible to reconcile the notion of a nation that prides itself on freedom and justice, when the powers-that-be are acquiring such draconian authority, when there is no demonstrable justification for it.

Shortly after 9/11, George W. Bush told Americans and the world that "America was attacked because they hate our freedoms". Even though that statement - as it was intended to be understood by those who told GBW what to say - was utterly bogus as a motivation for the attacks, the decay of America that started on 9/12/2001 and is accelerating under the Obama regime, is ironically what the legendary/mythical attackers "wished to be foisted upon America". Whoever they may be, are now getting exactly what they want.

Remember "Freedom Fries"? It appears that freedom is frying in the skillet of big, intrusive "heavy manners" government. What's sizzling away in the pan is still recognizable, but the edges are getting curled up and browned off. We're not even a quarter of the way down that road yet - the fact that the Washington Post published this article demonstrates such - but if the current trends maintain, give it another 15 years and the notion of America as "land of the free" will be but a memory.
"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
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"We've never made the case, or argued the case that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming". VP Cheney, 3/29/2006. Interview by Tony Snow
Reply