Meanwhile, here in post-911 USA, whistleblower and U.S. Customs official Diane Kleiman at the JFK airport wrote about doors leading directly to the airplanes being left unguarded. Airport personnel hold the keys, and there is no oversight involved when walking through those doors. This allowed for drug smuggling. Kleiman also wrote about post-911 incidents in which illegal aliens were smuggled through these unguarded doors in response to bribe orders, by airport personnel who themselves are aliens with criminal backgrounds. So while there’s a big “hoopla” about checking Americans and their baggage and even (Sometimes) their bodies, the very thing which leads to the actual hijacking of a plane is left unguarded.
So much for keeping us safe.
None of this would have come to our Founding Fathers as any surprise. Living under dictatorial rule, they knew first-hand that given any loopholes, many (not all) human beings will be inclined to exploit them. That’s why they set up the Constitution with its checks and balances. It’s as old as the inception of Time itself: The fact is, that human beings are capable of light and dark alike. Denial forgets that fact. And we Americans are so innocently accustomed to our freedoms that we can’t even fathom, let alone suspect, what is really coming under the “protections” being written into post-911 law.
Remember Tianenmen Square? Protestors were mowed down by machine guns. And we Americans think to that date with rightful horror. And we also wrongfully believe that such things are the exception and not the norm with dictatorships.
Wrong! Dictatorships make it dangerous---I repeat, dangerous---- for the people to even say a peep. Right here in the USA, peaceful and non-violent protestors are being tasered at increasingly alarming rates. Activists and not terrorists appear on no-fly lists, Bin Laden walks around free while more than 70% of the Guantanamo detainees have been proven innocent yet are not released, nor do they have any access to due process of law. Of the 143,000 National Security Letters (FBI subpoenas for private records) issued between 2003-2005, 53% were for Americans while only one terrorist was caught since 9-11-01, according to FBI agent Mike German who now is counsel to the ACLU.
The American belief “but we’ve got to trust someone” is the product of living with more than 200 years of freedom. We can’t fathom what dictatorship really looks like.
And yet the need for protection is legitimate. It is not wiretapping or investigations per se, but the fact that it is done without court oversight that yields the concern. Abuse is written all over Anything Without Court Oversight or Lacking In Checks And Balances or Separation Of Powers. Period. Unfortunately, the “protections” legislated since 9-11-01 are based on those exact unilateral----and unconstitutional----foundations. If they were based on Constitutional principles, there would be no problem. And, may I add, no danger to American citizens and visitors.
If Bush claims that we are safer than previously because there has been no repeated terrorist attack, I counter that there never was any terrorist attack at all prior to his taking office. What a bogus rationale.
Certainly, the attempt to do away with checks and balances and the judiciary’s fundamental role in “checking” government power does NOT keep us safe. Neither does it help to combat terrorism. What, then, is the true purpose? Something to think about.
I suggest it’s time for impeachment and then for us all to rigorously set about unseating about 75% of our Congress. Whether or not they are deliberately converting us to dictatorship or are merely lying down in cowardice is a moot debate. Because the fact is that they are setting up the dictatorship, either way. And the abuses are only in the beginning stages.
Therefore, we don’t have the luxury of sighing with discouragement. We must Act, Not Re-Act, to the situation and work until we know that we are at the point of true safety and security, which IS freedom. Because clearly, the “protections” are only endangering Us, the People while doing little if anything to go after actual terrorists. The ACLU’s website statistics makes that abundantly clear and, in my opinion, is the best political education on the Web.
What is the solution?
We can campaign to challenge the seats of Congresspeople. We can write letters to the editor to expose their wrongs and help the popular vote along to choose someone else. And we can work to implement civilian oversight at the precincts, to be sure that votes are no longer rigged. The wave of civilian involvement at the precinct level is exciting: Let’s contribute to the wave until it grows into a tsunami. To accomplish that, we must ask others to do the same. The power of the Internet is exponential: Keep using it and who knows how many precinct volunteers will step forward to safeguard our elections?
Thank you all for your help.