President George W. Bush tells us, "You've just got to understand that the enemy hates us because of what we love. ...They hate everything about us because of our freedom."
"I have re-authorized this program more than 30 times," the president said. "I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from al Qaeda and related groups." To those Americans worried about the impact of such programs on their civil liberties, Bush explained, "If somebody from al Qaeda is calling you, we'd like to know why." He added, "I think most Americans understand the need to find out what the enemy's thinking."
Here's some of what the enemy is thinking, straight from our man in the White House: "They hate us because we love political discourse and a free society ... The more we speak our mind freely, the more they hate us." Obviously, this is a situation that requires scrutiny.
Enter the "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act," a.k.a. the USA PATRIOT Act. Passed in the aftermath of 9/11, this act includes what the ACLU calls "a host of alarming and unconstitutional anti-speech provisions" and has been condemned by three state legislatures and almost 250 municipalities across the United States.
Let's be clear, the squashing of civil liberties is hardly a novel idea. One may recall Bill Clinton's Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (1996), Woodrow Wilson's Espionage and Sedition Act (1917), or the FBI Counterintelligence Program, COINTELPRO (1956-1971). Also, Japanese-Americans in the 1940s just might have something to say about FDR's concept of freedom. Doling out and taking away rights is practically a hobby for America's power elite...but this is the first time we're faced with an enemy who attacks us solely because we enjoy freedom. In such a situation, I think Bush, Condi, Rummy, and the gang have conjured up the only logical scheme: remove the source of the problem.
When faced with an enemy that hates your freedoms, you dump the freedoms. No freedoms, no hatred. No hatred, no suicide bombers. A simple plan from a simple man: George W. Bush, tactical mastermind.
Mickey Z. is the author of several books, most recently "50 American Revolutions You're Not Supposed to Know" (Disinformation Books). He can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.