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Vying for Detention: Two liberal Democratic Senators Give Us a Police State for Christmas

By Dan DeWalt  Posted by Dave Lindorff (about the submitter)       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink

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opednews.com Headlined to H1 12/22/11

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We're not on the edge of a slippery slope here. We're sliding down a precipice faster than you can say "Facebook killed privacy and I don't care". We're all becoming viewed as potential terrorist suspects.

Is this because we are all potential terrorists? No, it's because those in power understand that they have lost their legitimacy and recognize that the only way that they will be able to hold onto power it is through intimidation and fear. The 1% have never been able to earn power through just governance. The 99% always rebel eventually when the injustices and inequalities grow too great for their society to bear. And even though the elite always lose in the long run, they first resort to ratcheting up their police and military power and start treating their citizens like potential enemies.

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So who is one of the surprise enablers of the new improved police state? That would be Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT). It used to be that when a powerful senior Senator recognized a bill that posed a threat to the Republic, he would filibuster it, or use the bully pulpit and parliamentary maneuvering to prevent its passage. Today the most we can hope for from him is a failed attempt or two at meaningfully amending the bill, followed by the passage of a useless amendment, followed by a yes vote with a few mumbled phrases about being the best we could do or some such truck.

Well they can detain and disappear a goodly number of us, but they can't take us all. We're the ones they make money off of, after all. So why don't we all embrace our potential as terrorists together? It doesn't take much to qualify as we've seen. Let's all declare our intentions and see if the Pentagon brass can convince our troops to come home only to take up hunting us instead of Iraqi "bad guys". Most of our soldiers have labored under the belief that they were fighting abroad to defend our free speech rights at home. American troops take an oath to defend the Constitution, not a government or an ideology. They are duty bound to disobey any orders that are un-Constitutional, and that would include any that involved detention without charges.

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So what sort of declaration shall we make? A simple promise to always exercise our first amendment rights in the face of unconstitutional actions by the government is a good start. How about a pledge to support and encourage all forms of non-violent, peaceful citizen actions that challenge the corrupt status-quo that is destroying our nation and its economy? How about a pledge to support and participate in saving unjustly re-possessed homes from being taken by the banks that (may) hold the mortgage?

How about openly supporting and participating in non-violent civil dis-obedience actions to shut down a leaking nuclear power plant that won't obey the law of the state where it resides? Or taking non-violent direct action to impede the immoral weapons manufacturing that delivers to dictators across the globe to use on their citizens?

It's funny, though: all of these actions are protected by our Constitution. While some may be illegal and could earn a trial and possible penalty, they all represent the very heart of what is supposed to be so great about being an American -- the right to free expression and right to assemble to address grievances. None of these actions even remotely deserve to be seen as terrorism, low-level or not.

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Our government likes to be at war. They don't have the right to be at war with us, and we must stand strong, speak loud and not let them cow us into a quiet submission. Don't worry, if they take you away, your family can always contact Senator Leahy's office for help.

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Dave Lindorff is a founding member of the collectively-owned, journalist-run online newspaper www.thiscantbehappening.net. He is a columnist for Counterpunch, is author of several recent books ("This Can't Be Happening! Resisting the (more...)

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