Tuesday, September 11, 2007

How 9/11 Changed Me

As I mull over the moments that I had at a backup site to the stock exchange, hastily evacuated out of fear that the attackers would also hit financial backup sites of the USA, coming home to see the smoke from the Pentagon from my balcony, and accommodating those were stuck in the district after a complete lock-down, I find it interesting on how the news networks harp on and on about patriotic this and patriotic that. NBC had a poll saying that over 60% of people responding felt that government was not doing enough to combat terror.

My point exactly. You may as well say that we haven't sacrificed enough of our freedoms for our security.

How stupid, ignorant, and dangerous. Turning this country into a police state is what the terrorists wanted, and they have succeeded. Ask some honest questions:
  • How many terrorists were apprehended under the "Patriot" act? Convicted, even under "judge, this man is guilty for reasons we cannot tell you, so please issue the verdict" kangaroo courts?


  • How many terrorists were stopped under laws that existed prior to 9/11, convicted in open courts, under the rule of law we so love to espouse?

    More than zero. Less than five.

  • How many cameras did it take in the UK to stop determined terrorists? How many wiretap laws?

    Not enough.

We, the people, have handed victory to the terrorists and emboldened our enemies, because we will not stand for our rights.

Take our guns. Check, new assault weapons bans in progress will ensure terrorists and predators are better armed than we are (see the events in England as a reminder).

Take our right to self defense (c.f. California's escalation in equal measure statute vs. Castle statute of Virginia). In progress - California, Maryland, and the northeastern states leading the way. Therefore, we're absolved of personal responsibility, but so are the cops, as proven in court in DC that they have no responsibility to protect you.

Take our right to a fair trial. Check. Secret letters in secret courts are not enough here - clearly we need more national security letters.

Take our right to due process of any measure. Check. Like Australia, we gladly allow guilt by association on secret facts, as long as it isn't us.

Oh wait, I violated a presidential order, as open discourse can be construed as "undermining Iraq reconstruction efforts." F*** free speech.

My friend's bagpipe playing a sorrowful Piobaireachd in memoriam from noon until midnight, on the hour that day was for the people. And the loss of our freedom to come.

Yes, I feel safer already. Don't you?

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Blogger lextalionix said...

Retired Justice Sandra Day O'Conner wrote that "We have long since made clear that state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."

That opinion was recorded in a 2004 8-1 Supreme Court decision that asserted that while the executive branch technically has the power to designate enemy combatants, prisoners have a right to challenge their detention in court.

That same term, the Supremes ruled 6-3 that federal courts do have jurisdiction over enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay even though it's not on U.S. soil.

What these rulings show us is that although the liberty train may go off it's tracks, our system of government will slowly, if not lethargically, bring us back on course to what this country is based on - liberty and freedom.

BTW - we are just one presidential election away from correcting, and accelerating towards our recovery from this disastrous previous decade.

Also, we must insure that organizations such as the "Center for Constitutional Rights", the ACLU, and the local "Legal Aid Societies", etc. continue to remain viable and strong as a refuge for when our rights are so brazenly taken from us during moments of national hysteria - all in the name of our collective good.

We should have trust and faith that injustices and loss of our freedom's will only be a temporary departure of what makes this country great.

The checks and balances built into our government will vet and fix challenges to our freedoms - it's just that we must have patience to let the process work itself out.

6:55 AM  
Blogger theMezz said...

How would you know how many terrorists the Patriot Act helped arrest or plots it stopped?

7:01 PM  
Blogger jaydub said...

Arrests mean nothing without convictions when rule of law counts. Or would you like to be incarcerated for secret charges and backed by secret evidence?

It's clear by the Auditor General's report that there have not been any significant convictions to date.

Further, had they stopped credible plots with the powers of the act, these would have been touted in the press of the act working.

All terrorist activity so far has been stopped by conventional laws and police work, usually combined with luck on our part and stupidity on the part of the terrorists.

Feel free to prove me wrong, though.

5:26 PM  
Blogger dp2 said...

The problem is that 2-year-olds, in general, seem to have a greater attention span than the current administration. Unfortunately, neither the Republican nor Democrat led Congress has stepped in and decisively filled the leadership void.

The checks and balances neither checked nor balanced much of anything. The current administration (primarily the executive branch) has pretty much done whatever they wanted, and they steamrolled over or otherwise worked around any opposition. It's the brazen bullheadedness that gets me most.

The Whitehouse needs a white-washing, and that's exactly what I plan to vote for both this and next year.

4:43 AM  

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