Maybe you weren't around when John Lennon, the guy who wrote All You Need is Love, was hounded by the FBI because he advocated for peace.
Perhaps you missed it when they haunted every move of Martin Luther King because he too wanted to live in a world at peace, and even worse, a world where people had civil rights.
Possibly you overlooked the government's harassment of the Quakers and sundry other peace groups. Could be you weren't paying attention when our government, in a nationally coordinated crackdown, brutally attacked and violently crushed the Occupy movement.
That our government thinks of OWS as terrorists tells us an awful lot about our government. Nothing too flattering either. And no, it's nothing new, which does not even begin to excuse it. If anything, it is all the more reason to be alarmed. Do not fall victim to the Stockholm Syndrome. Our government is, and has long been, hell on the good guys.
I shake my head in wonder at all those compliant souls who nod their heads in approval as the middle class is killed off to suit the mad desires of the 1% and our last remaining liberties, such as they are, are sacrificed to our unreasoning fear of the boogeymen of our own creation.
The Irrationality of Giving Up This Much Liberty to Fight Terror
Of course we should dedicate significant resources and effort to stopping terrorism.
But consider some hard facts. In 2001, the year when America suffered an unprecedented terrorist attack -- by far the biggest in its history -- roughly 3,000 people died from terrorism in the U.S.
Let's put that in context. That same year in the United States:
71,372 died of diabetes
29,573 were killed by guns
13,290 were killed in drunk driving accidents
That's what things looked like at the all time peak for deaths by terrorism. Now let's take a longer view. We'll choose an interval that still includes the biggest terrorist attack in American history: 1999 to 2010.
Again, terrorists killed roughly 3,000 people in the United States. And in that interval,
Roughly 360,000 were killed by guns (Actually, the figure the CDC gives is 364,483 -- in other words, by rounding, I just elided more gun deaths than there were total terrorism deaths).
Roughly 150,000 were killed in drunk driving accidents.
Nothing could be more dangerous to democracy or what we used to call freedom than a massive program of domestic spying. Those who yawn do so either out of unreasonable fear, ignorance of the history of fascistic and repressive regimes or a general lack of awareness...to put it kindly. They may need to read (or re-read) 1984
, A Brave New World
and the US Constitution
I'm not saying that government is inherently bad and we don't need one. I'm no libertarian. I'm saying our particular government, dominated and owned as it is by the 1%, is bad to the bone, lies through its teeth and supports all the wrong people doing all the wrong things - and that we desperately need a new one. We need a government that does the right things for the American people, the earth and all the other people of the world. We need a government that respects our rights and our privacy. We need to live in a country where dissent is possible and the government doesn't inspire the rest of the world to want to kill us – which is the only thing that will ever keep us safe from terrorism (though, as pointed out above, statistically not that much of a problem). Manufacturing terrorists all over the world by taking anything we want by force and ruthlessly fucking over anybody who gets in our way hasn't worked out so well. Blaming the Security State on those who object is a pretty slick and cynical trick though.
Dissent, which has been called the highest form of patriotism, may well be on its last legs in this country. It is now impossible to organize any kind of opposition, no matter how innocent or righteous, without government spooks breathing down your neck. Surveillance quashes dissent...all dissent. Just remember who the government thinks is a threat: peace activists, dissidents, kids who dare object to the raw deal being crammed down their throats
A lot of people want desperately to believe that our government is a bunch of really good guys simply doing their best to keep us safe from the terrorists. It's understandable that people want to believe that but pretty fucking outrageous that anyone actually does.
Here are a few clues:
Gulf of Tonkin
George W. Bush
Total Information Awareness
The USA Patriot Act
"People willing to trade their freedom for temporary security deserve neither and will lose both."
arguably attributable to Ben Franklin, but a fine and pertinent quotation regardless of origin
Why does this loathsome crazy bullshit keep happening? Because almost nothing has really changed in this country since Vietnam. People have been lulled into a deep sleep by the most sophisticated and nefarious propaganda program to ever exist on the face of the earth, all so the fat cats can gorge at the expense of everybody else. Many of us simply refuse to wake up and smell the neo-fascism.
With respect to Snowden, and all the idiots screaming, "he broke the law, he broke the law," let me remind you of all the high-ranking members of our fucked up society who broke many more and much more serious laws who have not paid a dime for their crimes. You can see their shining faces on the national TV. Breaking the law is only wrong in this country if you are one of the little people, and it's especially wrong if you are trying to expose the grievous wrongs committed by our government. We'd all be wise to remember that the only person in prison for the official US policy of torturing helpless prisoners to death is the guy who blew the whistle on it.
I support anyone who exposes gross misconduct or wrong doing on the part of our government or military, and consider such people to be genuine patriots and heroes. That means Ellsberg, Manning, Assange and Snowden. I am grateful to them all.
Referring to Assange, Daniel Ellsberg recently said this: “I’ve waited forty years for a release of documents on this scale.”
Those brave enough to dissent, object and resist the madness that dominates our society deserve the full support of anyone who still believes in liberty, truth or justice.
You either support the right to expose wrongdoing, or you support the wrongdoing.
The bone-headed bullshit and obsequious acquiescence of the law 'n order crowd never ceases to amaze me. Line up for showers you dumbasses.
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