The terrorists have won

After the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush said the jihadist terrorists hate us Americans because of our freedoms. Ever since, we Americans have responded to each attempted terrorist attack – the most recent by a guy too incompetent to set gasoline on fire – by surrendering one more freedom to Big Brother.  If the purpose of terrorism is to terrorize, the terrorists are succeeding. They have turned the land of the free and the home of the brave into a nation of ‘scaredy cats.

I was sickened by the USA Patriot Act and the George W. Bush administration’s embrace of torture. We Americans in our history have been guilty of lynch law and mob violence, but the cold cruelty practiced by the KGB and the Gestapo historically has been alien to us.  I voted for Barack Obama with great enthusiasm because I thought he would restore constitutional government.

But President Obama has been worse – much worse – that President Bush.  He has not ended torture, merely relocated it.  He has asserted the right to order the killing of anyone, including American citizens, that the U.S. government in someone’s subjective judgment deems a terrorist.  He has asserted the right to strip Americans of their citizenship based on the same subjective judgment.  He wants deny basic constitutional rights to due process to anyone accused – not judged by any process – to be a terrorist.

People in villages in Afghanistan – people with the same inherent dignity as human beings that you and I have, people with no more personal guilt than the office workers in the World Trade Center – are routinely killed by predator missiles because somebody has made a determination that an insurgent is operating in their vicinity.

The crimes for which Richard M. Nixon was impeached are the equivalent of illegal parking compared to what is going on today.

But the responsibility is not Barack Obama’s.  It is mine.  My government every day commits crimes against humanity, as defined by international law, while I live my quiet, pleasant life and not only fail to do anything about it, but go whole days without thinking about it.

I don’t think the United States is the equivalent of Nazi Germany or any other dictatorship, but the administrative machinery and legal basis for a dictatorship are in place for anyone who cares to use them, while we Americans – myself included – come to accept things as normal that we once would have considered unspeakably evil.

Click on this for an analysis that compares and contrasts the Bush and Obama administrations.

Click on this and this and this for an expert security specialist’s view of protection against terrorism.

Click on this and this for comment on the Obama administration’s reaction to the Times Square bomber.

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