For those who have wondered how exactly we’ve gotten to this point as a nation- mired in the war crimes of Middle Eastern conflicts and in violation of International Law, suffering civil decay at home, possibly staring down a massive economic crisis- there’s a trail to follow. From the USA PATRIOT Act that no member of Congress read in its final form to the Military Commissions Act and even more. We have a president that already claims dictatorial powers, and has even joked about it. Are we moving toward martial law? It seems we may be.
Let’s take a look. From the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act to H.R. 1955 and S. 1959, we are watching the republic die before our eyes. These are thought crime bills. There is- dare we say- a finger to point in a direction more factually supported than others. Where?
The Right, meaning the Republican AND leadership of the Democratic party now in charge of Congress. Critiques are in order. Even former architects of the War on Terror have proclaimed our post 9/11 foreign policy efforts illegal. Of course, this why they were based upon deception. Let’s look at these propagandistic deceivers more carefully. Chiefly, we’re talking about the Neocons.
The rise of Neoconservatism in America has brought us to this fascist brink. We ought pay more attention to these ideologues, their organizational efforts and publications at the Project for the New American Century, and take them at their words.
Dr. Paul Rea, a colleague, helps take these people to account, and further understand our present ideological tumult in light of 9/11 and what has come to pass in this fine excerpt titled Zealots of Dominance from his upcoming book on 9/11, “Returning to the Scene of the Crime.” This is of critical importance to the understanding of our present perplexing condition as a hijacked democracy. Context is everything and Dr. Rea surely provides a disturbing look at the history of those who have orchestrated the Bush/corporatist coup. May we learn, grow, and thrive in light of such wisdom.
And a reminder, lest we find ourselves under pressure of new draconian laws- Just after Pearl Harbor, which was a classic LIHOP operation, Mr. Republican, Senator Bob Taft, had this to say about criticism in wartime…
“As a matter of general principle, I believe there can be no doubt that criticism in time of war is essential to the maintenance of any kind of democratic government … Too many people desire to suppress criticism simply because they think it will give some comfort to the enemy … If that comfort makes the enemy feel better for a few moments, they are welcome to it as far as I am concerned, because the maintenance of the right of criticism in the long run will do the country maintaining it a great deal more good than it will do the enemy, and it will prevent mistakes which might otherwise occur.”
December 1941, quoted in The War on Our Freedoms: Civil Liberties in an Age of Terrorism
This sobriety after Pearl Harbor, no less. After 9/11? No such Republican adherence to rule of law or open debate.
May we understand the roots of our current dilemma and speak out in light of Mr. Republican, Bob Taft and his (in)famous predecessor in the Bully Pulpit of the White House…
“To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” Republican President, Theodore Roosevelt
Can one imagine Republicans saying these words today? We’re lucky if journalists will even say these obvious things.
Debate and dissent must not be stifled. And clearly they must not be criminalized. We’ve been down this Alien and Sedition Act road before and it has always proven a disaster for democracy.
And one final word on the Neocon game- Recently after the debacle with the NIE on Iran, a tepid Congress still won’t impeach. Lie after lie after lie while the rights of citizens who notice are whittled away. So, the current rogues in power deserve the utmost public ire. After all this, according to Taft and even TR, it’s the least we can give them short of a prison sentence.