Saturday, December 13, 2003

How long America, will you sleep through the theft of your freedom?

Corruption is the rule of the day in Washington today. Because George W. Bush is in the pockets of the oil, auto, insurance, corporate and investments industries, those same industries are enjoying living in the shadow of the Homeland Security Act.
Within the act, there are articles that allow these industries to refuse providing information to citizens, media and/or anyone, information that, as in the case of the Firestone tire scandal, (remember when people were dying because a specific type of Firestone tire had a propensity toward catastrophic failure?), could save lives. Corporations like investment firms are relishing their new-found freedom to bilk the public with Bush's blessings. Under the rubric of the Homeland Security Act virtually ANY information the government deems "sensitive" can land a bureaucrat in jail if he or she reveals said "sensitive" information to the public. U.S. News and World Report - a publication that no one can reasonably claim is a liberal mouthpiece - is publishing a 5-month investigation on Monday that delves into the dark chasm of secrecy this federal administration has pulled down over our eyes.
Absurdity doesn't begin to describe the citations used by the Department of Homeland Security when asked questions about the law that created said agency. A reporter for the U.S. News related that when he called the office of DHS to ask how to find the offices so he could visit, he was rebuffed by a secretary who told him "I'm not obliged to reveal our geographical location to you."
As a nation based on taxation WITH REPRESENTATION, what the hell is going on here? The government requires that bankers photocopy your driver's license if you receive a loan from the bank. That photo then goes into a computer bank of data accessible by the federal agencies that we're told are protecting our interests. And that's just a dot on the wide and convoluted page of words and phrases that comprise a document that, in effect, overthrows the U.S. Constitution without firing a shot! And we, the American people, are allowing this erosion of the Bill of Rights without so much as a question or raising a logical point of doubt about the efficacy of many of the articles within the pernicious Homeland Security Act II.
Oh, you didn't know there was a Homeland Security Act II? I'm not surprised. It seems to me that most Americans are completely dissociated from their government, be it national, state or municipal. Most people simply bury their heads in the sand and vote for the candidate that represents the party their parents supported, or the candidate that has the best hair, nose, eyes, et al, or who appeals to self-serving interests on a broad scale (e.g. Medicare) to garner the votes, while underneath the rhetoric bubbles a nasty cauldron of lies, fraud and cynicism that rises far beyond any national bamboozle before 9-11.
I think 9-11 was the worst thing that ever happened to this nation - not because of the lives lost or the devastation to the American psyche - but because of the heavy-handed, brutish louts who've gained power inside the Beltway. Bullies like John Ashcroft, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld (who, I've learned, was not well-liked by Richard Nixon when he served under that administration) are plying their mad schemes for world domination without challenge from any quarter other than a few state attorney's general and a handful of brave reporters. I say brave because questioners these days can easily find themselves whisked to jail and held without being charged for anything for an indefinite period of time.
God, if Edward R. Murrow were alive today he'd be frothing at the mouth over some of the terrible and dangerous precedents Bush is setting for the future of this nation.