With the 21st century only 6 years and a few days old we are seeing a world transformed from that we knew even a short decade ago. Since September 11, 2001 we have heard about the threat of terrorism that faces us on a nightly basis. The news media have done their usual hype and fear routine on how each of us could be killed by an act of terrorism today or tomorrow or next week... we must be ever vigilant or it is going to kill us. Then there are the fears of disease and pandemic that I have commented on previously. Each week we are asked to give up another Right or Liberty in order to allow government to have more powers to protect us from terrorism. Each week we see the police being given more and more powers over us.
Terrorism is not new. If we think back to the 70's and the many airline hijackings, many conducted by the PLO and European terrorist entities we will see that the modern era seems to have less acts of terrorism than the 1970's. Somehow we made it through the 1970's without having to give up essential Rights and Liberties. The main difference today compared to the 1970's is the technological advances. 24 hour cable news channels can spend 20 minutes of every hour on some aspect of terrorism, thus raising the level of fear and panic. They can also spend 5 minutes of each hour on how we must give up another Right or Liberty, another 5 minutes is often spent on how good our government is and how it wants to protect us... if only we will give it more power.
Back in the 1930's a similar tactic was used by one Adolph Hitler and his National Socialist (Nazi) Party. Many have drawn various correlations between the governments of today and Nazi Germany, if you want to read more then find a search engine and do some research. Some have also drawn correlations between the governments of today and the Communist Manifesto, again, if you want to find out more do some research. I mention the tenuous link for a very simple reason, both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union are well know examples of police states. In the case of Nazi Germany we see a people with a long history of government, a free people who felt that the abuses seen in other parts of the world such as tyranny and dictatorship, felt that those could not happen to them. In the case of the USSR, a people fed up with perceived abuses and tyranny launched a revolution they thought would improve their lives, instead they put in power the seeds of one of the most tyrannical governments in human history. Both peoples felt they were acting in the best interests of their countries and that the people they were putting in power would benefit the country and improve the lives of the everyday person. In both cases they were wrong and came to regret their support of the people they put in power.
Keep the "it can not happen here" mentality of the Germans firmly entrenched in your mind, they had a constitution that protected the people too. The Russians believed that the people they were about to put into power in the October Revolution would improve their lives. Neither believed they were making mistakes, neither felt tyranny would come or get any worse. Just because we want to think that it can not happen here, where ever here is, does not mean that it can not or will not happen here, again where ever here happens to be. Over the course of human history people have been lied to and swindled, it can happen here.
In the US we have the Patriot Act which gives more power to the government. We have more policing agencies than ever before, we are stopped and searched, we must justify why we are where we are. We have a current domestic spying scandal brewing in which the current President authorized spying on domestic communications. We have cameras on every street corner, although not so many as in the UK. We are told by our Supreme Court that our land is not really ours and that government can take it for whatever they deem to be "public use" even if that is only to sell or give it to a large corporation that will pay more in taxes. We are told by our Supreme Court that we as parents give up our rights over our children the minute they step foot on school property. We are told that any American citizen can be stripped of all Rights and held without trial and for as long as is felt necessary if the President declares that person an "enemy combatant"... when will it become "enemy of the state"? We are told that torture is OK as long as it is for the greater good. We hear reports that the President can choose to ignore Congress because it is war time or that we are in a war. How can it be war time if Congress has not issued a formal Declaration of War? Only the entire Congress can issue a Declaration of War, our system of government no more gives the President the power to issue a Declaration of War than it gives you or I that power. War has a very specific legal and Constitutional meaning and requires certain very specific actions or events to occur before the "war time" powers of the President are in effect. Without those very specific actions or events the President has no more power than he or she does on any other given day. The President, the Congress, the Senate, you and I can call anything we want a "war" but that does not make it so. The "War on Drugs" is not a war as defined by the Constitution and our legal system. A "war" between the Colorado Avs and the Detroit Red Wings is not a war as defined by the Constitution and our legal system.
On a strictly legal basis the "War on Terrorism" is not a war as defined by the Constitution or our legal system. The "War in Iraq" is not a war as defined by the Constitution or our legal system. They may have all the look and feel of a war along with the rhetoric that goes with being at war, but they are not Constitutionally or legally wars. Constitutionally and legally the President has no power today than he did in August of 2001. Much like someone wearing a stolen police uniform is no more a police officer than you or I, the "wars" we are involved in are not wars.
You can draw whatever you want from this, but please keep an open mind. Ask yourself the what if questions of "what if they (government) are not acting in our best interests?" or "what if they (government) have some agenda?" and see what you come up with. Even if you agree with the current political machinations of government would you trust another government down the road with these powers that we are giving them? The current governments may be acting in what they think are our best interests, but can the Rights and Liberties we are giving up and the powers we are giving governments be abused in the future? Does this potential abuse scare you? It should.
In the UK we see reports that the police can now arrest anyone for anything. See this article from news.telegraph.uk
for more on this. In another UK article from the Daily Record
we see that a woman was fined for stopping and asking a police officer for directions. Meanwhile here in the US we have reports here
of a new federal police force called the United States Secret Service Uniformed Division
being proposed. We already have federal police, they're called the FBI, the DEA, the US Marshals, the BATFE (formerly ATF) and this doesn't even include the other law enforcement officers of various federal government agencies. Then we have the State, county and local police as well. You may not agree with the author of the article or his conclusions, but you must at least read the Library of Congress link here
to see what the proposal for the USSSUD is and their powers are to be . Once you have read the the article and the Library of Congress link ask yourself why the US needs yet another police force on the federal level?
Once you have read the links contained in this entry and thought about things for a while with an open mind ask yourself if you applied what is becoming of your country to some other country would it be considered a police state. Do you see similarities between police states of the past, Nazi Germany and the USSR, and what is happening in your country? Could these powers we are giving to our governments be abused? Could these powers be use against the average citizen?
Does this scare the crap out of you? It should, for even if our governments are acting in a benign manner and have our best interests at heart someone ten years down the road may decide to use these powers against the average person and may not act in a benign manner. We could find ten years down the road that we have given our governments all the power they need to become dictatorships and negatively affect our very survival.