Today, the president admited to authorizing the secret, unauthorized spying on American citizens and then critizized those who opposed it.
I read one conservative poster on another board say:
Spy on me all you want, if it makes me .0001% safer I'll trade some privacy.
If that becomes the attitude of a majority of Americans, then our freedoms, our democracy will truly be at an end.
For years, we've heard conservatives and civil libertarians express their fears of a government entering every aspect of their lives. Worrying about the UN spying on them or sympathizing with the militia movement and their fears of the U.S. government spying on them.
Those fears were based on a fantasy and fear of what could be.
That fantasy has turned to a reality. The president is now admitting listening to your conversations unfettered and without authorization. Yet some of these same conservatives - believing in a support of this president no matter what - are siding with the president.
I appeal to these conservatives: Remember your values. Are your values more important than blind allegiance? If allegiance is more important, put an armband with a “W” around your arm and raise your hand in salute of your leader.
When the right feared Communism, they used examples like secret spying on citizens and secret torture camps to justify the assertion the Soviet Union was an evil empire. What do they say now to the recent revelations that the Bush administration is doing just that now?
Thankfully, we’re hearing many conservative congressmen and senators realize this dichotomy and criticize this new KGB. This isn’t about politics, it’s about America. I just don’t think blind allegiance and spying on your people without due cause is what America is about.
I’ve heard some say that secret spying on U.S. citizens is fine with them, because those doing the spying “know they’re terrorists.“ How do we know that? How do we know that Bush isn’t using this fascist spying power to spy on those who oppose him politically or those who simply disagree with his views. Without proper authorization and checks and balances, we don't know.
In my mind, I’m trying not to blow this too far out of proportion. We still go to vote. We’re still free to move from place to place and say what we want. Let’s be realistic … this isn’t anything like the scary visions of the past of the great American democracy turning into a police state.
Yet, I temper that with the fact I heard the unthinkable this morning: A U.S. president say that opposing him was an illegal act. It's one of the scariest things I've heard in my lifetime.
The only thing we have to fear is fear itself... and this is fear itself.
Just tell me if you agree with this statement from one of our forefathers… Benjamin Franklin:
“Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
This president disagrees with that statement. For the sake of American democracy, I hope he loses this argument.