Who Are We and Why Don't We Have Any Sense of Proportion About Terrorism?
About the recent continuing revelations on the scope of domestic spying, the drone attacks, and the many violations of civil rights and liberties we've seen since 9/11; we need to ask: “why don't we have any sense of proportion about terrorism?” OK, 9/11 was terrible. We lost more than 3,000 people. Since then, we have lost very few people to terrorism, apart from fatalities due to our own choices to prosecute wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other places. But right now we lose more than 30,000 to auto accidents, more than 30,000 to domestic gun violence, and 55,000 to lack of health insurance, each and every year.
During WW II we lost 418,000 out of 131,000,000 people, the equivalent of almost 1 million adjusting for today's population of the US. We experienced these losses in a little more than 3.5 years, or the equivalent of about 270,000 per year now. That's the price we were willing to pay for freedom then.
Now we go crazy over 3,000 deaths and start compromising our civil liberties right and left. What's wrong with us? Where's our sense of who we are? Isn't our freedom worth more than an average cost of 250 fatalities per year from terrorism over the past nearly 12 years?
Sure, we might have had a lot more fatalities than that misleading average if we had taken only a law enforcement approach to the terrorism problem, rather than the brute force constitution-jeopardizing terrorism-above-all approach. But the real question is what price are we willing to pay annually for our liberty? As much as we're willing to pay for our cars?
Forget the “terrorism” crusade! Let's prosecute actual crimes committed against us and use normal police and intelligence work to prevent them or catch the people who commit them. Sure we'll lose some people. I in no way minimize that fact. But not nearly as much every year as we lose to lack of health insurance, the auto, or gun violence right now.
So, let's pay the cost in lives and reconstruction if need be, and get back to normal American freedoms guaranteed by our constitution! Get rid of the Department of Homeland Security! Stop persecuting whistle blowers like Bradley Manning, Edward Snowden, and John Kiriakou, and journalists like Julian Assange. Stop domestic spying by the NSA, CIA, Homeland Security, and the FBI; and defeat politicians who are supporting laws that take away our liberties!
Especially this last. Show our elected officials that they can't violate the constitution with impunity and expect us to just accept that. Make every one who voted for the Patriot Act, and other unconstitutional measures, pay with their jobs and political careers. Elect new people who will not only repeal the legislation, but impeach the judges, and people in the Executive Branch, who supported these policies.
What is tyranny? It is the existence and use of arbitrary Government power against citizens. The heart of such arbitrary power is secret laws, secretly interpreted, and secretly enforced. The Bush and Obama administration's development of the FISA and Patriot Acts into a structure of US law is tyranny and makes a mockery of the US Constitution. Down with Tyranny!