The bland leading the blind into the abyss

A friend sent me a news clip from the New York Post the other day. Ordinarily, I dismiss anything from Rupert Murdoch’s tabloid trash, just like I ignore his faux news network, but this clip was an op-ed piece by Peter King and Ed Koch claiming the USA Patriot Act is not all that bad.

My friend, you see, is a proud Republican — a converted McGovern Democrat — who thinks a police state is not all that bad as long as the top cop is a member of the Grand Old Party. 

To underscore his point, he noted a paragraph quoting two Democrats – Senators Joe Biden and Diane Feinstein – who claimed abuses of individual rights under the act were blown out of proportion.

His point, of course, is that if even radical Dems like Biden and Feinstein can find good in the Patriot act then those who dare question the act — namely me — should back off.

Nice try, but all the article proves is that at least two Democrats can be just as moronic as too many Republicans when it comes to defending attorney general John Ashcroft’s storm trooper trampling of the Constitution.

Nowadays, the people who feel freedom is expendable simply because a major terrorist act finally struck U.S. soil turn their eyes away from the erosion of the Constitution and look at their shoes whenever anyone is brave enough to question the abuse of power. It’s a disgusting show of cowardice and an insult to those who fought so long ago to bring those freedoms to this land.

“Oh, we have to accept these trade-offs because we are threatened by terrorism,” claim these lemmings as they cower in terror and allow the Bush administration to strip away what few freedoms and rights we have left. “We have been attacked.”

Got news for you. This country has been under attack from terrorists for a long, long time. Those who misquote Islam and dream of meeting 40 virgins are no different from those who misquote the Bible to justify racism, intolerance and murder.

George W. Bush declares open season on any country that harbors terrorists. If he is a man of his word — and the evidence clearly shows he is not — then he better send the Marines to Mississippi where the Ku Klux Klan still operates or order the B-52s to carpet bomb northern Montana and take out the white supremacists that hole up in the mountains and spread their hate through the Internet.

Next, why not deploy a team of Navy SEALS to Idaho to take out the leaders of militias and hate groups who openly plot the overthrow of the United States government? Neither Bush nor Ashcroft have paid any attention to the Constitution so far, so why let a little thing like posse comitatus stand in the way?

Terrorists have walked among us for more than two centuries. Timothy McVeigh didn’t wear a rag around his head but that didn’t stop him from killing hundreds by bombing the federal building in Oklahoma City. American-born and bred John Malvo learned to shoot in the U.S. military and used that skill to spread terror and fear with sniper attacks in and around Washington. Over the years, the Klan has been suspect in more than 5,000 deaths of blacks and Jews in the South – more than who died in the World Trade Center – but we didn’t put machine-gun mounted Humvees on the roads of the South or strip-search grandmothers at airports in response.

Yeah, we’re at war with terrorists and I have to wonder just who is winning that war. Osama bin Laden is still at large. So is Saddam Hussein. Al Qaeda, we are told, is planning something new that will make 9-11 look like a 4th of July picnic. American soldiers die daily in Iraq at a rate that has eclipsed the Vietnam war in its early days.

And John Ashcroft’s answer to all this is to suspend the Bill of Rights, increase surveillance of American citizens and wiretap the nation. The Bush administration tried to create a Pentagon database that would monitor, in real time, the financial transactions and travel of all Americans. You can’t walk down a city street without being videotaped from a dozen different angles.

So why do so many Americans stand by and let this happen? Because they are idiots who follow the bidding of their party bosses without using their brains for anything more than propaganda receptacles.

The aftermath of 9-11 has turned this nation into a herd of sheep, afraid every time a jet passes low overhead, crossing the street to avoid walking towards anyone of Arab descent and willing to sacrifice everything this nation has stood for because of a hastily-manufactured – and poorly documented – war on terror.

The easy chair patriots talk a big game, and plaster their trucks with American flags, but it take real guts to stand up and question the actions of a government that has increased the threat to every American because of its reckless policies and outright lies.

Bush lied to the American people about his reasons for invading Iraq. Ashcroft overplays the terrorism card to pursue his overzealous political agenda.

And a brain-dead American populace just stands by and says “duh.”

Tell Osama and Saddam to just be patient. They don’t have to destroy America. Our so-called leaders are doing a fine job of it all by themselves.