Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A chilling effect...

I am frankly nauseated to share this, and sincerely hope that this article is but a bit of mis-reported media mal-practice. But the arrogant tone resembles that of HHS Secretary Napolitano and the current administration far to closely for me to casually dismiss it as such.

If true, the secret memo cited (and leaked) from TSA lays the foundation for a suppression of free speech and expression (and of the press) unlike anything we've seen since the bad old days of Woodrow Wilson - defining "those who are opposed to, or engaged in the disruption of the implementation of the enhanced airport screening procedures as “domestic extremists.”"

Read this article. Think it through. That it is believable is alone enough to merit concern. If it is true, it does not bode well for our nation - as it has never boded well when our government has gone so far as to begin designating law-abiding citizens for watch lists and (usually) special attention.

And it would appear all of us who do not go meekly along with the latest whimsy of our betters, applauding those putting on the airs of power with proper enthusiasm, are upon it.

Making a list and checking it twice, when a government is busy about it, is seldom an indication of the creation of a list of persons to whom maple-filled bon-bon's should be delivered.

It's called creating an "enemies list".

Why am I so twitchy about this? I remember Nixon. And the FBI of Herbert Hoover's day. And Woodrow Wilson. Not every moment in the history of the United States can precisely be described as a hallowed celebration of civil rights and individual liberty, much as we might wish otherwise - and it's been a long and hard battle for the freedom of speech, press, and communication we enjoy, and the freedom to go about our affairs with our persons and belongings inviolate from random inspection, search and seizure by government agents without a lawfully sworn warrant.

Enough blood and misery have been sacrificed to get us as far as we've gotten that I'm not eager to see those gains lost to prop up the whims of petty bureaucrats and elitists out to control us for our own good in thought, action, and deed.

And to those who would say "it can't happen here?" or tell us that once won, freedom cannot be lost? Let them speak to the ghosts of the past. All is temporary - held, won, or lost - by each generation, with some bastions of law and culture weathering the whimsy of current opinions and individual ambition with greater tenacity than others. Are we expanding individual rights today? Or are they contracting? And which ones?

At the same time, just for fun, let us assume for a bright shining moment that this is simply a journalistic mis-step. What does it say that such a mis-step is so believable to so many people? And what does it tell us of the intensity of the division deepening in our land?

If you aren't worried, you aren't paying attention.

Start paying attention.

1 comment:

Old NFO said...

It's going to be just one more check mark against at least some of us... sigh... Rather than going after the REAL terrorists, which is hard and not very rewarding, they want to have a 'ready made' set of "terrorist" close at hand they can combat...