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Who Are We and Why Don't We Have Any Sense of Proportion About Terrorism?

letsgetitdone's picture

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!

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Comments

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

N/T

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

addition, thanks.

I've done some thinking about Medical errors as it happens.

Submitted by lambert on

... the British alone suffered 60,000 deaths. On the first day.

America seems to have very little historical perspective.

TROLL PROPHYLACTIC Yes, every life is precious. However, to the political class, there are millions of lives that aren't precious at all. Not in the slightest.

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

Alexa's picture
Submitted by Alexa on

Newsweek/Daily Beast Special Correspondent, you can add a future Clinton Administration to that list, LOL!

Here's a quote from Tomasky's conversation with Julie Mason on her show, The Press Pool, earlier today:

They know there will be no problem with liberal libertarians because liberals "know that the President doesn't take them seriously, and if he doesn't, Hillary sure doesn't."

Can you believe that mainstream so-called liberal journalists and talking heads are openly THIS DISMISSIVE of the left? Now they even discount our importance to possible "future" administrations!

Jeeeeezzzzzz!

It's worse than even I thought, LOL!

BTW, Mason just said that she just saw a Pew Poll that stated that 79% of Americans are 'Okay With' the Administration's eavesdropping, etc.

Could this be true? Yikes!

Alexa

“If a dog won’t come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience.” -- Woodrow Wilson

[Avatar Photo Credit: Conflagrate, jurvetson's photostream, flickr]

Submitted by lambert on

Debt slavery for students, mass surveillance for everybody.

"But he rides Amtrak!"

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win. -- Mahatma Gandhi

editor_u's picture
Submitted by editor_u on

I don't think it's off topic. We knew that the new law existed long before That Bad Thing That Happened (did I get that phrase from Atrios?). How else could it have been ready to vote on (unread) so quickly? The events of Nineleven – as Michael Smith calls it – were merely the excuse to bring it out. And how did they know that those precise changes to the law were the cure for what happened that day? Of course, they didn't know any such thing, because the new law was all about control (and economic exploitation?) of the populace, not about terrorism. The law couldn't have been (easily) passed absent the events of that day.

As Hugh said, above:

The surveillance state is being constructed and run by the very people who are looting us. It is madness to think they are doing this to protect us, control us, yes, but protect us? not in a million years.

Cujo359's picture
Submitted by Cujo359 on

My view of this supposed tradeoff between freedom and safety is that there really is no such thing. Bad government policy costs lives, too. So does government corruption. One of the biggest benefits of being free is having the chance to change what the government does.

In short, I feel safer with freedom than without it. I might be harmed in ways I wouldn't in a more controlled society, but I'm pretty sure that risk is smaller than the risk of living in an autocracy.

letsgetitdone's picture
Submitted by letsgetitdone on

with freedom too. But many people feel safer turning over the responsibility for their own safety to some higher authority. I think that explains why they're willing to say that Snowden should be punished because he violated the rule of law; while at the same time they don't say that Obama, Holder and the NSA people should be punished because they violated the rule of law. For them the appeal to the rule of law is just an excuse for them to justify prosecuting the whistle blowers but protecting those they've decided they must trust to keep them safe. Snowden, Manning, Assange and the others are questioning the authority of the people they're trusting to keep them safe. That is the whistle blowers' crime. Not that they've violated the rule of law.