Friday, September 11, 2009

What I'd like us to remember from the days after 9/11...

... is not to give in to fear.

While we remember the victims, celebrate the heroism of the responders and the passengers on Flight 93, let's also remember that in aftermath of 9/11 we gave in to our fears and allowed laws like the Patriot Act and warrantless wiretapping to shred our Constitution.

Let's remember that more American troops have died in Iraq and Afghanistan than citizens died on 9/11, and that tens of thousands more have received life-altering if not life-shattering wounds, to keep us safe, and yet....

We take off our shoes in airports while speaking deferentially to barely trained TSA Gestapo agents who have the power to seize your computer or your property for virtually no reason at all....

Our freedom of movement to places like Canada has been severely curtailed....

The Department of Homeland Security has become the single largest bureaucracy in American history....

Millions of Americans are on terrorist watch lists for no reason at all and have no recourse to get off....

Our government has authorized [and continues to authorize at places like Bagram in Afghanistan] the indefinite detention and torture of individuals completely in our power but deprived of any human status....

That our government continues to fight judicial oversight of its handling of prisoners and military tribunals....

9/11 is rapidly passing from history into memory.

I only hope--and I expect to be excoriated for this hope by more than one commenter--that we do not allow that day to be remembered as the day which began the destruction of America's constitutional republic because we were too afraid recall what Live Free or Die actually means.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

do you even remember what it was like after 9/11? we didn't give into our fears, people were scared for their lives

-4567

Anonymous said...

Steve,
Here is what I remember about 9/11, I went back to war, for the second time in my career. Only this time, the attack was on us. I have a problem with the WMD issue, and history says that the odds are against us in Afgan. That being said, I know now what the Vietnam Vets feel like, alone and abandoned, they did what they thought was right, and look what they got for it. I equate my position on this like that of the commander of the U-Boat in Das Boot. He is my kind of patriot, compared the the true beliver Nazi first officer he had. You may find fault with my analogy yet it fits for me. My eyes aren't blind, I am no mindless robot, but we started it now we need to finish it, if not you betray those who gave their lives already. I am old, but I go and volunteer for the kids, they need old hands and maybe I will bring them all home again safe one more time. War is cruel and ugly, we agree there, and there is never a good one, but I will do whatever it takes to keep my men safe, and as long as I am not asked to draw my sword against my own, I will keep doing my duty. I remember a King lost his head once partly because he helped a bunch of rebels fight tyranny, sure he wasn't pure in his motives, but I wonder if he thought it was worth the price he paid?

MarshFox

Bowly said...

The Department of Homeland Security has become the single largest bureaucracy in American history....

I'm with you on the overall thrust of your article and even this particular point, but is that statement objectively true? Is it larger than the IRS? The DOD? I don't know and I'm too lazy to research it. But I'd be surprised if it were.

My eyes aren't blind, I am no mindless robot, but we started it now we need to finish it, if not you betray those who gave their lives already.

I used to believe that way. I understand where you're coming from, and I don't deny that it takes a lot of courage to do what people like you have done. But the logical extension of your statement is that we should not give up, even if it takes the life of every single American. That is obviously untrue, therefore there is a point at which we should stop accepting casualties. My number just happens to be a lot lower than yours. Don't think of it as betraying the ones who've already died, but as preserving the ones who haven't yet. I know they're volunteers, but so were some of the virgins who got tossed into volcanoes. What really matters is whether volcano-tossing does any good. No one would recommend continuing to toss virgins into volcanoes just because we've already tossed a bunch in.

Steve Newton said...

Bowly
My source on the size of DHS is none other than DHS.

I cannot give you a link tonight, but I have been looking at multiple sources on this for years.

Remember, you have to view DHS as an umbrella agency with authority over

FBI
CIA
NRO
NSA
TSA
FEMA
ODP
INS

and about a dozen more agencies.