SPECIAL POST FOR THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2006
Here’s something Stranger at Blah3 put up. It summarizes just how I’m feeling right now. I trust he’ll forgive me for reproducing the entire thing. -m
"Big Darkness, soon come.
" Hunter S. Thompson
I'm just sitting here, wondering aloud where the country goes once this thing gets through Congress. I'm expecting the worst-case scenario here, since at bottom there is simply not enough opposition to stop it, by all indications.
A lot of things are running through my mind right now. Snippets of songs like 'America, The Beautiful.' Thoughts of those who came before us and fought epic battles to keep America on the side of the angels, like Martin Luther King and Paul Wellstone. The mythical image of the American GI, rushing forth to save the world from tyranny in World War II. Great leaders like FDR and Truman, and the regard they held for the American Ideal. Patriots like Col. David Hackworth who understood the importance of raising your voice in rage when your country was going wrong. Journalists like Edward R. Murrow (and yes, Hunter Thompson), who risked everything in the interest of freedom and truth. A thousand things that this country once stood for.
Now gone, all gone. Or about to be.
It's amazing to me that this country has gone from being The Envy Of The World to a craven, corrupt rogue nation in the space of only five years. The America that I grew up in has been replaced with a country that I no longer recognize. Where we once stood up and protected the weak, we are now having a sham 'debate' over whether we should just kill the weak, or imprison and torture them before killing them. Where we once fought for truth and openness and honesty, we are about to codify into law a vile and disgusting law that will protect the corrupt, that will punish honesty and reward secrecy and lies and violence, that will rip the heart right out of any good that is left in this country.
We're actually about to do it. The Good Ol' US of A is about to take its place beside Iraq under Saddam, Haiti under Papa and Baby Doc, and dare I say it, Germany under Hitler. And once we take that step, the stink of despotism and fascism will sink deep into the bones of America. We may never rid ourselves of the stench of death.
There have been many good men and women who have raised their voices in opposition to this cancerous law - but they are being derided as people who 'hate America' and 'want to give aid and comfort to the enemy.' In the eyes of the most craven, they are the enemy. And I would not be the least bit surprised that in the coming years, they - hell, I - will be treated to the provisions of this freedom-killing law, because that law has provisions for domestic use, too. Anyone who thinks that this stinking, putrid piece of legislation is only intended for use 'over there' has clearly not been paying attention.
I shudder to think of how this law will be applied in the future. Because the problem with torture, the inherent danger in arbitrary imprisonment without charge and for an unlimited time, is that it's a beast that needs to be fed. Sure, they talk about how useful it will be against 'terrorists' or people who want to harm 'this country,' but they're working with a definition that is always subject to change. Today, it applies to swarthy men with funny names.
But the sociopaths who are pushing this law through Congress are well-known for changing their definitions - think about the laundry list of reasons we've been given for invading Iraq. WMD. Deposing a tyrant. Establishing democracy. 'Fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them over here.'
Who's to say that their definition of 'the enemy' or 'terrorists' isn't open to the same type of revision?
This is a dangerous law, about to be placed in the hands of people who went into battle with The Most Powerful Military On The Planet and got their asses kicked by a rag-tag bunch of people who make their weapons out of cast-off munitions and leftover parts from a regime that we destroyed.
They fucked up a cakewalk. I wouldn't trust them with planning a goddamn birthday party, and we're about to hand them the power to imprison anyone, anywhere, at any time. We're about to give them the power to re-define law that the entire planet has been living by for 60 years. We're about to give them the power to 're-interpret' the Constitution of the United States.
And out there in America, people are getting up and going to work, they're trying to live their lives in a country that is rotting out from underneath them. They are not paying attention to what a bunch of suits in DC are doing. And they won't realize what, through their inattention, they have given away until it's way too late.
Democracy is a fragile vessel that everybody expected to last forever. But the past five years have worn democracy down, to the point where it sits wounded and sapped of its power, weakened, vulnerable.
And the powers that be in Washington are about to take a sledgehammer to what's left of it.
And all the good-guy imagery, all the pride and the power of America, everything we have stood for for better than 200 years, is about to be thrown away.
Maybe it's because it's late and it's been a long day, but I have a very bad feeling about what comes next for America.
Big Darkness, soon come. Take my word for it.