First came the Orwellian named Patriot Act in 2001 with it's FBI National Security Letters and library reading list surveillance, fully equipped with a librarian gag order.
It was passed in 45 days after 9-11 without being read by most, perhaps all, Congressional members. Complaints of governmental abuse of privacy, as was expected, multiplied.
Then came the long propaganda campaign to get approval for the pre-emptive war in Iraq that the Project for the New American Century signees had been ginning for since the 90's. That campaign resulted in giving George W. Bush Congressional approval in October of 2002, so that he, and he alone, could be the Decider concerning Iraq.
During this time....all dissent was ridiculed and all dissenters were marginalized as "siding with the enemy".
Rejection of habeaus, acceptance of torture, declarations of "enemy combatants", kidnapping and rendering to secret prisons, Guantanomo, and Abu Ghraib followed.
Assisted by an obedient MSM, fresh off their tour of incestuous "embedding" and now fully prepared to accept the Commander Guy's every word as gospel, the White House had the "Fourth Estate" right where they wanted it.....on their knees.
The insurgency turned in to an Iraq civil war and the Rovian slogans of "stand-up stand-down, stay the course, freedom is on the march, fighting them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here", and the "surge" flowed like a never ending neo-conservative river of deception.
After 6 years of no executive branch oversight by a Rubber Stamp Republican Congress, the Democrats won control and proceeded to at least attempt to hold Bush and the White House accountable.
Investigations into the lies and abuses of power were shrugged off as "witchhunts" and "overrreaching". Democrats continued to be criticized for "emboldening the enemy". Calls to end the illegal Iraq occupation were responded to with the name brand.... "Defeatocrats". Democrats were "cut and runners" and those who would "surrender".
Yet with all of this clearly known and understood after six long years of it, Congress, especially Democratic Congressional members, this past weekend rolled on the ground and cried out, "Please stop calling us names, we'll let you spy on Americans without oversight, just stop calling us names, just keep us safe, Oh Mighty Leader of the Glorious and Long War, and wake us up when we're safe again."
For a long time now I have been setting forth the proposition that we are living through a unique time in America. Not because of Islamic extremists. Not because of rogue regimes or new foreign enemies. We are living in unique times because a small number of radical extremist American (neo) conservatives have brutally attacked and brazenly challenged the very liberties and virtues our nation was founded on.
What Osama and his buddies could never do, i.e. frighten us so badly we would give up our very national identity of 'we the people', Constitutional guarantees and 'justice for all' .....has all been done for him by the very people we have elected.
The Congress willingly gave up our American rights without even a whimper.
I am ashamed of our elected officials today.
All Americans should be.
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