I've reached a conclusion in my own mind about this issue. In a nutshell, the issue of government surveillance and eavesdropping, torture, etc.
America is not a collection of individuals. In other words, America is more than the sum of its parts. Terrorists cannot threaten America with explosives, planes, nuCLEAR weapons, perse, except in the way terrorism has already changed America. Because of terrorists, liberties have been curtailed. That is a direct and profound erosion of America, the idea, the Great Experiment. Because of terrorists, we have an executive hell bent on getting more power for the executive, at least thats what they tell us right? Fine, I'll accept that, but do you accept that you are fundamentally changing America? That the extrapolation of the direction of your policies is nothing less than a return to monarchy?
Many people say it is a good thing. Its worth it to give up some liberties to ensure security. As I've stated before, I agree with Ben Franklin, 'those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither'.
The terrorists have imposed a regime of fear on us and we willingly accept. It is time for Americans to stand up and say, I am a warrior for freedom and liberty and democracy and if I fall victim to a terrorist attack, so be it, as long as America as we love it, the embodiment of those lofty ideals, continues to persist and evolve ever better.
People like John Yoo and Bush II clearly believe that a terrorist attack is the worst possible thing that could ever happen again. Its not. The worse thing is what has happened. They have succeeded in turning America into the Land of the little bit less Free. Home of the fearful and paranoid, selfish and cold.
I know there are people hell bent on murdering Americans. I don't doubt that one bit. As we've been reminded this week we have plenty of Americans hell bent on murdering Americans. I appreciate living in relative security, believe me. I don't even want to think about what life is like in Omaha, or Baghdad or Gaza right now. We've got it good here. But the way to secure ourselves is not to change our central characteristic. The very thing that made us great. The idea that all people are created equal and should be free to live their lives without the government watching their every move.
Of course I'm no expert on counter terrorism, but I just want to go on the record as saying that for me, its not the ultimate horror to go down in a terrorist attack. The ultimate horror is America turning into a police state. The ultimate terror is living a life of illusion, without the slightest fucking clue.
I love America. It is my home and I vow to defend its honor and integrity and its highest ideals in every way I can. Do not curb our liberties for a modicum of security. Do not torture in the name of my security. I won't allow it. Stop terrorism by rising above it, not stooping to its level. I know we can do it. I believe in the bureaucrats, the diplomats, the counterterrorism experts, the FBI agents, the CIA agents, the boots on the ground. I believe they are regular decent, hardworking people doing the best they can, despite a horrific failure of leadership. This president I don't believe for one second. Impeach them now and protect the Constitution by using what the Constitution prescribes for circumstances such as these.