Tag Archives: patriot act

Identifying The Enemy: Dick Cheney And The Neocon Right


Dick Cheney’s latest assertion is that the world’s deal with Iran to control their development of nuclear power is akin to handing them nuclear weapons.   Of course Cheney, doesn’t put it quite that way, his assertion is that, “Obama’s about to give them nuclear weapons.”

Forget the other five major nations cutting the deal, in Cheney’s mind,  it’s all Obama’s fault.  That’s the blame-game the Republicans and their Neocon wingnuts have been playing for more than six years, and the game they continue to play, partly because there’s an election coming up, and partly because they are entirely fear-based thinkers.   Fear, is something they know how to use.

Instilling as much fear as possible in the hearts of all Americans was a most convenient technique for their power grab, with the Patriot Act at its center.

Fear-based thinking has taken us by the throat since a handful of crazies flew planes into the World Trade Center the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.   Admittedly, it was a terror creating situation and measures had to be taken.  However, letting fear dictate our actions going forward was entirely wrongheaded.    Giving the government absolute power through the Patriot Act, was perhaps the worst of all,  outstripping both the NSA and creation of the mammoth new and possibly unnecessary Department of Homeland Security.   But fear was dictating our actions and now the NSA  continues to conduct mass collection of what should be our private electronic messages with bogus “warrants” going out to cover tens of thousands of messages at a crack, while the military has the power to snatch any American off the street or out of his or her home without a warrant and without any appearance in any court,  sending them to a holding cell somewhere in Turkey where they can be imprisoned indefinitely without the assistance of counsel.

We’re supposed to be better than  this.

You can be “rendered” to some stinking cell in some foreign nation until you rot, and there is nothing you can do about it.   That, is absolute power.   To the best of my knowledge, the principles of “rendition” and the absence of any requirement for due process for someone suspected of having a connection to any kind of terrorist plot (whatever that might be)  have been extended with each new approval of the Defense Appropriations Act even though the Patriot Act has ceased to exist.   The situation is so confused and the waters so muddied that it’s difficult to know what’s happening with regard to the fear motivated attack on our constitutional rights.

This is what’s wrong with fear-based policy and it’s bastard child, absolute power.  It eliminates our freedom.   Moreover, once a government begins using fear to control the populace, it can’t stop.  If it does, if the populace returns to calm and sane thinking, then the government loses absolute control.    This isn’t anything new, it’s been axiomatic for years.   The Nazis used it as a prime motivator.  Throw a big enough scare into the populace and they’ll let you do almost anything that may or may not be necessary to protect the “homeland.”

We would do well to remember the words of Benjamin Franklin, “They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Hear, hear.   We would all be so much better off if Dick Cheney and his fear-based Neocon minions from hell would shutup and go away.  They’ve already done almost incalculable damage.   But the lightning is out of the bottle.  We have to somehow figure out a way to stick it back inside.  Or, conversely, we can put our absolute faith in the federal government, trusting them to do the right thing.