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Burning Away Our Liberties
by Frederick Meekins
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As many have no doubt heard by now, the nutcase that set himself on fire in front of the White House was a government informant. From his actions, makes you wonder what else he might have been on the government payroll to do or manipulated into possibly doing by his Machiavellian handlers.

Interestingly, these pyrotechnics weren’t the only street theater that transpired less than a week after the reopening of Pennsylvania Avenue to pedestrians. Those bent on fostering a nationwide siege-mentality did not have to wait long for the excuse they needed to turn the people’s boulevard into an off-limits thoroughfare once again.

Some will respond that, in this age of terrorism, we must accept changes to the way of life to which we were accustomed to in less dangerous times. Maybe so, but unless those alterations are in accord with clearly defined and publicly agreed upon rules, these measures are little more than a grab for power no matter how those in positions of authority make the situation sound.

Many of the so-called “security precautions” around the nation’s capital cannot be described any other way. A number, upon careful scrutiny, aren’t even based whatsoever on what civilized individuals classify as duly promulgated regulations but rather upon the arbitrary whims of petty bureaucrats intoxicated by their own delusions of self-importance.

Traditionally, government buildings and monuments in Washington have been admired as symbols of American justice and liberty. However, tourists exhibiting too much awe and enthusiasm for these physical manifestations of the nation’s might might come away from the experience now realizing these structures no longer adhere to the idealistic notions we have all been led to believe these agencies were allegedly created to safeguard.

WUSA TV 9, the Washington DC local CBS affiliate, reported tourists face possible arrest if caught photographing certain government buildings. Various agencies justified these punitive measures on the grounds of new regulations promulgated by the Department of Homeland Security.

Thing is, the Department of Homeland Security admits no such regulations exist prohibiting the photographing of government buildings. However, operatives within that agency insist it is acceptable for security forces to harass you as to what you are doing in areas open to the public.

Maybe some courageous patriot should remind errant authorities that in a free society citizens should not have to divulge such information unless they have actually done something wrong.

Yet even this reluctant admittance will not keep the enthusiasts of unbridled power from devising new ways of asserting their lust for domination over the American people. Even those loyal to our own system, but who endeavor to keep it within its intended bounds of authority, are not safe from these stifling tentacles.

In October, former Idaho Representative Helen Chenoweth-Hage was pulled aside at an airport to receive an additional rifling through her person and possessions. She then inquired to see the regulation authorizing the additional scrutiny.

Her request was denied because the rule is itself deemed “too sensitive” to be looked upon by mere mortals (you’d think it was written across the Ark of the Covenant or something). Like a true patriot, Mrs. Chenoweth-Hage refused to submit and, at her own financial loss, decided not to fly.

Such regulations have little to do with security but are rather about conditioning the American people into accepting greater and greater intrusion into their lives. Today, we pliantly step aside to let the minions of the state fiddle with our belts or bra straps and to rummage through our underwear bags; where will it all end?

There have been threats of female bombers hiding explosives in their vaginas. Does that mean airport screeners will get to boff female passengers to make sure they aren’t concealing anything, with women and husbands objecting detained for not cheerfully placing evasive government directives over personal modesty?

Don’t laugh. Already one woman was forced a few years ago to take a swig of her own breast milk and a number of women have already filed complaints about the wandering hands of overly-enthusiastic security personnel. Pregnant women have been forced to disrobe in order to verify their infanticipated status.

As William Lind of the Free Congress Foundation remarked about the need to inspect footwear in light of suspected shoe-bomber Richard Reid, thank God he did not have an exploding suppository. Can you imagine what they’d make us take off and look into if he had?

If we are not allowed to see the regulations pertaining to these procedures, how are we to determine what is and is not permissible under the audacious banner of “homeland security”. If we are to be a nation of law rather than of despots, shouldn’t such policies be open to public scrutiny?

Five or ten years ago would so-called Conservatives, Libertarians, or even semi-consistent Liberals let the government get away with refusing to allow citizens to see the very laws it uses to justify the curtailment of our liberties and way of life? How long until Americans will be forced to endure Fallujhan-style security measures with retinal scans on every corner, identification displayed at all times, and mandatory reliance on militarized public transportation. But more importantly, when that day finally arrives, will the average American even care?

Copyright 2005 by Frederick B. Meekins

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Member Comments
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Gregory Eckrich 04 Feb 2005
First off, how old are you? Secondly, why do you not have a profile? I ask your age so as to understand the nature of your elementary and secondary education. In particular, did you have the chance to study WWI or WWII and the changes our nation underwent in order to successfully conclude both? Or, perhaps you were fortunate enough to study the Civil War and the suspension of liberties during that conflict? Do you think that the Lord really enjoys hearing a whiner or a complainer? Best regards, Greg. Eckrich


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