Slinging a smooth stone

by C.F. David

Editor, The Boise City News


According to the president we are fighting for freedom. Why does it feel as if we are losing it?

Since 9/11, President Bush has assured us we were attacked because the terrorists were jealous of our freedom.

However, it is my personal opinion that our individual freedoms had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Suicide bombings in the middle-east, 9/11, and the original World Trade Center bombings have more to do with the United States close ties to Israel and our heavy dependance on foreign oil, than our Constitutional privileges.

But, since 9/11, the administration, with the aid of the U.S. Congress has passed such laws as the Patriot Act that have eaten into and continue to erode, the very freedoms for which the president said we were attacked.

The misnamed Patriot Act (a real patriot will find this law disgusting) was rushed through congress and passed less than two months after the World Trade Center collapsed, being signed into law by the president on Oct. 26, 2001. With a stroke of a pen President Bush has among other things:

 H Expanded surveillance with reduced checks and balances. This means that you, the ordinary citizen, must be more careful in what you read on-line, say on your telephone, and even in what you protest, for fear of being labeled and possibly jailed as a suspected terrorist. Suspected, not convicted, suspected.

H It also allows foreign governments to spy on U.S. citizens. If, for instance, you were Instant Messaging an individual in Jerusalem, to whom unknown to you, the Israeli government considered a potential threat, their Mossad could intercept and eavesdrop on your Internet communications.

H A wiretap can now be made on your telephone without probable cause, just by your being “suspected” to be the agent of a foreign government.

Do you see how ridiculous this is? A foreign government agent can spy on you, and you can be spied on by being “suspected” of being an agent of a foreign government.

Since the war on terrorism has begun, other acts by the administration have been highly suspect.

H We have at least one American citizen who has been labeled an enemy combatant, and  been held incommunicado for the past 18 months. (Without communication with even an attorney.)

With five words, “He (or she) is an enemy combatant.” you can be taken from your family, jailed, and refused the “Due Process” once guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. 

H Shortly after the invasion of Iraq, bounties were placed on the heads of several of that nation’s government. The price on Saddam is at present I believe, $25 million; basically dead or alive. Bounties on the lives of  Heads-of-State are a ugly, foolish and frightening precedent to set. If we as a foreign nation place bounties on the heads of foreign nationals, can we expect nothing less be done to our own leaders and citizens?

In just over two short years since we were attacked on 9/11, we find ourselves on a slippery slope to a loss of freedoms in the name of freedom.

The word for the week is precarious.