Yesterday, President Bush signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which “says the president can ‘interpret the meaning and application’ of international standards for prisoner treatment, a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts.” (from a Yahoo article) Also, “ ‘It allows the government to seize individuals on American soil and detain them indefinitely with no opportunity to challenge their detention in court,’ Feingold (of Wisconsin) said. ‘And the new law would permit an individual to be convicted on the basis of coerced testimony and even allow someone convicted under these rules to be put to death.’ " And, further, “The legislation also eliminates some of the rights defendants are usually guaranteed under U.S. law, and it authorizes continued harsh interrogations of terror suspects.”
And, now, I am afraid. I am afraid of my own government, which is no longer democratic, no longer respectable or responsible, which no longer even tries to maintain a façade of decency or humanity or reason or logic. We have become a fascist nation.
Wikipedia has the following to say about fascism:
[Paxton further] defines fascism's essence as:
1. a sense of overwhelming crisis beyond reach of traditional solutions; [terrorism, 9/11, and constant drumbeat political spin of “be afraid, be very afraid”]
2. belief one’s group is the victim, justifying any action without legal or moral limits; [abrogation of the Geneva convention and most of our Bill of Rights
3. need for authority by a natural leader above the law, relying on the superiority of his instincts; [as George W. Bush has appointed himself]
4. right of the chosen people to dominate others without legal or moral restraint; [further demonstrated by the loss of civil rights we’ve endured since Bush’s inauguration in 2000, the invasion of Iraq, and the treatment of POWs] and
5. fear of foreign `contamination." [“if you’re not with us, you’re against us”, interpreting dissent as unpatriotic behavior or as giving aid and comfort to the terrorists]
Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism summarizes fascism as:
The term is often used to describe individuals or political groups who are perceived to behave in an authoritarian or totalitarian manner; by silencing opposition, judging personal behavior, promoting racism, or otherwise attempting to concentrate power and create hate towards the "enemies of the state".
Which pretty well sums up the current state of affairs in the White House and Congress, I think.
I never dreamt I’d be afraid of my own government to this extent, but I am afraid of the megalomaniacal C-student who doesn’t have the wit to understand what he has wrought, running the country. I am afraid, as I have not been in the 5.5 years before this, of the toad-eating, goose-stepping, rubber-stamping Republican Congress, which is devoid of all sense of responsibility for upholding and protecting the constitution, the citizenry, and the country, and which is rife with greed, spinelessness, corporate special interests, and corruption to a degree which literally takes my breath away.
I am afraid for myself – that speaking out might mean my being thrown in jail on trumped up charges at the president’s whim, afraid for what it can mean for my children and their right to a bright future of hope and possibilities, and I am afraid and ashamed of what this administration has done to my country. They have morally raped us, beaten us, abused us, and left us to die, while they wallow in war profiteering and Orwellian doublespeak, with nary a care for the American people, our constitution, our history, our legacy, our responsibilites, or our rights. They are all traitors, the likes of which we have never seen before, and they have made themselves untouchable and unaccountable for their behavior.
I am appalled beyond words, ao I am borrowing those of Pastor Martin Niemoeller (1892–1984)…
When the Nazis came for the communists,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a communist.
When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
after all I was not a social democrat.
When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
after all I was not a trade unionist.
When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.
It does not take a rocket scientist to understand that we are a heartbeat away from seeing our friends, neighbors, and children hauled away for no greater reason than dissatisfaction or dissent, by our toxic administration. I am not generally a political person, and I hope this is the first and last occasion I have to say anything of a political nature. But, Bushco has finally succeeded in convincing me to vote my fears. I will be voting, and urging everyone I meet, and possibly standing in the parking lot of the polling place urging other voters to follow my lead. I will be voting for anyone BUT these traitors, and I can only hope and pray that they will be stopped, that they will be held accountable, and that there is still time to undo this horrible damage.