I’m terrified tonight at the thought that now, anyone I know, my brother, my father-in-law, my wife, my friends – anyone – can be removed from their homes in the most legal fashion. They can be put into a secret prison far away without ever being told why, without being afforded the most basic human rights, without being accused of anything, without being given a chance to defend themselves in the most legal fashion. The can be beaten and tortured in the most disgusting ways even I cannot imagine until they are physically mutilated, even until they reach organ failure, in the most legal fashion. They can disappear for good and no one would ever know why in the most legal fashion.
I’m terrified tonight because Bush and his people have been doing this for years and now it is all legal. Bush has made Habeas Corpus, one of the foundations of our freedoms dating back to the Magna Carta, illegal and thereby has made the Bill of Rights (with the possible exception of the third amendment) null and void. American citizens have been denied their most basic rights: the right to free speech, the right to spiritual belief, etc. And it’s all legal.
I’m terrified tonight because nobody gives a shit. They’re all too busy watching reality television or seeing yet another movie about World War II. They have wrapped themselves up in nostalgia for World War II, a war in which we were the “good guys”, ignoring the fact that we now engage in the same methods of torture and restriction of human rights on our own citizens that the Nazis engaged in. This is our country and nobody seems to care.
That has me terrified. And yet, people will stand up for this horror that is the Bush Administration and the Republican party. They will say, “Ah, well, they’re all crooks,” ignoring the fact that no Democrat has ever suspended Habeas Corpus. (And, no, I’m not a Democrat.) They will say, “It had to be done to stop the terrorists,” ignoring the fact that we were told that the terrorists were Arabs, which is why we so maliciously and so wrongly went to war in the first place. Worse, they’ll say, “Then, you’d better watch what you say.” And it’s getting to that.
Most people, I’m afraid, will think that this didn’t really happen or that it’s not important, because we Americans have grown soft and complacent and just don’t give a shit. That’s what scares me most.