“When it’s time to panic, will there be a signal, or was that just it?”

Is it just me or has the national situation gotten much worse in the last week? I’m just terrified every time I browse the net. As I understand it, it’s now legal for the Bush regime to imprison and torture enemy combatants, where “enemy combatant” means whoever Bush has said is an enemy combatant? (Eerily similar to the reassurance given by Billy to Irwin concerning a horde of terrifying monsters: “Don’t worry. They won’t hurt you. . . Unless they decide to hurt you.“)

And recently on TV Bush is telling Americans that criticizing his anti-terror policies means you’ve been “duped by enemy propaganda,” clearly anyone criticizing Bush must be by definition passing on enemy propaganda, perhaps therefore becoming an “enemy combatant”?

Not to mention judges who dare challenge the legality of the law…

” After five hours of searching through the 80-plus page bill, Alex Jones, who won the 2004 Project Censored award for his analysis of Patriot Act 2, uncovered numerous other provisions and definitions that make the bill appear as almost a mirror image of Hitler’s 1933 Enabling Act.

In section 950j. the bill criminalizes any challenge to the legislation’s legality by the Supreme Court or any United States court. Alberto Gonzales has already threatened federal judges to shut up and not question Bush’s authority on the torture of detainees.” (Link)

Seriously, is this as sinister as it sounds? I find myself preoccupied with the news all the time. Every hour it seems like a new outrage appears. What’s happening to us?

I guess it’s worth stopping and remembering that despite appearances to the contrary, the country is run by human beings, not devils incarnate. And human beings — yes, even George W. Bush and Dick Cheney — are capable of pity, of remorse, of mercy, of changing their minds, of recognizing mistakes. Of doing what is decent and right. Of acting from integrity instead of from fear.

They’re not monsters, no more than the people labeled as “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” are monsters. They’re all human, every one, and that’s why there’s hope.

7 thoughts on ““When it’s time to panic, will there be a signal, or was that just it?””

  1. They are also, thanks the wisdom of the framers of our constitution, temporary.

    Even if they do damage, destroy lives, kill and torture and ruin America’s reputation — there is always an upward cap on what damage they can do.

    I do, however, think they’re scratching at that cap to see if anyone notices.

  2. Of all places for me to receive a glimmer of hope after the national shame following the vote in the Senate last week, I never thought I’d get it at your blog, Ed. Wow–thanks.

    I also still hope that the Foley coverup brings the final push needed to restore some checks and balances to our country.

  3. Thanks Rick. I had to let myself see something to hope for. Sink or swim, you know.

  4. Temporary? How?

    I’ve been worrying myself sick over this crap. Had a talk with the Missus last night about how we’d work out moving to B.C. or Vancouver in the next year or so, even.

    But hey, if it’s temporary, I’m all ears. I’m about as far from the Canadian border as you can get and still live in the lower 48. ;)

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