May 08, 2003

What really pisses me off...

This rant was inspired by this frightening account that was originally published in the LA Times on May 2, 2003

I find myself very afraid in our new, post-9/11 world, not afraid of "terrorists" or distant militant regimes, but by fear of the government and local officials who are supposed to protect us and our rights as American citizens (or nationals, alien residents or just visitors). Among the laws passed after 9/11 in haste and out of reactionary fear and anger is the Patriot Act , which, in addition to expanding the government's authority to conduct surveillance and gather/share information to a blatantly unconstitutional level, not only permits the indefinite detention of immigrants who are suspected terrorists, but also permits the detention of US citizens so suspected. Many detainees are not allowed access to counsel, not allowed to notify their families of there whereabouts and held without official charges for days, weeks or even months. These are gross violations of our rights, not just as American citizens and immigrants, but as "members of the human family" as set out by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights . Since when has it become acceptable to tread on our "inalienable" rights for any cause, especially when the cause is supposedly to protect our freedoms, democracy and our way of life. I guess that the later part is associated purely with economic factors, but, to me, our way of life is comprised of our ability to act freely and live free from fear of being randomly harassed, spied on and held without cause or due process. The Patriot Act, and many others like it, are abominations and have done more to increase the fear that our nation lives under and the tensions that divide us from each other, rather than making us feel safer and uniting us. I can only hope that our generation will someday succeed in repealing these acts that can only serve to further weaken the powers and rights of our citizens. This is the real war and it's being waged against us because we are the only ones the government can actually control and get a hold of .

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