Stand Up for Your Democracy

Look out America, here come the authorities to "defend" you against international terrorism.

From George W. to local airport authorities, the Powers That Be are now scrambling to look like they're doing something to stop future terrorist attacks on our Land of the Free. It's always dangerous for a democracy when police power is unleashed, and that's the situation you and I now face as our "defenders," full of made-for-television bravado, are rushing to protect us by mounting a macho crack-down on -guess what?-our freedom!

In his brief television address on the night of the horrendous assault on America's people, Bush noted that America is "the brightest beacon for freedom" in the world, and he declared, "no one will keep that light from shining." Unfortunately, the antiterrorism actions planned by Bush and Company would darken that very beacon of freedom by making a new attack on our own people's already-endangered civil liberties, while also and turning our airports and other public places into armed fortresses.

The terrorists' fires were still burning when Washington officials began the PR drumbeat to authorize more domestic surveillance, restrict people's movements, and even to raid our social security trust fund to pay for any new police or military action with a "counterterrorism" label stuck on it. A former top CIA official stepped out of the darkness to assert ominously: "We're going to have to rethink what is the trade-off for privacy in return for internal security."

This is Jim Hightower saying...There can be no internal security without tenacious protection of all the liberties (including privacy) that undergird our democratic republic. What makes America great and preserves our freedom is not police power, military might, or wealth-rather it's our democracy itself that is the beacon to the world, that makes our "national experiment" unique and important. We can't "Let freedom ring" if our so-called leaders restrict people from being able to ring the bell. If we allow them to do that, the terrorists will have won.

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