The Internal Assault on America

"What country are we living in?"

This is the question I was asked as I waited for a connecting plane at the Dallas-Ft. Worth airport recently. "This Homeland Security stuff has just gotten insane, it's B.S." the fellow said to me.

He was no longhaired student, no ACLU professor, or any of the other stereotypes that the media and politicians draw of those of us who dare protest the usurpation of our liberties by the flag waving autocrats of Bush-Cheney-Ashcroft-Rumsfeld Incorporated. This fellow was an airline pilot -- a fifty-something former military man who considers himself a conservative and, though I didn't ask, quite likely is Republican.

We had just gone through a "security incident" at the airport. I had been on an arriving plane, but my plane and dozens of others had not been allowed to taxi to our gates. It seems that someone inside the terminal had gone throught a wrong door, stumbling into a secured area, setting off alarms, and triggering a knee-jerk security response that included making everyone evacuate three terminals.

Was this some slogan-spouting bomb-toting, maniacal terrorist? No. Apparently it was just a passenger who got confused. But under the insanity of our brave new BushWorld, the most innocent of people are treated as criminal and the most innocent of acts produces a Code-Red rush of police-state tactics.

My new pilot friend was right. This is not America. Our society is being militarized, our public budgets drained, our privacy stripped, and our fundamental right of dissent assaulted by a bloated and menacing security bureaucracy that does nothing to make us safer from Osama bin Laden (wherever he is).

How repressive is our society becoming? The pilot said he can't talk within his company, because the higher ups have made it a firing offense to question what's happening to our liberties.

If you're not alarmed by the internal assault of our true Americanism, you're not paying attention. Liberty is fragile; use it -- or lose it.

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