Saturday, March 9, 2013

Outrage Unexpressed

Why isn’t there more outrage over the Obama Administration reserving the right to kill US Citizens on foreign or US soil without due process as guaranteed in the 5th Amendment to the US Constitution?

Have we become so afraid of whom our government calls terrorists that we’re willing to surrender all of our constitutional protections?

It’s really easy to think that these powers are OK, because “I’ll never be targeted by them after all, I’m not a ‘terrorist’, it’s those ‘other people’.

But I would urge caution against that type of thinking.  The government’s definition of terrorist and “associated forces” can be very elastic.  And since they also don’t bother to make public any evidence that they possess in determining that one is a threat, any of us could very well fit the bill.

There were loud complaints from many quarters about the Bush Administration detaining suspects indefinitely without access to lawyers.  Where are those same voices now that a successor administration from the other party is actually putting people to death?

Maybe we’re all just worn out?  Maybe after participating in the “rat race” and doing our “make ends meet dance” – there just isn’t any energy or desire to express outrage.

Or maybe we just don’t care.  Maybe we believe in the notion that these actions actually keep us safe, instead of creating more enemies for us in the future.  Maybe we believe in the idea that any and all actions taken by our country to make us safe are so obviously noble, just and good, that this (drone strikes, no warrant wire taps, indefinite detention) doesn’t merit consideration.

Perhaps we simply defer to our government and believe that they must know more than we do and are undoubtedly doing the right thing. You know, to keep us safe.

I can’t help but think that some future historian will look back at this time and wonder where were the protests, where was the dissent?  Oh, I understand that everyone’s circumstance doesn’t allow  them to participate in such things.  But my sense is that there’s a fair amount of apathy surrounding what should be considered highly controversial. (Just as I was finishing this - the Administration gave a definitive statement that they do not claim the right to make drone strikes on US soil against US Citizens - but be careful when you go on vacation outside of the country.)

Maybe there would be more of a response if the Government somehow interfered with our “right” to purchase cable TV.  Heck, they’d better be careful – that could actually lead to widespread civil disturbances, you know an actual outrage.

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