Words of Advice:

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

“Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level
and then beat you with experience.” -- Mark Twain

"Stay Strapped or Get Clapped." -- probably not Mr. Rogers

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Law, War and 9/11

(Last year's post.)

I was in the process of writing a long post about international law following 9/11. Well, fuck that noise.

No, I'm not going to wallow in the "10th anniversary of 9/11" horseshit. It's sort of like remembering the anniversary of getting your ass kicked. I find it to be unseemly. You don't see the French commemorating the Battle of Agincourt, do you? Hell, when we mark dates of the Revolution, we don't remember the battles where the Redcoats kicked our asses (which was most of them, come to think of it).

But if we're going to commemorate the Attacks of 9/11, let's start by rolling back the national security state that has mushroomed in its wake.

Let's start by scaling back the Patriot Act, or at least rename it for what it is: the Police State Act. Let's start by limiting the Patriot Act to those cases involving terrorism.

Here's an example: Over a four year period, 1,755 "sneak-and-peek" warrants were issued. (H/T) That's when the cops, with less-than-probable-cause, go tippy-toeing into a person's home of place of business to look for shit. Rather than an up-front "here we are, here's a warrant, stand aside" search, a sneak-and-peek search is done as though it were a criminal act: No notice and maybe, someday, they'll get around to telling you.

1,755 searches. Of those, fifteen were for terrorism cases. That is less than one percent of the time. Less than one in one-hundred searches were for the reasons that the Patriot Act was passed.

Then there is the vacuuming of all telecommunications by the NSA, the screening of all telephone calls, facsimiles and e-mails. There has been enough written about that and how they do it, with the craven help of all of the telcos. Let's stop that shit as well.

If you feel the need to mark 9/11 by rehashing the culpability of the Bush Administration and how they used that to institute a regime of torture and invade a nation that had nothing to do with the attacks, thereby causing the deaths of over three times as many Americans as did al Qaeda, not to mention causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians and displacing millions more, well stop. Nobody is going to seriously investigate any of that shit.[1] It's now up to the historians to point out who was culpable.

You want to mark 9/11? Fine, let's mark it by remembering what is important: Our freedoms. Our liberties. Our right to be left alone and unobserved by the government, absent a damned good reason.

Let's start recalling that this nation was founded by men and women who did not cower in their cabins when the mightiest nation on the globe tried to oppress them. They would probably never have believed that a small group of suicidal men would cause us to willingly start throwing away our freedoms and liberties. Those men and women who suffered and fought and died to bring this country into existence would have never have believed that their descendants would create a monster of a cabinet department such as the DHS.

Let's get over this national tendency to shit our pants and run for the embrace of an ever larger police state every time something happens. Let's start laughing at the pro-police state cowards like Rep. King (both of them, the putz from Iowa and the former terrorism supporter from New York) and call them what they are: Supporters of fascism. Every time that some politician or bureaucrat starts talking about how they can make us safer if we consent to a little more monitoring or a little more searching or a little less privacy, let's grab the tar and feathers.

Let's start by reversing the paramilitarization of the civilian police forces and by taking an axe to the number and size of "tactical response teams" (SWAT, ESU, whatever the designation of the local goon squad happens to be). Let's, by statute, limit the use of those teams and require the sign-off by the chief/sheriff/commissioner for any planned deployments of the squads.

Let's once again understand that being a free and open society has risks. Let's get back to accepting those risks as an inherent and structural cost of being free.[2]

And above all:

[1] Yes, there were serious investigations after Pearl Harbor and folks were held accountable. Times were different and anyway, the Chattering Classes have decreed that Thou Shalt Not Hold Republicans Accountable. Sure, I know that if the attacks had happened on President Gore's watch, there would have been serious investigations, not the joke that was the 9/11 Commission. Get over it.
[2] If you want to live in a nation where the police have unlimited power to keep you safe: Emigrate.


bigredwookie said...


Eck! said...

Here here, and not there.


montag said...

Comrade, don't you worry yourself none. Obama has just notified Congress that he is continuing the national emergency that began 9/11/01. Everything should be OK now.

Stewart Dean said...


BadTux said...

The PeePantsDay festivities are in full swing, I notice from my Twitter feed. Two (2) airliners have now been escorted or met by cops at the gate in celebration of this august day (in one of them because some folks went to the restroom at the wrong time, don't have details on the other yet). I expect that by the time PeePantsDay is over, we'll have a whole oodle of similar news stories.

My understanding is that the airwaves are full of death porn at the moment. I wouldn't know, my television is resolutely off.

- Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Comrade Misfit said...

My TV is also off. I did turn on the local NPR station at 11 to catch "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" and found that NPR was broadcasting more material related to National Shit Yer Pants Day.

Phil said...

I'll tell ya what, lets start with the very real objective of the PTB to deliberately dumb down or sons and daughters to the point they don't even have a clue as to what the fuck you are talking about.

Comrade Misfit said...

It would be nice if states got back to the days when they spent more money on education than they do on prisons.

Those days seem like a faint memory.

Zdogk9 said...

But Comrade, just think of how much safer we are. The pants shit act is a deal breaker. If the asshole voted for it I WILL NOT vote for the son of a bitch. I do not care if they have a legitimate plan to put a unicorn in my front yard shitting gold ingots and pissing sour mash.

Cirze said...

No TV here either.

Although I did read some very intelligently argued essays on the web.

This one in particular.

Kudos to you, friend.



Frank W. James said...

Here! Here! I agree totally with your sentiment, viewpoint and expression.

National-Shit-Your-Pants-Day, Indeed...

All The Best,
Frank W. James