Friday, September 28, 2012

Liberty and Security

On September 11th of this year, I wrote about a terrible day my country had experienced eleven years before, and shared some of my experiences from that day.  As everyone knows, that tragedy (the attacks, not my blog post, lol) has changed this country and the world in more ways than anyone probably realizes.

For one thing, we Americans showed the world once again that we won't be kept down, we won't be oppressed, and we will not be victims anymore. The heroes of Flight 93 demonstrated that spirit on that same day, sacrificing their own lives rather than allowing themselves to become weapons against their own people in the hands of terrorists.  Since then, there has not been a single successful airline hijacking or attack that was not thwarted by other brave men and women acting in that same spirit, and I think it's a pretty safe bet there won't be for a very long time.  That ship, as they say, has sailed.

On the other hand, I remain suspicious about our government's response to the attacks, especially here at home. While I fully agreed with and supported the invasions of Afganistan and even Iraq, I have always been suspicious about the domestic responses like the so-called "Patriot Act," the creation of the DHS and TSA, etc.. I also really hate having to travel anywhere by air. So far, I have managed to avoid having my private parts groped (that's a "pat-down" for you sheeple out there) in the name of national security, but I have been forcibly irradiated on one occasion ("body-scanned").

What I am seeing in America today is the mindset that preventing another 9/11 is worth sacrificing just about anything, including our constitution and bill of rights - the very freedoms the terrorists hate us for, as we were once told. Sure, we ought to protect innocent lives. But I am one of the apparent few who believe we, the people, can do, will do, and have already done a far better job of that than our government can or should. And, we can do it without abusive random body searches, warrant-less surveillance, expensive (and completely ineffective) body scanners, and allowing ourselves to become subjects rather than citizens.  Flight 93 proved that, and those people did it without the Patriot Act or the TSA.

At this point, I only hope the trend reverses itself soon enough so that we can get back some of the liberties we've lost without having to endure the same kinds of struggles in which we won them to start with. Otherwise, by the time we're done "defending freedom," there might not be any of it left and we will have done bin Laden's (may he rust in pieces) job for him.