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The Dismantling of American Liberties - Act III

Updated on September 10, 2012

Shock, Disbelief, and "Acts of War"

After the events of 9/11, fear and anxiety abounded across the United States. American senses were bombarded with constant reminders of the days events by way of newspaper articles, television stations, political speeches, all rehashing the tragedy for months. President George W. Bush, and the rest of his administration worked diligently feeding the propaganda machine. Right from the beginning, Bush referred to the events as “acts of war” when, in fact, they were criminal acts to be dealt with through legal means. By addressing them as war acts, he set himself up with the justification for long, drawn out, ever expanding wars with no discernible end.

Fanning the Flames of Fear

Our comfortable state of stability was rocked to the core by the fall of the twin towers. There, in the midst of the tragedy, were our government officials, shaking the ground a bit more by telling us how stealthily the “terrorists” had managed to come onto our home soil, undetected, in spite of our great efforts at monitoring the activities of the terrorist underworld. We were fed conflicting stories, carefully crafted to destroy all trust and any sense of safety.As the months dragged on, the flames of fear and anger were fanned, with more and more stories of the atrocities we would endure if something wasn't done to put a halt to terrorist activities. Scenarios were put out there and left hanging to allow time for emotionally exhausted citizens to arrive at the conclusions they were being led toward.

By October 7, 2001, the American military was setting up training camps in Georgia, with others based throughout Africa to follow. Nineteen days later, the USA Patriot Act, also known as Ashcroft's police-state bill, was passed into law.

Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (Patriot Act)

What tools? The provisions of the Patriot Act simply stripped American citizens of their constitutional rights. Those we were told it was meant to impede and assist in the capture of, were not likely to be stopped. The people most affected by the Act were law abiding American citizens.

The day after the attacks, President Bush promised that “we will not allow this enemy to win the war by changing our way of life or restricting our freedoms.” Within a few short months, it became apparent the the “War on Terrorism” was a ruse for the purpose of challenging the value of freedoms which Americans have always held dear. The consequences of the Act are such that law abiding citizens have been stripped of their constitutionally guaranteed liberties, while doing nothing to secure the country against acts of terrorism.


Homeland Security...or Underhanded Manipulation?

Beginning September 18th and continuing for several weeks, anthrax appeared in mailings to news media offices and two Democratic US Senators, killing 5 people and infecting another 17. This new form of attack conveniently occurred right on the tail of the suicide airplane hijackings, in time to deliver another emotional blow to a reeling population. A badly shaken Congress gave in to the Bush Administration's demands and passed the Act. There were no public hearings or debates, no conferences nor specialized committee reports or overviews. It simply was passed without question, effectively stomping out the civil liberties on which the United States was founded.

The passing of the Patriot Act set the stage for the complete annihilation of the United States government as it was intended, and began the building of a totalitarian replacement by way of the Homeland Security Act ( HAS ), signed into law by President George W. Bush on November 25, 2002.

This Act created both the United States Department of Homeland Security and a new cabinet-level of Secretary of Homeland Security.

"War Time" Mentality creates passivity toward government actions

Failing to monitor the activities of our elected officials has brought us to this point, but the real question is why? Why did we not act when it became clear that our freedoms were being trampled? Why was there not a greater outcry? Why were so many people willing to suffer the loss of freedoms, without a determination for when they would be returned?

Aside from our fears and failures, the answer to these questions can also be found in our past history. During wartime people expect to be inconvenienced a bit. We expect for some limitations to be enacted. It's usually a necessary evil to be endured until our mission is accomplished and peace is restored. In the past, restoration of any sacrificed liberties goes hand in hand with restoration of peace.

In these modern times, we didn't foresee that there may never be an end to this war. It is unlikely that the “enemy” will capitulate and come to an agreement with us. There will always be new issues, new ideas which may draw angry detractors, and with them will come new terrors. The “terrorists” we are warring against today, can easily be replaced by others tomorrow. If we continue to willingly relinquish our freedoms in a trade for a false feeling of security and safety, how will we ever recover them later, if the end of the war doesn't come?

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    • Terri Meredith profile image

      Terri Meredith 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Our government has become a machine for self-serving groups to gain financial power and control over issues that concern ALL of us. It's now the "way things are done." Our government is no longer the model originally designed by the signers of the Declaration. The changes have come in small increments, hidden from the general public until the FOIA was pushed into being by those few Americans who were relentless in their pursuit. Most of what we are learning about past government actions, is because we have gained access to past secrets. Evidence is proving that the secrets we were told were "secret" because making them public would alert our "enemies", did more harm to the people than making them public could have done. We've now become prey to the very officials we think we elect. I say think, because I'm not so sure even the election process isn't manipulated.

    • mslizzee profile image

      elizabeth 6 years ago from Buncombe County, NC

      I'm conflicted on the Patriot Act. I'm not a fan of Geo. Bush, but can you imagine the pressure any president would be under after 9/11? It is the primary responsibility of the pres to protect the American people, yet somehow we allowed these terrorists to come to our country, train on how to fly airplanes, board them and fly them into NY. The entire episode was a giant failure of security by just about every single department in the government.

      Now with all the restrictions, the airport security, the plans to tap into our cell phones etc, etc, I feel like we are being herded like sheep into confines where we can be better controlled and monitored. It all feels creepy and unreal. Many of us are feeling very uncomfortable with both administrations. Seems like we have totally lost trust in government.

    • Terri Meredith profile image

      Terri Meredith 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Thanks! I truly believe we are on the verge of losing everything our forefathers sacrificed to achieve. Speaking out isn't enough anymore, though it needs to continue. Now, we need to see some physical action..letter writing, visits to political offices, face to face discussions with our chosen leaders. This sitting on the couch waiting for someone else to do the work because we're "too busy" with our personal life, has got to stop. There will be NO personal life if we don't take action now.

    • DannyMaio profile image

      DannyMaio 6 years ago from New York

      Great Hub, Voted up and useful.