Monday, June 8, 2015
Week of 06/08/2015
“Essential Tools” Is The Tired Excuse For Fascists
You know what is the one catchphrase that I am sick and tired of hearing? “Essential Tools”.
This is the tired and old excuse that is pulled out by fascist politicians and equally fascist political “experts” when it comes to justifying any program they can use to lord over the American people.
Case in point: as the month of May came to a close, the GOP and President Barack Obama were worried about certain provisions of the wrongly-named USA PATRIOT Act that were set to automatically expire unless they were granted an extension. Specifically, the parts that were set to expire involved authorizing the National Security Administration to collect and hoard every piece of telephone and Internet communication done by Americans.
We’re not talking about communications from around the world. We’re not talking about communications overseas. We’re not talking about communications involving countries that don’t really like America. We’re talking about communications done here in the United States of America. Without a warrant, no less.
This was the big secret that Edward Snowden revealed to the world. The very secret that now has him in hiding from his own country. The secret that we were told by politicians would “never happen”. The secret that our United States Constitution was voided by fear-mongering fascists in the name of “safety” and “security”.
Well, the law that supposedly authorized this info-hoarding by our government – which, by the way, was recently declared unconstitutional by a federal court – was supposed to only exist for a brief period of time. That’s the thing with tyrannical legislation... it gets sold to us on a combination of fear and the false promise that these things would only be for a “short period of time”. Then when it comes time for the law to expire, the politicians ramp up the fear again to justify giving it an extension. And then another one. And then another one.
And no matter the program, no matter the method, no matter the means they use, they always consider them to be “essential tools”. As in “we can’t operate without being given blanket permission to do whatever we want, however we want, no matter the cost”.
The good news is that there are enough people that are saying “this is wrong” for this fear-based justification to come to an end... at least temporarily. The law was able to lapse for just a couple of days before they could pass new legislation that fine-tuned it. The NSA will once again be info-hoarding, but only for a limited period of time, and then they get to pass that over to the phone companies and service providers to harass.
And do you know what happened during that time? Nothing. No one damn thing from the bad guys.
It’s not like this was some big secret. The media was all over this story, about how these parts of the PATRIOT Act were going to expire soon and that there was push-back from certain factions to just let it expire.
And now think about this... just how good was this info-hoarding in identifying and stopping the bombings during the Boston Marathon? What? It wasn’t?
How about the shootings in Texas over the supposed “Draw Mohammad” contest? Were the NSA sounding the alarm bells on that? Were they alerting the local police about “lone wolf” operatives loyal to the Islamic State getting supposed “marching orders”?
They weren’t? What do you mean they weren’t? What’s the use of having these supposed “essential tools” if they’re not being used in the way they’re being sold to us?
Of course I expect the pro-fascists to step up and say “Well these ‘essential tools’ have been critical in stopping hundreds and hundreds of other terrorist activities from going on. We just can’t tell you about what they were or how they were used, but you have to take our word for it that they did happen.” That’s just what the script demands they say to counter these instances where the system failed.
How convenient! “Hundreds and hundreds”. Just like there were “thousands and thousands” of supposed members of the Communist Party being reported by the disgraced Senator Joseph McCarthy in the 1950’s. No proof. Just “his word”.
Even worse is that this comes at a time when our own government’s security is failing on all levels. The Transportation Safety Administration has us taking off our shoes and showing us naked in body scanners, confiscating little plastic toys and mother’s breast milk, but they have failed miserably in finding even dummy guns and bombs. The IRS got hacked, accidentally giving away the personal information of hundreds of thousands of Americans. And then the General Accounting Office got hacked by the Chinese, essentially giving them the blueprint to our government’s infrastructure.
And we’re supposed to trust this same government blindly with the hoarding of our phone calls and Internet visits?
Let’s get brutally honest here... the only people that are rooting for the PATRIOT Act to go on without alteration or expiration are fascists. They can wrap themselves in the American flag all they want and soil that flag in the process, but it still doesn’t hide what they are or what their true intentions are for America.
They really don’t love the United States. The United States has rules and safeguards against government encroachments. Rules and safeguards that these people abhor and dismiss with a simple waive of a hand and some sound-bytes on Fox News.
What these people really love is the Police State. They love the all-powerful truncheon and being able to have it wielded any time for any reason. That is their “essential tool”, and it is the one thing that they share with every dictatorial thug from the dawn of time.
But it is a love of the Police State with a catch. They only love it if they’re the ones in control of the truncheon. If they get to decide who wields the truncheon and how it is wielded and against whom, then they will paint that truncheon red-white-and-blue and sing “God Bless America” at the top of their lungs to drown out the cries of its victims. It’s only when they’re not in control of that truncheon that it’s considered a threat.
I can’t help but to go back to the movie “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and see how easily an all-powerful organization dedicated to “peace and security” could be easily coopted by fascists. “Our enemies are your enemies,” says the fascist with a grin. “Disorder, war. It's just a matter of time before a dirty bomb goes off in Moscow, or an EMP fries Chicago.”
There’s always an instance, always an excuse, always a reason to justify an anything-goes mindset. Islamic State, Bocco Haram, Cobra... oops, I mean al Qaeda, North Korea, China, Russia, Iran, Army of God, or whatever the next threat will be. Always an excuse to say “the rules don’t matter anymore. The ends justify the means.”
But here the thing: Once we go down that road, once we say “anything goes”, how does that make us any different than them? What, because we supposedly stand for something that we just gave up in the name of fear and terror? Because we have guns and bombs and the means to destroy the world over and over again at a whim? That hasn’t deterred the bad guys so far.
So if you want to waive the flag in the name of faux patriotism, you have that right. But don’t try to sell me the idea that you’re doing it for freedom or liberty or order. Because much like your fictional counterparts in HYDRA, you too are just selling nothing but lies.