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article imageOp-Ed: How the U.S. government used 9/11 to attack freedom

By Ben Morris     Sep 10, 2014 in Politics
Washington D.c. - When 9/11 occurred thousands of Americans lost their wives, husbands, children and friends. The terrorist attack was an unquestionable tragedy, that didn’t just cost the lives of thousands of Americans.
Just six weeks after 9/11, with virtually no debate and a bipartisan demand for more executive power, the Patriot Act was passed in October 2001. The country wanted revenge, safety, and action to prevent another act of terrorism. While their media propped up everything the Bush administration did, the freedoms Americans cherished slowly become a distant memory.
The Constitution guarantees Americans are protected against unreasonable searches, and gives them the right to freely practice their religion; rights that have been eviscerated thanks to the Patriot Act. No longer are Americans guaranteed a speedy trial, Americans can be held without trial for eternity, thanks to the Patriot Act.
Now, more than a decade later, a man who campaigned on civil liberties and a reversal of Bush policies became an enemy of freedom, taking the lawlessness of the bill to a whole new level with the a spy program that even dismayed the author of the Patriot Act.
When Edward Snowden risked his life to reveal the criminality of the NSA, he put a microscope on a spy state that has turned America into Oceania, where emails, phone calls and metadata are stored to keep tabs on who you know, and where you are, what you have purchased on your credit card, and what you look like naked, all without a warrant.
Of course the fear merchants of Washington have demeaned Snowden by claiming his leaks have threatened national security. Lindsay Graham, a senator who does not know a country he doesn’t want to bomb, told Fox News, “I don’t think he’s a hero. I believe he hurt or nation. He compromised our national security program designed to find out what terrorists were up to.” Such a claim is complete b.s considering a study that showed terrorists arrested in the U.S were caught using common law enforcement techniques. The study by the New America Foundation concluded, “-bulk collection of American phone metadata has had no discernible impact on preventing acts of terrorism and only the most marginal of impacts on preventing terrorist-related activity, such as fundraising for a terrorist group.”
Graham has despicably capitalized on 9/11, but he is a minor leaguer compared to New York Rep. Peter King. Last December in defense of the NSA and tyranny he evoked 9/11 by telling Meet The Press, "I lost some 150 friends, neighbors and constituents on Sept. 11." That wasn't the worst part as King displayed photographs of the wreckage at a hearing he held about Muslim extremism that would make Joe McCarthy proud, where he claimed the goal of the hearing was, "to protect America from a terrorist attack," doing what he does best; capitalizing on the most tragic event in America's history.
King erroneously believes massive spying on Americans is needed to stop attacks; however all the NSA does is violate constitutional protections by storing personal information, correspondence and other information from innocent people who do not belong to any terror group.
While real militants are terrorizing the Middle East and Africa, the American government has changed the definition of terrorism to include anyone who does not believe in the validity of the state, or happens to admire Ron Paul. When you live in a country where political beliefs and an expression of freedom places you in the crosshairs, your country is in dire straits.
Last December in Oklahoma, two people were arrested on terror charges for the crime of erecting a banner inside the Oklahoma City offices of Devon, an oil company pushing the approval of the Keystone pipeline. No bombs were found, no plot to destroy the building was discovered, the only "criminal" act was glitter from the banner hitting the floor.
Protest made America what it is. African Americans didn't end Jim Crow laws by sitting in their homes, they hit the street demanding equality. Women didn't get the right to vote by baking cookies. If African Americans and women protested for equal rights in 2014 they would be stricken by the stiff arm of a lawless state that takes examples from Stalin, Mao, and every other dictator to squash dissent.
Since Barack Obama entered the Whitehouse protest has been met with mass arrests, and vicious brutality. In New York City during Occupy Wall Street civilians were assaulted by police for filming the protest, and journalists were attacked. In Oakland, police used tear gas and batons to break up camps, claiming unsanitary conditions in the camps, and vandalism caused police to abuse protesters and make mass arrests. Years after, the violent response to peaceful protests has not ended.
Hundreds of minimum wage workers were arrested when they hit the streets to demand hire wages, and everyone knows what happened in Ferguson. Goons of the state are simply using their power and freedom from culpability to silence those who are fed up with poor wages, bailouts, and police brutality. All of this has occurred thanks to a government who has used the deaths of thousands for political gain in an effort to fear Americans into submission.
When old fashioned journalism is deemed a criminal offense, your country can no longer gloat about having "freedom." People like King and Graham are turning a great country into a cesspool because they are in the business of fear. Their goal is to scare Americans into submission, where any dissent is discouraged. They do not care about liberty, and act as pistons in a machine that shreds through America's freedom until all rights are destroyed. Americans have lost their privacy, they cannot protest peacefully, and certain political beliefs put targets on their backs. These are not examples of a free society.
Without a shadow of doubt, the state is using fear to march America into a dictatorship. A casual look into any history book will show parallels between the most evil world leaders and the current reality in America. Just like Hitler used fear to convince Germans to kill Jews, homosexuals and gypsies, the Bush and Obama administrations have scared Americans to sacrifice their rights.
9/11 was an earth shattering event, but eliminating freedom does not keep the country safe, protecting freedom does. Without basis human rights, no one is truly alive, and that country is without a soul.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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