August 28th, 2007

Patriot Act and Acts of Patriotism

Wise are the oft-quoted words of Benjamin Franklin:

Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. (via Quoty)

The dichotomy between liberty and so-called safety (or, in modern vernacular, “security”) is depicted well by the following comic:

The fearmongering depicted by Bush’s character in this cartoon is everywhere evident in modern political discourse, and it saturates everything we hear from the executive branch. We’re told time and again of the importance and necessity of certain programs and legislation to fight terrorism abroad so that our homeland can remain free and safe.

One need only look at our porous borders to get a whiff of the blatant hypocrisy spewed forth from our President’s mouth. The Security and Prosperity Partnership doesn’t help the case, either.

No, officials instead lust after power, and the oldest trick in the book to obtain more power is to have those beneath you beg you to do whatever it takes to protect them. This was the reasoning behind Franklin’s quote, leading H.L. Mencken to also opine:

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary. (via Quoty)

Indeed, alarmism is crucial in government policy (think global warming), propelling propaganda efforts to convince the citizenry of some dire need. This creates a demand for legislation, which gives the government exactly what it wants: oversight, control, and power. The perpetual cycle continues, with “hobgoblins” created by those in power (I would argue that most, not all, are imaginary) and problems inflated to garner public attention and outcry.

Watch the next speech given by President Bush and see how many times he cites 9/11, global terrorism, domestic security, and all the other related buzzwords that translate into nothing more than “give up your liberty, or we’re all gonna die!”

6 Responses to “Patriot Act and Acts of Patriotism”

  1. Kelly Winterton
    August 28, 2007 at 12:00 pm #

    The biggest hobgoblin was the false-flag attack of 9/11.

  2. Curtis
    August 28, 2007 at 12:33 pm #

    The great partners in Bush’s spreading of fear are the media outlets. Complicit in his every sin, they are now again obediently repeating his lies about Iran, and neglecting their responsibility to get to the bottom of the story and tell the truth. Of course this is not unexpected behavior, seeing as how the corporate elite are served by wartime profits and control media expression.

  3. Kelly Winterton
    August 29, 2007 at 10:08 am #

    Well said Curtis. Like the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, which were planned and on the books before the pretext of 9/11, the Iran war has been on the books and planned already. The media is doing its obedient part by parroting the White House’s propaganda. The skids have all been greased, and all we need is another false-flag op to begin the Iran War.

    But the neo-con administration has been hampered in any instigation of the Iran War thus far, being far too hindered by public dissent against Iraq and a broken military. Hopefully the Iran War will not come to pass.

    If any false-flag pretext happens before Cheney is out of office, I hope we’ve learned a lesson and can quickly look to Cheney for the source of said false flag op.

    I look to a false-flag op in the vein of the staged Gulf of Tonkin incident. We already have ships and carriers stationed there, and if anything happens to those ships, it would be a simple thing for Cheney to claim Iran did it. With the complient media, we would not know the truth for many months.

  4. Kelly Winterton
    August 29, 2007 at 10:41 am #

    But this thread was about the Patriot Acts of 1775 and 2006. My comments about the pretexts for a pre-planned war are related. Logically, you would not think that the 800+ page Patriot Act could be written and passed in the short few weeks after the attacks of 9/11. Who possibly could have written 800+ pages of legislation in such a short time? No one even was given time to read it before they voted on it and passed it.

    If you research the questions of who wrote the Patriot Act, and when it was written, you will find that no one will, or can tell you. Orrin Hatch avoided these two questions in writing to me twice.

    Common beliefs among many are that the Patriot Act was written many years ago, and was waiting in the wings for just the right time. In other words, the 9/11 attacks were staged for many reasons, one of those reasons was to get the public behind legislation that had already been pre-written and desired by a government which wished more control over its citizens.

  5. Curtis
    August 30, 2007 at 12:51 pm #


    If any false-flag pretext happens before Cheney is out of office, I hope we’ve learned a lesson and can quickly look to Cheney for the source of said false flag op.

    Your hopes are good, but I’m afraid they will find no fruit. Both sides of government are anxious to show who is the bigger friend of Israel and even bigger enemy of Iran. If a false-flag event occurs under the current climate in D.C. we will have the support of the vast majority of elected politicians for military action against Iran.

    Again, it’s the fear factor Connor has written of that leads to this. A fearful congress, or a fearful people, will be an obedient people or an obedient congress. The use of fear against US citizens by the government is well documented in Chomsky’s “Manufacturing Consent” and, “Necessary Illusions” by the same author.

    I think the fact that Bush et al don’t trust a Democratic administration to handle Iran will lead to Bush doing something military regardless of the political climate.

    Regarding the Patriot Act, we have a long history of this sort of thing dating back to 1798 with the Sedition Act. The Sedition Act of 1918 that got Debbs imprisoned was equally heinous.


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