Safe At Last!

December 16th, 2011   Submitted by Stefano Mugnaini

Rejoice at how safe you’ve become! Because now, finally, you live in a country where you can be detained indefinitely, without trial, on the mere suspicion of terrorism.

This is because the National Defense Authorization Act, yet another bill to provide funds for war and nation-building, has been passed by both houses of Congress. Within this gem of a bill is buried language that mandates that anyone suspected of terrorism be handed over to the military for indefinite detention — and this specifically includes US citizens — at the discretion of the executive branch.

Obama promised to veto the bill; unsurprisingly, he has rescinded his veto threat, because the primary goal of the state, always, is to increase its own power at the expense of civil liberties.

I’m sure this is glorious news to those who only care about liberty when it applies to their right to refrain from purchasing healthcare or their right to put up nativity scenes — those who heartily endorse any and every infringement on the liberties of brown people and accused “bad guys.”

But we should all be horrified, for two very important reasons. The first is that history is replete with examples showing that when you give a government the right to circumvent limitations on its power, it abuses that right. Dictators always receive their dictatorial powers to fight enemies abroad; but they always end up using them to make enemies of their own people.

A second reason this should terrify you is the fluidity with which terrorism is defined and redefined. In the last few years, various government agencies have come up with numerous signs of potential domestic terrorists. The good people at Activist Post have compiled a list of these indicators of potential homegrown terror threats.

The list includes, but is not limited to

1. Being a Tea Party activist

2. Being an Occupy Wall Street activist

3. Having more than seven days of food stored (because suicide bombers are all about food storage)

4. Having missing fingers

5. Buying flashlights or night-vision equipment

6. Paying cash for a hotel

7. Texting privately in public

8. Having Ron Paul bumper stickers and yard signs

9. Believing in conspiracy theories

10. Owning real money (precious metals)

11. Owning guns and ammo

How many of these describe you? I am certainly no terrorist. I believe strongly in the non-aggression principle as well as the golden rule. I’m a Christian, and I try to live my life in accordance with the exhortation of Jesus to “love your enemies, and pray for those that persecute you.” And yet, at least seven of those indicators apply to me. What about you?

And how many who advocate for this kind of legislation to “keep us safe” are now at risk of indefinite detention because they have a few too many guns or a couple of barrels of beans in the garage? I’m not saying that martial law and Solzhenitsyn’s gulags are around the corner, but when Obama signs this bill into law, the framework will be in place.

It may soon be time, in the words of minor internet sensation Antoine Dodson, to “hide your kids, hide your wife,” and maybe hide your silver too.

18 Responses to “Safe At Last!”

  1. Seth KingNo Gravatar says:

    “Safe at last! Safe at last! Thank God Almighty we are safe at last!!”

    Those were the words of MLK Jr. right?

  2. KathyNo Gravatar says:

    Son, weren’t his words “Free at last”? I guess those words don’t apply in this case, though, huh? God help us. He may be our only hope.

  3. Dave BNo Gravatar says:

    What if a fascinating coincidence is that I just watched the movie “One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich” and you mention the authors name. I literally just finished it, never heard of him but looked him up on wikipedia. I just had to share that. Odd that I stumble upon a youtube movie (and watch it) and a blog who both refer to the same man….

    • StefanoNo Gravatar says:

      His “The Gulag Archipelago” and “Warning to the West” were my introductions to the danger of totalitarianism.

  4. Tim KeeganNo Gravatar says:

    The “Golden Rule” is dangerous and is the opposite of the non-aggression principal. Anarchists should support the Un-Golden Rule, “do NOT do to others as you would NOT want done to you.

    • StefanoNo Gravatar says:

      Or not. I want to be left alone. Ergo, I leave others alone.
      I want my property respected, so I respect the property of others.
      I don’t want to be killed, so I don’t kill.
      They’re the same thing.

      • Tim KeeganNo Gravatar says:

        Just looked up golden rule on wikipedia and found this:
        (Positive form): One should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself.
        (Negative/prohibitive form, also called The Silver Rule): One should not treat others in ways that one would not like to be treated.

        If we obey the Golden Rule in its positive form one’s good intentions could mean less liberty for others. Whereas that is not possible if one follows the Silver Rule.

        • KontrarianNo Gravatar says:

          The Golden Rule is dangerous?
          Stop getting your moral authority from Wikipedia.

          “one’s good intentions could mean less liberty for others”

          • Tim KeeganNo Gravatar says:

            An example? Ok. One example is the welfare state in which one wants to “help” others because they would want help themselves. Another example is the war on terrorism, one might want to feel “safe” so will try to “protect” others.

            What if others do not want to be treated like you would want to be treated? I think the rule in its positive form is open ended and can lead to unintended consequences.

            • KontrarianNo Gravatar says:

              Those were very broad examples.
              I’d liked to see those fleshed out specifically in a way that still hold to the Golden Rule but violates you desires.
              I suspect that your example violates your desires at the same point it fails to adhere to the Golden Rule.
              But let’s stick with this broad brush approach and show you the fallacies of your argument.
              So let’s say we spin it so it’s negative, like you desire.
              “do NOT do to others as you would NOT want done to you”
              Okay, so here’s the deal, I’m suicidal.
              With your logic, instead of just ending my life, I should take as many people out with me.

              • Tim KeeganNo Gravatar says:

                The suicide scenario is interesting to think about, but I think it proves my point. The negative/prohibitive form of the Golden Rule prohibits action for the benefit of others and that is my main objection to the Golden Rule. Both Mises and Rand promoted the idea that humans act in their own self interest only.

  5. KontrarianNo Gravatar says:

    Oh, I forgot to say that I loved the article, short and sweet.

    It would have been better that you cited the MIAC report instead of “Activist Post”.

    • StefanoNo Gravatar says:

      Yeah, I thought about citing the actual reports, but the activist post article was actually a summary of several different “watch out for domestic terrorists” reports. In that article, they link to the original reports/bulletins.

  6. Lois SandyNo Gravatar says:

    I have been saying for years that we were allowing our freedom to be eroded. If you treat one group unjustly, no matter how despised that group, it endangers us all.
    We have sown the wind, and we shall reap the whirlwind.

  7. HReardenNo Gravatar says:

    More and more Gestopo like everyday it seems.

  8. assasin7No Gravatar says:

    The name of the game is isolation and division, if you can make people look at each other as potential terrorists, the real terrorists (the capitalist class, and their tool the state) can get a way with any thing.