ONE of the things that has always bothered me about the "war on terror" is the extreme hysteria and that came along with it. The PATRIOT act, the ludicrous travel restrictions, TAPS, warrantless wiretapping, revocation of habeas corpus, torture, rendition to foreign states, indefinite incarceration of American citizens without being charged with a crime, indefinite incarceration of American citizens without being provided access to legal counsel, and about a zillion other examples of violations of fundamental human rights and freedoms all done in the name of protecting us from terrorists.
The people that try to justify these actions will try to tell you that we live in a time of unprecedented peril, and that we are facing a threat that the world has never seen before.
These people apparently have forgotten their history.
During most of the 1960's and the 1970's the entire planet was constantly on the brink of global nuclear obliteration as the United States and Russia escalated their deadly arms race. At any moment during that period, had things gone the wrong way, every last living thing on the planet could have been destroyed. These were the years of the very real fear that it was All Going To End.
I don't know what is so different between my generation and the one that preceded it. Why were they strong? What courage did they possess that we now lack? What allowed them to retain their values, their ideals, and to preserve the civil rights that we, cowards that we are, so eagerly toss away in the face of far less dangerous times?
I am truly embarrassed of my generation.
Today, for the first time, I read something that has given me a little hope in my generation and its leaders. Sir Kevin Macdonald, the director of public prosecutions in England, has spoken out against the "war on terror", and for treating it properly - not some horrific boogyman in whose name we debase our constitution, in whose name we destroy our way of life, and in whose name we throw away our rights, but as it should be treated. As crime.
The guardian has the story - linky
Props to ignatz
-uk on kos, making me aware of it.