SO THIS IS HOW IT ENDS?
And by “it,” I mean our freedom–with today’s signing of the purposely blandly named “Military Commissions Act of 2006.”
No great fanfare, really–not any more so than any other bill-signing ceremony.
No long, transfixing, vigorous debate on the terms of the bill so that everyone, even those who don’t pay attention to politics know the basic idea behind it.
No recent catastrophic event that sent out a call from the American people, clamoring for legislation like this.
No, they just pretty much slipped it in right under the wire. Exactly the opposite of how most people assume the theft of our freedom would have taken place.
No Conquering Armies
There were no conquering armies parading through our streets, having taken our leaders as prisoner.
There was not another 9/11-type event.
There were no invading hordes of Muslims chanting “Death to America”–but they got it anyway, didn’t they?
Why should they bother to invade–we killed America for them today. We have done this to ourselves.
And to think, we all thought that America would always be a free country–after all, we have a Constitution, don’t we?
So we thought we didn’t have to read the newspaper anymore and we didn’t have to seriously challenge the hatemongers and we could just choose not to listen to Rush Limbaugh. Because America would always be free.
We are moved to tears when we hear Niemoller’s warning that there may be no one left to speak for us, but some of us argue that Jose Padilla must’ve done something wrong and isn’t being truly “tortured,” so we don’t have to worry about or speak up for him.
It Can’t Happen Here
I once believed that a bill such as this would have no possibility of becoming law in the United States. You probably thought the same thing. We all thought “that can’t happen here–this is the land of the free and the home of the brave.”
The former part of that well-worn statement may no longer be true, but I hope the latter part still is. Because that’s the only option we have, is to be brave.
Brave enough to say that the Military Commissions Act is wrong.
Brave enough to protest in writing, in public, in a non-violent manner.
Brave enough to get our freedom back.