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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Cecelia Nunn Haack
Art saves lives
02:36 PM on 01/03/2012
Thank you for this post. This latest action by our government is very frightening.
02:32 PM on 01/03/2012
Thank you Azeem, but I believe things are much further along than people suspect. Throughout history, whenever the 'military-industrial complex' has taken control of a society through laws circumventing a constitution, these powers have been used, first against dissenters and legislators who do not 'toe the line', then against the citizens, in general. In this country, we had already invaded and occupied sovereign nations, while giving reasons for war that turned out to be false, and not investigated by the legislative branch. Now we have a president who has committed our troops to Libya and Uganda and stands poised to invade both Syria and Iran. The Patriot Acts were prepared more than 20 years ago and their introduction opened the door for this latest legislation, which in effect, voids the Bill of Rights. The government has already built large detention centers across the country. Do you really believe they would build them without the intent of filling them? Will the first detainees be those who dissent too much or too loudly, and considered security threats? Or will it be the unemployed and desperate? How long before massive round-ups of American citizens? "Those that refuse to learn from history..."
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02:21 PM on 01/03/2012
I want the liberty to provide for my own security.
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Timothy Thocher
my doG looked in the mirror and saw God
02:05 PM on 01/03/2012
The attacks of 9/11 were not a threat to our security, everything that happened afterward and because of those attacks is. It is funny that infringements on liberty that have been pursued by all levels of law enforcement for decades, were quickly put into place with the passage of the Patriot Act. Local law enforcement agencies are now mini military companies, well armed above the local needs. NSA is now able to legally mine the calls and communications of all citizens. Not to mention the rush to war against a sovereign nation that pose no threat to us at all. We who are true Americans, who value freedom and democracy, need to look at 9/11, not as the attack that killed thousands, but as the attack by our own government against WE THE PEOPLE.
02:05 PM on 01/03/2012
Thanks for this post, Dr. Ibrahim. You may be interested in this piece on civil liberties and national security post 9-11: http://goo.gl/0Hyoj
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PalaceOfWisdom
Don't Sleep With Mean People
01:49 PM on 01/03/2012
Thank you for writing this. It's surreal that there were no reports of this awful bill being signed into law, and even HP has let it go by without a whimper. The power players have been waging war against the 99% economically for decades, and now they're ready to crush dissent. They'll be coming for the guns next to ensure that any revolt would be futile.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
burgerandfries
Sheeple...Wake the Flock UP!
01:44 PM on 01/03/2012
Great Commentary and great commentators! As Alex Jones likes to say...you have a better chance being stung by a bee than you do being threatened or killed by a terrorist! People need to start thinking about the role of "terrorism" within the US and UK, from a different standpoint. We're so preoccupied, thinking our government is merely trying to keep us "safe"...but it that's true...how far have they veered from the beaten path? The freedoms we've lost, to use the TSA as an exclusive example, hardly seems worth it...especially when we're given the choice of going through the naked body scanners, which not only forces you to loose all modesty...but also forces you to take in more radiation than is "safe" for 1 human being...let alone, pregnant woman or young child! Who cares about our safety, there? I'll be so happy when people finally begin to get it, that the government uses our biggest tragedies as a pretext for implementing take-over, liberty-robbing legislation!
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Joe Goforth
bye bye
01:38 PM on 01/03/2012
The type of war that we are fighting is virtually impossible to fight because the warriors could just be random Muslims in anyplace in the world that have had enough and as we know it only takes one lone wolf to create chaos. The only solution to this is to change our foreign policy to minimize the anger in the Islamic world and in doing so we contain the fire. One thing that especially aggravates the problem is our thirst for oil which we as Americans feel a special entitlement because we are the oil empire. If it were not for oil we would probably ignore the region much like we do in other places on the globe which have nothing we need. Now we find that we as Americans are sitting on huge reserves of hydro carbons and that we may have more reserves than Saudi Arabia. I hope we don't have to burn them all because I believe that it does effect the environment. The bottom line is that if we want to minimize the threat of terrorism we simply have to quit pissing off the Muslims.
And that is why, (even though he is not the perfect candidate by any means), I believe Ron Paul would take this country in a new direction which would make us and the world a safer place. I think in general Americans are eager to listen to politicians which share some of Ron Paul's platform (hint hint)
02:31 PM on 01/03/2012
I do not believe you will find any significant example of "change our foreign policy to minimize the anger in the world" that has actually had the desired effect. The only two policies that have been shown to be effective, have been effective where ever they have been implemented. They are:

1. Over there: ruthless extermination. Example 1: what the Italians did to the Jews in 70 AD solved the Jewish problem for Rome, and solved it completely. Example 2: what the Saxons did to the Britons solved the problem for the Saxons.
2. Over here: completely expel and/or expunge all members of the offending society from "here". This works for obvious reasons.

History is littered with the corpses of societies that faced similar problems but could not or would not respond in these two ways.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Joe Goforth
bye bye
03:02 PM on 01/03/2012
How about if we start by not bombing them? - Ron paul
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HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
Dosadi
Political agnostic
09:03 PM on 01/03/2012
I can agree with most of what you said. It seems that our entire diplomatic core is hell bent on creating a new enemy every day. They should be trying to create friends. We need to get rid of the entire State Department.  Then we should start over with a mandate to make friends. As far as Ron Paul goes, he says a lot of interesting things that are not only viable but necessary. I would fear for his life he were to garner the nomination. Too many special interests groups do not want Paul's ideas to take fruit. Anything that would help America would hurt them and they're money will not allow that.  I also like a lot that Buddy Roemer is saying. Too bad the media has black balled him.
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HUFFPOST SUPER USER
Joe Goforth
bye bye
01:38 PM on 01/03/2012
There is a great deal of truth to this article. We did overreact to 9/11 and we are all paying the price now as Americans. Trading liberty for security is always a one way street. Once you have given liberty up it rarely are given back. About a year ago I started wondering why we were waging war on so many Islamic states. I studied Islam and read the Koran and I realized that if the writing was taken literally that would explain much of what is going on today in the world. I came to the conclusion that Islam is more than just a religion it is an entire way of life and that it was in conflict with some of what we as Americans believe in. The main thing being the separation of church and state which allows for our secular society to live in harmony. At first that made me upset at the Islam but then I realized that much of the hostilities were coming from our foreign policy conflicts with in the Islamic world. Our military presence in Saudi Arabia made many Muslims blood boil and Bin Laden was the one who acted on that. What he did was to wage war on us and it continues.
03:03 PM on 01/03/2012
Well, we didn't ocupy anybody and don't need their oil, but cells of Islamic terrorists.... and that is native born children of those who had benefitted from the most generous immigration policy on this planet, were infiltrated by the RCMP as they trained in killing camps (run by Pakistan alumni) in the Ontario bush, thought they had bought fertilizer enough to blow up parts of Toronto killing as many of us as possible and hoped ultimately to behead MPs. This is in light of the fact that Ontario schools invites Imams (where the population warrants and the parents ask) to conduct prayers in the public schools on Friday to save the kids having to go to Mosque and loose class time. I fail to see entrapment at all. A few months before the lethal discoveries, Ontario had declined to incorporate Sharia law and was condemned by the UN Human RightsTribunal as being racists, deniers of religious rights and bigoted, which stunned me until I found out it was then populated by North Aftrican and Middle East States...with Gadafi in the chair. I wonder what conclusion one might arrive at, except to be wary and very careful. Finally, the PR guy of the Muslim Congress and his family were theatened with death for suggesting Muslims in Canada must denounce terorrism....he quit the job.
01:22 PM on 01/03/2012
This is similar to the no guns junk the politicians are trying to pass. Kids get killed with guns. Guess what - more kids die from drowning in backyard pools than by firearms!
Government by spreading fear so they can keep pouring dollars into the military/industrial complex.
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jstanavgguy
Proud member of the evil 1%
06:05 PM on 01/03/2012
Stop.

They may come after my pool AND guns!!!!
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01:05 PM on 01/03/2012
I think there is dissident all right, its just not going to be exposed much by news agencies that are very much biased when it comes to the exposure of information to the general public outside of the norm.
12:59 PM on 01/03/2012
This is "the horse ran off, close the barn door" issue. Waaaay before 9/11, American citizens insisted on a society that is taxed to a degree that is incompatible with any real idea of 'liberty', for reasons that are incompatible with any real idea of liberty. (And no, saying 'buh buh buh we're taxed less than Europe', is not a retort).

We have also built a society that is watched, monitored, regulated, controlled, weighed, measured, and 'permitted' long, long, long past the real idea of liberty. We are now in the situation where Americans have been indoctrinated to demand government take control over anything that worries them. The American assumption is no longer "I can do this as there is no law against it, and somebody better show me a darn good reason for a law against it."

We now are subconscious authoritarians "does the law say I can do this? Maybe there should be a law...I've seen something, I should say something."

Until we return to the real idea of liberty, on a PERSONAL, house by house, block by block basis, the answer to security will be more government intrusion. NOBODY wants that to happen. We have struck with each other the ultimate authoritarian bargain: "I'll let you dictate whether I can sell cookies out of my kitchen but I get to control what kind of light bulbs you can buy."
01:18 PM on 01/03/2012
We are seeing an example of "can I do this" in New Mexico. The matanza is a traditional pig slaughter, cooking, and eating event but the "USDA shuts down annual matanza". www.krqe.com/dpp/news/health/usda-shuts-down-annual-matanza
It has been celebrated for years but now our Government decided it is dangerous!
Pure BS!
02:24 PM on 01/03/2012
Now, what are the attendees going to do about it? That's the real question.
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woodsjs
12:54 PM on 01/03/2012
Short answer. The military industrial complex we were warned about. That's why.
jhNY
Mercy.
12:54 PM on 01/03/2012
Corruption throughout the workings of our government means that most objects of government is not pursued for themselves, but rather for the opportunity it provides for the enrichment and strengthening of the politically powerful, who are mostly powerful because they have wealth to lavish on politicians, who have means to reward their benefactors via corruption of the aims of government.

Want affordable heath care? Great! We'll enshrine insurance companies as quasi-institutions of government, and you can have a little.

Want to avenge the attacks on 9-11? Great! We'll invade the wrong country, attempt to secure all the oil extraction, equipment re-supply and transport contracts from the place for our political donors, and lavish no-bid contracts for non-combat activities therein on the corporation of which our VP was lately chief executive.

Want homeland security? Great! We'll spend billions upon billions on new office space for spying, and outfitting the teensiest towns with SWAT gear, but after a decade, our borders remain porous, our cargo containers spottily inspected and air freight largely unexamined day after day.

Terrorism is now largely another opportunity for profit and control, to the benefit of the politically powerful. Thankfully, for them, the war on terror, by some definitions, can never end. So too, the profits that come from the anti-terror industry are theoretically endless.

We would love to have, as citizens, security and freedom, but we are misruled by those who would deny us both.
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ringo3khan
01:35 PM on 01/03/2012
So very, very true. "the workings of our government for the opportunit­y it provides for the enrichment and strengthen­ing of the politicall­y powerful, who are mostly powerful because they have wealth to lavish on politician­s, who have means to reward their benefactor­s via corruption of the aims of government". Welcome to the new Feudalism, sans Noblesse Oblige.
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MilesToGo
12:48 PM on 01/03/2012
Good commentary. However, many Americans do sense that terrorism in general and Islamic extremist terrorism is essentially a pretext allowing for the suspension of Constitutional rights should social rebellion beyond such innocuous groups as OWS occur. The Battle in Seattle in year 2000 hasn't been forgotten, and the corporate elites have aligned with politicians, military and police to preclude what they sense could be real trouble.