When is enough really enough? Every day there is another outrage, another usurpation of power, another crime against the nation. When will the entire concept of American democracy totally disappear into the jaws of the Bush administration?
An identity is questioned only when it is menaced, as when the mighty begin to fall, or when the wretched begin to rise: James Baldwin
Look around. If you look really closely, you’ll see that something is very wrong. If you look in every direction and into every possible hiding place, you’ll become aware of the awful truth: The United States of America, the proud nation that existed just a few years ago, is no more.
Only five years ago, the US had a clear identity. Only five years ago the US had a definable nature and a credible reputation. Only five years ago we knew pretty much who we were as Americans. But that time, that safe and comfortable time is no more.
In essence, the people of the United States have become the collective victims of one of the most insidious offenses in recent times: the crime of identity theft.
No, we were never a perfect nation, or a saintly one. But we were working at it. We had our shameful moments and we did our share of damage. But we were a nation that cherished its founding principles. We knew, that whatever else went amiss, the nation was guided by the most astounding document in modern history. In the long run, we would right the wrongs and learn from our misdeeds. For in the end, we were a nation of laws, guided through bad times and good by the Constitution of the United States.
No more. This is no longer that country. We have been stripped of the distinction we held such a short while ago as citizens of the United States. The theft of our national identity has been thorough and complete.
To add insult to injury, the most painful aspect of this outrage is that we are only too well acquainted with the thieves. And at this writing, the culprits who wronged us are safely at work in the White House.
This was not an easy robbery to commit. Mugging an entire nation called for experts, – men and women familiar with treachery and betrayal, and capable of a highly organized crime. Several were felons from a bygone administration and others emerged from think tanks such as the Project for a New American Century. Still others were well known government officials from a former time.
And fronting them all was George W. Bush, their carefully selected and conveniently installed President of the United States.
To pull off their heist, members of the identity theft `mob’ had to infiltrate every branch and agency of government. More important, all would be lost if they could not totally control the nation’s media. Once that was done, they could sit it out and wait for the right moment to come.
.And come it did, when “everything changed,” on the morning of Sept.11th, 2001.
Almost immediately, their well laid plans went into effect as the theft began. In rapid succession, the Patriot Act, the war against the Taliban, the War on Terror and the invasion of Iraq became the orders of the day. All had been prepared in advance, and all were thrust upon a traumatized nation too frightened and far too uninformed to know what was happening to them.
The criminals involved in the theft were most definitely professionals. They knew their marks well and were adept at frightening Americans into almost grateful submission. Their contrived color alerts and fabricated terror threats were released unrelentingly on an already wounded public. They set their terror traps cleverly and expertly.
And they ensnared a nation.
And then, when they were ready for the kill, they enlisted a battalion of loyal capos: the zealots of religious right. Together they fashioned an even broader fear package to sell to America. The big guns had already pushed the nation’s panic button: fear more attacks, fear terrorists, fear Islam, fear your neighbor, fear protesters, fear critics, fear liberals, fear anyone, so long as you remain afraid.
But now they could branch out into new fears: fear gays, fear stem cell research, fear choice, fear separation of church and state, fear non believers, fear anyone who has not found your God and fear anyone who does not support your politics.
The team was unbeatable. The scam was on. And the American people were about to pay a very high price.
For THE COST and THE CONSEQUENCES: