I know some of you were a bit concerned with Goldy’s claim that he was “planning to blow up SeaTac.”
And I understand your concern. It wasn’t about the safety of SeaTac. I mean, really, even the dopiest brainwashed rightwing wackjob couldn’t read Goldy’s post and seriously believe he was out to get SeaTac. Rather, the concern was the possible ramifications for Goldy’s liberties (and, who knows, maybe Goldy will yet announce that he is taking a “break”). It seemed conceivable at first glance that Goldy might get himself into deep trouble, because we now live in an America where “security concerns” are allowed to override common sense. We’ve been hoodwinked into believing that being “safe from terrorism” has a higher priority than our freedoms.
Here’s how it happened. After the initial overreaction to the attacks on 11 September 2001, an insidious erosion set in because the Bush Administration was constantly fear-peddling. America’s collective psyche sank into some kind of post-9-11 cowardly funk. Now some significant portion of our population is actually fooled into believing that their safety is tangibly threatened by terrorist acts. Sure, acts of terrorism very slightly increase ones risk of death or injury in the actuarial tables. But, this risk is trifling compared to every-day risks like crossing a busy street daily or driving an hour a day in a car.
The real injury from terrorism is the fear; the larger tragedy of terrorism is that people limit their life and willingly give up their liberties to accommodate those fears. You know who I am talking about. They’re the cowards who say things like, “I don’t care if they listen to my calls and read my emails—I have nothing to hide.”
I’ve written lots of negative stuff about Mike McGavick, but I completely concur with his statement from two days after 9/11 (Seattle Times, Sep 16, 2001. pg. D.2, [my emphasis]):
“I guess now I know more about the evil humans are capable of than I did before, and I’m sadder for it.”
“There is nothing a coward can do to change my behavior,” he said, anger filling his voice, “and that’s a rule I’m not going to start to break.”
That’s American Spirit! But the Bush administration will have none of it. It has methodically undertaken the pussification of America (as Jon Stewart might put it)—and they’ve done it to consolidate and hold domestic political power.
Now, in our “post 9/11 world,” every time some group of crackpots, oppressed street persons, or angry youths talk to an undercover FBI agent about “the revolution,” the FBI sets up a sting operation. Someone “offers” funding and support…they bite…a bust is made. The news headlines play up the “thwarted attack” of “horrific proportions” on the skyscraper or an airport.
“But it was more aspirational than operational.” (Doesn’t the idea of an “aspirational crime” have the look and feel of a “thought crime?”)
And a few more persons of color are sent off to jail for a long, long time.
Now, when Goldy makes a point through an outrageous statement, we stop to contemplate whether this might trigger some kind of “security concern” that gets him thrown in jail. A student at Purdue University learned about this the hard way. He is in deep shit because he “threatened” Bush administration officials in a chat room:
A judge refused to throw out a Purdue University student’s indictment on charges alleging he urged the assassination of President George Bush and made threats against other administration officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney and his wife.
Buddhi, an Indian national who was attending advanced engineering classes at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus, faces an 11-count complaint for alleged comments he made in an Internet chat room in 2005 and 2006.
Oh…and do you think that being a foreigner with a non-Christian-sounding surname had anything to do with it?
What were those egregious threats he made?
“It is now legal under international law to bomb key sites in the USA. Iraqis! Give Anglosaxons the tit reaction for the tat action of Bush and the Republicans,” Buddhi wrote in one posting, according to federal court records.
For example, on a message board pertaining to defense contractor Halliburton, Buddhi posted that “Bush is a President of Mass Destruction” and “should be electrocuted.”
[He called for] for someone to “Kill GW Bush” and “Rape and Kill Laura Bush”
So there you have it…”threats.”
In the past, these statements would be dismissed as sophomoric, heated rhetoric, but rhetoric that falls under the protections of free speech:
… a 1969 U.S. Supreme Court case in which an 18-year-old war protester told a crowd at the Washington Memorial, “If they ever make me carry a rifle, the first man I want to get in my sights is LBJ (President Johnson).”
The high court ruled the protester’s comments were simply crude political speech and overturned his conviction.
Unfortunately, the post-9/11 pussification of America means that Mr. Buddhi will lose his liberties for some time until a court throws out the charges.
I look forward to the day that Americans get past this post 9/11 bedwetting-chickenshit-scared phase, take a little advice from McGavick and grow a pair! Because giving up parts of the Constitution out of fear—and fear that is largely manufactured for political gain—is just so…fucking un-American!
On a lighter note, and just to demonstrate that I haven’t completely lost my sense of humor this evening, here is an instructional video on the topic of forbidden speech: