A chilling threat in freedom's land

Discussion in 'Politics' started by poncho, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. poncho

    poncho
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    By LEONARD PITTS

    "The enemies of freedom will be defeated." - President George W. Bush, 2005"

    "We have met the enemy and he is us." - Pogo, 1971"

    The following happened in the United States of America on Feb. 9 of this year.

    The scene is the Little Falls branch of the Montgomery County Public Library in Bethesda, Md. Business is going on as usual when two men in uniform stride into the main reading room and call for attention. Then they make an announcement: It is forbidden to use the library's computers to view Internet pornography.

    As people are absorbing this, one of the men challenges a patron about a Web site he is visiting and asks the man to step outside. At this point, a librarian intervenes and calls the uniformed men aside. A police officer is summoned. The men leave. It turns out they are employees of the county's department of Homeland Security and were operating way outside their authority.

    We are indebted to reporter Cameron W. Barr of the Washington Post for the account of this incident, which, I feel constrained to repeat, did not happen in China, Cuba or North Korea. Rather, it happened a few days ago in this country. Right here in freedom's land.

    There are those of us who'd say the country has become less deserving of that sobriquet in recent years. They would point as evidence to the detention of U.S. citizens without charges, counsel or recourse, to laws empowering the government to check up on what you've been reading, to revelations of illegal eavesdropping.

    And there are others who'd say, "So what?" They're in the 51 percent, according to a recent Los Angles Times/Bloomberg poll, who say we should be ready to give up our freedoms in exchange for security. Apparently, they are ignorant of what Benjamin Franklin said: "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

    Apparently, they're also unversed in something candidate Bush said in 1999: "There ought to be limits to freedom." This nugget of wisdom wasn't dropped in a discussion of national security. Rather, it was the future president's reaction to a Web site that made fun of him.

    Seven years later, he's clearly getting his wish. It chills me to know that doesn't chill more of us. Indeed, of all the many things I cannot fathom about certain of my countrymen and women, their ability to be sanguine at the threatened abrogation of their rights is very near the top.

    SOURCE
     
  2. OldRegular

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    Well! I don't want my tax money used to buy computer for perverts to view internet pornography! How about that? :D
     
  3. poncho

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    That's okay by me OR. But that isn't the point. The point is two men wearing Homeland Security uniforms tried to forbid people looking at an internet sight under color of law and the appearance of state or county authority.

    It matters not what that internet site has posted on it. Like it or not this is still America and people are free to view things you and I may find objectionable. Fancy uniforms, the mere appearance of legitimacy or authority and intimidation can not change the law, especially those written in the U.S. Constitution.
     
  4. hillclimber

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    The fact that two idiots wearing Homeland Security uniforms (didn't know there was such a thing) overstep the law and their purview shouldn't reflect on the overall job Homeland Security is charged with. Simply another excuse to dis the current administration and its attempts at security for all Americans.
     
  5. Rocko9

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    Dick Cheney taught them well.
    Hey just to see that these guys are punished properly , they should made to go Quail hunting with Ol' Dick.
    Homeland Security ! What a wonderful way to waste taxpayer dollars. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  6. poncho

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    Intimidation and using the color of law and the appearence of authority is the rule rather than the exception in the USA we have a long history of it. The IRS has done it since day one. There are countless documented cases of the FBI doing it Cointelpro. Even small town police departments have been known to use it.

    The only defense is to know your rights and be brave enough to use them. Like librarians have been doing.

    Power corrupts so why should we expect anything different from Homeland Security agents overstepping their authority in the hopes that the people do not know their rights and are incapable of defending them?
     
  7. Rocko9

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    The famed 82nd Airborne Division has been getting some attention on web sites. It is reported that 7 paratroopers have been charged with perfoming gay sex acts on the web. So if the library was allowing porn to be viewed they may have been simply doing thier patriotic duty in a way of supporting our Troops.
     

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