Time to Fear-Proof Liberty

Time to Fear-Proof Liberty

The chaotic hysteria caused by the bombs that went off at the Boston Marathon accents our loss of liberty and the narrative of fear that we have been fed.

Since 9/11 America has agreed to give up most of our enumerated rights in exchange for hyper-patriotic tough talk claiming to protect freedom.  The time has come for America to fear-proof our civil liberties.

It wasn’t long ago that local and state police with help from the FBI, would have handled these two characters in Boston.  Today, it takes no less than the FBI, ATF, CIA, local, county and state police agencies, the National Guard, and of course, Homeland Security to kill a 26-year old and capture his 19-year old brother.

The media never stepped away from the adrenaline pump to question the necessity of locking down an entire metropolitan city to pursue one 19-year old college student.  Who is doing the terrorizing when 1 million people cower in their homes for an entire day while reporters, politicians and pundits cast a colossally paranoid world view of Islamophobia?

Tragically, the courage and generosity of citizens and first responders in Boston were overshadowed by a media that became reality TV.

Fear has become the emotional plague of our liberty.  Now, we see the face of fear everywhere--in our Congressional debate on assault weapons, proposals to arm school teachers and in the compromise of our constitutional rights, particularly the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

If, as a nation, “liberty and justice for all” is more than an empty declaration, then America must now demonstrate its belief and trust in this claim.  We cannot allow the government to ignore a suspect’s request for counsel once in custody.  We cannot permit the expanding exceptions to the traditional protections of criminal procedure under the guise of expedience and fear.

Liberty itself depends upon these very safeguards.  The fact that we are having a debate about whether a person arrested on U.S. soil for having committed a crime should be charged, given a lawyer and advised of his right to remain silent is illustrative of how far from liberty we’ve descended during the administrations of Bush and Obama.

If we continue down fear’s path compromising our liberty rights for security, we’ll deserve, and most certainly end up with, neither.

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  • Very good points.

    The media never questioned the lockdown of an entire city, because the media does not recognize and is not concerned with liberty, but with the current political agenda, which is "people control" for the betterment of the collective. The media are useful idiots.

    Wait until a series of these "pressure cooker" bombs go off across the country, and we will have the media begging for Martial Law and the hapless body politic cheering behind.

    Then, the "never let a crisis go to waste" crowd will find the absolute power they crave and never let it go, and the people will not care, thinking they are safe in their beds.

  • Richard, there is considerable insight in your comments. Please continue to share.

  • Ha, Lawscout, thanks.

    I'm afraid that Chicagonow is not a welcome audience for this kind of thinking; yet it does no good to preach to the choir, and I have not ingratiated myself with readers and management, I'm afraid, because I piss them off, usually be highlighting their hypocrisy or some faulty logic.

    I do have a blog here, where I comment from time-to-time.

    I hope you continue to comment. Maybe you will have better luck, as I tend to be a smart ass. Nobody likes a smart ass.

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