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Civil Liberties Mean Nothing when our Enemies Want to Kill Us

Scrap the Constitution

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Scrap the Constitution: Civil Liberties Mean Nothing when our Enemies Want to Kill Us

Scrap the Constitution: Civil Liberties Mean Nothing when our Enemies Want to Kill Us

Image © Austin Cline, Licensed to About; Original Poster: National Archives

One of the most important issues coming out of the international War on Terror is the domestic War on Liberty. It seems that every nation which has chosen to take part in America's Crusade against Islamofascism has discovered that they can't fight terrorism while continuing to respect traditional civil liberties. People are being told by their governments that this is a "new era" and that there are "new challenges" which require us to rethink our old commitments to liberty, freedom, and justice. Sometimes it's explicit and sometimes it's implicit, but the basic message is that we have to choose between liberty and survival.

The ways in which many conservatives, now revealed as actually authoritarians in disguise all along, are seeking to limit or eliminate liberties are varied and numerous. George W. Bush is led the way by asserting unprecedented power to do whatever he wants in the name of national security: warrantless spying on Americans, military tribunals beyond any other institution's oversight, torture, secret prisons, indefinite detention without charge or trial, denying American citizens entry into the United States, and much more. Barack Obama demonstrated that he could go even further by assuming even more power, for example the power to assassinate American citizens anytime and anywhere without any independent review.

Some conservatives managed to find a way to tie in the domestic "Culture Wars" with the international "War on Terrorism" by arguing that Bush was right: "they" hate us because of our "freedom," but more specifically because we "abuse" our freedom. The Islamofascists don't attack us because of our freedom of speech, but because people abuse that freedom by burning flags. They don't hate us because of our freedom of religion, but because people abuse that freedom by starting weird cults. They don't hate us because of our freedom to marry whom we want, but because we abuse that freedom by having no-fault divorce laws and gay marriage.

Surveys reveal that conservatives and conservative Christians are only too happy to go along with all this. Members of the political party which has trumpeted the cause of "small government" for so many years seem willing to accept a police state in its place -- almost half of all Republicans are willing to let the government randomly search mail and more and half are OK with the government monitoring telephone conversations, random car searches, random personal searches, and more.

This image was taken from a World War II poster which said "Scrap" -- it was asking that people contribute scrap metal for the war effort.

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