Truth, Freedom, the Unitary Executive, and Other Oxymoron’s of our Time

Isn’t it a bit queer that you don’t hear much more about the 29-year old government contractor who stole U.S. government secrets and made some of them public?  The biggest news coverage was about how he had lost his country and had nowhere to call home until the Russians gave him sanctuary at the Moscow Airport.  Snowden was his name, and he became the man without a country.  But did anybody or any group really rally visibly to support him?  Nah.  We’re really too busy with our own considerations.  Priority stuff, you know.  Like family, concerts, and football on the television.  I guess that is what the poet meant when he wrote about how the world ends, not with a bang but a whimper.  And the short poem by T.S. Eliot is offered as a morning coffee (wakeup) for us who may feel tethered in cocoons of compliance not of our own making.  To sit still collectively and watch our freedoms get trampled in fields of helplessness.

Why would such an avowed champion as Obama fail to give Snowden sanctuary as a U.S. citizen?  Was his crime so great?  Did he attempt to sell our military secrets?  Was he really a traitor?  Or was he just telling the truth?   Did he expose the NSA for collecting data on millions of Americans without due process or justifiable cause to conduct such searches?  Yes.  Then is this why Obama and our government is fuming in anger that they cannot get their hands on Snowden?  It’s a good bet.  Snowden had signed an oath not to reveal government secrets he had learned as a part of his job.  Cut and dried.  Punish him.

Why was it so embarrassing to our government that Snowden had told the truth?  One might begin to answer that question by first asking another.  So why was George W. Bush so intent on collecting the dirt on individuals, looking at their bank accounts without probable cause or without any cause at all?  Why didn’t Bush just use the FISA Court permission to conduct his searches and all sins would be washed away?  The answer could be multifaceted.  Maybe Bush had no justifiable or probable cause other than the fact that they were liberal Democrats.  Or other types of enemies.  Sources say he collected over 1.6 million unauthorized FISA Court searches, so wouldn’t that lead one to surmise that W was up to some serious skullduggery?  And is that why all the testosterone to impeach Bush and Cheney as promised by every living Democrat elected to high office suddenly deflated into a sea of jellyfish swimming in a sea of estrogen?  You remember them.  After they had been elected snug back into high office and all?  They are the ones who promised to impeach those who lied us into a needless and costly couple of wars if elected.  And then when all were reelected they said, “Impeachment is off the table.”  What a disconnect.  What a surprise!  Had Bush obtained the goods on everybody that could hurt him?  And make him accountable to us voters?  He swaggered with an extra “Make My Day” body language.  It was like he knew something the rest of us didn’t.  Sean Hannity must have had an orgasm.

Let’s talk fruitcake.  Nutcase stuff.  Conspiracy.  Illuminati, anyone?  Joseph Goebbels, Hitler’s darling and chief propagandist said that if you repeat something enough times, it becomes accepted as truth.  Was it really in the interest of National Security that Bush went around the protocol of getting a court order before ransacking all our living rooms as possible threats?  No, it seems more like a Big Brother state where Bush is the Big Decider who claims and uses his unrestricted authority as an iron-fisted dictator.  And look at Obama as he follows the same lead.  Is it just too simple, too easy to make your own decisions without any regard for the law, the Constitution, the document Bush called, “Just a goddamned piece of paper?”  Is shredding the Constitution catching?  Are those now in power who were elected to do something about Bush’s lawlessness trashing and shredding of our Bill of Rights, well have they become intoxicated with the power of the office?  Is Bush’s dismantling of troublesome rules for the Unitary Executive to follow just cumbersome when weighed against what we have lost?  And face it, would a true dictator really cry over it all?  Having less red tape sure makes things easier for the Chief Executive, eh?

Remember who revealed himself at a Cabinet meeting this century by declaring, “Don’t throw the Constitution in my face; it’s just a goddamned piece of paper?”  Were we had overnight without even knowing what hit us?  We lost our right to habeas corpus.  But hey, how many of us know what that even is.  And furthermore, they didn’t round us up in the middle of the night for interrogating, did they?  But if they did, what recourse would we have?  Those who wielded the heavy-handed Patriot Act in the name of National Security to save us from terrorists knew the cost of taking us for a fast ride and almost burning up our right to be heard by a jury of our peers.  All in the name of doing what is best for us and to keep us from harm, right?  Well we better hope we never get in a tight on anything trumped up against us because someone in power doesn’t like us.  Good luck on being able to call your lawyer these days.  Or to know your offense and to face your accusers to make them define the charges against you. 

Not to worry many have said so righteously.  If you don’t have anything to hide why worry?  Good question.  But what about if someone accuses you falsely just to cover their ass in some mistakes they might have made by taking us for such a fast expeditious ride?  What if they lie?  What if you find yourself in a pickle for telling the truth?  Will Obama come to save you Lone Ranger style?  Well, Snowden told the truth about many things. His offense was not that he gave away secrets to the enemy.  Truth is he broke his contract not to reveal the nature of some of the darker corners our government has been haunting all these years past.  But here in America without the police state uniforms yet, don’t we want to know the truth about our government and what it does to protect us?  And to whittle our basic rights down to a toothpick?  Isn’t it worth knowing where we are headed with such brazen home and foreign policies that add up to trillions of dollars and making the Bill of Rights look like Swiss cheese?  

Telling the truth cost Snowden his rights, his freedoms, and his very own citizenship in this country for telling the truth.  Truth is, “paid for” political ads seem to influence public opinion quite well, thank you very much.  You might just find yourself in these days of exploding habeas corpuses, in a pickle to prove yourself innocent instead of the other way around.

Ah, truth.

Was it mere chance that Pontius Pilate asked Jesus the profound question, “What is truth?”  Did Goebbels or Rove truly contribute to mankind when they exacerbated truth to mean whatever the money of person(s) in power said it meant?  Like the Houston real estate billionaire named Perry who bought and sold the 2004 election for Bush by Swift boating Kerry with money ads to make a hero look bad?  And a coward look good?  Will there be an accounting and a reckoning at the Pearly Gates for George W. Bush for his lies that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction pointed at American cities?  So that he could attack and occupy Iraq and see the deaths and maiming’s of our National Guard troops when our Military Industrial Complex corporations here at home could reap trillions of dollars in bilious profits?  If so, know that it is only because no significant number of Americans is outraged enough to challenge our leaders to tell the truth.  Oh, National Security is too important not to compromise our rights and our freedoms?  Bullshit.  Bye, Bye Miss American Pie.

Did truth matter when the gas was turned onto unsuspecting Jews in the ovens at Auschwitz?  Were their last minutes on the planet about the business of truth?  Were they so vile a race that they should be killed by a silent nerve gas that they had to endure at the hand of another group of human beings who were struggling to sell the world and Germany on the belief that the destruction of the Jews was in the best interest of the planet?  That it was better for Jews to die than live so they (Hitler and his brand of ruthless criminals) could commit genocide for the overall good?  Good of whom? 

Is truth a dangerous thing?  Is it to be feared?  If our government lies to us should it be of concern to us?  Like in when Bush said Iraq had weapons of mass destruction pointed at American cities?  And later when he could find none (even when bending low to look under White House tables for humor clips for a White House press dinner photo ops session, black tie, of course) Bush changed course.  He then began to say that Saddam Hussein gassed his own people, the Kurds of the North.  But what Bush forgot to mention is that America helped Hussein just a few years before to gas thousands of Iranians with our own stockpiles of Ceran gas at the end of the Iraq/Iran War.  Does political correctness determine who lives and who dies at any given point in time?  Does the truth matter for those of us who escaped the gas?  Think about it.  Before you switch channels from Monday Night Football to an HBO Movie.  Still nonplused, eh?  Me, too.  It is not a favorite thing to think about, is it?  How we should feel about Snowden’s release of truth to and for the world might not be as significant as the latest on the Kardashians, eh?

Bush’s momentary disruption of the consensus of a civilized world was but a ripple.  Momentary.  Forgettable as were his attempts to hold an intelligent thought.  I mean, who in hell believes that lies are essential to the functioning of a civilized society?  And if the premise is valid why couldn’t people and nations just wave a wand and say, that beginning now we will all tell the truth and let the rough end drag?  Would the world come to an end?  Or would those dark entities that have a grip on us take their walnut shells and peas and run and hide under their rock? 

Ah, truth.

We will take up its discussion again in the next piece of this series.  Some things you never tire of talking and thinking about.  Especially if it affects your future and the possible future of our nation and way of government, right?  It is almost as much fun as catching a limit of Brown Trout on the White River in Northern Arkansas.