Pay Attention! Candidates Ready to Trash Constitution to Fight ISIS: “Time To Put Life Ahead of Civil Liberties”
Never mind who poked at the hive and stirred up an angry storm. Those are lessons of blowback for those with memory and perspective.
Right now the reactionary fervor is all that matters. Indeed, it is difficult to focus on much else.
In hindsight, the nation became sick and tired of the wars and the fear over terrorism under the reign of Bush 43. But in the moment, people embraced it – and that's the danger again.
There is no clear or rational thought under fear of attack.
Under the auspices of retribution for 9/11, George W. Bush and his neocon advisors launched a roaming War on Terror that brought conflict to entire regions, and didn't blink at bending the rules or trampling on constitutional rights. Spying, surveillance, intimidation, snitching, databasing, airport pat-downs, stop and frisk on the streets and more were all tolerated and even embraced. It was rule by fear.
The narrative didn't add up, but that didn't matter until later for most. People began to regret the powers granted via the PATRIOT Act to the NSA and to the executive branch to indefinitely detain anyone they declared an enemy combatant. The slide down the slippery slope was accelerating at a queasy pace.
Today, new threats from ISIS are dragging the United States dangerously close to this point again.
The one-man show that is Donald Trump, who quickly made a mockery of the GOP primary, is calling for databases and surveillance of all Muslim immigrants. Other GOP candidates are making similar proposals, eager to look toughest on this unfortunate issue. RT reports:
Donald Trump, running high in polls, proposes cataloging all Muslims living in the United States to ensure they are under constant surveillance.
"I would certainly implement that [keeping a register of Muslims]…absolutely," Trump told NBC, adding that there are "a lot of systems, beyond databases" that could be implemented. "We should have a lot of systems. And today you can do it," Trump said, clearly with nod in the direction of the National Security Agency (NSA) and its unprecedented surveillance capabilities.
And though the policies of opening the doors to these "refugees" is deeply flawed – and indeed invites attack from jihadists or foreign enemies – the destruction of civil rights for this group will soon harm those of every American.
It seems that someone, from one party or another, is eager to finish what Bush started, and Obama has quietly continued.