Summary: We have moved to the steep downward part of the “S”-shaped slippery slope. Sharks bump their prey repeatedly, testing for a reaction. Once they confirm weakness, the attack begins. Similarly our elites have repeatedly tested us, probing the extent of our passivity. Now that they’re confirmed our weakness, they move more boldly. Strong efforts to seize and drastically punish whistleblowers. Revelations about the NSA’s surveilance programs is met by even bolder actions by the NSA. Today we post yet another call to action. Soon a New America will be born, and reform will become far more difficult.
There are few responses to this suitable for a free people. It’s a red line. It’s a fork in the road — one way for peons, another for free people. Probably rough road ahead on both branches of the road.
“You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”
— Telephone call from an official at Whitehall to Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian. Later they went to The Guardian’s offices and smashed computers holding information from Snowden. “We can call off the Black Helicopters” joked one of the GCHQ agents. From The Guardian.
The following is from Washington’s Blog, 19 August 2013 — Reposted under their site’s syndication policy.
German pastor Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) initially supported Hitler. But he later opposed him, and was imprisoned in the Dachau concentration camp for years. Niemöller learned the hard way that keep your head down doesn’t keep one out of trouble … in the long run, it increases the danger to all of us.
Niemöller wrote a brilliant poem – “First They Came” – about the manner in which Germans allowed Nazi abuses by failing to protest the abuse of “others” … first gypsies, gays, communists, and Jews, then Catholics … and eventually everyone. This is my modern interpretation of Niemöller’s poem.
A poem for our time
First they tortured a U.S. citizen and gang member …
I remained silent; I wasn’t a criminal.
Then they tortured a U.S. citizen, whistleblower and navy veteran …
I remained silent; I wasn’t a whistleblower.
Then they locked up an attorney for representing accused criminals …
I remained silent; I wasn’t a defense attorney.
Then they arrested a young father walking with his son simply because he told Dick Cheney that he disagreed with his policies …
I remained silent; I’ve never talked to an important politician.
Then they said an entertainer should be killed because she questioned the government’s version of an important historical event …
I remained silent; I wasn’t an entertainer.
Then they arrested people for demanding that Congress hold the President to the Constitution …
I did not speak out; I’ve never protested in Washington.
Then they arrested a man for holding a sign …
I held my tongue; I’ve never held that kind of sign.
Then they broke a minister’s leg because he wanted to speak at a public event …
I said nothing; I wasn’t a religious leader.
Then they shot a student with a taser gun and arrested him for asking a question of a politician at a public event …
I remained silent; I wasn’t a student.
Then they started labeling virtually every innocent and normal behavior as marking Americans as “potential terrorists” …
I remained silent; I didn’t want to be called a terrorist.
Then they threw political dissenters in psychiatric wards …
I remained silent; I didn’t want to be seen as crazy.
Then they declared that they could label U.S. citizens living on U.S. soil as “unlawful enemy combatants” and imprison them indefinitely without access to any attorney …
I remained silent; I didn’t want to be labeled an enemy.
Then they assassinated an American citizen without any court trial, and killed his son because he should have had a “far more responsible father” …
I remained silent; I live on American soil.
Then they declared that they could assassinate U.S. citizens living on U.S. soil without any due process of law (update) …
I remained silent; I didn’t want to be on the list.
Then they forced down the airplane carrying the president of a sovereign nation, because they were looking for a whistleblower …
I remained silent; I’m not a foreign leader.
Then they called for the founder of an independent publisher to be killed by drone …
I remained silent; I don’t want to worry about drone strikes against me.
Then they started spying on all Americans, even though top experts say that doesn’t protect us from terrorism …
I remained silent; I didn’t want to call even more attention to myself from the spies.
Then they detained the partner of an investigative journalist for 9 hours under terrorism laws – and denied him the right to call a lawyer – as a way to intimidate the journalist …
I remained silent; my wife isn’t a journalist.
When they came for me, everyone was silent; there was no one left to speak out.
For More Information
(a) What is the history of Martin Niemöller’s famous quotation? See this page by Harold Marcuse, Professor of History at UC Santa Barbara.
(b) Posts about how to reform America, the most frequently requested subject on the FM website:
- The project to reform America: a matter for science or a matter of will?, 16 March 2010
- Can we reignite the spirit of America?, 14 September 2010
- The sure route to reforming America, 16 November 2010
- We are alone in the defense of the Republic, 5 July 2012
- A third try: The First Step to reforming America, 28 May 2013
- The bad news about reforming America: time is our enemy,
27 June 2013
- Why the 1% is winning, and we are not, 26 July 2013
- The second step to reforming America, 14 August 2013