The Big Chill

January 2, 2008

This “State of Privacy Map” for 2007 puts the United States in some pretty bad company. The results were compiled by Privacy International, a U.K. group, and its U.S. counterpart, the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and they offer a poor commentary on the speed and alacrity with which the leading democracies of the world have been chucking privacy and personal freedom over the side as so much troublesome ballast in the War On Terra.

That old saw about how people who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither goes double in our case, I’m afraid. The procession of Bush administration showbiz arrests, in which alleged terrorist cells prove on closer inspection to be nothing more than hapless loons or clowns goaded into Islamist trash-talk by paid government informers, gives no c0nfidence that we are any less vulnerable to a determined terrorist attack than we were during King George’s August 2001 fishing trip. If the feds are rushing to publicize a sadsack case like the pizza jihad plot against Fort Dix, are we really supposed to think they would have failed to tell the world about something really frightening that they managed to stop?

Sorry, folks, but the War On Terra has not made us one whit safer as the Bushies go about expanding government power and wiping their feet on the Bill of Rights. All it has done is made us frightened of getting Tasered by psychotic rent-a-cops at our airports and shopping malls, and goven the Republicans a handy way of scaring the rubes at election time. The old scare stories don’t work as well as they used to, but they did the trick when the GOP needed it most.

In about a year’s time, King George will zip his fly and swagger out of the White House with a nice broad smirk on his face, leaving us to look at the National Seal and wonder why E PLURIBUS UNUM has been replaced with SO LONG, SUCKERS.

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