February 8th, 2006

The Word "Freedom" Has a Definition

Russ Feingold is going to deliver a speech about the domestic wiretaps on the floor of the Senate sometime soon, but you can read it in its entirety over here. He makes a few statements that cut through the typical rhetoric on this issue and finally says what I've been dying to hear:

The President issued a call to spread freedom throughout the world, and then he admitted that he has deprived Americans of one of their most basic freedoms under the Fourth Amendment -- to be free from unjustified government intrusion.

I really can't believe we've gone six years and nobody in Congress has been really direct about calling our President on his empty use of the word "freedom." This word has been tossed around like it's a synonym for "American" while we throw (Arab) people in jail without trials, tap phones without warrants, read private email, corral protesters at political events, push for constitutional amendments to prevent people from democratically deciding who can be married, push for media censorship in the name of decency, and arbitrarily decide which tenets of American liberty to ignore and which to shit on.

What does the word freedom even mean to the people who suggest we need to protect it by infringing on civil liberties? I think it's just a euphonic placeholder, so can we get these people another word -- one that doesn't make my brain bleed?

Now's maybe a good time for you to join the American Civil Liberties Union if you care about this sort of thing. This is still our country, and those in power can only have the liberties we give them. Don't ever buy that "it's too late" bullshit from anyone. This system can be reformed.

(Oh, and I know I hated John Ashcroft enough to put him on a t-shirt, but Alberto Motherfucking Gonzales is intent on sinking the office of Attorney General lower than it's ever been -- and this is an office once held by Edwin Meese, so that's pretty significant.)