Ah, what a colorful title we have today.
There has been much reporting on our surveillance society. There are cameras pretty much everywhere now. We have, in some places, photo radar, photo tolls, red light cameras, shoe cameras, traffic cameras, camera cell phones, digital cams, web cams, and the list goes on.
Once upon a time, only thieves had to worry about security cameras but now it is estimated that the average person is probably recorded up to 100 times a day. While most of the recordings are simply routine monitoring and are benign, I must say that I find it unnerving to think that my every move is being monitored.
People seem to not mind this intrusion and simply say that it is a sign of the times. Why then is the media frothing at the bit at mention that President George Bush issued orders for secret wiretaps? Is it just another attack because he is George Bush, or is there any substance to the fears that his opponents hope to allay?
We have to stop with this pandering and really decide whether these things are the draconian assault on civil liberties that some will play them as. We must also view these stories and remember in which context these actions were perpetrated.
I am sure that anyone who was sitting down on September 11, 2001, in front of their television were saying the same things that I was. They were “Oh, my God,” and, “I would hate to be the person who is responsible for this.” Americans were collectively outraged, and a pledge was made by President Bush to track down those responsible wherever they were hiding. Americans from every political stripe concurred, but many now are wavering.
Consider the following scenario: 6 months post 9-11, a series of attacks is once again leveled against American targets on American soil. What would the response of the media, the public, and Washington be? There would be accusations that the Bush administration had failed to protect Americans and to arrest the widening conspiracy against their nation.
This is a scenario that would have in all likelihood taken place had the Bush administration not done what it has done. While the press loves headlines such as “Bush admin secretly spying on Americans,” we must consider “the Americans” involved. While some are already screaming at me that there are only one kind of American, I say you are wrong.
There are those who are American who love their country. There are also those whose alliances lie with someone or something else. They are Americans as well, but are clearly enemies of America. During the Civil War, everyone that died, for the most part, were Americans. Some of them were still clearly the enemy.
On the same dime, there are those ‘Americans’ whose allegiance is with extremist sects of Islam, and with the likes of Osama bin Laden and others. I would expect, were I an American, for my government to be keeping a close tab on any who are or were known to be associates of those who are implicated or involved in known terrorist activities. I would expect my government to take no chances of allowing this to happen again. I am sure that all would be done to prevent that from happening regardless of who was in charge of the Oval Office.
To have the media be vigilant to abuses of the civil liberties of Americans is a just and good thing, but for the media to be playing clearly partisan games and to be undermining the security of the nation is treasonous.
I have talked with a few of my fellow Canadians who are once again quick to pounce on the Bush ‘regime’ as they call it, but in the same breath they are silent on the sweeping spying legislation that is creeping through Canadian government in regards to the internet. Soon the government will be able to read every single email, see every web search, and will be able to read your comments to others. Why doesn’t that scare anybody?