"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety" - Benjamin Franklin, A pretty cool guy.This thread is about facts, shining the light on a common fallacy that is perpetuated day-in day-out on this board and the mainstream media. The fallacy concerning the notion of freedom. This thread is not solely concerned with America and affects Europe, Great Britain and other 'first world' countries as many similar events have occurred over the same time-frame. Some people will disagree with the sentiment, but it is all based upon fact, not wanton ego and opinion. All ideas/flames/opinions and obvious trolls are welcome, and despite your precious insecurity - this thread was not created to personally piss you off. You're not that important. On with the show.Without delving into conspiracy theories, let's examine a brief time-line of events that has passed since 9/11 to determine which entity has been the most effective and aggressive at the destruction of civil liberties and freedom in the United States of America.
###2001 - February### >Groundbreaker, a project to monitor domestic telephone communications is set up. At the same time AT&T and the NSA engage in talks that would eventually lead to the fiasco that is 'Room 641A' (https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Room_641A) (As of this date, it's now awwwrite for the NSA to monitor your calls.)
###2001 - September###>Al Qaeda destroys two buildings on the 11th resulting in the death of approximately 3000 people. This does not physically affect the freedom of the population in any manner.>On the 16th Dick Cheney admits that the US will be using the 'dark side of intelligence methods'>NSA launches a domestic surveillance program two weeks after 9/11. This data mining operation aims to achieve 'total information awareness' relating to the civilian population. The US public is not aware of this until press reports in 2006.>John Yoo authorizes warrantless surveillance of international communicationstl;dr - Now, America lost a few buildings. Cheney admits that some illegal shit's about to go down. The NSA now treats you as a threat and aims to categorize you like meat in a database ###2001 - October###>Creation of database of US citizens' phone calls with the help of Verizon, AT&T, BellSouth and others.>USG introduces the First Patriot Act which severely restricts the inherent idea of freedom that a US Citizen is entitled to. This is accomplished by providing the USG with additional powers to "intercept wire, oral, and electronic communications relating to terrorism", "share electronic, wire and oral interception information" and "Seize voice-mail messages pursuant to warrants" to name but a few sections.tl;dr - At this point in time, corporations have decided to roll over to the NSA instead of protecting your right to privacy, all phone calls you make are now recorded in a database and to top it off, the USG decides to ratify the draconian Patriot act. Not bad for a month of work.
###2002 - 2004###>Millions of US Citizens are assigned a 'Terrorism Risk Score' once more, without their knowledge.>AT&T begins construction of Room 641A>Congress is informed about the possibility that the USG is using illegal data-mining and surveillance techniques against its citizens. It is justified by Assistant Attorney General William Moschella on the grounds of an 'emergency'.>TSA is formedtl;dr - Now citizens are categorized like criminals, Room 641A is rollin' rollin' rollin' and Congress decides that it doesn't give a fuck about the legality of spying on American citizens, hell, you're all 'terrists'. Everyone's favorite molestation group, the TSA is also formed###2005 - August###>FBI Director tells members of InfraGard that by conducting surveillance on colleagues and employees they were helping the national security effort. >InfraGard members also urged to tell the FBI about 'disgruntled employees'.tl;dr - In 2005 the FBI says your business gets bonus points for spying on colleagues and employees###2005 - October###>Bush signs Executive Order 13388 which authorizes the FBI to collect data on US citizens without their knowledge. Moar expansion of power for the USG, less freedom for you.>FISA receives more wiretapping warrant applications based on illegally obtained evidence.tl;dr - Now the FBI can legally collect data on citizens without their knowledge, moar illegal surveillance is confirmed too!
###2006###>Federal Judge Asserts that thanks to the Patriot Act, the USG is empowered to trace email data without warrant.>IRS is found to be collecting party affiliation data on citizens in twenty States of the Union.>Military Commissions Act (MCA) is introduced, the purpose of which is to 'authorize by military commission for violations of the law of war, and for other purposes.' Law Professor Marty Lederman sums it up by explaining that "If the Pentagon says you're an unlawful enemy combatant, using whatever criteria they wish, then as far as Congress and US law are concerned, you are one." US citizen or not.>Bush requests New York Times to suppress a story about illegal wiretapping on the US public. Bush becomes butthurt and accuses the press of undermining national security efforts. tl;dr - Looks like you cannot into email with confidence anymore, you also don't have confidentiality concerning your political ideology and to top it off, the USG can ruin the lives of you and your friends by declaring you as an unlawful enemy combatants! Finally it seems that reporting on illegal government activities is a no no. AMERICA, FUCK YEAH!!!###2007###>US lawyers confirm that the MCA applies to US citizens.>Bush signs 13440 which authorizes the CIA's continued use of 'harsh interrogation methods' against terrorism suspects in US custody.tl;dr - US citizens GET the confirmation that they can now be unlawful enemy combatants too! And, yeah, fuck international treaties, torture is awwwwwwwwrite.
>Justice Department states that the USG has discretion to decide when the Geneva Conventions applies in interrogation.tl;dr - Literally, fuck international treaties. We're totally not like China though.###2009###>Obama is elected, promises to end Guantanamo trials, allegedly bans the use of torture, promises the closure of the Guantanamo facility. Things are looking up.tl;dr - FUCK YEAH WE HAVE HOEPP!!2oone. Obongo is elected and promises tits and the world - eventually delivars nothing like the fucking camwhore bitch that he is.###2010###>TSA screening is introduced in airports around the United States. Citizens, including children, are subjected to a choice of either sexual groping or invasive scans before passing through airport security. >Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act of 2010 is proposed by Senator Joe Lieberman because the internets is srs bsns. It includes the idea of an 'Internet Kill Switch'. Section 249 of the bill states that "the President may issue a declaration of a national cyber emergency to covered critical infrastructure,">Wikileaks. Need anything be said?tl;dr - 2010 up in this bitch, looks like now you can't travel without submitting n00ds or getting groped, and a proposal has been put forward - all your internets will probably belong to the Man in the coming years to protect you from cybar h4x0r criminals like Wikileaks and Anonymous
>Patriot Act is renewed, again.>Bradley Manning is still detained in solitary confinement on the accusation of supplying documents to Wikileaks. Government attempts to prosecute him not as a whistleblower, but as a spy.>?????tl;dr - When will we make this stop?So, can we really convince ourselves that Americans posess the same level of freedom that they did ten years ago? At the beginning of 2001, you were able to live without getting groped in every airport, without paying taxation to a government that openly solicits torture, without fear of Internet censorship, without being spied on by your own security services and employers, without being lumped into a database every time you pick up your phone and without the possibility - however remote that may be - that you can be denied the right to trial in a civilian court if you piss the wrong people off. Is Afghanistan really the arena that the military should be 'fighting for freedom'?As the late George Carlin said, "They don't want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they're getting fucked by a system that threw them overboard 30 fuckin' years ago. They don't want that ... They want obedient workers. Obedient workers, people who are just smart enough to run the machines and do the paperwork."
It's pretty clear that U.S citizens are getting shafted by their government multiple times over; there's plenty of evidence to support this, as you've just cited, and at this stage anyone who believes that they still have the same rights that their grandparents were treated to isn't going to be convinced otherwise. The problem is, nobody knows what to do about it. Any well-meaning attempts to change things inevitably fail because of the scope of the problem; the only possible way to reform policy would be to re-instate a completely new Government by force.The base issues with this are that garnering that level of support would be near-impossible; people wouldn't be willing to commit in the numbers needed to force a change, and you'd almost certainly be disposed of under the Patriot Act before you could cause any serious trouble. Furthermore, even if you were so ridiculously lucky as to overturn the current Governmental framework, there would be a whole host of issues - potential invasions or manipulations from other countries, proletarian dissatisfaction because of the unavoidable (albeit temporary) decline in the standard of living, etc., etc., ad nauseam.