Wednesday, December 06, 2006

It was five years ago today

That John Ashcroft said in front of the Senate: "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and pause to America's friends." (Dec. 6 2001)

Translation: "Those of you who complain of losing your civil liberties are in bed with the enemy."

That the man is not in jail shows how little we have progressed since then, but there are signs of hope and resistance to unconstitutionally enforced subordination.

We had an election and won. We won not based on fear but rather on the knowledge that the erosion of constitutional protections, begun under Ashcroft and embraced wholeheartedly by Gonzalez, was and is doing significant harm to the United States as a nation and as a set of individuals seeking prosperity and community within its borders. We won using community, netroots, personal phone calls, alternative media. We won thanks to people and unions. We won in spite of corporate media's tepid, untruthful and polluting "journalism." We won in spite of millionaire pundits. We won on the self-evident observations of what we see around us in factories, offices, cafes, restaurants, and family dinners. We won thanks to the pictures we saw--and not the interpretations of them by the priesthood.

Yet, in spite of this, we see our own citizens tortured and handcuffed. We see our physical environment degraded through exploitation. We see our community and mental environment degraded by surveillance; we are watched rather than protected. We see a new boss in the Pentagon, same as the old boss, and we see senators welcome him like a pal. We see the gods of Wall Street lecture the democrats on how they are supposed to act. We see trade deficits and deficits of discourse and action.

In sum...

All is still not well in the corporate kingdom of brand America.