Silence Dogood has the Answers

Written by Cement Canary   // 05/11/2012   // 3 Comments

Dear Silence Dogood,
I was recently at a protest in a large city.  It was one of the Occupation protests, you know the ones where the protesters try to get the companies that rule the country to stop gang raping us.  Well anyway, we were peacefully assembled in a place we were legally allowed to be, yet the cops came and arrested a bunch of us.  Here’s the thing, I wasn’t a protester! I was there as a reporter.  But still I was arrested.  Not only that, I was threatened with being labeled an enemy combatant and disappeared!  What gives?  I thought, a) people were allowed to petition the government for a redress of grievances, b) the government wasn’t allowed to prohibit or abridge the freedom of the press, and  c) we can not be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

Sincerely,
Bill of Rights, Smill of Rights

Dear BRSR,
Clearly what you experienced was an isolated incident.  We don’t live in a country like Egypt, where reporters are abused and arrested.  We live in a country where freedom of the press is sacred, where the press is working tirelessly to expose government corruption and act as the people’s watchdog, where the press is never simply a mouthpiece or stenographer for the government.  Nor do we live in a country where the police can stop people from assembling in order to peacefully express their opinions.  I mean, what kind of a democracy would we be if any time you expressed an opinion contrary to the government’s you were labeled a subversive, or labeled unpatriotic, or worse, labeled a terrorist?  We live in a freedom loving country, a country that has civilian police forces, not military goons waiting to crack skulls.  We honor diverse opinions.  Our country was born of dissent and activism, and the idea that that the government is systematically curtailing freedoms or punishing  citizens for exercising those freedoms is absurd.  Yes, you might find isolated fiefdoms where some rogue law enforcement official has subverted the legal process.  Rare but important cases, and in such cases, the Federal Government works swiftly to ensure that rights are protected and said officials prosecuted. And this threat of being labeled an enemy combatant and disappeared – well it is pure bunk.  Do you really think an American Citizen can be labeled an enemy of the state and disappeared as if this were some Kafkaesque world in which we live?  Do you think we have a democracy that could stomach the idea of indefinite detention? Simply fantasy.  Come on, people aren’t detained indefinitely in the United States!  We have habeas corpus!  Due process!  We don’t jail and torture people while awaiting trial.  It would be bad enough to treat convicted criminals in such a way, but it is repugnant to think of someone merely accused of a crime being treated so harshly.  Next you’ll be telling me the President can order citizens killed at his whim and unmanned drones watch everything we do.

Bottom line, relax BRSR, yours was a one time thing, probably some overzealous police officer crossing the line.  There is no way it was a systematic curtailing of rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights.  If that were so, then we would truly live in a police state where all communications are monitored, basic rights are ignored, and those in power are above the law.

Sincerely,
Silence Dogood

 


Tags:

99 percent

Freedom

police brutality

Politics


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3 COMMENTS

  1. By A reader, 05/14/2012

    Yup we live in a police state *sarcasm*. Why don’t you look at a real police state like say China. If you think we are so bad why are dissidents coming here? Who cares if the gov’t has a backdoor into our communications, they still would need a warrent. We are very far from the sad state of many truly repressive places. You’re such a liberal whiner — you should feel blessed to live here!

    Reply
  2. By Pierce Harthill, 05/15/2012

    I always love that argument. As long as we here in the United States remain a notch or two above countries like China, Bangladesh, and Somalia, we’re doing o.k. and there’s no need to complain. Keep in mind that a very specific goal expressed in the preamble to the Constitution is to always strive for “a more perfect union.” It doesn’t say “We the People, in order to stay just a little bit better than Algeria…”

    Reply
  3. By Cowboy Dan, 05/20/2012

    A reader, have you ever read Niebuhr? You may be one of the last they come for, but they will, in due time.

    They don’t need a warrant anymore. They have it ALL stored on disk, and they’re building a new place in Utah. Sorry, WE’RE building it. If you pay taxes, you’re paying for a piece of it.

    Reply

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