Our freedoms facing 'death of a thousand cuts'

I always enjoy Bill Slusher’s letters, even when I disagree with him. In Bill’s most recent letter to the Gazette-Tribune; I agree with most of what he states; I particularly agree with his closing paragraph that there are snakes on the plane and we’re doing nothing but look out the window (Although we may disagree on who and what some of the “snakes” are).

The start of Bill’s letter contains the challenge with which I mostly take issue: “who can name a single thing they could do pre-Bush that any Bush policy prevents them from doing now?” In responding to this, I’m going to range far beyond Bush’s policies because freedom in the USA has been severely compromised since long before Bush became President. In other words, I’m going to discuss a very few of the many snakes-on-the-plane in general.

In March of 1992, SWAT smashed down the front door of the Pratt residence in Everett, Wash. The Pratt’s had two small children in the house and absolutely no criminal record, not even a parking ticket. Before the dust had settled, SWAT had executed Mrs. Pratt as she was on her knees pleading with them “please don’t harm my children.” No big deal.

You’ve probably never even heard of the case; SWAT smashes down roughly 40,000 doors each year. I’m only aware of this case because my best friend’s wife was an RN at the hospital where SWAT took her body with her hands still handcuffed behind her. Even limited exposure to the hostile, mean SWAT team and the raw brutality of the senseless killing created a traumatic experience for hospital personnel. So what could you do before “no-knock” that you can’t do now? Is this a relevant question? Could no-knock even exist in a truly free society as opposed to a society where freedom is mostly a well maintained fiction?

According to the Inspector General, the Fed’s conducted 143,074 Patriot Act warrantless searches in 2003 through 2005. This only included those searches that were properly reported. The IG also concluded that significant numbers of these searches were never reported by FBI personnel. So, unless you personally are a victim, how does this impact you? It probably doesn’t.

Abraham Lincoln was probably the greatest tyrant to ever be President in the USA. He irrevocably trashed our Constitutional Republic and replaced it with a Democracy which has since eroded into a Plutocracy. Under a Constitutional Republic you wouldn’t need the NRA and the GOA to protect your Second Amendment rights. Under a Democracy or Plutocracy you need both the NRA and GOA because the Constitution no longer means much. So how does this impact what you could do pre-vs-post Bush? It probably has no impact.

Those of you who read NRA and/or GOA publications are aware of a non-stop effort by several powerful US “leaders” to disarm all law abiding Americans while at the same time having little if any concern about armed felons. This is just one of many “snakes.”

I could continue on this subject almost indefinitely. The bottom line here is that freedom in the US has already been so severely compromised that most of us would notice little change in our lives if Martial Law were imposed tomorrow and Presidential elections discontinued.

When I was a kid, people constantly gave thanks that they didn’t live in a communist or fascist dictatorship where the police could knock on your door in the middle of the night and haul you off to prison. At least somebody knocked: here in America they simply smash down the front door.

Again, how does all of this impact us? What is freedom, anyway? Is the question “what could I do pre-Bush that I can’t do now a relevant question?” Should we not be asking instead, where are we headed as our freedom slowly dies from the “death by a thousand cuts?” Should we not be asking instead, what can we do to restore those freedoms we’ve already lost? Freedom entails a lot of personal responsibility, do we really even want it? What could we not do in a police state that we can do now?

Mason Hess