Fairly Unknown...yes...But Still Notorious TPT : )

A few thoughts on our latest subscriber by Peace Tree contributing author, Lori Hahn.

Knowledge and the Lemmings

Warning: I will be speaking heavily in acronyms for the next few minutes.

I was doing my usual reading this morning of Red Hog Diary and The Peace Tree, and noticed that the site owner of The Peace Tree had observed a hit from the Directorate of Automation Services (DAS) in Ft. Belvoir, Virginia.

Now, I had to go back in the old memory banks to my days at INSCOM (Intelligence & Security Command) , which is headquartered there. Seems that the DAS is the responsible to ensure that networks and e-mail systems are secure for organizations like USAREUR and INSCOM, which send volumes of classified messages and documents hither and yon.

Here’s the thing—it’s pretty apparent to me that the US Intelligence Community (NSA, NSC, DIA, CIA, etc.) is indeed gathering data on not only sites as they relate to terrorism, but small and fairly unknown sites with just over 22,000 visitors in the course of its life, that voices dissent regarding its own country’s leadership, the reactionary Right, and discusses other topics of social justice. In the time I’ve been reading and occasionally writing for this site, I’ve never once heard it espouse a desire to topple the government, call to assassinate leadership, or support Al Queda, Osama Bin Ladin, radical Islam, or in any way subvert our troops, despite a general disagreement over our involvement in this war.

It seems that many Americans think it’s okay to violate civil liberties in the cause of stemming the tide of terrorism. But, do they know at what cost? Is the rationalization that because you are not saying or doing anything that would be considered a risk, you have nothing to worry about?

As time goes by, and there is no direct impact on their own lives, getting around to understanding the mess that has become our civil liberties, or lack thereof, fades further into the background. So few people who have voted for the Bush agenda have taken more than a cursory glance at The Patriot Act and what it encompasses. Or have paid attention as the Bush Regime makes up it’s own rules regarding torture, interrogation, and which parts of The Geneva Convention they really can’t get away with disregarding out of hand.

What scares me more than being scanned, recorded, analyzed, and assessed with a threat level is the knowledge that the majority of our voting public are mere lemmings, following blindly uninformed, but so, so sure that they themselves are safe, until they topple over the precipice to the loss of democracy. It seems our government is ascribing to the adage, “Knowledge is power,” when its very subjects have missed that connection themselves. It is our responsibility to dissent if our leadership is doing the wrong thing—it is our country after all, they are merely our servants—something all parties seem to have forgotten.

The other fear I have is that the generations behind me seem not to have a clear understanding of history, and how it repeats. It reminded me of this, said at the end of World War II (and no, kids, that wasn’t in the 1700s or something): “In Germany they came first for the Communists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me--and by that time no one was left to speak up.” ~ Pastor Martin Niemoller


; ) Peace y'all


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