Post 9/11 thievery remains intact

Published 12:15 pm Thursday, April 21, 2016

I’ll grant you, following the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks on this nation we needed action and we needed justice. Going into Afghanistan to unseat the Taliban and bring al Queda to justice was W’s finest hour. Unfortunately for the United States, it was a momentary glimmer of light in an otherwise gloomy presidency.

Laws passed in the name of 9/11 – and let’s not hand all the blame to President Bush because Congress passed them – have eroded the foundation of the Constitution and assaulted the concept of individual liberty.

The Patriot Act allows the government to investigate citizens and non-citizens with just a suspicion of wrongdoing (Evidence? We don’t need no stinkin’ evidence!) and gives federal agencies the right to check out which books you’ve checked out in the library, search your computer and cell phone for what you’ve written, whom you’ve spoken with, and where you’ve visited on the World Wide Web. These agencies can also search your home without bothering to inform you that the search has been conducted.

The press has done little more than mention this and has taken little if any action to actively investigate what the government is doing to people. This, by the way, is not the enemy combatants they are holding in Guantanamo Bay – in violation of the Geneva Convention, by the way, which is the internationally accepted way to treat prisoners of war.

Oops, forgot for a second that these are not really prisoners of war even though they were captured during combat operations in Afghanistan as part of the United States’ “War on Terror”, but are instead just nebulously defined enemy combatants. Since the US says they’re not POWs, we don’t have to abide by those pesky international laws we agreed to abide by.

The way the US handles its prisoners, whether those in custody for suspicion of terrorist ties (if that’s why they’ve been locked up [remember, they haven’t actually been arrested because that would mean they’ve been charged with something]) or those picked up in foreign lands because they took up arms against us, is important because it tells me a great deal about how scrupulous the U.S government is in sticking to the spirit of the Constitution.

President Obama tries to do the right thing, but Republicans have blocked everything he’s tried to do, such as closing Gitmo.

The things the government has done since 9/11gives you a real appreciation for how fragile our liberties are and how precious the Constitution is.

As troubling as this stuff has been, after 12 years of Republican presidents and huge deficits in the 1980s and early “90s, Democrat Bill Clinton got the job, eliminated deficit spending and actually started building up surpluses that could be used to pay off the huge national debt Reagan and Daddy Bush racked up.

Bush Jr. just had to find ways to bring back deficit spending and saddle our children with a crippling debt.

It’s not enough that his rich friends got richer and the poor got poorer, Bush’s economic policies not only destroyed the economy, but there are still more poor people since the ‘80s because businesses went bust, jobs were lost, and Obama is being fought tooth and nail by Republicans

The corporate culture of greed has run amuck because nobody in government is keeping the big corporations honest (but is still strangling mom and pop businesses with regulatory mandates). What this means is that the people of this country are being robbed by multinational corporations and our Congress – which is responsible for protecting us from entities, foreign or domestic, that we are helpless against – is complicit in the thievery.

Americans are more fearful than they’ve been since Orson Welles announced that Martians had landed, and, yet, folks still love them Republicans. What gives?


Keith Hoggard is a Staff Writer at Roanoke-Chowan Publications. He can be contacted at or 252-332-7206.