promoting the unwanted, redheaded stepchild that is individual liberty

Fort Hood, fear mongering, infringement on civil liberties

In liberty and rights, politics on November 24, 2009 at 3:00 am

The tragedy of Fort Hood, like Sept. 11, 2001, is being turned into another excuse to partake in anti-Muslim rhetoric and to call for the infringement on the civil liberties of Muslim Americans. So too, may the tragedy be used as a catalyst to infringe on the privacy of non-Muslim Americans.

Consider the following statements by conservative darling Sarah Palin in a recent interview with Fox News:

“Profiling in the sense of finding out what his radical beliefs were. Profiling, in the context of doing whatever we can to save innocent American lives, I’m all for it then.”

And this statement by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI) in a recent interview with CNN:

“I’m not only worried about these types of people potentially being in the military, I’m concerned about these folks being everyday Americans, around America, living among us who may have become or are in the process of becoming radicalized.”

This kind of fear-inducing rhetoric is nothing new in American politics. It was used to rally the America people against American Japanese during World War II and to justify their relocation to internment camps. Similar rhetoric was also used during the “Red Scare.” Americans need to realize that if they do not believe in civil liberties for those they fear, they do not believe in them at all.

  1. Jessica,

    You left out the creation of the Gestapo in Germany and many of the actions of Stalin and “his” KGB as well. Do you imply that “our” Patriot Act (I have never liked that term by the way) fall into the same category?

    Was the tragedy at Fort Hood caused by our infringment of civil liberties against anyone? Or was it instead caused by inept enforcement of laws and regulations currently “on the books” by federal agencies and/or the Army.

    I don’t argue for changing current law. I do suggest that lack of enforcing laws and regulations enacted legally and having withstood, successfully, a variety of constitutional challenges be carefully examined as a cause of the tragedy.

    Assume for a moment that “ducks” are indeed a threat to your life. If something walks, talks and looks like a duck (such observations being entirely “legal”), must you wait until it acts like one as well before putting it on a farm where it belongs. In deference to Ken Midkiff’s concerns about humanity, I agree that the “farm” should not let such “ducks, stand in their own manure”.


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