Orwellian Politics

Okay, I’m irritated.

After September 11th, I wrote an op-ed piece because I was concerned about the freedoms we were sacrificing in the name of security. Turns out it’s still an issue.

How did I just know that the Bush administration would push to have the Patriot Act made permanent upon its expiration? A little bit of power, and they don’t want to give it up. Kind of like a police force that doesn’t want to surrender their abilities under martial law. I have supported Bush in almost everything he’s done, but this fiasco of attempting to justify eavesdropping (or, let’s just call it what it is…spying) on Americans without so much as a court order for the wiretap turns my stomach. I’m not arguing that 9-11 was a horrible experience…all of us have those images forever burned into our minds. But have we become so scared that we blindly sacrifice any freedome that the government asks for in the name of our need to feel secure? All they have to do is claim that it’s a security issue, and we roll over and say okay. That’s frightening.

So today, I turn on CNN to discover that the Transportation Safety Administration (I think that’s their title) are formulating new strategies to improve our security. These include not only the screening that has now become commonplace, but includes observing behaviors in passengers being screened, and then having “conversation” with those passengers who are exhibiting susupicious behaviors.

This is supposed to make me feel secure? Actually, I’m kind of scared.

When I flew back from my vacation in Florida this summer, I opened my luggage to discover that security screeners had picked my lock and searched my suitcase. They obviously had no respect for my belongings. My clothes were jumbled, my shoes were on top of my clothes…it was a mess. Of course, they had the “courtesy” to include a little card on top that told me what had happened. But I felt violated. They hadn’t even had the courtesy to go through my stuff with me present, and they certainly showed no respect for my property. They had the right not to. Security, you know.

It isn’t difficult for me to imagine America becoming what we fear the most. If we continue to blindly allow the government to assume police powers in the name of “security,” it suddenly doesn’t seem to be a stretch to envision an America where the secret police can drag us from our homes in the middle of the night. If it’s in the name of security.

Big Brother has arrived.

1984, 2005…it seems Orwell only missed his prediction by a few years.

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