Monday, March 07, 2005

Won't Y'all Stop Terrorizin' Me?

Media Matters is reporting that Bill O'Reilly has now declared the ACLU to be a terrorist group. He claims, "They're terrorizin' me and my family. They're terrorizing me. I think they're terrorists."

So, let's examine what Bill O'Reilly defines as "terrorism." Basically, he is saying that because he doesn't feel safe unless the government is allowed to take people who don't look like him away in the middle of the night without ever revealing what happened to them, Bill O'Reilly is being "terrorized." The government not being able to violate the civil rights of people O'Reilly thinks are dangerous -- unsurprisingly, people who don't look like him? "Terrorizin' me."

Come on out and say it, Bill. You just want to be able to point out anyone you feel unsafe around, notably people who look different than you, think differently than you, or are "weird," and have the police take them away, never to be seen again. If you can't have the government do that to people who aren't like you, you're being "terrorized." It never once enters your mind that if you were a member of one of those groups having the police take you away because someone thinks you looked "weird" or were acting strange is definitely a form of being terrorized by the government.

What makes your accusation even worse, Bill, is that your chances of dying in the kinds of terrorist attacks that you want to violate others' civil rights to prevent are freakin' infinitesimal! Let's see... in 2000, your chances of dying in a terrorist attack on American soil was... zero! But then, in 2001, it jumped to a whopping 0.0000115%. Oh, but calm down, because in 2002 it once again dropped to -- you guessed it -- zero! And it has remained steady at zero through 2003 and 2004.

The upshot? You are almost certain not to die in a terrorist event, Bill, with or without the Patriot Act and the other draconian measures you are derided the ACLU for opposing. But others absolutely, 100% guaranteed will suffer unlawful incarcerations while being denied access to an attorney, suffer humiliation at being not allowed on a plane because someone of the same name is on the "no-fly list," and be wrongly tortured and abused by US military and civilian personnel. But it doesn't matter who suffers how much to make you feel safer about that one-in-a-billion chance of dying in a terrorist incident, does it?

This ACLU has no strategy to fight the war on terror at all.

Yeah, and the grass is freakin' green, Bill. So what? The job of the government is to come up with a strategy to protect America from terror. But guess what? The government doesn't have completely free reign to do so. You see, this pesky document called the Constitution of the United States of America mandates that the government perform its functions, of which homeland security is one, in accordance with the Bill of Rights. If the government's strategy to protect America from terror requires the government to violate citizens' civil rights, then it isn't the ACLU that is wrong to challenge that strategy: the government has adopted the wrong strategy in the first place!

The ACLU is simply saying, "Your plan to protect America from terror is against the rules. Your job is to find a strategy within the confines of the Constitution, not outside." Your response, Bill, is, "You don't have a plan, so shut the hell up. You're terrorizing me by asking the government to work within the rules." Dumbass.

Think about it, Bill. For one thing, of course it would be much easier to fight terror if we just let the government do whatever it wants. Hell, why stop at habeus corpus? You'd be much safer if the police could just kill anyone who looks suspicious or acts strange. And it would be a lot harder for terrorists to acquire weapons or for sleeper cells to exist if the government just put an agent in your home to watch your activities 24/7. I mean, heck, we wouldn't need all these highly-trained Federal law-enforcement agents, intelligence agents, and analysts then. It wouldn't take any skill or ability to keep Americans safe by imposing martial law and taking away all rights. Hell, I could run homeland security then. Even an idiot like Himmler could do it in fascist Germany.

But the reason we have all these highly-trained people is because we expect our government to protect us without resorting to draconian, unconstitutional measures. So, you know what, Bill? Instead of bitching about how the ACLU is "terrorizin'" you, why don't you get pointed the right way and demand what Americans deserve: a government that upholds their civil rights while still protecting them from terrorist attack.

Can't be lookin' at people checkin' out weird things in the library

This, here, is the definitive proof that Bill O'Reilly is a total idiot. Hey, Bill, guess what? Whatever you think "weird stuff" is, if it is in the library, it is there to be checked out! So why should someone bring suspicion upon themselves for checking those things out as intended? And who decides what "weird" is, anyway? Have you ever heard of intellectual freedom? There's no chance that the government could us this power to find out who has been reading stuff critical of the government and/or that the government doesn't like and intimidate them into submission, is there? I'm sure that when a couple of Federal agents come to your house to ask you why you checked out, oh, say, "Naked Lunch" or "A Clockwork Orange," you won't feel at all intimidated and violated. No.

Controlling access to information is one of the keys to totalitarianism. A free society requires free access to information without worrying about the government keeping track of what information you are absorbing. For many who can't afford to buy books, the library is an important source of information. Tracking what people check out from the library would essentially allow the government to control what less affluent people read. Once you cut people off from sources of information, controlling them is only a step away.

And, lastly, to go back to the statistical argument, far more people who aren't and never will be terrorists check "weird stuff," whatever that is, out from the library than do dangerous people and terrorists. The ability to rifle through someone's library record is amazingly useful for intimidating people, but it will hardly ever turn up a terrorist. It is awesome for violating civil rights. It is almost completely ineffective for finding terrorists. If you can't see this, then you are truly a retard.

Guantánamo Bay -- all of 'em have to have civilian lawyers. No enemy combatants
-- no way, uh-uh.

I'll speak slowly, Bill, so your malfunctioning mind can keep up. If all the guys at Guantanamo are really enemy combatants, then why would the Bush regime be so deathly afraid of proving it in court? Hmm...

Could it be, Bill, that government just rounded up all kinds of people, many for no rhyme and reason, and that it knows that a lot of them are innocent bystanders and not enemy combatants? Could it be that the Bush regime is afraid to ever admit a mistake and so doesn't want it exposed that a bunch of the detainees should never have been there? Could it be that the government doesn't want to have to stand up in court is not because they are so sure that these guys are all enemy combatants, but because they are sure many of them aren't?

Here's one way we can tell. When the government has a really good case against someone, does it shy away from court, or rush into court as fast it possibly can? I'll give you three guesses.

You know what, Bill? You're the "terrorist." Why? Because you are standing up against freedom and for government oppression and terror. The government can terrorize people much, much better than the ACLU, and you are all for it.


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