Preaching to the choir has published a thought-provoking post about the Muslim family that was removed from and Air Tran flight because other passengers overheard some of their conversation and reported it to the authorities.
In the past few months, I have heard many people say one thing we have to acknowledge about the Bush presidency is that it has kept us safe from terrorist attack. I disagree with that premise and I think this case highlights what the real legacy of the Bush administration will be on terrorism. The administration has succeeded in fostering a culture of fear that leads to neighbors eavesdropping on neighbors and to innocent American citizens being pulled off planes. This is not safety. Not if every Muslim American or American of middle-eastern descent has to monitor public conversations so as not to risk being misconstrued and reported to the FBI.
Does the Bush Administration deserve some credit for the fact that since 9/11 there have been no major terrorist attacks in the U.S.? Do you think we've gone too far with the invasion of privacy, in this case private conversation, but frequently it's digital and electronic surveillance? Can this kind of thing be justified by an honest effort on the part of federal law enforcement to keep us safe?
I tend to agree with Sarah that they've "succeeded in fostering a culture of fear." The fact that Bush and Co. were so quick to capitalize on the fear and shock which followed the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers made me question their true intentions. While claiming to have American security as their chief goal, they mounted an intricate campaign to increase fear in order to generate support for invading Iraq. And it worked. Sad and pathetic is what I call it, and dark days in American history.
As the years passed, each one accompanied by a diminished percentage of support for the war and the administration, we're left with this legacy: "neighbors eavesdropping on neighbors and innocent American citizens being pulled off planes."
What's your opinion? Is America safer today?