Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Taking it seriously

Here is a comment from friend and Pai Gow powerhouse, EasyCure, (who has had to deal with some seriously tilt-inducing pre-holiday circumstances, so go wish him well) followed by a response.


“You quote a website that thinks the Bush administration is about to impose martial law and open detention camps?
You are a very nice guy but you can't take that stuff seriously.”

I can’t take it seriously? Really? Why not? Even though all of said articles (from the site which I should not take seriously) are basically reprints of releases by other news organizations like AP, Reuters, and other international media?

What about if I read about it
Portland IndyMedia, which is only quoting from MarketWatch out of San Francisco? Too gay? How about a FOX article?

“The contract, awarded in January to Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR), a subsidiary of defense contractor Halliburton Co., pays the company to establish and provide support for “temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE (Immigration Customs Enforcement) Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs,” according to a Halliburton press release.”

“Rapid development of new programs” may not be too open-ended for you when it comes to the subject of detention camps but as far as I’m concerned it is nowhere close to being well-defined. Frankly it boggles the mind how anyone can be without concern, especially with the combination of other wonderful things hanging over our heads such as Patriot Acts I and II, The Military Commissions Act, and The John Warner Defense Authorization Act, to name just a few. How about Glenn Beck and his recently amped-up rhetoric encouraging the interment of Muslims to detention camps? He seems to be pretty convinced that Federal power to do so exists and he has been continually encouraging them to use it. Do you really think it will be a problem for some faceless Federal authority to declare you an “enemy combatant” and toss you or me in a camp, as well, invoking similar baseless assertions if the Party line is not toed? After all, proof is no longer required. This is the new “War on Terror” and all of us are guilty until proven innocent.

How about the written plans of the
US Army for Civilian Inmate Labor Programs (pdf) and the tools possessed within it?

Don’t even get me started on the great numbers of secret Executive Orders signed over the last few decades (rest assured, I will start myself and beat on those in the future.)

Perhaps I shouldn’t take those seriously either, since there are some lesser-known links mixed in with the “notables”.


While the above may be deemed as too sarcasm-heavy for dialogue between friends, I can only say that I will vigorously defend (or in the Cheney vernacular, “robustly” defend) what I write because a great deal of research and effort goes into it.

The only thing made clear by this comment is that I pricked a nerve somewhere and you are in the beginning stages of trying to convince yourself that I’m looney-tunes. That’s fine--I don’t blame you for this reaction and I hold no ill-will because of it. Hell, I spent many weeks trying to prove to myself that I was losing it. Thing is, the more I dug into the pile the more my thoughts were proven correct instead of the other way around, necessitating a difficult look at a great many ugly and frightening things. This left me at a serious crossroads. Namely, do I continue ignoring the problem by retreating back to the Propaganda Box to be sated by the baseless assertions and partial-truths spouted by talking heads (please ignore the wholly unintentional pun) who do as they're told, or do I face the scare-the-shit-outta-me truth and learn more about it like I should have been during the many years that I’ve squandered in servitude to television’s “infotainment”?

The direction I chose is plainly obvious at this point and I will not shrink from it. The only question is, will you? Will you actually read (not skim) all of the articles (instead of immediately denouncing an unfamiliar site), follow the sources, and really think about them? Will you go out and research yourself to find the answers to questions you may still have lingering in the back of your mind?

It’s not an easy thing to do. There’s a reason it’s called television “programming.”

If you find I’m truly wrong about something, please show me, I desperately want to know. What sweet relief it would be to find out that I’m wrong, that none of this stuff really exists, and that everything is going to be just fine. Feel free to imply that I’m nutso all day long, but when you do so, make sure you’re also coming with some substantial reasons why that are rooted in logic and documentation. Not because you owe it to me, but because you owe it to yourself and your family.

My links should only get you thinking, get you started. Don’t blindly take the word of this talking Head, go find out for yourself.

Stop Believing. Start Knowing.