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An Act Targeted at the Wrong People

By Mary MacElveen

When Franklin D. Roosevelt made the following remark, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself”, how right on target this esteemed president was not only back in his day, but the present as well. We have since allowed this act, the USA Patriot Act to place fear in its citizens and such fear does nothing to unite us, but divide us. Which leads me to another profound quote, by another esteemed president and one of our country’s first and true patriots. This quote states, "When the people are afraid of the government, that's tyranny. But when the government is afraid of the people, that's liberty." The patriot who cited that was Thomas Jefferson. Mr. Jefferson was correct in his quotation. We have allowed our government to instill fear in us through their various threat alerts, while dismissing real threats as cited by Special Agent Wright. On September 11th, we should have been screaming and demanding answers of this government, and not allowing them to reign us in under an umbrella of complicity. We let our collective fear get the better of us.

We the citizens of these United States have become fearful of a government that looks to divide us, and asks us to spy on one another. We only have to look at George W. Bush’s speech before a Knoxville, Tennessee group a few months back. Where he asked us to look out for suspicious utility workers, and lobstermen. So, John and Jane Q. Public Citizen who are now homeland volunteers, get what they think is very important information on this alleged terrorist, now they face a predicament. Just what do they do with this information, and will it too be passed over, as was Special Agent Wright's information was? Ridiculous! Perhaps it is high time in light of recent revelations for all of us to instill the same fear in our governmental officials, that we will not be fooled any longer, and we will in unity call for a complete disclosure of the events that lead up to September 11th. We also will not tolerate anyone who thwarts a law enforcement agent coming forth with expert knowledge from effectively gagging them. Lives of our citizenry depend upon them from doing the job they were charged to do.

Speaking of events, when these revelations came out, Ms. Rice, the National Security Adviser to George Bush stated, that there was a difference between threats pre-September 11th as opposed to threats post-blast. I am sorry, I just do not buy that excuse. We have known for a long time that these threats were a clear and present danger, yet nothing was done with that information. We only have to look at the many whistle blowers coming forth such as Special Agent Wright and Ms. Rowley to know this to be true.

The National Security Adviser is supposed to know all the threats that are presently in play, so she not only failed at doing her job, she failed at protecting the American citizens. But most importantly, she failed at protecting the many lives that were lost on that horrific day. Since she is very close to George Bush’s ear, do not tell me he did not know of these threats. Because either Bush is lying when he says that he did not know, or he is to blame for surrounding himself with such inept advisers. I am simply amazed how many in the media chose to come to her news conference, but failed to show up at Special Agent Wright’s news conference presented by Judicial Watch. That is because, Special Agent Wright who is a true patriot has been in the trenches for far longer than Ms. Rice. He knows far more of the inner workings of this agency that has let the American citizenry down. While Ms. Rice was working for Chevron, Special Agent Wright was working on behalf of the American people, but was stymied. He did not let the American people down -- she did. This administration frankly dropped the ball on this one. Yet, no one is holding them accountable. Pathetic! As President Harry Truman once said, “the buck stops here”. So should it under George Bush. There is no excuse for over three thousand dead, Mr. Bush.

Days after Ms. Rice’s news conference when the fire storm of these reports came out, we had Special Agent Wright come forth. And then we had Coleen Rowley appear before the intelligence committee telling the Congress and the American people what she knew as well. Yet it still amazes me how no one is being held responsible for these failures. In the news conference presented by Judicial Watch, Larry Klayman cited that there are other whistle blowers waiting in the wings to come out and tell what they knew. We need not only Special Agent Wright's, and Ms. Rowley’s testimony, but theirs as well. We need to insure them that there will be no retaliation as in the case of Mr. Wright, who was demoted, or rather punished. To me the wrong people are being retaliated upon. When Special Agent Wright broke down at the end of his news conference and said he was sorry to the victims of September 11th, he did not owe such an apology. Those that failed to do anything with the information he had owe those victims and us the apology. He after all was doing his job.

George W. Bush at the beginning of this crisis asked us all to be civilian volunteers in this war on terrorism, and he still is presently. He along with Congress railroaded the USA Patriot Act law down our throats, that will have devastating effects down the road, and in my opinion will do absolutely nothing to combat the root causes of the crisis we face as a nation -- those being breaches in our nation’s intelligence community. In his address to the nation last week, he spoke to our nation about the new cabinet position of Homeland Defense. In this speech, he reiterated that we are still civilian volunteers in this effort to thwart terrorism within our borders. But, here is my position on him doing so. If we think for one moment our tips will be paid attention to while trained professionals are not, then we have already lost this war on terrorism. Plus, we have found a flaw within this law itself. While we are rounding up those utility workers and lobstermen, those high up in the CIA, FBI, State Department, and possibly this administration will go free. Who are the true threats to our nation’s security?

Right now, we have many people being held in custody without charges against them under the USA Patriot Act. Which is just plain wrong. Either you find something to charge them with, or you set them free. If we choose to go that route, then those who thwarted these investigators from doing their jobs are the ones who should be held in custody. They are by far the ones who have placed us in greater danger. Under pre-USA Patriot Act laws, isn’t the hindrance of any investigation, as in the allegations presented by Special Agent Wright and Ms. Rowley, called, “obstruction of justice”? Just who is the real and credible threat to our national security? It leaves me with this thought. Perhaps, the USA Patriot Act is being used against the wrong people.

On an ending and yet side note here, when George W. Bush called upon Congress to put in place this new agency, and also called for the permanent repeal in the estate tax, I am left with the following thoughts. Just how are we to pay for another agency? Shouldn’t we be looking and demanding of him to fix the agencies we have presently, instead of creating another bureaucracy. ? Because I am almost certain, that we will certainly have the same problems down the road as we have had with present ones, and again the American people will be let down. Just where is the fiscal leadership in these plans? There is none. To be a secure nation, you must also have your financial affairs in order. In our country, we have taken on many hard tasks, and we have done so successfully. But by creating another agency without a way of paying for it, just does not make any sense at all.