Counterculture Con HQ

January 12, 2010

Why the Patriot Act

I shall force someone to take the body away from him and Johnny will really hit those microphones and those cameras with blood all over him, fighting off anyone who tries to help him, defending America even if it means his own death, rallying a nation of television viewers to hysteria, to sweep us up into the White House with powers that will make martial law seem like anarchy!

From John Frankenheimer’s The Manchurian Candidate

I love this quote, even if the movie is anti-rightwing brainwashing.  For some reason I always think of that quote whenever I imagine the day after we lose one of our cities to a WMD attack.  It’s why I never gave much consideration to the howls of protest about President Bush’s Patriot Act, now continued under Obama.  If you hate the Patriot Act because you think it robs you of your civil liberties, try to imagine a world in which we’ve lost a city to a nuclear attack.  Even a gas attack, or a dirty bomb.  What would America look like then?  It will be a world in which our government will have powers that will make the Patriot Act seem like anarchy by comparison.


Here Newt Gingrich looks genuinely afraid that our political system isn’t serious about the war on terror and that we will “lose a city.”  He wonders what will happen to our civil liberties the morning after that calamity and how rapidly we will impose ruthlessness on ourselves in that kind of a world.  Those of us who care about civil liberties better be thinking through how we win this war before the casualties become so great that the American people will voluntarily give up whatever it takes in order to keep them safe.  Because the day a WMD goes off in one of our cities is the day the Constitution died.

Thanks: Vlad Tepes


1 Comment »

  1. Today Newt called for the health care debate be televised. Where the hell does he think he lives? A democracy?

    Comment by greyrooster — January 13, 2010 @ 21:54

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