(Washington Post) Jonathan Turley–10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own ”” the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, America/U.S.A., Law & Legal Issues

10 comments on “(Washington Post) Jonathan Turley–10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free

  1. Capt. Father Warren says:

    [i] At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?[/i]

    How about this: when do we start to care that daily our freedoms and liberties are being stripped from us by both the Democratic and Republican Parties–at the Federal level, state, and local level?

    How about this: why do Americans have this all consuming faith in Government? Why do they look at Government as the source of their salvation from the tribulations of life?

    If Americans do not figure out the answers and corrective course to the underlying problems of those questions, we will become AINO’s. Americans in Name Only.

  2. Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) says:

    I’m going to give two apparently petty examples from my own profession, which is vegetable farming. My intention is to emphasize the extent to which the problem of eroding freedom is far more deeply entrenched that people understand, even when they get their shorts in a wad about the more blatant stuff.

    The entire US Constitution, complete with amendments, runs to something north of 7000 words. Current USDA regulations for [b][i]CABBAGE ![/b][/i] are over 28,000 words. The latest regulations to come out of Washington — part of the more than 700 new regulations issued each month — will not only add another 8000 words, but require me to obtain a federal permit to grow and sell cabbage, even if I sell it only in the state of Kansas, where it was grown. Their purported logic is that because I’m selling it in Kansas, cabbage that [i]might[/i] have been imported from another state won’t be sold, and I am therefore involved in “interstate commerce.”

    The second example is the EPA’s efforts to regulate my “release” of dust, be it from working a field or driving down a gravel road at more than 10 mph. I’m a certified organic farmer, and I do a very good job of landcare. Nevertheless, between 10 July and late November we had only two rainfalls greater than 3 mm (about 1/10 inch). When the wind blew all day at 40 C (104 F) it kicked up a bit of dust from my fields. Enough to have got me fined under the new regulations.

    Thus is freedom lost, and therein lie the seeds of another American revolution if we’re not careful. The arrogant, officious, utterly clueless bureaucrats have absolutely no idea of the extent to which they are profoundly hated, as week after week they attempt to control more of other people’s lives whilst insisting those very same people pay taxes that the bureaucrats might continue to enjoy the style of life to which they’ve become pathologically accustomed.

  3. Ad Orientem says:

    I would note that all but one of those running for President fully support all or most of the odious legislation Mr. Turley has cataloged. We as a country are well and thoroughly bleeped.

  4. Charles52 says:

    The NDAA was supported by the president and both parties in the Congress. It undercuts the most basic of our constitutional rights in favor of unlimited power of the national government. This is not a partisan issue. It is a freedom issue.

  5. jkc1945 says:

    With all due respect, Mr. Obama told us exactly what he intended to do, before we so naively elected him on the basis of his “hopeity-change” nonsense: he was going to “fundamentally transform” this country. We get the kind of government we deserve. Enjoy it or change it this coming November; those are our choices.

  6. Ad Orientem says:

    Not in any way defending Mr. Obama, but please let’s not pretend he is doing anything other than building on what G. W. Bush began. All of these abominations were passed with large bipartisan majorities. And all save one of the Republican candidates are supportive of these policies.

  7. Capt. Father Warren says:

    To paraphrase the old story; life under Obama is like a frog dropped into boiling water. Life under the institutional republicans is like a frog in water and the burner on high. Both frogs will end up dead.

    We are in serious trouble: we need significant reform, but if a republican candidate tries to run on such a platform they will be demonized by the media. And even if the media were to remain silent or unbiased (not a chance on either of those), I am not confident that the American people wish to take the medicine that needs to be taken to save the country and return it to its Constitutional roots.

    The Declaration of Independence spells out the remedy under such conditions: [i]to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it[/i]

    Such talk as is contained in one of our founding documents is possibly counted as behavior leading to detainment without rights.

  8. Ad Orientem says:

    Re # 7
    Capt. Deacon Warren
    [blockquote] We are in serious trouble: we need significant reform, but if a republican candidate tries to run on such a platform they will be demonized by the media.[/blockquote]
    And of course the GOP itself. Just ask Ron Paul.

  9. Capt. Father Warren says:

    [i]And of course the GOP itself.[/i]

    Yes, very good point! The institutional republican party (with help from Karl Rove and others of his ilk) has NO interest in reform and certainly no interest in smaller government (with its loss of power).

    We were up in Wisconson this last week. Got 7 inches of snow and temps into the low teens. Whenever I am in that kind of weather, I stop and think about George Washington and the soldiers at Valley Forge (go visit if you ever are in the area, it is well worth it). They laid everything, and I mean everything on the line to make a country of freedom and liberty possible. And we are a gnat’s eyelash from throwing it all away for the type of authoritarian, nanny-stateism, enslavement that our forefathers strove to defeat.

    How can we be so silly, self-absorbed, and indifferent to what we have?

  10. Charles52 says:

    Capt Deacon Warren, you are clearly a threat to the security of our nation. You are probably even anti-abortion . Report to the White House immediately for indefinite detention.