Security Uber Alles?
McKee contributed this piece to PRAVDA.Ru
are watching. Along with their pop culture entertainment
from the sewer, ever increasing numbers of citizens are
joining the debate regarding Homeland Security, the revamped
preparedness for any possible terrorist attack upon the
United States and its citizens. Rest assured that this issue
will be front and center for a very long time and it serves
all of us well to develop some perspective and understanding
of the collateral issues involved.
outstanding summary of recent remarks by President George
W. Bush came from the desk of AP correspondent Curt Anderson
advanced for release on July 17th. There are enough talking
points to keep any group of activists, patriots or other
political types foaming at the mouth, and with good reason.
The landscape of the issues is mind boggling.
can look at proposals such as arming commercial airline
pilots. While seemingly logical and appropriate, the mere
suggestion brings the gun control proponents out of the
woodwork. They don't seem capable of understanding that
something is terribly wrong when a few guys, apparently
armed only with box cutters, can overpower any number of
adults and crash a loaded aircraft causing needless death
and destruction. Apparently, ideology is more important
of ideology, perhaps the largest and most controversial
aspects of the new proposals regard a review and possible
restructuring of the Posse Comitatus laws in the USA. For
the uninitiated, these laws from the post Civil War era
prevent the use of military forces in domestic law enforcement.
This point alone rightfully scares many people, especially
when coupled with suggestions about federalizing the various
state units of the National Guard. The long cherished standard
about the impropriety of standing armies becomes threatened
when one further considers various proposals for quarantine
of American citizens in the event of a bio-terror attack.
A recent draft of suggested legislation, the Model Emergency
Health bill, reads like a horror show of punitive measures
to be used against the public. There are countless references
to control and possible seizure and redistribution of such
necessities as food, water and medication. Further along
in the list, you will find similar references to communications
devices, transportation (presumably cars and trucks, although
even horses and donkeys were brought to my attention in
consideration of the broad language used), and of course
the usual onerous references to firearms. The very existence
of any proposal to herd the population like cattle is scary
indeed. Yet, this is under consideration.
a wider view, there has been much discussion but little
substantive action regarding the porous borders of the United
States. What will be the ultimate direction in terms of
national policy? What will the impact of such policy be?
It makes little sense to most observers that we have imposed
a vast array of restrictions and security procedures at
airports while essentially avoiding the critical issue of
Without malice of comment, it is safe to assume that Canada
and Mexico allow just about anybody in to their respective
nations, for reasons that are entirely their own. However,
it is equally safe to assume that a subset of those arrivals
will be people bent on illegal, disruptive or destructive
actions against the United States. As presently established,
they don't necessarily face a major challenge crossing our
borders. The potential for terrorist access to American
soil is unsettling at best.
the greatest debate connected to Homeland Security is the
aspect of impact on civil liberties. These are fundamental
rights and liberties held near and dear by most ordinary
Americans, yet seldom actually thought about until they
are threatened. Therein lies the problem. The radical liberal
Left is terrified at the prospect of a Bush Police State.
The equally radical Right fears much the same thing, only
wearing the moniker of the UN and the newly constituted
ICC. Both flanks teeter on the edge of an ideological abyss,
although they seem unaware of that fact. As Americans, we
appear to be paralyzed by political correctness, with various
interest groups wanting to protect their turf while remaining
blind to the big picture.
where will it end? How? I can understand the fear surrounding
these difficult issues. We have faced them before as recently
as the widespread debate about Y2K. A fair question might
be to look down the road a few years. Many citizens might
feel reasonably secure with President George W. Bush at
the helm. But, what happens beyond the Bush administration?
Just as an example, millions of Americans, including this
commentator, would feel enormously threatened with the likes
of Hillary Clinton having these kinds of emergency powers.
Where and how do we draw the line? The answers are critical.
needs to understand that terrorism is not limited to the
USA, Israel or Ireland. You are not insulated merely by
your place of residence. Certain highly specific, proactive
steps need to be enacted immediately and every effort made
to smash the apparently rising tide of militant malcontents
who would wage war on innocent civilians with irrational
exuberance and utter disregard.
the great early American patriot, Thomas Paine said, "These
are the times that try men's souls." Indeed they
are. We need to find our balance, composure and common sense
if we are to end the hysteria.