Today is the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks which were horrifying. Like millions of others I watched in dibelief on that day as two skyscrapers were destroyed and a total of almost 3000 people were killed there and in the Pentagon crash and in a Pennsylvania field.

I take no issue with any of the folks who strove to prevent or alleviate the effects of that tragedy. They either died themselves or suffered debilitating injury or illness as a direct result.

I take no issue with the members of our military who were sent off to war in the aftermath and of whom far too many (more than zero) returned to our shores in caskets. Or the thousands more who left major chunks of their bodies or their sanity behind when they came home. Or all of the ones deployed overseas, in direct combat or not, who suffered separation from their families or had to make other grave personal sacrifices to fulfill military onligations. Indeed many who never went overseas also made sacrifices ordinary citizens have not been called on to do.

I do take issue with the United States government for using these attacks as presumed justification for initiating and prosecuting two interminable,  needless, costly and illegal wars that have killed twice as many Americans as died on 9/11. In the process we have managed to kill or maim hundreds of thousands of foreign citizens who had absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. If we haven’t killed them ourselves we have fostered conditions where other have managed to do the killings.

I do take issue with the United States government for using these attacks as justification for instituting or expanding constitutionally questionable intelligence operations, surveillance, arrest for and prosecution of activities that prior to that date would not have been thought to be illegal.

I do take issue with the United States government for instituting and maintaining illegal and unconstitutional rendition, detention, and torture in the name of fighting terror.

I do take issue with those American citizens who have been exposed as racial and religious bigots who have themselves done harm to Muslims in the U.S. or who have encouraged discrimination against Islam and its practioners all in the name of Cristianity. Jesus would be appalled.

I do take issue with those of us among our citizenry who have followed as sheep the assault on their constitutional rights or the misdeeds committed by their government against others, including the wars,  and who have not raised so much as a whimper in protest.

They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
Benjamin Franklin

An editorial in today’s post-Gazette urges Americans to stand united as we seemed to do on that fateful day.

But perhaps it does take an anniversary to reclaim the spirit of the nation that prevailed in the weeks after 9/11 when United We Stand was its true slogan.

I cannot and will not dispute that call for unity.

We should stand united in demanding our government immediately bring homw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.We should stand united in insisting upon the repeal of the reprehensible (Not)Patriot Act.We should stand united in fighting by whatever legal means necessary the unlawful and unconstitutional surveillance of our citizens and residents that takes place outside the Patriot Act.

We should stand united in insisting on the total closure of the abomination at Guantanamo and release all the prisoners there. Even if they could be found guilty of something, which should have been handled in civilian courts from day one, they have now been held far beyond any Constitutionalally permissible speedy trial limit which is an affront to the very principles this nation was founded upon and which purportedly we are so vigorously defending.

We should stand united in insisting on the total reorganization or elimination of the Department of Homeland Security. It is an inefficient, costly and non-cost-effective entity that in no way accomplishes true “homeland security”.

We should stand united in insisting upon proper observance of our heritage and respect for our Constitution by rejecting any and all attempts to control or eliminate the Muslim religion in this country.

We should stand united in insisting on the investigation and prosecution of those from the Bush administration who promulgated two unnecessary wars and who countenanced torture and lying and any other nefarious means of pursuing these and any endeavors in the so-called “War on Terror”.

We should stand united in insisting on the investigation and prosecution of any members of the Obama administrstion who have perpetuated the affronts to our liberty as stated above.

We should stand united in insisting upon our nation never again overreacting to what were blatant criminal acts, as horrific as they were, but pure criminal acts nonetheless.

We should stand united in insisting that we ourselves should resist the brazen and flagrant appeals of our politicians to flout our Constitution, our liberties and our overall abuse of morality and reason.
United We Stand? Hell, at this point it’s barely  United We Kneel.
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