From the moment of the second impact, martial law raised its ugly head as an option for government to regain control of a desperate situation.

Now the networks have hosted “town meetings” again and Americans have proven, yet again, that the biggest danger to the country comes from our own population. Ordinary men and women are letting their deep seated anger rise to the surface as terrorism has given them a great excuse to vent.

President Bush needs to declare martial law on a limited basis. While we are in this temporary situation, law enforcement should be allowed to make arrests without cause, they should be allowed to search without a warrant… we should lock everyone down and figure out who’s guilty.–Angry Town Guy on MSNBC 9.16.2001

And what do we do after we catch the perpetrators? Law enforcement will be drunk with power. Churches and allegedly family oriented groups will be happy to know that nobody has the freedom to make any action that they perceive as criminal. If you are against overbearing martial law, even on a “limited” basis, you will automatically become the enemy.

McCarthyism reborn.

In a perfect world, nobody would support a wholesale conversion to a totalitarian and autocratic state but, similarly, perfect worlds wouldn’t even produce those concepts. Most people would be happy with the Government keeping tabs on everyone because “they” have nothing to hide. If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to worry about. If you are worried, you must be up to no good and should be investigated.

Fortunately, the history of the United States has shown that the country can go through far more serious trauma than a couple of financial tower collapses without declaring martial law. Every war and every “contingency” in this country has allowed the political system to function as designed by the Constitution. The pockets of history where rights have been summarily suspended or ignored have been the darkest moments of our country.

The terrorists perceive the United States as an oppressive force. They would smile under their rubble grave if their perceived oppression was felt also by US nationals. The great American experiment in individual freedom has made America the envy of the world. Freedom and opportunity is guaranteed for all. The United States did not find power and wealth through control, we found it through freedom to live where we want, achieve whatever level of education we desire, accumulate wealth in proportion to our efforts.

Simply to pursue happiness. There are no handouts, just the right live life as you choose in relation to everyone else’s rights.

Those who advocate tossing out the Constitution are not Americans. They are worse than the terrorists for they would trade a nation of opportunity for a nation of shackles. Their timid, worthless lives would find meaning when no citizen has a chance to chase the bigger world they so fear.

Rational changes can occur at National entrance points. It is reasonable to assume that all constitutional rights can be significantly weakened on the property of international airports. It is reasonable to adopt most of the Administration’s ideas on lowering the threshold for wiretaps, rescinding the prerogative of the president to order international assassination and allow violent, dirty characters on intelligence payroll lists.

While such actions are not fundamentally acceptable to anyone in a democracy, they are realistic changes that can be made to strengthen the security of the country without treading on the civil liberties that–far more often than attracting evil–attracts the finest humans the world has to offer.

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