Yesterday was the anniversary of the original signing of the Bill of Rights to the U.S. Constitution. Congress commemorated that birthday by passing the National Defense Authorization Act, which still leaves interpretive room for detention of U.S. citizens without due process even after the word smithing that left President Obama the executive power he wants, thus neutering the hoped-for veto. Congress also moved forward with the Stop Online Piracy Act, an abomination of Internet censoring, regulation, and monitoring.
In combination these two laws gut the already-trimmed Bill of Rights; all of the amendments have been under threat since its birth, the 9th and 10th have been made moribund through unchecked government action, and the 4th is also pretty much gone.
Yes, I think the members of Congress who voted for NDAA have violated their oaths to uphold and defend the Constitution. No, I don’t think it’s hyperbole to say that we are looking at the slide toward fascism unless we take affirmative action to defend our rights that the Bill of Rights was supposed to protect (although in hindsight perhaps enumerating them was a bad idea).
Also consider this: I have argued for the past year that the policies of the TSA and the way they treat airline passengers conditions us for the loss of liberty. If you doubt this, I suggest you read up on the Stanford prison experiment and Milgram’s work on authority and power. Look at these actions together, and notice the importance of a docile, accepting public to allow such liberty-destroying laws to pass. If we are docile in the face of authority operating under the false flag of terrorist threat and providing the pretense of security, we can be controlled in other ways. I see NDAA and SOPA as logical consequences in this progression.
Unless we stand up and defend ourselves from our government. Because we are moving toward a world in which a private citizen whose primary civic interest is liberty, toleration, and peace can be detained without warrant for saying that. That scares me, and it should scare you too.