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The Sounds of Silence

Listen! Do you hear that? It's the sound of silence. And the silence is deafening. Something's very wrong. There shouldn't be any silence. There should be multitudes of voices raised in outrage. What has happened to us as Americans?

There was a time not too long ago when the people of this country were good and their motives pure, when they stood for justice and tolerance, a time when America was respected throughout the world.

What has changed the very fiber of people that they now accept their government torturing people? They saw the evidence with their own eyes in a series of pictures from Abu Ghraib. They heard the reports of the CIA "rendering" people for interrogation to countries that permit torture. Ironically, some people who supported the invasion of Iraq claimed it was justified to prevent Saddam Hussein from torturing people. Yet there is silence.

There was a time when we valued our freedoms and fought to defend our democracy. Now our government asks our military to fight to spread democracy to other nations while it passes laws to restrict our freedoms here and we accept it in the name of security. We laud elections in countries we invade but refuse to have a paper trail in our own elections that would guarantee fair results. And there is quiet.

Our Constitution provides for freedom of religion yet a radical religious sect is imposing its views on everything from the teaching of science to cheerleading. We have allowed them to define morality and legislate their morality for the entire country. We mutely tolerate their intolerance of anyone who disagrees with them.

We have allowed designated free speech zones where dissenters are penned. No one wants to shout that all of America was once a free speech zone.

For three and a half years there were hints that intelligence on WMD was cooked to gain support for a pre-emptive invasion. Those who made those accusations were called conspiracy nuts. The administration said they were lies. We accepted what our government told us, even when it was revealed that the speech our Secretary of State, Colin Powell gave at the UN was lifted from a student paper written twelve years earlier. We accepted the lie about Iraq seeking yellowcake from Niger in a State of the Union speech when Ambassador Wilson said he had told the administration it was false. When his CIA wife was outed by a White House source in retaliation for his "outing" the George W. Bush lie we haven't demanded a resolution to that investigation.

Now a secret memo has come out from England with the minutes of a meeting that describes the ruse used by Bush and Tony Blair to "fix" the intelligence to fit the policy already made to attack Iraq knowing full well the intelligence was phony. The corporate controlled American press has basically ignored this smoking gun although it's been reported on the front pages of the London papers. It was not mistaken intelligence. The memo says that Britain and America deliberately lied to create the conditions to justify a war. Our military sons and daughters are dead and continue to die. Innocent civilians in Iraq are dead and continue to die. Their voices are silent. How long will our voices also remain silent? When will we regain our American values and raise our collective voices of outrage at this most outrageous criminal act?

5-10-05