The late Ronald Reagan was more right than he knew when he quipped long ago, "The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, 'I'm from the government and I'm here to help.'" On March 4, 2010, John McCain and his human colostomy bag Joe Lieberman officially declared war on the First Amendment by introducing S. 3081 or the Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.
Moreso than even the 2002 USA PATRIOT Act or the Military Commissions Act of 2006, McCain's bill would suspend habeus corpus and Miranda rights for American citizens suspected of materially and willfully aiding agents hostile to the United Police States and its dwindling coalition allies. In other words, think of this as a sister, or Big Brother bill, to Jane Harman's HR 1955, one that passed through the House like shit through a tin goose by a shockingly bipartisan consensus, and could also designate you, me or anyone who speaks out against the government as an enemy combatant or belligerent.
As with the Military Commissions Act, at which McCain had offered but token resistance, S. 3081 would allow the government to arrest US citizens, interrogate them without counsel and without probable cause. They could also indefinitely detain you and take their sweet time in charging you for any crimes without the public at large being informed as to your legal status. It doesn't take a constitutional law scholar to see what a chilling effect this would have on the free speech rights of American citizens but one has to wonder what McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin, a vocal free speech advocate, thinks about how this bill, if ratified (and I don't trust Obama to not sign it into law any further than I can throw Guantanamo Bay), would affect her beloved zombie hordes in the Tea Party.
It's obvious that out of all the political and ideological factions in this country, the greatest threat to the government by far comes from right wing extremists, secesionists (like Palin and Rick Perry), tax protesters (Grover Norquist, teabaggers) and those who think that a Republic can function without a democracy and ought to be run by Republicans in an endless fourth reich.
The only good thing to be said about the Teabaggers is that they can't keep their mouths shut and for now we can at least see and hear them and keep an eye on them. If McCain's bill gets passed then ratified, will forcing them underground make them less dangerous or more?
Of course, if S. 3081 does gets passed, that'll just be start of our headaches. It also depends on how evenly law enforcement agencies and the federal government will enforce this law and on whom.
In the immediate aftermath of September 11th and for years thereafter, we'd heard of the FBI monitoring antiwar groups and Quakers, mothers being detained at airports over breast milk and elderly men getting questioned by the FBI just for criticizing George W. Bush while working out in his gym.
Hardly any scrutiny was paid to those who bellowed their support for the war in Iraq and showed their support for the troops by mowing down memorial crosses set up in Crawford, Texas by Cindy Sheehan and Co.
Much has been made about the USA PATRIOT Act taking away our civil liberties and Constitutional protections but the fact is the precedent for this legislation lies in the reflections in millions of bathroom mirrors all over Middle America. The most vocal supporters of the war in Iraq, both past and present, were already very ready, willing and able to take away those very same free speech rights from those relatively few of us who'd protested the invasion of Iraq from the start. All the Bush-era gag orders imposed on the American people did was empower these pro-war zealots and legitimize their "They're Either With Us or Against Us" mantra.
But the question remains as to whether McCain's and Lieberman's full frontal assault on the First Amendment will have a chilling or enabling effect on the factions that are already arming themselves to the teeth and threatening the lives of US congressmen and their families and destroying government property. The idea of this new wave of zombie flesh being even more empowered by an increasingly paranoid government is alarming enough.
But what's even more alarming is this same zombie army being forced to go to ground and coalescing into an even better organized underground resistance.