Are We Above the Law?
Our nation is well on its way to becoming a totalitarian society. Case in point: our doctrine of national security.
With the United States engaged in the military occupation of Iraq, our president emphatically insists that the necessity of a war against that sovereign nation was based on a real and imminent threat against the United States of America, despite compelling evidence to the contrary. We are told that in the interest of national security we must all be willing to sacrifice our personal freedoms in the name of the Patriot Act and other measures that reduce the Bill of Rights to a worthless scrap of paper. In the name of security we are told that a government must not let its people know too much or they will be in danger of losing their influence in the world.
A spirit of wild jingoism seems to have infected the current administration. Men who are supposed to look at world events in a calm and dispassionate way now talk only of “war” and “liberation,” as though these were the sole thoughts of the American people. If you attempt to argue with such gentlemen they will tell you that you don’t know what you’re talking about, accuse you of unpatriotic conduct, and sneer at your reasonings and conclusions. I cannot help but feel that a rude awakening is in store for these self-constituted apostles of freedom and humanity.
One of the most disturbing examples of this attitude has been the administration’s willingness to used flawed intelligence to make its case for the invasion of Iraq. Bush’s posture on the war—including the fact that he invaded Iraq without constitutional authority to do so—is the beginning of what appears to be a growing totalitarian mentality that says, “We are above the law. We are not accountable to a world body or even to our own government. We don’t need to tell people what we are doing, and we will accuse those who challenge us, even in Congress, of making us weak.”
Now we are learning that the administration apparently established a legal basis that opened the door for the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraqi prisons. And the top brass’s cover story? “Some kids got out of control.” Not likely.
When government acts this way, it begins to look frighteningly like a Caesar trying to elicit unquestioning and docile loyalty from an unthinking populace. Government becomes a god, and demands to be worshipped as such. As that begins to happen, our response must be to say no because we have already said yes to the one Word of God whom we are obligated to trust and obey in life and in death.
Which brings us to our own doorstep, for the nation is comprised of individuals and too many of us “Christians” are pale imitations of the real thing, patterned after the world around us. We are squeezed into the mold of the age, taking it for our fashion plate.
Demanding that our elected officials obey the law of the land is not popular with this adulterous and wicked generation. I say, better be in good fellowship with Him than with this age!
May 17, 2004
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com. His latest book, Why I Stopped Listening to Rush: Confessions of a Recovering Neocon, will be released this year.