silence is betrayal
Never before has this rung so true. Yet still, people don't realize how important it is that they speak out or how critical the impact of their voice may be in deciding the fate of humanity.
This excerpt by Rep. John Conyers, from his introduction to a 350 page report documenting a plethora of illegal conduct by the Bush administration surrounding the Iraq war, demonstrates that every voice counts and that no matter how small you think your contribution may be, someone else can build on it, bringing us one step closer to defeating the madness that threatens to engulf the world.
[N]otwithstanding the eloquence of the Hamdan decision, I believe our Constitution remains in crisis. We cannot count on a single judicial decision to reclaim the rule of law or resurrect the system of checks and balances envisioned by the founding fathers. Rather, we need to restore a vigilant Congress, an independent judiciary, a law-abiding president, and a vigorous free press that has served our Nation so well throughout our history.Like it or not, "THEY" - whoever they are - no longer stand unopposed. 'We, the people' have the power to change this world - not alone, but together through the internet.
Because of the above concerns, I asked my Judiciary Committee staff to prepare the following Report. I made this request in the wake of President Bush’s failure to respond to a letter submitted by 122 Members of Congress and more than 500,000 Americans in July of 2005 asking him whether the assertions set forth in the so-called “Downing Street Minutes” were accurate, and in the aftermath of the disclosure by The New York Times in December 2005 and USA Today in May 2006 that the President had approved widespread warrantless domestic surveillance of innocent Americans. I asked for this Report to be prepared because I believe it is vital that we document these allegations, learn from our mistakes, and consider laws and safeguards necessary to prevent their recurrence.
I believe it is essential that we come together as a Nation to confront religious extremism and despicable regimes abroad as well as terrorist tactics at home. However, as a veteran, I recognize that we do no service to our brave armed forces by asking them to engage in military conflict under false pretenses and without adequate resources. Nor do we advance the cause of fighting terrorism if our government takes constitutionally dubious short cuts of little law enforcement value that alienate the very groups in this country whose cooperation is central to fighting this seminal battle.
Many of us remember a time when the powers of our government were horribly abused. Those of us who lived through Vietnam know the damage that can result when our government misleads its citizens about war. As one who was included on President Nixon’s “enemies list,” I am all too familiar with the specter of unlawful government intrusion. In the face of these lessons, I believe it is imperative that we never lose our voice of dissent, regardless of the political pressure.
As Martin Luther King told us, “there comes a time when silence is betrayal.”
None of us should be bullied or intimidated when the executive branch charges that those who would criticize their actions are “aiding the terrorists” and “giving ammunition to America’s enemies,” or when they warn that “Americans need to watch what they say,” as this Administration has done.
It is tragic that our Nation has invaded another sovereign nation because “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy,” and that millions of innocent Americans have been subject to government surveillance outside of proper legal process. However, it is unforgivable that Congress has been unwilling to examine these matters or take actions to prevent these circumstances from occurring again. Since the Majority Party is unwilling to fulfill their oversight responsibilities, it is incumbent on individual Members of Congress as well as the American public to act to protect our constitutional form of government. It is with that purpose and in that spirit that I am releasing this Minority Report.
I would like to thank the “blogosphere” for its myriad and invaluable contributions to my and my staff. Absent the assistance of “blogs” and other Internet-based media, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPOSSIBLE to assemble all of the information, sources and other materials necessary to the preparation of this Report.
Whereas the so-called “mainstream media” has frequently been willing to look past the abuses of the Bush Administration, the blogosophere has proven to be a new and important bulwark of our Nation’s first amendment freedoms.
All our lives, the media has led us by our hearts and our minds to places of their choosing. But today, "mass media" is no longer a spectator sport. We can - if we choose to - take the reigns and direct our own futures.
Most people think that the military battles that now rage in Lebanon, Iraq, Gaza, and soon to be Syria and Iran will determine the fate of humanity. But if this were true, "they" would never bother trying to secure 'the moral high ground' for their myriad wars of aggression.
The TRUTH is that just as you and I fear standing alone against the world, SO DO THEY. Divided, they can beat us into submission, but they CANNOT fight and win against us ALL.
During this battle of all battles, all they need is your tacit approval to prevail. Whether you give it out of fear or indifference does not matter. If you are not against them, then you are with them and it is in this context that, now more than ever, silence is betrayal.