Yes, Mr. Bush, I am still afraid.
Your recent drumbeat of fear, cynically designed to portray you as the manly protector of our nation, has raised fears in me, to be sure, but not the ones you were hoping for.
Terrorists? Yes, they’re out there, yes, they want to hurt me, no, I am not afraid of them. I’ll tell you what I’m afraid of.
I’m afraid that my phone could be tapped. I’m afraid that someone could be flagging my more impertinent emails.
I’m afraid that a blog posting such as this one could get my name on a list somewhere. I’m afraid that the next time I go to get on a plane, I could be yanked because my name is on a list because I wrote a post like this one. I’m afraid that after I’m yanked, I could disappear into some semi-secret prison system, where I would have no lawyer, no trial, and no charges against me for as long as whoever put me there wants to keep me.
I’m afraid that someday this could happen just at my place of work or at home.
I’m afraid that my son could die in a misbegotten war for no valid reason. I’m afraid that my son could be captured in a war and tortured by his enemy captors in violation of every international law and standard, since clearly the U.S. does so.
I’m afraid that newspapers could be cowed into merely repeating the official party line. I’m afraid that they could never dig deep enough into official statements to determine their truth. I’m afraid that they could report lies and distortion, unchallenged, so they wouldn’t be accused of being “unbalanced.”
I’m afraid that most of the population of this country could be so stupid as to fall for vindictive social policies and elect people whose only interest is enriching the corporations who paid for their campaigns to deceive the people.
I’m afraid that the majority of the people in this country are not afraid of any of these things.