I just read another of Glenn Greenwald's superb columns. In this one, he talks about the NYPD spying program of ordinary Muslim Americans that was recently revealed. What is so remarkable about these activities is not that they were done in secret nor the fact they are based on "terrorism hysteria" -- in today's America this is par for the course!
No, what I find most remarkable is that few public officials (from BOTH corporate parties) and many of my fellow citizens will admit that there is ANYTHING wrong with this nefarious activity. Since the religion of Islam and its adherents have been painted as the new scapegoats for all that is wrong with our nation, people are more than willing to turn a blind eye to a program that is clearly and patently illegal and unethical.
If a strong connection between Jared Lee Loughner (Tuscon shooting massacre) and Timothy McVeigh (Oklahoma City bombing) had been established that concerned a more mainstream trait, do you think many of the same people would view this issue in such a blase manner?
For example, let's say that investigators quickly discovered that both men were devout members of the Baptist Church. In delving into the beliefs of this denomination, investigators found a message that was both intolerant and, at times, favored violence as a means to send a message. Do you think that most Americans would be okay with the NYPD or the FBI spying on innocent Baptists around the country?
Of course not! People would be up in arms and the Religious Right would point to this program as ironclad proof that President Obama indeed is a "Nazi!" The likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly would have a field day denouncing the government and calling for heads to roll. Politicians of all strips would be falling all over themselves to see who could denounce this program the loudest.
But none of this is happening because the target population is Muslim and the powers that be have whipped up so much hysteria over the past decade that most Americans believe that all Muslims are suspect. Since we can't trust a one of them, we must keep tabs on their every move.
This mentality sickens me.