as seen on Orchard St, NYC
Matt Taibbi in Rolling Stone:
If you don’t have anything to hide, the thinking went, it shouldn’t bother you that the government might be checking your phone records, seeing what sites you’ve been visiting, or quietly distributing armored cars and submachine guns to every ass-end suburban and beyond-suburban police force in America.
[W]hen we abandoned our principles in order to use force against terrorists and drug dealers, the answer to the question, What are we defending? started to change.
The original answer, ostensibly, was, “We are defending the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of the United States, their principles, and everything America stands for.”
Then after a while it became, “We’re defending the current population of the country, but we can’t defend the principles so much anymore, because they weigh us down in the fight against a ruthless enemy who must be stopped at all costs.”
Then finally it became this: “We are defending ourselves, against the citizens who insist on keeping their rights and their principles.”
Balance is such a delicate thing.