Latent effects of George W. Bush and Cheney

” It is not northern Ireland. It is the middle east. It is on fire and it is going to explode and there is nothing that can be done to stop it”

Those were the words of one of my favorite presidents, Bill Clinton. We were at the Plaza Hotel in New York on May 17, 2001. I spoke to him when he was awarding my sister the award of Irish American of the year.

So much about our nation has changed since then.

Who we were:

The United States of America is and was special. Before 2000 we were the beacon of freedom, a representative republic that showed the world that mankind could govern himself with honor and dignity. We had our faults and they were manifested in the great Civil War, the civil rights effort, and many other events “…testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.” (words of another of my favorite presidents)

Along with the freedom that the United States possessed, there was a cost. It was paid in the blood of soldiers on battlefields around the globe, but there was, too, a cost in honor and bravery. The assumption of personal freedom requires the recipient to assume, for himself, personal responsibility. In the early days, this was assigned based on heft and gender. A man would defend a lady, always. A strong man would defend a weak man. Ultimately, a strong nation would defend a weak nation. The great experiment was working.

Along the way, we became complacent. We began exchanging our freedom, piece by precious piece, for safety, and the promise of “protection.” Police forces became militarized and government assured us to sit and wait, they would come and save us.

They would save us from military attack, then from criminal attack, then from verbal attack, then from worry, then from embarrassment. The national government come into our states. It came into our cities, it came into our schools, it came into our bedrooms. We locked our doors and memorized the number 9-1-1 and cowered. We had sold our freedom.

Freedom is risky. It is not the natural state of man. The natural state of man is to follow under the strongest dictator, to march in step and to bow to the ruler on his stage. Ours was a difficult and unique undertaking. Our freedom requires bravery. Weakness is fodder for those who would take our liberty.

What changed us:

Much of what we gave away was given to stop terrorism. No administration in the history of this nation ever so blatantly ignored the checks and balances or constitutional law and precedence as did the George W. Bush white house.

On occasion after occasion Bush and Cheney addressed the public and openly and specifically lied about the actions that were being taken by the N.S.A. and the F.B.I. For the first time, the “ears” of our intelligence gathering empire were turned on the people of this great country. Our telephone calls, our emails, and our every communication was catalogued and saved. They still are.

This writing will be processed by a super computer at the N.S.A. headquarters and, there, they will look for chains of words that may tag me a terrorist, a threat to our country, perhaps even as a threat to the status quo. All communication is scrutinized thusly from shortwave transmissions to email. The gathering has not changed, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978 (FISA) has been effectively circumvented and the executive branch has assumed powers that are specifically denied it by the act and constitutional law.


This was documented in papers that were exposed by Edward Snowden in the classified documents that he leaked. These documents exposed an absolute intentional effort by the executive branch to circumvent the controls that existed under constitutional law.




Who we are:

The men who did their jobs in the Justice Dept. were harassed and, in some cases destroyed by an executive branch gone amuck. Cheney was probably the architect, but that is unimportant. What matters is that we are no longer a free country.

It means that all of your communications are monitored and that our government can, potentially, alter your communications, find legal fault with them, then prosecute you based on this information that was unjustly acquired.

This is a great political advantage to those in power. It, effectively, gives them unlimited power to go after political rivals, adversaries, even their wives boyfriends. They will say that they would never do such a thing. They will. the information, available without warrant assures corrupt actions by its misuse.

Mr. Obama promised to assure FISA warrants and to disassemble the unjust overbearing position that the executive branch has taken. He did not.

Can it be fixed?:

It only can be made right by a universal acceptance of our own responsibility. If we turn our safety over to others, our freedom goes with it. As a people, we must learn, again, bravery and the control of fear, or we must abandon liberty. For, liberty was never meant to be held by the weak.

Scott Cahill

The last days of Democracy

Some eastern religions believe that the world is a balance of dark and light, yin and Yang, good and evil. I suppose that each of our “souls” – constitution, whatever you wish to call it, are, indeed, a conflicted balance.

Recently I have come to a great realization. That epiphany is this;

The balance is Honor on one side and Fear on the other. I know it may seem that fear is not the opposite of honor but, with real and deep consideration, one finds that all of the other elements, hate, greed, envy, revenge, all of them, are resultant of fear.

Certainly, Fear and Honor are always on opposite sides of the equation. They are exclusive of one another. Weakness begets aggression. Strength begets kindness.

The United States of America was, since its inception, the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave”. We were the strong. We were kind.

Recently we have been taught to cower, to fear the “terrorists”, to fear the “bad people” who will come in the night. We have become weak and we have become aggressors, torturing our prisoners, declaring war at the drop of a hat, even attacking the “wrong” country without apology.

It was not always so. The World War Two veterans are nearly gone, now. My father was one. He left school to enter the Navy to prove his honor, his patriotism, and his willingness to fight for our great nation. He learned to hate the Japanese government for torturing our boys who became their prisoners. He learned to hate the German government because it spied on it’s own people.

No fool could have taken over an airplane with a box cutter in 1950. He would have landed with a black eye, a headache, and the box cutter would have been in the pocket of one of the many men who would have flooded the aisles to be the one who took it.

No man in 1950 would have allowed a woman to be taken captive without a confrontation. They would have thought it unthinkable. Now we are taught to shut up, stay seated, and wait for the police to come and save us.

The lines are blurred between men and women. The lines are blurred between government and criminals. The lines are blurred between the honest and the dishonest.

The police, once brave allies, are now seen as “guards”. They wear guns and sticks to “protect us” but, all too often, we become the enemy. They cloister themselves as a separate class. They live by a different set of rules, at times disobeying the very law that they uphold.

The heroes of our children are not soldiers who have died for our freedom, nor great leaders of history, but rappers who wear their pants baggy to hide guns. The bastardization of our language is in vogue. The hatred of our institutions is cool. Ignorance is promoted from our schools to our streets. Thugs are respected, business leaders are hated. Success through planning and hard work is rejected for the lottery winner or the basketball star. They serve as our children’s idols until the inevitable fall.

Our children can no longer read the Bill of Rights nor the Constitution. They no longer are taught how we rose from a tyrannous repression to become the nation that we are today. They know less of history than the transformation of Bruce Jenner to Kaitlin.

Boys are taught to be soft, girls are taught to be hard. No one is responsible for child nurturing. It is a secondary job to be addressed after work. Women who choose to act as mothers are degraded and made to feel inadequate. Men must apologize for hard work and commitment to their job. They are called bad fathers who lead poorly balanced lives.

A man is blamed, threatened, and prosecuted if he raises his fists to protect one more fragile.

The government even involves itself in our children’s dating, explaining that regretting decisions made, is rape. That the boy is evil and suspect and must have evidence or be found guilty of being human. All of it is contrary to nature, all of it is contrary to freedom, all of it is contrary to honor.

Our law enforcement no longer enforces laws. Divergence from the law of the land is bought and sold in political contributions and is passed in paper bags in the night. Men are prosecuted for crimes that they did not commit to bolster a campaign. Laws are distorted to provide loopholes for contributors. The law, itself is applied inequitably to serve “friends” and to punish “enemies”.

All of it is the friend of fear. All of it is the enemy of honor.

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The question is this;

 Shall we abandon, in time the failed actions of the recent past and embrace the basis that made a nation so great that it once acted as the light of the world … that we here highly resolve ….. – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

(A. Lincoln, Gettysburg Ad., Bancroft copy)

 Are we even worthy, as a people, of the gift of freedom that was so lovingly handed to us by our fathers? Or, have we so deeply failed in our greatest charge that freedom, itself, will be lost to future generations?

Scott Cahill