Photo of art piece depicting a giant surveillance gadget at Centre Pompidou, Paris by Jordana Shalhoub.
As a child growing up in the American South, we were subject to typical Cold War propaganda that infected most Americans, via television, in the schools and in the churches. It was the same sort of fear-mongering tactics George W. Bush likes to use, when he doesn't get his way.
This poem for the Writers Island prompt "time travel" refers to the U.S. House of Representatives' strong principled stand against Bush's latest fear-mongering speeches regarding the expiration of the FISA surveillance bill. For further information about the FISA fight, go here and especially here.
Shame on the senators who on Tuesday caved in to Republican pressure and passed a bill providing immunity for the telecoms. Sen. Barack Obama voted against the measure; Sen. Hillary Clinton didn't bother to vote.
As Richard A. Clarke, former head of counter-terrorism at the National Security Council recently noted in an op-ed piece for The Philadelphia Inquirer:
"... Our ability to track and monitor terrorists overseas would not cease should the Protect America Act expire... All surveillance currently occurring would continue, even after legislative provisions lapsed because authorizations issued under the act are in effect up to a full year. ...With FISA, he (Bush) is attempting to rattle Congress into hastily expanding his own executive powers at the expense of civil liberties and constitutional protections."
"The Russians are coming!"
we were told years ago
in that small Baptist church.
Better memorize our Bible verses
and be ready for the day they'd burn our books.
"The terrorists are coming!"
George W. Bush shouts,
his face in a grimace, his false claims transparent;
his concern not for protecting our country,
but immunity for the telecoms
who broke the law
at the president's own urging;
now trying to escape prosecution,
aided by lobbyists and political pressure.
But the House has stood firm;
refusing to bow
to the president's fear-mongering;
insisting on the rule of law;
showing strength in unity,
after the Senate caved.
No crisis here:
just manufactured lies,
designed to keep the status quo
and make a mockery of the Constitution
and those who swore to protect it.