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Australia: PUB LTE: America No Longer The Land Of The Free

Media Awareness ProjectSource: Canberra Times (Australia)

Pubdate: Thu, 27 Apr 2000

Australia: PUB LTE: America No Longer The Land Of The Free

By Dave Michon

AMERICA NO LONGER THE LAND OF THE FREEYOUR editorial on the American Gulag is important (“It’s political if US jails 1.9 million”, CT, April 24). Australians should understand just what America seeks to export to other countries under the guise of the “Drug War”.

Last year’s veiled threats when Australia dared to hold public discourse on Drug War alternatives should convince your people what our Government is capable of.

The Soviet Union no longer exists as an exporter of tyranny. In a twist of fate, the US has inherited that position, but it seems that our people here have taken little notice.

Much of the heavy-handed nature of our Government today, they merely accept, as each new “War on X” mandates some little portion of our lauded Bill of Rights be voided.

Your editorial missed one point: the population which is not yet imprisoned has come increasingly to live in fear of this Government. There is a huge cost in basic daily living.

The national psyche has begun to cower, like all societies which have come under the boot. There has been no malignant revolution or coup d’etat; the transformation has occurred by degrees.

The Drug War has extended its influence into all areas of our society, excepting, of course, the upper strata. Your televisions will show you Americans enjoying the fruits of our burgeoning economy and, it is true, the wealthy have little to fear yet from the regime. Our country is richer than ever before, yet our Government has yanked all support for the poor.

What your editorial did not present is how the fear of government has crept into our national psyche here in America. I, for one, feel it just driving down the road. I know that if one of the ubiquitous squad cars hails me, anything is possible.

Our incredible laws of forfeiture, more “friendly fire” from the Drug War, have turned the highways into a sort of game-show for local police authorities. They get money from the seizures, incredible as that may seem.

A recent law designed to blunt criticism is a farce. The news of police tactics in Los Angeles, with that city’s planting of drugs and guns by police and its police murder of civilians, is horrifying to anyone who fits a certain profile.

To the average American our police are paramilitary thugs.

The Drug War was the seed from which the excess police powers sprung.

The average American is just like the average Australian. We want, more than anything, to be let alone. It was that way here once, but those days are gone.

I hope you learn from our experience here in the former “Land of the Free”.

DAVE MICHON,

Spooner, Wisconsin, USA

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