Barr, McKinney, and civil liberties

All too often people get precisely what they ask for and regret it profoundly

When political professionals completely opposite in their orientation caution us about the same thing, we might wonder if something that seems beneficial might belong in this “be careful what you ask for” category.

Thus, Cynthia McKinney’s and Bob Barr’s recent agreement about the dangers of Federal, State, and local law enforcement’s cooperating for Homeland Security purposes should act as a stark warning.

In these difficult and dangerous times, what could possibly be wrong with more ‘Homeland Security’? Those of us old enough to remember might recall, and those of us astute enough to research might discover, that such leaders as

Dictators Triptychthe Shah of Iran, Adolf Hitler, and Augusto Pinochet used appeals to the Safety of the Fatherland to destroy the rights and attack the ability of the citizenry to criticize the authorities, or otherwise advance popular interests.

But someone as popular as Barack Obama, we think, could never do something harmful to the popular will. However, as Patrick Henry remarked,

The price of liberty is eternal vigilance,

even when the goods delivered are what we think we want, again, people should be very careful about asking the most powerful military force on earth to take care of them, when they are simultaneously angry with and suspicious of the government in charge of that military force.

We will get precisely what we asked for, yet we will not like it at all.