The followning essay of mine is a response to a typically courageous article from Glenn Greenwald that was posted on circa February 2, 2010.

Thank you again for your courage, Glenn. You are one of an emerging breed of progressives appearing in the ever-growing political blogosphere who have the courage to stand up for what progressives are supposed to stand up for--open-mindedness about any topic, strict adherence to the principles that are supposed to be the essence of American values as expressed in the Constitution, and a strong and powerful belief in the concepts of freedom and individual liberty as the most important concepts of them all. The latter includes a strong commitment to the idea that there is no problem and no menace or threat that a (supposedly) free nation could ever face that cannot be dealt with and resolved in a manner that is entirely in harmony with our democratic values, and that discarding such values in exchange for Orwellian "solutions" to any perceived problem or menace ultimately harms everyone in society to a far greater extent than such policies can ever protect us.

Unlike the great majority of progressives in government (with a few notable exceptions, like Russ Feingold, Howard Dean, and Dennis Kuchinich) or in the media establishment (also with a few notable exceptions, perhaps most prominently Keith Olberman), a large amount of the blogosphere progressives have spine and are actually what may be called true and genuine progressives who harken back to the great liberals of the late 1960s and 1970s before the election of Ronald Reagan and the conservative takeover of government at the beginning of the 1980s beat back the liberals of the day and transformed most of them into the cowering, capitulating, pro-business "centrists" that dominate the Democratic Party and media establishment today.

Keep up the good work, Glenn, because you and your fellow progessives in the blogosphere are greatly needed in this world to remind Americans of what our values were intended to be by the Founders of this nation, and you and your comrades in the blogosphere remain a minority of visible members of the Left who remain true to progressive values on the issues at hand (with a few unfortunate exceptions, such as the sex abuse hysteria now enveloping the globe courtesy of the major Western nations like America and England, where the great majority of progressives even in the blogosphere tackle with as high a degree of ignorance and close-mindedness as any conservative out there, but that is a whole other topic).

Now, regarding the subject of this article, wasn't it Benjamin Franklin who famously said that anyone who is willing to give up their freedom for some security actually deserves neither? I would expect the people on the extreme Right to ignore this important statement of Franklin, because it conflicts with their agenda to support the creation of an authoritarian empire, but progressives doing the same? And those supposed progressives who are part of our government who support Orwellian legislation are beneath contempt, since they are expected to protect the values written down in the Constitution.

Usually when someone on the Left (or a socialist like myself) brings up Franklin's quote to someone on the Right, they attempt to counter with a statement saying that the Founders lived in an era before the existence of radical Islam and before the existence of WMDs and airplanes flying into buildings (or even buildings themselves, for that matter), so we can't apply Franklin's words to the modern world. That is one of the most idiotic justifications for abandoning our democratic values and protections that I have ever heard, and that's saying something when you consider the draconian nonsense regularly spewed by the Right.

Radical Islamic terrorists are hardly a menace comparable to the overwhelming opposition that the warriors of what would become America faced when trying to overcome Britain during the Revolutionary War era, because even without what we today consider WMDs Britain was nevertheless an extremely daunting and powerful foe that could have wiped out the American revolutionaries far more easily than the foreign terrorists of Al Qaeda who exist today are capable of totally wiping out modern America. The terrorists of today, unlike the Red Coats of Britain back in the day, are not connected to any one nation, but are scattered elements that exist all across the world, including nations that are not in the Middle East, and including Middle Eastern nations that are currently considered valued allies of America (such as Saudi Arabia).

Terrorism should be treated as a law enforcement issue that the various police agencies across the world, such as Interpol, would work together to combat, and not be treated as a military problem that is dealt with by the Armed Forces. Terrorism is a type of crime, not a policy unique to a few governments in a certain part of the world, and as such our efforts to stop it should not be considered an actual "war" in the same sense as two national military forces going up against each other.

Further, if we consider anyone at all as being so evil or dangerous that they don't deserve to be treated according to the rule of law established in democratic nations, we are ultimately going to face an enemy far greater than all the terrorists in the world combined: a police state that will be putting everyone who disagrees with the policies of the state or who harbors any even remotely unpopular idea into prisons with no right to due process, no right to a lawyer, and no protection from extreme forms of interrogation (read: torture).

If the Democrats in government and the media establishment are now choosing to go that route and betray the same values they are supposed to defend and preserve, then all will soon be lost. Thank the gods for the blogosphere! Keep up the good work, Glenn, and show these fools in the Democratic Party and the supposedly "liberal" media establishment what it takes to be a real progressive, without fear of standing up for your convictions lest the Republicans call you names.