With the disclosure on August 22, 2013 that the National Security Agency has spied on the e-mail, phone calls and social media discussions of US citizens that were not connected to foreign nationals or terrorists, it can be officially announced the that the war on terror is over in the US. The terrorists won.
You can read one view of these actions by the NSA in the August 22, 2013 edition of the Wall Street Journal. The article is entitled New Details Show Broader NSA Surveillance Reach. You can read the content of the article by Siobhan Gorman and Jennifer Valentino-Devries at http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324108204579022874091732470.html.
While many think that terrorists focus on acts of violence as their primary purpose, this is just a means to an end. The real objective is to disrupt the governing processes and to weaken the nation that has the terrorist’s focus. The terrorists want us to suspect each other, and to lose all trust in our government. We are there now.
When 9/11 happened, it was a horrific terrorist act. Nearly 4,000 people lost their lives in one day. There was an immense economic loss. The declaration of a war on terror by President George W. Bush was followed by the USA PATRIOT ACT.
The Patriot Act was the beginning of the end of many freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution and especially the Bill of Rights. By focusing on preventing more major terrorist acts, the rights that we are guaranteed as US citizens have been eroded or eliminated.
Limitations are being placed on freedom of speech, right of assemblage, due process, and many of the other rights that have been provided to all citizens under the Constitution. NSA and other government agencies are ignoring their own mandates to pursue potential threats from sources outside the US, and to not spy on citizens within the US without due process. This destruction of the constitution is criminal and amounts to treason.
The disclosure of the activities that have been justified as part of the war on terror have destroyed the lives of two individuals. Bradley Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in federal prison. Edward Snowden is hiding in Russia. If he comes out of there, he will either be prosecuted in the US for disclosing the misdeeds of NSA, the CIA and FBI, or simply executed where he is. Manning and Snowden have been called traitors. They have served a higher good in disclosing the actions the US has taken under the declared war on terror.
The spirit of America has suffered great damage because of the narrow focus on attempting to stop further terrorist activities. We have had our freedoms removed in an attempt to make us safer. Benjamin Franklin had this to say about sacrificing freedoms for the illusion of safety.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Americans have lost so much trust that many believe that the 9/11 attack was orchestrated by the US government and other foreign interests. Americans are so fearful of the government that they believe that reasonable limitations on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines are an attempt to weaken the population to allow complete subjugation by the government. 9/11 was a means to an end, and the end has turned out to be a weakening of the spirit of America.
We still have a Constitution, and the threats that have been waged upon our rights have not eliminated our ability to vote. We need to take back our rights. We need to vote out those that ignore the majority of the population to the advantage of the wealthy and powerful. We need to force a restoration of the Bill of Rights and apply those rights to all lawful US citizens.
We can reverse the defeat that terrorism has created to the American way of life. We can regain our spirit of trust and confidence when we see a focus on real equality and protection to all of us. The spirit of America has survived world wars, depressions and recessions, and we will survive the war on terror that has been created from within.