Greetings and Salutations to All my Kith and Kin and All the Ships in Outer Space:
In response to the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, an unidentified commissioned officer currently serving in Afghanistan with the United States Army, has written the following story.
"WOULDN'T IT BE NICE IF THERE WERE ONE SET OF RULES THAT APPLIED EQUALLY?"
Senator Bacon felt the hood coming off of his head, and a single bare lightbulb, not a CFL, he noted airily, swung overhead.
The idea that a sitting United States Senator would be kidnapped by terrorists was something that they all had to prepare for, but Senator Bacon wasn't prepared for the reality, his bodyguards going down with the muffled flashes of sub-machine guns, the black masked bad guys kicking him down and flex cuffing his hands behind his back. The hood over his head was the part where he knew that it had to be terrorists.
"Do you know who I am?" Senator Bacon demanded, sensing a presence behind him.
"Yes, we do." a cold voice said. A folder slapped down on the table in front of the Senator and pages of correspondence and photos of meetings with Saudi princes came out. "You are a terrorism supporter. There is no use denying it."
But Senator Bacon could NOT deny it. His meetings with a prince of the House of Saud was purely business! "I met with Prince Saud as part of official business! I was part of the envoy to Saudi Arabia for the last energy deal!" The Senator's voice held plenty of righteous indignation. "What are you? Some sort of fringe homeland group? Let me go now and I won't press charges."
There was nothing but laughter from multiple voices now.
"So, you admit to having correspondence with a known terrorism supporter? You admit that the correspondence in front of you is actually yours?" The voice held a hint of bitter humor.
"Of course, it is! I was doing my job! Let me go and I promise you immunity." Senator Bacon began to feel that something wasn't right. The desk in front of him was a simple field desk painted olive drab. The bare light above him was powered by a faint generator noise he heard in the distance. The room he was in wasn't a room at all, but a field tent. The sound of helicopters in the distance told him he was close to an airport.
"We can't do that Senator. You've made yourself an enemy of the state and will be held without counsel until we decide what to do with you." The voice was calm.
"Screw you, I AM the state!" Senator Bacon yelled, angry beyond reason. "Nothing gets done in this town without my hand in it, NOTHING!"
"No one is above the law." the voice replied. Silence followed. Minutes ticked by.
"What do you want?" Senator Bacon realized that bargaining and anger didn't affect his captors.
"Simply to do the job that you gave us to do." the voice said.
"What job did I give you to do?" the Senator asked, bewildered. He may have known the Prince wasn't entirely a savory character, but that is just the cost of doing business in the Middle East right? The Senator couldn't recall hiring the services of a terrorist cell or mercenary group to do anything.
Footsteps came slowly around until a man in uniform, three stars on his chest, came into the light of the single bulb.
"We are to detain all who are suspected of terrorism and supporting terrorism." The Lieutenant General smiled a weary smile. "And you have already admitted to supporting terrorism. Unfortunately, I cannot let you have a phone call or access to a lawyer, since it would tip off your terrorist buddies. The good news is that this is all perfectly legal. You made it so."
"I demand to see an attorney." Senator Bacon felt dead calm.
"That is impossible Mr. Bacon." the Three Star replied. "You will be held until we feel we have a case strong enough to go to trial. "
"But that could take YEARS!" the Senator wailed.
"It took us years to get Jose Padilla, but we got him."
"But I'm up for re-election in eighteen months!" The senator couldn't imagine what was happening to him. The law was supposed to PROTECT people from bad guys who wanted to blow them up, not a crooked politician who threw some business to a Saudi Prince who had arranged for several boys to entertain him on his last trip to Riyadh.
"You are a terrorist supporter, not a sitting United States Senator." The Three Star walked back into the shadows behind the former Senator Bacon.
"Stop tape." the Three Star said. "Seriously Ben, what the heck did you think would happen when you turned the military into your personal attack dogs? I told you it was a bad idea two years ago. I'll let Melinda and the kids know you are all right, but will be incommunicado for a while. It is the best I can do. Start tape."
The Three Star walked out. Ben Bacon knew where he was now, in a field outside Fort Lee, in an impromptu detainee camp where thousands of others had already been processed. Taken into custody and whisked away to Gitmo or some foreign country for interrogation. Ben Bacon knew, for the first time in his life, true powerlessness.
The truth of the matter stunned Senator Bacon into silence. The light went out, and Senator Bacon was thankful for the darkness so he could weep unobserved. Unobserved, save for the infra-red camera recording his every tear.
That story was merely a whimsical, creative fairy tale - - - , or was it?
Will ANY of our nation's military personnel and/or law enforcement agents boldly exhibit the courage and integrity to stand by their publicly sworn oaths to uphold, protect, and defend our divinely inspired Constitution of the United States of America?
Or, as an alternative, do we, the people, now face a lengthy and massively bloody civil insurrection?
John Robert Mallernee
1800 Beach Drive, Unit 311