"...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself -- nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts." FDR
Ever since 9/11, this has become a nation of fear. GW famously told us to go shopping. He did not tell us that we would prevail. He did not tell us that as a nation, we could get through this. He did not tell us that nothing anyone could do to this country would change who we are. We should have listened.
For the rest of his 2 terms, GW & his minions worked very hard to instill fear in us. It seems that they have largely succeeded. We should have listened. They also changed who we are as a country--declaring war against a nation that had not attacked us, extraordinary rendition, torture, diminution of civil rights, unauthorized wire tapping, allowing a great national treasure of a city to drown, politicization of the justice department, etc, etc, etc. We should have listened.
Now, Cheney is happily going about spewing more "be afraid, be very afraid." And Americans are listening. Many are so fearful that they refuse to have terrorists incarcerated anywhere in this country -- "nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror..."
What have we become? Cowardly, spineless, fearful piles of jello?
Have Americans forgotten that during WWII, this country was home to thousands of Nazi POWs. Citizens were not afraid then. My home town had a POW Camp where only the "worst of the worst" were housed--the hard core Nazi officers and non-coms. No area citizen was killed nor even harmed by any POW. Very few even escaped. Most were recaptured.
We have to regain our self-assurance as a country. It is a matter of facing our fears and making the decision to abandon them. "No" you say? Then, what next? Carry your "what-if?" game clear out to the end. Answer the "what if?" What if a terrorist gets loose in this country? Aren't our law-enforcement personnel capable of re-capturing him? Then back to lock-up. What if? Not so fearful.
Don't say, "No." It is truly just a matter of making the decision. Quit asking "what if?" Decide that we can manage in any situation. We will not be afraid. We will not live with fear.
Make the decision. Quit being afraid. This is the United States of America. We will not live in fear. We can do anything.
Update: here is what an interrogator on the ground in Iraq has to say about Cheney's talking and talking and talking.