Wednesday, May 17, 2006

It's Gone


*

We walked out to the edge of the balcony.

"Oh, I can't believe it. It's just too much,", said Jeanelle.

From the 33rd floor of my small 2 bedroom condo in a building that my friends called "The Needle", I could see from the rolling plains of the east side to the edge of the escarpment where the high country began. To the north, I could see all of downtown and most of midtown, the capitol, the giant football stadium, and the tower that was famous.

The view had always been nothing short of spectacular. It always reminded me a little of Rome.

Two days before, I watched as the crowds gathered.

They were coming from all over the country to hold a giant rally. It seemed rather odd to me. Back towards the last few years of the second Bush years, the public had generally accepted the news that the NSA was listening to their international phone calls. They seemed to not really care about the USA Today story that ran that year about the huge data base that the government had collected and announced it would continue to collect. I remember a Washington Post poll that seemed to indicate that they didn't really care as long as they were safe.

There was that report from ABC that warned that reporters were having their calls reviewed. Oddly, that didn't really get the rest of the press to have their own version of a Boston Tea Party and throw all of their sucking up overboard into the sea.

No one really complained when the Four Star General, still on active duty, the one who worked for Poindexter, was easily confirmed to run the CIA. Even when it was pointed out that he had misquoted the constitution regarding the "Probable Cause" standard, he seemed to just dance around his mistatement as if it was a minor thing.

I remember how the Democrats couldn't or wouldn't risk their national security backsides to stop him.

When he took office, things didn't really change, at least at the surface level.

But terrible, deep travesties of justice and freedom were brewing underneath that polite and well spoken veneer.

As we moved towards the end of Bush II, the war continued, but it was not well reported. Polls showed that the Republicans were in deep trouble. Some polls had them at less than 20 % support. The POTUS was even more disliked.

By now, the price of gasoline had finally made it to $5.00 and the price of milk had doubled.

If you didn't own a house, you couldn't afford to buy one. If you did own one, you were hard pressed to make the mortgage payment on time.

It was, in short, beginning to get a little ugly.

As the midterm elections came around, almost all of us expected a major change in the one party rule that had done so much to pervert the "A" at the end of US into an "SR", that most had truly considered the previous six years to just be about as bad as they could get, and thank goodness they were going to end.

But in late September of that year, the 22nd to be exact, another attack occured.

This time, it was a liquified natural gas tanker from the mideast.

The attackers punctured the hull of the ship with small weapons fire and torpedos. Then, they waited for the gas to escape into the surrounding harbor area, and they ignited it with shoulder fired missiles. The explosion was like an atomic bomb. In fact, it was greater than the two the US used on Japan.

Although only a few dozen workers were killed by the blast, the explosion created such a huge wave that it drowned around fifty others who were playing on the nearby beach.

The POTUS came on TV and he blamed Iran.

Then, he announced that he was going to retaliate with real Nuclear weapons.

But then he also announced that he was going to cancel the elections due to the need to keep continuity of government during this time of national crisis.

This brought a welling up of anger from almost everyone, even Hannity.

As the press became more and more concerned, the POTUS inacted the newly written War Time Security Act. Any dissent would be met with serious charges and imprisonment. No one believed he was serious. At least the organizers of the Pro Democracy Rally didn't think so.

On the day of the now canceled elections, millions of Americans went to their respective capitals to protest. There was about 3 million in DC, but in our state capital, there were another million or so. All in all, perhaps 50 million protestors hit the streets to protest the cancelled elections and the bombing of Iran.

But early on that morning, I noticed a massing of tanks and humvees towards the south, about a mile from the gargantuan rally.

As the speeches began, I noticed that the military convoy began to move.

I called Jeanelle on her cell.

"Get out of there", I cried. "And tell everyone else too."

Within 20 minutes, the tanks moved in and then it happened.

Without an announcement to disperse,

They opened fire.

I could hear the deep rumble. It sounded a lot like all the other angry thunderstorms we had received due to the changing climate.

The crowds screamed and ran for cover. Many were killed by the chaos as mothers, children and seniors were trampled. But a lot more were simply mowed down by the rapid fire of the tanks and heavy machine guns.

About 40 minutes later, I heard the buzzer, and the computer requested an authorization for an entry.

I responded a little apprehensively, "Yes"? It was Jeanelle. She had lost her door pass in her hasty dash to get out of the area.

I met her at the elevator and held her as she shook with fear and disbelief. Her eyes were red and swollen, and she was in shock.

"It's gone," she sobbed.

"I know baby."

"No, I mean it's really gone."

"I know."

"They fired on us."

I silently remembered the words of Franklyn and I went to my computer to tell the World.

It's Gone.

"Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."




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*art courtesy of Art Hazelwood

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scccaaaaarrryyyy. MS

9:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful. I look forward to reading your forthcoming novel. CHF

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Reminds me of an event that took place in Mexico where the unthinkable took place and the military fired on the young elite and educated. That happened a long time ago but then it was just yesterday. It wasn't Mexico City though there was a massacre there as well but in San Luis Potosi and the governor Gaston Santos' father ordered the troops to fire. He lost his job and had to retire to his ranch. Gaston never talked about it.

5:41 AM  
Blogger OZ said...

I made a few corrections and changes to the post on Thursday morning.

9:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sobering. You spin a good yarn or is it? Just a touch too real.

10:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too close to home.

Glad that Janelle made it home.

10:50 AM  

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