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Five Years Later �

Monday, Sept. 11, 2006 1:50 AM

It is five years since terrorists hijacked planes and flew them into buildings in a terrorist attack on American soil.

After a kind thought or prayer for the victims and their families, it's time to move forward. After a wish for the safety and well-being of our troops deployed in Iraq, we must do more than wave a flag or put a ribbon on our car.

Politicians who have spent the past weeks preaching fear and threatening dire consequences if we don't do things their way are themselves terrorists. They would have you believe that their policies and actions are the only thing keeping this country safe.

Chief among them will be George W. Bush, who will address the nation this evening. He will trot out the same, tired phrases, talking about sacrifices to be made, and strength of will. He will tell us how we're winning the fight, but how it's not yet over.

Question all of those claims. It's been five years since 9/11, three years since we went into Iraq. America deserves something more than slogans.

Demand accountability, and decry attempts to whitewash the President's flagrant violation of the law.

President Bush authorized illegal wiretaps against citizens of this country. His rationale, of course, is that, well, they were talking to al-Qaeda, so we gotta know what they're saying. Assuming, of course, that every call into the United States is meaningful and to a significant person within the organization.

Even mobsters call their mom on Mothers' Day.

President Bush lied to the American public, touting a revised military policy and asserting that we ��America ��do not torture. Except his proposed legislation clears the way for intelligence organizations to use methods he won't even describe.

We can't tell terrorists we're spying on them, because they'd change their methods. Do we really believe the terrorists aren't taking security precautions with their communications?

We can't tell terrorists how we conduct interrogations, because they'd train to resist those methods. Do we honestly believe that these people don't train for such eventualities?

And so, as President Bush speaks of courage and determination, of adapting to win and staying the course, he's telling America not to think. Not to question. Only to be afraid, so afraid that you will cede freedoms and responsibilities to his administration. So afraid that the inconsistencies and contradictions of their words, their predictions, their strategies will be ignored, because you're safer on his watch.

But not yet safe.

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