The normalization of fascism in the US continues apace.
The following quote is from a speech by Rudolph Giuliani, the leading nominee to be the Republican candidate for president in 2008, on crime and law enforcement in cities:
Freedom is about authority. Freedom is about the willingness of every single human being to cede to lawful authority a great deal of discretion about what you do.
Oh, by the way: Giuliani said these words on March 20, 1994, when he was still the Mayor of New York.
Before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers in New York, Giuliani was widely reviled as a bully whose personal dealings were shady and whose policies caused at least as much harm as good.
After 9/11, Giuliani was transformed into "America's Mayor", the Strong Leader who could protect you in a crisis.
He managed to adopt his 9/11 mantle despite his lousy track record even in the crisis he used to define his heroism.
Giuliani's decision to locate the NYC emergency command centre in the World Trade Centre against the recommendations of security advisors exacerbated the chaos when the WTC, already a known al-Qaeda target, was hit and the emergency response chain of command was knocked out.
Further, because he had refused to order compatible communications systems for the Police Department (NYPD) and Fire Department (FDNY), the two groups could not communicate during the rescue efforts, and the fire fighters never heard the order to evacuate. Giuliani insists against all evidence that the fire fighters heard the order but failed to comply.
343 fire fighters died when the buildings collapsed.
Giuliani earned further enmity from the fire fighters when he scaled back the search for bodies in the wreckage on November 2, 2001, opting instead for a cheaper "sccop-and-dump" process - once tens of millions of dollars in gold and other assets from the Bank of Nova Scotia had been recovered.
Quite frankly, Giuliani's track record as both an authoritarian and a capricious, easily offended egomaniac should give Americans, and particularly Republicans, serious pause.
For a country founded on the principle of liberty, the US seems particularly willing to sacrifice freedom for the illusion of security, even to the extent that an overt authoritarian like Giuiliani is a serious contender for the nation's highest public office.
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