I will never forget waking up to my daughter's frantic phone call from work: "Turn on CNN!" In California, with my husband teaching at night and me pulling all-nighters finishing my dissertation, we were still asleep. I staggered to the kitchen where my small tv is, and stood aghast at the images already looping. Honest to God, to this day I do not know if I saw the towers fall in real time or not.
I will never forget realizing that the ass in the Oval Office wasn't up to THIS task, either. "Go shopping": a phrase that will live in infamy.
I will never forget the USA PATRIOT ACT, that evil document pulled off some shelf in a file-room in Hell, 350 pages all prepared in advance, awaiting the proper opportunity. And the vote held so fast that no one had time to read the damned thing.
I will never forget the liars in the Bush administration swearing that the air in New York City was safe to breathe. I knew they lied.
I will never forget watching Bill Moyers' program on Patriot Act II, and the horrible, horrible sensation -- for the first time in my entire life as an American citizen -- that I wished there were a back door out of my own country, where some of my ancestors have dwelt since 1620 and others joined in streams of immigration along the way.
I will never forget my son and daughter, in their very early 20s, coming to talk to us in the first few weeks after 9-11. My son had a dream where he joined the Army to defend the US -- not abroad, but here, where we'd been attacked. In his dream his sister also joined, as a paramedic. My husband and I are not pacifists, but we held our breath. I asked them, what have you decided to do? They said: Wait and see what develops. I breathed again, thankful as a mother both for their desire to help and their caution.
I didn't trust Bush-Cheney even then, but we had no idea of the magnitude of betrayal that awaited our young volunteers when they were deployed. One of my nieces had a 19-year old friend who died early on in a firefight outside Kirkuk, wearing inadequate body armor, his last call home saying his weapon and ammunition were not right. I wrote a card with his name on it and affixed it to a cross in the sand at Arlington West, here in Santa Barbara.
I watched my country betray its most sacred principles in the name of safety, and the citizenry acquiesced. I will never forget my hatred of Bush-Cheney and their cabal for leading the charge.