Government abuse seems everywhere. Its unshackled powers threaten civilization itself.

There’s an acceleration in government’s power grabs of our freedoms with the excuse that our leaders are saving us from the evils out there. Who cannot be outraged that an American president can justify the use of drones to target and kill another American without due process? We see the overreach of the National Security Administration (NSA) into our privacy, government prying into news media’s contacts, the abuses and intrusions of the Internal Revenue Service, corporations pushing hard to privatize all sorts of public services in their endless greed. And that’s just some of the skullduggery we know about. It probably ranks small compared to the government-conducted malevolence we don’t know about.

We’re duped if we believe our leaders can/should go to every length to protect us from the boogeyman. It’s a ruse, a red herring, a trick to be lured into a world where we are supposedly safe from phantom terrorists and foreigners bent on hurting us. What our government is doing is the old ploy from Vietnam days — destroy the village to save it. The cure is worse than the disease. Politicians are compromised by special interests willing to pay for their re-elections, so they yield to yet more erosion of our freedom, at the bidding of corporations and entities of government. This president will say the government is only going so far, that it has restraint in its snooping and who’s to be targeted. Yet the insidious system set up, the technology and gained experience and expertise in snooping make it too easy for the next president to single out a new subgroup to target and hassle and repress.

We are told to give up our freedoms for our own good. Never mind how Orwellian it becomes. Big Brother has determined what is best for us. Sadly, the apathy and inattention of most of the people let the scoundrels pare away at our freedom.

Our government at all levels is damaging our way of life, rapidly taking away our freedoms and civil liberties through power grabs, fomenting fear, black ops spending, and unprecedented secrecy. They want all our private information, activity reports and any thoughts we convey. They want all our secrets but they keep the biggest secrets of all. There is no longer transparency in government, and it has come about through our surrender of our freedoms without a fuss or fight on the pretext it means we’ll be safe from some isolated bomb on a street corner. Shadow governments supported by powerful, wealthy, under-the-radar manipulators choose the corporations and political mobsters, et al, to apply their pressures. Multinational, mega-corporations bully numerous countries into economic submission and dependency. It is amply clear the stranglehold corporations have on our democratic process, especially with the Supreme Court’s toxic, dangerous ruling in Citizens United that makes shopping for and buying politicians a profitable game.

Meanwhile, America has lost trust around the world.

Nationalism is one of the most insidious features of civilization. The notion that all who live within certain boundaries along with all the structures of society, government, commerce and culture are superior to all other societies in other patches of the planet leads to toxic results, especially wars and genocide. In America, nationalism — the U.S. right or wrong — has blinded us and allowed us to be hoodwinked by malevolent forces, things like being sucked into a war in Iraq because of “weapons of mass destruction” or the Gulf of Tonkin “attack” that hurled us into Vietnam. The historical landscape of America is fraught with other examples where government and corporations have used their powerful sleights of hand to con citizens into accepting their actions as good for us.

Americans sadly let national pride get in the way of healthy skepticism, robust scrutiny and reason. Too often, we have been sheeple who have failed to say “hell no” to those in power. “Question authority” must drive us. We know that regardless of nation, power is intoxicating, and leaders, unchecked, cannot help themselves from venturing into corruption and abuse.

They had no self-restraint in the drive for total control and for obscene wealth for themselves and their friends.

Our media — owned by the General Electrics and Wall Street conglomerates — carefully shape what people read, watch and hear. Its writers and reporters cannot and will not venture into the black hole events of Sept. 11, 2001, lest they find themselves without a job. Truth has been the great casualty in America since that date.

I never bought the government’s story on 9/11. From the get-go, it seemed fishy. Far too much never added up. The lack of transparency, the secrecy, the deliberate steps to solve it quickly on Day 1 with a list of 19 Arabs were just too tidy. That the Twin Towers came down in free fall and that 47-story World Trade Center Building 7, with its modern steel-reinforced frame collapsed with all the beauty of a controlled demolition though it only had fires defy science and technology. The peculiar behavior of George Bush as he “learned” of the attacks and reports of Dick Cheney’s strange comments raise flags.

That it was an inside job concocted to justify a full U.S. assault on the Muslim world to further U.S. imperialism seemed obvious. Most of us doubters have never gotten far in conversation with others about the absurdity of the 9/11 Commission’s report and the Bush administration’s conduct before and after the attacks. Simply, Americans seem paralyzed at the thought of considering the possibility our government would kill nearly 3,000 of its people with airliners and explosives to create such shock that we would subsequently follow leaders in lockstep to wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Tyrants in other countries have conducted slaughters of their people. What makes us think leaders in the most powerful country ever wouldn’t do this, when there is a trail of past acts of devastating inhumanity and false-flag actions to win public support for nefarious plans? This nation, for example, is in denial that Lyndon Johnson had a hand in John Kennedy’s assassination. Read the reports, folks.

Sadder yet, is how we compromise the liberties of the U.S. Constitution by creation of police state strategies and a monstrous and ominous bureaucracy under the Patriots Act. The great irony is history has shown us numerous examples of leaders making bald-face lies and taking actions that later were shown to be costly acts of deceit and deception. Why wouldn’t 9/11 attacks be any different? With careful planning and a cadre of co-conspirators beholding to their jobs and their leaders, it is something that could be accomplished — even though there are many things botched, especially the absurd and inconceivable pattern of falling buildings.

I recently read “9/11 Ten Years Later: When State Crimes Against Democracy Succeed” by David Ray Griffin (Olive Branch Press, 2011, $20, 304-pages). It’s the latest of a series of books written by Griffin, a veteran theologian, about the events. His scholarly work, earnest detail, research skills and courage have put him at the forefront of the 9/11 Truth Movement. Fortunately, this nation is blessed by thousands of talented, savvy skeptics with engineering, scientific, political, forensic, journalistic expertise. These people have joined various groups: “Pilots for 9/11 Truth” or “Political Leaders for 9/11 Truth” or “Lawyers for 9/11 Truth,” etc.

Griffin does a magnificent job discrediting findings of the official report, noting the glaring omissions, showing those areas where the government has simply ignored compelling questions. Government witnesses who talked out of class in the hours and days after the tragedies would change their stories to parallel government speak out of pressure and fear of losing their jobs. Scientists point out again and again that the Twin Towers’ steel could not have melted at temperatures created by the fires from jet fuel. Griffin helps us understand that American leaders are no different than despots and dictators in other countries in creating false-flag situations so that it looks like our enemies attacked us, thus justifying our counter-attacking.

Some of the nation’s most respected journalists, people known for aggressive second-guessing the motives of those in power in government and corporations, turn into impotent pussy cats regarding 9/11, including Bill Moyers. Why did the White House only give $15 million for the investigation of 9/11 when there was $50 million spent 15 years previously on the Challenger space shuttle disaster? Why was the rubble and steel from NYC get hauled off so quickly? Why is there so much doubt that an airliner struck the Pentagon or how one could penetrate so deep into the concentric walls?

“Exposing the truth about 9/11 is also necessary for the sake of preventing further crimes against democracy,” Griffin writes. “That President Kennedy and Senator Robert F. Kennedy were both assassinated by forces within the U.S. government is obvious to most people who study the evidence. And yet neither crime was publicly exposed. This fact likely convinced people contemplating the 9/11 operation that they would be able to get away with it.”