It's a safe bet that most of the people reading this alert aren't high government officials or corporate mega-barons.

Unlike Attorney General John Ashcroft, Senate Majority Leader Tom Dashle or Larry Ellison (Mr. National ID), CEO of the giant database company Oracle, you won't be responsible for creating the laws, regulations, and technologies that are rapidly being used to turn the U.S. into a police state under the false claim that mass surveillance of citizens and uncontrolled searches are the best means to "combat terrorism."

But you may be responsible for implementing these police-state policies.

  • If you're a software engineer, you may be asked to write or configure citizen-tracking databases or national ID systems.

  • If you're police officer or National Guardsman, you may be expected to conduct unconstitutional searches or make mass arrests of innocent people.

  • If you're a technician, it may be your job to install facial-recognition cameras in public places.

  • If you're a bank employee, you may be expected to help the government extend its routine probes into the accounts of millions of innocent people.

  • If you're an employee in the federal or state bureaucracy, you may be expected to demand national ID cards and/or biometric ID from members of the public.

  • If you're a taxpayer, you'll be expected to empty your pockets to pay for false security and very real tyranny.

The possibilities are plentiful and frightening -- all the more frightening because these things may soon become the stuff of everyday life and work. Just the ordinary routine of police- state America. The Bush administration has declared a War on Terrorism. And to whatever extent that means hunting down and punishing genuine terrorists, we support the effort. But just as the War on Drugs became a 20-year war on the American people and an excuse to tear away the protections of the Bill of Rights -- eroding property rights, privacy, due process, and dozens of other liberties -- the War on Terrorism may be used to strip away the last remaining American freedoms.

Millions of you will be asked to be the foot soldiers in that Jihad against American Liberties -- the dutiful, loyal "Jihad Joes" (and "Jihad Janes") obeying the commands of higher ups. If you go along with abusing the rights of your countrymen - in major ways or insignificant ones -- you'll only be "following orders." You'll just be "doing a job."

"Don't blame me," thousands of cops and clerks and technicians and programmers and internment camp guards will shrug. "I'm only a little guy trying to protect my pension."

It's true that the obedient Jihad Joes don't have the power of their masters. But without their obedience, the masters wouldn't have the power to surveil and control the citizens of America. They would not have the power to steal our freedom. They need US to help them do that.

The U.S. government has the authority to track down and deal with terrorists without gutting one more article of the Bill of Rights. All the new demands -- for expanded searches, new crimes and increased sentences, wiretaps on the innocent, indefinite detentions, more databases, more cameras, more record keeping, more biometric ID, more submission -- are just an excuse for implementing a long-held agenda of control.

When CCOPS and its sister organization Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership have sent out alerts describing the problem of growing tyranny, many readers have responded, logically enough, "Yes, but what do we do about it?"

No one has the answer to ending tyranny. But there is an answer -- a big, important one that you can immediately practice in your own life, without having to wait for your congressman or anybody else to act.

Problem is, it's an answer almost no one wants to hear: RESIST.

The ultimate responsibility of everyone who truly loves freedom is to LIVE freedom. That means to resist bad laws. That means to refuse to enforce or in any other way help implement police-state policies.

We must refuse to obey, refuse to submit to the searches or to conduct them, refuse to take a national ID card or to program the database for it or install the scanners used to track cardholders. We must refuse to be disarmed or to disarm innocent others.

It is our responsibility. It is the ultimate test of whether we sincerely value freedom or we just want to sit and whine as powerful people and their Jihad Joe minions seize it from us.

"But," the potential enforcers object, "If I refuse to obey or if I quit my job, they'll just replace me with somebody more brutal and more willing to follow bad orders."

We hate to say it, but maybe seeing the true ruthless face of the police state is exactly what it's going to take to wake Americans up. Maybe the polite cop or the courteous clerk enforcing the police state only helps prolong the agony of tyranny by making injustice more tolerable to foolish men and women.

"But," many potential resisters object, "If I resist and others don't, they'll just roll right over me. I'll accomplish nothing for freedom and might get myself arrested."

That's a risk, certainly. So we must not only resist individually, but encourage and organize resistance from others. It's worked for the left for decades. And we're not talking about polite marches, petitions, and protests that the media and government will ignore. We're talking about making it impossible for the controllers to have control.If we do nothing, we're guaranteed to accomplish nothing. If we resist and fail, at least we're keeping the flame of freedom alive. We're preserve the spirit of freedom in our own lives, even if it dies all around us. We must resist to give our children and grandchildren the only hope they can possibly have of being free again.

We all have a responsibility now.

  • Draw your line in the sand; know what you won't tolerate yourself and what you won't inflict on others.

  • RESIST the police state. Nobody can tell you which specific actions you should take (or not take). But you can start by reading Henry David Thoreau's powerful essay, "Civil Disobedience" and Thomas PaineŽs "Common Sense"

  • Share this message with other people who also care enough to live -- not just talk about -- freedom. Send this message to law enforcement officers, former peace officers, National Guardsmen, people in the military, and employees in all levels of government.

DONT' BE A JIHAD JOE! Don't look your grandchildren in the eye someday and tell them that when the police state came, "I was only following orders."

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