The link below leads to a lengthly commentary from one Anthony Gregory regarding the largely forgotten incident at Waco, Texas in April 1993. Now considered the province of conspiracy theorists, the once newsworthy Waco incident is quickly sliding down the memory hole. The salient points that Mr. Gregory makes are that April 19, 1993 was “a squandered opportunity”…where the “people could have risen up and said, “Enough!” and that the Waco incident was a learning experience from which the incipient police state learned just how much it could get away with.
Gregory’s conclusion is that our relative freedoms that we take for granted are an illusion, and they always have been. The willingness of many Americans to surrender their liberties for security in the twenty-years since Waco and the ten-years since 9/11 reminds me of the warning from American patriot and publisher Benjamin Franklin that “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty or safety” (Benj. Franklin, 1775). Franklin wrote this famous phrase within quotation marks in notes he was preparing for a proposition placed before the Pennsylvania General Assembly sometime before Feb. 17, 1775 , but it is generally attributed to him as his original thought, and one that withstands the test of time.