December 16, 2005

Patriot Act torpedoed?

US tanker Byron T. Benson torpedoed April 5, 1942
In what the AP called a "stinging defeat for President George W. Bush", pantywaist US senators proved once again that we don't have a victory oriented wartime Congress by stalling the new Patriot Act. This brings to mind how the US leadership stalled and delayed, much for the same reasons, the implementation of a complete black-out of the US eastern seaboard after we entered World War II. A mistake that cost America numerous lives and a great deal of money. Some say this delay hurt our chances for an early victory on the European front.

Most folks are unaware that dozens of US ships were sunk by German U-Boats off our east coast during the first months of 1942. Sometimes in sight of shore. While Americans nattered and quibbled about their 'civil liberties', the city lights on our coasts continued to silhouette our tankers and freighters. The German U-Boat commanders, trained to attack at night, called it the American Turkey Shoot. Our sailors, charged with defending vital wartime shipping, called it 'Torpedo Junction'.

Who wants some government goon telling you when it is 'lights out' in your own house? What business wants to be told they have to shutter their display windows and turn off their signs? Important civil liberties were at stake. But when folks in 1942 were made aware of the costly carnage that was the result of their indulgence in debating fine points of law, they came to their senses. Our national leadership stepped up to provide America with real wartime leadership. A national blackout was ordered, and the German submariners second happy time came to an end.

The old feeder wonders if this Congress has got what it takes. I never hear anyone in Congress say the word Victory. This worries me.

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