In Bureaucracy, History, Politics on May 10, 2011 at 11:28 am

The tens of thousands of police, firefighters, construction workers and others who risked their lives to save their fellow Americans on 9/11 have an unexpected–and undeserved–surprise coming.

They will soon be informed that their names must be run through the FBI’s terrorism watch list.

Any of the responders who are not compared to the database of suspected terrorists will be barred from getting treatment for their numerous, worsening ailments.

It’s a “gift” that comes to them courtesy of Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) and the bureaucracy of the Republican Party.

In 2010, Congress passed the Democratically-sponsored James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Law to address those ailments.

But to win passage of the legislation, Democrats were forced to accept an amendment that deliberately casts a slur on the men and women who had answered their country’s call in its supreme moment of agony.

Dr. John Howard, director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, has informed medical providers and administrators that they should begin letting patients know before the new program kicks in this July.

Specifically, patients seeking help under 9/11 treatment and monitoring programs will be told that their names, birthplaces, addresses, government ID numbers and other personal data will be provided to the FBI to ensure they are not terrorists.

Howard’s instructions to medical providers include a sample letter to responders designed to minimize alarm.

“Although neither we nor [the Centers for Disease Control]/NIOSH anticipate the name of any individual in the current Programs will be on the list, CDC/NIOSH is expressly required by law to implement this particular requirement of the Act.

“Thank you for your understanding. We look forward to working with you and ensuring that you continue to receive uninterrupted services under the new WTC Health Program,” it concludes.

This is not the first time Republicans have slandered the patriotism their fellow Americans to gain and retain political power.

Since the end of World War 11, Republicans have regularly hurled the charge of “treason” against anyone who dared to run against them for office or think other than Republican-sponsored thoughts.

Republicans–who had been locked out of the White House from 1933 to 1952–found that attacking the integrity of their fellow Americans highly effective in winning elections.

During the 1950s, Wisconsin Senator Joseph R. McCarthy rode a wave of paranoia to national prominence. On February 9, 1950, he claimed, for example: “The State Department is infested with communists. I have here in my hand a list of 205—a list of names that were made known to the Secretary of State as being members of the Communist Party and who nevertheless are still working and shaping policy in the State Department.”

After four years of such frenzied attacks on Congress, the State Department and respected journalists such as Edward R. Murrow, McCarthy finally overstepped himself. He accused the United States Army of being an active hotbed for Communists.

The result were the Army-McCarthy hearings, where McCarthy’s credibility was forever destroyed. He was finally censured by his fellow Senators and disappeared into anonymity, alcoholism and death in 1957.

The fact that McCarthy never uncovered one actual case of treason was conveniently overlooked during his lifetime. And today, right-wing columnists like Ann Coulter try to rehabilitate his memory–just as right-wingers in Russia still try to rehabilitate the memory of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin.

Nevertheless, the success of McCarthy’s treason-charged rhetoric proved too heady for other Republicans to resist. Among those who have hurled similar charges–and greatly profited from them–are:

• President Richard Nixon
• His vice president, Spiro Agnew
• Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich
• Former Congressman Dick Armey
• President George W. Bush
• Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin
• Congresswoman Michelle Bachman
• Rush Limbaugh
• Glen Beck
• Sean Hannity
• Bill O’Reilly.

The election of Barack Obama pushed the “treason chorus” to new heights of infamy. With no political scandal (such as Bill Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky) to fasten on, the bureaucracy of the Republican Party deliberately promoted the slander that Obama was not an American citizen.

The natural conclusion from this could only be that he was an illegitimate President, and should be removed from office.

Republican bureaucrats also claimed–sometimes openly, sometimes in secret–that Obama was really a Muslim.

During the 1992 Presidential election, Republicans charged that Bill Clinton was a secret agent of the Communists because, as a student, he had once visited Moscow. During the 2008 Presidential race, Republicans charged that Obama intended to sell out America’s security to his Muslim “masters.”

To the dismay of his enemies, Obama–in the course of a single week–dramatically proved the falsity of both charges.

On April 27, he released the long-form of his Hawaii birth certificate.

“We do not have time for this kind of silliness,” said Obama at a press conference, speaking as a father might to a roomful of spiteful children. “We have better stuff to do. I have got better stuff to do. We have got big problems to solve.

“We are not going to be able to do it if we are distracted, we are not going to be able to do it if we spend time vilifying each other …if we just make stuff up and pretend that facts are not facts, we are not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by side shows and carnival barkers,”

And on May 1, he announced the solving of one of those “big problems”: Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, had been tracked down and shot dead by elite U.S. Navy SEALS in Pakistan.

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