Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 425, July 8, 2007

"Freedom in trivial things matters too."


A Letter to Senator Joseph Lieberman
by L. Neil Smith

Attribute to The Libertarian Enterprise

Dear Senator Liberman:

It is my unpleasant obligation to begin this letter by confessing that I don't know anyone who believes you're the brightest bulb on the tree.

In fact, it appears that you possess a stupefying talent, not just for saying exactly the wrong thing at the wrong time, but for saying the dumbest things that could possibly be said in any given context. Second only to the current squatter in the White House (in truth, none of them have ever been particularly intelligent), judging only by your public pronouncements, you have the feeblest mind in American politics today.

Ordinarily, in keeping with Robert A. Heinlein's observation that civility largely consists of being merciful to the weak and patient with the stupid, I would have been too polite to confront you with your shortcomings this way. I have succeeded in completely ignoring you over the years, and inarguably, we are both greatly the better for it.

However, your most recent moronic maunderings have touched a nerve at last, and it would be positively immoral not to comment on them and to offer a principled alternative to the idiotic measures you have proposed.

According to several sources last Sunday, in your constitutionally unauthorized (and, therefore, highly illegal) capacity as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, on July 1, you announced that you want "to more widely use surveillance cameras across the country." Then, to my utter astonishment, you even admiringly added that "The Brits have got something smart going in England. . . they have cameras all over London and other of their major cities. . . "

They are, in fact, the most scrutinized people in history.

And as if that wasn't dullwitted enough, you felt some urgent need to ascend to even greater heights of bucketheadedness: ". . .it was part of why I believe they were able to so quickly apprehend suspects in the terrorist acts over the weekend," you brayed like your party logo. "I think it's just common sense to do that here much more widely. . . And of course, we can do it without compromising anybody's real privacy."

As opposed to their false privacy?

The realities of the situation are these:

First, there is no evidence whatever that putting up a bunch of cameras and getting otherwise unemployable drones to watch everybody's slightest move has anything to do with arresting real miscreants, or, more importantly, preventing criminals from injuring people or their property.

Second, in a world where the worst terrorists are (and always have been) governments themselves, how can we know that anyone who is arrested had anything to do with the violent acts that have everyone upset? (Hint: we can't.) I don't know about Britain, but here, our valiant FBI is best known for slaughtering 80-odd innocent individuals—including two dozen helpless, harmless little children—in their church, a brutal, arrogant crime they haven't been made to pay for yet.

Most people are not aware that this has been going on for a long time. Back in the 1930s, pursuing the infamous Ma Barker gang, the FBI shot up a fishing lodge that turned out to contain a group of doctors on vacation. And there are serious historians who believe that the man the FBI assassinated outside the Biograph Theater was a ringer, set up for the kill because the FBI couldn't find and stop the real John Dillinger.

The idea of relying on Klueless Killer Klowns like these for our security, and laying our precious rights in their bloody hands for whatever "duration" pleases them, transcends stupidity. It is insanity of the worst imaginable kind. But then, Joe, you are among the cretins who believe—or at least say you believe—that "we've got the enemy on the run" in Iraq. You can hardly get stupider or crazier than that.

Since the massacre contrived at Dunblane, and a subsequent ban on every conceivable means of self-defense, Brits have become the most helpless population in Western Civilization and—quite logically, to anybody with three gray cells to stick together—the most subject to criminal predation, with the highest rate of violent crime in the Northern Hemisphere. Assuming government isn't the actual culprit in this latest cluster of car bombings, it only makes sense that they'd be inflicted on a people who've been rendered incapable of defending themselves.

We have nothing—absolutely nothing—to learn from the Brits.

With that in mind, Joe, I offer the following counter-proposals, knowing that, as soon as somebody reads the big words to you, you'll reject them out of hand. Others won't, which is why this is an open letter.

The first step that must be taken to "provide new guards for our future security" is to dump US foreign policy of the past century in the hazardous waste bin where it belongs. If we are to accept the official account, it is clear that Americans were attacked on September 11, 2001 because this government—and both major parties—squandered decades beating up and killing people in the Middle East.

At the same time, we must immediately dissolve each and every one of the unconstitutional government agencies—FBI, CIA, DIA, NSA—that, to a great extent, got us into this mess. As individual agents, officers, and other employees are being closely examined and punished appropriately for violations of the law that they presently regard as everyday commonplace functions, they need to be out on street corners everywhere across a nation weary of them, selling pencils from a tin cup.

I will surprise my other readers now, by suggesting that the Department of Homeland Security might be retained—but only if its name is changed to the Department of Bill of Rights Enforcement, and its activities are stringently limited to surveilling politicians and bureaucrats and making sure they keep their oath of office. The mental image of federal marshalls, under the direction of the DBRE, hauling Charlie Schumer off the floor of the US Senate by his pants cuffs—or Carolyn McCarthy out of Congress by the scruff of her neck—is heartwarming.

To the extent that there is anything real out there at all—and to an increasing number of Americans (especially those who recognize a building being imploded from the inside when they see one), it appears more and more every day that "global terrorism" is a hoax—the best way to deal with it is to insure that the unalienable individual, civil, Constitutional, and human right of every man, woman, and responsible child to obtain, own, and carry, openly or concealed, any weapon—rifle, shotgun, handgun, machinegun, anything—any time, any place, without asking anyone's permission is energetically enforced.

Finally, Joe, as a modest initial step toward dismantling this vile police state that you and others have been erecting bit by bit around your fellow Americans, I want to see a law—a Constitutional Amendment if you insist on making it necessary—proclaiming it to be a punishable crime to take anybody's likeness, photographically, electronically, or by any other means, without their explicit, written permission.

A second clause would make it a crime to require that permission as a condition of receiving anything from government or exercising any right.

I know this would create an enormous pain in the posterior for a lot of people, especially the broadcast news media, to which I can only say, "Good!", and point them to you as the source of their difficulties.

More cameras? I don't think so, Joe.

More freedom!

Four-time Prometheus Award-winner L. Neil Smith has been called one of the world's foremost authorities on the ethics of self-defense. He is the author of 25 books, including The American Zone, Forge of the Elders, Pallas, The Probability Broach, Hope (with Aaron Zelman), and his collected articles and speeches, Lever Action, all of which may be purchased through his website "The Webley Page" at

Ceres, an exciting sequel to Neil's 1993 Ngu family novel Pallas was recently completed and is presently looking for a literary home.

A decensored, e-published version of Neil's 1984 novel, TOM PAINE MARU is available at: Neil is presently working on Ares, the middle volume of the epic Ngu Family Cycle, and on Roswell, Texas, with Rex F. "Baloo" May.

The stunning 185-page full-color graphic-novelized version of The Probability Broach, which features the art of Scott Bieser and was published by BigHead Press has recently won a Special Prometheus Award. It may be had through the publisher, at, or at


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