There were no stomping black boots or whistles. No lights were shone in our faces. We were not wrenched out of our beds and shoved onto cattle cars in a grey winter dawn. We were not herded into ghettos ringed with barbed wire. The killings and torture were done in secret. We knew about that but we didn’t know all of it. I cannot say that we were not warned. As much as we were kept in the dark, much was revealed, either by design or callousness. All the signs were there as they have been in the past for such things and somehow we, the people, were in a state of inertia, shock, maybe some awe, but probably we were just naive. It could never happen again we said. Not to us. We are Americans, the chosen people.
When they did come for me, they came silently, gradually, graciously handing me clues along the way. There was the blue car with the dark tinted windows that idled across the street from my sixties cape every day at different times. The Christmas card that was torn and hastily taped together; the mail that never made it to its intended destination. There were of course the more obvious signs: the mother who was thrown in jail for protesting the war after her soldier son was killed, the lack of news about who was dying over there, the sudden takeover of 96.7 FM by Christian rock bands.
They came when the noon sun was high, and efficient. They were dressed plainly, suit jackets in neutral shades. Sunglasses that hid their eyes were as opaque as their car windows. They did not take them off when they informed me that my son and I were being moved to a facility ‘for our own safety.’ They handed me a piece of paper. It said that at this time I was to be remanded to the custody of the Department of Homeland Security and sent to a ‘secure facility’. For my security. Apparently my child and I were in grave danger.