How do these statements grab you?
"What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if he people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security."
Sounds like Colin Powell's 'proof' of WMD in Iraq.
"This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes."
Sounds very much like the cleverly-named Patriot Act, which was supposed to be temporary, but now the Bush Administration wants to get rid of the sunset clause. And of course, now Patriot II is coming along.
"[Our leaders] gave us some dreadful, fundamental things to think about - we were decent people - and kept us so busy with continuous changes and 'crises' and so fascinated, yes, fascinated, by the machinations of the 'national enemies', without and within, that we had no time to think about these dreadful things that were growing, little by little, all around us. Unconsciously, I suppose, we were grateful."
Sounds like US citizens, eager for anything to keep those foreign terrorists at bay.
But these quotes are not about the US of today, but about the rise of Nazi Germany. They come from Milton Mayer's _They Thought They Were Free_, a collection of interviews he carried out with Germans after WWII, discussing the rise of Nazism.
So keep your eyes open. As Jefferson said, "Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty."