5. Make a bill of rights central to your new constitutions, and be specific about what rights people have and what actions infringe against those rights. Include electronic rights to privacy, such as freedom from snooping in private emails or warrantless GPS tracking. You have suffered from intensive secret police spying on your populations, and should know that rights to freedom of speech, worship, press and publication, privacy, a fair and speedy trial, and protection from torture are hallmarks of any democratic system. We have given up most of these essential rights to our secret police, without admitting we have done so and without calling them secret police. But you have lived through domestic surveillance and would easily recognized the violations of individual rights that have become routine in the United States and which are defended by our increasingly corrupt judicial authorities, including a whole series of attorneys-general.
The blood of your martyrs for revolution is too recent and too precious, and too often belonged to young people who sacrificed a bright future, for you to squander this once-in-a-century opportunity to put liberty and democracy on a firm foundation in your countries. You are young, and you still weep at the thought of freedom, and of those who died for it. You are having your weddings at Tahrir Square to celebrate a new beginning. Be careful. Be very careful. In my lifetime I have seen the American state spiral down into a brutal tyranny that tortures, spies, union-busts, engages in illegal wars, and plays dirty tricks on dissidents. We used to have something much more like a democracy. Maybe we can learn from you how to safeguard something so precious.
Who would have thought in January that the world would look so different in July?