If you like Bush and the USA so much (and I'm not saying that I don't, by any means...), and listen to his speeches, why is he always saying that the USA is the land of freedom, where people are free to do and live as they choose, free from the grip of tyrants, blessed with the precious gift of freedom, etc.
This proves that all this talk about "freedom" by the current administration, and also by the current Congressional session, is nothing other than propaganda - more a tool of political one-ups-man-ship than an overarching fundamental principle. If you have to prostrate yourself before The Powers That Be just so that you can take a few pictures while standing in a publicly accessible area, what's next - getting a permit to go to the bathroom? If this really were a free country where protecting freedoms were viewed as tantamount by the current leadership (and it is one of the closest things there is to one on this planet), you'd be *free* to take pictures (unless it were something that severely compromised national security - photocopying a classified document, or photographing a limited-access area at a nuclear power plant, for example - I don't see how taking pictures of trains falls anywhere near that category) or was disruptive to others (blocking an exit that others are trying to use, for example). That's what it means to be *free* - you can do what you want unless there is a specific and superseding demand to the contrary.
And if we complain about the government, it could only be because we actually do love this country and want to see only the best for it. If we didn't care we could have simply left a long time ago. And loving your country doesn't mean unquestioningly accepting every edict and mandate - Orwell wrote a nice little book about what happens in such a society, and Jefferson and many of the other founding fathers were explicit in stating that letting your voice be heard, actively questioning the actions of your government and proposing alternatives are all vital to the operation of a true constitutional democracy.
On a more practical note, what do you think there is to stop some al Qaeda member from getting one of these permits? Or for that matter, why not just conduct the photography surreptitiously? Realistically, his chances of getting caught if he makes himself inconspicuous are slim to none.
So this whole permit charade (like the vast majority of the other "security" measures enacted since 9/11) provide little, if any - make that NO - security benefit while infringing, in some cases markedly so (i.e. indefinite detainment), on the fundamental rights of law-abiding citizens and visitors to this country. The only reason they're done is because they're visible and public measures, and to a citizenry of sheeple who don't bother to think too deeply about these issues (what would Jefferson say about that?), it makes them feel "safer." Ooh, they're confiscating tweezers at the airport so Osama can't use one to hijack a plane. Ooh, they're not letting people take pictures of trains so they can't use the pictures to blow them up. Ooh, they make everybody go through a metal detector before being allowed into the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, so those landmarks must be safe.
Where have the real Patriots gone? It's good to see there are quite a few here, but as far as the general public goes, the picture isn't all that good...