Bush shows true colors, brings War, Police State Home

Discussion in 'Politics' started by TigerO, Nov 27, 2003.

  1. TigerO



    Democracy ?

    Freedom ?

    Civil Rights ?

    Judicial Due Process ?

    No Police State ?

    Forgetaboutit, Ladies and Gents, welcome to our very own Soviet Union of America:


    "America's "enemy" within

    Armed checkpoints, embedded reporters in flak jackets, brutal suppression of peaceful demonstrators. Baghdad? No, Miami

    Naomi Klein
    Wednesday November 26, 2003
    The Guardian

    In December 1990, President George Bush Sr travelled through South America to sell the continent on a bold new dream: "A free trade system that links all of the Americas." Addressing the Argentine Congress, he said that the plan, later to be named the Free Trade Area of the Americas, would be "our hemisphere's new declaration of interdependence the brilliant new dawn of a splendid new world."

    Last week, Bush's two sons joined forces to try to usher in that new world by holding the FTAA negotiations in Florida. This is the state that Governor Jeb Bush vowed to "deliver" to his brother during the 2000 presidential elections, even if that meant keeping many African-Americans from exercising their right to vote.

    Now Jeb was vowing to hand his brother the coveted trade deal, even if that meant keeping thousands from exercising their right to protest.

    Despite the brothers' best efforts, the dream of a hemisphere united into a single free-market economy died last week - killed not by demonstrators in Miami but by the populations of Argentina, Brazil and Bolivia, who let their politicians know that if they sign away more power to foreign multinationals, they may as well not come home.

    Inside the Inter-Continental hotel, it was being called "FTAA lite". Outside, we experienced something heavier: "War lite". The more control the US trade representatives lost at the negotiating table, the more raw power the police exerted on the streets.

    Small, peaceful demonstrations were attacked with extreme force; organisations were infiltrated by undercover officers who used stun guns; buses of union members were prevented from joining permitted marches; people were beaten with batons; activists had guns pointed at their heads at checkpoints.

    Meanwhile, independent journalists who dared to do their jobs and film the police violence up close were actively targeted. "She's not with us," one officer told another as they grabbed Ana Nogueira, a correspondent with Pacifica Radio's Democracy Now! who was covering a peaceful protest outside the Miami-Dade county jail. When the police established that Nogueira was "not with us" (ie neither an embedded reporter nor undercover cop) she was hauled away and charged.

    The Miami model of dealing with domestic dissent reaches far beyond a single meeting. On Sunday, the New York Times reported on a leaked FBI bulletin revealing "a coordinated, nationwide effort to collect intelligence" on the anti-war movement. The memorandum singles out lawful protest activities. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the document revealed that "the FBI is targeting Americans who are engaged in lawful protest. The line between terrorism and legitimate civil disobedience is blurred."

    We can expect more of these tactics on the homeland front. Just as civil liberties violations escalated when Washington lost control over the FTAA process, so will repression increase as Bush faces the ultimate threat: losing control over the White House.

    The war is coming home."




  2. If the line is blurred, it is not the fault of law enforcement. After all the property damage done by protesters, it is clear that some of them are acting more like terrorists than protestors.

    Civil disobedience by its nature consists of illegal activity, whether it is looting, vandalism, a sit in or any other form of illegal protest. Since it is illegal in nature there is no such thing as "legitimate" civil disobedience.

    Do citizens have the right to break the law? Sure they do. Does the government have the right to do everything in its power to not only stop but also prevent this illegal activity from doing millions of dollars of damage and shutting down legitimate business in the city? The government not only has the right to do this but it has the responsibility to both stop the illegal activity and enforce the law.

    If the legitimate protest groups would help the police by ferreting out those in their ranks who wish to engage in illegal activity rather than shielding and in some cases abetting them, then the whole dynamics would change.
  3. TigerO


    I sincerely wish that that were true, but unfortunately I very strongly doubt it.

    Witness, after all, the following points in the above article:

    "Small, peaceful demonstrations were attacked with extreme force...

    buses of union members were prevented from joining permitted marches

    independent journalists who dared to do their jobs and film the police violence up close were actively targeted,...hauled away and charged.

    the New York Times reported on a leaked FBI bulletin revealing "a coordinated, nationwide effort to collect intelligence" on the anti-war movement. The memorandum singles out lawful protest activities. Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said the document revealed that "the FBI is targeting Americans who are engaged in lawful protest."

    Contrast that with the way the Brits handled the prewar, 1 million strong anti war demo, or the recent 100 000 strong anti Bush demo during his visit to Britain, etc etc.

    THAT was and is Democracy in action.

    What we are witnessing in the States is more reminiscent of the repugnant methods of totalitarian dictatorships, hell bent on suppressing opposition and all criticism at whatever cost and means.

    Becoming a dictator with an ever larger government and ever increasing executive powers at the cost of freedom, civil rights, judicial due process and all the many other things America really stands for, after all, is what Bush really aspires to:

    "The job of the President would be easier, if I were a dictator!"

    "If this were a dictatorship, it'd be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I'm the dictator."

    (2000 December 18 http://www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0012/18/nd.01.html CNN)

    "There ought to be limits to freedom. We're aware of this site, and this guy is just a garbage man, that's all he is."

    Bush discussing a site that, OHMYGOD, parodies him ?!

    Notice when the following was written, already in 2001:


    "Un-American Activities

    December 5, 2001

    by Orwell Thompson

    George W. Bush once said that his job would be a lot easier if he were dictator of the United States instead of its president. If the recent "anti-terrorist" measures being embraced by him and Attorney General John Ashcroft are any indication, Bush's wish is frighteningly close to becoming reality. These actions show little faith in the system of law and justice that set this country apart from the rest of the world.

    Bush has decided that he can't trust the constitutionally protected court system to prosecute suspected terrorists. Instead, the president has acted unilaterally to establish a military tribunal with generals seated as judges whose simple majority vote would be all that is required to convict. Think of a fast-food restaurant that dispenses justice. Would you like fries with that lethal injection?

    The concept of a military tribunal is so disturbing it has drawn criticism from some of the most conservative members of the Republican Party, Georgia congressman Bob Barr and N.Y. Times columnist William Safire among them. Spain has refused to extradite eight suspects it has in custody because of its fear that those prisoners would not receive a proper hearing in America and could face the death penalty.

    Bush, undeterred, wrongly claims that national security, mainly the safety of those serving on a jury, could be threatened if information was leaked to the public as evidence. This is disingenuous. The president desires the tribunals for one reason: It would be a fail-safe method to assure conviction of virtually every suspect brought before it. There would be no messy, time-consuming process that could potentially expose government missteps that would cause Bush's poll numbers to dip. There would be no embarrassing acquittals. If the dictator deemed someone guilty, so be it.

    Ashcroft is the Javert of this new tale, endlessly searching for the brown-skinned Jean Valjean that will vindicate him in the eyes of the American people and his president. To prove he is up to the job, the Little General has embarked the Justice Department on a dragnet that has detained and questioned some 1,200 individuals of Middle Eastern dissent. Half of these "suspects" have been released with more sure to follow.

    In between releasing innocent foreigners, Ashcroft has managed to find the time throw his fellow conservatives a bone and thwart the will of the people of Oregon by fouling up that state's assisted suicide law that had been implemented after being overwhelmingly approved on a referendum by the voters.

    As a wink to the ultra-Christian-right-to-life wing of his party, Ashcroft has mandated that any doctor who prescribes medicine for the purpose of suicide would be arrested until the Supreme Court rules on the matter. This is the same Supreme Court that handed Dubyah the election. Is there any wonder which way they'll rule on assisted suicide?

    In the meantime, we have anthrax and plenty of it. Relax, we are told, only five people have died from the poisonous white powder. The targets of the fatal mailed letters have, for the most part, been Democratic Party leaders. This has led experts in Tom Ridge's Homeland Security Team to surmise that the mad powderer likely is a domestic terrorist.

    Ashcroft, curiously enough, has not implemented the same racial profiling technique in this investigation as he has done in his quest to track down those responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks. Evidently, it would take a long time to round up all the white, Christian, anti-government, anti-abortion homegrown kooks who fit the profile. Maybe if Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell received an anthrax letter, Ashcroft would be in more of a rush to find the culprit.

    The failures of Bush and Ashcroft are disheartening. Americans were told passing the U.S.A Partiot Act into law was necessary to combat terrorism. Sure, citizens were concerned about certain provisions of the law, including the loosening of the wiretapping restrictions and allowing policing organizations freer access to personal e-mail. But the president and Ashcroft assured an uneasy public that the government would not abuse this expanse in power. That, as we now find out, was a lie.

    The conservative media wants the public to believe that it is wrong and somehow un-American to question the methods of our government during a time of war. Defeating terrorism shouldn't require suspending the system of justice that makes United States stand alone as a model for civil rights. Rush Limbaugh and those who drive the right-wing propaganda machine pound the war drum so loudly as to drown out dissent.

    These are the same people who rail against government intervention in medical care for the masses, prescription drugs for seniors or campaign finance reform, but have no problem with the feds peeking in on the private conversations and writings of innocent civilians.

    Secret trials without a judge or jury? Spying on innocents through phone taps and e-mail snooping? Arresting someone because of his ethnic background and religious beliefs?

    Now that's un-American."



  4. Can we assume that Ashcroft is asking for assistance?
  5. TigerO,

    This is the second time you've posted this leftwing screed from the Guardian. It didn't improve with age. I note that it is from their commentary section, ie not a news article. Since it is filled with lies, that is something of a relief, because I had jettisoned what little respect I had left for that journal.

    I am sympathetic to the potential for loss of personal freedom under the excuse of fighting terrorism. I have also criticized the TSA for inconveniencing hundreds of thousands of air travelers in the name of security, while they ignore basic methods to focus on the most likely threats, ie young Arab men. Moreover, the administration can't have it both ways. They want to put law abiding americans through all kinds of humiliating checks, but they seem to have little interest in border security or enforcing the immigration laws. Then Bush compounds the insult by meeting with radical Muslim groups like CAIR and making idiotic proclamations about the "Religion of Peace." Let's focus on the real threats and show we're serious.

    While we can all recognize the potential for civil liberties infringments, the actual evidence is thin indeed. Even Sen. Feinstein, no friend of the administration for sure, was quoted as saying she was aware of no civil liberties problems under the Patriot Act. The loudest complaints have come from the usual Muslim pressure groups, like the aforementioned CAIR, and increasingly out of touch liberal organizations like the American Association of Librarians. The latter group is fresh from its campaign to make public libraries safe for internet porn, and now is outraged over the possibility that someone's library records could be subpoened. That has been settled law for decades however. There is no library privilege, even for child porn addicts, no doubt their next cause.

    By all means let's closely watch for unnecessary infringements of civil liberties, but let's base it on facts, not fevered imaginations.
  6. Good post AAA! You and Hapaboy are (IMO) the voices of reason from the right (usually). Keep up the good work. And an open mind. I promise to try and do the same.

    How do you compose a post like this and then come back with your "everything liberal (or worse, everything NOT Republican/conservative) is bad" posts? Which would even be OK if you defined "lib" other than that in context, it always means something bad.

    Keep up the shades of gray. Maybe soon you will see the full color spectrum.:)

    Happy Thanksgiving to all!

  7. TigerO


    You bet he is:


    Unless we stop him and his gangsta Boss very soon in 2004, that is :)