Check out this article Victims of the darkness: Government surveillance and intimidation on Pravda.Ru (of all places) by John W. Whitehead, founder and president of The Rutherford Institute (the folks who brought you the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit, and generally categorizeable as “conservative” in orientation). Here’s the lead:
Not since the notorious McCarthy era of the 1950s, when American freedoms faced extinction, has there been such an attack against the Bill of Rights.
Pretty hardcore, heh?
Whitehead also says, “… the American government has a near paranoia about dissenting citizens.” He even goes so far as to compare the tactics of “fear and intimidation” used by the Bush administration to those of the “Nazi and Soviet secret police of former regimes”. The fact that the Bush administration’s disregard for basic civil liberties has so alarmed folks on his side of the political spectrum illustrates how exceptional his policies are. The big question, of course, is how this is going to manifest itself in terms of political action within the right, and within the Republican Party… at what point is the level of alarm and dissent going to rise so high as to precipitate real change?
I’m afraid the answer is, “far too late”. The Republican Party and the right are reaping the whirlwind of thirty years of extremist propaganda, which has acquired a momentum of its own – a tsunami of rhetoric whose operators broke no dissent from the party line, and whose tactics, in many ways, can be seen as functionally analogous to those used by the Nazi and Soviet secret police referred to above. I have to wonder what type of heat Whitehead is taking from Administration loyalists as a result of this article… it might be interesting to see whether or not the Rutherford Institute’s funding is affected over the next few years.