Under Bush the government can arrest and imprison (and torture?) “enemies” without a trial or even seeing a lawyer or a judge. You might ask, “So what? These people are terrorists.”
How easily could this become a tool of political repression? Could we become a country where if the Republican Party says you’re a “terrorist” then you’re going away?
For an indication that this could head in that direction, let’s look at who is the “enemy” right now. Who is being tracked by the government for suspicious activity? Who could be on that “terrorist” list one of these days? From Profiling: How the FBI Tracks Eco-Terror Suspects, an arrest of an “eco-terrorist” suspect. The “profile” that got him arrested?
Agents placed the commune under surveillance and developed a political profile of the residents, discovering the owner of the house and his father “have posted statements on websites opposing the use of fossil fuels,” one doc reads. Another says the owner had ties to a local chapter of Food Not Bombs, an “anarcho-vegan food distribution group.” Among activities flagged in bureau docs: the father of the owner had conducted a “one man’ daily protest” outside a Toyota office, was interviewed for an article called “Dude, Where’s my Electric Car!?” and posted info on a Web site announcing “Stop Norway Whaling!” [emphasis added]
FYI – the person they arrested wasn’t the person they were looking for.
Why is the FBI collecting information like this about Americans? Why does this profile so closely fit the profile of Ann Coulter’s far-right fantasies?
Critics say such info has been increasingly collected by agents since the then Attorney General John Ashcroft relaxed FBI guidelines in 2002.
Yes, the same Justice Department that would not investigate the leak of a CIA agent’s identity. The same Justice Department that demoted a prosecutor for looking into the activities of Jack Abramoff. This is pure ideological profiling from the John Birch Society, Richard Mellon Scaife wing of the far right here, as government policy. Remember, recently the IRS started an investigation of a church because of an anti-war sermon. And the FBI recently said that the top domestic terrorism threat is animal rights and environmental activists. That is how close we are. And there is no Congressional oversight, no accountability, and soon even the courts will be completely under Party control.
Will the right-wingers turn this into a crusade against what they perceive as the enemy within? There’s nothing to stop them.
Watch your backs!