for articles in this issue.
by Jim Hightower
USING COUNTERTERRORISM UNITS TO SPY ON
If you want to see
federal police power run amok, sneak a peek at the FBI's counterterrorism task
These top-secret spy
units were set up after 9/11 to identify, monitor and root out cells of
America's most dangerous enemies. It turns out, however, that the FBI's idea of
"enemies" includes you and me!
Instead of devoting
all of their energies and resources to uncovering al Qaeda cells within our
midst, the government's gumshoes have been busy focusing on Greenpeace, the
ACLU, anti-war protestors, demonstrators at the Republican National Convention,
and other Americans whose only "act of terrorism" has been to speak out against
some of George W's policies. Admittedly, the Bushites do seem to be terrified of
any public criticism, but FBI snoops need to brush up on the gaping difference
between terrorism and Constitutionalism.
When the infamous
USA Patriot Act and other autocratic rules were rushed into law after 9/11, Bush
& Company scoffed at concerns that they could use these laws and the scare
of terrorism to go after their political enemies. Yet, here they are only four
years later, caught with thousands of pages of surveillance documents that these
counterterrorism forces have been secretly amassing on domestic poltical groups
engaged in peaceful, totally lawful (and totally American) First Amendment
The Bushites contend
that they are not trying to stifle anyone's free-speech rights, but are snooping
on these groups merely to prevent any "disruptive" activity at demonstrations. I
don't believe them for a second, but even if it were true, this is not a role
for counterterrorism agents. Besides, disruptions are a core part of our
democracy – the Sons of Liberty set that proud precedent for us Americans in
1773 with that little disruption they called "The Boston Tea Party."
This is Jim
Hightower saying... To help stop this subversion of basic rights by Bush's
counterterrorism police, contact the American Civil Liberties Union at www.aclu.org
agents monitored protest websites," Austin American-Statesman, July 18,
of F.B.I. Files Alarms U.S. Activist Groups," July 18, 2005.
(c) 2005, Copyright - Saddleburr Productions, Inc.
This essay is herein reprinted with the author's
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