off topic-Bush-have you stopped beating yer wife?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by ellis_jay, May 2, 2007.

  1. ellis_jay

    ellis_jay Guest

    I saw the President give a speech justifying his veto of the Bill Congress
    recently passed setting benchmarks and financing Bush's war. He said
    leaving Iraq would give Bin Laden's group control of Iraq and Iraq would
    become a haven for Al Qaeda.

    Mr. Bush also said Iraq would become a center for exporting terrorism
    across the world and that
    an exit from Iraq would enable the terrorists to come here. What a mouth
    full of garbage!! What a joke!

    I am surprised that the media and the opponents of this illegal war have not
    seized on this fallacy and make much ado about it. As usual the
    Administration, with help from its handlers has out-smarted their opponents
    on this issue.

    For one thing, it is a historical fact that Al Qaeda and the secular
    governments of the Middle East have been, and stay on, a collision course
    and have a relationship filled with violence and hatred for one another.
    Witness Egypt's hanging of Al Qaeda's mentor-and basically the founder of
    the Muslim Brotherhood -during the Nasser regime. Witness Somalia. Witness
    Bali. Witness Indonesia. Witness Ethiopia. Witness Pakistan. Witness
    Morocco. Qatar. Kuwait. Saudi Arabia The list goes on.

    That's just one measure of Bush's Fallacy. There are many more.

    Saddam Hussein and the Baathists were also enemies of the Brotherhood and
    of Al Qaeda. So much for Bush and Cheney's attempts to link them in one of
    a number of conspiracies. AL Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood wanted to
    replace secular governments-they wanted to replace Saddam. Saddam did not
    want to be replaced. Neither did other Arab secular governments. The
    "Base" still works to replace secular governments. Just ask the Taliban.
    Just ask Kabul.

    Iraqi's do not want to be set back a thousand years. The People are too
    educated to desire anything like what the "Base" or a Taliban could offer.
    Al Qaeda would not be welcome. AL Qaeda was never welcome. Iraq would not
    become a terrorist state.

    Al Qaeda was an unwelcome entity in Iraq during his (Saddam) regime. Al
    Qaeda remains an unwelcome entity in Iraq. Just witness the killings of Al
    Qaeda members by Iraqi's themselves. Iraq's do not want Al Qaeda in-country
    now-nor did they ever.

    Bush's justification using this theme is a fallacy and fails to meet the
    test of realities in the real world. Bush's argument is just a delaying
    tactic and an attempt (apparently one that works) to confuse and deflect his
    critics while coddling to the fears of an undiscerning American Public
    Citizen.

    Sadly, no one in Government and no one in the press bothers to call him on
    this point. So, at the end of the day, Bush and his thugs win again
    because our leaders and the American press are asleep at the wheel at best,
    and at worst, in league with the Devil. And which it is I am unsure.



    --
    When people are engaged in something they are not proud of, they do not
    welcome witnesses.
    In fact, they come to believe the witness causes the trouble.
    ___John Steinbeck

    Ellis_Jay
     
    ellis_jay, May 2, 2007
    #1
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  2. ellis_jay

    Frosty Guest

    On Wed, 2 May 2007 12:29:49 -0500 in 24hoursupport.helpdesk
    "ellis_jay" <>, intended to write something
    intelligible, but instead wrote :

    >I saw the President give a speech justifying his veto of the Bill Congress

    <snip rant>
    Fiddling while Rome burns.

    Fascist America, in 10 easy steps



    From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain
    steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional
    freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George Bush and his administration
    seem to be taking them all

    Tuesday April 24, 2007
    The Guardian

    Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The leaders of the
    coup took a number of steps, rather systematically, as if they had a
    shopping list. In a sense, they did. Within a matter of days,
    democracy had been closed down: the coup leaders declared martial law,
    sent armed soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV
    stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some limits on
    travel, and took certain activists into custody.

    Article continues


    They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If you
    look at history, you can see that there is essentially a blueprint for
    turning an open society into a dictatorship. That blueprint has been
    used again and again in more and less bloody, more and less terrifying
    ways. But it is always effective. It is very difficult and arduous to
    create and sustain a democracy - but history shows that closing one
    down is much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10
    steps.

    As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are
    willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been
    initiated today in the United States by the Bush administration.

    Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time
    even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree -
    domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much
    about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware
    of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to
    being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we
    scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in
    place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we
    don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a
    department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the
    word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

    It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his
    administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open
    society. It is time for us to be willing to think the unthinkable - as
    the author and political journalist Joe Conason, has put it, that it
    can happen here. And that we are further along than we realise.

    Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American authoritarianism.
    I am arguing that we need also to look at the lessons of European and
    other kinds of fascism to understand the potential seriousness of the
    events we see unfolding in the US.

    1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

    After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of national
    shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26 2001, the USA Patriot
    Act was passed by a Congress that had little chance to debate it; many
    said that they scarcely had time to read it. We were told we were now
    on a "war footing"; we were in a "global war" against a "global
    caliphate" intending to "wipe out civilisation". There have been other
    times of crisis in which the US accepted limits on civil liberties,
    such as during the civil war, when Lincoln declared martial law, and
    the second world war, when thousands of Japanese-American citizens
    were interned. But this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American
    Freedom Agenda notes, is unprecedented: all our other wars had an
    endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward freedom; this
    war is defined as open-ended in time and without national boundaries
    in space - the globe itself is the battlefield. "This time," Fein
    says, "there will be no defined end."

    Creating a terrifying threat - hydra-like, secretive, evil - is an old
    trick. It can, like Hitler's invocation of a communist threat to the
    nation's security, be based on actual events (one Wisconsin academic
    has faced calls for his dismissal because he noted, among other
    things, that the alleged communist arson, the Reichstag fire of
    February 1933, was swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the
    Enabling Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended
    state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like the
    National Socialist evocation of the "global conspiracy of world
    Jewry", on myth.

    It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger; of
    course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to convey the
    nature of the threat is different in a country such as Spain - which
    has also suffered violent terrorist attacks - than it is in America.
    Spanish citizens know that they face a grave security threat; what we
    as American citizens believe is that we are potentially threatened
    with the end of civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us
    more willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

    2. Create a gulag

    Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to create a prison
    system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it, he wanted the American
    detention centre at Guantánamo Bay to be situated in legal "outer
    space") - where torture takes place.

    At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as
    outsiders: troublemakers, spies, "enemies of the people" or
    "criminals". Initially, citizens tend to support the secret prison
    system; it makes them feel safer and they do not identify with the
    prisoners. But soon enough, civil society leaders - opposition
    members, labour activists, clergy and journalists - are arrested and
    sent there as well.

    This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy crackdowns
    ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s and 1930s to the Latin
    American coups of the 1970s and beyond. It is standard practice for
    closing down an open society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

    With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course, Guantánamo in
    Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept indefinitely without trial
    and without access to the due process of the law, America certainly
    has its gulag now. Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced
    they would issue no information about the secret CIA "black site"
    prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate people who
    have been seized off the street.

    Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger and more
    secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We know from first-hand
    accounts, photographs, videos and government documents that people,
    innocent and guilty, have been tortured in the US-run prisons we are
    aware of and those we can't investigate adequately.

    But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses involve
    only scary brown people with whom they don't generally identify. It
    was brave of the conservative pundit William Safire to quote the
    anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller, who had been seized as a political
    prisoner: "First they came for the Jews." Most Americans don't
    understand yet that the destruction of the rule of law at Guantánamo
    set a dangerous precedent for them, too.

    By the way, the establishment of military tribunals that deny
    prisoners due process tends to come early on in a fascist shift.
    Mussolini and Stalin set up such tribunals. On April 24 1934, the
    Nazis, too, set up the People's Court, which also bypassed the
    judicial system: prisoners were held indefinitely, often in isolation,
    and tortured, without being charged with offences, and were subjected
    to show trials. Eventually, the Special Courts became a parallel
    system that put pressure on the regular courts to abandon the rule of
    law in favour of Nazi ideology when making decisions.

    3. Develop a thug caste

    When leaders who seek what I call a "fascist shift" want to close down
    an open society, they send paramilitary groups of scary young men out
    to terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts roamed the Italian countryside
    beating up communists; the Brownshirts staged violent rallies
    throughout Germany. This paramilitary force is especially important in
    a democracy: you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need
    thugs who are free from prosecution.

    The years following 9/11 have proved a bonanza for America's security
    contractors, with the Bush administration outsourcing areas of work
    that traditionally fell to the US military. In the process, contracts
    worth hundreds of millions of dollars have been issued for security
    work by mercenaries at home and abroad. In Iraq, some of these
    contract operatives have been accused of involvement in torturing
    prisoners, harassing journalists and firing on Iraqi civilians. Under
    Order 17, issued to regulate contractors in Iraq by the one-time US
    administrator in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, these contractors are immune
    from prosecution

    Yes, but that is in Iraq, you could argue; however, after Hurricane
    Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security hired and deployed
    hundreds of armed private security guards in New Orleans. The
    investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard
    who reported having fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a
    natural disaster that underlay that episode - but the administration's
    endless war on terror means ongoing scope for what are in effect
    privately contracted armies to take on crisis and emergency management
    at home in US cities.

    Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men, dressed in
    identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll workers counting the votes
    in Florida in 2000. If you are reading history, you can imagine that
    there can be a need for "public order" on the next election day. Say
    there are protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history
    would not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a
    polling station "to restore public order".

    4. Set up an internal surveillance system

    In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East Germany, in
    communist China - in every closed society - secret police spy on
    ordinary people and encourage neighbours to spy on neighbours. The
    Stasi needed to keep only a minority of East Germans under
    surveillance to convince a majority that they themselves were being
    watched.

    In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau wrote in the New
    York Times about a secret state programme to wiretap citizens' phones,
    read their emails and follow international financial transactions, it
    became clear to ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under
    state scrutiny.

    In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about
    "national security"; the true function is to keep citizens docile and
    inhibit their activism and dissent.

    5. Harass citizens' groups

    The fifth thing you do is related to step four - you infiltrate and
    harass citizens' groups. It can be trivial: a church in Pasadena,
    whose minister preached that Jesus was in favour of peace, found
    itself being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, while
    churches that got Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal
    under US tax law, have been left alone.

    Other harassment is more serious: the American Civil Liberties Union
    reports that thousands of ordinary American anti-war, environmental
    and other groups have been infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon
    database includes more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings,
    rallies or marches by American citizens in its category of 1,500
    "suspicious incidents". The equally secret Counterintelligence Field
    Activity (Cifa) agency of the Department of Defense has been gathering
    information about domestic organisations engaged in peaceful political
    activities: Cifa is supposed to track "potential terrorist threats" as
    it watches ordinary US citizen activists. A little-noticed new law has
    redefined activism such as animal rights protests as "terrorism". So
    the definition of "terrorist" slowly expands to include the
    opposition.

    6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

    This scares people. It is a kind of cat-and-mouse game. Nicholas D
    Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the investigative reporters who wrote China
    Wakes: the Struggle for the Soul of a Rising Power, describe
    pro-democracy activists in China, such as Wei Jingsheng, being
    arrested and released many times. In a closing or closed society there
    is a "list" of dissidents and opposition leaders: you are targeted in
    this way once you are on the list, and it is hard to get off the list.

    In 2004, America's Transportation Security Administration confirmed
    that it had a list of passengers who were targeted for security
    searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who have found
    themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women peace activists in San
    Francisco; liberal Senator Edward Kennedy; a member of Venezuela's
    government - after Venezuela's president had criticised Bush; and
    thousands of ordinary US citizens.

    Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton University; he is
    one of the foremost constitutional scholars in the nation and author
    of the classic Constitutional Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated
    former marine, and he is not even especially politically liberal. But
    on March 1 this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark,
    "because I was on the Terrorist Watch list".

    "Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from
    flying because of that," asked the airline employee.

    "I explained," said Murphy, "that I had not so marched but had, in
    September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the
    web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the
    constitution."

    "That'll do it," the man said.

    Anti-war marcher? Potential terrorist. Support the constitution?
    Potential terrorist. History shows that the categories of "enemy of
    the people" tend to expand ever deeper into civil life.

    James Yee, a US citizen, was the Muslim chaplain at Guantánamo who was
    accused of mishandling classified documents. He was harassed by the US
    military before the charges against him were dropped. Yee has been
    detained and released several times. He is still of interest.

    Brandon Mayfield, a US citizen and lawyer in Oregon, was mistakenly
    identified as a possible terrorist. His house was secretly broken into
    and his computer seized. Though he is innocent of the accusation
    against him, he is still on the list.

    It is a standard practice of fascist societies that once you are on
    the list, you can't get off.

    7. Target key individuals

    Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if they
    don't toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of state
    universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so did Joseph
    Goebbels, who purged academics who were not pro-Nazi; so did Chile's
    Augusto Pinochet; so does the Chinese communist Politburo in punishing
    pro-democracy students and professors.

    Academe is a tinderbox of activism, so those seeking a fascist shift
    punish academics and students with professional loss if they do not
    "coordinate", in Goebbels' term, ideologically. Since civil servants
    are the sector of society most vulnerable to being fired by a given
    regime, they are also a group that fascists typically "coordinate"
    early on: the Reich Law for the Re-establishment of a Professional
    Civil Service was passed on April 7 1933.

    Bush supporters in state legislatures in several states put pressure
    on regents at state universities to penalise or fire academics who
    have been critical of the administration. As for civil servants, the
    Bush administration has derailed the career of one military lawyer who
    spoke up for fair trials for detainees, while an administration
    official publicly intimidated the law firms that represent detainees
    pro bono by threatening to call for their major corporate clients to
    boycott them.

    Elsewhere, a CIA contract worker who said in a closed blog that
    "waterboarding is torture" was stripped of the security clearance she
    needed in order to do her job.

    Most recently, the administration purged eight US attorneys for what
    looks like insufficient political loyalty. When Goebbels purged the
    civil service in April 1933, attorneys were "coordinated" too, a step
    that eased the way of the increasingly brutal laws to follow.

    8. Control the press

    Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 30s, East Germany in the 50s,
    Czechoslovakia in the 60s, the Latin American dictatorships in the
    70s, China in the 80s and 90s - all dictatorships and would-be
    dictators target newspapers and journalists. They threaten and harass
    them in more open societies that they are seeking to close, and they
    arrest them and worse in societies that have been closed already.

    The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US journalists
    are at an all-time high: Josh Wolf (no relation), a blogger in San
    Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for refusing to turn over
    video of an anti-war demonstration; Homeland Security brought a
    criminal complaint against reporter Greg Palast, claiming he
    threatened "critical infrastructure" when he and a TV producer were
    filming victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Palast had written
    a bestseller critical of the Bush administration.

    Other reporters and writers have been punished in other ways. Joseph C
    Wilson accused Bush, in a New York Times op-ed, of leading the country
    to war on the basis of a false charge that Saddam Hussein had acquired
    yellowcake uranium in Niger. His wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a
    CIA spy - a form of retaliation that ended her career.

    Prosecution and job loss are nothing, though, compared with how the US
    is treating journalists seeking to cover the conflict in Iraq in an
    unbiased way. The Committee to Protect Journalists has documented
    multiple accounts of the US military in Iraq firing upon or
    threatening to fire upon unembedded (meaning independent) reporters
    and camera operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the
    BBC. While westerners may question the accounts by al-Jazeera, they
    should pay attention to the accounts of reporters such as the BBC's
    Kate Adie. In some cases reporters have been wounded or killed,
    including ITN's Terry Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press
    in Iraq had staff members seized by the US military and taken to
    violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see the
    evidence against their staffers.

    Over time in closing societies, real news is supplanted by fake news
    and false documents. Pinochet showed Chilean citizens falsified
    documents to back up his claim that terrorists had been about to
    attack the nation. The yellowcake charge, too, was based on forged
    papers.

    You won't have a shutdown of news in modern America - it is not
    possible. But you can have, as Frank Rich and Sidney Blumenthal have
    pointed out, a steady stream of lies polluting the news well. What you
    already have is a White House directing a stream of false information
    that is so relentless that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth
    from untruth. In a fascist system, it's not the lies that count but
    the muddying. When citizens can't tell real news from fake, they give
    up their demands for accountability bit by bit.

    9. Dissent equals treason

    Cast dissent as "treason" and criticism as "espionage'. Every closing
    society does this, just as it elaborates laws that increasingly
    criminalise certain kinds of speech and expand the definition of "spy"
    and "traitor". When Bill Keller, the publisher of the New York Times,
    ran the Lichtblau/Risen stories, Bush called the Times' leaking of
    classified information "disgraceful", while Republicans in Congress
    called for Keller to be charged with treason, and rightwing
    commentators and news outlets kept up the "treason" drumbeat. Some
    commentators, as Conason noted, reminded readers smugly that one
    penalty for violating the Espionage Act is execution.

    Conason is right to note how serious a threat that attack represented.
    It is also important to recall that the 1938 Moscow show trial accused
    the editor of Izvestia, Nikolai Bukharin, of treason; Bukharin was, in
    fact, executed. And it is important to remind Americans that when the
    1917 Espionage Act was last widely invoked, during the infamous 1919
    Palmer Raids, leftist activists were arrested without warrants in
    sweeping roundups, kept in jail for up to five months, and "beaten,
    starved, suffocated, tortured and threatened with death", according to
    the historian Myra MacPherson. After that, dissent was muted in
    America for a decade.

    In Stalin's Soviet Union, dissidents were "enemies of the people".
    National Socialists called those who supported Weimar democracy
    "November traitors".

    And here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not realise
    that since September of last year - when Congress wrongly, foolishly,
    passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - the president has the
    power to call any US citizen an "enemy combatant". He has the power to
    define what "enemy combatant" means. The president can also delegate
    to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define
    "enemy combatant" any way he or she wants and then seize Americans
    accordingly.

    Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to be
    completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing, he has the
    power to have us seized as we are changing planes at Newark tomorrow,
    or have us taken with a knock on the door; ship you or me to a navy
    brig; and keep you or me in isolation, possibly for months, while
    awaiting trial. (Prolonged isolation, as psychiatrists know, triggers
    psychosis in otherwise mentally healthy prisoners. That is why
    Stalin's gulag had an isolation cell, like Guantánamo's, in every
    satellite prison. Camp 6, the newest, most brutal facility at
    Guantánamo, is all isolation cells.)

    We US citizens will get a trial eventually - for now. But legal rights
    activists at the Center for Constitutional Rights say that the Bush
    administration is trying increasingly aggressively to find ways to get
    around giving even US citizens fair trials. "Enemy combatant" is a
    status offence - it is not even something you have to have done. "We
    have absolutely moved over into a preventive detention model - you
    look like you could do something bad, you might do something bad, so
    we're going to hold you," says a spokeswoman of the CCR.

    Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is hard to
    believe, even though it is true. In every closing society, at a
    certain point there are some high-profile arrests - usually of
    opposition leaders, clergy and journalists. Then everything goes
    quiet. After those arrests, there are still newspapers, courts, TV and
    radio, and the facades of a civil society. There just isn't real
    dissent. There just isn't freedom. If you look at history, just before
    those arrests is where we are now.

    10. Suspend the rule of law

    The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president
    new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national
    emergency - which the president now has enhanced powers to declare -
    he can send Michigan's militia to enforce a state of emergency that he
    has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state's governor
    and its citizens.

    Even as Americans were focused on Britney Spears's meltdown and the
    question of who fathered Anna Nicole's baby, the New York Times
    editorialised about this shift: "A disturbing recent phenomenon in
    Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy
    have been passed in the dead of night ... Beyond actual insurrection,
    the president may now use military troops as a domestic police force
    in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist
    attack or any 'other condition'."

    Critics see this as a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus Act -
    which was meant to restrain the federal government from using the
    military for domestic law enforcement. The Democratic senator Patrick
    Leahy says the bill encourages a president to declare federal martial
    law. It also violates the very reason the founders set up our system
    of government as they did: having seen citizens bullied by a monarch's
    soldiers, the founders were terrified of exactly this kind of
    concentration of militias' power over American people in the hands of
    an oppressive executive or faction.

    Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent, total
    closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini's march on Rome or
    Hitler's roundup of political prisoners. Our democratic habits are too
    resilient, and our military and judiciary too independent, for any
    kind of scenario like that.

    Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in democracy could
    be closed down by a process of erosion.

    It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the
    profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days, things look
    normal on the surface; peasants were celebrating harvest festivals in
    Calabria in 1922; people were shopping and going to the movies in
    Berlin in 1931. Early on, as WH Auden put it, the horror is always
    elsewhere - while someone is being tortured, children are skating,
    ships are sailing: "dogs go on with their doggy life ... How
    everything turns away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster."

    As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to internet
    shopping and American Idol, the foundations of democracy are being
    fatally corroded. Something has changed profoundly that weakens us
    unprecedentedly: our democratic traditions, independent judiciary and
    free press do their work today in a context in which we are "at war"
    in a "long war" - a war without end, on a battlefield described as the
    globe, in a context that gives the president - without US citizens
    realising it yet - the power over US citizens of freedom or long
    solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.

    That means a hollowness has been expanding under the foundation of all
    these still- free-looking institutions - and this foundation can give
    way under certain kinds of pressure. To prevent such an outcome, we
    have to think about the "what ifs".

    What if, in a year and a half, there is another attack - say, God
    forbid, a dirty bomb? The executive can declare a state of emergency.
    History shows that any leader, of any party, will be tempted to
    maintain emergency powers after the crisis has passed. With the
    gutting of traditional checks and balances, we are no less endangered
    by a President Hillary than by a President Giuliani - because any
    executive will be tempted to enforce his or her will through edict
    rather than the arduous, uncertain process of democratic negotiation
    and compromise.

    What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged with
    treason or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to threaten Keller
    with last year? What if he or she got 10 years in jail? What would the
    newspapers look like the next day? Judging from history, they would
    not cease publishing; but they would suddenly be very polite.

    Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back the tide
    of tyranny for the rest of us - staff at the Center for Constitutional
    Rights, who faced death threats for representing the detainees yet
    persisted all the way to the Supreme Court; activists at the American
    Civil Liberties Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back
    the corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called the
    American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate collection of people
    needs everybody's help, including that of Europeans and others
    internationally who are willing to put pressure on the administration
    because they can see what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home
    can mean for the rest of the world.

    We need to look at history and face the "what ifs". For if we keep
    going down this road, the "end of America" could come for each of us
    in a different way, at a different moment; each of us might have a
    different moment when we feel forced to look back and think: that is
    how it was before - and this is the way it is now.

    "The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and
    judiciary, in the same hands ... is the definition of tyranny," wrote
    James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going down this road;
    we can stand our ground and fight for our nation, and take up the
    banner the founders asked us to carry.

    · Naomi Wolf's The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a Young
    Patriot will be published by Chelsea Green in September.
     
    Frosty, May 3, 2007
    #2
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  3. ellis_jay

    Gazwad Guest

    ellis_jay <>, the dowdy-down-and-out and
    thick-headed human-enema who likes wild javelin juggling with ferrets,
    and whose partner is a red-light sister with a soft minge, wrote in
    <>:
    >I saw the President give a speech justifying his veto of the Bill Congress
    > recently passed setting benchmarks and financing Bush's war. He said
    > leaving Iraq would give Bin Laden's group control of Iraq and Iraq would
    > become a haven for Al Qaeda.
    >
    > Mr. Bush also said Iraq would become a center for exporting terrorism
    > across the world and that
    > an exit from Iraq would enable the terrorists to come here. What a mouth
    > full of garbage!! What a joke!


    Nuke the rag-headed cunts.
    That'll fucking learn 'em.


    --
    For my own part, I have never had a thought which I could not set down
    in words with even more distinctness than that with which I conceived
    it. There is, however, a class of fancies of exquisite delicacy which
    are not thoughts, and to which as yet I have found it absolutely
    impossible to adapt to language. These fancies arise in the soul, alas
    how rarely. Only at epochs of most intense tranquillity, when the
    bodily and mental health are in perfection. And at those weird points
    of time, where the confines of the waking world blend with the world of
    dreams. And so I captured this fancy, where all that we see, or seem,
    is but a dream within a dream.
     
    Gazwad, May 3, 2007
    #3
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