Wednesday, September 3, 2008
A classified FBI intelligence memorandum gives police detailed instructions on how to target and monitor lawful political demonstrations under the rubric of fighting terrorism. And the Joint Terrorism Task Force was involved in infiltrating, tracking and disrupting every-day Americans who disagree with the current administration's policies.
While the ACLU calls such tactics "a return to the days of J. Edgar Hoover's spying tactics", that is not an accurate description.
While Hoover's FBI had its "enemies list", and carried out numerous dirty tricks including Cointelpro, the current governmental actions are a lot worse.
For example, according to a law school professor, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 has the following consequences:
"Anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on Bush's list of 'terrorist' organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies could be declared an 'unlawful enemy combatant' and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens."According to the New York Times:
"A dangerously broad definition of “illegal enemy combatant” in the bill could subject legal residents of the United States, as well as foreign citizens living in their own countries, to summary arrest and indefinite detention with no hope of appeal. The president could give the power to apply this label to anyone he wanted."And according to a Yale law professor, "The [torture] legislation....authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights."
After they disappear into the black hole of enemy combatant status, they may, of course, also be tortured.
See also this FBI memo showing that peace protesters are being labeled as "terrorists" (and see this).
Is that why mass arrest facilities were set up for the Democratic National Convention, and signs on the walls of the warehouse read "Warning! Electric stun devices used in this facility" (and see this)?
Remember, the Department of Homeland Security - instead of protecting vulnerable targets from alleged terror threats - has instead randomly made up lists which include kangaroo centers, petting zoos and ice cream parlors as high-priority terrorist threats. The fact that they are now targeting reporters, children, little old ladies and skinny vegetarians is just more proof that the "war on terror" has nothing to do with terror, and everything to do with grabbing power and stifling dissent.