Who are the Terrorists?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Who Are the Terrorists? - Law Enforcement's Confusion Threatens Rights
Lisa Dean November 18, 1999
Many of the constitutional atrocities we see committed by our government are being done in the name of protecting national security. With Y2K as an excuse, or perhaps a reason, federal law enforcement is seeing to it that Americans enter the next century with fewer constitutional rights than at any time in the nation's history, all in the name of saving us from terrorists and criminals.
The risk of terrorism has caused alarm among intelligence and federal law enforcement authorities. In the wake of Oklahoma City and the World Trade Center bombings, the cause for alarm is not without basis.
However, the mentality within federal law enforcement agencies about who the criminals and terrorists are, is at best, confused. The perspective that the FBI is currently operating under is to treat those who merely criticize the government the same as actual terrorists.
There is weighty evidence in this area to support that position. First, both the political Right and the Left, such as Amnesty International and the Rutherford Institute, admit to having been targeted by federal law enforcement for their positions on issues, which happen to fall opposite that of the Administration. This illustrates that the lines between "terrorism" and "criticism" are blurred and that becomes very dangerous.
Jim Dempsey, Senior Staff Counsel at the Center for Democracy and Technology, is co-author of the book, Terrorism and the Constitution: Sacrificing Civil Liberties in the Name of National Security. Dempsey has made the case that federal law enforcement actually views organizations on the political Right as greater threats than those on the Left precisely because of their criticism of the Administration.
And it's that statement which leads me to the second point -- Project Megiddo. This latest report issued by the FBI blurs the lines between the legitimate and the illegitimate, those who criticize and those who terrorize. The report states that the "right wing movement," particularly "the religious branch," as they call them, believes in the Second Coming of Christ and the end of the world.
So what? Well, it just so happens that many of the cults that the FBI is targeting for potential acts of violence also believe in the end times and the Second Coming, so the FBI takes the opportunity to confuse the "right wing movement" as they call it or the "Religious Right" with those religious cults they consider dangerous.
Also, according to the report, non-religious groups, such as the Neo-Nazis, white supremacists and militias are also considered dangerous because they have a history of violence in America. But, the report continues to label these groups "right wing" and, of course, to confuse them with organizations such as Gun Owners of America and the John Birch Society, whom they accuse of fueling the paranoia of the other groups.
What the FBI has done is confuse those groups who have committed acts of violence toward the government and society in the past with those who have criticized the government in the past. Again, criticism is no different from terrorism in the mindset of the current FBI.
While the FBI is busy calling half the population in America extremists, they ought to take a closer look at themselves. With the views expressed in the Project Megiddo report, what percentage of the US population is the FBI, in fact, representing?
I dare say, it undoubtedly is in the single digits. In fact, in order to help them take that closer look, I think it's high time Congress look into this matter and give the FBI the same treatment that it gave to the IRS just a couple of years ago. Let's hold hearings and dissect this agency to find out just who and what is making it tick before we lose the liberty to do so once and for all.
Lisa Dean is vice president of FreeCongress.org's Center for Technology Policy.
-- Homer Beanfang (Bats@inbellfry.com), November 18, 1999
As an OT aside, the UK government has announced it's intention to extend the definition of terrorist to cover pretty much any anyone who has harmed, or is intending to harm, people or property for some reason other than malice or personal gain. That covers just about anyone other than common or garden criminals. Environmental protestors, civil rights demonstrators organising a rally, you name it. All terrorists.
So Terry Thug can only be held for 24 hours, has immediate access to free legal representation, and can sue for wrongful arrest. Civil Rights Cecil can be held without charge, incommunicado, for SEVEN DAYS, has no right to legal representation until he is charged, and cannot sue for wrongful arrest. Hmm. Again, HMMM.
-- Colin MacDonald (email@example.com), November 18, 1999.
Say hello to the New American Gestapo.
Because America went to sleep behind the wheel of Liberty, we have swerved into totalitarian rule of the State. Just wait, this is just the beginning.
I can tell you for certain, that one outgrowth of ANY Y2K related disruptions is going to be the total loss of your civil liberty, especially if you're a devout Christian and/or Conservative/ Libertarian. Ultimately, we all lose. Left, Right, Constitutionalist or Libertarian. Any ideology that the Administration now deems a "threat" of their security will become a target for investigation, intimidation and eradication.
How long before midnight raids and round-ups start? How long before disappearances lead to mass imprisonments or worse? How many more Waco's will we see? How many more Government shakedowns of businesses like Microsoft, Tobacco and Gun Mfrs?
Think it can't happen here? WAKE UP! It's already happening!...and now it's too late to stop that slippery slide. Just you wait, this is just the beginning. That article above ought to ring your bells to realize what has happened to our sensibilities, and our liberties.
Well, America you are getting just what you deserve.
I have no pity for you, you let it happen. You have been shamed into silence. You have not spoken up against intrusions on liberty - instead you sat idle and waited for others to voice the opposition to insanity for you. You watched them ridiculed and smeared by the press, you saw the emotional wrangling of an astute and powerful demouguoge whip up the frenzy and frighten you into silence. And now but for a few, whom wear a label of "whacko, zealot, mean-spirited, intolerant, "Blank"-ophobe, racist, extremist", there is no voice of Liberty ringing out that has awoken the people from their lazy/drunk slumber of prosperity...while the tyrants trampled underfoot the remaining vestiges of freedom.
But you didn't know it, because they redefined freedom for you, and you accepted it gladly in exchange for your slice of perceived wealth.
But it can't happen here.....right?
-- INVAR (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 18, 1999.
INVAR, you make the truth SO obvious! how do you do it? I can't convince anyone that our loss of freedoms is even a problem... it's as you said, noone cares... Well a few, I can count them on one hand...
-- Crono (Crono@timesend.com), November 18, 1999.
**And now but for a few, whom wear a label of "whacko, zealot, mean- spirited, intolerant, "Blank"-ophobe, racist, extremist"**
.....have you been looking at my dossier? I'm not really all of that. But if I ever got a bigtime soapbox, those would be the handles they use to smear me. Oh yea, you forgot sexist...
-- Patrick (email@example.com), November 18, 1999.
Another interesting veiwpont. Teaminfinity.com/~ralph/megiddo
-- A regular Joe (firstname.lastname@example.org), November 18, 1999.