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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 9/10/08

How the GOP Turned the US Into a Hideous Police State

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When laws become unjust, tyrannical and stupid, everyone becomes a terrorist. The GOP 'national convention is a picture of the continuing GOP police state. Otherwise peaceful demonstrators, exercising free speech guaranteed them by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights were arrested, roughed-up, jailed, and accused of being terrorists! Under GOP supported laws, opposition to Bush is a 'terrorist' act.Patriot Act II laid the ground work!

Like Hitler's enabling act, Patriot II made opposition to Bush an act of terrorism, giving Bush the 'authority' to define US obligations to the Geneva Convention as he saw fit. Those 'deemed' to be 'enemy combatants are, thus, prohibited from fighting back and, of course, 'fighting back', defending one's country, then becomes an act of terrorism. I have news for Bush: 'deeming' is not 'due process' which is guaranteed in the US Constitution.
At home, hot dogs, most police departments, self-appointed Bushies, have taken it all to heart in a wave of often fatal tasering, rarely seen even in the US. More worrisome is that a wave of arrests of peace protesters are then charged with being 'terrorists'. It follows, that if one is deemed a 'terrorist' under the Patriot II, being an American citizen will not prevent your being water boarded. In other words, 'terrorism' is whatever Bush doesn't like.

The rule of law and Due Process mean absolutely nothing to this administration or the GOP. Silence gives consent. John McCain has, therefore, signed off on tyranny! McCain represents Bush's 'third term'; therefore, Bush need not declare a national emergency to assume dictatorial powers. He he exercises them already. The wholesale arrests of peaceful demonstrators is just the tip of the ice burg.
This wave of abuse proves that McCain's GOP, the Bush administration specifically, has turned the US into a fascist police state! Whenever you are 'deemed' by the Bush administration to be a 'terrorist', you can kiss the protections of the Constitution, and possibly your ass, good bye. The 'authorities' may deem the following acts as 'acts of terrorism:
  • Destruction of any property, which is deemed punishable by any means of the military tribunal's choosing.
  • Any violent activity whatsoever if it takes place near a designated protected building, such as a charity building
  • A change of the definition of "pillaging" which turns all illegal occupation of property and all theft into terrorism. This makes squatters and petty thieves enemy combatants.
In the wake of Patriot II, journalist Greg Palast has been hounded by Homeland Security, accused of giving terrorists information about 'US critical infrastructure' and film of Exxon's Baton Rouge refinery! This is information that they could have gotten with a google search and goggle earth! It's just an excuse to harass and intimidate a reporter.
There is a fascist chill in America. As I have often stated: Bushco (and that includes McCain Palin) is a clear and present danger. Bush, his minions and material support, are traitors who have betrayed the people of the US even as they worked to subvert the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, indeed, the very 'rule of law', replaced by decrees, signing statements, signed by Bush.
(WSWS) -- On Wednesday eight members of the anarchist prof est group the Republican National Convention Welcoming Committee (RNCWC) were charged under provisions of the Minnesota a state version of the Patriot Act with "Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism." The eight charged are all young, and could face up to seven-and-a-half years in prison under a provision that allows the enhancement of charges related to terrorism by 50 percent. They are: Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald and Max Spector.


--RNC in Twin Cities: Eight prof esters charged with terrorism under Patriot Act
In what appears to be the first use of criminal charges under the 2002 Minnesof a version of the Federal Patriot Act, Ramsey County Prosecutors have formally charged 8 alleged leaders of the RNC Welcoming Committee with Conspiracy to Riot in Furtherance of Terrorism. Monica Bicking, Eryn Trimmer, Luce Guillen Givins, Erik Oseland, Nathanael Secor, Robert Czernik, Garrett Fitzgerald, and Max Spector, face up to 7 1/2 years in prison under the terrorism enhancement charge which allows for a 50% increase in the maximum penalty. Affidavits released by law enforcement which were filed in support of the search warrants used in raids over the weekend, and used to support probable cause for the arrest warrants, are based on paid, confidential informants who infiltrated the RNCWC on behalf of law enforcement. They allege that members of the group sought to kidnap delegates to the RNC, assault police officers with firebombs and explosives, and sabotage age airports in St. Paul. Evidence released to date does not corroborate these allegations with physical evidence or provide any of her evidence for these allegations than the claims of the informants. Based on past abuses of such informants by law enforcement, the National Lawyers Guild is concerned that such police informants have incentives to lie and exaggerate threats of violence and to also act as agent provocateurs in raising and urging support for acts of violence. --Bruce Nestor, Information Clearing House, RNC 8 Charged as Terrorists Under State Patriot Act
Stupid, asinine and unjust laws inspired by the original stupid law, the Patriot Act, make a mockery of our Constitution and the principles of our founding.
The charges represent an abuse of the criminal justice system and seek to intimidate any person organizing large scale public demonstrations potentially involving civil disobedience. --Bruce Nestor, president of the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild

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Real violence is trivialized with transparent attempts to put on 'trial' the political views of the defendants. This tactic is un-patriotic and un-American. In another case, Joe Previtera, 21 of Boston College was charged with felonies after he dressed up in a hooded Iraqi prisoner 'dress' as seen in the iconic Abu Ghraib torture photo. Apparently, a man in a dress is a threat to the military grunts in the recruitment center in Tremont St., downtown Boston. He was arraigned and bond was set at $10,000. -- Boston Student Joe Previtera Gets Felony Charges For Iraq Prof est Only the naive still believe that the various police forces throughout the nation take seriously their oaths to 'protect and serve'. Rather, the police have become a Praetorian Guard of entrenched power and elite, monied interests. It's the GOP way! I wonder how many 'cop shops' are directly controlled by Bush's 'Homeland Security".
...[it] Seems almost inarguable but it leads to lesser military effectiveness in a myriad of situations, but nowhere more than in anti-insurgency operations where the willingness of American troops to blow away civilians if there is even a miniscule chance that might make troops safer has actually lead to troops being less safe, because it has increased the number of people who have reason to want to kill American troops.
The US has an image of itself as a country of the brave. Perhaps George W. Bush was the perfect President for the US as it now is. A country of hollow, self righteous showmen. I certainly hope not, but --looking at McCain's polling numbers-- it may be so. In which case the US will get what it deserves --and Heaven Help the rest of us.

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Certainly, there's a balance between foolhardiness and courage and between safety and responsibility. In US police enforcement that balance has skewed to the point where all a police officer needs to justify the shooting, the electrocution, the punching, the stomping, the battering of the citizens and visitors of this country is to state they were afraid for their safety. That excuses all. The job of US Police Officers is to keep themselves safe. The citizenry do not matter. There is no longer any pretense that the police forces in the US are here to serve the community. They are in the business of control. They protect the very rich and powerful. We have come full circle to police as enforcers for the rich in a feudal-like system of economic serfs and masters. --Authoritarian Police Forces we have in the US
The GOP has been taken over by Bush-like neo-nazis, particularly John McCain and his mentally constipated running-mate --Sarah Palin, a Stepford Wife on speed! Merely making plans to blockade traffic or disrupt the GOP is now considered to be 'terrorism'. This is absurd. Authorities say they want to put the defendants views on trial. I submit that it is time we put Bush, McCain, Palin views on trial. And later, war criminals are to be put on trial at the Hague.

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Len Hart is a Houston based film/video producer specializing in shorts and full-length documentaries. He is a former major market and network correspondent; credits include CBS, ABC-TV and UPI. He maintains the progressive blog: The (more...)

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