The hair on the back of my neck stood up as the anchor calmly, if demurely, uttered the phrase "domestic terrorism." Whatever happened to good old fashioned arson? I quickly checked Google for some of the verbiage contained in HR 1362, the Patriot Act, which pertains to "domestic terrorism," an insidious piece of legislation that overwhelming passed Congress in the months immediately following 9/11. Here is a thumbnail of what I came up with:
According to the Patriot Act, the term 'domestic terrorism' means activities that--
'(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; '(B) appear to be intended--
'(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
'(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
'(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
'(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of theUnited States.'
Suskind writes that "The White House had concocted a fake letter from Habbush to Saddam, backdated to July 1, 2001," thereby committing an impeachable offense through an illicit manipulation of domestic intelligence to -- you guessed it--- "influence the policy of a government by intimidation." (Politico).
The author also contends that Habbash (Iraqi intelligence) told the White House there were no weapons of mass destruction well before the invasion of Iraq, and was paid millions in hush money.
So it is then that his some of Suskind's notes were, in effect, kidnapped, and held hostage by federal agents working in tandem with an administration whose primary goal has been to "intimidate and coerce a civilian population." Sound familiar?
No one is defending firebombing as a tactic, or suggesting that this isn't a crime, but does it not usually fall under the heading of arson, or vandalism? Can it be that setting fire to a researcher's house is an act of terrorism, rather than vandalism, has something to do with the fact that there is ideology behind the act? And, if that is the case, there can be no better reason to charge the authors of the Patriot Act, as well as the forgeries that brought us into a blatantly unjustifiable war, as "domestic terrorists" themselves.
After all, is it okay to firebomb villages, maim and kill innocent civilians--acts of international terrorism, and consider these acts of domestic heroism because the ideology passes the smell test in the Oval Office?
There can be little doubt that phrases like "domestic terrorism" arise from the mindset of a president like George W. Bush who once famously said "There ought to be limits to freedom." Thankfully, the founding fathers, in their wisdom, established limits to the presidency.