Some time soon, perhaps this very year:
A major attack on a US city, involving a "dirty bomb" or a biological weapon.
The government, taken by complete surprise (of course) quickly concludes this is the work of Islamic extremists.
The American media explode with the news and tell us exactly what the government told them.
War is declared, on Iran perhaps. Or Syria. Or we go in to "help" Pakistan. Or we simply expanded the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Martial law is declared in the United States, or a new and improved Patriot Act is enacted.
Anti-war activists are rounded up and declared "non-citizens" - or some other new designation similar to "enemy combatant."
The 2008 elections are postponed indefinitely.
Can you imagine this?
Unfortunately, it is all too easy.