Shock Doctrine. The End of America. The erosion of freedom is being chipped away and in spite of the outcry in some quarters, it will leave with a whimper.
Headlines and focus are elsewhere – like on Palin’s smears about Obama, trying to connect him to terrorism, and of course the economic terrorism that has shaken even the most stalwart conservatives.
But this morning’s headline in today’s Washington Post, Md. Police Put Activists' Names On Terror Lists, gives us some insight into how long the tentacles of the Bush Administration have grown in eight years, from fighting phantom terrorists in Iraq to fighting the same ghosts at home.
In a Maryland legislative hearing last week related to a legal suit brought by the ACLU, it was revealed that 53 nonviolent activists were earmarked as “terrorism suspects” and had been tracked by the state police. The ACLU was investigating a Maryland surveillance operation that targeted anti-war “activists” as well as people protesting the death penalty. Maryland is one of 37 states in which capital punishment is still the law. Included on the state terrorist list are an antiwar Quaker activist and two Catholic nuns.
Interestingly, the conservative Washington Times also ran a story on the revelation, but blamed the Democratic Governor Martin O’Malley for focusing only on state police surveillance activity that occurred under former governor Republican Robert Ehrlich.
While we let the politicians play gottcha, it is telling to note that the Washington Times states: “State law does not bar law enforcement from spying on interest groups.” Under the FISA laws, the federal government can now wiretap our phone without warrants.
Add that to the Bush Administration detention of “enemy combatants” in Guantanamo and other black prisons, the arrest and jailing of protestors at the Republican convention less than six weeks ago, the raid on the offices of a video company in St. Paul that was there to film the protests, and yesterday’s raid on the ACORN office in Nevada that similarly took their computers, records and equipment, and the picture gets flushed out.
The Bush Doctrine is not just about preemptive action of foreign governments that might someday harm (or want to) the US and its interests, it also includes preemptive action against citizens who are perceived to be harmful to the Bush Administration and the Republican agenda.