The recent Capitol Hill Blue ‘investigation’ and Jay Bennish’s comments about Bush seem to only be the beginning of the big brother media control. With upcoming crackdown on blogging by the Feds I suspect that this very blog and yours truly may be headed for some heat as well…
Blogger Gets Education in Gestapo Tactics
Saturday March 11th 2006, 12:37 pm
As posted at Another Day in The Empire
Huffington Post blogger John Serry wants to know, in response to the intimidation and harassment of Pomona College professor Miguel Tinker Salas, how “the FBI [could] be so duped or goaded into having their domestic operations so blatantly hijacked and transparently politicized.” Obviously, Mr. Serry knows little about the FBI and its long-standing agenda to harass, intimidate, and neutralize individuals and organizations deemed a political threat by the government.
In essence, for decades, the FBI has served as the secret police for various administrations, going after civil rights and peace activists as well as more militant individuals and organizations such as the Black Panthers, AIM, Earth First, and others. Senator Edwin Muskie, a victim of FBI harassment, remarked from the floor of Congress that this surveillance was “a dangerous threat to fundamental constitutional rights.” During the 2004 political campaigns, the FBI went around the country intimidating antiwar activists, interviewing (or rather intimidating) their family and friends. As FOIA documents reveal, the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force “inappropriately regards public protest as potential ‘domestic terrorism,’ prompting it to investigate and build files on the political activities of peaceful dissenters,” the ACLU of Colorado noted in an August 2 , 2005, press release.
None of this is new. J. Edgar Hoover cut his teeth on going after political opponents, most notably as head of the General Intelligence Division of the Justice Department in 1919, and later as the head of the Bureau of Investigation, which became the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1935. Newspapers liked to portray the FBI as an all-American crime-busting outfit going after the likes of John Dillinger, Alvin Karpis, and Machine Gun Kelly, but in fact its primary job was to hound and hunt down radicals and political opponents.
Early on, Hoover collected a massive database of 150,000 names, and using this data he went after antiwar activists, labor unions, socialists, communists, and other malcontents. By January 1920, Alexander Mitchell Palmer, United States Attorney General under Woodrow Wilson, and Hoover had organized the largest mass arrests, sans search warrants, in United States history—10,000 people were rounded-up in Gestapo-like raids.
From 1956 until 1971, the FBI ran COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program) and its sole purpose was to “neutralize” dissident political organizations, that is to say Americans exercising their First Amendment right. In fact, the very purpose of COINTELPRO was to “increase factionalism, cause disruption and win defections” of target organizations. In 1981, the illegal activities of COINTELPRO became legal when Reagan signed Executive Order 12333. As recent revelations demonstrate, the FBI and a cornucopia of other government agencies—including the CIA and the Pentagon—have infiltrated, harassed, and used psychological warfare and extralegal force and violence against legitimate political organizations and individuals. Again, none of this is new or especially revelatory. In America, a Gestapo-like political and secret police has operated more or less unhampered for nearly a hundred years.
John Serry’s blog entry was prompted by the intimidation of Pomona College Arango Professor in Latin American History and Professor of History and Chicano/a Studies, Miguel Tinker Salas. On March 7, Salas was “interviewed” (interrogated and harassed) by two members of the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department working for the FBI Joint Task Force on Terrorism. Salas’ crime? He “teaches classes in Latin America history and has special research expertise in the history and politics of Venezuela,” more than enough to make him suspect in the eyes of the government.
Moreover, as of late various media outlets have asked Salas to “provide historical background on the growing tension between Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and the George Bush administration. For instance, several outlets contacted him for a response after Donald Rumsfeld compared Chavez to Adolf Hitler. Most recently, Professor Tinker Salas was interviewed for ten minutes on CNN en Español about the history of U.S. intervention in Latin America,” according to Serry. “What has Venezuelan politics to do with the war against terrorism? Who officially sent out the thugs to pay a visit to my colleague? That ‘conversation’ was clearly meant to serve two purposes: to add to Professor Tinker Salas’s ongoing file in a fishing expedition to uncover something incriminating against him; and to let him know that THEY are watching, a not-so-subtle warning to intimidate in order to curb his speech.”
Get used to it, John.
Mr. Salas is but the tip of the iceberg. Millions of us—no doubt John Serry included, since he contributes a blog to the Huffington Post, a “liberal” website, actually rather milquetoast, but a threat nonetheless to the Straussian neocons—are subject to “investigation,” thanks to Bush’s NSA snoop program, recently allowed to go forward, in violation of the Constitution, as Congress has “cut a deal with the White House” to avoid a full Senate inquiry (even though such an investigation would have been akin to johns investigating prostitutes).
Recall a few short weeks ago Lindsey Graham, Congress critter-whore from South Carolina, demanding Bush move more aggressively against “fifth columnists,” that is to say millions of Americans who disagree with the occupation of Iraq. AG Alberto Gonzales, a torture advocate and apologist that would make Grand Inquisitor Thomás de Torquemada proud, told Graham the administration would very much like to pick his brain on the subject, or vise versa. Congress and the administration will be on the same page soon enough, probably as the shock and awe campaign against Iran gets off to a murderous start. Dissent will not be tolerated, as it now has a loud and growing voice on the internet.
Palmer’s raids, rounding up a mere 10,000 “subversives,” will look like child’s play when compared to what the Straussian neocons will do.
Of course, the NSA snoop and dossier program has nothing to do with “al-Qaeda” telephone calls or email messages. It is all about compiling lists to be used in the near future. History is replete with examples—Germany, Russia, Chile, and Indonesia—of dictators rounding up the opposition, sending them to camps, or “disappearing” and slaughtering them outright.
But history does have a funny habit of repeating itself. Miguel Tinker Salas and members of antiwar groups in Colorado, to name but two, have experienced the leading edge of the fascist wave coming to America, one terrorist event away from becoming a boot-in-your-face reality.
Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root, after all, has not been awarded a $385 million dollar contract by Homeland Security to construct detention camps for nothing.