Sunday, December 18, 2005

Editorial: The Bully Boy divider

"We are all the outlaws in the eyes of America."

That's the opening line to Jefferson Airplane's "We Can Be Together." That's also what the Bully Boy appears to see when he looks out on the nation.

"In Address, Bush Says He Ordered Domestic Spying" ("Says Program Will Go On") announces the headline on the front page of this morning's New York Times. The AP trumpets "Bush Defends Secret Spying in the U.S."

If you're missing the point, from Democracy Now!:

Report: Bush-Enacted NSA Program Monitors Phone Conversations, E-Mails
The New York Times is reporting the National Security Agency has been eavesdropping on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals without court-approved warrants. Under a Bush administration directive enacted in 2002, the agency has monitored the international phone calls and e-mails of hundreds, and possibly thousands of people inside the country. The National Security Agency’s mission is to spy on communications abroad. Although officials said the program had helped thwart at least two potential attacks, most people monitored by the N.S.A. have never been charged with a crime.
The Times says it delayed publishing details of the program after a request from the Bush administration at least one year ago. At the request of the White House, the Times also says it has omitted information administration officials said could be useful to terrorists. The disclosure comes two days after NBC News revealed the Pentagon has kept detailed records on the events and meetings of anti-war groups across the country.


Pentagon Monitoring Anti-War Events Across the Country
Meanwhile, NBC News is reporting the Pentagon has been extensively monitoring the events and gatherings of peaceful anti-war groups across the country. A military database obtained by the network lists small activist meetings and events among 1,500 "suspicious incidents" over a 10-month period. The events included a gathering at a Quaker Meeting House in Lake Worth, Florida, to plan a protest of military recruiting at local high schools. In total, the database listed over four dozen anti-war meetings or protests.

Get it? We are all the outlaws in the eyes of the Bully Boy. (In the eyes of some senators as well.)

Last week saw the Patriot Act (temporarily, at least) put on hold. As BuzzFlash noted on the Bully Boy's strong push to renew it:

No, the real immediate threat is the Bush administration, which would take away our most basic liberties -- while ignoring the real terrorist risks -- in order to expand their secret powers. There is no logic to most of the Patriot Act except when viewed through the prism of extending this regime's imperial powers.

You and your rights are expendable to a Bully Boy administration. That's why the Pentagon (and others) can spy on peace activists without any hesitation or remorse.

This should make you think of the Nixon administration.

This should alarm you.

On the Pentagon's spying, Matthew Rothschild notes:

The Pengaton's partial file on the spying is available [. . . here]

It lists 43 events in a six-month period alone, dating from November 11, 2004, to May 7, 2005. Pentagon political spying took place in the following states and the District of Columbia: Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
One took place in Madison, Wisconsin, on April 26, 2005, according to the
Madison Capital Times.
It was sponsored by the Student Labor Action Coalition and the Stop the War, the Capital Times reported. "Participants in the rally numbered only about 20," the paper said, and it was designed to protest recruitment in Madison. "A planned Air Force recruiting drive was abandoned as a result."
The Pentagon's database "listed the type of threat posed by the event as 'anti-DOD vandalism' and marked the source as 'not credible.' The case, however, was left on a status of 'open/unresolved,' " the Capital Times reported.

In his McCarthyism Watch, Rothschild has chonicled repeated outrages. We'd suggest it be called the Enemies List Watch because that does appear to be what's now emerging.

You are an outlaw, an enemy, if you read the wrong book, gather at a protest (any protest) against an administration policy or objective, if you merely try to live as a citizen in a democracy.
And Bully Boy will rush out to warble his tired, old song of, "If you don't support me, the terrorist will win!"

Quite the contrary, as BuzzFlash points out, "It is, let us remember again and again, the Bush Administration who puts us at greatest risk for terrorism. "

Last week, the mainstream media seemed to wake up (partially) from their long years of lethargy. The reports that emerged were alarming. Bully Boy's response to revelations of his outrageous behavior is to blame the media and to blame those who didn't rush to do his bidding on the Patriot Act. When he said you either with us or against us, he wasn't kidding, he wasn't joshing. But "us" wasn't "U.S." "Us" was his administration.

Silly ass pundits have been demanding a healing of the "divide" in this nation since the day after the 2004 election. Everytime they demanded a healing, they slapped the left with a ruler. We have to come together! We have to pull together! For the good of the country, Al Gore needs to concede!

It hasn't been for the good of the country. It's been for the good of the Bully Boy. He's the one who's continued to divide the nation with his actions and words.

The reports on spying from last week make it quite clear that he divides "us" and "them" along partisan lines. These actions were not just an attack on those who disagree with him, they were an attack on the right to dissent, they were an attack on everything the nation is supposed to stand for.

In Bully Boy's America there is no concept of equal rights. Rights of expression and asembly belong only to those who would support Bully Boy. That should scare the hell out of you.

[This editorial was written by The Third Estate Sunday Review's Dona, Jess, Ty, Ava and Jim; Rebecca of Sex and Politics and Screeds and Attitude; Betty of Thomas Friedman Is a Great Man; C.I. of The Common Ills and The Third Estate Sunday Review; Kat of Kat's Korner (of The Common Ills); Cedric of Cedric's Big Mix; Mike of Mikey Likes It!; Elaine of Like Maria Said Paz; and Wally of The Daily Jot.]
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