...I'm okay with being REALITY-based.

Monday, August 04, 2003
      ( 12:03 PM )
Direct Action Against Activists

Thanks to Maru for pointing out this article in The Independent yesterday:

After more than a year of complaints by some
US anti-war activists that they were being unfairly
targeted by airport security, Washington has
admitted the existence of a list, possibly hundreds
or even thousands of names long, of people it
deems worthy of special scrutiny at airports.

Why is this not being reported in American newspapers? This is using the resources of the federal government to prohibit the civil rights of basically what amounts to an "enemies list."

The strong suspicion of such groups as the
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which
is suing the government to try to learn more,
is that the second list has been used to
target political activists who challenge the
government in entirely legal ways. The TSA
acknowledged the existence of the list in
response to a Freedom of Information Act request
concerning two anti-war activists from San
Francisco who were stopped and briefly detained
at the airport last autumn and told they were on
an FBI no-fly list.

We're talking about people who have broken no laws, much less have anything to do with terrorism. What we're talking about here are dissenters. People who stand up to the machine that is running this country over, people who aren't afraid to speak out and speak the truth. The fact that this list continues to be in use without any checks on it and the only thing that is fighting it is a lawsuit right now is frightening. Where is our opposition party? Where are the true conservatives in our government who used to cry out in dismay at invasions of personal privacy and limitation like this?

The ACLU's senior lawyer on the case, Jayashri
Srikantiah, said she is troubled by several answers
that the TSA gave to her questions. The agency,
she said, had no way of making sure that people did
not end up on the list simply because of things they
had said or organisations they belonged to. Once
people were on the list, there was no procedure for
trying to get off it. The TSA did not even think it was
important to keep track of people singled out in error
for a security grilling. According to documents the
agency released, it saw "no pressing need to do so".

No one is safe from this Administration's out of control power grabbing. We as individuals have no recourse to protect ourselves from lists like this. Be prepared, people who are on record as volunteers for any of the Democrat candidates' campaigns... you may not be able to get on an airplane this year. The only way we can truly end what is growing into a nightmare is to get this administration out of office. It is incredible to me that the bulk of our legislators, and even our governors are standing silent while our civil liberties are hacked away into oblivion. There is no explanation as to how actions like this either protect us or are good for the country. They are not, they are simply the actions of a small group of men who are in power and intend to stay that way. They use fear to cow people into compliance, they use threats and manipulation and, let's be honest, they circumvent the Constitution of the United States in order to achieve their own dubious ends.

Don't fool yourself into thinking that these things aren't important, that you haven't done anything wrong, so it doesn't bother you that there are lists like this, or that some of your liberties are curbed for the greater good. It has nothing to do with truth, it has nothing to do with reality. It only has to do with power. This administration is intent on victimizing all of us all over again. 9/11 is its depraved excuse for turning this country into a cowering heap of scaredy-cats.

We're not animals, we can't be herded like sheep and we are not afraid. It's time that BushCo starts understanding that. We need to pay attention and we need to keep pointing out stories like this to all our friends and neighbors. This is the true nature of this administration. And it's time to stop putting up with it.

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