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

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
      ( 10:34 AM )
Now You Too Can Get on the 'Enemies' List!

It's simple! It's fun! Build your own FBI file in one easy step! Want to know more? Here's how!

As you may have heard, John Ashcroft, the attorney general of the United States, has launched a wild and crazy speaking tour this week where he is rockin' the vote for the Patriot Act (aka "Revenge on Librarians Act"). Ashcroft's not such a tough adversary on his own (recall that when given the choice, the people of Missouri voted for a dead man rather than for Ashcroft), but he has vast resources behind him, and the Administration has already demonstrated that it is making a list and checking it twice...gonna find out who's naughty...

So now's your chance to get your very own FBI file! You might even get it red-flagged! If you've been wondering, "how can I get to be an enemy of the Bush administration?" or "how can I entice the FBI to search my home without my permission or tap my phones or delve into my private history of library book checkouts?" then this is your opportunity! Be among the first few thousand to be declared a true traitor - a clear and present danger to the safety of this country! Committing treason is so easy now, with just a simple signature, your name will be sent to the FBI and you too can be counted among the most unpatriotic, treasonous, lecherous and no-good dissenters who are making this country the disasterous, free-thinking, free-speaking bastion of liberalism that it is.

I can't fault the Dean campaign for taking this route. It is a clear way to speak out against Ashcroft and the Patriot Act, and frankly, probably everyone who has publicly joined the Dean campaign is already on a list somewhere in the Justice Department files. I didn't mind signing since I already know I have an FBI file (past indiscreet direct action and a few deportations from other countries), so I thought that for those of you who might be embarking on a fresh new FBI file, here are a few tips to make your interactions with Mr. Ashcroft and his minions more enjoyable for everyone:

1. You might want to put a sign up, not huge, but noticeable, somewhere near the front door welcoming the FBI agents when they break into your home without having first obtained a warrant or notifying you that you were under surveillance. This is always a nice touch and takes the sting out of the intrusion.

2. It's always good to pepper your house with "illicit literature." This is reading material that will instantly fatten your FBI file and even perhaps warrant confiscation (always good to keep your better copies somewhere safe outside your home). This literature can cover a wide range and should include any or all of the following: anything by Michael Moore; books or pamplets regarding the history of any revolutionary group (nice inclusions might be the IRA, ETA, Tamil Tigers and of course, the Palestinians); any books, pamphlets or flyers about unions, union organizing or the many and various massacres of union workers by the US government over the years; and of course any sort of pamplets or books on how to live without being connected to the grid or paying your taxes. It can be as effective leave handwritten notes or posters around with comments like "there's no government like no government," or "Free Leonard Peltier !!!"

3. Whenever you're on the phone, be sure to use lots of mysterious language, peppered with phrases like "big daddy" and "the meeting place."

4. If you would like your file to include some very flattering pictures of you, when at a rally or protest demonstration, be sure to go right up to and pose for any pictures being taken by young men with close-cropped hair wearing polo shirts, khaki pants and sunglasses (this is the new undercover uniform). And don't forget: smile!

5. It's always best to leave a trail of video and book checkouts that mark you as a true troublemaker - I leave it up to your discretion, but rent lots and borrow often!

6. Whatever actual public dissenting you can do will always help to fatten your file: attending rallies, coordinating committees, demonstrations, picketing, and saying things like "the 'healthy forest initiative' is about cutting down healthy forests!" Doing really dirty things like carrying signs or dressing up in costume can really add a touch of finesse to what otherwise might be a plain, drab FBI file.

7. Finally, in a few months, after you feel confident you've added enough solid material to your file, begin flooding the justice department with FOIA requests. One per week should do nicely - they really like to fulfill those requests, and it's lots of fun for them to black out things and pretend they're secrets!

By following these few suggestions, I assure you, your life will become much more exciting and you too might find yourself a named ENEMY of the Bush administration. Enjoy - it's the best company you'll ever keep.

UPDATE: Looks like 40,000 people have already signed on - don't get left out of the crowd!

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