The Experts Say: It's a Police State
Critics of the policies of George W. Bush are often greeted with this response: "Who are you to denounce the president? Don't you think he's privy to more information than you are? Don't you think he has all kinds of experts giving him the full picture, which you will never know?"
OK, fair enough. Let's see what the experts -- those privy to the full picture, to the secret intelligence, those long schooled in policy and analysis -- have to say. For example, what does the man who was George W. Bush's director of homeland defense on the National Security Council on September 11, 2001, think of the "war on terror" launched by George W. Bush after September 11, 2001?
He thinks Bush has exploited the attack to install a police state in America, that's what George W. Bush's director of homeland defense on September 11, 2001, thinks. But let Tom Maertens speak for himself, as he does most directly in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune (via Cursor):
… Perhaps no event demonstrates more clearly the dangerous authoritarianism of the Bush crowd than the arrest of two American citizens, Jose Padilla and Yasir Hamdi, who were held for 3½ years in solitary confinement with no charges, no court appearance and no lawyer. The Bush administration declared them "enemy combatants" -- Enemies of the State -- and threw them in prison indefinitely, just like a Third World dictatorship.
Winston Churchill once said: "The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist."
How far can the Bush administration go? Steven Bradbury of the Justice Department recently suggested before a congressional committee that the president might have the power to order the killing of terrorist suspects inside the United States.
Government assassination squads? In America?
… James Madison once warned: "If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy." The Bush administration has already exploited the war in Iraq and fears about terrorism to stampede the American people into accepting an astonishing curtailment of their freedoms and growing lawlessness by the government. If the administration chooses to engage in the neocons' endless, global War for Civilization, American democracy will ultimately be one of the casualties.
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