After hearing President Bush’s speech on Sunday night, I wondered how long it would be before the next grenade against liberty was launched. Had to be, you know.
The war on terror has a new front–Iraq. You know what that means? All the provisions of the Patriot Act and executive orders that Bush and Ashcroft put into place during the “war” in Afghanistan come into play. Meaning, for instance, that any one can be snatched out of Iraq and interned in cages in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, or wherever else Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz decide to house “enemy combatants.” It means that Shiite Muslims or any other faction of Iraqi citizens or immigrants in this country may be considered “terror” suspects and themselves “detained” for questioning.
It means that charities that send aid to Iraq may be at risk for being charged as aiding and abetting terrorism unless the charity is the U.S. Government. Presumably, it–and its deputy Haliburton and subsidiaries–are the only entities allowed to fund Iraq “rebuilding.” (And you and I are the contributors to that charitable organization with our tax dollars).
It comes as no surprise then, that on Wednesday the Washington Post reported that Bush made a visit to the FBI in Quantico, Virginia and proclaimed that police needed the same power to fight “terror” as they have to fight “crime.” There are terrorist acts (like reading, perhaps?)– that are not yet crimes, he said; there are terrorist crimes that do not yet–heaven forbid–carry the death <penalty.There> are investigations for which police still–gasp!–must obtain search warrants.
That simply won’t do, the Prez said. So look for new bills to come out of the Congress making heretofore legal acts crimes, making some existing crimes crimes of terror, and giving the police more power to further trample on the Bill of Rights.
All because Bush botched the “war” against Iraq and had to rename it the war on “terror.” And because, as was his mantra Sunday night, somebody has to pay for this war, and it ain’t gonna be him, unless we, the voters, make him pay with his job. It is you and I who will pay. With the lives of our sons and daughters, with our tax dollars, and with our liberty.
ELAINE CASSEL practices law in Virginia and the District of Columbia, teachers law and psychology, and follows the Bush regime’s dismantling of the Constitution at Civil Liberties Watch. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org