Friday, October 01, 2004

The Bush Betrayal: Chapter 3

We continue coverage of this awesome book with another small sample:

        Chapter Title: A War on Dissent?
Section Heading: Viewing Demonstrators As Would-Be Terrorists

The following week, two U.S. Army intelligence agents descended upon the University of Texas law school in Austin. They entered the office of the Journal of Women and the Law and demanded that the editors turn over a roster of the people who attended a recent conference on Islam and women. The editors denied having a list; the behavior of one agent was described as intimidating. The agents then demanded contact information for the student who organized the conference, Sahar Aziz.60 University of Texas law professor Douglas Laycock commented, "We certainly hope that the Army doesn't believe that attending a conference on Islamic law or Islam and women is itself ground for investigation."61 Though the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 supposedly prohibited the use of the military for domestic law enforcement, the Bush administration is successfully pushing to have the U.S. military become more involved in domestic snooping.62

Scary stuff. According to this Wiki externally-linked article, the original reasoning behind the Posse Comitatus Act seems to have been that since the military is a conquering force, it should not be used to keep the peace - a job better suited to civilian law enforcement agencies. In 1878, Americans were still very cognizant of being repressed by military forces - British forces before the American revolution, and American forces during the Civil War. Neither civilians nor military personnel had a taste for it. But regardless of reasoning behind the creation of the law, it seems to me that the Bushies should not be breaking it.

This chapter also references COINTELPRO. It's worth a quick Wiki if you don't know the history of this FBI program.

Link to original article (and Chapter 1 - Introduction) here.

Link to previous chapter.

Chapter 4.

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