|Subj:||Fw: 12-10-01 Online Journal: #5, #6|
|Date:||12/10/01 5:56:18 PM Pacific Standard Time|
> 12-10-01: John Ashcroft: American fascist
> By William Rivers Pitt
> "No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices."
~Edward R. Murrow
> December 10, 2001-Attorney General John Ashcroft was called before
Congress last Thursday to give testimony regarding the unprecedented
restrictions being placed upon the commonest of American liberties.
> With the passage of the USA Patriot Act, and through an executive order
signed by George W. Bush authorizing secret military tribunals for suspected
terrorists, the latter of which was enacted with virtually no congressional
oversight despite the fact that it seems to violate the spirit, if not the
letter, of the Posse Comitatus Act, Ashcroft had some things to answer for.
> From the beginning of his testimony, Ashcroft was defiant in the face of
some skeptical Democratic senators. He waved a copy of an alleged Al Qaeda
terrorism handbook in their faces as proof positive that no restriction of
freedom was too severe when considering the enemy he seeks. In his opening
remarks, Ashcroft made the following statement:
> "To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty; my
message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists-for they erode our
national unity and diminish our resolve."
> There is no plainer way to say it, this is rank demagoguery of a strain so
pure that it has not been heard in the political dialogue of this nation
since the dark days when Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy made careers out
of shattering innocent lives during highly publicized anti-communist
congressional hearings in the late 1940s and the early 1950s.
> In essence, John Ashcroft claims that if you question the unprecedented
steps he and his Justice Department are taking, if you voice doubts about
the concept of destroying freedom in order to save it, if you step out of
the narrow line he and Bush are drawing, you are a terrorist. If you dare to
participate in that most fundamental American activity-dissent-you are
aiding and abetting the murderous butchers who sent thousands of our
citizens to death three months ago.
> No more grave an accusation can be leveled in this time, and no more base
and groundless a charge can be or has been spoken. It is one thing to sit
for weeks and hold your tongue for fear of being called unpatriotic, as many
patriotic Americans did in the aftermath of September 11. It is another
again to be called a terrorist for defending the sanctity of the United
States Constitution from men who come for it with erasers and redacting
> Ashcroft claims that there are people who are scaring Americans with
"phantoms of lost liberty." Let us examine some of these phantoms, and see
if there is any flesh on the bone.
> The First Amendment of the Constitution reads: "Congress shall make no law
respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise
thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right
of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a
redress of grievances."
> The idea that it was unpatriotic to question Bush in the aftermath of
September 11 received wide play and acclimation in the media, and still does
in many circles. This skirted the edges of free speech restrictions
forbidden by the First Amendment. Ashcroft's proclamation of December 6,
that anyone who speaks out against his and Bush's plans, fairly defines the
reason this Amendment was created in the first place.
> Patriotic Americans will now fear to speak out against the government, the
first fundamental responsibility of any citizen, for fear of an accusation
that will taint them forever. It is intimidation in the raw of the first
principle-the right to speak your mind, and to defy authority when it has
> The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution reads: "The right of the people
to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants
shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things
to be seized."
> Section 213 of the USA Patriot Act is entitled "Authority for Delaying
Notice of the Execution of a Warrant." Legal analysts have given this
provision a snappier title: the "sneak and peek" section. Under 213, federal
officers can enter your home and search your belongings. They can do all of
this without ever letting you know they were there.
> The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution reads: "In all criminal
prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public
trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime
shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously
ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the
accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have
compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the
Assistance of Counsel for his defense."
> One of the main reasons Ashcroft was ordered to appear before Congress was
because of Bush's recent executive order authorizing the use of secret
military tribunals to try-and condemn to death-anyone suspected of being a
terrorist. This is troubling on its face-secret trials with secret evidence
followed by secret judgments.
> Read the executive order closely, however. The section entitled
"Definition and Policy" describes what manner of suspect would come before
> "(a) The term 'individual subject to this order' shall mean any individual
who is not a United States citizen with respect to whom I determine from
time to time in writing that:
> (1) there is reason to believe that such individual, at the relevant
> (i) is or was a member of the organization known as al Qaida; (ii) has
engaged in, aided or abetted, or conspired to commit, acts of international
terrorism, or acts in preparation therefor, that have caused, threaten to
cause, or have as their aim to cause, injury to or adverse effects on the
United States, its citizens, national security, foreign policy, or economy;
or (iii) has knowingly harbored one or more individuals described in
subparagraphs (i) or (ii) of subsection 2(a)(1) of this order; and
> (2) it is in the interest of the United States that such individual be
subject to this order."
> It is (2) that gives pause. There are some 20 million non-citizens
occupying and working in this country right now. They could be arrested,
detained, tried and convicted in secret if someone decides "it is in the
interest of the United States." If John Ashcroft, whose idea of treason
extends to questioning his highly questionable actions, is representative of
the attitude being brought to this anti-terrorism endeavor, the precepts
laid out in the Sixth Amendment have suddenly turned appallingly fragile.
> The phantoms Mr. Ashcroft so arrogantly disparaged seem to have some
significant substance, after all.
> It comes to this: At the bottom, America is an idea, one represented and
defended by the Constitution. Destroy the idea and you have destroyed the
nation. If we are to believe the hyperbole of the administration, those who
attacked us on September 11 did so because they despise our freedoms. To
destroy those freedoms in response to the attack is tantamount to surrender.
> I am not ready to surrender. Are you? Is Ashcroft? Is Bush? If not, then
there are other motives at work here. Power, after all, is always hungry and
in search of more territory to annex. Thus has it always been, which is why
the Constitution is so vital.
> Fascism is defined as, "A system of government marked by centralization of
authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of
the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of
> The only thing probable is the unimaginable now. This definition cuts too
close to the bone. The time has come to stand up and say no to this slow
evisceration of the idea that is America, to say no to men like Ashcroft who
hold our essential freedoms in such contempt. Never forget that it was
Ashcroft, in the earliest iteration of the anti-terrorism bill, who
advocated the suspension of habeas corpus. If there is a beating heart
within the body of laws that protect our freedoms, habeas corpus is it. That
alone should be enough to rouse us all.
> I intend to challenge, at every opportunity, the assertion by Ashcroft
that dissension is equal to terrorism. I intend to continue my questioning
of his contra-constitutional program of restrictions until they are stopped.
I beg you to do the same.
> I offer you the opportunity to add your name and voice to this fight. Send
me an email here, and I will place your name on a list to appear on my
website. By giving me your name, you sign a document that states your
opposition to Ashcroft's constitutional revisions while denouncing him for
daring to call you a terrorist. You are an American patriot. Stand up and be
counted as one.
> It is entirely possible that there will be trouble for you if you do this.
Any fight for freedom has costs, and I cannot promise that you will not be
made to pay for daring to speak your American mind here.
> All I can promise is this: You will have done the right thing.
> Stand up.
> Email William Rivers Pitt at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit
> Copyright © 1998-2001 Online JournalT. All rights reserved.
> You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from
copies of the content.
> 12-10-01 Letters to the Editor
> Prayer and support
> Here in the UK the media is turning a blind eye to the horrors caused by
the USA terror-machine.
> But there are those of us who aren't fooled. There are those of us who
don't swallow the lies. There are those of us will react. There are those of
us who wish to see justice prevail. And there are those of us who will never
stop to see true democracy return.
> It is through the actions of you and people like you, real people, that
this will occur. You are absolutely vital, not only to the future of
America, but to the entire world. The future of the entire world rests in
the lap of the American people.
> We don't despise America, we despise it's foreign policies. We despise the
global elite that rule with total disregard for human life. We despise the
terror wolf wrapped up in democrats clothing.
> It is time. It is time that ordinary people took back the power that is so
rightfully theirs. It is time for true democracy. It is time for people to
stand up & be counted. Stand up and complain. Protest en masse. Withhold
taxes. It is only through fear that they are winning the war. The real war.
The war against it's own people.
> Whether by fair means, or foul, we will prevail. God help us all.
> Yours in prayer,
> Justin Cayse
> Ashcroft's "lollipops"
> Can anyone comment on the latest efforts by the Attorney General who is
asking for people to come forward with information regarding terrorism and
they "may" get consideration for resident status?
> I felt like I was watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when the scary man in
the black hat was enticing the children to come out of hiding with the
line - "I've got lollipops . . ."
> Maybe it was just me, but I got a big laugh out of it just the same.
> Dana Rosales
> Harvey, LA
> Hate and divisiveness
> A local paper allowed someone to post the "we are a Christian country"
piece. Attached please find my response that was published in the
News-Enterprise (Los Alamitos, CA). Feel free to reprint:
> Tom Kneeshaw took the time to write a great deal on his America, too bad
it was all so terribly wrong.
> Let's start with the fact that America is not now, and never was a
Christian country. It was not founded on Biblical principles and, in fact,
Thomas Jefferson once said in a letter to John Adams, "The day will come
when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the Supreme Being as his father,
in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of
Minerva in the brain of Jupiter" ([Memoirs, Correspondence and Miscellanies
from the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, edited by Thomas Jefferson Randolph]
Jefferson's Works, Vol. iv, p. 365). Or in his letter to Dr. Woods where
Jefferson states, "I have recently been examining all the known
superstitions of the world, and do not find in our particular superstition
[Christianity] one redeeming feature. They are all alike, founded upon
fables and mythologies."
> So, it's fair to say that we know that at least one of the Founding
Fathers of this great nation wasn't enamored with Christianity, or the
thought of building a nation on "superstition," "fables" and "mythologies."
> Let's now look at the many specific false claims in Mr. Kneeshaw's letter
and see what reality is.
> Kneeshaw said, "'In God We Trust' is our national motto." Yes, in
accordance with Public Law Number 851 passed at the Second Session of the
84th Congress of the United States, July 30, 1956, the National Motto of the
United States became "In God We Trust." Prior to that, the National Motto
was "E Pluribus Unum," Latin for "One from many" or "One from many parts."
It refers to the welding of a single federal state from a group of
individual political units-originally colonies and now states. Now, remember
the year that this change was made . . . 1956.
> Kneeshaw said that the national motto was, "printed on our currency." In
fact that started in 1863, after 11 Protestant denominations mounted a
campaign to add references to God to the U.S. Constitution and other federal
documents. Rev. M.R. Watkinson was the first of many to write a letter to
the Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase in 1861 to promote this
> Decades later, Theodore Roosevelt disapproved of the motto. In a letter to
William Boldly on November 11, 1907, he wrote: "My own feeling in the matter
is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to
use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good, but does positive harm,
and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege."
> In 1957 the law codified the use of the phrase on all money.
> Kneeshaw said, "God is in our pledge, our National Anthem, nearly every
patriotic song, and in our founding documents."
> In the 1950's Congress added God to the pledge, Congress added "so help me
God" to oaths and the American people allowed our government to add God to
many other things. In fact, in the midst of McCarthyism (one of the darkest
periods of American history), we spent a great deal of time and effort
adding God to everything we could, since we would be able to find the
God-less commies that way.
> As for founding documents "nature's God" gets a mention in the Declaration
of Independence, but beyond that, God gets no mention at all in the
Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or any other documents. And what of
"natures God?" Well, the full phrasing is "laws of nature and of nature's
God." Which could mean the Green Mother even more so than some Christian
ideal of the Almighty. And what of the Constitution? Not there, no mention
at all. Our Constitution is a secular document. Now, if you want a
Constitution where God gets mention, try Saudi Arabia.
> Kneeshaw continued, "We adopted this motto because Christian men and
women, on Christian principles, founded this nation; and this is clearly
documented throughout our history."
> As I have already shown, Christian men and women did not found this
nation. Those who were persecuted for their religious beliefs and fled to a
land where they would be free to believe as they wished founded it. It was
founded with a deep and abiding respect to every religion, not kowtowing to
any one religious belief.
> In the upper corner of this Letters to the Editors page there is a copy of
the First Amendment. Note that it clearly states that "Congress shall make
no law respecting an establishment of religion" Now with the followers of
Agnosticism, Atheism, Deism, Humanism, Buddhism, Satanism, Unitarian
Universalism, followers of most Aboriginal religions, Goddess religions,
Hinduism, Santeria, Vodun, Wicca and other Neopagan religions, who do not
believe in a single "God," being forced to accept this motto, and this use,
it seems that the Congress may have overstepped their bounds a bit (but the
SCOTUS has refused to hear cases against the motto, including the Madalyn
Murray O'Hair, et al. v. W. Michael Blumenthal, Secretary of Treasury, et
al" 588 F.2d 1144 (1979) and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.
lawsuit of June 8, 1994).
> If you have further doubts, try "As the government of the United States is
not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion, as it has in itself no
character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility of Messelmen,
and as the said States never have entered into any war, or act of hostility
against any Mohammedan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext
arising from religious opinion shall ever interrupt the harmony existing
between the two countries" - Treaty of Tripoli in 1797, Article XI, written
by Joel Barlow (USA diplomat) and Hassan Bashaw (of Algers), late during
George Washington's second term and later ratified by President John Adams.
> That seems succinct enough for me. "As the government of the United States
is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" let me stress that
"is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion." Has the point sunk
through yet? Mr. Kneeshaw, are you starting to see the folly of your
> Mr. Kneeshaw added the following, "We honor His birth, death and
resurrection" which means that all the Jews and Muslims are to be added to
the list of those that don't count in your version of America. Since these
people don't believe in the "birth, death and resurrection" they don't quite
fit in with your budding theocracy.
> And in closing Mr. Kneeshaw stated, "If God offends you, then I suggest
you consider another part of the world as your new home, because God is part
of our culture and we are proud to have him."
> No, you can go to Iran, where they have a theocracy, or Afghanistan where
the Taliban rules in a theocracy. You can move. Those that want to discount
people because they don't share the religious convictions of the majority
offend me. They disrespect me, and others, who don't share their mythology.
Hounded minorities founded this country; they did so in order to ensure
religious freedom and tolerance. People that want the majority to rule, and
force their mythology on the minority participants in a "love it or leave it
manner" are part of the problem, not part of the solution. Your faith
belongs in your home and in your church. Not in our government and not in
the institutions that are designed to represent and serve us all.
> Why am I writing this?
> First they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a
Jew. Then they came for the Communists and I did not speak out because I was
not a Communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak
out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for me and there was
no one left to speak out for me. -Pastor Martin Niemöller
> I'm speaking out, because in your Christian nation you are coming for me
and mine. You are saying that we don't belong here. You are part of the
sickness that creates groups like the Klan & Taliban, and allow, no, strike
that, you further the agenda of hate and divisiveness. Maybe it's time for
someone to say, "Never again, not here and not now!"
> JM Ivler
> Slaughter in Afghanistan
> It seemed too good to be true, the foreign fighters of the Taliban,
following their surrender at Kunduz, had not been immediately murdered, a
common practice of America's freedom-loving friend, the Northern Alliance.
> And it was too good to be true. Hundreds of foreign fighters for the
Taliban were slaughtered in their prison early Sunday (Nov. 24). A German
film apparently shows Northern Alliance troops firing down from prison walls
into the crowds below. The AP reports an American Special Forces soldier
named David calling in air strikes on prisoners being shot completes the
ugly picture. Virtually the entire population of prisoners was killed.
> With the Pentagon's claim that the slaughter resulted from a prison riot,
we are witness to an event surely in every respect worthy of Nazi Germany, a
feeble lie used to excuse the mass murder of prisoners. The quelling of no
prison riot in history required every rioter be slaughtered. And with air
strikes to complete the job and destroy forensic evidence?
> It comes just shortly after Mr. Rumsfeld, honorable man that he is,
publicly suggested that all the foreign fighters captured should be killed,
or permanently walled away. Rumsfeld's words were clearly not wasted on the
brutal General Dostum, nor on American Special Forces, the thugs who used to
murder civilian village leaders in Project Phoenix during the Vietnam War.
> John Chuckman
> Port Dover, Ontario
> Rah! Rah! Sis-Boom-Bah
> Everybody repeat after me!
> We're winning the War On Terrorism! Gasoline is a dollar a gallon where
God Intended It To Be! Bush is a Great President!
> Now all of you who nodded your head at that, much less actually said it,
please go back to your securely padded rooms. The nice doctor will be along
shortly to adjust your medicine dosages.
> Probably most of the Bush family's terrorist friends and collaborators are
already dead, to prevent them from talking about their connections with
Poppy and his oil and gold and drug money. But the "war on terrorism" will
never be won, because most of the terrorists are right here among us. From
the flight schools in Florida, chartered and maintained with the Bush
brother's kind help, to Ashcroft's Anthrax Army, his personal freeper
friends who have terrorized women and dark-skinned people and same-gender
roommates since Poppy Bush last wrecked the country, from Reagan-worshipping
Tim McVeigh to kill-'em-all Falwell, the right wing right here in this
country defines terrorism as bin Laden and his pitiful cohorts never could.
> Gasoline? Most Americans can't count to eleven with their shoes on and
their zipper up, so they can't be expected to understand the simplest
economic manipulation. But how hard is it to follow a see-saw? When
Oil-Slick Dick Cheney was in charge, California had an energy crisis
(because they voted for GORE, the awful people!) and the price of gas
climbed daily. Then Senator Jim Jeffords had the honesty and gumption to say
"No More!" and all of a sudden Cheney's billion-dollar scam was facing
investigation. Prices dropped like a rock on Jupiter. California now has
more electrical power than it knows what to do with. SUV sales are on the
rise among the "waste is good" Cheney crowd. (Has anyone seen Cheney alive
in person lately, by the way? His computer-generated speeches all look like
> But oil profits are down, and the Bush league absolutely cannot have that.
> So we have, hm, a war that extends to 90 percent of the oil producing
states? Yeah, that's the ticket! Quietly selling off and hiding the assets
of Enron, the biggest oil Bush/Cheney supporter, so they can publicly go
"bankrupt"? Hm, says the dimwit as he rubs the afternoon nap's sleep from
his eyes, while the directions from daddy are patiently and slowly read to
him, okay, that way they get a huge tax break, we can bail out the CEOs with
everybody else's money, and to hell with the employees- I've already put
half a million people out of work, what's twenty thousand more? Just more
slaves, that's all.
> If you can find someone on the betting circuit who will take you up on
this, bet whatever little you can afford to lose on a return of whatever is
left: gasoline prices are about to skyrocket, and the unelected Dimwit will
use that as an excuse to expand the "war powers" he does not have, to "mount
an offensive" and kill more of the people who might rat on his poppy's
treason. His veep, if he's still alive (which I doubt), or more likely his
veep's bigoted, hypocritical, hateful, lying wife, also stands to profit
another billion or so in confiscated oil field property.
> "But, but," protests the last poor mental case as the nice padded room is
checked for sharp objects, "Bush has a ninety percent approval rating!"
> Sigh. I really get tired of trying to explain statistics and logic (not to
mention reason and sanity) to people who think "math" means you're a
Catholic with a lisp.
> If I asked you, "would you eat a piece of dead cow that had been lying out
in the sun for days, covered with maggots and worms and fungus," would even
the few of you who can read (I'm assuming you're reading this yourself and
not having someone read it to you, since the 85 percent of ditto-donkeys,
who by definition can't read, or construct an intelligible sentence with
their flapping mouths have long ago lost interest) say yes?
> How many of you would go for an aged cut of prime steak with spices and
mushrooms? (Being a vegetarian, I wouldn't touch it, but then, that's not
the current point.)
> If I ask you, assuming you can understand eight words in a row, "Do you
support Bush's attack on the Taliban?" and you said "no," I would wonder
about your sanity. But then, I already do, because Legally Elected (Twice)
President Bill Clinton tried to take action against the Taliban for years,
and the right wing, under marching orders from the oil/gold/drug Bush
Empire, screeched about Clinton's zipper and would not allow the American
people, the once free, the once brave, to stand firm against thieves and
terrorists that were filling the Bush's pockets.
> You let faked polls tell you that we didn't support an attack on the
Taliban under President Clinton, because Bush was dining on dead cow and
fungus (and oil and gold and poppies), but once the Bush family provided the
Taliban with the money and training to bring death and destruction to our
own country to create a "war" to make incompetent, lying, snorting, coward,
thief Junior look good, all of a sudden it's steak and mushroom sauce (never
mind the oil and gold and poppies).
> Get that straight, America: nobody at all supports Bush, except for the
> A few people are committed by their own conscience to peace. That is their
right. Most of us-that 90 percent that the hate-spewing talking heads have
been instructed to claim as Bush's own, when we are no such thing-hit back
when hurt. It is those of us who cannot abide injustice who are hurt so
often and so deeply, not by a pitiful bunch of bomb throwers, but by our own
self-proclaimed masters, who demand that we do as they say.
> We approve of an end to violence, viciousness, the sacrifice of innocents,
the enslavement and killing of those who cannot fight back.
> Bush does not, never has, and never will have a "90 percent approval
rating." Bush's personal approval rating is maybe three percent and falling,
since the ultra-wealthy who desperately support him in order to get their
"tax cut" constitute less than one percent of the nation.
> Ninety percent of us, and rising, approve of an end to the greedy,
power-mad Bush family regime. An end to their bigotry, their hatred, their
terrorism, their manipulation, their theft, their destruction of all this
once proud country used to stand for.
> We do not need a "war on terrorism" to define who we are.
> We sure as hell don't need it to drive up gasoline prices and make the
Bush/Cheney Empire even wealthier and lazier and more crooked than they
> The price of electricity is about to come as a great shock to you, just in
time for winter and for the Evil Empire to fund and consolidate its grip on
you. Dumbya has been proven to be the loser of the election, as well as an
idiot who has no business off a leash, much less in the White House, except
maybe as the new dog, if he can be taught not to pee the carpet. And there
is no war on terrorism.
> There is only the same old war, that so few understood until it was too
late - like the Jewish merchants under Hitler -that is being waged against
> Dian L. Hardison
> Cocoa, FL