[thechat] FW: Protesters

Martin martin at members.evolt.org
Wed Oct 10 14:17:33 CDT 2001

Joe Crawford wrote on 10/10/01 7:46 pm

>Peaceful protesters near my Grandmother's neighborhood who are basically
>squatting at the mosque with "Peace not Racism" and other "Tolerance"
>and "Peace" signs - protecting their fellow American's right of free
>assembly - why? Because of the many threats they're receiving. These are
>protesters to me. The call for peace, though I definitely think is
>somewhat naive (you'll recall Erika and me having some back and forth
>here) is one which should be respected. Sheeeeeeeit.


Freedoms Curtailed in Defense of Liberty

      WASHINGTON, DC‹Responding to the threats facing America's free 
democratic system, White House officials called upon Americans to stop 
exercising their democratic freedoms Monday.
      "In this time of national crisis, a time when our most cherished 
freedoms are threatened, all Americans‹not just outspoken talk-show hosts 
like Bill Maher‹must watch what they say," White House press secretary 
Ari Fleischer told reporters. "Now more than ever, if we want to protect 
democracy for future generations, it is vital that nobody speak out about 
the issues of the day."

      "We must all do our patriotic duty to protect our country's great 
ideals," Fleischer continued, "and we have to be careful about what 
opinions we express if we are to defend our Constitution, a sacred 
document behind which all Americans must stand united as one."

      Fleischer's sentiments echoed those of many executive-branch 
officials, who, in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, have called for 
broad-based limitations on civil liberties‹and urged all patriotic, 
freedom-loving citizens to support those restrictions‹in defense of the 
American way of life.

      "We live in a land governed by plurality of opinion in an open 
electorate, but we are now under siege by adherents of a fundamentalist, 
totalitarian belief system that tolerates no dissent," Attorney General 
John Ashcroft said. "Our most basic American values are threatened by an 
enemy opposed to everything for which our flag stands. That is why I call 
upon all Americans to submit to wiretaps, e-mail monitoring, and racial 
profiling. Now is not the time to allow simplistic, romantic notions of 
'civil liberties' and 'equal protection under the law' to get in the way 
of our battle with the enemies of freedom."

      In the past, Ashcroft said, efforts by federal agencies to restrict 
personal freedoms were "severely hampered" by such factors as the 
judicial system, the Bill Of Rights, and "government by the people." 
Since the attacks, however, some such limitations have been waived, 
finally giving the CIA, FBI, Pentagon, and White House the greater powers 
they need to defend freedom.

      U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who advocated permitting the CIA to 
engage in various illegal activities during a recent Tonight Show With 
Jay Leno appearance, stressed the importance of not merely submitting to 
freedom-curtailment policies, but also blindly agreeing with them.

      "Now is not the time for such divisive, destructive things as 
dialogue and debate," McCain said. "Now is not the time for, 'My opinion 
is just as valid as yours,' and 'What are my country's leaders doing and 
why?' and 'I have a question, Mr. President.' Now is the time for one 
thing and one thing only: The defense of the American democratic ideal. 
Any and all who disagree with this directive, or who have different ideas 
about how it should be accomplished, should learn to shut their mouths."

      As the U.S. prepares to mobilize forces against Afghanistan, the 
military is seeking strong limitations on the press. According to Defense 
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, such a Constitution-flouting move would not be 
unprecedented, citing the suspension of habeas corpus in the Civil War 
and the order to round up 110,000 Japanese-Americans in detention camps 
after the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

      "Remember, under the oppressive Taliban regime, people live in 
constant fear of an oppressive order to which all must submit," Rumsfeld 
said. "Under their system, it is illegal to practice a different religion 
or support a different political system. It is against the law for women 
to work or leave their homes without their faces covered. There is no 
freedom of speech, press, or assembly, as dissent of any kind is not 
tolerated. It is even forbidden to smile or laugh in public, and all who 
fail to unquestioningly obey are punished with reprisals of brutal 
violence. We must not allow such a regime to threaten our great 
democracy. We must stand for something better than that."

      "It is therefore urgent," Rumsfeld continued, "that all Americans 
be quiet, stop asking questions, accept the orders of authorities, and 
let us get on with the important work of defending liberty, so that 
America can continue to be a beacon of freedom to all the world."

email: martin at easyweb.co.uk             PGP ID: 0xA835CCCB
       martin at members.evolt.org      snailmail: 30 Shandon Place
  tel: +44 (0)774 063 9985                      Edinburgh,
  url: http://www.easyweb.co.uk                 Scotland

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