Monday, April 09, 2007

Spies and Secrecy in New York City

Every once in a while I have to shine the light at home, for some perspective. A terrifying glimpse of America in 2007 pulled from Huffington's blog, written by E.A. Hanks.

David Cohen's personal website isn't up at the moment, which is fitting. He's the former C.I.A. official who headed up the New York Police Department's infiltration of peace groups, student activist associations, and other groups that came together before the Republican National Convention in 2004. The N.Y.P.D. was spying on Americans, not just here in New York, but in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montreal, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas and Washington, D.C.. There were also agents working in Europe.

Mayor Bloomberg says this was a safeguard against terrorists. Somehow, I'm not convinced.It might have something to do with the fact the N.Y.P.D. is refusing to release the files they compiled on American citizens. David Cohen was supposed to testify for the second time on March 30, but canceled because of a dispute about how much information the public deserves to know. He'd spoken before, but city lawyers have sealed the transcript of that testimony.

Who knows what mayhem Vegans for Milk-Free Peace could have wreaked on the streets of Manhattan! What are civil rights or American Democracy in the face of the fearsome Drum Circle Dudes for Democrats?

Everyone knows fascism couldn't happen here. We've got checks and balances! Well, I mean, unless the judiciary becomes politicized and we start hiring and firing lawyers because of their adherence to a political goal. Also, we've got a free press! Except for that part when the papers have the threat of the Espionage Act hanging over their heads. I mean, not when President Ford's Chief of Staff Donald Rumsfeld and his Deputy Dick Cheney nearly slapped Seymour Hersh with indictments. I mean now, when the New York Times "threatened national security" by unveiling a national program to spy on Americans. That's a different program than one for the R.N.C. - it's hard to keep your breaches of civil rights straight. So many travesties to keep track of!

So of course fascism couldn't happen here! It's not like we're in Egypt, where political blogger Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman has been thrown in jail. Unless...Unless we're counting American blogger Josh Wolf, who's been in jail since August 1, 2006, longer than any other American journalist. He's there because he's refused to hand over video tapes of an anarchist protest rally held in San Francisco while the G8 was meeting in Scotland.

It could never happen here, unless if you count that it already has.

Check out the few public documents and read more at Amnesty USA.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home