Wednesday, May 21, 2008

From the archives of Harper's magazine (1956): Subways are for Sleeping

Pharyngula has this: Birth Pangs of a Police State

Minneapolis is hosting the Republican National Convention this summer, and that means we're seeing an uptick in sleaze (you might want to avoid public restrooms when these guys are in town). The most bizarre part of it all is that the FBI is looking for villains in all the wrong places.

What they were looking for, Carroll says, was an informant--someone to show up at "vegan potlucks" throughout the Twin Cities and rub shoulders with RNC protestors, schmoozing his way into their inner circles, then reporting back to the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, a partnership between multiple federal agencies and state and local law enforcement. The effort's primary mission, according to the Minneapolis division's website, is to "investigate terrorist acts carried out by groups or organizations which fall within the definition of terrorist groups as set forth in the current United States Attorney General Guidelines."

Vegan potlucks now fall within the definition of a terrorist cell, as defined by the US Attorney General? What are they going to do, threaten a mass assault by kumbaya-singing hordes in birkenstocks armed with lumps of tofu?

This is not about protecting citizens. It's about silencing the expression of dissent, no matter how mild.

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