Sunday, October 24, 2004

Stalin, Hitler and Bush

Reading Stephanie Bond's interview with an American author of women's fiction whose home was raided recently by federal police brings to mind descriptions by Nadia Mandelstam, wife of Russian poet, Osip Mandelstam, whose books, Hope Against Hope, and "Hope Abandoned" details numerous raids by Stalin's secret police searching their home for "counter-revolutionary" poems:
Dilyn: The raid took place last fall, pre-dawn, and it lasted three hours. They banged at my front door first, damaged it coming in, displayed weapons and threatened to kill my dogs. After that, imagine everything you’ve seen on TV, only worse. There were six male agents. One was in the “bad cop” mode the entire time, trying to intimidate me, yelling at me, threatening me. When I had to go to the restroom, he sent an agent along to the bathroom with me. It was a multi-agency raid: Postal Inspectors (for the Web site/email end of it), FBI, and three officers who would only identify themselves as Federal Police. They took so much--computers, photocopier, files, books, discs, computer programs, CDs of the music by which I write, contracts, absolutely everything I had connected to the writing world. They took pictures off my walls, my office television, pens, a case of paper, postage stamps…even now, after all these months, 1 still so to get something only to discover it missing.
Dilyn, a pseudo-name, was writing a book about the theft of antiquities in Cambodia, and did some research on terrorist groups there. The result, thanks to The Patriot Act, was SS-like storm troopers in her bedroom.

Disregard for the constitution and our democratic institutions is rife within this administration:

The NY Times provides a detailed account of the Bush administration's secretive efforts to create "a new system of justice for the new war they had declared on terrorism."

Determined to deal aggressively with the terrorists they expected to capture, the officials bypassed the federal courts and their constitutional guarantees, giving the military the authority to detain foreign suspects indefinitely and prosecute them in tribunals not used since World War II. The plan was considered so sensitive that senior White House officials kept its final details hidden from the president's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, and the secretary of state, Colin L. Powell, officials said. It was so urgent, some of those involved said, that they hardly thought of consulting Congress.

We must loudly and publicly protest the Bush administration's disregard for the United States Constitution.

It remains to be seen whether they will leave office even if Kerry legally wins the election. In that event, we must be prepared to evict them.

Thanks to Talk Left for the link to the Bond interview and NY Times article.


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