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Monday, November 28, 2005

Police State

Paul Craig Roberts:
What will happen to Iraq and the Middle East no one knows. Our concerns need to be directed at what happens here in the US. Bush's war against Iraq might be over, but the police state Bush built at home is still in place.
The Bush administration's hype about terrorism serves no purpose other than to build a police state that is far more dangerous to Americans than terrorists.

Ever since the "war on terror" was initiated by the Bush administration, the US has been holding large numbers of "detainees." By chance or the laws of probability, a few of these people might fit some definition of "terrorist." The vast majority, however, are innocents picked up in the equivalent of Stalin-era KGB street sweeps. Many are hapless people sold by warlords to the US in order to receive cash awards for turning in "terrorists."

Despite the large number of alleged "terrorists" or "enemy combatants" that are being held, the Bush administration simply hasn't a shred of evidence with which to bring "detainees" to trial.

If truth be known, the "detainees" are merely props for Bush's hype about the "terrorist threat." The "detainees" were arrested in order to make Americans feel safe and at ease with the police state.
A police state has to catch enemies in order to keep the people frightened and appreciative of the watchful eye of the police state.

Now that the Padilla case has evaporated, the Bush administration has come up with a replacement. An American student of Arab descent, who was studying at a Saudi Arabian university, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for conspiracy to assassinate President Bush. The indictment rests on the confession wrung out of the young man by torture in a Saudi prison.

Does anyone really believe that al Qaeda leaders would conspire with an American college student to assassinate President Bush? Indeed, President Bush has been Osama bin Laden's greatest benefactor. Why would al Qaeda want to kill the man who is doing them so much good?

Before Bush launched his war on terror and invaded Iraq, the vast majority of Muslims thought bin Laden was a nut case and supported the US. Today Muslims think Bush is a nut case and support bin Laden.

What kind of a country have we become when we put a citizen on trial on the basis of a confession obtained under torture by a foreign government? Is the case against this student anything other than an attempt to enlist the sympathy factor for Bush in order to repair his standing in the polls?

Americans need to understand that a police state has to produce results in order to justify its budget and its powers. It doesn't really care who it catches. Stalin's police state caught the wife of Stalin's foreign minister in one of its street sweeps.

The Bush administration justifies torture and threatens to veto congressional attempts to restrain its use. The Bush administration justifies indefinite detention of American citizens without charges.

It asserts the power of indefinite detention based on its subjective judgment about who is a threat. An American government that preaches "freedom and democracy" to the world claims the powers of tyrants as its own.