Did you hear Naomi Wolf's interview on NPR yesterday, for her book The End of America? It was chilling. Dean and I went out to Elliott Bay and bought the book (which oddly enough was shelved in an out-of-the-way "Activism" section in the back of the store, bottom row). Her thesis is that many of the things that fascist totalitarian regimes do to take control of their people (see Mussolini's Italy, Hitler and the Nazi's Germany, Russia under Stalin), are actually happening now, in America. Right under our noses. And it may be too late before we wake up and really start to protest the erosion of our civil liberties. She researched a lot of original historical documents, and comes up with Ten Steps.
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy (9/11 and "the terrorists")
2. Create a gulag (Git-mo and the secret prisons)
3. Develop a thug caste (Blackwater and other private security forces)
4. Set up an internal surveillance system (they are watching you right now)
5. Harass citizens' groups (Democratic voters in Florida harassed at polls by groups of khaki-and-white-shirt wearing republican campaign workers)
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release (see the story of Maher Arar, the innocent Canadian who was held for three years)
7. Target key individuals (uh-huh)
8. Control the press (check)
9. Dissent equals treason (check)
10. Suspend the rule of law (this is coming with the next election. Bush will say that because of the new war with Iran we can't have elections for a while. Wolf doesn't say as much, but I think it is not out of the realm of what Bush and hos cronies are capable of doing.)
It's a fascinating read. All the stuff that is happening with Blackwater right now, she predicted in step three. They are the "Thug Caste" of paramilitary officers, answerable to no one, who will soon be operating in America. Be afraid. Be very afraid. Read her book. And take action, now.
We now return you till your regular programming. This post will probably get me put on some kind of list (if I'm not already on one).