"I have a speaker downstairs in my apartment building to let people in," Reingold said. "One afternoon, someone buzzes. And I said, 'Who's there?' And they say, 'The FBI.' And I'm thinking, 'Why is the FBI here?'"
--Barry Rheingold, US citizen (SF Gate 12/18/2001)
Ms. Heaphy [Publisher of the Sacramento Bee] chose to address the graduates [of CSU-Sacramento] about the essence of American freedom and civil liberties and the relationships of these to the events of September 11. As she got into the substance of her remarks, she was questioning various acts of the U.S. government relating to our judicial system, the retention of suspects, and freedom of the media, among other matters. The audience became restless and some booing and heckling broke out. At that point I intervened and called upon the audience to maintain the kind of respect for a speaker that everyone in the audience would want to have others maintain for them. The audience quieted down for the most part. A minute or two later, Ms. Heaphy made a point that a number of students apparently supported and then broke out in moderate applause. At this point, those in the audience who had been rude and interrupting broke out in what a newspaper reporter called "a chant clap," a phrase new to me. Again, I went to the rostrum. Ms. Heaphy said to me that she did not wish to continue. She had completed about three-quarters of her remarks. She returned to her seat.
--CSUS President Dr. Donald Gerth (CSUS Public Affairs 12/17/2001)
These and other examples, experts say, indicate academic intolerance is alive at both ends of the political spectrum. But for those critiquing U.S. policy, the ACTA report - which goes so far as to chastise Gusterson and 116 other academics as a``weak link'' intent on ``blaming America first'' - as well as a recent speech by Laurence H. Summers, the president of Harvard University, suggest the tilt in academia, for now, is toward embracing U.S. policy.
--Boston Herald Archive (12/16/2001).
Deciding the future of Florida's university system is turning into a titanic clash between the state's two most important political leaders: Jeb Bush and Bob Graham....
Their struggle will center on a constitutional amendment Graham wants voters to support that would bring back the university system's board of regents. The outcome will go a long way toward determining the personal political legacies of both men.
Since taking office in 1999, Bush also sees himself as an education governor. He, too, called for tougher testing, more state control and tougher standards. But he also tossed out the board of regents....
There is little Graham can do about Bush's other education plans, but Graham believes he can convince voters to bring back the board of regents. And, more importantly, to protect them from being abolished again, Graham wants them to be part of the state constitution.
--Brian E. Crowley (Palm Beach Post 11/25/2001).
Under the Department of Justice's interpretation of this [PATRIOT anti-terrorism] legislation, a computer hacker in Frankfurt Germany who hacks into a computer in Cologne Germany could be prosecuted in the Eastern District of Virginia in Alexandria if the packet of related to the attack traveled through America Online's computers. Moreover, the United States would reserve the right to demand that the extradition of the hacker even if the conduct would not have violated German law, or to, as it has in other kinds of cases, simply remove the offender forcibly for trial....
Every country has the right to protect its own citizens, property and interests. No country has the right to impose its will, its values, its mores or laws on conduct that occurs outside its borders even if they may have a tangential effect on that country. The new legislation permits the U.S. government to do just that, and is unwise and unwarranted.
--Mark D. Rasch (Security Focus 11/25/2001).
Section 2516(1)(c) of title 18, United States Code, is amended by striking `and section 1341 (relating to mail fraud),' and inserting `section 1341 (relating to mail fraud), a felony violation of section 1030 (relating to computer fraud and abuse),'.
--HR 3162 (House.Gov Sec. 202).
Many of the civil rights you say we must give up – I said we don't have to give them up – I'm sorry I didn't make that clear. It's the people in the mainstream news media who have said we must give up those rights and including so-called liberal law professors like Alan Dershowitz and Larry Tribe of my alma mater, Harvard Law School, who should be ashamed of the positions they have taken. So I don't believe we should be giving up any of these rights. Our law enforcement authorities, FBI, CIA, NSA, they have all the powers they need. They certainly don't need more powers than they already have. Indeed under the currently existing laws Ashcroft has already picked up 700 Arabs and Muslims. They disappeared somewhere. We have no idea where they are. Their families, and some have retained lawyers, are trying to find these people. Now, they are not U.S. citizens. It would be much harder to do that with United States citizens so I'm not advocating we give up any rights. I regret to say, however, that is the message coming out of the mainstream news media and even by self-styled liberal law professors like Dershowitz and Tribe. So I'm advocating that.
--Prof. Francis A. Boyle (10/18/2001).
"I don't like it that George Bush is sneaking in the undermining of our civil liberties, with these military tribunals and detaining all these people without even saying why," Ms. [Christine] Henderson [Portland, OR, artist & printmaker] said. "I can see the other side, that this is a war, extreme times call for extreme measures and all that. If I thought that they were just doing this until Osama bin Laden is caught and the war is over and things get back to normal, maybe I could live with it."
"But my concern is that once you give up civil liberties, you never get them back," she said.
--Sam Howe Verhovek (NYTimes 12/4/2001).
Under the heading of "civil disturbance planning", the U.S. military is training troops and police to suppress democratic opposition in America. The master plan, Department of Defense Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2, is code-named, "Operation Garden Plot". Originated in 1968, the "operational plan" has been updated over the last three decades, most recently in 1991, and was activated during the Los Angeles "riots" of 1992, and more than likely during the recent anti-WTO "Battle in Seattle."
--Frank Morales (infowar.net War at Home).
Annex A, section B of Operation Garden Plot defines tax protesters, militia groups, religious cults, and general anti-government dissenters as Disruptive Elements. This calls for deadly force to be used against any extremist or dissident perpetrating any and all forms of civil disorder.
--American Patriot Information (US Civil Disturbance Plan 55-2).
A further fact is the disaster preparedness plan for the Marine Corp Supply Center in Barstow, California. Quoting from the document: Under the Constitution and the laws of the United States, the preservation of law and order is the responsibility of local and state government. And the authority to maintain the peace and enforce the law is invested in the authorities of those governmentts. There are specific exceptions to the above concept. One of these pertains to federal intervention to civil disturbances in certain situations. Military commanders are deemed to have the inherent authority to take any measure reasonably necessary for the protection of life and property in the event of a sudden unexpected public calamity which disrupts the normal process of government and presents an emergency so eminent as to make it dangerous to await instructions from appropriate authorities. This includes law enforcement duties. The manual mentions something called Garden Plot Forces, which we will discuss at length in a few minutes.
--William R. Pabst (Updated Report 1979).
When they come for you in the morning
I was arrested at Munich airport at 7am yesterday. After one day of interviews and book signings and two days spent at a Goethe Institute seminar on "Islam and the Crisis", I was desperate for a cup of coffee. I checked in and soon my hand luggage was wending its way through the security machine....
On the way there the arresting officer gave me a triumphant smile. "After 11 September, you can't travel with books like this [Marx on Suicide]," he said. "In that case," I replied, "perhaps you should stop publishing them in Germany, or, better still, burn them in public view."
--Tariq Ali (Independent 10/30/2001
He proceeded through the security checkpoint and sat down to read near his boarding gate. About 10 minutes had passed when a National Guardsman approached Godfrey.
"He told me to step aside," Godfrey says. "Then he took my book and asked me why I was reading it."
--Gwen Shaffer (Philadelphia City Paper 10/18-25/2001
Around the country, college faculty and staff who express opinions on the terrorist attacks and U.S. bombardment of Afghanistan are facing rebuke in public and private, suspension and investigation. At least two professors were asked to leave their schools as a security measure.
--Arlene Levinson (AP 10/12/2001
Trustees of the City University of New York have drafted a resolution
condemning professors who criticized U.S. foreign policy
at a teach-in earlier this week. Matthew Goldstein, the university's
chancellor, also issued a statement saying professors had
offered "lame excuses" to justify the September 11 terrorist attacks.
--Chronicle of Higher Education (10/5/2001 via email). See updates at PSC/CUNY.
A distrust of intellectuals has always lurked beneath the surface of American popular opinion. Now it has begun to leak out again--either through the frontal assault in the partial reporting by the New York Post of a forum at the City University of New York, or the sideswipes at "campus teach-ins" by a respected columnist like Tom Friedman or others such as John Leo. Such editorializing may be legitimate, but to demonize "the faculty" is harmful. Further, there's a difference when the responses to faculty opinions come from those who have the power to retaliate. White House press secretary Ari Fleischer withdrew his ominous warning that public people should "watch what they say," because the government has the power to censor. Just so, the comments of some members of the board of CUNY, and of its chancellor, should also be rethought. These warnings have been accompanied by nods to academic freedom, but they still open the possibility of retaliation.
--Mary Burgan (AAUP 10/6/2001).
Award-winning journalist and radio personality David "Davey D" Cook was fired by KMEL, 106.1 FM, Oct. 1 after 10 years on the air. According to Cook, the reason given was "budget cuts," an explanation that seems suspect, given the current political climate. Cook's firing came a week after he broadcast in-depth interviews with Rep. Barbara Lee and the Coup's Boots Riley on KPFA-FM's Hard Knock Radio, the text of which was later distributed to 50,000 folks online through Cook's FNV Newsletter. That same week Clear Channel Communications – which owns KMEL and more than 1,100 other radio stations nationwide and distributed a list of 150 songs it suggested its stations not air in the wake of the World Trade Center attacks – launched a series of outdoor billboards depicting Old Glory.
--Eric K. Arnold (SF Bay Guardian 10/10/2001
Three Political Websites Downed After Government "Homeland Security" Threat
iraradio.com, the web site which archives all Radio Free Eireann
broadcasts, has been taken down because the web service provider was threatened with seizure of their assets if they continued to host "terrorist" radio programs. Travis E. Towle, the Founder and CEO of Cosmic Entertainment Company, which put up IRARADIO.COM, was told by their internet service provider, Hypervine, that they had been "strongly advised" to take the web site down.
A Hypervine representative read Mr. Towle a statement that, under an Executive Order recently signed by President Bush, the newly created Office of Homeland Security can seize all assets "without any notice and/or any real un-reasonable evidence of any company or person that helps, supports, or does anything that can be called or labeled terrorism or is found to be connected to terrorism in any way or means possible." Hypervine is a subsidiary of the New York based Skynet.
These threats have also caused Cosmic Entertainment to close the web sites archiving two other WBAI radio programs, "Our Americas" and "Grandpa Al Lewis Live." "Our Americas," hosted by Mario Murillo, is an acclaimed news magazine covering Latin America. "Grandpa Al Lewis Live" features commentary by the actor and political activist who starred in "The Munsters" and "Car 54 Where Are You."
Radio Free Eireann, which broadcasts Saturday afternoons at 1:30 p.m. on WBAI 99.5 FM has covered the conflict in Northern Ireland for over twenty years. Guests have included Bernadette Sands, the sister of IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands; Rauri O'Bradaigh, the President of Republican Sinn Fein; Sinn Fein chief negotiator MartinMcGuinness and Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.
--Declan McCullogh's Politech (10/2/2001).
In past times of tragedy and fear, our government has harassed, investigated and arrested people solely because of their race, their religion, their national origin, their speech or their political beliefs. In the 1950's, when fears of the Soviet threat were used to convert dissent into disloyalty, people were spied upon and punished on the basis of political beliefs and associations instead of criminal evidence. Normal standards of criminal evidence were abandoned; instead, race and political beliefs became a cause for suspicion and recrimination. Intelligence-gathering activities were directed at Americans who dared to disagree with the government. We must not allow this to happen again.
--ACLU Action Alert (10/9/2001).
The ACLU has five overall concerns about the surveillance provisions of the legislation being discussed:
--ACLU Chart Summary (Surveillance USA).
A consortium of major American news organizations, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Wall Street Journal, has decided to withhold the results of its recount of ballots cast in Florida in the 2000 presidential election. The consortium had planned to publish its report this week, and although its decision to suppress its own findings has received virtually no media attention, the reason is made clear in a September 23 column by New York Times Washington bureau chief Richard L. Berke.
--Barry Grey (WSWS 9/25/2001).
The survey [see above] was completed around the end of August, Julie Antelman, a spokeswoman for the centre, said. Reporters and editors from each member of the consortium were then to review the survey and attempt to discern how each voter had intended to vote, and who, on that basis, won Florida.
But shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the consortium unanimously agreed not to proceed with the analysis.
--John Ibbitson (globeandmail.com
He also claims that a New York Times journalist involved in the recount project had told "a former companion" that the Gore victory margin was big enough to create "major trouble for the Bush presidency if this ever gets out".
--Charles Laurence (London Telegraph
A new statement of Administration policy on the Freedom of Information Act has been issued by Attorney General John Ashcroft and has been transmitted to all agencies across the executive branch of the federal government.
And now we return to our regular programming
I have just returned from a visit over yonder [pointing to the workhouse], where three of our most loyal comrades are paying the penalty for their devotion to the cause of the working class. [Applause.] They have come to realize, as many of us have, that it is extremely dangerous to exercise the constitutional right of free speech in a country fighting to make democracy safe in the world. [Applause.]
--Eugene V. Debs (Canton, OH