Monday, August 16, 2004

Harrassment of Anti-War Protestors

The New York Times today highlights yet more use of the FBI to harrass Americans trying to exercise their right to civil protest. The Bush team seems bent on making free speech a quaint historical civil right. And to those of us following this trend we are not surprised. But what about the CIA getting involved? Inevitable?

Newsweek is reporting today about Porter Goss's wish list, and also about legislation he is supporting to allow the CIA to pursue law enforcement activities in the United States.

But in language that until now has not gotten any public attention, the Goss bill would also redefine the authority of the DCI in such a way as to substantially alter—if not overturn—a 57-year-old ban on the CIA conducting operations inside the United States.

The language contained in the Goss bill has alarmed civil-liberties advocates. It also today prompted one former top CIA official to describe it as a potentially “dramatic” change in the guidelines that have governed U.S. intelligence operations for more than a half century.

“This language on its face would have allowed President Nixon to authorize the CIA to bug the Democratic National Committee headquarters,” Jeffrey H. Smith, who served as general counsel of the CIA between 1995 and 1996, told NEWSWEEK. “I can’t imagine what Porter had in mind.”

Just what we need, to go in the "wayback" machine to the times of Nixon.

Spit, rinse, say "No more Bush" three times, then spit again.