Posted: Oct. 26, 2001
President Bush Signs Anti-Terrorism Bill
The following is the full text of President Bush's remarks at the White House signing of the of USA Patriot Act of 2001, that allows sweeping anti-terrorism legislation.
A Decade of Patriot Act Abuses
This was a key moment in the history of America as told in terms of the battle between liberty and power, power often winning in the name of security. Attorney General John Ashcroft said, in the midst of criticism of the Bush administration’s power grabs conducted in the guise of combating terrorism:
“To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against non-citizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies and pause to America’s friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.”
Indeed, many defenders of the Patriot Act and all it symbolized stressed that the accusations of lost liberty were specious. Simultaneous to the argument that we needed to revolutionize federal anti-terror policy to deal with new threats came the paradoxical argument that government was not going to be doing anything it wasn’t essentially doing anyway. more
Harassment Through Psychological Warfare While boring from within, the FBI and police also attack dissident movements from the outside. They openly mount propaganda campaigns through public addresses, news releases, books, pamphlets, magazine articles, radio, and television. They also use covert deception and manipulation. Documented tactics of this kind include: False Media Stories: COINTELPRO documents expose frequent collusion between news media personnel and the FBI to publish false and distorted material at the Bureau's behest. The FBI routinely leaked derogatory information to its collaborators in the news media. It also created newspaper and magazine articles and television "documentaries" which the media knowingly or unknowingly carried as their own. Copies were sent anonymously or under bogus letterhead to activists' financial backers, employers, business associates, families, neighbors, church officials, school administrators, landlords, and whomever else might cause them trouble. One FBI media fabrication claimed that Jean Seberg, a white film star active in anti-racist causes, was pregnant by a prominent Black leader. The Bureau leaked the story anonymously to columnist Joyce Haber and also had it passed to her by a "friendly" source in the Los Angeles Times editorial staff. The item appeared without attribution in Haber's nationally syndicated column of May 19, 1970. Seberg's husband has sued the FBI as responsible for her resulting stillbirth, nervous breakdown, and suicide. Bogus Leaflets, Pamphlets, and Other Publications: COINTELPRO documents show that the FBI routinely put out phony leaflets, posters, pamphlets, newspapers, and other publications in the name of movement groups. The purpose was to discredit the groups and turn them against one another. FBI cartoon leaflets were used to divide and disrupt the main national anti-war coalition of the late 1960s. Similar fliers were circulated in 1968 and 1969 in the name of the Black Panthers and the United Slaves (US), a rival Black nationalist group based in Southern California. The phony Panther/US leaflets, together with other covert operations, were credited with subverting a fragile truce between the two groups and igniting an explosion of internecine violence that left four Panthers dead, many more wounded, and a once-flourishing regional Black movement decimated. Another major COINTELPRO operation involved a children's coloring book which the Black Panther Party had rejected as anti-white and gratuitously violent. The FBI revised the coloring book to make it even more offensive. Its field offices then distributed thousands of copies anonymously or under phony organizational letterheads. Many backers of the Party's program of free breakfasts for children withdrew their support after the FBI conned them into believing that the bogus coloring book was being used in the program. Forged Correspondence: Former employees have confirmed that the FBI has the capacity to produce state-of-the-art forgery. This capacity was used under COINTELPRO to create snitch jackets and bogus communications that exacerbated differences among activists and disrupted their work.
Duck Dyansty was the latest form of Harassment Through Psychological Warfare