Wednesday, March 05, 2003


Raven is helping to make posters for our Poets Against the War event this afternoon. He’s really more of a cheerleader in the poster process.

I, on the other hand, am scrolling dispiritedly through the news stories on the web. It is difficult to decide which is the most compelling to read about—Phase 2 of the Bush administration’s so- called Patriot Law, or the form in which administration spokespeople have refused to comment on the “dirty tricks” campaign against UN Security Council members, or the repositioning of US bombers near North Korea. A virtual embarrassment of—riches?

The second phase of the Bush administration’s (junta’s) domestic security laws is even scarier than the first; here are just a few of the tasty morsels it offers:

1. Any citizen—even those born in the US—who supports the activities of an organization which the administration views as “terrorist” may have his/her citizen annulled and may be deported.

“Deported to where?” Raven finds this latest wrinkle rather curious.

It doesn’t say, Rave. I have no idea how they expect to arbitrarily foist undesirable former citizens off on other countries. Let’s continue:

2. The Attorney General’s office will have the authority to boot out any non-citizen who is preceived to represent a threat to the “national defense, foreign policy or economic interests of the US.

“Economic interests? How?” Raven has given up on the posters and is reading over my shoulder.

You can see that here it does not specify anything either.

3. The law would also authorize secret arrests and would annul court orders which prohibit the use of espionage by police forces, and would allow for wire tapping and secret searches without court authorization.

“You’d better not even go to the States for a visit. They could toss you in jail and throw away the key just because you promoted a Poets Against the War event in Mexico.”

Raven might have a point there.

4. Now there are even two projects which could result in the prohibition of live music and dancing in public places.


I am just reading the article. Apparently the logic is that someone might use or sell drugs at a dance or a concert. Especially at, if you’ll pardon the vain use of your name, “rave” events.

“They could also prohibit people living in their homes. They might use drugs there. Are they going to put them in cattle cars and ship them to concentration camps in Nebraska? Or what?”

Rave, you’re getting pretty hot under the collar. Even though you don’t have one. Let’s look at another story. In response to the exposure of the “dirty tricks” campaign against UN Security Council members, all US spokespeople have refused to comment. The standard answer has been—get this:

I would not have any comment whatsoever on that kind of question or allegation because we never comment on intelligence matters, and I'm not going to do it now."

“Profoundly based on tautology as a rhetorical device, don’t you think?” Raven gives me the eye.

In the Nixon Era—about which you seem to feel nostalgic—it was called “Stonewalling”.

“Same thing.” Rave is not about to abandon his opinion. “And the bombers over North Korea?”

(AP) - The United States is basing more heavy bombers near North Korea and will formally protest the communist nation's "reckless actions" in using MiG fighters to intercept a U.S. surveillance plane, officials said. Shifting the military aircraft toward northeast Asia was described "as a prudent gesture to bolster our defense posture and as a deterrent" by Defense Department spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis on Tuesday.

“I see. The North Koreans intercept a US spy plane and they are considered to be the reckless ones. Is this Doublespeak, or what?”

Raven is getting angry now. His feathers are ruffling.

It does fall a bit short on the scale of diplomatic language, doesn’t it? I suppose it’s how you turn an embarrassing incident to your own advantage.

Raven scratches his head.

“Who was that guy in the U-2 plane incident?”

Powers, Rave. Gary Powers.

“Unusual name. Prophetic. Or poetic?”

Rave returns to the poster project.

“Give me a ‘P’....”

(How about an ‘F’—for fascism?)

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