Friday, October 12, 2007

Don't Back Down!

I thought I was pretty knowledgeable about what's happening vis a vis our government but this just blows me away:

In Boulder, two days ago, a rosy-cheeked thirtysomething mother of two small children, in soft yoga velours, started to tear up when she said to me: `I want to take action but I am so scared. I look at my kids and I am scared. How do you deal with fear? Is it safer for them if I act or stay quiet? I don’t want to get on a list.’ In DC, before that, a beefy, handsome civil servant, a government department head — probably a Republican — confides in a lowered voice that he is scared to sign the new ID requirement for all government employees, that exposes all his most personal information to the State — but he is scared not to sign it: `If I don’t, I lose my job, my house. It’s like the German National ID card,’ he said quietly. This morning in Denver I talked for almost an hour to a brave, much-decorated high-level military leader who is not only on the watch list for his criticism of the administration — his family is now on the list. He has undertaken many dangerous combat missions in his service to his country over the course of his career, but his voice cracks when he talks about the possibility that he is exposing his children to harassment.

"Jim Spencer, a former columnist for the Denver Post who has been critical of the Bush administration, told me today that I could use his name: he is on the watch list. An attorney contacts me to say that she told her colleagues at the Justice Department not to torture a detainee; she says she then faced a criminal investigation, a professional referral, saw her emails deleted — and now she is on the watch list. I was told last night that a leader of Code Pink, the anti-war women’s action group, was refused entry to Canada. I hear from a tech guy who works for the airlines — again, probably a Republican — that once you are on the list you never get off. Someone else says that his friend opened his luggage to find a letter from the TSA saying that they did not appreciate his reading material. Before I go into the security lines, I find myself editing my possessions. In New York’s LaGuardia, I reluctantly found myself putting a hardcover copy of Tara McKelvey’s excellent Monstering, an expose of CIA interrogation practices, in a garbage can before I get in the security line; it is based on classified information. This morning at my hotel, before going to the airport, I threw away a very nice black T-shirt that said `We Will Not be Silenced’ — with an Arabic translation — that someone had given me, along with a copy of poems written by detainees at Guantanamo."

This is part of a BLOG post on Firedoglake written by Naomi Wolf, well known feminist author. I'm not sure what to do with it so I'm looking to you for advice.

Please click on the title of this post and read the full account, then post your thoughts here; tell us what to do with this information. Should we act on it? How? And perhaps even more important, how does it make you feel? If you believe this is information that should be shared widely I invite you to forward it to friends and family. If our republic is at risk, the more people who know it the better. Speak out! Don't Back Down!


  1. Anonymous12:08 PM

    This use of fear as a weapon is not new. Maslow described it in the thirties as Hitler came to power. I describe how I fought back using only my middle finger as a weapon in my book. If you still have a copy, feel free to quote from it where you think it is appropriate. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    "His philosophy is that a person is not defeated until the individual ceases to fight-he hopes to inspire those who are weary from the struggle to summon the strength to continue the fight for a just cause." Protecting our liberties is certainly a just cause; so, suck it up and fight the nazi bastards.

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