(huge quote, but it's worth it
Much as I like to celebrate the wingnut administration calling itself a moron, Echidne points out the troublesome inclusion of the term “leftist terrorist” in the NIE report. They’ve advanced the theory that the left could start going all right-wing and bombing shit like, say, a federal building in Oklahoma or something.The only thing about pseudonymity that I regret, upon reading this, is that I fear that I may not have been paranoid enough.
ANYWAY, leftist terrorism is now considered a legitimate threat by the omnipotent Bush administration. Once the torture/detainee legislation passes, they can label anyone they believe has a “terrorist agenda” an enemy combatant and lock them away for torture. Remember, they don’t need cause or charges to take your rights away anymore (see Photographer, Pulitzer Prize winning). They’ll probably be able to rape you for shits and giggles, too, if they feel like it.
I’m going to put on my crazy hat for a moment. It’s the one that won’t look so crazy in another few years, once the police state comes back into full fashion again.
As Lindsay notes, decorated photographer Bilal Hussein had been a target of right wing blogs for some time. They considered his work too close to the action, too full of anti-US visuals, to be anything other than insurgent propaganda. Apparently, their cries were heard, and now he’s a torture toy.
The wingnut blogs also complain about the crazy, frothing “leftist” blogosphere. Lots of us say all kinds of mean things about the Bush administration, which, as we all know, is a gateway drug for terrorist agendas*. Before you laugh, remember that talking negatively about our efforts in Iraq has already been equated with helping the terrorists. Isn’t that the same as having a terrorist agenda?
Or suppose there actually is some random cell of people intent on doing violence, and the federal government breaks it up. What if their browser histories are littered with visits to Amanda’s site? Or Glenn Greenwald’s? The wingnut blogs have been gunning for those two for years because they’re particularly good at blowing holes in Bushchev logic. If Amanda or Glenn or anyone else is ever seen as fueling the cause of anyone who’s even written an email mentioning explosives, I see no reason they won’t be next on the hit list.
People know John Stewart, and Keith Olbermann. You couldn’t lock them up without drawing national outrage. But like Bilal Hussein, other people pave the way for Olbermann and Stewart, stirring the pot or raising issues that eventually receive their attention. Bloggers are a big part of that group, and their work is at least as dangerous as unforgiving photos — which is to say not at all, unless you mean dangerous to the cause of perpetual war.
I am no one. Punkassblog is still pretty small. But people close to me are deeply hated and feared for their uncompromising work and popularity. Every day, I get a little more worried they’ll be taken away. If you are one of the outspoken pillars of the radical left — not people like Kos who stick to the political rules, but someone really agitating for deep change** — I think you should be worried, too.
*Note: this is not true. Please do not kidnap me or frame me or torture me. Thank you.
**Non-violent change! Honest!
For those who cry "tinfoil": I'd hasten to remind you that attacks on "leftist terrorists" and "sympathizers" by the forces of Peace and Order are far, far older than the War on Terror, or anybody who could be possibly reading this. With the right increasingly desperate over Iraq (and likely to become even more so when Iran turns out to be a disaster as well), who's to say they won't turn their ire inward?
After all, according to these folks, the liberal media lost Vietnam. Who do you think they'll blame for Iraq, Iran, and whatever disasters follow?