FBI’s latest raids and the “new normal” under Pres. B’Obama

Below is Sherwood Ross’ piece about the FBI’s early-morning raids, three days ago, on the homes of anti-war activists in Minneapolis and Chicago.

Ross mentions the ACLU’s review of Team Obama’s first 18 months in power. Published last July, that dismal survey is as relevant as ever; so here’s the URL. Please read that piece as well as Ross’s piece, and pass them on.


p.s. OpEd News, which published Ross’s article (and what has also posted quite a number of my writings), needs desperately to raise $1450 this month. Please see if you can do something, anything, to help them out:

National Security, Civil Liberties, and Human Rights Under the Obama Administration
An 18-Month Review

In the eighteen months since the issuance of those executive orders, the administration’s record on issues related to civil liberties and national security has been, at best, mixed. Indeed, on a range of issues including accountability for torture, detention of terrorism suspects, and use of lethal force against civilians, there is a very real danger that the Obama administration will enshrine permanently within the law policies and practices that were widely considered extreme and unlawful during the Bush administration. There is a real danger, in other words, that the Obama administration will preside over the creation of a “new normal.”



More Americans Losing Their Liberties Every Day
by Sherwood Ross

You might give the FBI the benefit of the doubt that it had some incriminating evidence when it raided the homes of eight antiwar activists in Minneapolis and Chicago September 24th except for the fact that its past record in such cases is stinko. The F.B.I. broke down Mick Kelly’s door around 7 a.m., and it wasn’t to get an early cup of coffee from a man employed as a food service worker at the University of Minnesota. The agents were probing to see if the occupants of any of the homes they burst into were supporting “terror organizations.” Uncle Sam here might be a trifle jealous of private citizens’ backing violent entities when it has always assumed it had a superpower’s exclusive franchise to fund violence. The Midwest raids are correctly seen as “a U.S. government attempt to silence those who support resistance to oppression and violence in the Middle East and Latin America,” by the International Action Center of New York, an anti-militarist group. Kelly, after all, was a key figure in organizing the successful 2008 anti-war street protests that embarrassed the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. In today’s America, standing up for peace automatically makes you a terror suspect.

Read more.

One thought on “FBI’s latest raids and the “new normal” under Pres. B’Obama”

  1. Resisting the use of police powers to target nonviolent protest and organizing should have high priority for anyone who believes in the right of free speech. But the writer of this article goes too far in attributing these FBI tactics to “Obama’s regime.” A little history is in order. For 30 years, J. Edgar Hoover was permitted by presidents afraid of his public popularity (based on his original crime-busting) to run the FBI the way he wanted to, and not reappointing him was unthinkable. Since then, there have been FBI directors who have respected the primacy of the Attorney General and the White House, and there have been directors who haven’t. But the culture of that agency, long steeped in a militant sense of independence, remains. And its supporters on Capitol Hill are in a vociferous majority. Given that, it is by no means certain that Barack Obama was even aware that this targeting of anti-war groups has been taking place, much less that it reflects his policies; no president is kept informed about everything. The right way to put pressure on the White House is not to attack it as running a police state — that sort of criticism will be instantly dismissed as polemical, which it is. The right way is to challenge Obama to live up to his career-long rhetoric supporting civil rights and nonviolent protest. Write to him here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact. And yes, someone has to read every message.

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