Police State Repression

10th Anniversary of the Patriot Act: "As Despotic as Anything Hitler Came up With"

from the website of Gore Vidal  


It is fair to say that few developments in the current century have troubled civil libertarians, including especially Gore Vidal, more than the enactment of the USA PATRIOT Act, which was signed into law by George W. Bush ten years ago today.

Vidal has compared it with the Alien and Sedition Acts during the John Adams administration, as a result of which around two dozen Americans, including the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, were arrested for expressing views that people in power did not like. He has also said, “The USA PATRIOT Act is as despotic as anything Hitler came up with — even using much of the same language.”


Spying is US: Obama Administration Spends $80 Billion to Continue and Expand Bush Spy Programs

by Kenneth J. Theisen 

On October 28, 2010 the U.S. government announced that it expended $80.1 billion on national intelligence activities during the fiscal year which ended on September 30, 2011.  Sixteen spy agencies such as the CIA, FBI, NSA, etc., which are part of the National Intelligence Program (NIP) and report to the Director of National Intelligence, spent $53.1 billion in fiscal year 2010.  Meanwhile the Military Intelligence Program spent and additional $27 billion.
These vast billions are only for so-called intelligence activities and do not include the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by these and other agencies to protect U.S. imperialism or the money spent by the military for non-intelligence activities.


Another Terrible 10 Year “war on terror” product: The USA PATRIOT Act

by Debra Sweet

In this season of 10-year anniversaries, one almost got by me, just as it almost got by many of us on October 26, 2001.  The Ashcroft Justice Department, which could hardly find a case of discrimination against a Black person or a woman to prosecute, and was busy dismantling its Civil Rights division, had apparently been busy elsewhere.  Even before 9/11, they had written the USA PATRIOT Act (that’s “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism” for those of you not patriotic enough to think that up yourselves).

They had cobbled bits of nefarious repression not included in the Clinton administration’s also egregiously-named 1996 “Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act.” This law has its own deep problems, as a vehicle for stepping up federal executions, and criminalizing protest.  The Bush regime built on it, and not because of the 9/11 attacks; a bill that long could not have been written in 15 days.


Police Violence Against Veterans: A Long and Painful Legacy

Hempstead brutality against veteransby Matthis Chiroux

When I read the headlines yesterday evening, I felt as though I were in a time warp. "Police Fracture Iraq Vet's Skull Clearing Intersection of Protesters." But the location was wrong: Oakland, Calif. I thought that happened in Hempstead, N.Y.

I was reading about Scott Olsen's cracked skull at the hands of the Oakland police, but all I could picture was my friend Nick Morgan's head, fractured by the Hempstead police, bleeding out on the sidewalk in front of Hofstra University. Three years ago, almost to the day, they nearly killed my friend, a veteran of Iraq... when they fractured his skull... clearing an intersection of protesters.

Police violence against peaceful demonstrators in the U.S. has a long and painful history. Police violence against veteran demonstrators is absolutely no exception.


A Remaining Realm of American Excellence

by Glenn Greenwald 

When President Obama announced the killing of Osama bin Laden on the evening of May 1, he said something which I found so striking at the time and still do: “tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history.” That sentiment of national pride had in the past been triggered by putting a man on the moon, or discovering cures for diseases, or creating technology that improved the lives of millions, or transforming the Great Depression into a thriving middle class, or correcting America’s own entrenched injustices.

Yet here was President Obama proclaiming that what should now cause us to be “reminded” of our national greatness was our ability to hunt someone down, pump bullets into his skull, and then dump his corpse into the ocean. And indeed, outside the White House and elsewhere, hordes of Americans were soon raucously celebrating the killing with “USA! USA!” chants as though their sports team had just won a major championship.


STOP "Stop and Frisk" Police Repression


The Stop Mass Incarceration Network

Stop Stop and Frisk

STOP “Stop & Frisk”
Illegal, racist, unconstitutional, intolerable.And it must be stopped!!!


The U.S. Killing of al-Awlaki and the Risk of Illegitimacy

By Debra Sweet  Crimes Are Crimes (re: Anwar al-Awlaki)

When Barack Obama announced in early 2010 that he had put Anwar al-Awlaki on his hit list, I heard from people for whom the announcement was a breaking point in their support for the president.

World Can’t Wait published a statement titled Crimes Are Crimes, No Matter Who Does Them.  It said

In some respects, this is worse than Bush. First, because Obama has claimed the right to assassinate American citizens whom he suspects of “terrorism,” merely on the grounds of his own suspicion or that of the CIA, something Bush never claimed publicly.

The ad got significant support in The New York Review of Books, and Rolling Stone.  It was much more controversial when it went into The New York Times, on the anniversary of Bush’s bombing and occupation of Afghanistan, October 6, 2010.  That paper, so far, has not published its opinion on the Obama administration’s killing of al-Awlaki and another American, on September 30, in an secret operation in Yemen, so we may assume it joins in supporting this crime by our government.


The U.S. Assassination in Yemen: Unconstitutional ... and Ominous

via Revolution

On Friday, September 30, a U.S. drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki as he was traveling in northern Yemen, some 90 miles from the capital Sanaa. Al-Awlaki was a U.S. citizen born in New Mexico. Three of his companions, including Samir Khan, another American citizen, were also killed. Al-Awlaki was the target of this U.S. government assassination.
President Barack Obama, top government officials, and the U.S. ruling class were near unanimous in praising—even bragging about—this premeditated, long-planned execution.


The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality

Crimes Are Crimes

When Obama first placed Awlaki on the "to-be-killed" list last year, World Can't Wait placed the Crimes are Crimes statement in ads across the country.

by Glenn Greenwald

It was first reported in January of last year that the Obama administration had compiled a hit list of American citizens whom the President had ordered assassinated without any due process, and one of those Americans was Anwar al-Awlaki.  No effort was made to indict him for any crimes (despite a report last October that the Obama administration was “considering” indicting him).  Despite substantial doubt among Yemen experts about whether he even had any operational role in Al Qaeda, no evidence (as opposed to unverified government accusations) was presented of his guilt. 

When Awlaki’s father sought a court order barring Obama from killing his son, the DOJ argued, among other things, that such decisions were “state secrets” and thus beyond the scrutiny of the courts.  He was simply ordered killed by the President: his judge, jury and executioner.  When Awlaki’s inclusion on President Obama’s hit list was confirmed, The New York Times noted that “it is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing.”


They Murdered Troy, But We Must Never Forget Him!

By Carl Dix

This system executed Troy Davis—no they murdered him. They delayed his execution a few hours while the Supreme Court considered and rejected a last-minute appeal from Troy's lawyers. The court issued a one-sentence statement explaining why they refused again to reopen his case and look at the mounting evidence of his innocence.

It might as well have said Black people have no rights we are bound to respect! The content of what the system has told us in this case, as they told us in the case of Shaka Sankofa eleven years ago, is that innocence is no bar to execution.


Troy Davis and Our Pro-Life Government

by David Swanson 

Wednesday evening, when the news was mistakenly announced that Troy Davis would not be killed, the crowd that I was with erupted with joy and with the enthusiastic realization that we all were capable of believing that something good had been done by our government.  I was at the dedication of the Howard Zinn room in the new Busboys and Poets restaurant in Hyattsville, Maryland.

Some of us had been assigned to read selections from the late Zinn's "Voices of a People's History of the United States."  I was asked to read John Brown's courtroom speech in which he said, "Now if it is deemed necessary that I should forfeit my life for the furtherance of the ends of justice, and mingle my blood further with the blood of my children, and with the blood of millions in this slave country whose rights are disregarded by wicked, cruel, and unjust enactments, I submit: so let it be done!"


Main Police State Repression


World Can't Wait mobilizes people living in the United States to stand up and stop war on the world, repression and torture carried out by the US government. We take action, regardless of which political party holds power, to expose the crimes of our government, from war crimes to systematic mass incarceration, and to put humanity and the planet first.