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According to newly declassified government documents from the Cold War (thought they didn't call it that then), FBI Chief J. Edgar Hoover submitted a plan in 1950 to the White House to suspend habeas corpus and arrest 1200 American citizens accused of being disloyal.  

Hoover wanted President Harry S. Truman to proclaim the mass arrests necessary to "protect the country against treason, espionage and sabotage." The F.B.I would "apprehend all individuals potentially dangerous" to national security, Hoover’s proposal said. The arrests would be carried out under "a master warrant attached to a list of names" provided by the bureau.

A lot of folks out there will say, "1950 was a long time ago and we've learned a lot since then.  There's no way that could happen today!"

Bullshit.  If you're Muslim and a suspected terrorist it already has. Jose Padilla was an American citizen and detained with no though to Constitutional rights and our media, our courts and our Congress rolled over to let it happen.  Who knows how many other people it happened to, or is happening to?  Even though he eventually got his time in court, a lot of people had to fight really hard to get that basic American right.

And what's happening now is even worse than what Hoover proposed.  Hoover sent his plan up the line to use the Constitutional power given the President to suspend habeas corpus, but Bush and his cronies just did it without even invoking the Constitution!  They just grabbed Padilla and tossed him in the brig with no lawyer, no court review, no contact with family.  They think they can do it because the President is on their side, not the little fact that the Constitution is not doesn't bother them.

To the people who think that the J. Edgar Hoovers and Joe McCarthys are a thing of the past aren't thinking straight.  

  • If you are 58 years old then you were alive when Hoover proposed arresting Americans for thought crimes.
  • If you are 35 years old you were alive when Hoover still ran the FBI and President Nixon announced he would not obey a Supreme Court decision supporting a subpoena.  
  • If you are 20 years old, you were alive when President George H. W. Bush pardoned Ollie North and his buddies for illegally selling weapons to Iran (remember them?) and using the money to overthrow the democratically elected if somewhat odious government of Nicaragua.
  • If you are seven years old you were alive when a Presidential election was stolen by importing thugs from Texas to delay recounts by scaring ballot counters with protests and threats.
  • If you are six years old you were alive when President George W. Bush's administration got the agreement from all but one telephone company to turn over your records illegally, then destroyed the one company -- Quest -- and its CEO when it refused to play along.
  • If you are three years old you were alive when rich oil barons and right wing media outlet owners conspired to publish and push lies about a Presidential candidate to affect a presidential election.
  • If you were born today, you will live through more horrific incursions on our rights by right wing and/or authoritarian forces in this country.
It hasn't changed.  All we've been fighting is a rear guard action against people like Hoover, Cheney, North, Bush, Perle and the rest.  Some of these un-American jackasses have an R after their names, some have a D after their names.  But it doesn't matter to them.  They gravitate to whichever side is feeling more authoritarian at the time, and don't care about policies: they care only about power and subjugation.  

This has to stop, and there is only one way that's gonna happen: We have to stop it.

And if we don't stop it, then we have the same stain on our generation our parents have.  Then it'll be up to our kids.

We can't let that happen.

Originally posted to huntsu on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:05 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

    •  But ... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      marina, huntsu, Pris from LA

      9/11,9/11,9/11 - be afraid, be very afraid.  If you love the Constitution, you hate America.  The sheeple (especially the Democratic Leadership) have fallen for this line for 6 years.  Maybe they're about to wake up, but I wouldn't bet on it.  When I first saw your diary title, I thought the Hoover referred to was Herbert.  funny how Bush has taken us back to these two very unpopular Republicans.

      "There are no happy endings in the Bush Administration". - Randall L. Tobias

      by MadRuth on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:20:01 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The ability of people to forget stuns me n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Deep Harm

      My moniker is in honor of three generations of women whose soul's were seared in the cauldron of Hell's Kitchen, NYC

      by hells kitchen on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 01:46:44 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Generational (0+ / 0-)

        I don't think people forget as major traumatic events seem generational.   Lots of people die off and new ones appear and the cycle begins again.

        •  That's kind of the point of the diary (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          hells kitchen

          58 year olds and their brethren run the country right now, and they were born when Hoover was trying to arrest 12,000 people, were around for the civil rights movement, watched Nixon try to create an imperial presidency, saw Reagan and Bush illegally sell arms to an enemy to overthrow a Democracy and now see Bush.

          These are the people running our corporations, teaching our children, serving in high-government positions.

          That generation runs our world, and if they've forgotten it's either intentional or incompetence.

          •  Before their time (0+ / 0-)

            58 year olds and their brethren run the country right now, and they were born when Hoover was trying to arrest 12,000 people, were around for the civil rights movement, watched Nixon try to create an imperial presidency, saw Reagan and Bush illegally sell arms to an enemy to overthrow a Democracy and now see Bush.

            These are the people running our corporations, teaching our children, serving in high-government positions.

            That generation runs our world, and if they've forgotten it's either intentional or incompetence.

            Sure they were born when Hoover was trying to arrest these people but it was 22 years later before they were thinking adults.  Before their time.

            That generation runs our world, and if they've forgotten it's either intentional or incompetence.

            God, I hate generalized blame everyone...they are all responsible.  So lets lay on the guilt trip...sheesh.

            •  Ummm, OK. (0+ / 0-)

              The point of saying that the generation of people born on or around Hoover's plan discussed above are running the country right now is in relation to the idea of traumatic generational events you introduced.

              It was not to provide collective guilt for the lot of them (I'm probably not as far away from that generation as you may think) but to note that the people you suggest who may have forgotten that generation's traumatic event are the very people running the show today.  If they forgot it, they have a problem.

  •  Only by prosecuting bushco... (7+ / 0-)

    and all the evil minions therein; will this bullcrap ever start to decline.
    We have let the evil doers off scot free for too long, and as a consequence, they no longer fear any punishment for their actions.

  •  Short of Impeachment, (9+ / 0-)

    there is no way to stop this. And the Impeachment thingy is the powder the Dems. are keeping dry. Untill, God forbid, the Congress is dismissed as a money saving device. Then they can take their powder home and make a clay statue of what Democracy used to look like.

    "Though the Mills of the Gods grind slowly,Yet they grind exceeding small."

    by Owllwoman on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:17:11 AM PST

  •  Link request... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm trying to find further info on the prosecution of Quest's CEO...Glenn Greenwald apparently wrote a post on it, but I can't seem to locate it.

    I am endlessly vindicated by the unfolding of history.

    by Rob Cole on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:26:13 AM PST

  •  Every day that goes by (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    marina, Temmoku

    that allows these criminals to erode Democracy makes it that bit harder to convict them of their crimes.

    Blame God and you'll get away with anything.

    by langerdang on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:27:57 AM PST

  •  I am over 58 years old (7+ / 0-)

    and nothing has changed since the beginning of this nation if you are Native American. They have not had rights since their lands have been conquered when the first white man landed on the continent. We complain about rights now or what Hoover wanted to do in 1950 when this country had slavery of blacks shipped over from Africa packed in no better than sardine cans until the 1860s. Then they still didn't have equal rights until 1964. You make very interesting points, but this nation was never one to practice what we preach. Rights and Constitutional guarantees are no better than the paper it is written on when you have politicians who only see power and control as a way of preserving and protecting their own asses.

    You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

    by tazz on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:31:03 AM PST

    •  Rhetorical Device (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The 58 year old thing was a rhetorical device tied to the news peg.  We can go back farther than injustice to Native Americans to European subjugation of Europeans as well.  The middle ages were a pretty horrifically unjust time for humans not name King or Duke or Earl or Pope or Bishop.

      At some point you have to make choices in what you discuss.  You can always bring up another complaint, but that just makes the discussions incredibly long and incredibly unfruitful.

  •  We should just ignore them (0+ / 0-)

    Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them - T Paine

    by breezeview on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:32:43 AM PST

  •  A sliding scale of skin pigmentation, native (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, Temmoku, glaser, Pris from LA

    language, and religion have generally determined access to rights in the USA.

    I believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, and FOX that order.

    by OHdog on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:49:11 AM PST

  •  I was so glad that I was 59...and not 58 (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, Youffraita, huntsu, Pris from LA

    but then I read this and realized you should have written "at least" before that 58. Darn.
    J. Edgar was so awful for many reasons and had so much power as we all learned right after the Johnson Administration...We all had been indocrtinated by the G-men programs on TV and "the Untouchables" to think J.Edgar was so wonderful...but it was just propaganda...just like 24 is propaganda now. My favorite memory was the photo of him in his pink dress....wait, wasn't there someone else, recently, in a pink dress? A guy candidate-for-President type?

    All I want for Christmas is...IMPEACHMENT!

    by Temmoku on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 06:52:44 AM PST

  •  I'm 58... (4+ / 0-)

    ...and I recognize what is going on today for what it is. And Hoover's plan held no candle to what this bunch is up to. It's the technology. Every time these goons take hold, they have more power. Can we defeat this beast? Well, we have to try.


    by nehark on Sun Dec 23, 2007 at 09:58:06 AM PST

  •  I'm 56 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And I remember J. Edgar quite well but, you forgot one other little item. What about Nixon and his "enemies list?" The people on it weren't enemies of the state, as I recall. They were enemies of NIXON.

    But that's beside the point.

    Aside from saying we have to stop them - which we do. How does one propose we do it? Impeachment? Pish tosh. Off the table. Criminal charges? When the VP can get likkered up and shoot somebody - then have the victim apologise to HIM, I can only assume criminal charges too are off the table.

    That leaves us. But there's a catch.

    People of the R and D persuasion alike are finally in consensus that Bush has been the worst Resident in our nation's history. They have an even lower assessment of Congress. We have in our hands right now the slim chance of making some fundamental changes... but it isn't a walk-away by any stretch of the imagination.

    We're up against some pretty powerful and devious people with a vested interest in keeping things just as they are. As long as they can rig elections with the flick of a wrist and have the media con people into believing it was all above board, then our chances remain anorexic, if not non-existent.

    We have some fairly decent folks asking for the unenviable job of cleaning up the mess, but I don't hear any of them addressing these points. Instead I hear them swiping at each other about who ingested what twenty years ago, who went to what school or place of worship thirty years ago, who wrote what on a grade school paper forty years ago. Who gives a rat's ass? I want to hear what they think about what's happened in the last eight years and what they intend to do about it. I want to hear what plans they have to make sure it doesn't happen again.

    That's where we come in. Hell, I know people who still thought Iraq attacked us. I meet people who think we still have habeas corpus.

    We need to stop huddling around tables and computer screens preaching to the choir.

    I want to see more people in the streets. I want to see more people screaming the list of crimes for everybody to hear. I want letters to editors by the thousands. I want crushing pressure brought to bear on media outlets. I want even more pressure on the candidates for POTUS. Answer the freakin' questions.

    Screw this "can't we all just get along" bullshit. Obviously the answer is NO, so we might as well get the fight started.

    Happy Holidays.

    Meddle not in the affairs of dragons... for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.

    by Pariah Dog on Mon Dec 24, 2007 at 05:11:39 AM PST

  •  I'm half a world away (0+ / 0-)

    but I remember being in the army in 1961 in Washington DC.

    One sunday morning, driving in early and half hungover, I came around a curve ... some fool jaywalking from my left. I slammed on the brakes, came within as close as never mind to the person ...

    I'll never forget that bulldog face glaring at me.

    Is true. I almost ran over J. Edgar ... could have had my 15 minutes of fame and probably wouldn't be here today. I often wonder what cusp of history I didn't change.

    What is past, is prologue

    by US2oz on Tue Dec 25, 2007 at 05:52:23 AM PST

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