"Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a hard time even considering that it is possible for us to become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations. Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our system of government - the task of being aware of the constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances that the founders put in place, even as they are being systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much about European history, the setting up of a department of "homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.
"It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close down an open society..."
- Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy. [Saddam is dead, but OBL is still out there.]
- Create secret prisons where torture takes place. [Think Gitmo]
- Develop a thug caste or paramilitary force not answerable to citizens. [Think Blackwater]
- Set up an internal surveillance system. [Think unauthorized wiretapping]
- Harass citizens' groups. [Hmmm... have to think about a good example here]
- Target key individuals. [Think eight US attorneys for their insufficient political loyalty]
- Control the press. [duh!]
- Declare all dissent to be treason. [Think "Of course if you want to slander America..."]
- Suspend the rule of law. [Think Defense Authorization Act of 2007]