Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Preemptive Strikes Come Home To Roost

“Shoot first, ask questions later” seems to be the Bush Administrations motto both abroad and now here at home. The same twisted moral logic that led to illegal invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq (“preemptive strikes”) seems to have now come to St. Paul, Minnesota. It doesn’t matter whether you are innocent or not, the Bush Administration just wants to kick your ass.

Interestingly this latest ramping up of the United States police state was predicted five-and-a-half years ago by FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley.

From Storm Troopers at the RNC by Ray McGovern:

Ten days ago, as the nation focused attention on the hurricane nearing the Mississippi delta, another storm was brewing far upstream in St. Paul, Minnesota — a storm far more dangerous, it turned out, but one by and large overlooked by the Fawning Corporate Media (FCM).

When I flew into St. Paul on the evening of Aug. 30, I encountered a din in local media about “preemptive strikes” on those already congregating there to demonstrate against the Iraq war and injustice against the poor in our country.

St. Paul’s Pioneer Press expressed surprise that “despite preemptive police searches” and arrests, a group calling itself “the RNC Welcoming Committee” was still intent on “disrupting the convention.”

A headline screamed, “Preemptive Arrests of Protesters in Twin Cities.” But it was the article’s lead that hit home: “Borrowing from the Bush administration’s ‘preemptive war’ playbook, police agencies in the Twin Cities have made ‘preemptive strikes’ against organizations planning to protest at the Republican National Convention.”

In the following days I was to see, up close and personal, a massive and totally unnecessary display of ruthlessness.

What struck a bell was that this domestic application of the doctrine of “preemption” was totally predictable — indeed, predicted by those courageous enough to speak out before the U.S. “preemptive” attack on Iraq.

Ironically, it was FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley, living in the St. Paul area, who served warning of precisely that in her hard-hitting Feb. 26, 2003, letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller, three weeks before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Read the rest here.

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