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from BRISTLE www.bristle.org.uk

THESE DAYS ARE an echo of a previous age when collective hysteria drove the U$ into the most absurd militarism and brutal repression (including imprisonment, death and execution) inside its borders. The McCarthy era and Nixon governments are remembered for the 'witch-hunts' against communists and anarchists. What Muslims, ethnic minorities and dissidents have experienced recently closely resembles this. Some 6000 Arab residents between the ages of 18 and 33 have been summoned for interrogation by the FBI in the U$A and more than 1,000 in the UK. The British media have stated that there are over 1000 AI-Qa'ida activists operating in the UK, though so far only 13 have been arrested on allegations. The majority of the 6000 detainees in the U$A are held incommunicado and denied access to their families or lawyers. This secret detention is edging towards the practice of 'disappearing people' in Latin America and elsewhere.

In the U$A, Bush and his attorney John Ashcroft have introduced the Patriotic Act, violating Amendments 1, 4 and 6 of their own constitution. Under section 213 of this Act (also called 'sneak and peek' by legal analysts), police can enter a home and search through belongings without a warrant and without informing the owner. If you disagree with such imposition, persecution and repression, then according to Ashcroft, "Your tactics only aid terrorists". As Jack Straw said of the 2000 Anti Terrorist Act: "Those who are innocent have nothing to fear...."

Bypassing the American congress, Ashcroft has also introduced the Military Commission. Headed by the military and without solicitors or juries, these tribunals can put on trial any suspect, whether or not they are a US citizen. There are some 20 million non-citizens living and working in the U$A right now. These military commissions are a gross transgression of international law to which the U$ government and over 140 other governments have subscribed and that the U$ has used to condemn other countries like Peru, Nigeria and Russia. According to Bush however, these tribunals are "full and fair trials".

The American Official Secrets Act is also due to be reviewed. Bush and the CIA want to include the leaking of administration information to the media as a crime. This means that any scandals exposing corruption that have struck American politics in the past (Watergate or Iran-Contra) will be prevented therefore Bush would be free of any shit from such current scandals as Enron. Without transparency, fascism consolidates. Ashcroft has admitted that none of this anti-terror package would have prevented September 11s attacks.

As we know, Bush is the fucker who executed one person every two weeks in five years when governor of Texas, and is an anti-abortion extremist. His backgroud is as a businessman in the oil industry exploiting his family connections, and has strong links with a number of multinationals such as Exxon-Mobil and Enron.

Bush's 'team' includes Ashcroft, who is a Christian fundamentalist, an active anti-abortionist and a fervent defender of the death penalty; Colin Powell, the made-up hero in the war against Iraq; and Tom Ridge, who re-established the death penalty in Philadelphia after 23 years and signed Mumia Abu Jamal's death warrant.

So the ingredients are there: a U$ administration fully involved in multinational business interests, and prepared to ruthlessly use their legislative powers to disable oppositional forces, and protect themselves from accountability..