With terrorist bombings in Morocco and Saudi Arabia and the closing of the American embassy in Riyadh, it should now be obvious that the much ballyhooed “war against terrorism” is a colossal, monumental, titanic flop.
Since the 9/11 attacks, we have fought two wars, conquered two countries and enacted laws that jeopardize constitutional rights, and still terrorists seem able to strike whenever and wherever they wish.
Under anarcho-tyranny, criminals aren’t punished (which is why it’s anarchy), but the innocent are (which is why it’s tyranny). The Bush Administration seems determined to develop this insanity to a state of perfection.
Unable to destroy real terrorists, the Administration is inventing new ones, as the Washington Post discussed this week.
The funny thing about the fake terrorists is that they all seem to be on the extreme right.
Thus, in Northern Virginia, federal agents recently nabbed a gentleman named Byron Calvert Cecchini, a “self-described white supremacist,” who runs a website “rife with anti-Semitic and racist language,” as the Post describes it.[“Tracking Hate Groups Aids Terrorism Fight |Federal Agents Turn to Domestic Front,” By Maria Glod and Jerry Markon,Washington Post, May 19, 2003]
But the feds seem to have had virtually no good reason to arrest him. Their warrant alleged he had a “violent criminal history” and “probably” owned weapons. But after the feds threw him in jail and walked off with his computer and files, all they could charge him with was trademark violations. Mr. Cecchini sold T-shirts that resembled those of another manufacturer.
“You prosecute what you can prosecute,” a “law enforcement source” smirked to the Post, in what ought to be the motto of anarcho-tyranny.
You can’t or won’t prosecute the guilty and the dangerous, so you prosecute political eccentrics who have done nothing illegal or violent and call it a “war on terrorism.”
Mr. Cecchini isn’t the only victim. In the last few months far right activists all over the country have run into legal problems from the federal government.
In February, Ernst Zündel, an immigrant from Canada and “Holocaust denier” living legally in Tennessee with his wife, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was deported back to Canada where he was denied bail and kept in a prison cell with the lights on 24 hours a day. His offense: He missed a single immigration hearing.
Some might even have broken a real law or two, but the pattern discloses nothing less than a government witch hunt against the far right, criminal or not. As the Post describes it, “It is a tactic being used with increasing success nationwide as authorities step up efforts to curb domestic hate and terror groups: prosecute any illegal activity by known extremists and, at the same time, work to infiltrate potentially dangerous groups to guard against future attacks.”
Neither the Post nor the government specifies any actual “terror” groups on the receiving end of the witch hunt, and indeed it’s difficult to say that any of the victims has broken any real law at all.
In Georgia, a neo-Nazi leader named Chester Doles was nabbed for federal firearms violations. His crime: an undercover informant said he saw Mr. Doles with firearms. Federal law forbids convicted felons from owning firearms. But Mr. Doles is not a convicted felon and says he didn’t own the guns. The government says he has spent more than 12 months in jail for misdemeanor convictions and that constitutes a felony conviction in its eyes.
Others are being arrested simply for opinions expressed — “In Pennsylvania,” the Post reports, “an Aryan Nation member who expressed anti-Semitic beliefs on the Internet in an open letter of support to Saddam Hussein was indicted on weapons charges in March.” Unable to muzzle him for his beliefs, the government is simply concocting charges to muzzle him for other reasons.
While the government silences the far right, it seems to have done nothing against the far left — such as the communist Workers World Party, whose anti-American rallies against the war with Iraq were allegedly financed by North Korea.
It’s the right the federal leviathan hates and fears, not the country’s real enemies.
Anarcho-tyranny, of course, never lasts. Its natural and logical destiny is tyranny pure and simple.
Conservatives may be indifferent to the wave of repression against the far right over which their hero George W. Bush is presiding, but they should remember one thing: Once the current far right is silenced and suppressed, conservatives themselves will then become the far right that remains — and the next target of the witch hunters.