Monday, September 08, 2008

Storm Troopers at the RNC

By Ray McGovern
September 8, 2008

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).

Read on.

10 comments:

Ford Greene said...

Thank you, Ray McGovern, for marshalling the chronology and nature of the most recent form of the old prior restraint menace.

in 1926 Justice Brandeis beautifully laid out the deep meaning regarding the constitutional values that a prior restraint implicates:

"Those who won our independence believed that the final end of the state was to make men free to develop their faculties, and that in its government the deliberative forces should prevail over the arbitrary. They valued liberty both as an end and as a means. They believed liberty to the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. They believed that freedom to think as you will and to speak as you think are means indispensable to the discovery and spread of political truth; that without free speech and assembly discussion would be futile; that with them, discussion affords ordinarily adequate protection against the dissemination of noxious doctrine; that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government. They recognized the risks to which all human institutions are subject. But they knew that order cannot be secured merely through fear of punishment for its infraction; that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government; that the path of safety lies in the opportunity to discuss freely supposed grievances and proposed remedies; and that the fitting remedy for evil counsels is good ones. Believing in the power of reason as applied through public discussion, they eschewed silence coerced by law-the argument of force in its worst form. Recognizing the occasional tyrannies of governing majorities, they amended the Constitution so that free speech and assembly should be guaranteed."

While I find the meaning of the total assault on and severe wounding of the essence of American constitutional freedoms presented by the entire "pre-emptive" rationale hard to express, the implications driven by the competence of Mr. McGovern's factual recitation can't be missed.

Anonymous said...

I cannot help but remind you that the most dangerous storm troopers were not those orchestrated by the Denver Republican Chief of Police at the RNC. These cops may have thumbed their noses at the Constitution and its guaranteed rights of assembly and protest, but they could not determine outcomes of elections. The more effective, as well as most illegal, are Republicans who are voter caging in nine states to assure that minorities, the elderly, Jews and military personnel overseas cannot vote - -all under the unseen umbrella of protection by the U.S. Attorney General. To date, almost seven million of these voters have been purged in Colorado, Kansas, Lousianna, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Virginia. Then there is the problem of touch screen voting machines with no paper trail for auditing, various plans to not count votes, as well as placing only one voting machine in heavily Democratic areas. The most conservative estimates by leading academics in their fields predict that up to a potential of ten million votes will never be made or counted in November. Yet, Robert Parry is silent on the subject, somehow afraid of telling the truth and the personal consequences. What you are not doing speaks so loud I cannot read a word you write with complete trust or enthusiasm.

Anonymous said...

I also want to thank you, Ray, and mention how sorry I am that I missed your remarks at St. Joan of Arc.

The first thing that I noticed when I saw television footage of the police riots at the RNC was the long line of unmarked black SUV's with windows with such dark tinting that they were in violation of Minnesota law.

Local police and fire departments here do have an occasional SUV, but they're always white (for both Minneapolis and St. Paul police) or red (for fire), and very clearly marked.

I was reminded of Blackwater's illegal patrols of New Orleans after Katrina in similar vehicles, and immediately suspected that Blackwater personnel were at hand in St. Paul.

I was also intrigued by the fact that all the police were wearing identical blue coveralls, although news stories claimed that officers "from all over the country" had been brought in to assist with RNC security. How realistic is it that police from all over the country would wear identical coveralls? Or, for that matter, that St. Paul and Ramsey County would spend the money to equip officers from all over the country so that everyone would be wearing identical uniforms?

Similarly, I only saw Minneapolis or St. Paul Police shoulder patches on the officers' coveralls - no patches from the Hennepin or Ramsey county sheriffs, and none from suburban Minneapolis or St. Paul area police departments.

So where were these officers "from all over the country?" Wearing uniforms with Minneapolis or St. Paul shoulder patches? If so, why?

Were they even licensed police officers under Minnesota law, or simply just Blackwater operatives?

Finally, Amy Goodman reported that her RNC credentials were taken from her by a man in a suit who was identified to her as a Secret Service Agent by a St. Paul police officer. I have the distinct impression that Bob Fletcher (the Ramsey County Sheriff) and John Harrington (the St. Paul Police Chief) were just window dressing - this whole show had all the earmarks of a federal operation, and I'll bet it was run by the Secret Service (and, by extension, Karl Rove).

As a background matter, Ramsey County and the St. Paul Police have abused the 72 hour hold system for decades, dating back to the old arresting on "suspicion of" days. This is clearly a violation of the Constitution, but the Ramsey County District Court has allowed them to get away with it.

I'm heartsick that the whole world has seen this sort of blatantly unconstitutional police activity in the Twin Cities. I genuinely thought that we were better than Denver or New York when it came to respect for the First Amendment, but obviously I couldn't have been more wrong.

I'm also very sad that I (age 62) and my son (age 31) were both unable to participate in the demonstrations - it was our duty as Americans to stand up against the war and the suppression of our constitutional rights.

Thanks for taking our place, Ray.

I can only say that, after the stolen elections of 2000 and 2004 and the emergence of a corporate communications media run directly from the White House, that we've become a Post-Democratic state.

Obama will be elected only if the Republicans don't have a swing state Secretary of State in the vein of Kathryn Harris or Ken Blackwell who (with the help of Diebold, of course) can throw the election for McCain.

Folks, I think we've perhaps got a decade before the Republicans weary of the charade of constitutional government and start "disappearing" us. They're already reading our e-mail, tapping our phones and monitoring our finances (You don't think that the Elliot Spitzer and John Edwards scandals were coincidences, do you?).

My guess is they'll start with the subscription lists for The Nation, Mother Jones, perhaps even the New Republic. Oh, and if you've contributed to Consortium News or AlterNet, rest assured you're already on the list.

Paranoid ravings, you say?

Well, folks, like Ray, I'm a veteran of both military and civilian intelligence agencies, and a lawyer who's been monitoring federal law enforcement for many years.

After a few decades, the "coincidences" become overwhelming.

Who knows? Maybe I'll be among the first of the "Desaparecidos." Probably not. But I'm afraid that Ray and Robert Perry and Don Hazen and Jim Hightower most certainly will be...

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I just love a country that harasses people who peacefully assemble and lets the assholes who protest at soldiers' funerals be. Great job the Gestapo and the Sonderkommandos are doing nowdays.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ray, aren't you glad that the cops were outed at the park? I guesss the first amendment for free speech and a supreme court decision saying the cops can march in a group don't mean anything to you. Everyone can be there, or do you disagree?

Jack Burton (ghwhoo?) said...

America... land of the free (I feel sick)... now home to the SS, the gestapo, and the jackboot. Sold out lock, stock, and barrel by our 'supposed' elected representation, we have been mesmerized and lulled into submission by a two-party shell game scam where "tails they win... heads we lose".

Our rule of law (what rule of law?) has become total abomination to everything that is good and pure and right and true. Innocent citizens are no longer protected by the Bill of Rights or the constitution - the constitution has been shredded and thrown into the dumpster. You are presumed guilty until such time that you are proven guilty in today's zieg heil police state. Rule by oligarchy, the jackboot and thugdom has become the only essential rule of law, where the commander in chief simply discards the constitution as a g** d*** piece of paper.

Tragically (beyond expression), the dream has died and our country has been taken over by the megalomaniacal and pathologically insane. War, mass murder, and torture have become the respected order of the day and you better d*** well salute that fact, citizen! Up has become down and right has become wrong. The "organs of public security" will make sure the state's dictums are enforced (pre-emptively when necessary) as the "fawning corporate media" sings hosannas to the grandeur and wonder of it all.

As far as the eye can see => nothing but an Orwellian nightmare filled with depravity, devils and a world gone totally-ass mad...

William John Cox said...

For interest in the subject, please see: ROBOCOPS: PROFESSIONAL POLICING OF POLITICAL PROTEST
http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10128

Anonymous said...

This is insane, our country is turning into everything that we supposedly are against while we still claim we are in line with our country's proclomations. Our nation is being lulled to sleep while their rights and freedom are being slowly taken from them. So many sources contribute to this fact it is unreal. Movies, music, media all lull us to sleep without focusing on what is truly important, our rights and our freedoms that are supposedly guaranteed to us, well this article makes this obviously untrue. Think it doesn't effect you? Just wait until it does or take a good look at how you live and how you are lulled into submission by an authoritarian state and a society that values submission over rebellion and silence over questioning.

mother teresa said...

St. Jill

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