By Alex Distefano
By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
From the doorway, which was open, her vigilant visitors, as reported by Kris Axtman, saw "a poster of George W. Bush holding a noose. It read: 'We hang on your every word.' " The message was a reminder of Texas governor Bush's proud record as the nation's chief executioner. The noose was not around his neck.
Since, under Ashcroft's USA Patriot Act, the various intelligence agencies are encouraged to exchange information with one another, I expect A.J. Brown and the noose in her apartment are now in the files of the FBI and the CIA.
Ashcroft has further expanded the FBI's powers by reviving the disgraced COINTELPRO operation that, from 1957 to 1971, monitored, infiltrated, and disrupted many "suspicious" religious and political groups. After COINTELPRO was denounced by Congress, certain restrictions were placed on such FBI initiatives. Ashcroft has lifted those restrictions. The December 3 Wall Street Journal noted that Justice Department regulations no longer "require agents to show probable cause that a crime was afoot before spying on political or religious organizations." Or individuals.
Before you answer the door, check what's on your walls.