Archive for January 17th, 2012

Why we must oppose PIPA and SOPA

| January 17, 2012 | 1 Reply
Why we must oppose PIPA and SOPA

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published this succinct explanation setting out the dangers of PIPA and SOPA.

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Today’s target of American civil rights abuses

| January 17, 2012 | Reply
Today’s target of American civil rights abuses

Glenn Greenwald agrees with Law Professor Jonathan Turley that Americans are facing “ten major, ongoing assaults on core civil liberties, expanded during the Bush administration yet vigorously continued and/or expanded by President Obama:

Assassination of U.S. citizens; Indefinite detention; Arbitrary justice; Warrantless searches; Secret evidence; War crimes; Secret court; Immunity from judicial review; Continual monitoring of citizens; and Extraordinary renditions.

In today’s column, Greenwald asks “who are generally the victims of these civil liberties assaults?” Perhaps his question could be tweaked as follows: “Who are today’s victims of these civil liberties assaults?” Here is his answer:

The answer is the same as the one for this related question: who are the prime victims of America’s posture of Endless War? Overwhelmingly, the victims are racial, ethnic and religious minorities: specifically, Muslims (both American Muslims and foreign nationals). And that is a major factor in why these abuses flourish: because those who dominate American political debates perceive, more or less accurately, that they are not directly endangered (at least for now) by this assault on core freedoms and Endless War (all civil liberties abuses in fact endanger all citizens, as they inevitably spread beyond their original targets, but they generally become institutionalized precisely because those outside the originally targeted minority groups react with indifference).

This endless war and civil rights abuses are destroying the American character. On this point, Greenwald refers to Martin Luther King’s 1967 speech critical of the Vietnam War, which includes this passage:

I knew that America would never invest the necessary funds or energies in rehabilitation of its poor so long as adventures like Vietnam continued to draw men and skills and money like some demonic destructive suction tube. So I was increasingly compelled to see the war as an enemy of the poor and to attack it as such . . . .

Like so much of Greenwald’s research and writing, today’s column is detailed and precisely and persuasively argued. I would highly recommend reading the entire original.

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