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Here are three articles about the Bush admin's incursions into US civil liberties going back to 2001/2002. 1) "Chilled Criticism on Campus". That was about 100 percent support for the bombing of Afghanistan on campuses - there was only 92 percent. So Lynne Cheney published a report titled, "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done About It." She listed incidents of speech or activities that were "short of patriotism": "Professors across the country sponsored teach-ins that typically ranged from moral equivocation to explicit condemnation of America," the report said. "Many invoked tolerance and diversity as antidotes to evil." 2) "Political Dissent Can Bring Federal Agents to Your Door." That's when the FBI encouraged Americans to report fellow cititizens - for critizicing Bush, for example: "He is a servant of the big oil companies". Possessing "un-American material" was suspect too, e.g., a Bush poster that read, "We hang on your every word," 3) "Has the Attorney General Been Reading Franz Kafka?" This had to do with the USA Patriot Act where book store owners and librarians must reveal the names of customers and patrons to the FBI. And once the information is given, a gag order is automatically imposed. I apologize for sticking three fairly long articles in one post. If anyone has Bush's mailing address (business), please post it. He deserves to know what is happening to his own people so he can stop preaching about democracy and freedom to the rest of us, especially to the Iraqis. Elga 1) ------------------Fwd------------------ http://www.arches.uga.edu/~chrys/chill.htm University Of Georgia Chilled Criticism on Campus Professors' Loss of Critical Speech about the Terrorist Attacks By Chrys Egan Object Magazine, December 2001 "If you can't question the government's policies on a college campus, then where can you? And if those terrorists really do hate us because we're free, then why stifle the very freedom that distinguished us from them?"--Sheryl McCarthy (A48) The crisp fall air was not the only cold wind blowing across America's higher education campuses this autumn. The ominous winds from the World Trade Center and Pentagon collapses not only blew debris, financial documents, and government reports, but a chilling effect on free speech and diversity that would soon drift across America and its campuses. Professors and students, conservatives and liberals, published documents and casual speech, all were attacked for opposing their campus or community dominant ideologies. Perhaps the most potentially damaging attack on speech and international tolerance came November 13 via the 38-page "Defending Civilization: How Our Universities Are Failing America and What Can Be Done about It" report issued by the Project of the Defense of Civilization Fund operated by the American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA). The report blames higher education faculty for society's moral ills, demands nationalism and exclusively positive US-slanted history courses, and documents 117 incidents of recent campus speech or activities deemed "short on patriotism." ACTA's report should disturb proponents of criticism, freedom of thought, and multiculturalism for several reasons. First, the strong political ties to the Bush- Cheney administration make this organization especially powerful and threatening to those who would dissent. ACTA co-founder Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, served as chairwoman until recently and is quoted throughout the report. When Bush warned that those not with him were against him, who knew he meant that the Vice President's wife would be taking names? Wherever possible, this document "blacklists" individuals and campuses by name, claiming they are unpatriotic, poisoning today's youth, and harming America's success in the "war on terrorism." Additionally, ACTA bases these claims, in part, on campus comments and actions that seek: peace over bloodshed, critical understanding of US history and foreign affairs, or sensitivity toward other nations, ethnicities, and religions. For example, ACTA bemoans the fact that some campus members "invoked tolerance and diversity as antidotes" to war and hatred. Further, ACTA states that these 117 instances are representative of the national trend on campuses. Just how representative these cases are is questionable because, among other reasons: they are not random, but selected to illustrate a particular agenda; the cases involve just 32 schools (most often cited were the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Brown University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and City University of New York); only 58 examples (about half) clearly identify faculty involvement, yet some individuals are listed multiple times. Even if these cases are indicative of national campus trends, ACTA's oversimplification and overstatement of the problem, scapegoats the academy by proclaiming, "college and university faculty have been the weak link in America's response to the attack." In so doing, the document insinuates that if the US loses the "war on terrorism," then the fault lies not with flawed US policies, but with the critical voices within our nation's universities. Not surprisingly, the report is overtly biased against liberals and others desiring peace or presenting alternative views. For instance, the report leads readers to believe that liberalism has run amuck and that anti-war or critical US comments met with uproarious cheers on all campuses. The report conveniently neglects to document that retaliation against dissenting faculty included suspension, intimidation, public defamation, legal charges of treason, and threats of violent and sexual assault, just to cite a few. Ironically, the report states, it "is not an argument for limiting free speech on college campuses," yet obviously the organization strives to limit critical dissent. The report begins by denouncing faculty declaiming against the general popular support for military action, rather than acknowledging the dangers of group-think and the value of skepticism. The report's editors seem genuinely appalled that the "war" has only received 92% support, not 100%. Finally, ACTA proposes that the solution to societal ills is requiring history and civics courses that exclusively present positive aspects of the US. Thus ACTA's insistence that they champion academic freedom reveals itself as a transparent ploy to do away with any critical analysis of US history or policies. While more information is always useful when addressing problems, the best information is always complete information, both positive and negative. Because of the reasons listed, this report has significant ramification for critical discussion of dissent and tolerance. The issue is not whether the dissenters have the First Amendment right to their comments. They do. The issue is not whether their critics have the First Amendment right to disapprove. They do. The real issue is the general lack of tolerance for disagreement, and what this intolerance will cost individuals, our campuses, our nation, and our world. ### Faculty Incidents in the ACTA Report and Beyond "It is disturbing that Americans have been censured for expressing legitimate--though unpopular--positions. It is even more disturbing that these challenges to free speech have occurred on college campuses, where the free exchange of ideas is the chief educational mission."-- Columbia Daily Spectator Editorial Of the 117 incidents in the ACTA report, roughly half clearly identify, either by name or by title, faculty members at US colleges and universities who are blacklisted for being: anti-war, concerned for other nations, critical of US history or foreign policy, or an infringement on conservative's rights. While all faculty examples cannot be analyzed in detail here, a few cases illustrate both the agenda and flaws of the ACTA report. These sample institutional incidents were chosen because other media sources presented additional information on the cases. One common ACTA theme is telling half the story, particularly omitting retaliation against critical professors. ACTA and other sources report that at a town council meeting, Jennie Traschen, Physics professor at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, described the US flag as a "symbol of terrorism and death and fear and destruction and oppression." ACTA fails to report that outraged townspeople published Traschen's comments, e- mail address, and home information on the Internet. This retaliation allowed citizens across the country to harass her, which they did in droves. She was bombarded with phone calls and e-mails threatening violent and sexual assault. As a result, the Boston Globe reported that she has "decided to be quiet." As with Traschen, ACTA presents only their version of the story concerning University of New Mexico professor Richard Berthold, whose case also was reported in the Boston Globe and the Cleveland Plain Dealer. Berthold, tenured History professor for three decades, off- handedly remarked, "Anyone who can blow up the Pentagon gets my vote."Since causing the controversy, Berthold admitted the joke was in poor taste. In a rather unorthodox apology, Bethold said, "I was a jerk, but the First Amendment protects my right to be a jerk." However, not all agree, since "alumni, lawmakers, and colleagues called for Richard Berthold... to resign." Representative William Fuller (R-Albuquerque), a retired Army colonial with a son working at the Pentagon, wants Berthold fired. Additionally, Fuller charges Berthold with treason, claiming "Treason is giving aid or comfort to the enemy. Any terrorist who heard Berthold's comment was comforted." University President William Gordon says Berthold will be dealt with "through internal disciplinary procedures" and University Provost Brain Foster adds, "It's not a speech issue; it's a professional ethics issue" meaning Berthold could be punished for his actions -- thus skirting the supposed protections tenure confers. However, the ACTA report ignores this retaliation and merely reports the comment and apology to "prove" the liberal bias poisoning young minds. One of the biggest campus controversies to emerge involves City College of New York's October 2 "teach-in" sponsored by the Professional Staff Congress, attended by 200 people, and advertised as "authoritative information from the faculty... on the recent terrorist attacks, America's response, and related long- term domestic and international repercussions." ACTA briefly paraphrases responses from the Professional Staff Congress and faculty at the forum; the only direct quotes are from Professors Crane and Daum, and the accuracy is debatable. According to a New York Post editorial, Psychology professor William Crane said he wanted "peace, not war" and that "U.S. alliances have shifted... the constant is violence... We need to address that and work for peace." In subsequent interviews, Crane claimed that The New York Post's original article misquoted him as saying "our diplomacy is horrible." On the other hand, mathematics professor Walter Daum claimed that although he was quoted correctly, he was trying to explain the attacks, not justify them when he said, "The ultimate responsibility lies with the rulers of this country, the capitalist ruling class of this country." Daum later added, "All of us were misrepresented above all because the [Post] article implied that the forum was about the terrorists being freedom fighters. As far as I know nobody said that... I among others called them murders and criminals," and "In no way am I sympathetic to what was mass murder." Daum's clarifying statements are omitted from the ACTA report and his alleged statement that "American imperialism is responsible for this terrorist attack," is questionable since several of the attendees claim the New York Post article reporting the quote was highly biased and inaccurate. While ACTA's report includes some CUNY faculty statements and possible misquotations, it neglects the tremendous outcry against CUNY faculty, again implying there was none. Readers would need to consult the New York Post, the Chronicle of Higher Education, or other sources to gain a full picture of the backlash against CUNY faculty. While CUNY President Gregory Williams defended the right to hold a debate, the chancellor and trustees did not share this view. Chancellor Goldstein, who did not attend the event, said it was vital to uphold "the free exchange of ideas," while simultaneously berating his faculty's "lame excuses... with arguments based on ideological or historical circumstances." Goldstein added that "There are no excuses for deliberate actions taken to kill innocent people." However, when his faculty echoed similar sentiments concerning America's counter attack, Goldstein considered their remarks appalling. In addition to Goldstein, Trustee Jeffery Wiesenfeld and other Board members similarly condemned the faculty. The trustees' proposed resolution claimed the faculty's "outrageous" comments were "self-indulgent;" the trustees have since abandoned their resolution (McCarthy A48). Wiesenfeld personally added that the faculty's "selfish, tasteless, and unjustified conduct, brought shame to the City University of New York." Realizing he cannot legally fire the faculty, Wiesenfeld proposed instead that "they have the invitation to take a hike." Again, none of this backlash against dissenters is noted by ACTA in its one-sided view of campus reactions to the terrorist attacks. In fact, ACTA's only mention of backlash at all is against conservatives, once more conveying the false impression that all other professors cited in the report faced no retaliation. One such example of conservative backlash criticized in the report involved Ken Hearlson, Political Science instructor at Orange Coast Community College. ACTA states that Hearlson was "suspend[ed]," while other sources say he was "on leave," after several Muslim students in his class were offended when Hearlson referred to the attackers and their supporters as "terrorists" and "murderers." ACTA's implication is that Hearlson faced retaliation and free speech violations, which he did. While this too may be an unfair abuse of free academic discourse, no such sympathy is granted by ACTA to those professors critical of the war. ACTA's paradoxical stance on critical speech is summed up in its statement that "Indeed, the robust exchange of ideas is essential to a free society. But it is equally important, and never more so than in these unsettling times, to insist that colleges and universities transmit our history and heritage to the next generation." But ACTA would do well to heed its own advice. Their report clearly does not advocate the "robust exchange of ideas" which are "important, and never more so than in these unsettling times." They instead call for unanimity of thought, and word, and deed. Further, they must consider what message they are really sending about "our history and heritage to the next generation." While admirable to teach students positive messages about the US, ACTA instead revisits shameful eras of censorship and intolerance throughout history. Perhaps the most telling indicator of the future of campus free speech lies not in the organizations with powerful political ties, but in campus tolerance of criticism and cultural differences. Ironically, those who would mute dissenters not only attack their friends, neighbors, and colleagues, but their own right to dissent. As George Orwell noted, "If large numbers of people believe in the freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if the laws exist to protect them." Such is the challenge in the wake of September 11. ------------------End------------------ 2:) ------------------Fwd------------------ http://commondreams.org/headlines02/0108-02.htm Published on Tuesday, January 8, 2002 in the  Christian Science Monitor New McCarthyism Political Dissent Can Bring Federal Agents to Your Door by Kris Axtman HOUSTON - It was 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 7 when the two men showed up. Donna Huanca was alone, getting ready to open Houston's Art Car Museum. "They looked like robots," she says. She told the men, dressed in dark suits and carrying leather portfolios, that they would have to wait until the doors opened at 11. That was when they flipped out their badges: They were federal agents investigating reports of "anti-American activity" at the tiny art gallery. Anti-American Art? ART: The FBI was interested in this image of George Bush. Photo by Kris Axtman of art by Tim Glover To FBI special agent Terrence Donahue and Steven Smith of the Secret Service, it was a routine mission to check out one of the more than 435,000 tips they have received since Sept. 11. To Ms. Huanca, whose gallery was opening "Secret Wars," an exhibit on US covert operations and government secrets, it was something else. "What's anti-American about freedom of speech?" the docent blurted out. The incident, which ended after an hour of questioning, represents more than just a disturbing day for one museum staffer. Across the US, growing numbers of Americans are facing similar interrogations - apparently, they say, because they have criticized the government, President Bush, or the war on terrorism. Not everyone is bothered by the inquiries. Indeed, by responding to a torrent of tips federal agents are doing exactly what many Americans want them to do. But as the nation mounts a zealous campaign against domestic terror, some observers say federal agencies are walking a delicate line between checking out leads and trampling on free speech. "If the FBI is investigating art exhibits at museums, then the line has been crossed," says First Amendment scholar David Cole at Georgetown University in Washington. "The FBI should investigate any credible leads where federal criminal activity may be undertaken. But it should avoid investigating any political conduct." The rise in doorstep inquiries reflects, in part, a new law-enforcement reality. Suddenly, it may seem hard to know who might be the next to steer a plane into a building. It also reflects raw math. There are simply many more tips to check. "Remarks made toward the president in an antagonistic way are checked out by the Secret Service. That's always been the case," says Jill Spillman, an FBI agent detailed to the Justice Department. "The FBI checks out [possible] domestic terrorism." She says the people visited are under no obligation to answer questions and are not necessarily viewed as suspects. But Attorney General John Ashcroft's post-September policy is that each tip be looked into. While not every tip leads to a face-to-face visit, surprise encounters with federal agents are leaving some Americans feeling their privacy has been violated - and that their speech has made them targets of official scrutiny. For example, A.J. Brown, a student at Durham Technical Community College in North Carolina, faced 40 minutes of grilling by two Secret Service agents and a Raleigh police officer in her doorway (she wouldn't let them come in, and they had no search warrant). By her account, they said they were investigating a tip that she had "un-American material" in her apartment. From the doorway, they took particular note of a poster of George W. Bush holding a noose. It read: "We hang on your every word," referring to his unflinching support of the death penalty as governor of Texas. Then there's San Franciscan Barry Reingold, who was awakened from his afternoon nap by a buzzing intercom on Oct. 23. He called down to the street to find out who it was. "The FBI," was the response. He buzzed the two men up, but decided to meet them in the hall. "I was a little bit shaken up," says Mr. Reingold. "I mean, why would the FBI be interested in me, a 60-year-old retired phone company worker?" When they asked if he worked out at a certain gym, he realized the reason behind the visit. The gym is where he lifts weights - and expounds on his political views. Since Sept. 11, the sessions have been heated. Once, he recalls, "discussion turned to [Osama] bin Laden and what a horrible murderer he was. I said, 'Yeah, he's horrible and did a horrible thing, but Bush has nothing to be proud of. He is a servant of the big oil companies, and his only interest in the Middle East is oil.' " Some fellow weightlifters called Reingold a disloyal American. One, apparently, called the government. So it was that two agents were standing in his hall. "They said, 'You know you are entitled to freedom of speech.' And I said, 'Thank you. That ends our conversation.' " When Reingold closed his door, he heard one of the agents say: "But we still need to do a report." As the overheard comment suggests, the FBI and Secret Service view many of these checkups as a routine, almost innocuous, part of their job. Still, the task has taken on fresh relevance after the terrorist attacks. "Just because we [talked] to ABC Flight School doesn't mean they did something wrong," says Robert Doguim of the Houston FBI. "But how irresponsible of us would it be if we didn't talk to someone?" He says the Art Car Museum and its exhibit (which had been planned months before Sept. 11) were deemed "not dangerous" after the agents' visit. But to Huanca, the face-off seemed unnecessary and intimidating. She says the G-men puzzled over each art installation, sneering and saying things like, "What's that supposed to mean?" Drawing conclusions from cases like this is tricky, since the reality could involve more, or less, than either side tells the media. But Barry Steinhardt, associate director of the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, finds the anecdotal evidence deeply troubling. "All of this speaks to the new McCarthyism, where political dissent is being equaled to treason," Mr. Steinhardt says. "It's a very frightening trend: that people are doing nothing more than expressing the very freedoms that we are fighting to preserve - and find themselves with the FBI at their door." ### Copyright ) 2002 The Christian Science Monitor ) Copyrighted 1997-2001  www.commondreams.org ------------------End------------------ 3) ------------------Fwd------------------ http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0209/hentoff.php Posted February 22nd, 2002 5:00 PM Nat Hentoff Has the Attorney General Been Reading Franz Kafka? Big John Wants Your Reading List During the congressional debate on John Ashcroft's USA Patriot Act, an American Civil Liberties Union fact sheet on the bill's assaults on the Bill of Rights revealed that Section 215 of the act "would grant FBI agents across the country breathtaking authority to obtain an order from the FISA [Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] court... requiring any person or business to produce any books, records, documents, or items." This is now the law, and as I wrote last week, the FBI, armed with a warrant or subpoena from the FISA court, can demand from bookstores and libraries the names of books bought or borrowed by anyone suspected of involvement in "international terrorism" or "clandestine activities." Once that information is requested by the FBI, a gag order is automatically imposed, prohibiting the bookstore owners or librarians from disclosing to any other person the fact that they have received an order to produce documents. You can't call a newspaper or a radio or television station or your representatives in Congress. You can call a lawyer, but since you didn't have any advance warning that the judge was issuing the order, your attorney can't have objected to it in court. He or she will be hearing about it for the first time from you. I have been told that at least three of these court orders have been served, but that's all the information I was given not the names of the bookstores or the libraries. And I can't tell you my source. Courts do infrequently impose gag orders preceding or during trials, and newspapers sometimes successfully fight them. But never in the history of the First Amendment has any suppression of speech been so sweeping and difficult to contest as this one by Ashcroft. For example, if a judge places a gag order on the press in a case before the court, the press can print the fact that it's been silenced, and the public will know about it. But now, under this provision of the USA Patriot Act, how does one track what's going on? How many bookstores and libraries will have their records seized? Are any of them bookstores or libraries that you frequent? Are these court orders part of FBI fishing expeditions, like Ashcroft's mass roundups of immigrants? And if the FBI deepens its concerns about terrorist leanings after inspecting a suspect's reading list, how can everyone else know what books will make the FBI worry about us? As one First Amendment lawyer said to me, "What makes this so chilling is that there is no input into the process." First there is the secrecy in which the subpoenas are obtained with only the FBI present in court. Then then there is the gag order commanding the persons receiving the subpoenas to remain silent. Has John Ashcroft been reading Franz Kafka lately? As I often do when Americans' freedom to read is imperiled, I called Judith Krug, director of the Office for Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association. I've covered, as a reporter, many cases of library censorship, and almost invariably, the beleaguered librarians have already been on the phone to Judy Krug. She is the very incarnation of the author of the First Amendment, James Madison. When some librarians because of community pressure or their own political views, right or left have wanted to keep books or other material from readers, Judy has fought them. She is also the leading opponent of any attempt to curb the use of the Internet in public libraries. As she has often said, "How can anyone involved with libraries stand up and say, 'We are going to solve problems by withholding information'?" I called to talk with her about the FBI's new power to force libraries to disclose the titles of books that certain people are reading and she, of course, knew all about this part of the USA Patriot Act. And the rest of it, for that matter. She told me how any library can ask for help without breaking the gag order and revealing a FISA visit from the FBI. The librarian can simply call her at the American Library Association in Chicago and say, "I need to talk to a lawyer," and Judy will tell her or him how to contact a First Amendment attorney. The reason the president and the attorney general have so far been able to trade civil liberties for security is they know from the polls that they can count on extensive support. Most Americans are indeed willing to forgo parts of the Bill of Rights for safety. Only by getting more and more Americans to realize that they themselves not just noncitizens can be affected by these amputations of the Bill of Rights will there be a critical mass of resistance to what Ashcroft and Bush are doing to our liberties. Accordingly, the press ought to awaken the citizenry not only to the FBI's harvesting lists of what "suspect" Americans read, but also to the judicial silencing of bookstores and libraries that are being compelled to betray the privacy and First Amendment rights of readers. I would welcome any advice from civil liberties lawyers on ways to counter both this provision of the USA Patriot Act and the gag order, which is the sort of silencing you'd expect of China or Iraq. Remember the repeated assurances by the president, the attorney general, and the secretary of defense that any security measures taken in the war on terrorism would be within the bounds of the Constitution? Whose Constitution? George Orwell said: "If large numbers of people believe in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech even if the law forbids it. But if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them." Today, the public doesn't even know about this provision in the strangely titled USA Patriot Act. A lot of people are still afraid to get on a plane. Is Ashcroft fearful that if people find out about his interest in what they're reading, they'll be afraid to go to libraries and bookstores and will start asking questions about what the hell he thinks he's doing? And where is Congress? ------------------End------------------ _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk