Subject: A-10>Election News Special/Ten Steps to Fascism

http://wakeupandsaveyourcountry.com/oejc.html

Voters of Ohio Join Us     

Friday November 2, 2007 In Columbus, OH

A Rembrance Rally and Democracy Memorial March to mark
the  third
anniversary of
"The Death of Democracy in Ohio / Election Day November 2,
2004 "

Event Schedule:

11:30  AM -Shout out and Rally at Ohio Statehouse (56 S.
High St.)

12:00  -Funeral March and Dirge Route;

IMPORTANT: Brass players NEEDED!: Tuba, trumpet,
trombone and
tambourine players, bring your instrument and join the dirge!

Circle Statehouse
56 S. High St.

Then on to Attorney General Mark Dann's Office
30 E. Broad St.

then, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner's Office
280 E. Broad St.

In the evening: 7:00 PM  Victoria's Midnight Café, 251 W. Fifth
Ave,
Columbus--Remember:

• Partisan administration of election laws by Secretary of
State
Kenneth Blackwell
• Rigged recounts
• Voting machine shortages   
• Hackable and non-trustworthy electronic voting

PLEASE CONSIDER JOINING US. WE WILL NEVER FORGET.
This is a solemn
march:
• come dressed for a funeral
• bring a black umbrella in case of rain
• please stay on the sidewalk and observe all traffic laws
• do not engage disrespectful people



Scoop Will the election theft machine do it again in 08
http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0710/S00328.htm
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Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHegbrhf_Oc
The Fitrakis Files, Part One watch it and remember. The truth
can never be hidden, it will rise again.

WHY?  Because the 2000 election was a test, the 2004
election was perfected. 2008 MORE OF THE SAME.

WE CAN NOT AFFORD TO FORGET THE PAST AND ACT
SURPRISED AT THE OUTCOME.


SOCIAL CHANGE AND JUSTICE IS NOT FREE
YOU MUST FIGHT FOR IT!
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Attorney Mark Adams has circulated some remarkable videos
and newspaper
articles showing the political unity of the mainstream
Republican and
Democratic parties. John Russell's ejection from the Florida
Democratic
Party convention mirrors several suppressed ejections of
anti-war protesters
from Congressional hearings by Democrats who were
elected as the anti-war
party.
Fascism in Fantasyland video
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-
547222172065922876


WARNING: Pursuant to the USA / Patriot Act, passed by
YOUR Congress
in 2001, which has now been extended indefinitely, all
electronic
transmissions are now being read by federal and state law
enforcement
agencies. So, don't forget the Miranda warnings: "ANYTHING
you say (
type ) can and will be..." when sending e-mail because NONE
ARE
PRIVATE since the passage of the tyrannical and potentially
oppressive, unconstitutional, anti-American, anti-free speech,
anti-civil liberties U.S.A. / P.A.T.R.I.O. T. law - a.k.a. the
"Useless State sponsored Action Purporting to Attack Terror
while
Really Initiating an Oligarchic Takeover" law.


This paragraph was very interesting about voting and our
next "election" day:, from "3. Develop a thug caste":

"Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men,
dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll
workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000. If you are
reading history, you can imagine that there can be a need for
"public order" on the next election day. Say there are
protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history would
not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a polling
station "to restore public order". "

I did not know so many of the dissident soldiers were killed
by bullets through their heads.  I was most aware of Pat
Tillman.

Sheila

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,,2064157,00.html




Fascist America, in 10 easy steps
From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are
certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy
constitutional freedoms. And, argues Naomi Wolf, George
Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all

Tuesday April 24, 2007
The Guardian

Last autumn, there was a military coup in Thailand. The
leaders of the coup took a number of steps, rather
systematically, as if they had a shopping list. In a sense, they
did. Within a matter of days, democracy had been closed
down: the coup leaders declared martial law, sent armed
soldiers into residential areas, took over radio and TV
stations, issued restrictions on the press, tightened some
limits on travel, and took certain activists into custody.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
They were not figuring these things out as they went along. If
you look at history, you can see that there is essentially a
blueprint for turning an open society into a dictatorship. That
blueprint has been used again and again in more and less
bloody, more and less terrifying ways. But it is always
effective. It is very difficult and arduous to create and sustain
a democracy - but history shows that closing one down is
much simpler. You simply have to be willing to take the 10
steps.

As difficult as this is to contemplate, it is clear, if you are
willing to look, that each of these 10 steps has already been
initiated today in the United States by the Bush
administration.

Because Americans like me were born in freedom, we have a
hard time even considering that it is possible for us to
become as unfree - domestically - as many other nations.
Because we no longer learn much about our rights or our
system of government - the task of being aware of the
constitution has been outsourced from citizens' ownership
to being the domain of professionals such as lawyers and
professors - we scarcely recognise the checks and balances
that the founders put in place, even as they are being
systematically dismantled. Because we don't learn much
about European history, the setting up of a department of
"homeland" security - remember who else was keen on the
word "homeland" - didn't raise the alarm bells it might have.

It is my argument that, beneath our very noses, George Bush
and his administration are using time-tested tactics to close
down an open society. It is time for us to be willing to think
the unthinkable - as the author and political journalist Joe
Conason, has put it, that it can happen here. And that we are
further along than we realise.

Conason eloquently warned of the danger of American
authoritarianism. I am arguing that we need also to look at
the lessons of European and other kinds of fascism to
understand the potential seriousness of the events we see
unfolding in the US.

1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy

After we were hit on September 11 2001, we were in a state of
national shock. Less than six weeks later, on October 26
2001, the USA Patriot Act was passed by a Congress that
had little chance to debate it; many said that they scarcely
had time to read it. We were told we were now on a "war
footing"; we were in a "global war" against a "global
caliphate" intending to "wipe out civilisation". There have
been other times of crisis in which the US accepted limits on
civil liberties, such as during the civil war, when Lincoln
declared martial law, and the second world war, when
thousands of Japanese-American citizens were interned. But
this situation, as Bruce Fein of the American Freedom
Agenda notes, is unprecedented: all our other wars had an
endpoint, so the pendulum was able to swing back toward
freedom; this war is defined as open-ended in time and
without national boundaries in space - the globe itself is the
battlefield. "This time," Fein says, "there will be no defined
end."

Creating a terrifying threat - hydra-like, secretive, evil - is an
old trick. It can, like Hitler's invocation of a communist threat
to the nation's security, be based on actual events (one
Wisconsin academic has faced calls for his dismissal
because he noted, among other things, that the alleged
communist arson, the Reichstag fire of February 1933, was
swiftly followed in Nazi Germany by passage of the Enabling
Act, which replaced constitutional law with an open-ended
state of emergency). Or the terrifying threat can be based, like
the National Socialist evocation of the "global conspiracy of
world Jewry", on myth.

It is not that global Islamist terrorism is not a severe danger;
of course it is. I am arguing rather that the language used to
convey the nature of the threat is different in a country such
as Spain - which has also suffered violent terrorist attacks -
than it is in America. Spanish citizens know that they face a
grave security threat; what we as American citizens believe
is that we are potentially threatened with the end of
civilisation as we know it. Of course, this makes us more
willing to accept restrictions on our freedoms.

2. Create a gulag

Once you have got everyone scared, the next step is to
create a prison system outside the rule of law (as Bush put it,
he wanted the American detention centre at Guantánamo
Bay to be situated in legal "outer space") - where torture
takes place.

At first, the people who are sent there are seen by citizens as
outsiders: troublemakers, spies, "enemies of the people" or
"criminals". Initially, citizens tend to support the secret
prison system; it makes them feel safer and they do not
identify with the prisoners. But soon enough, civil society
leaders - opposition members, labour activists, clergy and
journalists - are arrested and sent there as well.

This process took place in fascist shifts or anti-democracy
crackdowns ranging from Italy and Germany in the 1920s
and 1930s to the Latin American coups of the 1970s and
beyond. It is standard practice for closing down an open
society or crushing a pro-democracy uprising.

With its jails in Iraq and Afghanistan, and, of course,
Guantánamo in Cuba, where detainees are abused, and kept
indefinitely without trial and without access to the due
process of the law, America certainly has its gulag now.
Bush and his allies in Congress recently announced they
would issue no information about the secret CIA "black site"
prisons throughout the world, which are used to incarcerate
people who have been seized off the street.

Gulags in history tend to metastasise, becoming ever larger
and more secretive, ever more deadly and formalised. We
know from first-hand accounts, photographs, videos and
government documents that people, innocent and guilty,
have been tortured in the US-run prisons we are aware of
and those we can't investigate adequately.

But Americans still assume this system and detainee abuses
involve only scary brown people with whom they don't
generally identify. It was brave of the conservative pundit
William Safire to quote the anti-Nazi pastor Martin Niemöller,
who had been seized as a political prisoner: "First they came
for the Jews." Most Americans don't understand yet that the
destruction of the rule of law at Guantánamo set a dangerous
precedent for them, too.

By the way, the establishment of military tribunals that deny
prisoners due process tends to come early on in a fascist
shift. Mussolini and Stalin set up such tribunals. On April 24
1934, the Nazis, too, set up the People's Court, which also
bypassed the judicial system: prisoners were held
indefinitely, often in isolation, and tortured, without being
charged with offences, and were subjected to show trials.
Eventually, the Special Courts became a parallel system that
put pressure on the regular courts to abandon the rule of law
in favour of Nazi ideology when making decisions.

3. Develop a thug caste

When leaders who seek what I call a "fascist shift" want to
close down an open society, they send paramilitary groups
of scary young men out to terrorise citizens. The Blackshirts
roamed the Italian countryside beating up communists; the
Brownshirts staged violent rallies throughout Germany. This
paramilitary force is especially important in a democracy:
you need citizens to fear thug violence and so you need
thugs who are free from prosecution.

The years following 9/11 have proved a bonanza for
America's security contractors, with the Bush administration
outsourcing areas of work that traditionally fell to the US
military. In the process, contracts worth hundreds of millions
of dollars have been issued for security work by mercenaries
at home and abroad. In Iraq, some of these contract
operatives have been accused of involvement in torturing
prisoners, harassing journalists and firing on Iraqi civilians.
Under Order 17, issued to regulate contractors in Iraq by the
one-time US administrator in Baghdad, Paul Bremer, these
contractors are immune from prosecution

Yes, but that is in Iraq, you could argue; however, after
Hurricane Katrina, the Department of Homeland Security
hired and deployed hundreds of armed private security
guards in New Orleans. The investigative journalist Jeremy
Scahill interviewed one unnamed guard who reported having
fired on unarmed civilians in the city. It was a natural disaster
that underlay that episode - but the administration's endless
war on terror means ongoing scope for what are in effect
privately contracted armies to take on crisis and emergency
management at home in US cities.

Thugs in America? Groups of angry young Republican men,
dressed in identical shirts and trousers, menaced poll
workers counting the votes in Florida in 2000. If you are
reading history, you can imagine that there can be a need for
"public order" on the next election day. Say there are
protests, or a threat, on the day of an election; history would
not rule out the presence of a private security firm at a polling
station "to restore public order".

4. Set up an internal surveillance system

In Mussolini's Italy, in Nazi Germany, in communist East
Germany, in communist China - in every closed society -
secret police spy on ordinary people and encourage
neighbours to spy on neighbours. The Stasi needed to keep
only a minority of East Germans under surveillance to
convince a majority that they themselves were being
watched.

In 2005 and 2006, when James Risen and Eric Lichtblau
wrote in the New York Times about a secret state programme
to wiretap citizens' phones, read their emails and follow
international financial transactions, it became clear to
ordinary Americans that they, too, could be under state
scrutiny.

In closed societies, this surveillance is cast as being about
"national security"; the true function is to keep citizens
docile and inhibit their activism and dissent.

5. Harass citizens' groups

The fifth thing you do is related to step four - you infiltrate
and harass citizens' groups. It can be trivial: a church in
Pasadena, whose minister preached that Jesus was in
favour of peace, found itself being investigated by the
Internal Revenue Service, while churches that got
Republicans out to vote, which is equally illegal under US tax
law, have been left alone.

Other harassment is more serious: the American Civil
Liberties Union reports that thousands of ordinary American
anti-war, environmental and other groups have been
infiltrated by agents: a secret Pentagon database includes
more than four dozen peaceful anti-war meetings, rallies or
marches by American citizens in its category of 1,500
"suspicious incidents". The equally secret
Counterintelligence Field Activity (Cifa) agency of the
Department of Defense has been gathering information
about domestic organisations engaged in peaceful political
activities: Cifa is supposed to track "potential terrorist
threats" as it watches ordinary US citizen activists. A little-
noticed new law has redefined activism such as animal rights
protests as "terrorism". So the definition of "terrorist" slowly
expands to include the opposition.

6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release

This scares people. It is a kind of cat-and-mouse game.
Nicholas D Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the investigative
reporters who wrote China Wakes: the Struggle for the Soul
of a Rising Power, describe pro-democracy activists in
China, such as Wei Jingsheng, being arrested and released
many times. In a closing or closed society there is a "list" of
dissidents and opposition leaders: you are targeted in this
way once you are on the list, and it is hard to get off the list.

In 2004, America's Transportation Security Administration
confirmed that it had a list of passengers who were targeted
for security searches or worse if they tried to fly. People who
have found themselves on the list? Two middle-aged women
peace activists in San Francisco; liberal Senator Edward
Kennedy; a member of Venezuela's government - after
Venezuela's president had criticised Bush; and thousands of
ordinary US citizens.

Professor Walter F Murphy is emeritus of Princeton
University; he is one of the foremost constitutional scholars
in the nation and author of the classic Constitutional
Democracy. Murphy is also a decorated former marine, and
he is not even especially politically liberal. But on March 1
this year, he was denied a boarding pass at Newark,
"because I was on the Terrorist Watch list".

"Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of
people from flying because of that," asked the airline
employee.

"I explained," said Murphy, "that I had not so marched but
had, in September 2006, given a lecture at Princeton,
televised and put on the web, highly critical of George Bush
for his many violations of the constitution."

"That'll do it," the man said.

Anti-war marcher? Potential terrorist. Support the
constitution? Potential terrorist. History shows that the
categories of "enemy of the people" tend to expand ever
deeper into civil life.

James Yee, a US citizen, was the Muslim chaplain at
Guantánamo who was accused of mishandling classified
documents. He was harassed by the US military before the
charges against him were dropped. Yee has been detained
and released several times. He is still of interest.

Brandon Mayfield, a US citizen and lawyer in Oregon, was
mistakenly identified as a possible terrorist. His house was
secretly broken into and his computer seized. Though he is
innocent of the accusation against him, he is still on the list.

It is a standard practice of fascist societies that once you are
on the list, you can't get off.

7. Target key individuals

Threaten civil servants, artists and academics with job loss if
they don't toe the line. Mussolini went after the rectors of
state universities who did not conform to the fascist line; so
did Joseph Goebbels, who purged academics who were not
pro-Nazi; so did Chile's Augusto Pinochet; so does the
Chinese communist Politburo in punishing pro-democracy
students and professors.

Academe is a tinderbox of activism, so those seeking a
fascist shift punish academics and students with
professional loss if they do not "coordinate", in Goebbels'
term, ideologically. Since civil servants are the sector of
society most vulnerable to being fired by a given regime, they
are also a group that fascists typically "coordinate" early on:
the Reich Law for the Re-establishment of a Professional
Civil Service was passed on April 7 1933.

Bush supporters in state legislatures in several states put
pressure on regents at state universities to penalise or fire
academics who have been critical of the administration. As
for civil servants, the Bush administration has derailed the
career of one military lawyer who spoke up for fair trials for
detainees, while an administration official publicly intimidated
the law firms that represent detainees pro bono by
threatening to call for their major corporate clients to boycott
them.

Elsewhere, a CIA contract worker who said in a closed blog
that "waterboarding is torture" was stripped of the security
clearance she needed in order to do her job.

Most recently, the administration purged eight US attorneys
for what looks like insufficient political loyalty. When
Goebbels purged the civil service in April 1933, attorneys
were "coordinated" too, a step that eased the way of the
increasingly brutal laws to follow.

8. Control the press

Italy in the 1920s, Germany in the 30s, East Germany in the
50s, Czechoslovakia in the 60s, the Latin American
dictatorships in the 70s, China in the 80s and 90s - all
dictatorships and would-be dictators target newspapers and
journalists. They threaten and harass them in more open
societies that they are seeking to close, and they arrest them
and worse in societies that have been closed already.

The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US
journalists are at an all-time high: Josh Wolf (no relation), a
blogger in San Francisco, has been put in jail for a year for
refusing to turn over video of an anti-war demonstration;
Homeland Security brought a criminal complaint against
reporter Greg Palast, claiming he threatened "critical
infrastructure" when he and a TV producer were filming
victims of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana. Palast had written
a bestseller critical of the Bush administration.

Other reporters and writers have been punished in other
ways. Joseph C Wilson accused Bush, in a New York Times
op-ed, of leading the country to war on the basis of a false
charge that Saddam Hussein had acquired yellowcake
uranium in Niger. His wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a CIA
spy - a form of retaliation that ended her career.

Prosecution and job loss are nothing, though, compared
with how the US is treating journalists seeking to cover the
conflict in Iraq in an unbiased way. The Committee to Protect
Journalists has documented multiple accounts of the US
military in Iraq firing upon or threatening to fire upon
unembedded (meaning independent) reporters and camera
operators from organisations ranging from al-Jazeera to the
BBC. While westerners may question the accounts by al-
Jazeera, they should pay attention to the accounts of
reporters such as the BBC's Kate Adie. In some cases
reporters have been wounded or killed, including ITN's Terry
Lloyd in 2003. Both CBS and the Associated Press in Iraq
had staff members seized by the US military and taken to
violent prisons; the news organisations were unable to see
the evidence against their staffers.

Over time in closing societies, real news is supplanted by
fake news and false documents. Pinochet showed Chilean
citizens falsified documents to back up his claim that
terrorists had been about to attack the nation. The
yellowcake charge, too, was based on forged papers.

You won't have a shutdown of news in modern America - it is
not possible. But you can have, as Frank Rich and Sidney
Blumenthal have pointed out, a steady stream of lies
polluting the news well. What you already have is a White
House directing a stream of false information that is so
relentless that it is increasingly hard to sort out truth from
untruth. In a fascist system, it's not the lies that count but the
muddying. When citizens can't tell real news from fake, they
give up their demands for accountability bit by bit.

9. Dissent equals treason

Cast dissent as "treason" and criticism as "espionage'.
Every closing society does this, just as it elaborates laws that
increasingly criminalise certain kinds of speech and expand
the definition of "spy" and "traitor". When Bill Keller, the
publisher of the New York Times, ran the Lichtblau/Risen
stories, Bush called the Times' leaking of classified
information "disgraceful", while Republicans in Congress
called for Keller to be charged with treason, and rightwing
commentators and news outlets kept up the "treason"
drumbeat. Some commentators, as Conason noted,
reminded readers smugly that one penalty for violating the
Espionage Act is execution.

Conason is right to note how serious a threat that attack
represented. It is also important to recall that the 1938
Moscow show trial accused the editor of Izvestia, Nikolai
Bukharin, of treason; Bukharin was, in fact, executed. And it
is important to remind Americans that when the 1917
Espionage Act was last widely invoked, during the infamous
1919 Palmer Raids, leftist activists were arrested without
warrants in sweeping roundups, kept in jail for up to five
months, and "beaten, starved, suffocated, tortured and
threatened with death", according to the historian Myra
MacPherson. After that, dissent was muted in America for a
decade.

In Stalin's Soviet Union, dissidents were "enemies of the
people". National Socialists called those who supported
Weimar democracy "November traitors".

And here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not
realise that since September of last year - when Congress
wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of
2006 - the president has the power to call any US citizen an
"enemy combatant". He has the power to define what
"enemy combatant" means. The president can also delegate
to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to
define "enemy combatant" any way he or she wants and
then seize Americans accordingly.

Even if you or I are American citizens, even if we turn out to
be completely innocent of what he has accused us of doing,
he has the power to have us seized as we are changing
planes at Newark tomorrow, or have us taken with a knock
on the door; ship you or me to a navy brig; and keep you or
me in isolation, possibly for months, while awaiting trial.
(Prolonged isolation, as psychiatrists know, triggers
psychosis in otherwise mentally healthy prisoners. That is
why Stalin's gulag had an isolation cell, like Guantánamo's,
in every satellite prison. Camp 6, the newest, most brutal
facility at Guantánamo, is all isolation cells.)

We US citizens will get a trial eventually - for now. But legal
rights activists at the Center for Constitutional Rights say
that the Bush administration is trying increasingly
aggressively to find ways to get around giving even US
citizens fair trials. "Enemy combatant" is a status offence - it
is not even something you have to have done. "We have
absolutely moved over into a preventive detention model -
you look like you could do something bad, you might do
something bad, so we're going to hold you," says a
spokeswoman of the CCR.

Most Americans surely do not get this yet. No wonder: it is
hard to believe, even though it is true. In every closing
society, at a certain point there are some high-profile arrests -
usually of opposition leaders, clergy and journalists. Then
everything goes quiet. After those arrests, there are still
newspapers, courts, TV and radio, and the facades of a civil
society. There just isn't real dissent. There just isn't freedom.
If you look at history, just before those arrests is where we
are now.

10. Suspend the rule of law

The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the
president new powers over the national guard. This means
that in a national emergency - which the president now has
enhanced powers to declare - he can send Michigan's militia
to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in
Oregon, over the objections of the state's governor and its
citizens.

Even as Americans were focused on Britney Spears's
meltdown and the question of who fathered Anna Nicole's
baby, the New York Times editorialised about this shift: "A
disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws
that strike to the heart of American democracy have been
passed in the dead of night ... Beyond actual insurrection, the
president may now use military troops as a domestic police
force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak,
terrorist attack or any 'other condition'."

Critics see this as a clear violation of the Posse Comitatus
Act - which was meant to restrain the federal government
from using the military for domestic law enforcement. The
Democratic senator Patrick Leahy says the bill encourages a
president to declare federal martial law. It also violates the
very reason the founders set up our system of government
as they did: having seen citizens bullied by a monarch's
soldiers, the founders were terrified of exactly this kind of
concentration of militias' power over American people in the
hands of an oppressive executive or faction.

Of course, the United States is not vulnerable to the violent,
total closing-down of the system that followed Mussolini's
march on Rome or Hitler's roundup of political prisoners. Our
democratic habits are too resilient, and our military and
judiciary too independent, for any kind of scenario like that.

Rather, as other critics are noting, our experiment in
democracy could be closed down by a process of erosion.

It is a mistake to think that early in a fascist shift you see the
profile of barbed wire against the sky. In the early days,
things look normal on the surface; peasants were
celebrating harvest festivals in Calabria in 1922; people were
shopping and going to the movies in Berlin in 1931. Early on,
as WH Auden put it, the horror is always elsewhere - while
someone is being tortured, children are skating, ships are
sailing: "dogs go on with their doggy life ... How everything
turns away/ Quite leisurely from the disaster."

As Americans turn away quite leisurely, keeping tuned to
internet shopping and American Idol, the foundations of
democracy are being fatally corroded. Something has
changed profoundly that weakens us unprecedentedly: our
democratic traditions, independent judiciary and free press
do their work today in a context in which we are "at war" in a
"long war" - a war without end, on a battlefield described as
the globe, in a context that gives the president - without US
citizens realising it yet - the power over US citizens of
freedom or long solitary incarceration, on his say-so alone.

That means a hollowness has been expanding under the
foundation of all these still- free-looking institutions - and this
foundation can give way under certain kinds of pressure. To
prevent such an outcome, we have to think about the "what
ifs".

What if, in a year and a half, there is another attack - say, God
forbid, a dirty bomb? The executive can declare a state of
emergency. History shows that any leader, of any party, will
be tempted to maintain emergency powers after the crisis
has passed. With the gutting of traditional checks and
balances, we are no less endangered by a President Hillary
than by a President Giuliani - because any executive will be
tempted to enforce his or her will through edict rather than
the arduous, uncertain process of democratic negotiation
and compromise.

What if the publisher of a major US newspaper were charged
with treason or espionage, as a rightwing effort seemed to
threaten Keller with last year? What if he or she got 10 years
in jail? What would the newspapers look like the next day?
Judging from history, they would not cease publishing; but
they would suddenly be very polite.

Right now, only a handful of patriots are trying to hold back
the tide of tyranny for the rest of us - staff at the Center for
Constitutional Rights, who faced death threats for
representing the detainees yet persisted all the way to the
Supreme Court; activists at the American Civil Liberties
Union; and prominent conservatives trying to roll back the
corrosive new laws, under the banner of a new group called
the American Freedom Agenda. This small, disparate
collection of people needs everybody's help, including that
of Europeans and others internationally who are willing to
put pressure on the administration because they can see
what a US unrestrained by real democracy at home can
mean for the rest of the world.

We need to look at history and face the "what ifs". For if we
keep going down this road, the "end of America" could come
for each of us in a different way, at a different moment; each
of us might have a different moment when we feel forced to
look back and think: that is how it was before - and this is the
way it is now.

"The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and
judiciary, in the same hands ... is the definition of tyranny,"
wrote James Madison. We still have the choice to stop going
down this road; we can stand our ground and fight for our
nation, and take up the banner the founders asked us to
carry.

· Naomi Wolf's The End of America: A Letter of Warning to a
Young Patriot will be published by Chelsea Green in
September.