By Caleb T. Maupin
Published Jun 29, 2008 5:48 PM
Left-leaning pundits, such as those on Air America Radio and MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, call for support of the Democrats on the basis of “defending our civil liberties.” Olbermann, Democratic senators John Kerry and Barack Obama, and Air America commentators have all ridiculed the Bush administration for expanding the police state through wiretaps, illegal detentions, torture and extraordinary rendition.
However, a bill was recently passed by the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives which made the wiretapping of all private phones legal. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defended the bill, saying it was needed to protect U.S. citizens from terrorism, her rhetoric not unlike that of President Bush himself.
Not only the rightist Republicans, but many Democrats, the so-called opposition, voted in favor of this bill, which gives the Bush administration permission to listen in on the phone conversations of individuals without a warrant.
This is nothing new for the Democratic Party. COINTELPRO started under Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956, then continued under the Democratic administrations of John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The FBI illegally tapped thousands of phones, organized break-ins and even set up leaders of the Black Panther Party to be killed as well as harassing socialist and communist groups and leaders.
The Democrats wrap their rhetoric in the blanket of the U.S. Constitution, but they have done nothing to stop the raids and harassment of the immigrant community by Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents, even though the Constitution makes it clear that all persons are subject to due process of law.
The definition of “persons,” according to the ruling class politicians of the Democratic and Republican parties, has never been very inclusive. The very document which these Democrats wrap themselves in defined Black people as three-fifths of a human being when it was written.
It seems that if the U.S. populace wants to protect itself from the force of state repression, the Democratic Party is not where they should be placing their hopes.
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