Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Trickle-Down Preemption

Baghdad on the Mississippi

A Good Piece
by Ray McGovern

".....When I flew into St. Paul on Saturday evening, Aug. 30, I encountered a din in local media about "preemptive strikes" on those already congregating there to demonstrate against the Iraq war and injustice against the poor in our country. St. Paul's Pioneer Press expressed surprise that "despite preemptive police searches" and arrests, a group calling itself "the RNC Welcoming Committee" was still intent on "disrupting the convention."

A headline screamed, "Preemptive Arrests of Protesters in Twin Cities." But it was the article's lead that hit home: "Borrowing from the Bush administration's 'preemptive war' playbook, police agencies in the Twin Cities have made 'preemptive strikes' against organizations planning to protest at the Republican National Convention."

In the following days I was to see, up close and personal, a massive and totally unnecessary display of ruthlessness.

What struck a bell was that this domestic application of the dubious doctrine of "preemption" was totally predictable – indeed, predicted by those courageous enough to speak out before the U.S. "preemptive" attack on Iraq. Ironically, it was FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley, living in the St. Paul area, who warned of precisely that in her hard-hitting letter to FBI Director Robert Mueller three weeks before the attack on Iraq....."

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