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Up is Down, Down is Up: Building a Discourse for Treason
Laura Ross

Ann Coulter will soon have a book out which calls for her readership to consider liberals treasonous. Treason! This, from a woman created and funded by a movement so audacious in its drive to spread disinformation among the American public for the past two decades, so brazen in its usurpation of the media content we rely on for democratically informed opinion, that one can't help but wonder whether it hasn't operated on strategies most people would consider treasonous or, at the very least, antidemocratic. If they only knew.

Recently, ultraright strategist Paul Weyrich called for federal government investigations into member groups of the antiwar demonstrations, claiming a few commies were left in our midst after the purges of the Cold War. And The Daily News suggested that Iraqi spies are not only a contingent part of the demonstrations, but orchestrate them. Alan Kors, an academic in the service of the rightwing movement, recently gave a presentation for the Heritage Foundation calling upon his audience to, once and for all, acknowledge the bodycounts of communism. But Kors, like Weyrich, associates Stalinism with modern socialism and by extension would have us purge program endeavors which don't wholly support corporate controlled market capitalism. The social safety net is not only not patriotic, it is a remnant of Stalinist evil.

Last week also saw the New York Sun suggest that the demonstration scheduled to take place in NYC next weekend is, yes, treasonous. Or at the least, that NY's finest should use their presence at the demonstration to gather evidence later to be used in trials for treason. Even though the Sun's circulation is relatively small, aiming for 30,000, they are a piece of a growing disinformation campaign to discredit liberal and leftist views on war and the Bush Administration.

The NY Sun experienced a resurrection last year via a not-so-odd combination of money from a DLC'er, an ultra conservative media sponsor and the chair of the rightist, corporate sponsored Manhattan Institute, Roger Hertog. The Manhattan Institute was founded by former CIA director Bill Casey and, among its other public disinformation campaigns, fronted Charles Murray's racist construction, The Bell Curve. All at the Sun are unblinking in their support for Israel. Its editor, Seth Lipsky, is married to another female media attack dog from the right, Amity Shlaes.

The Sun's pro-war editorial suggests that if there is an attack in the United States from suspected terrorist organizations the blame should be squarely placed at the feet of those who have expressed views against war on Iraq and warns that further erosions of civil liberties will be implemented should such an event occur. Protest now, pay later. Is the Patriot Act II a plan in waiting for such an event?

The recently revealed draft of a DoJ document being referred to as Patriot Act II is one of the most alarming documents authored by our government for which the public has ever been privy. It is a wet dream of government police control the likes of which would have given even Hoover, Reagan and Meese blissful heart attacks. Actually, Reagan's righthand man for police state plans, Ed Meese, is still crafting away over at the Heritage Foundation, which acts as a policy and appointee incubator for the Administration. Could someone from Heritage have been the leaky craft?

Whoever the source was that provided it to Charles Lewis and the Center for Public Integrity, one can't help but wonder how many others there are in the Bush Administration who have similar information they are feeling anguished about yet are under orders to maintain secrecy. How the Bush Administration deals with that brave soul who smuggled the DoJ draft out may make a difference to others who are similarly contemplating a break in the code of secrecy.

For the past twenty years we have portended that the outrageous rantings of the Right are so outlandish that they don't matter and only affect the margins. The results of the elections of 2000 and 2002 alone should inform us otherwise. The real and immediate threats to our civil liberties and democratically representative governance are glaring back from our past indecisive and passive responses. The Right is on a campaign to intentionally control and distort both the present and the historic record. Who gets to write that history and claim the future is the struggle being waged outside the purview of the public's awareness or participation.

Don't let them dissuade you or diminish your opposition now.

Release of draft Patriot Act II (linked at Center for Public Integrity):

Berkowitz' TomPaine.com piece on Weyrich's call for federal investigations of demonstrators:

- excerpted remarks from Political Research Associates:
[...] Chip Berlet, senior analyst with Political Research Associates, argues that "one of the earliest and most overlooked warning signs that a campaign of political repression is underway is 'paradigm shift' -- [defined as] a major negative change in the way the public perceives the political movement that is ultimately victimized. Paradigm shift frequently is associated with episodes of political repression, and frequently precedes more overt signs of attack such as assaults, break-ins and surveillance. Political repression telegraphs its punches." [...]

Editorial from the New York Sun:
excerpt from Sun editorial:
[...] So the New York City police could do worse, in the end, than to allow the protest and send two witnesses along for each participant, with an eye toward preserving at least the possibility of an eventual treason prosecution. Thus fully respecting not just some, but all of the constitutional principles at stake.
To those concerned about civil liberties, we'd cite the pragmatic argument made last night by, of all people, the New York Times's three-time Pulitzer-Prize winning foreign affairs columnist, Thos. Friedman. "I believe we are one more 9/11 away from the end of the open society," Mr. Friedman told an American Jewish Committee dinner honoring the chief executive of the New York Times Company, Russell Lewis. His point was that if terrorists strike again at America and kill large numbers of Americans, the pressure to curb civil liberties and civil rights will be "enormous and unstoppable." What we took from that was that the more successful the protesters are in making their case in New York, the less chance they'll have the precious constitutional freedom to protest here the next time around. [...]

Ann Coulter's book, Treason: Liberal Treachery from the Cold War to the War on Terrorism, is listed at Amazon.com but not scheduled to be released until June. One can assume that the pre-release buildup for the next months will provide a forum on right-leaning talk shows to link liberal actions with treason.