The CIA has imposed new and tighter restrictions on the books, articles, and opinion pieces published by former employees who are still contractors with the intelligence agency. According to several former CIA officials affected by the new policy, the rules are intended to suppress criticism of the Bush administration and of the CIA. The officials say the restrictions amount to an unprecedented political "appropriateness" test at odds with earlier CIA policies on outside publishing.
. . .
But the White House and CIA Director Porter Goss view spies-turned-authors as political liabilities who embarrass an already battered administration, former officials said. The CIA is now aggressively investigating -- using polygraphs in some cases -- employees who are suspected of leaking classified information to journalists, and last week the agency said it fired a senior official, Mary O. McCarthy, reportedly for having unauthorized contact with the news media.
Is this what 51% of the American people voted for? Outlawing all dissent? Not to mention, if there's such a crisis of former intelligence experts wanting to criticize George Bush then maybe that ought to tell us something - about George Bush.
Seriously, anyone who is Republican out there and voted for this man, how can you continue to support these bizarre un-American policies? Does America stand for anything anymore?
I studied the Soviet Union in grad school, it was one of my main areas of expertise. I'm a hawk on defense. I hated the Soviets and there was little Ronald Reagan could do wrong vis-a-vis the evil empire, in my eye. And I'm telling you, what is happening in our country today is right out of the Soviet playbook. (It's also right out of the Nazi playbook.) You slowly criminalize dissent so that the public accepts infringements on civil liberties that it would never accept in one fell swoop (and, well, in the Soviet Union there was no slowly to it at all - it was pretty instantaneous).
Has America become the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany? No. Have we started down the path to a more totalitarian government that no longer respects, that no longer fears, its citizenry? Absolutely. Do we tolerate today in America presidential policies that would have been unconscionable under any circumstance just ten years ago. Sadly, yes.
Confused as to why the Dems are as bad as this?
Well, according to some of the folks at the Backroom I wrote about here :
The Democrats and the Republicans are the same thing, pretty much. Ninety percent of Dems and eighty percent of the GOP is worthless, venal, petty, idiots. No one with any fundamental willingness to fix the structural issues is going to go anywhere in either party. Fundamental and necessary change would gore too many golden oxen. It would be unpopular, profoundly unpopular. Until....the masses are desperate enough. Then it will be demanded.
Here's the logic:
Repubs are a political party.
Democrats are a political party.
Thus, Republicans equal Democrats.
The Republicans commit evil, therefore the Democrats are evil. Or might be at some future date. At least, maybe, in some alternate universe. You know, the one where Spock looks like Kirk. Or maybe where Kirk was trapped in a woman's body.