How would you like to be detained by U.S. intelligence agents and flown straight
to Uzbekistan? How would you like to be shown a big pot of boiling water and asked
if you were a terrorist? How would you like to be dumped into the boiling water
and pulled out and asked again if you were a terrorist? How many times would you
have to be dunked into a big pot of boiling water before you were only too happy
to sign a declaration that you were a terrorist? These things have happened to
people no doubt like you.
How would you like to be taken off a commercial airline flight at any airport
in the world and flown to Egypt, where men with pillars asked you if you were
a sympathizer with Al Qaeda? How many of your fingertips would they have to
pull off before you were happy to sign documents that showed you not only sympathized
with Al Qaeda, but also raised funds for them? These things have happened to
people no doubt like you.
How would you like to confess to terrorism charges under torture, and then
be taken to secret detainment camps where you were likely to be held for the
rest of your life as punishment for your "confessions"? This has happened
to people no doubt like you.
The War on Terrorism is serious business. People must be found and people must
be punished. Since no one confesses to terrorism willingly, torture or as Don
Rumsfeld would say, "discomfort" is used routinely.
Of course, in the early stages of the War on Terrorism, most terrorists are
expected to be people with Arab-sounding or Muslim-sounding names. There are
many thousands of such people in America. Many were born here, like the twenty-something
year old man from Lodi, CA who was born in the U.S. and is an American citizen
who never lived in Pakistan, though his father was born there. Such an American
citizen of Pakistani heritage may travel to Pakistan to visit cousins and uncles
and extended family, perhaps even to find a bride or have one selected for him
in the old country. The U.S. Homeland Security Department is very, very suspicious
of such persons, and that is one reason why the Homeland Security Department
has demanded passenger lists from all airlines. They can run the names of all
Arabic or Muslim - sounding names into computers, find out travel destinations
and durations, and if they can accuse you of traveling overseas in a "suspicious"
manner, they can accuse you of terrorism.
So, if you have a Pakistani name and relatives, and spent a few weeks or months
visiting that country, you are a perfect person to accuse of terrorism. You
can be held without counsel, you can be sent to a foreign country and tortured,
and you can be turned into a "confessed terrorist" at the whim of
the government. Remember, the War on Terrorism needs an enemy to fight against,
and to win against. No matter if you are a native-born American, if you can
be portrayed as a terrorist, you can be made to confess to being a terrorist,
and you can be punished as a terrorist.
As the War on Terrorism progresses, it is very likely that non-Arabs and non-Muslims
will have to be caught and punished. These can include people on government
watch lists such as environmentalists, animal rights activists, political dissidents,
people who fight for Palestinian rights or other human rights -- you name it.
YOU may be on a watch list right now and not even know it. You may be detained
on day, or one night. You may be subjected to discomfort of the acute variety
and you may be made to confess to being a terrorist. You may be punished for
being a Green Party member, or a reader of Noam Chomsky books, or for having
your photograph taken at an anti-war rally.
As the next few years progress, predictably, MANY Americans will become distressed
about the state of the nation, the increasingly totalitarian nature of the police
state America will become. The masses will become expendable, and anyone who
complains may be declared a terrorist.
YOU can easily be made to confess to being a terrorist. You may rue the day
when you realize that you should have stood up with your fellow Americans and
put an end to the War on Terror while it was still possible.