a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

The New Stasiland Bulletin (Vol 1, Issue 2)

Posted by Thomas Nephew on April 10th, 2007

  • Police Log Confirms FBI Role In Arrests (Carol Leonnig, Washington Post, 4/3/07):

    A secret FBI intelligence unit helped detain a group of war protesters in a downtown Washington parking garage in April 2002 and interrogated some of them on videotape about their political and religious beliefs, newly uncovered documents and interviews show.

    The protesters were asking for it, of course — wearing black clothes, having political beliefs; you name it, they were doing it.

  • Another Enemy of the People? (Professor Walter F. Murphy of Princeton University, via Mark Graber, “Balkinization”, 4/8/07):

    When I tried to use the curb-side check in at the Sunport, I was denied a boarding pass because I was on the Terrorist Watch list. I was instructed to go inside and talk to a clerk. At this point, I should note that I am not only the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence (emeritus) but also a retired Marine colonel. I fought in the Korean War as a young lieutenant, was wounded, and decorated for heroism. I remained a professional soldier for more than five years and then accepted a commission as a reserve office, serving for an additional 19 years. I presented my credentials from the Marine Corps to a very polite clerk for American Airlines. One of the two people to whom I talked asked a question and offered a frightening comment: “Have you been in any peace marches? We ban a lot of people from flying because of that.” I explained that I had not so marched but had, in September, 2006, given a lecture at Princeton, televised and put on the Web, highly critical of George Bush for his many violations of the Constitution. “That’ll do it,” the man said.

    (Emphases added.) This reminds me, of course, that they hate our freedom. Murphy’s got nothing to whine about, really; they got on Senator Ted Kennedy’s case a couple of years ago the same way, and just like with Murphy, that was probably for sassing the President, too. The good thing is that Murphy might just need to wait a couple of months to get an apology from the Secretary of Homeland Security, that’s how it worked for the Senator. But meanwhile, he should watch what he says.

  • Our homeland authorities can’t do it all themselves, of course, they need help from a watchful populace. Aziz Poonawalla (“City of Brass”) reports:

    As my regular readers know, I am a member of the Dawoodi Bohra muslim community (specifically, an Ismaili sect with Shi’a Islam). Our masjid in Katy, Texas has stood there for over ten years. Last night, drunken vandals smashed almost a dozen windows and a glass door on the madrasah building of our complex.

    Maybe I should start a “New Kristallnacht Bulletin” to go with this one. By the way, Katy, Texas is also where a nice man put up a sign announcing pig races to try to prevent the building of a Muslim mosque. An ABC affiliate apparently thought it was all pretty funny, concluding: “There’s no date for the groundbreaking ceremonies, or the first pig race.”

    I’m sorry, Aziz.

NOTES: “Police log” — via Laura Rozen (“War and Piece”), whose friend asks “why is this in the Metro section?”; Kennedy story — “Terror no-fly list singled out Kennedy: Senator was stopped 5 times at airports,” Sara Kehaulani Goo, Washington Post, August 20, 2004. (In one month, too.) Katy, Texas” story — KTRK TV, ABC 13, Houston; way to go, guys. “Stasiland” refers to the East German security agency or “Stasi”; see my post “The Lives of Others” for more about it, with the bullet entries at the beginning of that post comprising Vol 1, Issue 1 of my new running feature. In its English usage, “Stasiland” was coined (as far as I know) by human rights attorney Scott Horton at his new blog, “No Comment,” also writing about the 2002 DC incident.
EDIT, 4/11: “put up a sign announcing” instead of “staged”.

One Response to “The New Stasiland Bulletin (Vol 1, Issue 2)”

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