A couple of days ago I posted about the recently revealed documents that showed Maryland State Police monitoring and infiltrating anti-war and other leftist political groups, despite the fact that no crimes and criminal activities were taking place (and as the Baltimore Sun’s article points out, reasonable suspicion of a crime is required, by law, for police to take such actions). The crux of my point in regards to the story was that people and groups who find themselves with a surplus of power and authority- specifically governments- are inherently un-“democratic” in that they will always seek to intimidate, prosecute, and do-away with beliefs and opinions which run counter to their own “official” politic. Though in the U.S. the official line maintains that we are a “free” society of “free” people, the reality is that such freedom is mostly- and increasingly- limited to those who support, or at least accept, capitalism.
With this all in mind, I’m going to take the Maryland State Police spying story and bring it closer to home for us Vermonters. The other day I ran into Matt, AKA Santa Clause, the infamous Governor Douglas pier. He recounted for me the story of a few nights prior, when the vehicle he was a passenger in was pulled over by Montpelier Police late in the evening. Though he had no ID on him (he wasn’t the driver) when he gave the officers his name they wondered aloud why his name was so familiar- eventually realizing why. As Matt tells the story, the MPD were in fact quite sympathetic to his pie-fully sweet action of dissent during the Independence Day parade, and even cracked a few jokes with him and the other passengers. However, one of the officers did say this: “You know, you’re on the FBI’s Terrorist Watch list now. You’re going to have a really hard time getting on a plane or a Greyhound Bus. We have nothing to do with it- it’s an FBI thing. Just watch out for yourself.” (I’m paraphrasing from Matt’s story, obviously I don’t know the officer’s exact words).
Lets take a minute to think about this here. A Federal Terrorist Watch List, meant to monitor and keep track of the activities of groups and individuals who are allegedly bent on killing innocent people, now includes the name of a 20-something kid from rural Vermont who just happens to disagree with the dominant political paradigm, who was willing to take a pastry to a person of authority in a symbolic act of rejecting a politic that he finds morally repugnant and inhumane. This is what we’ve come to here in the States: a society so afraid, so insecure, so philosophically dogmatic that any action which is deemed unacceptable by those in power- regardless of the actual context or legitimate ideas meant to be put-forth by such an action- is “terrorism”.
I, for one, do not feel any safer knowing that this is how the Fed portends to “protect” me and my neighbors from the actual dangers of the world.