'The Secretary Will Disavow Any Knowledge of Your Actions'

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So do all tyrants read off the same page or what?

In an effort to "placate the West," the Chinese government famously sponsored "protest zones" while hosting the Olympics. Perhaps it took a lesson from George Bush’s "free speech zones" or an earlier version of the charade: in 1988, Atlanta, Georgia confined dissidents to what one described as a "free-speech cage" during the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) convention. The device proved so useful that the DNC has relied on it since, with the Republican National Committee (RNC) quickly following suit. And heck, we haven’t even gotten an Olympics out of it.

The ChiComs went America’s rulers one better: they required would-be protestors to register for the zones. I’m reminded of an old Gary Larson cartoon, in which a dog lurks around the corner from a clothes dryer. On its open door he’s written "cat fud," with an arrow pointing to the machine’s interior. A cat stands aquiver before it, wondering whether there’s really food inside, while the watching dog thinks, "Oh, please, oh, please…"

This is what we call a set-up. Seventy-seven people out of China’s 1.3 billion were dumb enough to fall for it, too: they actually registered with the Chinese government to protest the Chinese government’s abuses. Maybe they’re drinking the same Kool-Aid as Americans who see no harm in registering guns.

Their victims’ gullibility doesn’t excuse the politicians any more than it does the mugger who robs a bonehead in the alley. I once knew a guy who offered to buy his Rolex back from the thug plundering him with the $200 he’d hidden in his shoe. Yeah, too stupid to breathe. But stupidity is not a crime.

Those sniffing at Their Masters’ "cat fud" include two elderly women who now seem surprised that the dryer’s door has slammed shut and things are spinning. "”We have done nothing wrong,” said 77-year-old Wang Xiuying. "We will go on protesting, you can see this is not fair…" Indeed. The city of Beijing bulldozed the women’s neighboring homes in 2001 to make way for redevelopment; they’ve been "actively petitioning" the government since. Mrs. Wang said "they were delighted when they heard that protests would be permitted during the Olympics" and eagerly applied for permission to protest in the designated zones.

Though 79 -year-old Wu Dianyuan describes herself and her friend as "just ordinary citizens …[who] have no voice," Their Masters apparently feared these seniors might mar the fool’s paradise they’d created for the Olympics — rather like the man who beats his wife unconscious, then invites guests to step over her body so he can show off his immaculate home. The ChiComs have ordered the ladies to a labor camp for a year, where they’ll be "re-educated" for "disturbing the public order." Mrs. Wu’s son points out that Mrs. Wang "is almost blind and crippled. What sort of re-education through labour [RTL] can she serve?"

RTL is a routine and ruthless response to dissidents. It’s also efficient because Chinese law requires no charges or trial. Indeed, the victim need not even commit a crime: "An official Chinese legal newspaper once said RTL was punishment for actions falling between crime and error."

The ChiComs continue weirdly oblivious, like the serial killer with heads and torsos in the freezer who tearfully insists he’d never hurt a fly. Though their brutality against these harmless grandmothers has been reported worldwide, though China is as notorious for torture as Abu Ghraib or Gitmo, though Beijing’s victims are legion and documented, its ruffians deny any knowledge of the Wu-Wang travesty: "Chinese authorities said they had no record of the sentences."

Once again, Asian dictators have nothing on American ones: denial is a favorite tactic of despots here, too. As the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) ruins the lives and careers of people who have committed no crime, against whom no charges have been brought, who have not stood trial, it too disclaims all knowledge of its wickedness.

Erich Scherfen of New Jersey is a 37-year-old commercial pilot who converted to Islam in 1994. He also married a Pakistani woman. His faith and spouse have apparently set the Feds a-flutter: despite Erich’s dearth of a criminal record and terrorist connections, he’s landed on the one of the "U.S. government’s secret terrorist watch lists." But Our Masters refuse to inform those they so honor, so how does Erich know this? Because the government’s goons thoroughly and unconstitutionally search the Scherfens at checkpoints in airports and on the country’s borders. "Ah," you say, "but all citizens are now subject to this hallmark of the police state. Has Erich got other evidence?" Yep: his employer, Colgan Air, says his inclusion in the Feds’ file means the company must fire him by September 1. And what is the government’s response to this outrage? "The Justice Department…said in a statement that the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center, u2018for both national security and personal privacy reasons,’ does not confirm or deny the existence of any name on the watch lists that it maintains." Right. And Chinese authorities have no record of RTL sentences.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) of airport-checkpoint notoriety also smears citizens and calls it "security." But it avers that “religious and political affiliation does not impact whether an individual is placed” in its slanderous catalog. Tell that to CNN Correspondent Drew Griffin. He "began getting told he was on the watch list — coincidentally after he wrote a series critical of the TSA’s Federal Air Marshal Service…" But perhaps Drew only imagines this, because once again, "The FBI won’t confirm any name on the list."

Across time and space, Leviathan remains the same. The details of the beast’s franchises vary by century and country, but never its putrid essence.

Becky Akers [send her mail] writes primarily about the American Revolution.

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