The Police State Rocks On! - New Media and Politics

As I watched US policy take a drastic turn to the right during the administration of GWB jr. and Dick Cheney, I'll admit to being alarmed but not surprised. The Patriot act, unwarranted spying on Americans, "free speech zones," rendition, enhanced interrogation all seemed to be the wish fulfilment of a laundry list of items the right has always lobbied for. The Republicans have never been about increasing freedoms - other than 2nd amendment ones. So when Obama was inaugurated I thought all of this would be walked back and I was one of those who had no problems with the slow pace he was moving at figuring it would take considerable time to undo what Bush/Cheney had wrought. I'm starting to feel naive.

Glenn Greenwald has been covering and documenting how access to the spill sites are being blocked by BP, by police departments working for BP and by the government. Now comes word that getting any closer than 65 feet to an oil boom (called a "safety zone") will get you arrested and possibly charged with a Class D Felony which carries with it fines up to $40,000 dollars and a sentence of "not less than two years." He calls it "creepy police state behaviour," and asserts that this seems clearly to be unconstitutional acts to intimidate and impede the media... (and he would know with his background in constitutional law and as a civil rights litigator.)

What's even more remarkable is that this behaviour of intimidation extends to reckless BP acts at other refineries with DHS agents and local police officials acting as BP's personal muscle to detain, interrogate, and threaten a photographer. Not acceptable.

Here's Anderson Cooper of CNN going off on these same subjects asserting, "We are not the enemy!"