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Open letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft from Dr. Eric T. Karlstrom (9/11/03)

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Open letter to Attorney General John Ashcroft on 9/11/03

Dear Mr. Ashcroft,

It is now clear to any thinking American that the Patriot Act is a major attack on the freedoms and civil liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. Our founding fathers tried to insure that ours would be a government of, by and for the people, rather than of, by, and for corporations and the very rich. For this reason, they tried to insure that government institutions would remain transparent to the scrutiny of the people, and that the activities of citizens would not be monitored, controlled or transparent to government. The Bush administration has reversed these priorities; making citizen’s activities increasingly transparent to government and government actions remain secret.

I believe that the Bush administration’s attempt to roll back our civil liberties and democratic processes and turn this country into a fascist dictatorship/police state will fail. The American people are not as dumb and docile as you apparently believe.
Fascism was originally defined by Mussolini as the merger of the state with corporate power and the military-industrial complex. Clearly, this describes our present system.

If you have a modicum of concern for justice and truth, I recommend that rather than trying to overturn our constitutional rights that you and your Justice Department determine:

1) Who really orchestrated the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September, 11, 2001? A mountain of credible evidence now indicates that the official story is a sham and the officially designated culprits are no more than patsies. It is a matter of record that Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden have been C.I.A. assets since the 1980’s. There is also a mountain of credible evidence that indicates that elements within our own government are guilty of the 9-11 crimes and their cover-up. These criminals, including the President and Vice President, must be brought to justice before they orchestrate another “terrorist” event in order to frighten the American people into giving up their civil liberties. This “big-lie” is the justification of the sham “war on terrorism” being used as a pretext for American imperial wars for resources abroad and repression of dissent at home. The “War on Terrorism” is a war of terrorism against freedom and people everywhere. Unless and until these crimes and criminals are exposed, they will inevitably strike again.

2) Who were the “two senior adminstration officials” who leaked the information to journalist Robert Novak that Ambassador Joseph Wilson’s wife, Valerie Plame, is a CIA operative? “Outing” a CIA operative is also a crime of treason which endangered her life and compromised her entire career of networks, relationships and operations. This crime is punishable by up to 10 years imprisonment. Ambassador Wilson named Karl Rove, White House Chief of Staff, as one of those who leaked the information. Obviously, the adminstration leaked this material to retaliate against Ambassador Wilson for blowing the whistle on the Niger uranium fraud promulgated by the Bush administration as a phony pretext to justify the war on Iraq. Of course, this was also a desperate attempt to discourage others from exposing other administration lies.

3) Finally, I suggest you re-read the Constitution and Bill of Rights carefully, as you have sworn to uphold them. Perhaps you should also re-read the New Testament, particularly the parts about loving one’s enemies and turning the other cheek. With these values in mind, please release the poor, unfortunate (and innocent) Afghani and Pakistani peasants you have interned without any due process in subhuman conditions in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

I would ask that you do your very best to hold this present administration accountable to the rule of law. If you do this, you will be doing your country and this planet a great service indeed. Unchecked, this administration will continue to destroy this nation and reduce it to a totalitarian, fascist police state. “What is at stake here is whether America, and indeed the entire planet, will continue under a hierarchical society, where the few rule the many, or we can exist under Divine law in a truly democratic Republic where we are all equal before God” (Gurudas).


Dr. Eric Karlstrom
Professor of Geography
California State University, Stanislaus
Turlock, CA 95382

Some timely reminders from our forefathers

Those who would trade away an essential liberty for temporary security deserve neither liberty nor security.

Benjamin Franklin

I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.

Thomas Jefferson, 1816

I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country. As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands, and the Republic is destroyed.

Abraham Lincoln, 1864

Fascism should rightly be called corporatism, as it is a merger of state and corporate power.

Benito Mussolini

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