Lisa Rein, Washington Post Staff Writer, finds the error of police too powerful to be restrained by law.
Before you finish this post, try an experiment. Jefferson noticed we are tender and nervous and easily shrink; that a people can waste promise and lose the hope of their times when force and danger is nearby. A child will quiet. A student will tire. A farmer will shrink away from his tinkering at night. A club of men grow cynical and women stop encouraging. Instead, he pleaded, we must regard each other and widen our civility at every blink and greeting. We rely on a hidden tomorrow, he explained, and no one knows who will bring it. We depend on the willingness of each other and this is the most tender thing of all. We cannot march loudly or steer our poor explanations into each other. We are too timid to be struck outside our door and too afraid our walls are thin. He said we would freeze history itself unless we gave a fair and forthright nation to each other. There are thick walls in our law to help us trust and there are unbending rules over our homes to help us trust. Only then will we work for each other and bring our gifts. Our nation risks its existence if it will not protect what might arrive unseen. If we are threatened, too many of us will quit and we can never see what they were bringing.
The Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists.
The State Police entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects, the state police chief acknowledged yesterday.
* Maryland Police Put Activists’ Names On Terror Lists
Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan revealed at a legislative hearing that the surveillance operation, which targeted opponents of the death penalty and the Iraq war, was far more extensive than was known when its existence was disclosed in July.
…state police superintendent who authorized the operation, Thomas E. Hutchins, defended the program in testimony yesterday. Hutchins said the program was a bulwark against potential violence and called the activists “fringe people.”
…undercover troopers used aliases to infiltrate organizational meetings, rallies and group e-mail lists. He called the spying a “deliberate infiltration to find out every piece of information necessary” on groups such as the Maryland Campaign to End the Death Penalty and the Baltimore Pledge of Resistance.
“I don’t believe the First Amendment is any guarantee to those who wish to disrupt the government,” he said.
One well-known antiwar activist from Baltimore, Max Obuszewski, was singled out in the intelligence logs released by the ACLU, which described a “primary crime” of “terrorism-anti-government” and a “secondary crime” of “terrorism-anti-war protesters.”
About the experiment.
Are you wondering for a moment if all of us will be cringing soon because these folks in Maryland are cringing now.
Do you feel cooperative toward your fellow citizen at this moment and will you bring your prizes and will you vigorously labor on behalf of your nation? Or are you worried, nervous, distrustful and distracted?
You see? Jefferson wasn’t wanting a perfect State made orderly and pretty and quiet. He wanted a Society made encouraging and restrained or all gifts and prizes and our solutions will hide as easily as activists and protesters who are now the first.