Sunday, July 09, 2006

Purging the Un-Patriotic for a

New American Century

August Riis with Domenic Debs

Do you feel like you’re being watched? Have you noticed that your neighbor is always carrying a little notebook wherever he goes? Chances are, you are being watched, spied on in your own neighborhood.
Something is stirring behind the curtains.

They’re not with the KGB or the FBI. They are most likely enrolled in a secret unit of the NSA hidden until this exclusive International Press Report. The same people who brought us illegal warrant-less wiretaps are now focused on the infiltration and domestic (as in your home) spying game. Think of these new spies as government informants similar to the bad old days in the Soviet Union and East Germany. Members of this patriot militia are convinced that reporting your lack of patriotism makes them patriotic. Nowadays this includes mundane things like buying the NYT, watching Keith Olbermann, or going to see Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth.

August Riis of International Press was contacted by a man claiming to be a member of this patriot’s militia under the command of the NSA. Calling himself Smith, he said he had been a closet liberal who was drafted into service by one of his colleagues, a staunch right-winger. At first he was shocked, “Why me? How could what I do be of interest to anybody?” Smith later found out that the best way to control elements that present uncertain dedication to the nation (e.g., liberals, free thinkers and the like) was to approach them with the concept of fighting anti-patriotism. If the target was unwilling to sacrifice some time to the task, he would quickly become a confirmed target. Every approach by recruiters produced either a new member or an object of investigation. The efficiency was truly breath taking. Smith said, “Everybody in the country is in play.”

Smith explained that at first he thought that the whole affair was nothing more than tough talk that would lead nowhere. He quickly found out that this was nothing but serious business. Within a week of his initial approach, he was invited to his first Patriot Surveillance Unit meeting. He then realized the full extent of the Unit’s recruitment effort. That night, the leader of the local hive, as they call themselves, explained to the recruits that there was no going back: “You’re either with us or against us. There is no other choice. Make the right choice now and all future choices are easy.” The penalty for public disclosure through “whistle blowing” or talking to the press is summary assignment to a detention camp said to make Guantanamo look mild. The Unit’s perverse logic is simple. Once informed of its existence, the informed could not refuse to participate for fear of being imprisoned.

Smith went on to explain how he was pushed to provide information about his neighbors and even members of his own family. He admits that he went along with these requests out of fear for his own safety when he learned that every spy had their own designated spy. He ended up spying on the colleague who had recruited him. In his time in the Unit our contact said that he witnessed people suddenly disappearing without explanation but none who were on his target list.

At one point he was asked to inform on his brother in law, a history professor at the local university. The unit described his brother in law as a peace radical and an obsessed environmentalist. In the records provided on his brother in law, Smith noticed that his name and those of his parents came up more than once. The records stretched back more than 20 years and seemed to start around the time Smith’s sister first met her future husband at University. The fact that she was now a typical soccer mum seemed to exclude her from further investigation.

Thanks to Smith, we had enough evidence on the organization to start our investigation. This eventually led us to an administration official who admitted to the program’s existence bragging about how great it was “to keep all these sheep in check”. He loved the simplicity of the concept which fully exploited the fear of the unknown to make people do things they would not normally do. “You know what this is,” he bellowed, “just an expansion of good old Christian guilt.” The anti-anti-patriotic crusade was developed by a member of the inner circle at the WH and made legal by the president in one of his increasingly bizarre signing ceremonies (the subject of a future IP investigative report).

The administration official would not tell us the full extent of the program but he said that the Unit had hives in every state with the majority of current members in Red states. “We’re like the Russians in their pursuit of a warm port, son. This can go on for centuries. We’ll stop when we’re done.”

Since we at International Press discovered the Unit’s existence, our research tells us that we have uncovered the most widespread spying organization our nation has ever witnessed. Most frightening is the Unit’s vague definition of un-patriotism. Un-patriotism is defined as any deviation from true patriotism. What is true patriotism? It is simply mixture of White House press releases and talking points from right-wing radio and television written down on a few typed pages. The secrecy surrounding the Unit and the fear of incarceration for its traitorous members reminds us of the way a cult works. In this case we are well aware that the exalted leader is none other that George W Bush.

Smith concluded our interview with these chilling words, “In a very real sense the genius of this program relies on the single minded adherence to the will of a madman. I’m so ashamed. God help us all.

Copyright Riis-Debs. Permission to reprint in part or whole with attribution.