L. Neil Smith's
by Jeff Elkins
Exclusive/Special to TLE
In yet another quest for speaking fees and the undoubtedly gargantuan servings of rubber chicken and potato salad that accompany them, that rotund rapscallion William J. Bennett has joined the War on Terror (TM).
Bennett has announced the formation of a new organization, AVOT, 'Americans for Victory Over Terrorism', and seemingly his primary targets are the homegrown, domestic variety of terrorist ... specifically Lew Rockwell, and I would suppose by extension, anyone associated with LewRockwell.com.
Among others, that would be me.
America's mountainous moralizer used the occasion of his maiden AVOT press conference to lambast Lew for his slyly subversive column The Dread Prospect, wherein a Washington-free environment was imagined. A fantasy that millions of Americans probably share as the 15th of April creeps closer and closer...at least those of us who pay extortionate taxes to our masters in D.C.
It would be laughable, if it weren't for some serious historical precedents in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave for suppression and and even violence against those who dissent from government policy.
On April 13, 1917, days after our entry into World War One, President Woodrow Wilson created the Committee on Public Information to promote the war via propaganda - and eventually cheer on violent suppression of dissenters. A propaganda apparatus unparalleled in world history, under the leadership of journalistic muckraker George Creel, the CPI functioned as a de facto public censor, vetting nearly all published material about the war and helping to draft legislation such as the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918.
Bennett's AVOT doesn't have a presidential imprimatur as yet, but given the backing by powerful New York financial interests and leading neocon war hawks close to the Bush administration, it might as well be co-chaired by Tom Ridge. Keep your eyes open for Bennett and his cronies on your television screen and in your war hawk weeklies. AVOT could well become the CPI of the 21st century. I'll guarantee you that this is what they lust for. The 'Patriot Act' already does a damn good job of imitating the Espionage Act and Sedition Act and even trumps them in many cases.
Make no mistake: William J. Bennett is a blubbery bully-boy who delights in the suppression of dissenting views on the left, but most especially in crushing dissent from the right. Bennett and others of his ilk have specialized in the destruction of the Bill of Rights via their evil war on drugs and and they most especially hate and fear the 1st and 2nd Amendments of the Bill of Rights. The horrific events of September 11th were a godsend for these enemies of freedom. In a mere six months they have managed to advance their timetable of slavery by decades.
Look for a increasingly hysterical campaign against those who speak out against the conversion of our formerly free republic into a police state where our airports are patrolled by eighteen year olds with fully-automatic M16s and a license to kill - and where smirking government agents have a license to freely fondle our women and children. Probably coming soon to a bus terminal or government 'travel checkpoint' on a national highway near you.
Where will this publicity campaign be waged? Look for bully-boy Bill's message to be promoted on Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, the network news feeds, the War Street Journal or the so-called 'Free Republic' website. The Weakly Standard and the Goldberg Review are also very likely suspects.
Places you won't hear the siren call of slavery are web sites like LewRockwell.com, Antiwar.com and The Libertarian Enterprise. Truly, web sites like these are the last bastions of free speech in the United States and each and every one need your support both financially and with your opinion columns and letters of support. If you want to achieve victory over terrorism, there's no better way.