Voters in several key states go to the polls today to vote in presidential primaries. When the day is done, we are likely to have a pretty clear picture of who the Democratic nominee will be to go against the likely GOP candidate, John McCain.
But let's take a moment to consider some disturbing irony about the current occupant of the White House.
George W. Bush and his supporters probably want him to go down in history as "the terrorism president."
Here at Legal Schnauzer, we've decided that is a title Dubya richly deserves. But we suspect history will show Bush was "the terrorism president" in a much different sense than loyal Bushies might hope.
While Bush will want to be remembered as a fighter of terrorism in post-9/11 America, he is more likely to be remembered as a sponsor of terrorism. In fact, I would argue that the Bush Department of Justice is attacking America with a kind of terrorism that is far more damaging than anything the Islamic world could dream up.
And I say that as someone who is the target of state-sponsored terrorism, at this very moment, in George W. Bush's America.
First, of course, we need to consider definitions of terrorism, and that isn't easy because you can find more than 100 definitions on the Web. Some definitions require the use of violence or threats to use violence. Others require only the use, or threatened use, of force, and this force can be directed at either the victim's person or property.
I subscribe to the second category of definitions. Here is one definition, from globalsecurity.org., that I find instructive:
Terrorism: The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence
against people or property to coerce or intimidate governments or
societies, often to achieve political, religious, or ideological
Here is another definition I find useful:
Terrorism is a term used to describe violence or other harmful acts committed (or threatened) against civilians by groups or persons for political or ideological goals.
By these definitions, I would say the Bush Justice Department is a terrorist organization. It uses unlawful force or threats in order to intimidate its perceived enemies and achieve ideological goals.
Should Don Siegelman, Paul Minor, and others be considered victims of terrorism as practiced by the Bush Justice Department? What about former Jefferson County Commissioner Gary White? What about Alabama Representative Sue Schmitz, who has been indicted on flimsy charges? And what about her legislative colleague, Todd Greeson, whose office recently was raided by federal agents?
I would argue that all of these folks are victims of terrorism. And increasingly the victims go beyond political boundaries. At one point, it seemed the Bush DOJ focused exclusively on Democrats. But White and Greeson are Republicans who made the serious mistake of getting on the wrong side of Alabama's GOP establishment.
At the risk of sounding overly dramatic, I would submit that your humble blogger is a victim of state-sponsored terrorism. I know my wife and I certainly feel like we have been under siege since our legal nightmare began in Shelby County, Alabama. Our financial resources have been decimated, and now our very home is at threat of being stolen by people in public positions.
All because I chose to use this tool we call a blog to shine a light on corruption I have witnessed in Alabama courts. The force and threats that have been directed at my wife and me have come from Republicans with close ties to BushWorld.
And a Bush appointee, U.S. attorney Alice Martin, has not only done nothing about the crimes we have witnessed, she has done her best to make sure they never see the light of day.
So what tools of the terrorism trade have been used against my wife and me? What does it feel like to be the target of state-sponsored terrorism?
An examination of those questions is coming up.