Thursday, October 09, 2008

Opinion Leaders or "Fringe People?"

The Washington Post reports: "Maryland State Police classified 53 nonviolent activists as terrorists and entered their names and personal information into state and federal databases that track terrorism suspects..." State Police Superintendent Terrence B. Sheridan, speaking of the program operated by his predecessor, told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee: "The names don't belong in there... It's as simple as that."

How bad is it to be labeled a troublemaker, or a terrorist?
It ain't good.

"The former state police superintendent who authorized the operation, Thomas E. Hutchins... said the program was a bulwark against potential violence and called the activists "fringe people.""

It is horribly wrong to label those working peacefully for a better society as terrorists. This seems a solid step toward cleansing the community of people questioning authority.

Remember past tyranny (or risk a repeat!):

When the USSR occupied eastern Poland in 1939, they took prisoner many local leaders, military officers and cultural people. In March of 1940 they decided to summarily execute 22,000 of these people in secret (memorialized as the Katyn massacres, after the first burial site discovered). The goal was to purge the region of potentially-troublesome future leaders / enemies.

When the Japanese occupied Malaya - Singapore in 1942, they tried to purge the region of "undesirables" -- community leaders featured on prepared lists of hundreds of people rounded-up and murdered (Sook Ching killings).