YOU can easily be made to confess to being a terrorist

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How would you like to be detained by U.S. intelligence agents and flown straight to Uzbekistan? How would you like to be shown a big pot of boiling water and asked if you were a terrorist? How would you like to be dumped into the boiling water and pulled out and asked again if you were a terrorist? How many times would you have to be dunked into a big pot of boiling water before you were only too happy to sign a declaration that you were a terrorist? These things have happened to people no doubt like you.

How would you like to be taken off a commercial airline flight at any airport in the world and flown to Egypt, where men with pillars asked you if you were a sympathizer with Al Qaeda? How many of your fingertips would they have to pull off before you were happy to sign documents that showed you not only sympathized with Al Qaeda, but also raised funds for them? These things have happened to people no doubt like you.

How would you like to confess to terrorism charges under torture, and then be taken to secret detainment camps where you were likely to be held for the rest of your life as punishment for your "confessions"? This has happened to people no doubt like you.

The War on Terrorism is serious business. People must be found and people must be punished. Since no one confesses to terrorism willingly, torture or as Don Rumsfeld would say, "discomfort" is used routinely.

Of course, in the early stages of the War on Terrorism, most terrorists are expected to be people with Arab-sounding or Muslim-sounding names. There are many thousands of such people in America. Many were born here, like the twenty-something year old man from Lodi, CA who was born in the U.S. and is an American citizen who never lived in Pakistan, though his father was born there. Such an American citizen of Pakistani heritage may travel to Pakistan to visit cousins and uncles and extended family, perhaps even to find a bride or have one selected for him in the old country. The U.S. Homeland Security Department is very, very suspicious of such persons, and that is one reason why the Homeland Security Department has demanded passenger lists from all airlines. They can run the names of all Arabic or Muslim – sounding names into computers, find out travel destinations and durations, and if they can accuse you of traveling overseas in a "suspicious" manner, they can accuse you of terrorism.

So, if you have a Pakistani name and relatives, and spent a few weeks or months visiting that country, you are a perfect person to accuse of terrorism. You can be held without counsel, you can be sent to a foreign country and tortured, and you can be turned into a "confessed terrorist" at the whim of the government. Remember, the War on Terrorism needs an enemy to fight against, and to win against. No matter if you are a native-born American, if you can be portrayed as a terrorist, you can be made to confess to being a terrorist, and you can be punished as a terrorist.

As the War on Terrorism progresses, it is very likely that non-Arabs and non-Muslims will have to be caught and punished. These can include people on government watch lists such as environmentalists, animal rights activists, political dissidents, people who fight for Palestinian rights or other human rights — you name it.

YOU may be on a watch list right now and not even know it. You may be detained on day, or one night. You may be subjected to discomfort of the acute variety and you may be made to confess to being a terrorist. You may be punished for being a Green Party member, or a reader of Noam Chomsky books, or for having your photograph taken at an anti-war rally.

As the next few years progress, predictably, MANY Americans will become distressed about the state of the nation, the increasingly totalitarian nature of the police state America will become. The masses will become expendable, and anyone who complains may be declared a terrorist.

YOU can easily be made to confess to being a terrorist. You may rue the day when you realize that you should have stood up with your fellow Americans and put an end to the War on Terror while it was still possible.

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