armed attack (which you obtained fromrna stooge within the group) and this permittedrnthe unleashing of the wholernpanoply of wiretaps, penetrations, andrnRICO prosecutions. As with the CIA,rnthe FBI’s current demands are a frankrnpower play to avert calls for the dismantlingrnof an agency which has outlived itsrnusefulness.rnWhat has been remarkable, evenrnbreathtaking, about the panic over thernalleged terrorist threat has been the rolernof elected officials and specifically thernClinton White House, which has beenrnindulging in a rhetoric with quite frighteningrnimplications. The whole affair isrnrichly illustrative of the thinking both ofrnthe President himself and of his immediaterncircle. Shortly after the OklahomarnCity blast, Clinton launched what wasrnobviously a long-prepared campaignrnagainst “hate campaigns” and “irresponsible”rnpolitical rhetoric, which he linkedrnto the attack. This needed urgently to bernsupplanted by a “new civility” in publicrndiscourse. For good measure, the administrationrnand its media friends then constructedrna terrifying menace on the extremernright, which included not onlyrnarmed ultraright terror groups but alsorn”militias,” survivalists, hate groups, whiternsupremacists, Klansmen, gun rights activists,rnand conscrvatie media personalities.rnThe tactic of guilt by association isrnblatant.rnAs a political campaign, there is nothingrnnew here. The construction of anrnimaginary menace to taint one’s politicalrnopponents has countless precedents inrnAmerican history, and it is tempting butrnmisleading to refer to this tactic as “Mc-rnCarthyite.” In this particular case, Clinton’srngenesis of a fascist menace has differentrnorigins, ironically in the very scarernwhich McCarthy used as his model.rnBoth Clinton and McCarthy drew directlyrnon the “Brown Scare” of the latern1930’s, when Franklin Roosevelt usedrnthe antics of the Ccrman-AmericanrnBund and Father Coughlin to stigmatizernall his conservative and isolationist opponentsrnas part of a “Brown Front,” all morernor less tools of Berlin. There too, thernWhite House used its wide network ofrnmedia allies, notably Walter Winchcll.rnThe rhetorical resemblances are so closernthat Clinton was almost certainly mimickingrnRoosevelt. While he could havernread about the FDR campaign in RobertrnHerzstein’s fine book Roosevelt andrnHitler, it is also useful to remember thatrnHillary believes herself possessed by thernspirit of Eleanor Roosevelt. Furthermore,rnthe eariier charges were orcliestratedrnby none other than Harold Ickes,rnwhose namesake is so prominent in therncontemporary Democratic leadership.rnWhat gives weight to the Clintonrncharges is that these appear to be settingrnthe standards bv which the federal agenciesrnwill choose the targets for tlicir newrnwar on terrorism, and if so, democraticrnrights are in for an cxceedinglv grim fewrnyears. The whole concern about givingrnagencies the right to investigate terroristrngroups “proactively” is that it is so difficultrnto define “terrorist,” still harder tornpin down “potentially terrorist” or “terroristrnsympathizer.” If Clinton’s standardsrnapply, then there is a simple criterion,rnof whomever the administration andrnits employees choose not to like at anyrngiven time. At present, that is likely tornmean anyone who can be portrayed asrn”radical right,” but in a few years, itrncould include almost anyone sufficientlyrnunwise as to participate in the politicalrnprocess more often than eery otherrnNovember. When the Clinton peoplernsaid that the antiterrorist proposals demandedrnbipartisanship, they presumablyrnmeant that both political shades wouldrnsuffer equally from this legislative foolishness.rnPro-life activists? Cleady part of thernsame network that assassinates doctorsrnand bombs clinics. Environmentalistrntrec-huggers seem harmless enough, butrnwhat about animal rights bombings andrnvandalism at research facilities? Better tornbe prepared: begin a mail-opening andrnwiretap operation, and maybe send inrnsome of our people to test them a little,rntalk about planning a violent act, and secrnhow many of them respond. We canrneven supply the explosives as a bait! Thernsame principles cover both the pro- andrnantiabortion movements, immigrants’rnrights activists, environmentalists, civilrnlibertarians, gun control opponents, Irishrnnationalists, and any person or grouprnprotesting the misdeeds of an foreignrnnation, right or left. It would includerncritics of an American militar- involvementrnoverseas, and of course anyonernprotesting the abuse of the new investigativernpowers. Taking Clinton literally,rnthe terrorist front seems to include anyonernwho speaks harshly about his regime.rnStill worse, the proposed measures appearrnto be retroactive, meaning thatrnagencies could intervene against someonernwho had in the past contributedrnto or written on behalf of a group thatrnwas then legal, but was subsequentlyrndeemed terrorist, or ‘icc versa: for example,rnan American citizen who supportedrnthe African National Congress in 1985 orrnSinn Fein in 1990. It is difficult to imaginernany support whatcer for Arab orrnMiddle Eastern political groups thatrncould not fall into the category of “terroristrnsympathy.”rnIf any of this seems farfetched, considerrnthe revealing moment in the committalrnhearings of one of the Michigan suspectsrnaccused in the Oklahoma Cityrnbombing, when the defendant’s lawverrnadmitted that his client possessed a widernrange of guns and militaria. The federalrnjudge declared that he too ownedrnfirearms, “but I don’t ha’c any Wacornmaterial in my house, I don’t have amrnantigovcrnment material in my house,rnand I don’t believe most of the people mrnthe country have those things.” Andrnthere, concisely, we have the stigmatarnthat denote the terrorist. A terrorist is arnperson, probably a gunowner, who reads,rnwatches, or transmits “antigovcrnmentrnmaterial,” a curious phrase in a democracyrnand one that should not be on the lipsrnof a judge.rnNot all antigovcrnment materialrnwould count here, only those items suggestingrnthat the administration has engagedrnin gross illegalit or the excessivernuse of force, perhaps resulting in deathsrnon a large scale. As a concrete example,rn”Waco material” tells us what to look outrnfor. Accounts of the Wico affair as suchrnare fine, so long as the depict ruthlessrncultists murdering themselves and theirrnchildren and launching unprovoked attacksrnon armed federal agents amicablyrnmaking their way through their windows.rnTotally unacceptable would be any of thernbooks, videotapes, or news articles thatrnpresent a different picture. This wouldrnnot, however, be burdensome, as therernare only a few million of these items inrncirculation, and they should be disposedrnof immediately.rnIn the interests of President Clinton’srn”new civility,” there are certain thingsrnthat can no longer be permitted, as thevrnlead to terrorism and violence. “Wacornmaterial” is high on the list, but it wouldrnbe a good idea to check through your librarrnfor other related antigovcrnmentrnparaphernalia. To be on the safe side,rnany souvenirs of Watergate and the Iran-rnContra affair should probably go, as theyrnpresent the federal government as arnbehemoth freely violating legality. Irnsuppose old videos of fFK and Executivern42/CHRONICLESrnrnrn