Not content with the noxious USA PATRIOT bill (for Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act — urp), which was bad enough, Ashcroft has steadily moved from bad to worse. Now he wants to bring back FBI surveillance of domestic religious and political groups.

For those who remember COINTELPRO, this is glorious news. Back in the day, Fearless Fibbies, cleverly disguised in their wingtips and burr haircuts, used to infiltrate such dangerous groups as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and Business Executives Against the War in Vietnam. This had the usual comedic fallout, along with killing a few innocent people, and was so berserk there was a standing rule on the left — anyone who proposed breaking any law was automatically assumed to be an FBI agent.

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