The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Editorial:
U.S. terrorism
– abroad and at home

Jun 3, 2002

What did Bush know and when did he know it? The uproar surrounding recent revelations sparked Congress to open not just one, but two investigations into what the Bush administration and the U.S. security services knew about the September 11 terrorist attacks.

So what will Congress look into? Will it look at all the ties between the U.S. security services and the terrorist networks that carried out the attacks? Will it look into how the U.S. government helped to set up, finance and even glorified at one time these terrorists, including Osama bin Laden, as “freedom fighters”? Will Congress even investigate the long-standing business ties between some very prominent U.S. families and those who helped front the terrorist groupings? There’s certainly dirt swept under the rug which today covers over the business ties between the Bush family and the bin Laden family.

This is where an investigation might start. Of course, if Congress would go where the facts led, it would then find itself looking into the bloody role that the U.S. government has played not only in the Middle East, but all over the world, from Central and South America to Africa to Asia. It would reveal the U.S. government’s use of dictatorships, death squads, terrorist groups against poor people, workers and peasants whenever they try to organize for a better life. And such an investigation must condemn U.S. imperialist domination over the poor countries of the world and their laboring populations.

In other words, it’s an investigation that Congress won’t ever carry out. Instead, we can expect only more of the double and triple talk which has marked this whole affair.

No – it’s worse than that. Because Bush has grabbed hold of these embarrassing revelations about him and his administration and turned them around against the population. He tells us that the “oversights” which led to September 11 can only be overcome by expanding the FBI’s spying on people in this country. And this same Congress, which pretends to be investigating Bush, is ready to give its approval.

What Bush has in mind can be seen in the role that the FBI played during social movements in the past. During the black movement of the 1950s and 60s, for example, the FBI and other police agencies gave tacit encouragement to the Ku Klux Klan and other terrorist groupings. The FBI stood aside, supposedly powerless, as the groups it had encouraged assassinated activists, blew up churches with children in them, burned down peoples’ homes. But the terror that these groups sowed had its origin in the secret police agencies. The FBI joined with the local police to gun down Black Panthers. It directed terror against both the rank and file and the most prominent leaders. Remember how the FBI tried to break Martin Luther King, through blackmail and threats against him and his family. The FBI was proud of its famous “Cointelpro” program, whose stated aim was to “eliminate” the activists of that day.

The movements of the 1960s were strong enough, however, that they finally forced the government to back off a little and even pretend to completely do away with some of the most blatant programs, like Cointelpro. In effect, for many years the fight of black people in the 1960s was a protection for the entire population.

Now, however, the Bush administration wants to “ease” limits on government spying. Bush is saying openly that any low-down tactic is justified.

The terrorism that the U.S. government engenders is not just meant against people abroad, but against the majority of the population in this country first of all.