Fascism Absurdity! (Updated)

Nick Egnatz, of Munster, Indiana, is a Vietnam vet, an articulate non-stop Veterans for Peace activist, and a formative member of the NW Indiana Coalition Against the Iraq War.  His group marched in the Chicago Rally and was part of the group appearing and speaking at Federal Plaza.

At any rate, I just received the following Press Release from him and read it in near disbelief.  The Press Release speaks for itself.

There’s more:

Press Advisory:  October 31, 2007
Three Calumet Region peace  activists barred from CIA Director Hayden speech in Chicago

Three Hoosiers set out from Northwest Indiana yesterday evening to hear a speech by CIA Director, General Michael V. Hayden sponsored by the Illinois Council on Foreign Relations.  The three, Nina Klooster of Lake Village , Kathryn Sturm of Merrillville and Nick Egnatz of Munster had purchased tickets online and were looking forward to hearing Director Hayden talk about national security. They planned to pose some questions weighing heavily on their minds during the question and answer period.

When the three arrived at the event they were stopped at the door and told that their names were on a security list they would not be admitted to the speech. According to Brad Blokell, director of Security and Safety at the Intercontinental Chicago, the speaker, CIA Director Hayden had placed the three on the list.

“I wanted to ask Director Hayden to explain how Extraordinary Rendition of foreign nationals and torture of prisoners held in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and secret CIA prisons around the world is helping to improve the security of the United States,” said Nina Klooster, of Northwest Indiana CodePink. “It is my personal conviction that these kinds of actions are making us less safe, as they have gained us many new enemies. The fact that we torture has caused us to lose the moral high ground that we had gained after 9/11.”

The three went to the Intercontinental Hotel at 505 N Michigan in good faith as citizens and tax payers to ask the CIA Director about actions that they believe are causing harm to United States security and eroding the United States Constitution. Kathryn Sturm, also of Northwest Indiana CodePink, had planned to ask the Director of the CIA about his statement several months ago that the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution does not mandate probable cause for a warrant to be issued to search and seize the personal property of United States Citizens. ” I wanted to ask Director Hayden if he still believes that Americans can be spied on simply on the basis of suspicion rather than on the clearly delineated provision of probable cause in the fourth amendment,” said Ms. Sturm. “It is clear on reading of the fourth amendment that probable cause is mandated. I wondered if the CIA Director had taken the time to read the Constitution since his unfortunate statement on television.”

“As a veteran who served my country during the Vietnam War,” said Nick Egnatz, of Veterans for Peace, “I am appalled at the thought of America resorting to torture. Torture does not produce reliable intelligence; rather it terrorizes all who witness it, making citizens afraid to speak out against the government and destroying democracy. All military family members should in particular be very concerned about our government using torture, since it sets the precedent for those we are fighting to use torture against their loved ones. Placing the names of people on lists is another form of terror that totalitarian governments use to control citizens. I can’t believe that our government has sunk to this level.”

The Press Release has been sent to the NWI Times and the NWI Post-Tribune and to their Senators and Congressmen.  Nick said he is hoping there will be coverage, but it is not yet known.

This, to me, is an indicator of just how far the surveillance of peaceful individuals has gone — it is incredulous! 


UPDATE:

Just in!  I thought you would be interested in seeing this article in the Northwest Indiana Post-Tribune

Please note:

One slight correction to the NWI Post-Tribune article, Nick Egnatz has never been arrested although he has participated in three specific civil disobedience actions, authorities have not chosen to arrest him.

While the Post Tribune article ran on page 3 with a picture of Kathy and Nina meeting with Congressman Visclosky and two other local activists, Lorri and Janice, it also ran as a subheadline under the paper’s banner on the front page “CIA spooked by NWI peaceniks”  ‘Group of three–grandma, retiree, veteran–barred from speech by spy agency director’s order.’

Individual picture of Nina, Kathy and Nick with the caption ‘Don’t let these people in’

Nick Egnatz
Vietnam veteran and peace activist of Munster
Nina Klooster
62-year-old retiree of Lake Village
Kathy Sturm,
53-year-old grandmother from Merrillville

The original Press Advisory, of October 31, 2007 (shown above) has been submitted to AfterDowning Street.org!
 

27 comments

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    • fatdave on November 1, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Somebody might be watching and conclude he has a “guilty mind”. That might go against a person at any future rebalancing.

    Sonofabitch!

    • Alma on November 1, 2007 at 4:28 pm

    but when I was protesting, before the war started, there were gov’t. types taking pictures of us all.  So now its gone from just identifying, and keeping an eye on us, and infiltrating to activly denying us entry to places.

  1. And a big thank you to CodePink activists everywhere. The Decider smeared them in a speech today, he wouldn’t have done that if he wasn’t afraid of them. Some progressives think CodePink makes us “look bad”. 

    I think tolerating a fascist government is what makes us look bad.

  2. I love veterans.  I especially love Remembrance Day, because they are so conspicuously adorned.

    Whenever I see a Canadian Legionnaire, I don’t give a good god damn how many poppies I have at home (I never wear them, for it always gives me the excuse to donate yet again when I meet a Legionnaire), I can’t help but to stop, ask them how they are, shake their hand and offer a “God Bless” after stuffing some money in the box.

    It’s a pittance, I know, but it’s always so heart-warming to chat with them a few seconds and wish them well.

    And they all have such strong hand-shakes…I swear, the one I met at Wal-Mart yesterday must have been a retired farmer or blacksmith…

    I will keep doing that until they are all gone.

    Perhaps, one day, we won’t have any more new veterans being created…

    To much to hope, I know.

    This is obscene.

  3. our servicemen in this country have been treated shabbily for a long time.  Vietnam veterans were literally shunned by much of America. 

    Iraqi veterans, believing they were doing the right thing, have suffered so much, i.e., death, of course, bankruptcy by their families, lack of proper medical care, long waits for care, suffering from PTSD and an endless array of “hell” caused by an abomination of a government which has had literally no concern for them, other than “using” them for its hegemonic goals. It is, as you say, “obscene.”  Obscene that any soldier, anywhere, should experience the utter disdain of its government.

    Thanks for your input and nice to see you.  A bientot! 

  4. was not an “insignificant” individual, citizen, internet subscriber, or activist of his Constitutional rights. He was injurously beaten inside the US Capitol.

    Before that others have sued their state governments to peaceably picket US government events on public property. Now they are corralled in “free speech zones.”

    There’s more to come. Watch for it.

    • Alma on November 3, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Its so seldom that we keep on top of each of these things.  There’s always so many of them.

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