crime reduction, but before we applaud this latest move in The War On Terrorism (TWOT) let us carefully consider what the guidelines say.

“A terrorism enterprise investigation may be initiated when facts or circumstances reasonably indicate that two or more persons are engaged in an enterprise for the purpose of…furthering political or social goals wholly or in part through activities that involve force or violence and a federal crime…” – from The Attorney General’s Guidelines on General Crimes, Racketeering Enterprise and Terrorism Enterprise Investigations, page 3.

What does “reasonably indicate” mean?  Whose interpretation of “reasonably” do we use?  How about the terms “wholly or in part”?  The guidelines themselves seem to answer these questions to some extent.  On page four the guidelines state, “The nature of the conduct engaged in by an enterprise will justify an inference that the standard [for beginning an investigation] is satisfied, even if there are no known statements by participants that advocate or indicate planning for violence or other prohibited acts.”  “…no known statements by participants that advocate or indicate planning for violence or other prohibited acts” would seem to indicate that this person(s) or group has not done anything illegal, has not planned anything illegal, nor have they talked about doing anything illegal.  Simply by “the nature of the conduct engaged in” is a determination made as to whether to investigate someone or some group.

This could apply to all types of political action whether it be pro-lifers trying to talk to women entering abortion clinics (some view this as obstructing clinics which is a federal crime), environmentalists protesting for their cause, or any of a host of legal protests involving the right of free speech.  If you happen to be somehow associated with one of these “subversive” groups, then you could be investigated by the feds.

The guidelines further state that, “A group’s activities and the statements and activities may justify…a terrorism investi-gation…even if the statements alone or the activities alone would not warrant such a determination.”  Finally as The New American magazine points out in an article on this subject, “the guidelines allow investigations of groups and individuals based on ‘potential law violations suggested by its [or their] statements or…activities.’”

Under these guidelines of the Bush-Ashcroft Justice Department, The New American is right – “nearly any American of any political persuasion could come to be considered a potential terrorist and enemy of the state.”  Of course, that is the idea – all of us need to be scrutinized and investigated to insure that we are not somehow subverting the power of the federal government.

Conservatives would never have stood for this obvious affront to basic civil rights under the Clinton administration, but now because George W says it’s okay conservatives not only roll over, but ask how many times.

Kirt Poovey, former gubernatorial candidate, firefighter, and business owner, is the author of Prophecy - 2024 - which can be purchased at He welcomes your comments at
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Minority Report – Is the Movie Reality or Just a Movie?

By Kirt R. Poovey

'Conservative' Attorney General John Ashcroft has set up guidelines for terrorism investigations that seek to nab people before they commit crimes.  Sounds like a good idea, right?  If we can stop the crime before it occurs, then we have reduced crime and made America a better and safer place.  Conservatives are very supportive of crime prevention and