Naomi Wolf rounded out the speakers. Her thesis was that there are 10 easy steps for a leader to take to become a dictator. She based the theory on what one could learn from Germany, Chile, Czechoslovakia and others.
Got a pen? Here we go. Brackets offer progress update for the US…
1. Invoke a real or imaginary terrifying threat (9/11 – check)
2. Create a prison system outside the country and outside the law (Gitmo and others – check)
3. Create a paramilitary force that operates outside the rule of law (Blackwater - check)
4. Create surveillance apparatus of citizens (Check - there are one million Americans on the list with 20,000 added each month. If you get an "SSSS" on your Boarding Pass from the friendly TSA folks next time you travel, you are so in trouble)
5. Infiltrate citizen groups (More work needed here please America – apparently the ACLU has been infiltrated but I need more evidence)
6. Arbitrarily detain and release citizens (More effort here too please)
7. Target key people (More work here…two examples: the Dixie Chicks (did Clear Channel actually think you could physically burn all those CD's?) Bill Maher)
8. Start restricting the media (Amy Goodman and "RNC 8" all arrested at RNC last month – check)
9. Recant criticisms of Administration as espionage and treason (Check, check…who knew a missing lapel pin could make you unpatriotic?)
10. Subvert the rule of law (White House ignore Congress and subpoenas. And who doesn't love a good signing statement ? – check.
It was very timely given that moments before Naomi started, Blackberry's and iPhones buzzed with the news that McCain had pull the pin on his campaign and was evidently heading to DC to save the world.