The article linked here was published in the UK, probably because no US newspaper would dare to print it. The US media are already running scared.
The article discusses the 10 steps that virtually every dictator takes in securing his power over the people and gives examples of how the Bush administration has already carried out each and every one of them.
1) Create an "enemy" which cannot be readily identified. Hitler used the Jews as his secret enemy. Bush didn't have to dig that deep. He just points to "terrorists" and we all cower and say "Oh, please sir, protect us."
2) Create a gulag. Every dictator needs a place where he can hide his "enemies" from view. A place where people can be tortured, held without charge or trial, etc. Bush very conveniently had Guantanamo and has used it.
3) Create a thug caste. Bush got Congress to create the Department of Homeland Security. The DHS has been hiring "private" armed guards to carry out its dirty work.
4) Set up an internal surveillance system. Well, what do you call thousands of unwarranted wiretaps, secret readings of emails and "sneak and peek" searches?
5) Harass citizens' groups that try to speak out against the regime. The CIFA has been infiltrating anti-war protest groups. The words "terrorist" and "illegal enemy combatant" have been redefined to include anyone who speaks out against the Bush policies.
6) Engage in arbitrary arrest and detention. So far, this is in its early stages. There are reports of people being put on the no-fly list for having attended anti-war protest marches. And the laws on the books today allow arrest and detention without trial for anyone "suspected" of being a "terrorist."
7) Target specific individuals. How about the 8 attorneys fired for insufficient loyalty to their "leader?"
8) Control the press. It may not be overt, but the Bush administration has surely controlled the press since 9/11. It deliberately and maliciously lied about the reasons for the war in Iraq and the press reported every lie as gospel, without question.
9)Dissent = treason.
here is where the circle closes: most Americans do not realise that since September of last year - when Congress wrongly, foolishly, passed the Military Commissions Act of 2006 - the president has the power to call any US citizen an "enemy combatant". He has the power to define what "enemy combatant" means. The president can also delegate to anyone he chooses in the executive branch the right to define "enemy combatant" any way he or she wants and then seize Americans accordingly.
10)Suspend the rule of law. It is important for a dictator that ordinary citizens cannot use the law to defend themselves, the dictator's will must BE the law.
The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gave the president new powers over the national guard. This means that in a national emergency - which the president now has enhanced powers to declare - he can send Michigan's militia to enforce a state of emergency that he has declared in Oregon, over the objections of the state's governor and its citizens.
The president's power to declare martial law includes the ability to postpone elections indefinitely. This means that if Bush decides to do it, he can remain in office for life. If that is not dictatorship, what is?