Return of the Junior G-Men

J. Edgar Hoover is grinning in his grave.

The FBI’s adopted a plan to recruit 15,000 covert informants in the United States to help keep America safe. Their job? Reporting to the FBI anybody “suspicious” — in other words, anybody with a different accent, skin color, lifestyle, hairstyle, religion or sexual orientation.

Back to the future! This new program is nothing new. It’s an instant replay of J. Edgar Hoover’s famous “Junior G-Men,” organized by the FBI prior to World War II. Young boys, wearing special uniforms and badges, were deputized to roam the streets and report any suspicious characters.

So far, FBI Director Robert Mueller hasn’t come up with a name for his new program. May I suggest “Stasi”? Whatever he calls it, the domestic spy program is one more assault by the Bush administration on our right to privacy.

What’s even more disturbing than the idea that the FBI would set up a network of domestic spies is the fact that most Americans will probably accept it as the price we have to pay for fighting terror. In fact, the opposite is true. Every time we give up one inch of freedom, the terrorists win.

Do you feel safer knowing the FBI will soon be able to spy more effectively on the ACLU, PETA, MoveOn.org and other suspect organizations?

As for our civil liberties? Don’t worry about it. We weren’t using them anyway.

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