Custom Made RINGS & THINGS by Cissi 477-4509 Austin Good Job, Of Sen. Yarborough BUMPERSTRIPS: 4 for 50c, 15 for $1, 100 for $3, 500 for $14, 1,000 for $25. Send check and Zip Code; we pay postage and tax. UTURA PRESS Phone 512/442-7836 1714 SOUTH CONGRESS P.O. BOX 3485 AUSTIN, TEXAS Reflections Austin It is happening here. The Nixon Administration is using the politics of fear to gain support for methods that are nothing less than totalitarian. That great silent majority we hear so much about is sitting mute and docile as its fellow citizens Who have something to say are persecuted in a manner that Americans once condemned as unworthy of a free society. One of the most dangerous men in the Republican Administration is Attorney General John N. Mitchell. His Democratic predecessor, Ramsey Clark, was convinced that Chicago police, rather than demonstrators, should be prosecuted after the disastrous Democratic convention of 1968. Shortly before he left office, Clark was asked if he had changed his mind about not prosecuting the demonstrators. “No,” he answered. “And if the new Administration does prosecute them, that will be a clear signal that a crackdown is on the way.” \(New Yorker, Nov. 8, 1969, p. the Chicago Eight followed with Judge Julius Hoffman conducting the proceedings for the groundling, treating the defendants as some sort of lower life form to be mocked and abused. And no one in Nixon’s heartlands seems to realize that Hoffman is directly threatening the civil liberties of every American citizen, as well as those of the persons on trial. THERE ARE OTHER examples of Attorney General Mitchell’s attempts to turn this country into a police state. Under pressure from the Republican 12 The Texas Observer Administration, the US Senate has voted to give federal law enforcement agencies authority to break into a person’s home without knocking to search for drugs. The measure would require narcotics agents to get permission from a judge to enter a house. They would have to convince the judge that there is reason to believe that drugs or other evidence is likely to be destroyed if they knock and identify themselves as officers of the law. One imagines a scene from a Class B Hollywood movie: A tense midnight raid, the SS men in hip high boots kick down a door, ransack the house and spirit the sleepy, terrified occupants off to headquarters for interrogation. A hackneyed melodrama, but it can happen here. This new power to break into homes without knocking would give federal agents a weapon that would be used not only against those members of organized crime syndicates the crime bill purports to be after, but a sizable portion of America’s youth as well. In Texas, long hair, blue-jeans, or bare feet probably would be sufficient grounds to convince a narcotics agent that a suspect is likely to use or deal in drugs. And I doubt that our guardians of the public morality would have difficulty talking most Texas judges into granting “no-knock” warrants. Since a judge would be hard put to evaluate how strong an agent’s “grounds” were, it would be politic of him simply to sign all warrants. Even if the agents don’t find dope on the premises, a midnight raid might convince some young misfits that The Law, whatever that law might be, is to be respected. The crime bill is now in the House of Representatives. Dallas Rep. Jim Collins recently argued for its passage before the House Judiciary Committee. There are probably a number of other Texas congressmen who agree with him. \(Sen. Ralph Yarborough, by the way, was in Texas during debate on the “no-knock” clause, but he paired his vote in opposition which civil libertarians should flood their congressmen with opposition. T HE NIXON Administration will go to startling lengths to gather Personal Service Quality Insurance ALICE ANDERSON AGENCY INSURANCE & REAL ESTATE 808A E. 46th, Austin, Texas 465-6577 information against radicals. Recently the Justice Department has subpoenaed reporters’ notes, files, unused film, and photographs. Time, Life, and Newsweek have been asked for materials concerning the Weathermen, and CBS has been subpoeaned for tapes and unused broadcasts on the Black Panthers. Reports in the national press have not indicated whether the news agencies have provided the information demanded of them. I presume they have. The president of the Chicago Newspaper Publishers Association has condemned these “dragnet subpoenaes” as “reckless fishing expeditions” which harass editors and reporters. But the government’s demand for the media’s unedited files and films is far more serious than that. It weakens the whole foundation of a free press. A reporter’s relationship with a news source should be shielded by law, as is the communication between lawyer and client. Otherwise, his ability to gather information is eroded, and, equally important, a source of information may be endangered. If the media becomes an intelligence gathering arm of the government, who will be left to gather information about the government? In concluding an impressive study of the Justice Department, Richard Harris \(New Yorker, “Perhaps the best way to judge [Attorney General] Mitchell’s stewardship of the high office he holds is by accepting his earlier suggestion: ‘You will be better advised to watch what we do instead of what we say.’ Anyone who watches with any care must be compelled to conclude that the policies of Barry Goldwater and the right wing, which the voters overwhelmingly repudiated in 1964, have become the policies of the government today. Most people no longer seem to care if, indeed, they know what is happening to their country. Exhausted by the demands of modern life and muddled by the fearful discord tearing at society, they seem to have turned their common fate over to their leaders in a way that would have been inconceivable five years ago, when the public rejected extremist appeals for more War in Vietnam and less justice at home. And their leaders convinced that this abdication means agreement, and that agreement means the public interest is being served manage the people’s affairs in a way that can only divide the country further. “When the people finally awaken, they may find their freedoms gone, because the abandonment of the rule of law must bring i on tyranny. Since it is the majority’s fear fear of black men, fear of crime, fear of disorder, fear even of differences that allows repression to flourish, those who succumb to their fears are as responsible as those who make political use of them. And in the end both will suffer equally. Tor they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.’ ” K.N. 1984 Knocking At Your Door
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