Well, we can add another name to Jason's list of loony conspiracy theorists -- besides mine. How does a former Reagan official strike you as a member of the tin foil hat brigade who believe "the U.S. could become a dictatorial police state at war with Iran?"
Paul Craig Roberts, a former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, blasted Thursday a new Executive Order, released July 17, allowing the White House to seize the assets of anyone who interferes with its Iraq policies and giving the government expanded police powers to exercise control in the country.
Roberts, who spoke on the Thom Hartmann radio program, said: "When Bush exercises this authority [under the new Executive Order], there's no check to it. So it really is a form of total, absolute, one-man rule."
"The American people don't really understand the danger that they face," Roberts said, adding that the so-called neoconservatives intended to use a renewal of the fight against terrorism to rally the American people around the fading Republican Party.
When I wrote my post, it was aimed at our readers here, who have been following along for the last six years on the many little steps the Bush administration has taken down the road towards martial law. I don't feel compelled, as Jason and his readers demanded, to show my proofs on this "wild-eyed theory." It would take a book to list them all for one thing and for another, it's a wasted effort on those who prefer self-imposed blindness to the obvious signs. No amount of proof will convince them they're wrong.
But back to Roberts, who is as apparently as wary as I am of trusting in institutional safeguards to prevent an almost unthinkable power grab by Bush.
"The administration figures themselves and prominent Republican propagandists ... are preparing us for another 9/11 event or series of events," he said. "You have to count on the fact that if al Qaeda is not going to do it, it is going to be orchestrated."
Roberts suggested that in the absence of a massive popular outcry, only the federal bureaucracy and perhaps the military could put constraints on Bush's current drive for a fully-fledged dictatorship.
"They may have had enough. They may not go along with it," he said.
The operative word here being "may." Roberts doesn't seem to think we should depend on that and urges immediate impeachment. I eagerly await Jason's critique of Mr. Roberts' credibility in promoting such an "irresponsible" train of thought, one that so perfectly mirrors my own, which he deemed corrosive to civilized debate.