When it comes to mindless FBI interrogations, Marc Schultz is not alone

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That's not a left-wing rumor. That's a gulag, a secret police state that's encroaching, case by case, on the smug affluent America where most of us live. You think you're exempt? In Tampa (according to a source I trust), a retired naval officer was interrogated by FBI agents because he e-mailed the White House to protest the invasion of Iraq. In Atlanta, a retired attorney of impeccable reputation was arrested for trying to take photos of some storage tanks. An amateur art photographer, he admired the patterns of light and shadow. Marc Schultz is not alone.

As for me, the purveyor of subversion and sedition, I've heard nothing from the FBI — just a friendly nibble from cable news and a lot of encouraging "Give 'em hell" from fellow citizens, including a pair of congressmen.

I would, if I could, overthrow this government by force of argument. I believe from the bottom of my non-partisan heart that the George Bush wolf pack is the most dangerous, least honorable, least sensible gang of thugs and cynics that ever aimed America's Big Gun at a trembling planet. I saw a bumper sticker I endorse — "Any Other Whore in 2004."

But the USA Patriot Act has got to be retired before the 2004 elections. Stand up, speak out — don't hunker down and wait for those bruisers in the cargo shorts to come looking for your son.

Hal Crowther, a winner of the H.L. Mencken Award for columnists, writes regularly for the Weekly Planet/Creative Loafing newspapers.

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