From the bum on the street corner to the nerdy, inarticulate Poli Sci major, everyone has been telling you, “Fascism… Man!” So you’ve come to Freedom Territory hoping to be free and not have to face the terror of the fascism. Well, I have some good news and some bad news: We aren’t a fascist state yet, but we’re close.

Federal And Local Cops Organized Nationally, or FALCON, is a series of weeklong police raids coordinated through the Dept. of Justice. Each FALCON operation has lasted one week and consisted of a massive coordinated operation to arrest 10,000 people all at once. FALCON I occurred in April 2005 and netted 10,340 arrests, FALCON II in April 2006 seized 9,037 people, and FALCON III in October 2006 nabbed 10,773 people. The operation ranged all across the United States and even Guam and Puerto Rico. The offensives were all publicized “as a cooperative effort; Operation FALCON III removed some of the country’s most dangerous sex offenders and gang members from the streets, making America’s communities safer.” Despite this fact, gang members made up only 3 percent of FALCON III arrests and sex offenders made up 5, 12 and 15 percent of these operations, respectively. The press reports of these operations are riddled with holes and misinformation. They hide under the guise of being operations against sex offenders and gangsters, but the majority of people apprehended were for low-level drug offenses. In FALCON II’s 139 drug seizures, only 91 kilos of narcotics were recovered. They’d have better luck arresting 139 cops. Narcotics offenses made up 41, 33 and 34 percent of total arrests in each operation. Worse yet, we don’t even know what everyone was arrested for, and we don’t know how they were processed. The Dept. of Justice either hasn’t released those figures or they are keeping them very low key.

The FALCON operations are ominous mostly because they seem to have no other function other than target practice. The government could just do what it normally does, which is arrest criminals as soon as they can process and distribute information, but the operations require the government to build up a database of information, rush a ton of warrants through at once and then arrest people using giant paddy wagons all in one blitzkrieg of an operation. It seems that the government is practicing for a time when it will need to make wide-scale coordinated domestic arrests. Why would this ever happen?

The current administration is building up the apparatus to transform America into a fascist state overnight. All it will take now is one more catastrophic attack like the Sept. 11 attacks. It doesn’t matter if it’s terrorists or Karl Rove that plans and orchestrates the attacks – the administration will point a finger any direction they choose and Americans will follow off a cliff, throwing off their liberties as if they were shackles. The FALCON operations have exercised the kind of coordination and consolidation that would be required to, say, abduct 10,000 left-wing professors or newspaper columnists.

If I seem liberal or radical, consider this: The U.S. Marshals office and the Dept. of Justice both printed in their press releases that this operation sets records, yet the major media outlets never felt the need to mediate anything other than the DOJ press release about a record-setting operation to catch sex offenders.

At sometime in March last year, the new and unimproved Patriot Act passed through Congress. The bill, which allowed the administration to get secret authorization to obtain private information from banks, businesses, medical clinics and ever-dangerous libraries, passed through the House with a vote of 257-171 and the Senate with 89-10. The debates over security versus civil liberties are effectively over. Senator Russ Feingold of Wisconsin plead, “Without freedom, we are not America. If we don’t preserve our liberties, we cannot win this war, no matter how many terrorists we capture or kill.” America is only our constitution; without this, we are creeping towards fascism, and the administration is already having rehearsals.