Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday opposition to the U.S. President was encouraging Washington's enemies and hindering his 'war against terrorism'.
He said if Washington's enemies believed Bush might waver or his opponents prevail, that could increase support for their activities.
"They take heart in that and that leads to more money going into these activities or that leads to more recruits or that leads to more encouragement or that leads to more staying power," he told reporters traveling with him on his plane.
The Administration has waged a War on Dissent from the first hours after 9-11, starting with Ari Fleischer's famous Orwellian warning to all Americans that:
"they need to watch what they say and what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is."
or John Ashcroft who labeled debate on the tradeoff of security vs. liberty as "tactics" that "aid terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve." Ashcroft went on to later explicitly label dissent as "traitorous" and claimed that "those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty" are aiding the terrorists.
The conservative apologists had rallied to this banner, starting with Andrew Sullivan's "5th column warning" against the Blue states that voted for Gore:
"The middle part of the country - the great red zone that voted for Bush - is clearly ready for war. The decadent Left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead - and may well mount what amounts to a fifth column."
and the trend continued with Ann Coulter's book Treason.
These latest coments by Rumsfeld are further validation of the Neiwert Thesis - that there is a nascent American fascism rising. The Administration brings comparisons to Hitler upon itself. And we need to start making those comparisons more, loudly.
UPDATE: I did not, and do not, consider Bush to be Hitler. Nor do I think that the current Administration could ever become a fascist entity, or that America could become the Third Reich in the next decade.
The point being made here (with the optimistic assumption that people would read Neiwert's thesis carefully instead of skimming it) is that by using the same levers that the fascist states in history used, this Administration is facilitating the continued growth of those elements in our society that are fascist - and are enabling the far-fringe elements. This is not an overnight process. In fact it is sufficiently long-term as to be nearly imperceptible, unless we don't shy away from calling out the Administration on them.