Belafonte: Homeland Security is 'new Gestapo'
- From: marcelocrisanto@xxxxxxx
- Date: 28 Jan 2006 11:34:26 -0800
Bush 'lies ... misleads ... misinstructs' --
"You can be arrested and not charged," says entertainer Harry
Tuesday, January 24, 2006; Posted: 10:03 a.m. EST (15:03 GMT)
NEW YORK (AP) -- Entertainer Harry Belafonte, one of the Bush
administration's harshest critics, compared the Homeland Security
Department to the Nazi Gestapo on Saturday and attacked the president
as a liar.
"We've come to this dark time in which the new Gestapo of Homeland
Security lurks here, where citizens are having their rights suspended,"
Belafonte said in a speech to the annual meeting of the Arts Presenters
"You can be arrested and not charged. You can be arrested and have no
right to counsel," said Belafonte.
Belafonte's remarks on Saturday -- part of a 45-minute speech on the
role of the arts in a politically changing world -- were greeted with a
roaring standing ovation from an audience which included singer Peter
Yarrow of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, and members of the arts
community from several dozen countries.
Messages seeking comments from Homeland Security and White House
officials were not immediately returned.
He had called President Bush "the greatest terrorist in the world"
during a trip to Venezuela two weeks ago. Belafonte, 78, made that
comment after a meeting with Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez.
The Harlem-born Belafonte, who was raised in Jamaica, said his activism
was inspired by an impoverished mother "who imbued in me that we should
never capitulate to oppression."
He acknowledged that the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks demanded
a reaction by the United States, but said the policies of the Bush
administration were not the right response.
"Fascism is fascism. Terrorism is terrorism. Oppression is oppression,"
said Belafonte, who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II.
Bush, he said, rose to power "somewhat dubiously and ... then lies to
the people of this nation, misleads them, misinstructs, and then sends
off hundreds of thousands of our own boys and girls to a foreign land
that has not aggressed against us."
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material
may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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