Thursday, July 29, 2010

FSB to become new KGB: Minority Report Put Into Action?

I have Deputized Tiger-Boy Putin as My Living Representative

Dmitri Medvedev has decided to INCREASE the powers of the Soviet-style secret police, the FSB, because of criticism of its anti-terrorism efforts!!! But no, not to increase the FSB's effectiveness against terrorists, but to quash and quell critics of its own incompetence!!! Back to Stalin, who may represent the true spirit of Russia after all. Except now, the FSB's chief target are the Communists, it would seem!
"Officers of law enforcement agencies have long talked about the necessity of switching from investigating crimes to their prevention," Mikhail Margelov, the Kremlin-connected head of the foreign affairs committee in the upper house of Russian parliament, said in a statement. "The amendments do not turn FSB into a new edition of once-almighty KGB but protect Russian citizens from outrages by men in uniform."
Some of the law's articles, including ones that toughen control over media for "extremist statements" and allow FSB to publish warnings in the press, were removed or toned down following severe criticism from opposition and even Kremlin loyalists.
However, a lawmaker with the Communist party that remains the largest opposition force in Russia's rubber-stamp parliament, said the amendments did not change the law's repressive character.
"Despite all the promises to correct the most odious articles, by the second reading nothing has been changed in the text," Viktor Ilykhin told The Associated Press.
A Kremlin loyalist from a nationalist party praised the law for its "preventative measures."
"This is not a repressive law," Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of the nationalist Liberal Democratic party, told online daily. "We're only talking about preventive measures."
Kremlin critics say, however, that the new measures could be used to violate the rights of opposition, and its obscure wording would leave the legislation open to interpretation.
"It's an ugly law with obscure formulas," independent political analyst Yulia Latynina told AP. "In case a drunken FSB officer is shooting at you, and there have been many such cases, you might end up getting jailed for 15 days for merely trying to escape."
The opposition has accused the Kremlin of turning Russia into a Soviet-style police state, and many Russians say they have experienced or fear abuse at the hands of FSB officers. Government critics say corruption among the FSB and other agencies stifles business activity and stunts the economy.
Some rights activists say the law simply legalizes practices FSB officers have been using for years.
"I don't think it adds anything to what FSB has been doing without any laws," former Soviet dissident and head of the Moscow Helsinki group Lyudmila Alexeyeva told AP. "But it's very sad when a law approves the outrage of such a dangerous service as FSB."
The legislation continues a trend under former President Vladimir Putin, blamed by the opposition and the West for rolling back Russia's democratic reforms of the 1990s. The former KGB officer and FSB head allowed the security services to regain power and influence at the expense of Russia's democratic institutions.

Like the film Minority Report, which describes a gnostic government's pre-emptive arrests for crimes not yet committed, it seems that in the new Russia, the law comes from God's lips to Putin's ear!

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