Sunday, March 19, 2006

Joint Terrorism Task Force Questions California Professor

Dr. Miguel Tinker Salas, Arango Professor in Latin American History and Professor of History and Chicano Studies at Pomona College in Claremont, California was paid a little visit by our friends at the Los Angeles FBI and the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF).
Dr. Salas is considered am expert on Venezuela, politics, oil and culture, and is well informed on the U.S. presence in Venezuela. He is also an expert authority on US/Mexico border culture and Latin American Immigration. Dr. Salas is the author of, " The Venezuelan Exceptionalism Thesis: Seperating Myth from Reality" (2005), and "Under the Shadow of the Eagles, The Border and the Transformation of Sonora During the Porfiriato" (1997).
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by Dr. Salas:
" I write to inform you that yesterday (March 7th,2006) during my office hours (Tues 2:30-4:30) I was visited by two agents of the L.A. County Sheriff's/FBI Joint Task Force on Terrorism (JTTF). They arrived at about 2:40-2:45 pm, sat outside my office while I attended to students, and then asked to see me. They had with them a copy of my profile from the college Web page, and other materials I could not see.
After identifying themselves, they proceeded to ask about my relation to Venezuela, the goverment, the community, my scholarship, my politics. They were especially interested in whether or not I had been approached by anyone in the Venezuelan goverment or embassy to speak up on Venezuelan related matters. In addition, they raised a whole host of other troubling questions, too long to summerize here.
They also indicated that the visit to my office was part of a larger effort to interview academics in the area. I do not know if this is happening at other schools.
After they departed, the three or four students who were outside my office informed me that these individuals has asked about my background, my classes, what I taught, my politics, and they even wrote down the cartoons that are on my door. I consider this to be an attempt at intimidation and cast a pall on matters of academic freedom."

Dr.Salas is not a terrorist. Nor does he have any ties to terrorists or to terrorism. Yet the JTTF questions him at his place of business, and the students he teaches. It is obvious to me that the goverment is trying to identify any domestic opposition against US military offensives in foreign countries, like Iraq or in the future, Venezuela. They are afraid. They're afraid that someone with as much knowledge as Dr. Salas will teach or influence his students against the US goverment. They are afraid that professors across this country will actually teach TRUE history to their students, which includes the horrible, and disgusting treatment the US has been engaging in against foreign countries for years now. This is the ultimate proof that this goverment will supress and censor what the citizens and students of this country will learn about the real truth, the ugly truth that is. And although it may be ugly, it is still history, and it is still fact.
Wake up people! Can't you see what is being done here? A slow, yet progressive movement toward a total police state which will rape us all of the freedoms and rights we were so used to. All in the name of ' Fighting Terrorism'.