The ghost of J. Edgar Hoover (and his pink tutu) continues to haunt the political landscape. As Professor Froomkin notes, "the FBI’s activities [in videotaping civil rights demonstrations and assembling dossiers on participants] vividly awaken memories of the FBI’s of civil rights violations the last time a paranoid Republican administration was in the White House and demonstrators were massing to protest a war." Next thing it'll be protestors of GATT meetings. Oops. I mean last thing, since that seems to have happened in Seattle.
Of course, that assumes that we really do have a "paranoid Republican administration." Leaving aside the conceptual redundancy in that phrase, the whole WMD debate sort of validates that assumption. Not to mention the PATRIOT act and all the little niceties slipped into the pending successor, the VICTORY act.