9 Mar 2006 Arctic Beacon
By Greg Szymanski
Journalists To Be Jailed For Speaking Out Against “Little Hitler Bush;” Slats Grobnik Gets National Security Letter, Too!
Doug Thompson reported how he was sent a letter by the FBI to turn over records about his popular Capitol Hill Blue web site. Thompson’s response was short and to the point, as Slats Grobnik from Chicago says his deer rifle is locked and loaded if they come after him. Slats Grobnik looked at the newspaper, threw it into the dog pile and said:
“Some real news now.” Within a matter of minutes, he threw his size13 hard-soled shoe through the monitor screen, breaking it into a million pieces. Slat’s grand father, Otto, used to be a shoemaker before the chain stores took over so the heel was solid as a rock and stuck in the computer screen like a dart hitting a bulls-eye.
This time, however, Slats, known for speaking his mind, wasn’t angered over the news at the Capitol Hill Blue web site, the oldest political blurb on the internet, but at what the Bush Boys were doing to the freedom-minded journalist who ran the site, Doug Thompson, as well as other journalists who write stories contrary to the Bush party line.
“The son’s a bitches are clampin’ down on everybody just like the Commie’s and the Nazi’s. Hell, if the Commies think they can come walking down these Chicago streets, there are 200,000 licensed deer hunters in Wisconsin and Illinois waitin’ for ’em,” said Slats, who once told former Congressman Dan Rostenkowski to “go to hell” at a Polish street dance near Wrigley Field.
Slats, angry as hell over the state of affairs in America, is one Chicagoan rallying behind Thompson and other journalists caught in a vice-grip of the Bush administration, planning to prosecute journalists who stray from the neo con agenda and making them examples in Bush’s phony “war on terrorism.”
“Well, guess what? Come and get me too. I’m standing with Thompson to the bitter end or to we put the the White House criminals behind bars,” said Slats, thinking how the late syndicated columnist Mike Royko, Slat’s long time hero who fought for the little guy, would have had a field day with Bush, probably popping him over the head with a beer bottle if he tried to suppress one of his stories.
“And what’s this crap with Hillary? Nothin’ but a back stabbing traitor. Now, they promised her the White House for selling out on the American people. Hell, she used to live right down the block from here and went to Maine East High School. Met Slick Willy and that was the end of her.”
Regarding the Thompson crackdown, Slats was hopping mad since Bush, according to Thompson, recently directed Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to use “whatever means at your disposal” to wiretap, follow, harass and investigate journalists who have published stories about the administration’s illegal use of warrantless wiretaps, use of faulty intelligence and anything else he deems “detrimental to the war on terror.”
Thompson also reported, causing Slats to throw his other shoe the TV set, that reporters for The New York Times revealed the National Security Agency was monitoring phone calls and emails of Americans, as officials at the Justice Department admit they are laying “the groundwork for a grand jury that could lead to criminal charges.” Further, the Justice Department has been toying with using a pre-World War I law to prosecute people who receive classified information, although the law was aimed at military personnel not civilians.
As Slats cooled down, sitting back for coffee while he opened his mail, he noticed a letter postmarked from Washington D.C. from the FBI stamped “National Security Letter.”.
It said:Dear Mr. Grobnik:
Hope this correspondence finds you in good health, As a part of the never-ending fight against the war on terrorism, we are directing you to turn over your bank records, credit card records, library cards, any records regarding your grand father, Otto’s shoe business and any other records and correspondence you once may have had with the late syndicated columnist, Mike Royko.
For National Security reasons, you are put on notice not to tell anyone regarding the information requested or the demands made herein.
If we have not heard from you in 30 days upon receipt, an official from Homeland Security will be paying you a visit.
Thank you in advance for anticipated cooperation.Before Slats could fully digest the content of the letter and finish his coffee, he thought about the Capitol Hill Blue article, pointing out the same letter was sent to Thompson:
Thompson wrote: “In recent weeks, the FBI has issued hundreds of “National Security Letters,” directing employers, banks, credit card companies, libraries and other entities to turn over records on reporters. Under the USA Patriot Act, those who must turn over the records are also prohibited from revealing they have done so to the subject of the federal probes.
“Just how widespread, and uncontrolled, this latest government assault has become hit close to home last week when one of the FBI’s National Security Letters arrived at the company that hosts the servers for this web site, Capitol Hill Blue.
“The letter demanded traffic data, payment records and other information about the web site along with information on me, the publisher.
“Now that’s a problem. I own the company that hosts Capitol Hill Blue. So, in effect, the feds want me to turn over information on myself and not tell myself that I’m doing it. You’d think they’d know better.
“I turned the letter over to my lawyer and told him to send the following message to the feds:
“Fuck you. Strong letter to follow.”
As Slats pulled his shoes out of the computer and TV screen, he said while walking out the door,
“Well said, Mr. Thompson. Well said.”
Editor’s Note: Every once in a blue moon Greg visits with Slats Grobnik from his hometown of Chicago and writes a column featuring the man the late syndicated columnist, Mike Royko, made famous in his columns, spanning more than four decades. Greg tries to keep the memory of Slats alive in Mike’s honor.