It was there for the whole world to see. One week President Bush criticizes China for repressive tactics that denies a free press, free assembly, the detention of political dissidents, and human rights activists. Three weeks later, we see armies of police arresting journalists for recording the repression of peaceful protesters and the jailing of political dissidents and human rights activists right in St. Paul.
The juxtapositions of Bush's rhetoric in China against the backdrop of massive strong-arm repression in St. Paul affirms to the world that the US government is completely hypocritical. It also enables repressive regimes all over the world to follow America's lead to speak pretty words while repressing their opposition.
Amendment 1 of the Constitution: "Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." I presume that the arrest of members of the press with clearly visible press passes doesn't violate the First Amendment because it was not Congress but the city of St. Paul as well as the State of Minnesota that abridged the rights of freedom of speech, freedom of the press, free assembly, and petitioners for redress of grievances guaranteed by the US Constitution.
Everyone in the world sees the true stripes of the American government. There is no moral authority left when strong-arm tactics are used to repress Democracy. Now that the city of St. Paul has repressed the free press and detained news reporters and producers, the resulting chill among the remaining journalists will drive the final nails into the coffin of Democracy.
The neocon goal is accomplished. Democracy is dead in the USA.