I don't know where you get your information, but the only way any of it is true is if my experience of living in the US is somehow 'wrong' - that is, as I said, that there's some massive conspiracy to withhold knowledge of all of these things from me - or that all of the media in the world secretly have it in for Russia and are lying about Putin's actions.
Half of what you're saying seems to be 'it happened at Guantanamo, therefore it's standard policy in the US in general and relating to US citizens'. Which isn't true. Guantanamo was/is total bullshit, but it's absolutely absurd to say the same stuff happens here. Like I said - find me instances of rock bands being thrown in jail for years because they sang songs that pissed off the government. Give me statistics on the danger of journalism in the US vs. in Russia.
You're seriously afraid to say you're a journalist in the US? Really? I don't even know what to say to that.
Russia allows nowhere near as much dissenting speech as the US... I'd say '...and you know it', but apparently you don't, and I don't know how - again, unless you think there's some massive worldwide conspiracy to stifle negative press about the US and invent statistics and reports from Russia out of whole cloth.
You're talking about how businesses here demand bribes? Dude - I *own a business* here. I know many other people who own businesses, from guys who run huge companies down to mom-and-pop stuff. I follow informal and formal news sources. I have *NEVER* heard anyone I know mention having to bribe *ANYONE* at *ANY TIME*. Not once. In 20 years being involved with business and 7 years running one. It's absolutely and utterly crazy. The worst thing we have to worry about is OSHA showing up and fining us because there's a desk partly in front of the emergency eyewash sink.
You're afraid of being blackmailed trying to get out of the country? WHAT? What in god's name is up here? Christ, I've hosted dozens of clients and partners from overseas; none have expressed reservations about coming here or there being any risk involved.
Where are your references for Occupy or Move On or, hell, Steven Colbert, having had 'quiet visits' or being intimidated?
Sorry, but you're completely paranoid.
Either I'm part of the massive conspiracy you fear, or I have somehow miraculously been spared all of these terrible things the US government supposedly does all the time. Yes, there are incidents of terrible things; the death penalty is nuts; our criminal justice system is often crazy. But acting like we routinely waterboard citizens and threaten businesses and silence opposition groups (which is objectively false given the wild proliferation of said opposition groups)? It's just absolutely nuts. I don't even know how you can begin to justify any accusations of widespread activity like that.
Let me say it again: How does the pervasive and extreme organized opposition to the US government survive under conditions that you allege are true? Hell, there are dozens of *armed militias* training guys with freaking assault rifles, and they just go about their business unless they're dumb enough to actively threaten people or buy tons of explosives. How is this possible in the horrible police state we live in?
How is it that the reportage in The Economist completely fails to mention all of this torture, bribery, threatening of journalists, blackmail of people wanting to leave the country? Are they in cahoots with the US government despite being based in the UK?
Do you think I've had to pay bribes the whole time I've been a businessman and have just forgotten it? Or that I'm part of the conspiracy myself?
What are your sources for this, aside from foam-flecked hysteria and an active imagination?