After assassinating American citizens in foreign lands, the bots have made there way home. Aren’t you excited?
John Stossel’s documentary is fantastic.
Jefferson summed up the theme: “When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty.“
With each passing week it seems this country spirals further into the depths of a frightening dystopian fantasy reminiscent of Huxley and Orwell’s dark world of isolation, fear and government brutality portrayed in their masterpieces Brave New World and 1984. I keep speculating whether it’s me that’s crazy and not the things I’m witnessing on a daily basis. The President signs the National Defense Authorization Act, passed by an overwhelming majority of Congress, which allows the government to imprison American citizens indefinitely without charge. And there is barely a squeak from the docile masses as they are soothed by Obama promising to never use that part of the law. I bet you $10,000 a President will invoke that portion of the NDAA in the very near future.
Jon Corzine, a card carrying member of the ruling elite .01%, remains free to roam one of his five palatial estates after stealing $1.6 billion from the accounts of farmers, widows, and thousands of other “clients” of MF Global. In his spare time he raises money for Obama’s re-election campaign. The Federal government, Federal courts and Wall Street banking cabal have circled the wagons and declared the money just vaporized, even though it sits in Jamie Dimon’s vaults at J.P. Morgan. No one is being prosecuted for this deliberate thievery. The psychopathic Wall Street criminals have been getting away with murder for so long they act invulnerable to societal mores and scoff at our laws, rules and regulations. Those are for the 99%. When you control the politicians, regulators, courts, and mainstream media, it’s easy to get away with murder. The jackals and hyenas are laughing in their NYC penthouse suites as they continue to collect $20 million bonuses for a job well done.
After this past week I’m apoplectic with rage and fury as the rule of law has been discarded and the Constitution trampled upon by a wealthy connected oligarchy bent upon using their absolute power to further enrich themselves. The Wall Street banks that committed the largest financial crime in history, including: fraud in the inducement, forgery, fabricating documents, bribing rating agencies to rate toxic mortgages as AAA, selling fraudulent derivatives to customers, shorting the derivatives they sold to their customers, throwing millions of Americans out of their homes, charging inflated and bogus fees during the foreclosure process, and conducting a colossal cover-up, were slapped on the wrist and made to pay a miniscule $5 billion to the millions of victims of their crimes. Not one banker has been prosecuted. Not one person has gone to jail. Justice in this country is a putrid joke. There has been no outrage from the general public. The propaganda spewed by the corporate media instructs the masses to rejoice at this fair and just verdict. The truth is that 95% of the population didn’t know or didn’t care about the 50 state foreclosure-gate settlement. They were engrossed by the huge controversy over M.I.A. flipping the bird during the Super Bowl halftime show and whether Madonna was upset about the incident.
While this travesty of justice was playing out, we were treated to a glimpse into the future of healthcare in America administered by politicians and bureaucrats based upon vote count expediency. The government drones at DHHS mandated from on high that every woman in America would receive “free” contraceptives from their employers. Obama had made this decision and instructed his minions to implement his visionary dictate. The outrage and anger from religious groups and employers was instantaneous. Obama saw the 2012 election slipping away and reversed course within a day. He is quite the man of principle. His “solution” was to force insurance companies to provide “free” contraception to any employee of a religious employer that didn’t provide that coverage in their insurance plan. When I hear these sociopathic politicians use the word “free” when describing healthcare or any of their thousands of bankrupt government programs, I have an overpowering impulse to smash something. Insurance companies will not provide “free” contraceptives to women. Insurance premiums will rise for everyone.
Remember Obama’s assertion about his government takeover of healthcare:
“As a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, premiums are going to be lower than they would be otherwise; health care costs overall are going to be lower than they would be otherwise.”
The next government program that reduces costs, provides better service, and is more efficient than the private market will be the first government program to do so. Examples of government ineptitude, corruption and waste include: Social Security, Medicare, Welfare, the Energy Dept., the Education Dept., and the Dept. of War. Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and chief architect of Obamacare and Romneycare, recently admitted the truth about Obamacare:
“After the application of tax subsidies, 59% of the individual market will experience an average premium increase of 31%. My findings reflect the high cost of folding state high risk pools into the [federal government’s] exchange — without using the money the state was already spending to subsidize those high risk pools.”
Based on what Obamacare has done for the American people before its full implementation in 2014, you’ll be begging for a death panel to put you out of your misery. The following “free” healthcare services were required to be covered by insurance companies in 2010:
- Cover preventive care without co-pays or deductibles.
- Allow adult children to stay on parents’ policies until age 26.
- Increase annual coverage limits.
- Cover children without regard for preexisting conditions.
Obama’s promise that families would save $2,500 per year in the future might come up a tad short, as insurance premiums skyrocketed by 9% in 2011. Not only have premiums soared, but many companies have increased co-pays from $10 to $25 for doctor visits.
Only a deceitful government busybody do-gooder would actually argue that forcing insurance companies to cover millions more Americans and cover pre-existing conditions would result in lower costs for the average family. I wonder what will happen in 2014 when 30 million more Americans are guaranteed “free” healthcare under Obamacare. The saddest part of this oncoming train wreck is that millions of willfully ignorant people actually believed the blatant lies and false storyline fed to them by sociopathic politicians who desire to control every aspect of their lives. These people believe they know what is best for you. They believe they are smarter than you. They do not care what means are required to achieve their ends of absolute domination over your life. Personal freedom, individual liberty and a critical thinking populace are the antithesis to the desires of the governing elite.
Home Sweet Home
The central planners within government and inhabiting the Federal Reserve are never in doubt that their theories, programs, solutions, mandates and schemes will achieve their desired outcome. The trouble for the American people is the desired result is not designed or planned to actually benefit them. The psychopaths drawn to politics, regulatory agencies, and government bureaucracies have no remorse or qualms about lying, utilizing propaganda, and instilling fear to achieve the ends that endorse their self serving agenda. Every dime of government spending is seized from the people by force or created out of thin air by an all knowing self-proclaimed Great Depression expert named Ben Bernanke. This Ivy League professor who has spent his entire life in academia and government thinks he knows which levers to pull to revive an economy that he destroyed. His wisdom is borne out in his prescient assessment of the U.S. housing market as it was imploding:
“We’ve never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So, what I think what is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize, might slow consumption spending a bit. I don’t think it’s gonna drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.” – July 2005
“House prices have risen by nearly 25 percent over the past two years. Although speculative activity has increased in some areas, at a national level these price increases largely reflect strong economic fundamentals.” – October 2005
“Housing markets are cooling a bit. Our expectation is that the decline in activity or the slowing in activity will be moderate, that house prices will probably continue to rise.” – February 2006
“All that said, given the fundamental factors in place that should support the demand for housing, we believe the effect of the troubles in the subprime sector on the broader housing market will likely be limited, and we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system. The vast majority of mortgages, including even subprime mortgages, continue to perform well. Past gains in house prices have left most homeowners with significant amounts of home equity, and growth in jobs and incomes should help keep the financial obligations of most households manageable.” – May 2007
It should be clear to everyone that Ben is a goddamn genius. You can see why the mainstream corporate media hangs on his every utterance. He has accepted no responsibility for his part in producing an epic housing collapse and the subsequent recession that continues to this day. His lack of conscience comes in handy as he has destroyed the finances of millions of senior citizens dependent upon interest income to make ends meet. Having no guiding principles or ethics allows him to declare with a straight face that inflation is well contained as gas prices approach $4.00 per gallon, food prices surge 10%, and his inflationary policies contribute to revolutions around the globe.
Last week this sage spoke to the Home Builders Association and left no doubt that he has no interest in what is best for the American people. His economic remedies are the exact opposite of what is needed to cure the disease of a debt ravaged society. Dr. Bernake’s prescription is more debt fueled spending by consumers to refill the coffers on Wall Street. This is not surprising considering he is nothing but a puppet of Dimon, Pandit, Blankfein and the rest of the Wall Street cabal. His speech revealed his allegiances:
“One of the effects of declines in housing wealth is to reduce the ability and willingness of households to spend. It appears that recent declines in housing wealth may be reducing consumer spending between $200 billion and $375 billion per year. That reduction corresponds to lower living standards for many Americans. And, importantly, lower sales of goods and services also reduce the incentives of firms to invest and hire, thereby slowing the recovery. Low or negative equity creates additional problems for households. It reduces financial flexibility: Homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages cannot tap home equity to pay for emergency health expenses or their children’s college educations.”
Whenever I read Bernanke’s words, I’m reminded of George Orwell’s quote about intelligent people:
“There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.”
This is a man who believes he knows better than the market. He’s an economics professor that doesn’t believe in the law of supply and demand as taught in Econ 101. He thinks he can control home prices. He thinks he knows the ideal interest rate. He thinks he knows just how much money printing will revive the economy. He believes a healthy economy is driven by artificially propping up home prices, encouraging people to spend money they don’t have, recommending that homeowners borrow against their homes ($3 trillion borrowed and pissed away from 2003 through 2008), and forcing banks to make loans to subprime borrowers – again. His solution to the millions of bank owned homes is to use the taxpayer owned Fannie and Freddie to initiate bulk discount sales of these homes to his friends in the .01% so they can turn around and rent them to their former owners. I wish someone could explain to me how this helps the 99%. It is another backdoor bailout of Wall Street on the straining backs of the American taxpayer.
Obama’s housing solutions in 2009-2010 included multiple home buyer tax credits, loan modification programs, and a myriad of other Keynesian claptrap spending schemes. Bernanke supported all of those measures. They spent $30 billion of your tax dollars in an effort to artificially prop up home prices. Home prices have fallen 10% since they threw your money down the rat hole where all government programs reside, and they continue to fall. These central government planners don’t like to publicize the fact they continue to operate Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the FHA as a way to shift losses from Wall Street to Main Street. Fannie and Freddie have lost $160 billion of your tax dollars since 2008, but amazingly the losses don’t show up in the Federal budget because reality has no place in politics or governmental accounting. The FHA just announced they will require a taxpayer bailout for the first time in their 78 year existence, as they lose $5 billion of your money per year on behalf of the Wall Street banking cartel. The toxic mortgages that don’t reside on the books of Fannie, Freddie and the FHA are sitting on Ben’s balance sheet. They reside, hidden from public view, in the “Other Assets” section of the chart below. His tripling of the Federal Reserve balance sheet was done for one reason only – to save the Wall Street bankers, their shareholders, and their bondholders. His actions have in no way benefitted the American people or the American economy.
It is mind boggling the degree to which central planners like Bernanke, Geithner, Obama and Congress will inflict their vision of how the economy and world in general should operate upon the trusting masses. The American people want to believe their leaders are doing what is best for them. They like dwelling in a land of delusion, security and luxury, where government guarantees to protect them from: terrorists; Iranian invasion; saving for retirement; looking out for their own health; educating themselves; and accepting the consequences of living above their means. Their ability to distinguish between truth and propaganda has been thoroughly degraded by years of government proscribed education. We have chosen to become a knowingly ignorant nation of true believers. There is no time for critical thinking while we anticipate our next tweet about the death of drug addicted pop singer. We have been taught to love our servitude.
“…most men and women will grow up to love their servitude and will never dream of revolution.” – Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
The fallacy of government protecting you, taking care of you and providing you “free” benefits is so ingrained in the American psyche that it is virtually impossible to voluntarily reverse the trend. The truth that Americans refuse to acknowledge is that nothing is free in this life. We are not entitled to own a home, a free education, free healthcare, or a comfy privileged existence. Everything government provides is taken by force from someone else. Everything government does has a cost. Americans have traded freedom and liberty for the appearance of safety and security.The cost is constant war, getting groped by TSA perverts, surveillance by government agencies, threat of imprisonment without charges and a $1 trillion price tag per year. The cost of “free” healthcare is mind numbingly ludicrous rules and regulations for doctors and patients, massive fraud, outrageously expensive procedures and medications, and a $100 trillion unfunded liability left for future generations. The ultimate cost of an overbearing, all controlling government will be economic collapse and revolution.
“Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the vote decide everything.” –Joseph Stalin
The concluding act during this bad week for freedom occurred on Saturday in the great state of Maine. When it became clear that Ron Paul was going to win the Maine caucuses, the GOP establishment, that has already anointed Mitt Romney the Republican nominee, decided the people of Maine would be told who won. Using the excuse of an impending snowstorm (less than 1 inch), the powers that be cancelled the caucuses in Washington County where a large contingent of youthful Ron Paul supporters dominated. The Girl Scouts didn’t cancel their event in the same county that day. The men who cancelled the caucus are strong Romney supporters. This was a blatant Stalinist act of voter disenfranchisement. The GOP leaders declared those votes would not count in the totals. Despite this despicable act of rigging an election, Ron Paul doubled his vote percentage from 2008. His message of freedom, liberty, non-interventionism, sound money and self-reliance is reverberating across the land among young people who have not been programmed by the governing elite and the corporate mass media. The establishment will do everything in their power, including vote fraud, to prevent Ron Paul’s anti-establishment message from being heard.
A small delegation of authoritative, rich men continues to pull the strings in this country. The examples I’ve sited in the last week prove we are moving ever more rapidly towards what Friedrich Hayek described as a‘dictatorship of the proletariat’. The actions of the governing class point to no other conclusion as described by Simon Black:
- Hundreds of thousands of mortgage contracts abrogated by the Federal government;
- Suspension of gun rights by several local governments;
- The continued criminalization of protest and free assembly;
- Increased surveillance and police state tactics;
- Authorization of military force and detention against the citizens;
- Seizing and/or voiding pension systems into which workers have paid lifelong contributions;
- Rejection of long-standing senior debt positions in favor of labor unions;
- Executive and police agencies ruling by regulation and policy, not by legislative process;
When you pose the possibility of a dictatorship in America, the defender of freedom and democracy, old timers scoff and laugh off the possibility. We are the bright shining light on the mountaintop – that preemptively invades other countries; murders suspected foes with predator drones; imprisons and tortures foreigners in secret prisons; and plans to have 30,000 spy drones patrolling the skies over U.S. cities within the next few years. The government now has the authority to imprison U.S. citizens without cause for as long as they see fit. The government plans to lock down and control the internet. How could we possibly descend toward dictatorial rule? The conditions are perfect for sociopaths dwelling in government bureaucracies to make their move, as elucidated by Doug Casey:
“You may be thinking that what happened in places like Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia and scores of other countries in recent history could not, for some reason, happen in the US. Actually, there’s no reason it won’t at this point. All the institutions that made America exceptional – including a belief in capitalism, individualism, self-reliance and the restraints of the Constitution – are now only historical artifacts.On the other hand, the distribution of sociopaths is completely uniform across both space and time. Per capita, there were no more evil people in Stalin’s Russia, Hitler’s Germany, Mao’s China, Amin’s Uganda, Ceausescu’s Romania or Pol Pot’s Cambodia than there are today in the US. All you need is favorable conditions for them to bloom, much as mushrooms do after a rainstorm.”- Casey Report
Call me a raging optimist, but I see positive signs that an irate tireless minority of Americans are coming to their senses and preparing for a showdown with the ruling oligarchy. The tremendous support for Ron Paul’s message among those under the age of 30 is inspiring. His devoted followers have incredible enthusiasm and will be a force to be reckoned with. The upcoming election will be won or lost based upon whether Ron Paul decides to run as a 3rdParty candidate, spreading his inspirational message. The Occupy Movement is also being driven by people under the age of 30. Their courage and audacity in standing up to brutal establishment military tactics and focusing the attention of the world on the greed, avarice and corruption rampant throughout our economic and political system has given me hope that the good guys can win. Every day the Millenial generation gains strength as the power of the older generations slowly wanes.
The internet has proven to be the best weapon in the fight against the governing elite. It offers people the freedom to ignore government sponsored propaganda being blasted by the corporate media. Critical thinkers can connect with other critical thinkers, while seeking the truth and spreading ideas. You can examine websites like Zero Hedge, Jesse’s Café Americain, Of Two Minds, and Mish to comprehend what is really happening in your world. The tumult and outrage exhibited by millions when the despotic Congressional jackals attempted to pass SOPA and PIPA was inspirational. The people’s voice was heard loud and clear. The politicians ruling over our lives have no guiding principles or moral code. They peddle their votes to the highest bidder. They conduct polls to determine what their constituents want to hear and then shockingly tailor a message that voters find to be exactly what they think. These sociopaths only respond to one thing – being exposed as liars and thieves. When they are confronted by an irate citizenry they scatter like roaches in a West Philly row house kitchen when you turn the light on. Yes votes on SOPA turned to No votes quicker than the Federal government can spend a billion of your tax dollars (10 hours). Obama showed how principled his positions are by backtracking on his “free” contraception mandate in less than 24 hours. If we speak loud enough they will listen, or else.
The “or else” is reflected in the chart below showing gun purchases over the last ten years. Millions of good law abiding Americans are armed. The accelerating trend is a hopeful sign that we will not allow a small contingent of corrupt politicians backed by shadowy rich men (22 men have contributed 67% of all the Super Pac money in the GOP primaries), hiding from public view, to treat this country as their personal playground.
It was a bad week for freedom loving people, but I believe there are enough patriots left in this country to change our course. We are being buried under a blizzard of lies on a daily basis. We have a choice. We can support the existing corrupt crony capitalist establishment (Obama & Romney) or we can declare war on lies, deceit and misinformation by rallying behind the only person who would truly attempt to reverse decades of corruption, sleaze, incompetence, bloat, debt accumulation, and a warped version of free market capitalism – Ron Paul. He is the only public figure willing to level with the American people and tell them the truth. Will we let the concept of truth fade out of the world? The choice is ours.
– by James Quinn via financialsense.com
Every American could – literally – be labeled a suspected terrorist under current governmental criteria.
Specifically, the following actions may get a U.S. citizen labeled as a suspected terrorist today:
- Criticizing the government’s targeting of innocent civilians with drones (although killing innocent civilians with drones is one of the main things which increases terrorism. And see this)
- Stocking up on more than 7 days of food (even though all Mormons are taught to stockpile food, and most Hawaiians store up on extra food)
Holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:
- Liking the Founding Fathers
- Being a Christian (?)
- Being “anti-nuclear”
- Being “anti-abortion”
- Being “anti-Catholic”
- Being “anti-global”
See Something, Act Like a Snitch in Nazi Germany, Stasi East Germany or Iraq
I initially thought that Paul Joseph Watson was overreacting when he claimed that a Homeland Security video paints the following activities as signs of potential terrorism:
- Opposing surveillance
- Talking to police officers
- Wearing a hoodie
- Driving a van
- Writing on a piece of paper
As Robert Gellately of Florida State University has highlighted, Germans under Hitler denounced their neighbors and friends not because they genuinely believed them to be a security threat, but because they expected to selfishly benefit from doing so, both financially, socially and psychologically via a pavlovian need to be rewarded by their masters for their obedience.
At the height of its influence around one in seven of the East German population was an informant for the Stasi. As in Nazi Germany, the creation of an informant system was wholly centered around identifying political dissidents and those with grievances against the state, and had little or nothing to do with genuine security concerns. [Indeed, the American government has been using anti-terror laws to crush dissent and to help the too big to fail businesses compete against smaller businesses (and see this. And the Department of Homeland Security has been distracted by activities which have very little to do with terrorism.)]
This is the kind of society the Department of Homeland Security is, whether deliberately or inadvertently, recreating in 21st century America.
Gellately’s website notes:
“I started to read these files about all the victims in just one region of Germany that the Gestapo had processed,” Gellately says. “It would have taken a large force of secret police to collect information on so many people. I needed to know just how many secret police there really were. So I asked an elderly gentleman who would’ve lived through those times, and he replied, ‘They were everywhere!’”
That was the prevailing myth.
“But I had evidence right there in my hands that supported a different story,” Gellately explains. “There were relatively few secret police, and most were just processing the information coming in. I had found a shocking fact. It wasn’t the secret police who were doing this wide-scale surveillance and hiding on every street corner. It was the ordinary German people who were informing on their neighbors.”
As he was uncovering who was acting as the Gestapo’s unsolicited agents, he also began to discern what motivated neighbor to inform on neighbor. The surviving myth told the story of informers who were motivated either by a commitment to the Third Reich or by a fear of authority.
But the motives Gellately found were banal—greed, jealousy, and petty differences.
He found cases of partners in business turning in associates to gain full ownership; jealous boyfriends informing on rival suitors; neighbors betraying entire families who chronically left shared bathrooms unclean or who occupied desirable apartments.
And then there were those who informed because for the first time in their lives someone in authority would listen to them and value what they said.
Backing Hitler also challenges conventional views on the nature of modern dictatorships. Perhaps as a way for us to believe that “it couldn’t happen here,” we have viewed the Holocaust as an atrocity that was the work of a handful of evil men. Gellately, however, presents persuasive evidence that Hitler and the Third Reich were able to build a consensus for their policies.
“They began with small violations of the rights of Jews and other minorities, and then ratcheted up their racism and persecution only when they saw implied consent from the German people.” Gellately says. “Many Germans disapproved of Hitler’s fascism and brutality, at first. But after the long economic depression following the First World War, the German people allowed the thriving economy and return to law and order under Hitler to mute their concerns. People had jobs and the streets were safe. Hitler was managing a fine balance of consent and coercion.”
The same dynamic played out in Iraq. People turned their neighbors in to the American military pretending they were Al Qaeda, based on petty jealousies or just wanting to get a reward. Specifically, neutral observers say that most of the Iraqis tortured in Iraq were innocent farmers, villagers, or those against whom neighbors held a grudge. Iraqis received a cash reward from the U.S. military for turning people in as “suspected terrorists”. See this movie.
The number two man at the State Department under Colin Powell (Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson), the commander of the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq and official U.S. military records all confirm that virtually all of the people turned in and subsequently tortured were innocent.
Courtesy of http://www.infowars.com
America is opening up a new warfront and it’s in your own backyard. It’s in your neighbor’s house, it’s three states over and it’s on the other side of the Mississippi.
That’s what a new legislation could lead to and the consequences are dire and constitutionally damning.
The United States Senate is set to vote this week on a bill that would categorize the entire USA as a “battlefield,” allowing law enforcement duties to be dished out by the American Military, who in turn could detain any US citizen as a war criminal — even coming into their own homes to issue arrests.
The National Defense Authorization Act regularly comes before Congress for changes and additions, but the latest provision, S. 1867, proves to be the most powerful one yet in raping constitutional freedoms from Americans. Move over, Patriot Act. Should S. 1867 pass, lawmakers could conjure the text to keep even regular citizens detained indefinitely by their own military.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a supporter of the bill, has explicitly stated that the passing of S. 1867 would “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and could lead to the detention of citizens without charge or trial, writes Chris Anders of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington office.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H) sits on the same side of the aisle and agrees wholeheartedly. “America is part of the battlefield,” says the lawmaker.
America’s Military is already operating in roughly 200 countries, dishing out detention and executions to citizens of other nations. As unrest erupts on the country’s own soil amid a recession, economic collapse and protests in hundreds of cities from coast-to-coast, is it that much of a surprise that lawmakers finally want to declare the US a warzone?
Maybe not, but if the Senate has their way, the consequential could be detrimental to the US Constitution.
“The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president — and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world,” adds Anders. “The power is so broad that even US citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.”
“American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?”asks Anders.
Just like its supporters, the provision has attracted its share of critics as well. The Obama administration has threatened to veto the bill if it makes its way through Congress, but given the president’s poor standing among the American public (his disapproval rating is at its highest ever in recent polling), a hawkish Republican could usurp Obama as commander-in-chief as the 2012 election is less than a year away and the unemployment level stays stagnant and sad. With the exception of Congressman Ron Paul, the frontrunners currently vying for the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency have remained outspoken in their support for not just increasing American military presence overseas at a time when the Pentagon’s budget dwarfs many governmental sectors, but in adding provisions to the Patriot Act itself to further remove freedoms from the people.
During last week’s GOP debate televised on CNN, former House speaker Newt Gingrich said that the country must“try to find that balancing act between our individual liberties and security.” That same night, pizzaman Herman Cain said suspected terrorists should be killed before identified and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum suggested that Muslims should be profiled by the American government because, “obviously,” they are the group “that are most likely to be committing these crimes,” speaking broadly of his assumption of those that construct terrorist attacks.
“I have a personal belief that you never have to give up liberty for security. You can still provide security without sacrificing our Bill of Rights,” responded Rep. Paul. “You can prevent crimes by becoming a police state . . . So if you advocate the police state, yes, you can have safety and security and you might prevent a crime, but the crime then will be against the American people and against our freedoms.”
Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) has already aligned himself as an opponent of the legislation, but needs to garner the backing of others if he wants to keep Congress from enacting the provision. “One section of these provisions, section 1031, would be interpreted as allowing the military to capture and indefinitely detain American citizens on US soil,” the Senator said in a speech last month. “Section 1031 essentially repeals the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 by authorizing the US military to perform law enforcement functions on American soil. That alone should alarm my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, but there are other problems with these provisions that must be resolved.”
Udall isn’t the only one on Capitol Hill that has seen a problem with the provision, which was developed under shady circumstances. The text itself was drafted in secrecy in a closed-door meeting by US Sen. Carl Levin, D-Michigan, and Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, two of the biggest names in Washington. No hearing was held to discuss the details and it was passed in a closed-door committee meeting, reports Infowar’s Paul Joseph Watson.
Watson continues to conjure up a list of characteristics that the Department of Homeland Security have identified as traits of domestic terrorism, calling into question past maneuvers from the government that led to those owning guns, buying gold and even donating to charity being considered America’s enemy. At last week’s debate, Ron Paul added that “It’s anybody associated with organizations, which means almost anybody can be loosely associated,” referring to how the government can use its discretion — or lack thereof — to bring terrorism charges against its own people. Calling into question the recent execution of two Americans with alleged ties to Al-Qaeda, Paul added, “So, that makes all Americans vulnerable, and now we know American citizens are vulnerable to assassination.”
The provision itself passed in the House all the way back in May, and only now is going before the Senate. Justin Amash, a Republican representative from Cascade Township, was one of the five House Republicans that voted against it. “It is destructive of our Constitution,” he writes on his Facebook page. It would “permit the federal government to indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil, without charge or trial, at the discretion of the president.”
Given that the passing of the provision would allow for legally lengthy and questionable detention, it becomes bizarre why Sen. McCain, a former prisoner of war, would pen such a bill. McCain was imprisoned in North Vietnam for over five years in a camp where he was detained and tortured before entering American politics.
“The president should not have the authority to determine whether the Constitution applies to you, no matter what the allegations,” adds Amash, who also writes, “Note that it does not preclude US citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary.
“Please urge your Senators to oppose these outrageous provisions.”
As a solution, Sen. Udall has offered a counter act, being dubbed the Udall Amendment, that would keep S. 1867 from its critical consequences and would instead require lawmakers to examine the necessity of detaining citizens domestically, and instead would make Congress consider whether any detention legislation is needed at all.
In the meantime, Anders and ACLU are calling on Americans to voice their concerns to the US Senate. As political posturing keeps the country divided and the branches of government fight to find a solution to the crumbling economy, infrastructure — and now the Constitution — a solution to this problem is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the assaults on Americans that is underway.
-Written by RT News.
September 30, 2011 was the day America was assassinated.
Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.
In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11 US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president’s authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture and suffer no consequences.
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process of law.
In other words, any American citizen who is moved into the threat category has no rights and can be executed without trial or evidence.
On September 30 Obama used this asserted new power of the president and had two American citizens, Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan murdered. Khan was a wacky character associated with Inspire Magazine and does not readily come to mind as a serious threat.
Awlaki was a moderate American Muslim cleric who served as an advisor to the US government after 9/11 on ways to counter Muslim extremism. Awlaki was gradually radicalized by Washington’s use of lies to justify military attacks on Muslim countries. He became a critic of the US government and told Muslims that they did not have to passively accept American aggression and had the right to resist and to fight back. As a result Awlaki was demonized and became a threat.
All we know that Awlaki did was to give sermons critical of Washington’s indiscriminate assaults on Muslim peoples. Washington’s argument is that his sermons might have had an influence on some who are accused of attempting terrorist acts, thus making Awlaki responsible for the attempts.
Obama’s assertion that Awlaki was some kind of high-level Al Qaeda operative is merely an assertion. Jason Ditz on antiwar.com concluded that the reason Awlaki was murdered rather than brought to trial is that the US government had no real evidence that Awlaki was an Al Qaeda operative.
Having murdered its critic, the Obama Regime is working hard to posthumously promote Awlaki to a leadership position in Al Qaeda. The presstitutes and the worshippers of America’s First Black President have fallen in line and regurgitated the assertions that Awlaki was a high-level dangerous Al Qaeda terrorist. If Al Qaeda sees value in Awlaki as a martyr, the organization will give credence to these claims. However, so far no one has provided any evidence. Keep in mind that all we know about Awlaki is what Washington claims and that the US has been at war for a decade based on false claims.
But what Awlaki did or might have done is beside the point. The US Constitution requires that even the worst murderer cannot be punished until he is convicted in a court of law. When the American Civil Liberties Union challenged in federal court Obama’s assertion that he had the power to order assassinations of American citizens, the Obama Justice (sic) Department argued that Obama’s decision to have Americans murdered was an executive power beyond the reach of the judiciary.
In a decision that sealed America’s fate, federal district court judge John Bates ignored the Constitution’s requirement that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law and dismissed the case, saying that it was up to Congress to decide. Obama acted before an appeal could be heard, thus using Judge Bates’ acquiescence to establish the power and advance the transformation of the president into a Caesar that began under George W. Bush.
Attorneys Glenn Greenwald and Jonathan Turley point out that Awlaki’s assassination terminated the Constitution’s restraint on the power of government. Now the US government not only can seize a US citizen and confine him in prison for the rest of his life without ever presenting evidence and obtaining a conviction, but also can have him shot down in the street or blown up by a drone.
Before some readers write to declare that Awlaki’s murder is no big deal because the US government has always had people murdered, keep in mind that CIA assassinations were of foreign opponents and were not publicly proclaimed events, much less a claim by the president to be above the law. Indeed, such assassinations were denied, not claimed as legitimate actions of the President of the United States.
The Ohio National Guardsmen who shot Kent State students as they protested the US invasion of Cambodia in 1970 made no claim to be carrying out an executive branch decision. Eight of the guardsmen were indicted by a grand jury. The guardsmen entered a self-defense plea. Most Americans were angry at war protestors and blamed the students. The judiciary got the message, and the criminal case was eventually dismissed. The civil case (wrongful death and injury) was settled for $675,000 and a statement of regret by the defendants.
The point isn’t that the government killed people. The point is that never prior to President Obama has a President asserted the power to murder citizens.
Over the last 20 years, the United States has had its own Mein Kampftransformation. Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive: The Case for the Strong Presidency, presented ideas associated with the Federalist Society, an organization of Republican lawyers that works to reduce legislative and judicial restraints on executive power. Under the cover of wartime emergencies (the war on terror), the Bush/Cheney regime employed these arguments to free the president from accountability to law and to liberate Americans from their civil liberties. War and national security provided the opening for the asserted new powers, and a mixture of fear and desire for revenge for 9/11 led Congress, the judiciary, and the people to go along with the dangerous precedents.
As civilian and military leaders have been telling us for years, the war on terror is a 30-year project. After such time has passed, the presidency will have completed its transformation into Caesarism, and there will be no going back.
Indeed, as the neoconservative “Project For A New American Century” makes clear, the war on terror is only an opening for the neoconservative imperial ambition to establish US hegemony over the world.
As wars of aggression or imperial ambition are war crimes under international law, such wars require doctrines that elevate the leader above the law and the Geneva Conventions, as Bush was elevated by his Justice (sic) Department with minimal judicial and legislative interference.
Illegal and unconstitutional actions also require a silencing of critics and punishment of those who reveal government crimes. Thus Bradley Manning has been held for a year, mainly in solitary confinement under abusive conditions, without any charges being presented against him. A federal grand jury is at work concocting spy charges against Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange. Another federal grand jury is at work concocting terrorists charges against antiwar activists.
“Terrorist” and “giving aid to terrorists” are increasingly elastic concepts. Homeland Security has declared that the vast federal police bureaucracy has shifted its focus from terrorists to “domestic extremists.”
It is possible that Awlaki was assassinated because he was an effective critic of the US government. Police states do not originate fully fledged. Initially, they justify their illegal acts by demonizing their targets and in this way create the precedents for unaccountable power. Once the government equates critics with giving “aid and comfort” to terrorists, as they are doing with antiwar activists and Assange, or with terrorism itself, as Obama did with Awlaki, it will only be a short step to bringing accusations against Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU.
The Obama Regime, like the Bush/Cheney Regime, is a regime that does not want to be constrained by law. And neither will its successor. Those fighting to uphold the rule of law, humanity’s greatest achievement, will find themselves lumped together with the regime’s opponents and be treated as such.
This great danger that hovers over America is unrecognized by the majority of the people. When Obama announced before a military gathering his success in assassinating an American citizen, cheers erupted. The Obama regime and the media played the event as a repeat of the (claimed) killing of Osama bin Laden. Two “enemies of the people” have been triumphantly dispatched. That the President of the United States was proudly proclaiming to a cheering audience sworn to defend the Constitution that he was a murderer and that he had also assassinated the US Constitution is extraordinary evidence that Americans are incapable of recognizing the threat to their liberty.
Emotionally, the people have accepted the new powers of the president. If the president can have American citizens assassinated, there is no big deal about torturing them. Amnesty International has sent out an alert that the US Senate is poised to pass legislation that would keep Guantanamo Prison open indefinitely and that Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) might introduce a provision that would legalize “enhanced interrogation techniques,” an euphemism for torture.
Instead of seeing the danger, most Americans will merely conclude that the government is getting tough on terrorists, and it will meet with their approval. Smiling with satisfaction over the demise of their enemies, Americans are being led down the garden path to rule by government unrestrained by law and armed with the weapons of the medieval dungeon.
Americans have overwhelming evidence from news reports and YouTube videos of US police brutally abusing women, children, and the elderly, of brutal treatment and murder of prisoners not only in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret CIA prisons abroad, but also in state and federal prisons in the US. Power over the defenseless attracts people of a brutal and evil disposition.
A brutal disposition now infects the US military. The leaked video of US soldiers delighting, as their words and actions reveal, in their murder from the air of civilians and news service camera men walking innocently along a city street shows soldiers and officers devoid of humanity and military discipline. Excited by the thrill of murder, our troops repeated their crime when a father with two small children stopped to give aid to the wounded and were machine-gunned.
So many instances: the rape of a young girl and murder of her entire family; innocent civilians murdered and AK-47s placed by their side as “evidence” of insurgency; the enjoyment experienced not only by high school dropouts from torturing they-knew-not- who in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, but also by educated CIA operatives and Ph.D. psychologists. And no one held accountable for these crimes except two lowly soldiers prominently featured in some of the torture photographs.
What do Americans think will be their fate now that the “war on terror” has destroyed the protection once afforded them by the US Constitution? If Awlaki really needed to be assassinated, why did not President Obama protect American citizens from the precedent that their deaths can be ordered without due process of law by first stripping Awlaki of his US citizenship? If the government can strip Awlaki of his life, it certainly can strip him of citizenship. The implication is hard to avoid that the executive branch desires the power to terminate citizens without due process of law.
Governments escape the accountability of law in stages. Washington understands that its justifications for its wars are contrived and indefensible. President Obama even went so far as to declare that the military assault that he authorized on Libya without consulting Congress was not a war, and, therefore, he could ignore the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a federal law intended to check the power of the President to commit the US to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress.
Americans are beginning to unwrap themselves from the flag. Some are beginning to grasp that initially they were led into Afghanistan for revenge for 9/11. From there they were led into Iraq for reasons that turned out to be false. They see more and more US military interventions: Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and now calls for invasion of Pakistan and continued saber rattling for attacks on Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. The financial cost of a decade of the “war against terror” is starting to come home. Exploding annual federal budget deficits and national debt threaten Medicare and Social Security. Debt ceiling limits threaten government shut-downs.
War critics are beginning to have an audience. The government cannot begin its silencing of critics by bringing charges against US Representatives Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. It begins with antiwar protestors, who are elevated into “antiwar activists,” perhaps a step below “domestic extremists.” Washington begins with citizens who are demonized Muslim clerics radicalized by Washington’s wars on Muslims. In this way, Washington establishes the precedent that war protestors give encouragement and, thus, aid, to terrorists. It establishes the precedent that those Americans deemed a threat are not protected by law. This is the slippery slope on which we now find ourselves.
Last year the Obama Regime tested the prospects of its strategy when Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, announced that the government had a list of American citizens that it was going to assassinate abroad. This announcement, had it been made in earlier times by, for example, Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan, would have produced a national uproar and calls for impeachment. However, Blair’s announcement caused hardly a ripple. All that remained for the regime to do was to establish the policy by exercising it.
Readers ask me what they can do. Americans not only feel powerless, they are powerless. They cannot do anything. The highly concentrated, corporate-owned, government-subservient print and TV media are useless and no longer capable of performing the historic role of protecting our rights and holding government accountable. Even many antiwar Internet sites shield the government from 9/11 skepticism, and most defend the government’s “righteous intent” in its war on terror. Acceptable criticism has to be couched in words such as “it doesn’t serve our interests.”
Voting has no effect. President “Change” is worse than Bush/Cheney. As Jonathan Turley suggests, Obama is “the most disastrous president in our history.” Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who stands up for the Constitution, but the majority of Americans are too unconcerned with the Constitution to appreciate him.
To expect salvation from an election is delusional. All you can do, if you are young enough, is to leave the country. The only future for Americans is a nightmare.
by Paul Craig Roberts: Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury, Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal, and professor of economics in six universities. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, was published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at:PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com
The Patriot Act, passed by George W. Bush and extended by Barack Obama, is a decimation of the United States Constitution. It has been ruled Unconstitutional by several federal judges and should be repealed or amended immediately.
“Perhaps it is a universal truth that the loss of liberty at home is to be charged to provisions against danger, real or pretended, from abroad.” – James Madison, 1798