Assassination

The THRILL of VICTORY…and the AGONY of DEFEAT!

logopodcastOff the microphone of RE

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Aired on the Doomstead Diner on December 24, 2014

WHICH WILL IT BE FOR VLAD THE IMPALER?

The THRILL OF VICTORY?

Putin-chess

or

The AGONY of DEFEAT?

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Who will be SLEEPING WITH THE FISHES as this plays itself out?


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Snippet:

 

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…Putin of course is a Veteran KGB apparatchik, so he is certainly aware of all these issues, and no doubt has a first class Pretorian Guard surrounding him all the time. At this point if he does NOT have an absolutely first class set of Bodyguards he can depend on he is Toast. He does need to identify the Oligarchs who have been made The Unrefusable Offer and nail them before they nail him with the Home Depot Nail Gun. LOL.

This of course brings us to the hairy question of assassinations, as just about everyone knows it was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914 that set off WWI, although the real problems had been brewing beneath the surface a long time before that. The problems are the same as they were then, Industrialization created a population of impoverished and disenfranchised people, and the solution to eliminating the people was to enlist them into warfare against other people…

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RUBLE RUN INSANITY

Now we ALL are DOWNHILL RACERS!

Tighten your bindings and get ready to plant those poles, because…

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AUGUST 4TH 2014: Oh Oh Oh what a Lovely War

Off the keyboard of John Ward

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Published on The Slog on August 4, 2014

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https://hat4uk.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/adolfvienna.jpgSoon-to-be Corporal Adolf Hitler (left) celebrates the Austrian declaration of war on Serbia in a Vienna crowd, 1914.

There is no thought too crass, no anniversary too sick, that the media and their friends in the political class won’t celebrate.

‘Celebrate’ is an odd word in the English language, because it can mean both ‘remember’ and ‘enjoy’. From what I’ve seen of the papers today and the Westminster soundbites, we are low in remembrance but high in enjoyment. Lots of tabloid pigs are grunting their fractured prose out into the environment today, because it is a century since the First World War began.

More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in The Great War. Nearly 10 million died. That figure is greater than the population of Hungary, and much more than that of Austria.

More than 75% of Russian troops were wiped out. Thismay have something to do with the high preponderance of unarmed peasants involved.

French Second Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire wrote in his diary about WWI just before he died that “Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions. Hell cannot be so terrible! Men are mad!”

Millions of soldiers suffered “shell shock,” or post-traumatic stress disorder, due to the horrors of trench warfare. Shell-shocked men often had uncontrollable diarrhea, couldn’t sleep, stopped speaking, whimpered for hours, and twitched uncontrollably. While some soldiers recovered, others suffered for the rest of their lives.

On Christmas Day 1914 (when the War was due to be over) troops along 2/3 of the Western Front declared a truce. In some places the truce lasted a week. A year later, sentries on both sides were ordered to shoot anyone who attempted a repeat performance.

During the Battle of the Somme, the British Army suffered 60,000 casualties in one day. Not one inch of territory was gained beyond the very short term.

On June 28, 1914, a Serbian separatist shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on July 28, 1914. Russia and France sided with Serbia, and Germany supported Austria-Hungary. Thanks to Edward VII’s Entente Cordiale, Britain came into the conflict on August 4th 1914.

Ten million deaths as the result of two obscure Royals being assassinated. Even madder than $23 trillion being spent thanks to the stupidity of perhaps 45,000 people in investment banking a century later.

Not only was there no idiocy with which Homo sapiens would refuse to engage in the pursuit of tribal pride in 1914, there is also no expense the human race will spare in order to bail out the clown élite who consider themselves superhuman in 2014.

Thus proving that we rarely make the same mistake twice; we simply choose to m1815ake different ones.

And this, it seems to me, is what the politico-media class wants us to celebrate.

Well, I don’t see why we should stop there: here are some other upcoming centenaries:

* Sunday, 18 June 1815 – Battle of Waterloo. Victory of European royal families over Napoleon Bonaparte, an early Republican.

* October 1716 – Austrians declare war on Turkey, desecrate Belgrade.

* Autumn 1720 – Japanese confirm the existence of Europe, begin process of producing very small things no European can work.

* Summer 1919 – foundation of the Nazi Party by locksmith Anton Drexler.

* February 18th 1921 British troops occupy Dublin, lots of Irish folks variously shot, starved, tortured etc etc.

* December 13th 1937 – Japanese massacre of 300,000 innocent Chinese in Nanking (Nanjing), the former capital of China.

There’s a lot to be proud of when it comes to humanity. But there’s an awful lot more that would be better forgotten. August 1914 should be remembered as an outstanding piece of lunacy. This sort of thing is sick:

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JFK Blown Away @ 50 Years

Off the keyboard of RE

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Published on the Doomstead Diner on November 22, 2013

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J.F.K. blown away, what else do I have to say? -Billy Joel

50 years, or a Half a Century have passed since JFK got Blown Away on the Parade Route in Dallas.  I was 6 years old when this occurred, it was directly before my family moved to Brasil and I was in a 1st Grade Classroom in a Public Skule in Kew Gardens Queens.    My recollection is that they rolled in a Black & White TV set into the classroom and I watched the early Newz Reports come in, but I am not 100% sure of that recollection.  I am pretty sure though I watched the rest of the coverage done by Walter Cronkite on CBS Newz the rest of the day when I got home.

The public grief at the time was palpable even for a 6 year old, and unlike today if a similar event occurred, the Newz Media of the time basically pre-empted everything else, and for a good 24 hours at least I think about the only thing coming over the airwaves was Newz of the Kennedy Assassination. The whole story got still more bizarre later on, when Jack Ruby managed to get in to Assassinate the purported Assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, but at this point I am pretty sure I was not following the story any more as a 6 year old.

Only later on in my teen years after returning from Brasil when I became involved in Pirate Radio during the Nixon Administration did I do any kind of real “investigation” into what had occurred, reading stuff like the Warren Commission report and getting my first look at the famed Zapruder Film shot in 8mm when the assassination occurred.

I was Politicized by this point as a result of the assassination of ANOTHER Kennedy in 1968, directly AFTER I returned from Brasil, Robert Kennedy on the Campaign Trail in 1968 after winning the California Primary for the Democratic Nomination.  RFK was a shoe in with this win, and I was a big RFK fan.  His assassination took me out of mainstream politics for the rest of my life, there never was another candidate I could work up a liking for and I never voted for anybody when I finally came of age to vote.

At this point with all the above videos, I have seen them all so many times I am no longer sure whether I saw them when they were first aired Live or not, though I think I did since I was both a TV Addict and Newz Junky even back then.  I AM certain I watched virtually all the Coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968, which again was covered pretty exhaustively by CBS, ABC & NBC Newz Networks of the Era.

At any rate, long before real Conspiracy Theorizing on these assassinations got going in earnest, they both stunk to me like High Heaven.  Particularly once the Watergate Hearings got going in earnest, I became convinced Da Goobermint was completely Corrupt and Shadow Agencies like the CIA were pulling all sorts of nefarious stunts, which over the years have all been pretty much demonstrated to be quite true, except for people who simply refuse to accept the idea the whole political system has been corrupt our entire lives and deny every piece of evidence that drops out here over time.

Unlike others though, I never became OBSESSED with the Conspiracy aspect of Corrupted Goobermint, and I am no expert on the various details of the JFK assassination that others are who have made it their Life’s Work to try to ferret out the TRUTH of this assassination.  I am sure today and over the course of this week all over the Blogosphere you can read copious detail from many folks who have looked at this question for a Half Century and gain a good deal better understanding of what was going down then than the Warren Commission Report has to offer.

However, no matter WHAT information gets dug up, this is essentially water under the bridge, the Case will never be reopenned, and after 50 years, what is the POINT anyhow?  Anyone who might have been a Principal in this is either already Dead or so OLD that bringing them to trial NOW is ridiculous.  The Kennedy Assassination is a long DONE DEAL.  There are certainly more RECENT examples of nefarious and questionable material from the Official Narrative that we have to deal with.

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So basically here what you have is a pretty long narrative going back AT LEAST as far as 1963 where some pretty big shit went down that seriously affected everything that came afterward on the Political, Social and Economic levels.  If you are OBSESSED with this stuff, you bog down in the details and for many people seek to “PROVE” to others that this wasn’t just a bunch of Towel Heads Hijacking Planes, nor was it a Lone Gunman in the Texas School Book Repository either that planned and initiated these events.  You’ll NEVER be able to prove it, and those who have a vested interest in keeping the Truth covered up can always pitch out more Disinformation on the topic than the Information the Truth Digger comes up with.  It is a waste of time to try to “Prove” it, either you believe this shit was random and unplanned or you believe it was planned and executed as part of a larger agenda.  Overall, the latter case seems far more likely to me, and that is enough for me really to  view it in this way.

These are examples of how Corruption in Goobermint plays itself out on the Grand Scale, and while these recent occurrences trip up our lives specifically, they have been going on a LOOOONG time, back to time immemorial really, but all Assassinations like that of Archduke Franz Josef prior to WWI or even Julius Caesar always came about as a result of deeper political and economic issues ongoing at the time.  The “Lone Gunman” meme of the modern era is an artifice which disguises what the real underlying motivations are for Political Assassinations.  Once in a Blue Moon perhaps it is the “Lone Psycho” as Triggerman, but that would be the exception rather than the rule.  I seriously doubt John Wilkes Booth was a Lone Triggerman when he blew away “Honest” Abe Lincoln either.

Far as JFK was concerned, much was going on in Geopolitics and Economics back in the 60s, the original Bretton Woods accord signed as WWII was coming to a close already was breaking down.  One of the most popular speculations on Motivation for the JFK Assassination was that JFK was going to move to decertify Da Fed as the Official Monopoly Money Creator for the FSoA and shift to Silver as a Monetary Standard.  This one seems reasonable to me, but again is one which will never be “proven”.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/d/d3/WonderYears.jpgOn a cultural level in Modern Times, the JFK Assassination changed the way many people looked at the world, but the idea that prior to this we were somehow running a better system and our Political structure was Less Corrupt than it is now is a chimera.  This I think is mostly because people now alive who look back on those times they had when they were CHILDREN seemed pretty carefree and fair.  Kind of a Wonder Years phenomenon, or if you are a little older, Ozzie and Harriet view of American History.

http://www.radiospirits.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ozzieharriet6.jpgFor those of us in the relatively larger “Middle Class” of the era, looking back now it seems like better times.  We weren’t glued to the X-box in the Basement playing Grand Theft Auto V, we were out in the parks playing Baseball, riding our Bikes around the neighborhood, and eventually joining the great Prosperity Train promised to us with Morning in America by Ronald Rayguns and Company.

In reality though, for most of the world from the 1950s to the 1990s, life positively SUCKED ROCKS.  Over in Russia,Uncle  Joe Stalin was breaking a LOT of Eggs to make his Communist Omelette, and in the FSoA Uncle Joe McCarthy was ALSO breaking plenty of Eggs to drive the ANTI-Communist agenda here.

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http://www.executedtoday.com/images/Thomas_Shipp_Abram_Smith.jpgIn the 1960s, while I was living in a Penthouse on Ipanema Beach, right next to me many MORE Brazilian boys were living in the Favelas.  The Social Situation inside the Big Shities of the FSoA was breaking down, and in the aftermath of the JFK Assassination, you had the Riots in Watts and the burgeoning Civil Rights movement, which saw none to few Lynchings along the way in that period.

Go back PRIOR to WWII and you had the Great Depression of course, Wobblies being systematically taken out by Pinkertons, and while F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby might have been enjoying the Roaring Twenties around the Hamptons on Long Island, Farmers in the midwest were already experiencing crashing land prices and financial speculation problems as the land was shifted into the Industrialized Ag meme.

So, while we can look back on the JFK Assassination and say somewhat Parochially that THIS was the “Turning Point” for the Downspin of our Amerikan Dream, in REALITY I do not think said dream ever really existed at all.  It was always just Advertizement, Propaganda designed to promote a certain lifestyle that was highly consumptive, and which made the people who promoted that lifestyle wealthy beyond all measure.  With the great wealth came great power, and with great power comes great CORRUPTION.  As the saying goes, “Power Corrupts, and Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely.”

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You can return yourself back to the 1960s and 70s in Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC machine, and just about everything we talk about now on the Diner was already in discussion back then, either before JFK got a Bullet to the Brain or directly thereafter.  Rachel Carson published “Silent Spring” in 1962, BEFORE JFK got Blown Away.  The original “Limits to Growth” was published in 1972, not even a Decade after JFK got Blown Away.  Yet up until today, and still only here on the fringes of the Blogosphere does any of this information get seriously discussed.  Why is that so?

http://greenwich.audubon.org/sites/default/files/imagecache/node_full/photos/fgf_pressstill3.jpgMainly because all of this material has ALWAYS been marginalized in the MSM as “Crackpot Theories”.  Don’t worry about Love Canal, don’t worry about the Amazon getting Slashed & Burned, we got it all UNDER CONTROL here, and go with the flow and YOU CHINESE TOO can Happy Motor around China in your SUV ALSO!

Endless Bernays Propaganda here to convince EVERYONE they too could live the High Tech GOOD LIFE, even if you were a dirt poor farmer in Afghanistan!

Sadly of course, INFINITE energy resource for EVERYBODY to Happy Motor into Eternity is not coming down the pipe here, especially considering Italian Cold Fusion hasn’t seen much development or even Sales Promotion in the MSM lately.  Without the ENERGY, the paradigm has to end.

Would the OUTCOME have been different had JFK NOT been Blown Away in 1963?  Nope.  While we might have had a more Just Society in the Downspin, we already were on an unsustainable pathway bound to crash.  Like most Pols of the era, JFK was as much into Industrialization and Technology as anybody.  After all, who was it that made the Pronouncement that we would “Put a Man on the Moon and Return Him Safely Back to Earth?”

JFK, that’s who!  So we built the Grand Large Scale Public Works Program of the NASA which outlived JFK by a few decades, burned up COPIOUS amounts of fossil fuel energy to jack a few Jet Jockeys up to the Moon (if you accept they actually DID get there and this wasn’t a Stanley Kubrick production), put tons of Satellite Junk into orbit and did all that on MASSIVE issuance of still more DEBT.

I was 12 years old in the Summer of 1969 when Neil Armstrong made “One Small Step for a Man, One Giant Leap for Mankind“.  I was at Summer Camp at the time, a nice Ritzy one in that year called Merrimac in New Hampshire run by a fellow named Werner Rothschild.  I have no idea if Werner was related to the famous Rothschild family, though I suspect he was.  On July 20 when Neil emerged from the Lunar Lander to drop his Booted Human Footprint in the Moon Dust, I watched this on TV in the Rec Hall at the Camp with the rest of the well to do Camper Kids.

Like probably every other young Math & Science prodigy of the era, I 100% was SOLD on SCIENCE, and the Inevitable Manifest Destiny of Homo Sapiens to Colonize the UNIVERSE!  I was a “Trekkie”, attending the first Star Trek Convention in NYC after the series got cancelled, and got to meet Sulu, aka the actor George Takei.  I still revered the Star Trek meme when the series was reborn as “Next Generation” and followed it for its entire run from 1987 to 1998.  When it began, I still bought the meme.  By the time it went off the air, I no longer did.  I still watched many episodes of Voyager and DS9, but mainly this was Nostalgia for me.  Entertainment, but not something I ever believed would come to pass anymore.

This is of course a bit tangential to the JFK Assassination, but not entirely so.  You see, for many of us alive when JFK made his short stand as President, we all believed the Future was Limitless.  When we look back on those days through the lens of all that has occurred since in all its despicable horror, there is a gnawing hunger for that Age of Innocence when all seemed possible to us.  It was not possible though, and even had JFK LIVED, our circumstances in the world today on an Energy & Resource Depletion level probably would not be a whole lot different than they are now.

What the JFK Assassination DOES IMHO represent is the final victory of Fascism as the meme for the Political system of the FSoA and the end of even the ILLUSION of “Democracy” the general population believed they had.  The followup years to the JFK Blown Away on the parade route in Dallas with the Assassination of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy drove home the REALITY that Democracy was a chimera, and since our culture descended into further Illusions and Distractions courtesy of the miracle of electronics, becoming ever more vacuous and ever more pathetic over time.

Here on the 50th Anniversary of the Shots Fired from the Grassy Knoll and the Texas School Book Repository, I remain sad that JFK did not live on to perhaps make some changes to our monetary system, and that perhaps if that was so Tricky Dick Nixon never would have been elected, and Ronald Rayguns after him never would have made it from being a paper thin Celluloid Actor to becoming a paper thin Celluloid President.  That was not how things turned out though, and without Mr. Peabody’s WAYBAC machine, I can’t go back and change them either.  Obsessing over the intricacies of the Conspiracy Theories of the era is a pointless waste of time to me.

History brought us to where we are NOW, and now we have to deal with what JFK did not, the real depletion of resources and the real specter of massive population overshoot.  High technology will not save us, perhaps low tech can, if we grasp hold of it in time and decommission all the Nukes set to poison our environment irrevocably.  I do like to think if JFK were Reborn Today, he would set a NEW Goal.

“Today, let us resolve to create a world where man can live in harmony with Nature, and not Destroy it.   Let us resolve to make this world safe not for just ourselves, but for our children and grandchildren.  Let us make the GOAL that in 10 years, we will decommission every Nuclear Power Plant on the Planet and bring our society Safely back to Sanity.”

RE

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS …

Off the Keyboard of Ray Jason

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Published on The Sea Gypsy Philosopher on November 20, 2013

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…ALTHOUGH THEY SHALL BE GUNNED DOWN

Time shimmers past differently for a long-distance sailor. The daily markers that are so familiar in the real world do not exist out on the Wide Waters. There is no breakfast with the family or racing off to school or leaving for work. There is only the subtle curve of the horizon, the enveloping water, and the on-looking sky. Occasionally a wild sea creature flies past or emerges from the depths, but mostly it is an immensity of space and an undulating flow of time.

Thus, my decades as a sea gypsy have gently distorted my sense of how swiftly the years thunder by. So I was totally blindsided last week when I realized that the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy was approaching. That horror bludgeoned me in my youth. It was the first time that I really had to deal with mortality. That was my initial taste of the bitter randomness of death – of someone being vibrantly alive and then gone forever.

Like so many other young people, I was inspired by JFK and hoped to one day follow his lead in sculpting a better world from the clay of our democracy’s political institutions. My grief then was overwhelming and personal – my hero had been viciously gunned down. But as the decades ebbed and flowed, my sense of loss widened and intensified. Yes, I had lost a role model, but the planet had lost a visionary and a healer.

What haunts me the most is that brilliant speech that he made before the United Nations when he offered the olive branch of Peace during one of the most incendiary stages of the Cold War. When I watch that footage and see him accepting the applause from the General Assembly after he offers to lead a campaign for total world disarmament, a heart-breaking realization assaults me. He already knew! There is a nobility and resignation in his body language that seems to imply a foreknowledge that the bullets had already left the guns and were headed his way. He probably understood that by speaking those peace-seeking words, he was signing his own death warrant. But he spoke them anyway – boldly and poetically – because he knew that sometimes Right must defy Might.

http://ahscoldwara.wikispaces.com/file/view/E.jpg/329085074/384x288/E.jpgPresident Eisenhower, in his Farewell Address, only three years earlier, had warned the nation about the clandestine influence and danger of the Military/Industrial Complex. Hidden behind the scenes, these rogue power-brokers wielded enormous control. Kennedy was perceived as a direct threat to them. He had already vowed to destroy the CIA, and now with his desire to dismantle the war machine, his enemies eliminated him in a cowardly ambush. Needless to say, this was not the story that was conveyed to us 50 years ago by the media, and they still deceive us now.

Kennedy’s presidency was an absolute crossroads event in this nation’s history. To use contemporary terminology, he came from the 1% but he championed the 99%. He didn’t wish to actually strangle the ruling elite, but he refused to let them suffocate the vast majority of decent, everyday citizens. And unlike our present politicians he did not just pay lip service to such noble aspirations. He acted upon them and was gunned down as a result of his ideals.

Although polling data reveals that a great majority of Americans do not believe the absurd Lone Gunman theory, there still are millions who do. They often justify their position by saying, “But everybody loved JFK. He had no enemies. So it must have been some lone nut case like this Lee Harvey Oswald character.”

Indeed, out in the general population almost everyone did love the president. Just witness the affection from the crowds as his motorcade moved through the streets during the last hour of his life. But there is a massive difference between The People and The Power. Many of his actions during his first three years in office were specifically designed to rein in their influence.

http://www.timbenjaminart.com/benjie/art_portfolio/color_pencil/brothers_rfk_and_jfk/brothers_1.jpgHe had penalized the steel industry for price gouging. He dispatched his brother Robert, the Attorney General, to try and dismember organized crime in America. He was attempting to reduce the massive tax dodge for the petroleum industry known as the oil depletion allowance. He would not bow down to the Miami-based former Cuban oligarchs in their vendetta against Castro. He refused to send troops to Vietnam, allowing only non-combat advisors. He fired the head of the CIA and vowed to greatly diminish its power. He was on the brink of implementing far-reaching Civil Rights legislation. So he was at the top of the enemy list of heavy industry, the Mafia, Big Oil, the rabid Cubans, the Military/Industrial/Complex, the CIA and the Ku Klux Klan.

Furthermore, he eloquently and clearly stated his position on extremely important issues in major speeches. These topics included the need to rid democracy of secret societies, the importance of racial equality, the fact that imperialism is the enemy of freedom and the grave imperative for nuclear disarmament. These messages further infuriated his enemies, who were weaving their secret webs behind the scenes.

How different life might be if JFK had not been viciously murdered. He was essentially the last apostle for the little people. With him gone, the men behind the curtain, what I call the Shadow Power, could enormously increase and consolidate their control of the country. And they did so with appalling success. Here are some examples of how they have increased their stranglehold over decent ordinary people:

  • They have made a mockery of the concept of representative government. Politicians represent the Few and not the Many. Congress views themselves as our Masters and not our Servants.
  • Wall Street has carpet-bombed Main Street. The Middle Class, which should be the centerpiece of a functioning Republic, has been incinerated by the 1%.
  • Because the Haves are justifiably worried about the anger of the Have-nots, they have doubled-down on their security measures. Surveillance grids that would even make Orwell blush, have been covertly put in place to monitor us. The friendly policeman on the corner has been turned into a psychotic, militarized storm-trooper.
  • The consolidation of their power has been colossal. Big Everything has stomped the rest of us into Mom and Pop Nothing. The big chains have destroyed Main Street retail.
  • Mainstream media is a fraud. It does not represent the great bulk of America – the main stream. It services the interests of the 1%. It should be called Corporate Media or Government Media or perhaps Anti-Truth Media.
  • The rise of the multinational corporations is a global version of the big chain stores. In the same way that big box retail doesn’t care about the communities that they are in, the big global corporations barely care about their home countries.
  • Without permission from the citizens, our nation has been turned into an imperial parasite that is scorned around the world. Did anyone ask you if you wanted to unleash drones on wedding parties or install 700 military bases overseas?

So, when people try to tell you that the Kennedy assassination is unimportant or that it is ancient history, do not let them do so. The Shadow Power, that literally blew his brains out, was able to gain almost full spectrum societal domination as a result of that “hit.” They are now more powerful than ever and they are INSATIABLE. They will not be content until they have turned this once great nation into Plantation America. In honor of the vision and sacrifice of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, we must not let them!

 

Impeach Obama: A National Imperative

Off the keyboard of Steve Lendman

Published on the Steve Lendman Blog on February 11, 2013

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Do it now before it’s too late!

America’s Declaration of Independence states:
 
“(W)hen a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, (it’s the right of the people, it’s) their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”
 
Straightaway as president, Obama violated his sacred trust. He betrayed his constituents. He’s a serial liar. He broke every major promise made. He serves illegitimately.
 
He institutionalized tyranny. He’s a war criminal multiple times over. He’s guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors.
 
He menaces humanity. He’s heading America for WW III. He wants America’s social contract destroyed. He wants millions impoverished, unemployed, left hungry and homeless. He’s beholden to powerful monied interests that own him.
 
He spurns fundamental civil and human rights. He mocks democratic values. He’s contemptuous of essential needs.
 
Law Professor Francis Boyle is unequivocal. He told Progressive Radio News Hour listeners he should be impeached. He urged House Republicans to so.
 
He’s offering his services pro bono. On December 9, Boyle spoke at the Puerto Rican Summit Conference on Human Rights.
 
US militarism threatens WW III, he said. A century after earlier imperial aggressions, “neoconservative Republican Bush Junior administration and the neoliberal Democratic Obama administration are now threatening” global war.
 
He cited his teacher, mentor and friend, Professor Hans Morgenthau. Earlier he warned about “unlimited imperialism.” His seminal book “Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace” discussed it.
 
His cardinal tenet was darkly Hobbesian. He said international law and world organizations are “irrelevant” in conflicts of national interest between nations. Ignore “reality” and perish, he stressed.
 
Imperial priorities are disastrous. They destroy societies and human life. They make it “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short.”
 
No law or justice exists, no sense of right or wrong, no morality. Imperial madness prioritizes war. Absolute power is sought no holds barred.
 
Boyle cited the US Army Field Manual (FM) 27-10 – The Law of Land Warfare. Paragraph 498 says any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.
 
Paragraph 499 defines a war crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it, and complicity with respect to international crimes.
 
Paragraph 501 says all high level civilian and military officials in any way involved in crimes against peace are personally responsible for war crimes.
 
Paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime. Paragraph 510 denies the defense of an “act of state” to absolve them.
 
Obama, other high administration officials, and their subordinates “are responsible for the commission of crimes against peace,” said Boyle.
 
The Nuremberg Charter, Judgment, and Principles, other international laws, and FM 27-10 define them.
 
In “international legal terms,” said Boyle, “the United States government” is guilty of “serial wars of aggression, crimes against peace, crimes against humanity, and war crimes that are legally akin to those perpetrated by the former Nazi regime in Germany.”
 
US citizens are constitutionally empowered to resist, says Boyle. They’re entitled to challenge their own government. They should “prevent, impede, thwart, or terminate (its) ongoing criminal activities….”
 
“Today’s civil resisters are the sheriffs! The US government officials are the outlaws!”
 
They “disobeyed fundamental principles of international law as well as US criminal law, and thus committed international crimes and US domestic crimes as well as impeachable violations of the United States Constitution.”
 
“The American people must insist upon the impeachment, dismissal, resignation, indictment, conviction, and long-term incarceration of all US government officials guilty of such heinous international and domestic crimes.”
 
Fundamental rule of law principles apply to all US military and civilian personnel. They include top commanders, the Secretary of Defense, his subordinates, CIA and other intelligence officials, as well as the president and vice president of the United States.
 
No one is exempt. Rule of law principles are inviolable. Imperial aggression is lawless. So is extrajudicial killing, torture, and other high crimes.
 
No president should be allowed to get away with them, says Boyle. Lawbreaking demands accountability. Doing so invites intolerable consequences. Disaster awaits.
 
We the People must act. Institutionalized tyranny approaches. It’s a hair’s breath away. Freedom’s on the chopping block for elimination. Humanity may not survive Obama’s second term.
 
Articles of impeachment are essential. Growing calls say so. In August 2011, Veterans for Peace (VFP) urged it. Waging illegal direct and proxy wars were cited.
 
“Therefore Be It Resolved,” said VFP, “that Veterans For Peace call on the US House of Representatives to immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Barack H. Obama for failure to uphold his sworn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America from all enemies foreign and domestic, and for his commission of war crimes, crimes against humanity, obstruction of justice and the violation of numerous national and international laws, treaties and conventions.
 
Impeach Obama Campaign.com has a White House Watch page. It urges readers to support impeachment.
 
Another page headlines “NEW ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT.” It states:
 
“ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA
 
RESOLVED, That Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, is impeached for high crimes and misdemeanors, and that the following article of impeachment to be exhibited to the Senate:
 
ARTICLE OF IMPEACHMENT EXHIBITED BY THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA IN THE NAME OF ITSELF AND OF ALL OF THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, AGAINST BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, IN MAINTENANCE AND SUPPORT OF ITS IMPEACHMENT AGAINST HIM FOR HIGH CRIMES AND MISDEMEANORS IN USURPING THE EXCLUSIVE PREROGATIVE OF CONGRESS TO COMMENCE WAR UNDER ARTICLE 1, SECTION 8, CLAUSE 11 OF THE CONSTITUTION.”
 
Other detailed information followed. Obama violated his oath of office. It mandates he “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
 
He “mock(s) the rule of law.” He “unilaterally” commits aggression. He “endanger(s) the very existence of the Republic” and freedom. He’s guilty of “impeachable high crime(s) and misdemeanor(s).”
 
The UN Charter explains conditions under which waging war is justified.
 
Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use.
 
Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member….until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”
 
Justifiable self-defense is permissible. Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 prohibit unilaterally threatening use of force not:
 
  • specifically allowed under Article 51;
 
  • authorized by the Security Council; and
 
  • permitted by constitutional and US statute law provisions.
 
Three General Assembly resolutions prohibit non-consensual belligerence:
 
  • the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;
 
  • the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and
 
  • the 1974 Definition of Aggression.
 
Nuremberg Tribunal’s Justice Robert Jackson called aggressive war “the supreme international crime against peace.” Guilty Nazi war criminals were hanged.
 
The Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 lets Congress alone declare war. December 8, 1941 was the last time. Subsequent wars were illegal. Responsible officials were and are war criminals.
 
The 1973 War Powers Resolution (WPR) limits presidential warmaking powers. It requires consulting with Congress before authorizing troop deployments for extended periods.
 
Section 4(a)(1) requires presidents to inform Congress within 48 hours about deploying troops to areas of ongoing or imminent hostilities.
 
He must explain why they’re sent, constitutional or legislative authority for doing so, estimated duration of involvement, and whatever other information Congress requests.
 
Section 5(b) mandates withdrawal within 60 days plus an additional 30 exit period unless Congress extends the time frame for another 30 days, declares war, or unavoidable circumstances require more time. Unlimited amounts are prohibited.
 
One exception applies. As commander-in-chief, presidents may introduce US forces unilaterally into conflict areas in case of a national emergency if America, its territories, possessions, or military is attacked.
 
Under all circumstances, Congress must be kept fully informed. It has final say. Since passage, presidents exceeded their constitutional and WPR authority.
 
All US wars are illegal. Congress violates its own mandate. Accountability is null and void.
 
The Constitution’s Article 2, Section 4 states:
 
“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”
 
In 1793, George Washington said:
 
“The Constitution vests the power of declaring war with Congress, therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject, and authorized such a measure.”
 
In 1805, Thomas Jefferson said:
 
“Congress alone is constitutionally invested with the power of changing our condition from peace to war.” Warmaking is “exclusively (for Congress) to yield or deny.”
 
Thomas Paine said:
 
“In America, the law is king. For as in absolute governments the king is law, so in free countries the law ought to be king, and there ought to be no others.”
 
John Jay was America’s first Supreme Court chief justice. He said:
 
“(A)bsolute monarchs will often make war when their nations are to get nothing by it, but for the purposes and objects merely personal, such as thirst for military glory, revenge for personal affronts, ambition, or private compacts to aggrandize or support their particular families or partisans.”
 
“These and a variety of other motives, which affect only the mind of the sovereign, often lead him to engage in wars not sanctified by justice or the voice and interests of his people.”
 
Alexander Hamilton called impeachable offenses those “which proceed from the misconduct of public men, or in other words, from the violation or abuse of some public trust. They are of a nature which with peculiar propriety may be denominated political, as they relate chiefly to injuries done to society itself.”
 
James Madison said:
 
“Of all the enemies of public liberty, war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.”
 
“War is the true nurse of executive aggrandizement. No nation (can) preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”
 
“In no part of the Constitution is more wisdom to be found, than in the clause which confides the question of war or peace to the legislature, and not to the executive department.”
 
In 1974, the House Judiciary Committee voted three articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. They charged actions “subversive of constitutional government.”
 
Obama exceeds the worst of all previous presidents. He’s guilty of multiple high crimes and misdemeanors. Holding him accountable is essential. Do it now before it’s too late. Humanity may not get a second chance.

OIL KILLING: Are we about to witness an era of gang warfare in energy?

Off the keyboard of John Ward

Published on The Slog on October 27, 2012


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News blackout on Belgian shooting can’t disguise signs of assassination

Hazy….the facts surrounding mob-style killing of Nick Mockford (left)

I wonder how many people reading the rapidly petering-out Belgian oil ‘hit’ story realise that the incident took place fifteen days ago. Although Belgian police insist that this is normal, it isn’t. That is, news blackouts about eurodisaster may be normal, but a ban on news about this serious a hit is about as abnormal as they come.

Death scene…the Da Marcello restaurant in suburban Brussels

Thus far, a near-Stepford Wife headline has appeared almost everywhere along the lines of ‘A British oil executive gunned down in Brussels could have been the victim of a targeted assassination’.

Sorry to be obvious here, but WTF else does anyone think it might have been….a deranged waiter who thought Mockford’s derisory tip was the last straw in a life going bad?

“It could’ve been a random mugging and car-jacking attempt,” Belgian police told a prominent UK news agency yesterday. As the two assassins ran away like the clappers in bike gear carrying crash helmets – having poured four shots into the bloke – I’m scoring this minus 53 on a probability scale of ten. Yesterday, Nick’s employer Exxon came out with this belter attempting to beat that with a score of minus 97:

“We were shocked by the tragic death of Nick Mockford, one of our employees a fortnight ago in Brussels. Mr Mockford was a department manager at our office close to Brussels, but we have no indication that the incident was work-related.”

Well hell, that’s the way it is in Brussels – it’s the Wild West out there guys, Abilene has nothing on your eurocrat suburb. Here are some equally relevant clues:

This is Nick Mockford, Aussie-rules star from Melbourne Australia. Nick is half the Belgian victim’s age, not entirely caucasian, 18,000 miles from the slaying, and still alive. Belgian police have ruled him out of their enquiries at this stage.

Should we all try and get real here? A senior Exxon executive goes out for dinner with his wife in a town where the most dangerous thing about the place is that it smells of chips. On leaving – and let’s be clear about this – he was shot to death by two blokes who had clearly taken the trouble to work out what he was doing there, and waited for him to exit the eaterie. They ran off. A news blackout was then declared for fully 240 hours. Are any of us (even people like me who dismiss 90+% of all known conspiracy theories) expected to believe that, on closer examination, this appears to have been an attempt to steal the guy’s company car? I sincerely hope not, as otherwise all hope for the human species has left the theatre.

Nichlas Mockford wasn’t just some two-bit ‘departmental manager’. He was the Head of Marketing for interim technologies for Exxon. For interim technologies read ‘Green=alternatives to oil=end of Texas, Middle East, East Med undersea’…..and indeed any region whose current or future wealth might be based on black gold. For example, Russia.

Or, for interim technologies read ‘Green=eco-warriors seeing him as an ‘earth-traitor’=possibly persons of Kiwi/Hard Left/libertarian persuasion’.

The escaping motor-cyclists so clearly hell-bent on nicking Mr Mockford’s car were described by witnesses as “looking East European”.

So there we have it. I’m hoping that tomorrow’s (Sunday) papers have some intriguing leads re this one, otherwise I’d be inclined to write off MSM journalism for good.

Slouching Towards Nuremberg

Off the Keyboard of Morris Berman

Posted originally on the Morris Berman Blog on May 9, 2012
Cross Posted on Counter Punch and Tikkun

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Strange things are happening in the United States these days, and every day seems to bring additional scary news.  The similarity to the erosion of civil liberties in Germany during the 1930s is a bit too close for comfort. Many will regard this statement as hyperbole, and, to some extent, it is. But let’s take a close look at what is going on before we dismiss the comparison out of hand.

In terms of the historical record for Germany, legal discrimination against Jews certainly existed before the Nuremberg Laws of 1935, and grew steadily over time. There was always a feeling in the Jewish community—most of whom regarded themselves as Germans, after all—that “OK, that’s the worst of it.” Hence, the decision to stay. Then came the next set of restrictions, and again the response: “This is as far as it will go.” It was like the classic experiment of turning up the heat on frogs placed in warm water. Gradually, they get boiled to death, because the increase of heat is incremental.  It was only toward the end of the thirties that the choice began to look like: jump or die. Finally, it became simply, die.
In 1933, the Law for the Restoration of the Professional Civil Service banned “non-Aryans” from the civil service.
In 1935, the Nuremberg Laws deprived Jews of German citizenship and prohibited marriage between Jews and “Aryans.” They also prohibited sexual intercourse between Jews and “Aryans,” and the employment of “Aryan” females under forty-five years of age as domestic workers in Jewish households. In addition, Jews could not work as lawyers, doctors, or journalists; could not use state hospitals; and could not be educated by the state past the age of fourteen. They could not enter public parks, libraries, or beaches, and could not receive winnings from the national lottery.
In 1938, Jews with first names that were not characteristically Jewish had to adopt the middle name Sara (if female) or David (if male). Passports of German Jews were stamped with a “J”.
In 1939, Jews living in German-occupied Poland had to wear the yellow star. This was extended to all Jews living within Nazi-controlled areas in 1941.
By way of comparison, one thing that makes me particularly nervous is what has been called the “conspiracy of silence.” Almost nobody spoke up in Germany as this process was unfolding, and the American public has been similarly silent about the events documented below. Indeed, I would venture to say that 98% of the American public (maybe more) is unaware of events such as these, or of the passage of repressive legislation, and that they wouldn’t care even if they did know about it. (“Hey, I ain’t no Ay-rab!”) The classic quote that has come down to us is from Martin Niemoeller, a German pastor and theologian who wound up in the Sachsenhausen and Dachau concentration camps (he was liberated by the Allies in 1945). It goes something like this:
“First they came for the communists, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, but I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for me, but by that time there was no one left to speak out.”
It is no accident that Chris Hedges entitled a recent article “First They Come for the Muslims”(see below, Item IV). God forbid something like that might happen in the U.S., but the signs of a gradual slide towards Nuremberg, and concomitant citizen apathy, are very much present in the current political milieu. Let’s have a look at what has been going on in the decade since 9/11. I’m going to discuss the following topics:
I. The creation of a political climate in which the police are out of control, arbitrarily free to intimidate anyone for virtually anything
II. The persecution of whistleblowers, protesters, and dissenters
III. The dramatic expansion of the surveillance of American citizens on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA)
IV. The corruption of the judicial system by means of show trials of Muslim activists
V. The construction of political detention centers, also known as Communication Management Units (CMU’s)
VI. The shredding of the Bill of Rights by means of the National Defense Authorization Act
VII. Future scenarios: The “disappearing” of intellectual critics of the U.S. government?
I. The creation of a political climate in which the police are out of control, arbitrarily free to intimidate anyone for virtually anything
The evidence for this is perforce anecdotal, but events such as the ones discussed below are getting to be so common that we have to keep in mind that when you have accumulated enough anecdotes, the result is called “data.”
-In June 2011 the sheriff of Nelson County, North Dakota, called in a Predator B drone from the local Air Force base to capture three men who had stolen some cows. Once the unmanned aircraft located the suspects, police rushed in to make the first known arrests of U.S. citizens with the help of a Predator spy drone. It turns out that predator drones are frequently used for domestic investigations all over the U.S.—by the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and by state and local law enforcement officials.
-In July 2011 police in a small town in Georgia shut down a lemonade stand being run by three girls, ages 10-14, who were trying to save up for a trip to a local water park. The police said that they didn’t know what was in the lemonade; and in addition, that the girls needed a business license, a peddler’s permit, and a food permit in order to run the stand. The permits, by the way, cost $50 a day.
-In January 2012 the library system of Charlton, Massachusetts, called the police to collect some overdue books charged to Hailey Benoit—a five-year-old girl.
-Also in January 2012, a young couple was arrested in Baltimore for asking a police woman directions to highway I-95. They spent the night in jail.
-In April 2012 the Supreme Court ruled that jail authorities may strip search people arrested for minor offenses before they are jailed while awaiting a hearing. Individuals have been strip searched for offenses such as biking with an inaudible bell, walking a dog without a leash, and driving with a noisy muffler. The sexual humiliation involved in these searches, writes Naomi Wolf, is clearly a way of keeping the masses in line, politically docile. How long, she asks, before saying anything controversial online or on the phone (see Item III, below) will result in the “guilty” party facing arrest and sexual humiliation?  I think we need to pause a moment before we summarily dismiss this as paranoia.
II. The persecution of whistleblowers, protesters, and dissenters
This has been going on throughout the past decade, first under President Bush, and then more aggressively under President Obama.  According to the New Yorker, “the Obama Administration has pursued leak prosecutions with a surprising relentlessness.”To which the New York Times added:“In 17 months in office, President Obama has already outdone every previous president in pursuing leak prosecutions.” In the famous case of Bradley Manning, who revealed government documents to Wikileaks, Mr. Obama publicly declared him guilty before he went to trial or was convicted of a crime. The overall result is that the government has basically criminalized public servants who speak out to expose waste or corruption or unethical behavior. Whistleblowing and dissent have, in themselves, become criminal activities.
-Since 2006 the filmmaker Laura Poitras, who made a documentary about the U.S. occupation of Iraq, has been detained and questioned at airports more than forty times. Government agents confiscate her computer and notebooks without a warrant. She is hardly an isolated case. With no oversight or legal framework for its activities, the Department of Homeland Security routinely singles out individuals who are suspected of no crimes, detains them at the airport when they return to the U.S. from an international trip, and then seizes their laptops, cameras, cellphones, notebooks, and credit card receipts.
-William Binney, an intelligence official who worked for the NSA for nearly forty years, resigned in October 2001 when massive domestic spying became the norm. Binney and several other NSA officials reported their concerns about this to Congress and the Department of Defense. In 2006, he exposed the NSA practice of installing secret monitoring rooms in major U.S. telecommunications facilities.  Finally, in 2007, a dozen FBI agents charged into his house with guns drawn, pointed their weapons at his head, and interrogated him at length. Three other ex-NSA employees were raided the same day.
– You can now go to jail in the United States simply for speaking. In July 2011, environmental activist Tim DeChristopher was sentenced to two years in prison for his repeated declaration that environmental protection required civil—i.e., nonviolent—disobedience. One wonders if the same judge, Dee Benson, would have also put Rosa Parks and Mahatma Gandhi in jail, had he been around during their lifetimes.
-In March 2012 the president signed H.R. 347, the so-called trespass bill, into law, which allows the government to jail anyone protesting near someone with Secret Service protection for up to ten years. This makes it quite easy for the government to criminalize protest per se, because the exclusion zones defined by the law have no clear boundaries. In fact, they can be as large as the law wants them to be; which means that the free speech zone is a moving target.
III. The dramatic expansion of the surveillance of American citizens on the part of the National Security Agency (NSA)
-On 19 July 2010 theWashington Post reported that 854,000 people work for the National Security Agency in thirty-three building complexes amounting to 17 million square feet of space, in the DC Metro and suburban area. Every day, collection systems at the NSA intercept and store 1.7 billion emails and phone calls of American citizens, in what amounts to a vast domestic spy system. Writing in the New Yorkeron 23 May 2011, Jane Mayer reported that the NSA has three times the budget of the CIA, and has the capacity to download, every six hours, electronic communications equivalent to the entire contents of the Library of Congress. They also developed a program called Thin Thread that enables computers to scan the material for key words, and they collect the billing records and the dialed phone numbers of everyone in the country. In violation of communications laws, ATT, Verizon, and BellSouth have opened their electronic records to the government. At the height of its insanity, the Stasi in East Germany was spying on 1 out of 7 citizens. The U.S. is now spying on 7 out of 7.
-To make the surveillance of American citizens even more comprehensive (assuming that is even possible), the NSA is currently building the biggest-ever data complex in Bluffdale, Utah, as part of a secret surveillance program code-named “Stellar Wind.” The center, scheduled for completion in 2013, will be twice as large as the U.S. Capitol, and contain 100,000 square feet of computer space, at a cost of $2 billion. In addition, the NSA has established listening posts throughout the country as part of this operation.  All in all, there are now 1,271 government agencies and 1,931 private companies that work on programs related to counterterrorism and homeland security in about 10,000 locations across the U.S. The goal is to store and review the e-mails, phone calls, online shopping lists, and virtually every bit of information about every single American. Everything you do, from traveling to buying groceries, will be displayed on a graph. William Binney (see above, Item II) has stated that we are about two millimeters away “from a turnkey totalitarian state.”
IV. The corruption of the judicial system by means of show trials of Muslim activists
This was discussed at length by Chris Hedges on truthdig, 16 April 2012. That very week, Tarek Mehanna, a U.S. citizen, was sentenced to 17½ years in prison. He was convicted of conspiring to kill American soldiers in Iraq and giving material support to al-Qaeda. No proof of these charges was provided. What seems to have been the more relevant issue is that Mehanna had spoken out against U.S. foreign policy, and had refused to become a government informant.
These types of trials have been going on since 9/11. In them, federal lawyers are allowed to prosecute people on “evidence” that the defendants are not allowed to see. Stephen Downs, a lawyer who has defended Muslim activists since 2006, has documented the phony charges used to label these people as terrorists and then put them behind bars, typically for long stretches of time. He told Hedges: “People who have committed no crime are taken into custody, isolated without adequate recourse to legal advice, railroaded with fake or contrived charges, and‘disappeared’ into prisons designed to isolate them.” Basically, they are condemned before they have committed a crime, in a process that Downs calls “pre-emptive prosecution.”
Downs discovered all this in 2006, when Yassin Aref, the imam of a mosque in Albany, New York, was entrapped in a government sting operation. What then happened, he told Hedges, was that the government “put together a case that was just one lie piled on top of another lie, and when you pointed it out to them they didn’t care. They didn’t refute it. They knew it was a lie….But the facts are irrelevant. The government has decided to target these people.” Essentially, he went on, the government lawyers “must know they’re prosecuting people before a crime has been committed based on what they think the defendant might do in the future.” These are, in other words, kangaroo courts.
The bottom line, of course, is that if you destroy the judicial system, then finally nobody is safe. The government could wind up railroading anyone they don’t like, and I very much doubt that this possibility is far-fetched.  First they came for the Muslims…
V. The construction of political detention centers, also known as Communication Management Units (CMU’s)
Where do the suspected Muslim terrorists go? It turns out that the government is using secret prison facilities to house inmates accused of non-violent activities, i.e. of allegedly being tied to terrorist groups. As it turns out, these are not just Muslim groups; the CMU’s are also being used to house environmental activists. The first CMU was built in 2006 in Terre Haute, Indiana; in 2008 a second facility was constructed in Marion, Illinois. Restrictions on contact with the outside world are quite severe—for example, having all phone calls monitored and limited to fifteen minutes per week. Among the so-called terrorists housed in these units are the following:
-Rafil Dhafir, an Iraqi-born oncologist from Syracuse, New York, who created a charity called Help the Needy to provide food and medicine to the people of Iraq who had been suffering from U.S. economic sanctions. He was sentenced to twenty-two years in prison for violating those sanctions. (I cite some of these in Dark Ages America; they include a ban on the importation of medicine and toilet paper.)
-Daniel McGowan, an environmental activist who committed two acts of arson to protest logging in the Pacific Northwest, was sentenced to seven years. He was not convicted of any terrorist crime or being affiliated with any terrorist group, although the government claimed that he was a member of the Earth Liberation Front, which they regard as a domestic terrorist organization.  One thing that did not help was his public visibility, both through media appearances and his website.
-Andrew Stepanian, recently released—the first prisoner ever to be released from a CMU. He spent three years in jail, which included six and a half months at the Marion facility, for trying to shut down an animal testing laboratory. He was then put under house arrest in New York. In fact, he was not accused of any violent crime or property destruction.
What distinguishes the CMU’s from other jails is that they are political prisons. All of the defendants are incarcerated there for what appear to be ideological reasons. Meanwhile, the definition of “terrorist” continues to grow (see below, Item VI); it won’t necessarily stop with Muslims or environmental rights activists.  Significantly, the word“ecoterrorism” was coined by corporations in the early 1980s. The CMU’s even contain antiwar tax protesters. In general, the legal wall separating “terrorist” from“dissident” is starting to break down, if, indeed, it hasn’t already.
VI. The shredding of the Bill of Rights by means of the National Defense Authorization Act
The NDAA, also known as the “indefinite detention bill,” was signed into law by President Obama on 31 December 2011. It has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by Mr. Obama or any future president to military detain U.S. citizens. As in pre-Magna Carta days, you can simply be swept up and put away forever—disappeared—with no explanation of why, no right to call a lawyer or anybody else, and no right to a trial.  You can actually be tortured to death, if the government decides it is in the national interest. The NDAA is probably the greatest rollback of civil liberties in the history of the United States. Under the Act, literally anyone can be described as a “belligerent,” or as they are now called, “covered person.” The president claimed that he signed the bill only to provide funding for American troops, and that he had been reluctant to sign it because it included American citizens. This b.s. was subsequently exposed by one of the bill’s sponsors, Senator Carl Levin, who revealed that it was Mr. Obama himself who insisted that the indefinite detention clause include U.S. citizens.  Meanwhile, the White House had been conducting a misinformation campaign to secure this incredible dictatorial power while portraying the president as some type of reluctant absolute ruler. It is also important to note that there was virtually no coverage of this issue on the part of the mainstream media. In effect, as Naomi Wolf has written, the U.S. “is sleepwalking into become a police state.” The New American website posted the following comment on the new law:
“The universe of potential ‘covered persons’ includes every citizen of the United States of America. Any American could one day find himself or herself branded a‘belligerent’ and thus subject to the complete confiscation of his or her constitutional civil liberties and nearly never-ending incarceration in a military prison.”
You don’t have to be convicted of terrorism to be rounded up, under this new law; you only have to be suspected of terrorist activity. And as Senator Rand Paul pointed out prior to the passage of the bill, the Department of Justice now has a list of “identifying characteristics” of terrorists that includes having one or more fingers missing from your hands; having more than seven days’ worth of food in your house; and having a loaded weapon on your property—which describes half the households in the United States. In effect, with the NDAA, if the government, for any reason, doesn’t like you—for example, if you are simply a critic of the U.S., nothing more—they can brand you a terrorist and put you away forever, with literally no one knowing what happened to you.
Note also that even before the passage of this law, the president had the legal right, even though it violates the Geneva accords, to designate anyone on the planet an enemy, and have him or her assassinated. Thus on 30 September 2011, Mr. Obama had two American citizens, Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, assassinated because of suspected—i.e. not proven—al-Qaeda membership and terrorist activity.  Two weeks later, the CIA killed al-Awlaki’s sixteen-year-old son. The real problem in these cases is not whether these people were actually guilty of terrorism; it’s that the Constitution says that no matter how heinous the crime, every American citizen has a right to his or her day in court. If I remember correctly, it does not say that the president has the right to rub them out without a trial.
(Just as an aside, there are, in general, more people under “correctional supervision” in America than there were in the Russian gulag under Stalin, at its height. Writing in the New Yorker on 30 January 2012, Adam Gopnik declared: “Mass incarceration on a scale almost unexampled in human history is a fundamental fact of our country today.”)
VII. Future scenarios: The “disappearing” of intellectual critics of the U.S. government?
This leads me to my final point. The distinctive characteristic of American democracy, from 1776, was the protection of the individual and the preservation of individual rights. That no longer exists. Anyone is a potential terrorist now; anyone can be persecuted, prosecuted, and in effect, destroyed. Democracy is only  possible if dissent is not only permitted, but also respected. This too is finished. What does this mean for someone such as myself?, is something I lay awake nights thinking about. I have published three books, and half a collection of essays, showing where we have gone wrong, predicting our eventual collapse—indeed, this repression is part of that collapse—and arguing that the U.S. no longer has a moral compass; that it is spiritually bankrupt. I run a blog that is anything but polite: it says the U.S. is finished; that it is basically a corporate plutocracy, run by a gangster elite; that the American people are basically morons, with little more than fried rice in their heads; and that anyone with half a brain and the means to do so should emigrate before it’s too late. I’m not really a threat to the U.S. government, largely because I am not a political activist and because it’s not likely that more than 74 people out of 311 million regularly read my blog (it’s probably more like 24, in fact). But as the definition of terrorism widens in this country, what is to prevent the creation of a category known as“intellectual terrorism” from arising, and putting folks like myself in that category? What is to prevent the government from calling such activity a clear and present danger to national security? As must be obvious by now, the government can do anything it wants to now; as in Nazi Germany, we now have a government of men, not of laws. Indeed, the “laws” are little more than a pretext for whatever the government wishes to do.
Is the following scenario completely paranoid? Five or ten years down the line, as I fly into the DFW Airport en route to giving a lecture somewhere, or simply visiting friends, I am suddenly surrounded by government agents, whisked off to a holding cell, and eventually sent to Guantanamo. Nobody knows what happened to me, and I’m not allowed to phone anyone—not my lawyer, not a friend, and certainly not Chris Hedges, who is probably being tortured in the adjoining cell. Two points to remember here, historically speaking:
-When a country puts laws such as torture or indefinite detention or arbitrary assassination on the books, sooner or later it will use these legal instruments. They won’t just lie dormant, in other words. As in the case of technology, once the mechanisms are there, the temptation to employ them simply becomes too great to resist. That is what is happening today.
-In a world that is politically construed along Manichaean lines—which, as I have argued elsewhere, America has been doing since Day 1—the first line of attack is against the enemy outside. It doesn’t matter if we are talking about Protestants or Catholics or al-Qaeda operatives or infidels of any kind, the first order of business is to go to war with them. But as the British anthropologist Mary Douglas shows in her book Purity and Danger, or Norman Cohn demonstrates in The Pursuit of the Millennium, if the war goes on long enough, inevitably the enemy is also seen to be a fifth column, i.e. within the walls of the body politic itself.  They become Huguenots or Marrano Jews or heretics of whatever stripe, and as in the case of Goya’s famous painting, Saturn Devouring His Son, the country begins to eat itself alive. Everybody becomes an enemy; no one is safe any longer. And so I believe that I, and you, really do have reason to worry.
Somewhere along the line, God stopped blessing America. We are not marching to Pretoria; rather, we are slouching towards Nuremberg.  To quote Edward R. Murrow, Good Night, and Good Luck.
References
(c)Morris Berman, 2012

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