“As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight when everything remains seemingly unchanged. And it is in such twilight that we all must be most aware of change in the air – however slight – lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.” – Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas
I assure you, I would prefer to write something light and cheery, but I have not developed the trait that allows me to ignore uncomfortable truths. And once those truths have been faced, there is no going back. As I witness what is happening around us – those changes in the air – I go back and forth between rage and fear – not fear of bogeymen and terrorists, but fear of our government. Warnings are all around us, and it is at our peril that we ignore them.
There have often been threats from within to our democracy. The Japanese internment camps and the McCarthy era come to mind immediately. America has acted as an empire through much of its history, but not to this extent. According to Naomi Wolf, it is not a difficult task for a government to create a fascist state Fascist America, in 10 Easy Steps Video: THE END OF AMERICA!! Naomi Wolf Full Length Video . Most of these steps were accomplished during the Bush years, but now Obama has added the finishing touches and closed any gaps, all while flashing his sparkling smile and dazzling us with his fancy rhetoric. Make no mistake, his is the face of tyranny. “Democracy has proved only that the best way to gain power over people is to assure the people that they are ruling themselves. Once they believe that, they make wonderfully submissive slaves.”~Joseph Sobran
When the president, with no checks and balances, can order the arrest, indefinite detention or assassination of ANYONE, whether foreign or an American citizen, without even an ounce of due process, we are in deep trouble. That “when” is now with the recent passage of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Andrew Sullivan And Glenn Greenwald Clash Over Military Killing US Citizens Overseas On Maher Panel . When President Obama signed it, he said we didn’t need to worry our little heads over it – he wouldn’t use it – meaning we would only have to worry about future presidents using it. That is worrisome enough but his statement was another in a long list of lies, as he has already had prisoners held indefinitely with no due process and he has acted as judge, jury and executioner when he ordered the assassination of two American citizens who he decided were enemy combatants. Two weeks later he ordered the death of the 16-year-old teenage son of one of those supposed “terrorists.” He also ordered the assassination of Osama bin Laden, again, with no charges or trial, and had his body dumped in the ocean. FYI: The FBI has said they had no evidence linking bin Laden to the 9/11 attack. These assassinations were blatant acts of murder and should be treated as such. Also, according to Chris Hedges, Chris Hedges: Why I’m Suing Barack Obama – Chris Hedges … ”The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties.” They don’t even have to be disappeared to our offshore prisons, we incarcerate (and often hold in solitary confinement for as long as 30 or 40 years) political prisoners right here in the good old U.S.of A. Political Prisoners in America“Political prisoners aren’t incarcerated “because they are ‘criminal,’ but because they’ve been accused of breaking (a law) designed to exert tighter social control and State repression.While even the hint of an association with a group that is on our terrorist list can land you in jail for the rest of your life, it seems it is just fine to do so if you are a member of the administration or a member of Congress Israel, MEK and state sponsor of Terror groups – Glenn Greenwald … . Greenwald says, “One of the most under-reported political stories of the last year is the devoted advocacy of numerous prominent American political figures on behalf of an Iranian group long formally designated as a Terrorist organization under U.S. law. A large bipartisan cast has received substantial fees from that group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), and has then become their passionate defenders. This group of MEK shills includes former top Bush officials and other Republicans (Michael Mukasey, Fran Townsend, Andy Card, Tom Ridge, Rudy Giuliani) as well as prominent Democrats (Howard Dean, Ed Rendell, Bill Richardson, Wesley Clark). As The Christian Science Monitor reported last August, those individuals “have been paid tens of thousands of dollars to speak in support of the MEK.” No matter what one thinks of this group – here is a summary of its activities – it is formally designated as a terrorist group and it is thus a felony under U.S. law to provide it with any “material support.”
Shortly after the almost unanimous passage of the NDAA, H.R. 347 ”The Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act” was signed The anti-protest bill signed by Barack Obama is a quiet attack on free speech – While this is a revision on an older law enacted originally in 1971, the tweaks in it make it easier for government to criminalize protest. “It is a federal offense, punishable by up to 10 years in prison to protest anywhere the Secret Service might be guarding someone (even if you don’t know they are there). Simply put, the way the bill will “improve” public grounds is by moving all those unsightly protesters elsewhere. For another, it’s almost impossible to predict what constitutes “disorderly or disruptive conduct” or what sorts of conduct authorities deem to “impede or disrupt the orderly conduct of government business or official functions.” The types of events and individuals warranting Secret Service protection have grown exponentially since the law was enacted in 1971. Today, any occasion that is officially defined as a National Special Security Event calls for Secret Service protection. NSSEs can include basketball championships, concerts, and the Winter Olympics, which have nothing whatsoever to do with government business, official functions, or improving public grounds. And that brings us to the real problem with the change to the old protest law. Instead of turning on a designated place, the protest ban turns on what persons and spaces are deemed to warrant Secret Service protection. It’s a perfect circle: The people who believe they are important enough to warrant protest can now shield themselves from protesters.”
And instead of Bush’s ”free speech zones” for protesters we now have “cages” Obama Endorses KXL Pipeline, Native Americans Forced to Protest from Cage
Continuing the assault on our liberties is Obama’s “National Defense Resources Preparedness Executive Order of March 16″ Jim Garrison: Martial Law by Executive Order which “completely eviscerates any due process or judicial oversight for any action by the Government deemed in the interest of “national security.” The United States is essentially now under martial law without the exigencies of a national emergency.” “Even as the 2012 NDAA was rooted in the Patriot Act and the various executive orders and Congressional bills that ensued to broaden executive power in the “war on terror,” so the new Executive Order is rooted in the Defense Production Act of 1950 which gave the government powers to mobilize national resources in the event of national emergencies, except now virtually every aspect of American life falls under ultimate unchallengeable government control, to be exercised by the president and his secretaries at their discretion.” “The new Executive Order states that the president and his secretaries have the authority to commandeer all U.S. domestic resources, including food and water, as well as seize all energy and transportation infrastructure inside the borders of the United States. The government can also forcibly draft U.S. citizens into the military and force U.S. citizens to fulfill “labor requirements” for the purposes of “national defense.” There is not even any Congressional oversight allowed, only briefings.”
As if that isn’t enough, the Supreme Court, at the urging of the Obama Justice Department, ruled that strip searches were legal for even minor offenses like being stopped for violating a traffic rule…or protesting…The Obama DOJ and strip searches – Glenn Greenwald – Salon.com
In February, President Obama signed a bill requiring the Federal Aviation Administration to make plans to integrate drones into American airspace. One cannot help but wonder how long before the drones are not only used for surveillance, which is bad enough, but to kill us as they are used in other countries. Like our other war toys, this is big money for the 1% Drones for “urban warfare” . Another bill that has been introduced to committee but has not yet been passed, H.R.3166: Enemy Expatriation Act, consists of only a few words but is enough to send shivers up one’s spine,”To add engaging in or supporting hostilities against the United States to the list of acts for which United States nationals would lose their nationality.”
Is it becoming obvious yet why all these laws and rulings came one right after another as warm weather is approaching. They are worried about the Occupy Movement. MUST SEE Documentary: Fault Lines: The History of an Occupation | Occupy America. The Obama administration plans to contain it using any means necessary. With that in mind and with the militarization of our police force, and now the possibility that the military will be used on American soil, one cannot help but wonder why the Department of Homeland Security would put in a recent order for 450 million hollow point bullets and 2,717 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armored vehicles.
The hypocrisy of the Obama administration in their approach to protest is quite stunning. They support (and finance and arm) those protesters going up against their governments in places like Egypt and Libya (where they want countries’ leaders deposed) while ignoring countries that are allies with the U.S. like Bahrain. In America it is a whole different approach. They beat the shit out of our protesters and lock them up in droves (700 in one day on the Brooklyn Bridge). This perfectly worded sign makes the point beautifully “American Exceptionalism – The ability to celebrate freedom and democracy while tolerating neither.” Greenwald: ‘US can only suppress democracy for so long’ -
Remember all those promises of a kinder and more transparent government. Actually this administration is considered the most secretive Obama takes Bush’s secrecy games one step further . It is also the most repressive as the policies that were derived from the (fake) “War on Terror” have been taken to new heights that surpass even the extremism of the Bush years. An example of this is what is being done on college campuses Repress U, Class of 2012: 7 Steps to a Homeland Security Campus and what is being done to protesters and whistle blowers. In the case of colleges, note that the surveillance and repression are being coordinated with the Obama “Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) “special advisors,” FBI “campus liaison agents,” an FBI-led National Security Advisory Board, and a Federal Law Enforcement Training Center.” The Department of Homeland Security has also been instrumental in the coordinated effort to violently close down the Occupy camps around the country Evidence Homeland Security Coordinated Occupy … – Counterpunch
Bill Quigley, Associate Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University in New Orleans, says the assault on our civil liberties is extreme: Twenty Examples of the Obama Administration Assault on Domestic Civil Liberties . “Under new Obama administration rules, information on Americans with no clear ties to terrorism can be held for up to 5 years” Government Now Allowed to Store Info on Innocent Americans . In order to keep track of all that information they are building a $2 billion facility Everybody’s a Target in the American Surveillance State . No money for human needs, plenty for war and repression.
When you hear that Obama is threatening to veto this bill, keep in mind two things. First, that he also threatened to veto the NDAA and you saw where that got us. Second, this particular bill is being supported by corporations because it will protect them from lawsuits. And anything the corporations want Obama ends up giving them.
Of particular note was the comment during this interview with Jacob Applebaum that individuals just trying to protect their own online privacy could be considered a threat by the state. Targeted Hacker Jacob Appelbaum on CISPA, Surveillance and the “Militarization of Cyberspace”
(Find more at the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s website, eff.org , and take action against CISPA.)
Obama has garnered so much power that he is even controlling what happens to journalists who don’t work or live in America Jeremy Scahill: Why is President Obama Keeping Yemeni Journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye in Prison? and there are foreign journalist languishing in Guantanamo for years.
Truly obscene is what is being done to Pfc. Bradley Manning who was placed in solitary confinement for many months (which is considered torture) for allegedly giving information to WikiLeaks to make public crimes perpetrated by our government and military. This is the same thing that Daniel Ellsberg did with the Pentagon Papers and has been hailed a hero. But not only has Obama had Manning charged with crimes that could mean a life sentence or even death, he has publicly stated that Manning is guilty – before his trial had even begun. Now it will be impossible for Manning to receive anything that resembles a fair trial. More on this from Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein Jill Stein would pardon whistleblower Bradley Manning …
So far the Bush/Obama cabals have gotten away with every crime in the book including treason, the theft of trillions, and what at Nuremberg was considered the most evil, aggressive war “To initiate a war of aggression…is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Their sense of hubris and entitlement knows no bounds. As Glenn Greenwald says in | Lunatics taking over the asylum ~ Rules of American Justice: A … ”It’s long past time to rip those blindfolds off of the Lady Justice statues. When the purpose of American justice is to shield those who, with the greatest power, commit the most egregious crimes, while severely punishing those who talk publicly about those crimes, it’s hard to imagine how it can get much more degraded or corrupted than that.
“Humanity is at a dangerous crossroad. For our survival, what needs to be understood is that there is one issue of immense magnitude that towers above all the others. Whether there is resolution of that vital issue or not affects the outcome of everything else that activists advocate on behalf of…the environment, health care, education, war and peace, economic justice, rule of law, etc.. Granted, the list of what needs to be fixed in this society is massive but all those efforts are like spitting in the wind until we stand together to cut off the head of the beast and put an end to the corporatist takeover of our democracy. “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can’t take part. You can’t even passively take part. And you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop. And you’ve got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that… the machine will be prevented from working at all.”– Mario Savio
If you still don’t believe me, here are just a few more of the more recent abuses: Murders of immigrants on our border (8-18 during the last two years depending on who you believe – the U.S. or Mexico) Death on the Border: Shocking Video Shows Mexican Immigrant Beaten and Tased by Border Patrol Agents . Why have we not heard one word about this since the murder took place two years ago? It is still not being covered by the corporate/government controlled mainstream media in the U.S. More importantly, Obama’s Justice Department has not pressed charges or even contacted the many witnesses, some who have video evidence of the crimes (at least those whose phones weren’t confiscated at the time of the murder). I would also like to know why we need a bureau of “Customs and Border Protection” that is the largest police force in the United States with over 60,000 employees. Maybe the answer to my question is because the Obama administration has deported more people than ever before: 400,000.
Warnings from voices from the past that we should always keep in mind:
When the people fear the government there is tyranny; when the government fears the people there is liberty. – Thomas Jefferson
None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free. - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty. – Thomas Jefferson
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.- John F. Kennedy
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Benjamin Franklin
The inescapable conclusion from all the evidence I’ve just presented to you is that our president has taken us on a descent into fascism. Our survival depends on how we are going to respond to that threat.Martin Luther King said, “Cowardice asks the question, ‘Is it safe?’ Expediency asks the question, ‘Is it politic?’ But conscience asks the question, ‘Is it right?’ And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but because conscience tells one it is right.”