"It Can't Happen
At the risk of offending anyone out there, I really need to ask a question here: what the hell is the matter with you people? And by “you people,” I don’t mean specifically the regular readers of these newsletters, but rather the American people in general. So to all you John and Jane Q. Publics out there, let me rephrase the question: what the hell does it take to get a reaction out of you?
I realize, of course, that there has been a serious dumbing-down of American society and culture over the years. And I realize that government operatives have virtually complete control over the flow of information, so that virtually every thing you read, hear or see is, at best, an approximation of reality. And I realize that you have been systematically conditioned, over the course of many decades, to revere the institutions of this society – the very same institutions whose spokesmen are routinely called upon to serve you up a nice steaming platter of lies.
None of that, however, fully explains the near complete paralysis of the American people as a whole. So let me ask the question once again: what the hell does it take to get a reaction out of you? Let's quickly run through a partial list of things that, thus far, have failed to inspire you to summon your inner Howard Beales: two consecutive stolen presidential elections; back-to-back wars, both of them unprovoked and brazenly illegal, with more on the horizon; the deaths of well over two thousand of your sons and daughters in Central Asia and the Middle East, and the maiming and disfiguring of thousands more; the ongoing slaughter of tens of thousands of Afghans and Iraqis; countless corporate/political scandals directly tied to the Bush mob; diligent efforts by a veritable army of 9-11 skeptics (including a growing list of people that some of you might find more credible than us wacky Internet 'conspiracy theorists') to convince you that the official story of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of September 11 is a nothing more than a fairy tale; passage of the Patriot Act, and various other attacks on your civil, privacy, and due process rights; the entirely preventable deaths of an unknown number of people in New Orleans; military occupation of southern Louisiana; sanctioning of secret military tribunals; revelations of the widespread use of, and official sanction of, various forms of torture; getting slapped in the face with the Abu Ghraib photos; indefinite, warrantless detentions without access to legal counsel; illegal domestic surveillance; open witch-hunting of ‘liberal’ members of academia (though it is perfectly acceptable for a former Phoenix Program assassin and torturer to educate your children); gross invasions of your privacy – at airports, at sporting events, when entering many public buildings, even when sitting at home on your computer; massive cuts in social spending, even while hundreds of billions of dollars are spent waging war and militarizing domestic law enforcement; massive tax cuts that primarily benefit corporate America; the steady erosion of the nation’s education and healthcare systems; trashing of the environment and environmental protections; the accumulation of an almost unfathomable level of debt; and the act of grand theft masquerading as Medicare ‘reform.'
Through all of this and more, you have sat silently by. So again I must ask: what the hell will it take? How much worse does it have to get? How much worse will you allow it to get? And if you continue to sit by and do nothing, who do you think is going to save you from the increasingly bleak future we face? Who do you think is going to stop all the madness for you?
Amazingly enough, some of you actually seem to believe that a 'censure' resolution is the answer to the nation's woes, as if a firm pronouncement of "Bad George!" – perhaps coupled with a swat with a rolled-up newspaper – will effect a drastic change in the national landscape. Others seem to think that impeachment proceedings will rid the country of its diseased organs, but how you have convinced yourselves of such a bizarre notion is beyond my level of understanding. I know that a lot of phony ‘progressive’ websites regularly offer up such claims as some sort of political pacifier, but that doesn’t mean that you have to eagerly suckle that teat.
Who do you think is going to conduct impeachment proceedings, or pass a censure resolution? The venerable United States Congress? The very same Congress that just overwhelmingly passed an extension of the Patriot Act? As I recall, when the act was first passed, you dutifully bought into the lie that many of the congressmen who voted "Aye" did so only because they hadn’t had time to actually read the legislation. Buying into that lie, of course, allowed you to preserve your image of Congress as some sort of effective counterbalance to the gang in the White House. But four years, one would think, should have been adequate time for even the slowest readers among our elected representatives to catch up on what it was that they passed into law.
So I’m curious to know: what sort of mental gymnastics are required to still view this Congress as a body interested in, or capable of, reigning in this administration?
What actions by
give you hope for the future? The regular allocation of tens of
additional dollars to fund an illegal war based on fully-exposed lies?
moves to retroactively legalize Bush’s illegal domestic surveillance
programs? The Medicare ‘reform’ bill? The bankruptcy
‘reform’ bill? The sterling work done investigating the 9-11
attacks and the unnatural disaster in
me when I say that I too would like to hold onto a glimmer of hope that
Some of you think we can just ride out these bad times for a few more years, until the next presidential election rolls around, when some great and wise Democrat will take office and miraculously roll back the landscape to the way it was before the bad men came riding into town. Of course, you held out that same hope leading up to the 2004 elections, because you knew, with a certainty, that the American people were not going to confirm the appointment of this would-be president. And you were right. But guess what? It didn’t matter, because it had already been established that in the twenty-first century, election results need not correlate with actual votes cast.
And so you watched
it happen once again – after
patiently waiting for four years to deliver your message to
yet still you hold out hope, just as you held out hope that George’s
Skull & Bones fraternity brother would end the madness. You
hold out hope even though all the Democratic Party's potential
contenders have demonstrated repeatedly that they will only attack Bush
the political right. They will not question the underlying legitimacy
'War on Terrorism,' they will only assert that that 'war' is not being
aggressively enough. And they will not question the legality of the war
None of the outrages committed by this administration, either individually or collectively, have awakened you from your slumber, so I seriously doubt that there is anything that I could reveal here that would provide the necessary wake-up call. Nevertheless, I will give it my best shot.
What if I were to tell you, for starters, that
benevolent leaders have already got the ball rolling on an ambitious
build concentration camps? Right here on American soil! You
course, laugh heartily as you dismissed such sensational claims as the
of the overactive imagination of some Internet crackpots – which is
exactly why I'm not going to tell you any such thing. Instead, I'm
going to let
Halliburton break the news to you, in the form of a press release
With a maximum total value of $385 million over a five-year term, consisting of a one-year based period and four one-year options, the competitively awarded contract will be executed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District ... The contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs. The contingency support contract provides for planning and, if required, initiation of specific engineering, construction and logistics support tasks to establish, operate and maintain one or more expansion facilities.
The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster.
Since there is
The good news here is that, should you find yourself suddenly occupying a room at Guantanamo on the Pacific, you won't have to worry about having a lot of idle time on your hands. That's because the U.S. Army has an ambitious Civilian Inmate Labor Program in effect that you can read all about right here: http://www.army.mil/usapa/epubs/pdf/r210_35.pdf. As you can see, this report, direct from the Headquarters of the Department of the Army, "provides guidance for establishing and managing civilian inmate labor programs on Army installations. It [also] provides guidance on establishing prison camps on Army installations."
As I'm sure you'll agree, this sounds like a really great program. First of all, it insures that all the shuttered military bases in the country will still provide a benefit to society. And it provides an answer to that vexing question: in this time of greatly increased militarism, why all the base closures in recent years? Turns out they make great forced-labor camps. And everyone wins: the Army is provided with "a source of labor at no direct cost to Army installations to accomplish tasks that would not be possible otherwise due to the manning and funding constraints under which the Army operates," and you, the inmate, are "provid[ed] meaningful work."
Think of the possibilities here, folks: one day you're out demonstrating against a clearly illegal and immoral war, and the next day you're doing the Army's shit work at a military base cum concentration camp!
Due to your new employer's "funding constraints," brought on by the difficulty of operating with a paltry annual budget of less than half a trillion dollars, "the Army is not interested in, nor can afford, any relationship with a corrections facility if that relationship stipulates payment for civilian inmate labor," so it's a pretty safe bet that you won't be getting paid. In fact, your new employer will pretend that you don't really work there at all: "Inmates are not Department of Army employees and are not regarded as such. Inmates must not be referred to as employees. They will not be paid from Department of the Army funds, nor receive any personal or private gratuity for work accomplished or services rendered. Interservice, interagency, or interdepartmental support agreements and/or memoranda of agreement with the corrections facility must not create any appearance of employment of inmates."
This DoD program ostensibly applies only to federal inmates, but there are numerous loopholes that allow for state and local inmates to be drafted into a little forced labor as well. In fact, the program appears to provide incentive for a massive expansion of the number of state and local inmates (already the highest in the world, both in absolute numbers and on a per capita basis). "Inmate labor programs using State and local civilian inmates," you see, is allowed if said inmates are drawn from "on-post prison camps." And "Section 2667, Title 10,
In other words, any correctional entity can acquire facilities in which to incarcerate you at no cost. So, like I said, everyone wins with this arrangement: the Army gets a steady supply of free slave labor, the correctional system gets free space to house additional inmates, and you are given meaningful employment. Sounds like a sweet deal for everyone.
In addition to the Civilian Inmate Labor Program, the Department of Defense has also drafted an ambitious new Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support. In the Foreword, we find that "Protecting the
Different challenges, of course, require different responses. The "terrorists," you see, seek to "exploit the openness of our society to their advantage." Even with all the changes we have seen in the last several years, our society is apparently still entirely too open. The solution to this problem, according to the Pentagon, is to take the military power that we have traditionally projected overseas, and project it right here in the
Fatherland Homeland. What we need is an
layered defense" that is "global, seamlessly integrating US
capabilities in the forward regions of the world, the global commons of
and cyberspace, in the geographic approaches to US territory, and
United States. It is a defense in depth."
Ahh, yes, what we need is military control of everything – the nation, the world, the heavens, and the cyber world. What we need to do is create a world where 'terrorists,' as well as garden-variety dissidents and other persons-of-interest, will have no place to run and no place to hide. Because we are, you see, "a nation at war, a war whose length and scope may be unprecedented." To keep pace with this changing and dangerous world, the "DoD will continue to transform US military forces to execute homeland defense missions in the forward regions, approaches, US homeland, and global commons."
The DoD wants us to know that the "Department of Defense is responsible for homeland defense," and the "Department is prepared to conduct homeland defense missions whenever the President, exercising his constitutional authority as Commander in Chief, authorizes military action." The DoD also wants us to know that it "maintains land forces capable of responding rapidly, when so directed, to threats against DoD personnel, defense critical infrastructure, or other domestic targets." Among other duties, these land forces can be used "to support civilian law enforcement in responding to civil disturbances," or to provide "critical CBRNE [chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive mass casualty attacks] consequence management capabilities in support of civil authorities ... DoD must therefore equip and train these war-fighting forces, as necessary, for domestic CBRNE consequence management."
So the plan, it would appear, is to call in combat troops to deal with a variety of domestic situations, including "civil disturbances" and "manag[ing] the consequences of an attack or a disaster." As we all remember from last summer, the DoD and the DHS have already run practice drills in the state of
In addition to the illegal domestic deployment of
The grave threat we face today – as opposed to the rather quaint threat of global nuclear annihilation that we faced during the Cold War – “necessitates an unprecedented degree of shared situational awareness among Federal agencies, with state, local, tribal, and private entities, and between the
What?! Death squads? People gone missing in the middle-of-the-night? Here?! In
That is what you're thinking, isn't it? That is the thought that you have always used to comfort yourself. As long as you can remain firm in your commitment to the idea that nothing truly bad can happen in the greatest nation on earth, then you can continue to ignore all evidence to the contrary. It doesn't matter that Halliburton has announced that it has a contract to build detention centers, because you know that the notion of concentration camps in
Not too many years ago, your list of things that "can't happen here" probably included indefinite 'detentions' in horrendous conditions without access to legal counsel. It probably also included the official endorsement of torture and assassination as 'war' fighting tools. It undoubtedly included the domestic deployment of military forces and mercenaries to deal with the aftermath of a hurricane. And it surely included the installation of an illegitimate president through massive voter fraud and Supreme Court intervention. It probably even included open pronouncements that
None of that could happen here – you said so yourself, if I recall correctly – but all of it and more already has. Concentration camps and forced labor camps can't happen here, but the plans have already been drawn up and the contracts have already been awarded. How many more things that "can't happen here" have to happen before you come to terms with the fact that
According to the Strategy for Homeland Defense report, the DoD will "ensure persistent wide-area surveillance and reconnaissance of the US maritime approaches," which will, of course, "require that Navy forces be placed under periodic command and control of US Northern Command as appropriate." That seems fair. After all, if we’ve already signed up the Army, the Air Force, the Department of Homeland Security, Blackwater, and federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement entities, it wouldn’t be right to deny the Navy the opportunity to do some domestic policing.
Reading on through the DoD report, we learn that “Implementation of the Strategy for Homeland Defense and Civil Support may require several new technological investments. Three areas of particular interest for further exploration are advanced information and communications technology, new generations of sensors, and non-lethal capabilities.”
“The placement of sensors on high altitude platforms,” we are told, “including new generations of unmanned aerial vehicles, satellites, and aerostats, could allow sustained surveillance of wide areas of the earth’s surface.” The Pentagon is also working feverishly to develop “an urban surveillance system that would use computers and thousands of cameras to track, record and analyze the movement of every vehicle in a city. Named 'Combat Zones That See,' the project is designed to help the
As for so-called non-lethal weapons, “potential application to homeland defense missions include: counter-personnel technology, used to deny entry into a particular area, temporarily incapacitate individuals or groups, and clear facilities, structures, and areas,” and “counter-material technology, to disable, neutralize, or deny an area to vehicles, vessels, and aircraft, or disable particular items of equipment.” In other words, what is referred to as ‘non-lethal technology’ is actually crowd-control technology. And ‘terrorists’ don’t, as far as I know, tend to gather in crowds. Angry Americans tend to gather in crowds, for the purpose of exercising their alleged constitutional right to assemble. Or at least they should.
Over the last several years, New Scientist magazine has taken a look at some of this emerging crowd-control technology. In June 2004, the publication revealed that “Weapons that can incapacitate crowds of people by sweeping a lightning-like beam of electricity across them are being readied for sale to military and police forces in the US and Europe. At present, commercial stun guns target one person at a time, and work only at close quarters. The new breed of non-lethal weapons can be used on many people at once and operate over far greater distances.” As the manufacturer of one of these weapons systems gushed, "We will be able to fire a stream of electricity like water out of a hose at one or many targets in a single sweep.” (http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn6014)
In March 2005, we learned that the “
Returning once again to the Pentagon strategy paper, we find that the Department of Defense will “identify opportunities to share appropriate non-lethal capabilities with domestic law enforcement agencies.” The Pentagon, it seems, is all about sharing. And that's a good thing, since these weapons systems will certainly come in handy at those times when batons, pepper spray, tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bags and tasers just aren’t enough to break up a legally assembled crowd of pissed-off American citizens.
Elsewhere on the technology front, “A scientist funded by the
So there you have it, folks: concentration camps, forced labor, martial law, global surveillance, sadistic forms of crowd control, genocidal biological weapons – all this and more is looming in the not-too-distant future. And our trusty servants in
These triggering events could themselves be triggered by any sudden increase in the anger level of average Americans. Because the truth is, you see, that beneath all the bluster and arrogance, the
Although they have convinced you that you are utterly powerless, they know that that is not the case. They know that they would not be able to contain the seething anger of the masses should it ever fully surface. They know the fury that will be unleashed should the dormant beast awaken to the fact it has been deliberately and systematically lied to. And they fear that some day soon one of their provocations will awaken you.
They will never let you see that fear, of course, for to do so would shatter the illusion that they are omnipotent and you are powerless to resist. But the fear is there, lurking just beneath the arrogant façade. In
Their greatest fear is facing the beast at full strength, for they know that if that day of reckoning ever comes, there will be hell to pay for their transgressions against the American people. And so they try to weaken the beast while it lies dormant – by demoralizing it, and by breaking it up into smaller, more manageable pieces, preferably pieces that can be played against each other. And as long as the American people continue to play along, by allowing
The rest of the world has a better understanding of how this game must be played. Turn on your television set and you might catch a glimpse of a few million French citizens taking to the streets to express their anger at their government’s labor policies. Turn to another channel and you might see half-a-million Latino immigrants marching through the streets of
Make no mistake about it: those images from
So what's it going to be, people? Are you going to continue to sit passively in the bleachers, or are you going to take to the streets in numbers previously unseen on these shores? Are you going to initiate a general strike and shut corporate
Is it not your responsibility to act to protect your children if they are in danger? And can we not agree that virtually all of the key figures in the media are not merely messengers, as we are to believe, but rather highly-paid propagandists for the State? And can we not also agree that the propaganda being sold poses a direct threat to our children's futures? If a 'common criminal,' so to speak, were posing a direct and very serious threat to your children's safety, would you sit idly by doing nothing?
Is it not perfectly obvious that we would not be in our current predicament if we had anything resembling a free and independent press?
When your children come to you ten or twenty years in the future (and they will – assuming, of course, that they survive that long, given the unfolding plans to wipe out 90% of humanity, likely justified on the basis of the junk science known as 'Peak Oil' theory: http://www.sas.org/tcs/weeklyIssues_2006/2006-04-07/feature1p/index.html) to ask why you were asleep at the wheel while the country was evolving into an overtly fascist police state, what will you tell them? That there was nothing you could do? And when they then ask if you were truly powerless or if you just allowed yourself to be convinced that you were, what will you tell them then?
Defense report concludes as follows: “The Department of Defense must
change its conceptual approach to homeland defense. The Department can
longer think in terms of the ‘home’ game and the ‘away’
game. There is only one game. The Strategy for Homeland Defense and
Support is a significant step toward this strategic transformation.
As has been demonstrated repeatedly in various foreign adventures, the US Department of Defense has little interest in defending freedom or people. Its primary function is the acquisition and defense of property – property ‘owned’ by US and multinational corporations. In the ‘Homeland’ as elsewhere, the role of the military will be to protect corporate property and corporate profits, at the expense of the rights and the freedoms of the people – and quite likely at the expense of the very lives of the people.
The responsibility of defending the rights and freedoms of the American people falls squarely on your shoulders. Nobody else is going to do it for you. It is your most fundamental duty. And failure is definitely not an option.