January 14, 2008

Living in a Police State

Thinking people still say things like, "We need to be vigilant in protecting our country from falling into a police state," or statements to that effect. The reality is we are there now, but it's more subtle than the Orwellian 1984 world. It's more like the Aldus Huxley Brave New World.

Just as the 2006 Congressional elections had little effect on the Iraq war, a Democrat President in 2009 will have little effect on extricating us from the devolving police state we find ourselves in. The despotism is bi-partisan, and what's more eerie is that many of the so-called leaders don't even realize they're cogs in the police state machine. Congress votes for the USA PATRIOT Act without reading it. Congress funds a whole new "security industry" via Homeland Security outsourcing contracts; new financial interests help to lock-in elements of the police state. Hillary Clinton is duped into voting for the Iraq war and votes for a resolution to formally classify the Iranian Revolutionary Guard as "terrorists," blundering us into foreign wars. These wars are being used to justify suppression of domestic dissent and increase executive powers (can you say monarchy?).

But some in Congress, including Ron Paul who wrote an essay entitled "Is America a Police State?," do acknowledge the situation. Frighteningly, they seem powerless to reverse the rising police state tide.

Yes it's subtle, as Ron Paul notes:
The principal tool for sustaining a police state, even the most militant, is always economic control and punishment by denying disobedient citizens such things as jobs or places to live, and by levying fines and imprisonment. Peaceful control through these efforts can be achieved without storm troopers on our street corners.

He continues,

Terror and fear are used to achieve complacency and obedience, especially when citizens are deluded into believing they are still a free people. The changes, they are assured, will be minimal, short-lived, and necessary, such as those that occur in times of a declared war.

Dick Cheney, and others, aren't even saying "they'll be short-lived" anymore. They're now making statements to mold public expectations to accept perpetual war. The Office of the President now claims special war powers, which history shows will not be given up by the next President, regardless of political party.

This discussion isn't limited to radical right or left thinkers, like Ron Paul. It's in the main stream media, as evidenced in part by the PBS Frontline show entitled Cheney's Law. Yet the public stands frozen like a deer in headlights, unable to change the situation; this is another sign that we're in the grip of a police state. If this was a functioning democracy, or republic as some like to remind us, then we could change the situation. Maybe we still can.

It would be a big mistake to think all will be well when Cheney leaves. Cheney is a master of bureaucracy and social engineering, so you can be sure that he has set up turf wars, economic interests and other natural forces, to protect the police state apparatus he has helped put in place. We just gave the example of the unwillingness of the Office of the President to relinquish power once it has been gained. We've noted that there is a huge and growing "security industry," funded by the unknowing Congressional cogs in the police state machine.

Dennis Kucinich has alerted us to a provision in a recent Defense Department funding authorization bill that would give the President powers to use the US military to control domestic dissent. I stumbled across the Army's "C4ISR," which stands for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance. The talk now is turning this capacity toward "Homeland Security." They take George Bush seriously, as evidenced in the following justification for directing C4ISR:

President George Bush declared war on global terrorism with a goal of eradicating it from the face of the Earth. In declaring that objective, the president launched the nation on a two-front campaign—overseas and at home.

The principle of not using the US Military for domestic policing, embodied in the Posse Comitatus Act, is eroding like the founding father's principle of not having a standing army has eroded.

I could go on and on, but will leave you with one more tid bit, the definition of a "domestic terrorism."


5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--

(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

(B) appear to be intended--

(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and

(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.

Note the uses of "and" or "or." If the word "and" followed Section (A), then we'd know that the acts must be "dangerous to human life," not just intended to "influence" the government by intimidation, like might be the case with a mass street demonstration.

That said, a mass street demonstration could be interpreted as being, "dangerous to human life" if the protest became violent, even if government plants prompted the violence, as has been documented in the past.

So, have you ever participated in an action to influence the government by the intimidation implied by popular discontent? Maybe, by this definition, you have conducted an act of domestic terrorism. This law is intended to chill our right to dissent against a growing police state, and most of the mindless cogs in Congress don't even realize what they have done.



Rick said...

Couldn't a politician say voters are engaging in terrorism (B.ii) by not voting for him/her? Don't we officially influence the policy of government by coercion every two years?

By the way, I want to correct your "despotism is bi-partisan" comment. It should read "despotism is unipartisan". They are all one: they are the Borg.

GDAEman said...

Rick, Things are becoming stranger than fiction. Yes, the Borg.