The Empire Bites Back
As Klaus Schwab, founder and host of the World Economic Forum, the 40-year-old gathering of global elites now being held in Davos, Switzerland puts it, “We are in an era of profound change that urgently requires new ways of thinking instead of more business-as-usual…capitalism in its current form, has no place in the world around us.” [ see: Davos elites to seek reforms of ‘outdated’ capitalism ]
As the economic, military and geopolitical underpinnings of American global dominance begin to look as rickety as the delapidated U.S. infrastructure, ruling elites are understandably jumpy and defensive.
Frog Pot Politcs
The true face of the national security state with its permanent war economy is increasingly unmasked both domestically and internationally. Banker-backed ‘austerity’ demands, mounting public dissent, escalating severe crackdowns – that’s the pattern. The ‘Patriot Act,’ the NDAA and now the proposed ‘Enemy Expatriation Act,’ authored by Joe Lieberman (that smiling man on the left above).
The late, great Chalmers Johnson identified the three main common characteristics of a withering empire as: Military Over-extension, Corruption and Unreformability. Sound familiar? [ You can view our popular interviews with Prof. Johnson here and here. ]
When a system like ours is fibrillating – ‘far from equilibrium,’ as systems scientists say – that’s when seemingly small actions, that would otherwise be ineffectual, can have the greatest impact, nudging the system in another evolutionary direction.
The heat is being turned up in the frog pot. Will us frogs wake up in time? These posts should help us smell the coffee. These developments in the U.S. threaten to have serious planet-wide impacts, that’s why they’re part of the planetarian perspective.
The NDAA: Just one more link in the chain of tyranny
With the signing of the National Defense Authorization Act into law, more Americans than ever before are wondering how the country could have descended so quickly into a police state. Far from a unique or isolated act, however, the NDAA is just the latest entry in a long list of steps toward the codification of outright martial law.
Find out more about the history of this agenda in this week’s GRTV Backgrounder.
I never thought I would have to write this: but—incredibly—Congress has now passed the National Defense Appropriations Act, with Section 1021, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The section is so loosely worded that any American citizen could be held without due process. The language of this bill can be read to assure Americans that they can challenge their detention — but most people do not realize what this means: at Guantanamo and in other military prisons, one’s lawyer’s calls are monitored, witnesses for one’s defense are not allowed to testify, and one can be forced into nudity and isolation. Incredibly, ninety-three Senators voted to support this bill and now most of Congress: a roster of names that will live in infamy in the history of our nation, and never be expunged from the dark column of the history books…
First, Congress considered the National Defense Authorization Act, sections of which gave the President the authority to use the military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans without trial or charge. The language was revised because of strong condemnation from the American people. But now a new bill has emerged that poses yet another threat to the American citizenry.
Congress is considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA). This bill would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship without being convicted of being “hostile” against the United States. In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for “engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States.” Legally, the term “hostilities” means any conflict subject to the laws of war but considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, any action could be labeled as supporting terrorism. Since the Occupy movement began, conservatives have been trying to paint the protesters as terrorists.
The new law would change a part of US Code 1481 which can be read in full here. Compare 3166 to 1481 and the change is small.
The US is a Police State
– by Prof. John McMurtry – 2011-11-09
According to Andrew Kolin, a police state is unlimited state power of armed force freely discharged without citizen right to stop it. What is featured in this account are the laws and directives which empower the police state norms.
Global Research Editor’s Note This article by Professor McMurtry had been commissioned by an academic journal called New Politics. Upon receiving Professor McMurtry’s text, the editorial board decided to reject it: “We are sorry to inform you that the Editorial Board finds it inappropriate”.
Review of Andrew Kolin, State Power and Democracy (2011), New York: St. Martin’s Press/Palgrave Macmillan, 248 pp.
Many readers may have thought the U.S. is “like a police state” – – think of the security dress down of everyone boarding a flight within the U.S. sphere of control. Political scientist Andrew Kolin goes far beyond hasty analogue. He argues with rich factual substantiation that the U.S is a police state all the way down – not only since the stolen elections and war state of George Bush Jr., but before and since in a cumulative throughline of bureaucratized despotism across borders. Documented examples are reported in detail from 1950 on to disclose a record that is as systematic in suppressing public dissent as its client dictatorships elsewhere – albeit far more successfully kept out of public and scholarly attention. Since the electoral contests of, by and for the rich in America are proclaimed as “the leader of the Free World” in the ad-vehicle media many still watch and read…
…The sustaining concern of this work, however, is not to define ordering principles, but to track the bureaucratic trails of legally terrorist offices, directives, and channels. The result is a detailed history of the inner workings of the U.S. state which exposes the legal suppression of democratic speech and action (omitting the use of laws against harmless non-pharmaceuticals as lettres de cachet to imprison the poor and the rebellious by the millions). Beneath continuous corporate-state and media proclamation of America’s freedoms and simultaneous academic fear to expose the lines of despotism, this work largely succeeds in providing the procedural workings of the U.S. police state building both before, and dramatically after, the turning point of 9-11….
U.S. Police State in Formation from the Revolution through Reagan to Bush-Obama
Kolin goes back to the U.S. state’s foundation to find the dictatorial impulse. “The truth of the matter”, he says, “is that after the American Revolution there was thinking among economic and democratic elites that America had become too democratic, especially as mass democracy was expressing itself on the state level”(p. 3) – a view better known since a Rockefeller-founded Trilateral Commission Report made it famous centuries later.
The U.S. state is in these ways structured not only towards total force and control. It is, more deeply, programmed to liquidate what serves the lives of people so as to grow transnational corporate profit for the few. Always however, there is a pretext of a demonic enemy that people are being protected from – “communism”, “subversives”, “Islamic militants”, “terrorists”, “violence-threatening protestors”, all with no criteria. Most warred upon by the U.S. state are societies’ social life support systems – including public water, electricity, health and living subsidies….
“I believe,” warned James Madison in a speech to the Virginia Convention on June 16, 1788, “there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”
Surely, this is the story behind the New Year’s Eve, 2011, signing by President Obama of the National Defense Authorization Act(NDAA). While they were merry-making and tootling horns, NDAA stripped Americans of the last vestiges of their liberties. Now that President Obama can order the military to arrest and imprison you indefinitely on suspicion without trial, your First Amendment rights of speech, press, assembly, and petition have no meaning. Who are you going to assemble with from your jail cell?
NDAA is only the most recent chapter in a creeping totalitarian horror story going back decades….
When Power is Unaccountable – Why the NDAA is Unconstitutional
by BRIAN J. TRAUTMAN – Counterpunch
Each year, Congress authorizes the budget of the Department of Defense through a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA of 2012, however, is unlike any previous ones. This year’s legislation contains highly controversial provisions that empower the Armed Forces to engage in civilian law enforcement and to selectively suspend due process and habeas corpus, as well as other rights guaranteed by the 5th and 6th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, for terror suspects apprehended on U.S. soil. The final version of the bill passed the House on December 14, the Senate the following day (ironically, the 220th birthday of the Bill of Rights). It was signed into law by President Obama on New Year’s Eve. With his signature, for the first time since the Internal Security Act of 1950 and the dark days of the McCarthy era that followed, our government has codified the power of indefinite detention into law.
This pernicious law poses one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in our nation’s history.
THE INAUGURATION OF POLICE STATE USA 2012. Obama Signs the “National Defense Authorization Act ” by Michel Chossudovsky
…”Democratic Dictatorship” in America
The “National Defense Authorization Act ” (H.R. 1540) repeals the US Constitution. While the facade of democracy prevails, supported by media propaganda, the American republic is fractured. The tendency is towards the establishment of a totalitarian State, a military government dressed in civilian clothes.
The passage of NDAA is intimately related to Washington’s global military agenda. The military pursuit of Worldwide hegemony also requires the “Militarization of the Homeland”, namely the demise of the American Republic….
…To say that January 1st 2012 is “A Sad Day for America” is a gross understatement.
The signing of NDAA (HR 1540) into law is tantamount to the militarization of law enforcement, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Inauguration in 2012 of Police State USA.
As in Weimar Germany, fundamental rights and freedoms are repealed under the pretext that democracy is threatened and must be protected.
The NDAA is “Obama’s New Year’s Gift” to the American People. …
The President Who Signed Indefinite Detention Without Charge or Trial Into Law by American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”
Happy New Year: Don’t Bother Asking for an Attorney When You’re Detained
by Gale Courey Toensing
The headlines said it all. The Huffington Post teaser shouted: HAPPY NEW YEAR: YOU CAN NOW BE DETAINED INDEFINITELY while Infowars proclaimed a more sedate: Happy New Year: Obama Signs NDAA, Indefinite Detention Now Law of the Land.
The NDAA is the $662 billion National Defense Authorization Act that President Obama signed into law on New Year’s Eve. In addition to funding the United States’ ongoing wars and the 900 military bases it maintains in 130 countries, the bill provides for the U.S. president to have draconian worldwide authority to have the military seize anyone suspected of “terrorism” or providing aid to terrorists or “associated forces” anywhere in the world, including U.S. citizens on American soil, and detain them without charge or trial indefinitely. “It’s a little New Year’s present to our constitutional republic,”
Alex Jones says angrily in a YouTube video. Obama Signs Martial Law Bill: NDAA Now Law
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