"I believe we are on an irreversible trend toward more freedom and democracy -- but that could change." / - George W. Bush, May 22, 1999 / (NOT-SO) FRIENDLY FASCISM Part 2 : When Democracy Fails /
"John Dean, of Watergate fame, says, "I've been watching all the elements fall into place for two possible political catastrophes, one that will take the air out of the Bush-Cheney balloon and the other, far more disquieting, that will take the air out of democracy." / - "This Isn't America", By Paul Krugman, The New York Times, Tuesday 30 March 2004 / "What we're talking about is nothing less than rescuing a democracy that is so polarized it is in danger of being paralyzed and pulverized. Alarming words, I know. But the realities we face should trigger alarms. Free and responsible government by popular consent just cannot exist without an informed public." / - Bill Moyers / "The tight control of information, as well as the dissemination of misleading information and outright falsehoods, conjures up a disturbing image of a very different kind of society." / - Walter Cronkite Franli
"Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States alike. Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.
Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war.
America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests."
- "When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History", by Thom Hartmann (below) _________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
A P.P., should he attain a post near the top of our federal government, might feel that taking the country into an endless war with casualties in the millions was simply something decisive to do today. So to bed." - Kurt Vonnegut / //"Those who refuse to learn from history are condemned to repeat it." // - George Santayana . ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
Published on Sunday, March 16, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
Thom Hartmann lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, and is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.
The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world.
It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)
But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world. His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.
Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.
"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.
Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere, even printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.
Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.
To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained. Legislators would later say they hadn't had time to read the bill before voting on it.
Immediately after passage of the anti-terrorism act, his federal police agencies stepped up their program of arresting suspicious persons and holding them without access to lawyers or courts. In the first year only a few hundred were interred, and those who objected were largely ignored by the mainstream press, which was afraid to offend and thus lose access to a leader with such high popularity ratings. Citizens who protested the leader in public - and there were many - quickly found themselves confronting the newly empowered police's batons, gas, and jail cells, or fenced off in protest zones safely out of earshot of the leader's public speeches. (In the meantime, he was taking almost daily lessons in public speaking, learning to control his tonality, gestures, and facial expressions. He became a very competent orator.)
Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. He wanted to stir a "racial pride" among his countrymen, so, instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as "The Homeland," a phrase publicly promoted in the introduction to a 1934 speech recorded in Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph Of The Will." As hoped, people's hearts swelled with pride, and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was "the" homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands. We are the "true people," he suggested, the only ones worthy of our nation's concern; if bombs fall on others, or human rights are violated in other nations and it makes our lives better, it's of little concern to us.
Playing on this new nationalism, and exploiting a disagreement with the French over his increasing militarism, he argued that any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He thus withdrew his country from the League Of Nations in October, 1933, and then negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Anthony Eden of The United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.
s (M.O.W. editorial insert)
His propaganda minister orchestrated a campaign to assure the people that he was a deeply religious man and that his motivations were rooted in Christianity. He even proclaimed the need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation, what he called a "New Christianity." Every man in his rapidly growing army wore a belt buckle that declared "Gott Mit Uns" - God Is With Us - and most of them fervently believed it was true.
/ (M.O.W. editorial insert) / "...And what remains the best-kept secret from the Second World War, because it is so embarrassing, is that Hitler was a Christian, and that his swastika was a Christian cross made of axes, an apt symbol of a political party for Christians of the working class. And there were simpler, unambiguous crosses on all Hitler's tanks and planes."
/Within a year of the terrorist attack, the nation's leader determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, particularly those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist and communist sympathizers, and various troublesome "intellectuals" and "liberals." He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the homeland, consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single leader.
He appointed one of his most trusted associates to be leader of this new agency, the Central Security Office for the homeland, and gave it a role in the government equal to the other major departments.
His assistant who dealt with the press noted that, since the terrorist attack, "Radio and press are at out disposal." Those voices questioning the legitimacy of their nation's leader, or raising questions about his checkered past, had by now faded from the public's recollection as his central security office began advertising a program encouraging people to phone in tips about suspicious neighbors. This program was so successful that the names of some of the people "denounced" were soon being broadcast on radio stations. Those denounced often included opposition politicians and celebrities who dared speak out - a favorite target of his regime and the media he now controlled through intimidation and ownership by corporate allies.
To consolidate his power, he concluded that government alone wasn't enough. He reached out to industry and forged an alliance, bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. A flood of government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against the Middle Eastern ancestry terrorists lurking within the homeland, and to prepare for wars overseas. He encouraged large corporations friendly to him to acquire media outlets and other industrial concerns across the nation, particularly those previously owned by suspicious people of Middle Eastern ancestry. He built powerful alliances with industry; one corporate ally got the lucrative contract worth millions to build the first large-scale detention center for enemies of the state.
Soon more would follow. Industry flourished.
But after an interval of peace following the terrorist attack, voices of dissent again arose within and without the government. Students had started an active program opposing him (later known as the White Rose Society), and leaders of nearby nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric. He needed a diversion, something to direct people away from the corporate cronyism being exposed in his own government, questions of his possibly illegitimate rise to power, and the oft-voiced concerns of civil libertarians about the people being held in detention without due process or access to attorneys or family.
With his number two man - a master at manipulating the media - he began a campaign to convince the people of the nation that a small, limited war was necessary. Another nation was harboring many of the suspicious Middle Eastern people, and even though its connection with the terrorist who had set afire the nation's most important building was tenuous at best, it held resources their nation badly needed if they were to have room to live and maintain their prosperity. He called a press conference and publicly delivered an ultimatum to the leader of the other nation, provoking an international uproar. He claimed the right to strike preemptively in self-defense, and nations across Europe - at first - denounced him for it, pointing out that it was a doctrine only claimed in the past by nations seeking worldwide empire, like Caesar's Rome or Alexander's Greece.
It took a few months, and intense international debate and lobbying with European nations, but, after he personally met with the leader of the United Kingdom, finally a deal was struck. After the military action began, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told the nervous British people that giving in to this leader's new first-strike doctrine would bring "peace for our time." Thus Hitler annexed Austria in a lightning move, riding a wave of popular support as leaders so often do in times of war. The Austrian government was unseated and replaced by a new leadership friendly to Germany, and German corporations began to take over Austrian resources.
In a speech responding to critics of the invasion, Hitler said, "Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say; even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier [into Austria] there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."
To deal with those who dissented from his policies, at the advice of his politically savvy advisors, he and his handmaidens in the press began a campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation itself.
National unity was essential, they said, to ensure that the terrorists or their sponsors didn't think they'd succeeded in splitting the nation or weakening its will. In times of war, they said, there could be only "one people, one nation, and one commander-in-chief" ("Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer"), and so his advocates in the media began a nationwide campaign charging that critics of his policies were attacking the nation itself. Those questioning him were labeled "anti-German" or "not good Germans," and it was suggested they were aiding the enemies of the state by failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men in uniform. It was one of his most effective ways to stifle dissent and pit wage-earning people (from whom most of the army came) against the "intellectuals and liberals" who were critical of his policies.
Nonetheless, once the "small war" annexation of Austria was successfully and quickly completed, and peace returned, voices of opposition were again raised in the Homeland. The almost-daily release of news bulletins about the dangers of terrorist communist cells wasn't enough to rouse the populace and totally suppress dissent. A full-out war was necessary to divert public attention from the growing rumbles within the country about disappearing dissidents; violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders; and the epidemic of crony capitalism that was producing empires of wealth in the corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.
A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia; the nation was now fully at war, and all internal dissent was suppressed in the name of national security. It was the end of Germany's first experiment with democracy.
As we conclude this review of history, there are a few milestones worth remembering.
February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."
Most Americans remember his office for the security of the homeland, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: the SS.
We also remember that the Germans developed a new form of highly violent warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and awe" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.
Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) left us this definition of the form of government the German democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German corporations and his policy of using war as a tool to keep power: "fas-cism (fash'iz'em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."
Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States alike. Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.
Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war. America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests.
To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again ours.
Thom Hartmann l lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, and is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / / " A clever concentration camp of the mind."
//"Treason doth never prosper," wrote an English poet, "What's the reason? For if it prosper, none dare call it treason." The generals who sent Dreyfus to Devils Island were among the most honorable men in France, the men who killed Caesar were among the most honorable men in Rome. And the men who killed Kennedy, no doubt, were honorable men.
I believe we have reached a time in our country, similar to what life must've been like under Hitler in the 30's, except we don't realize it because Fascism in our country takes the benign disguise of liberal democracy. There won't be such familiar signs as swastikas. We won't build Dachaus and Auschwitzes. We're not going to wake up one morning and suddenly find ourselves in gray uniforms goose-stepping off to work ...
"Fascism will come," Huey Long once said. "in the name of anti-fascism" - - it will come in the name of your security - - they call it "National Security," it will come with the mass media manipulating a clever concentration camp of the mind. The super state will provide you tranquility above the truth, the super state will make you believe you are living in the best of all possible worlds, and in order to do so will rewrite history as it sees fit. George Orwell's Ministry of Truth warned us, "Who controls the past, controls the future."
//That kind of "national security", gentlemen of the jury, is / when it smells like it, feels like it, and looks like it, you call it what it is -- / -- Fascism!"
- Attorney Jim Garrison's courtroom speech in "JFK (The Memory of a Young President) ", written by Oliver Stone & Zachary Sklar, from the book by Jim Garrison and the book by Jim Marrs http://www.whysanity.net/monos/jfk2.htmlb /__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / MOW editorial insert / "...the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government."
By David Ruppe ABC NEWS
N E W Y O R K, May 1, 2001 - In the early 1960s, America's top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
The plans were developed as ways to trick the American public and the international community into supporting a war to oust Cuba's then new leader, communist Fidel Castro.
America's top military brass even contemplated causing U.S. military casualties, writing: "We could blow up a U.S. ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba," and, "casualty lists in U.S. newspapers would cause a helpful wave of national indignation."
Details of the plans are described in Body of Secrets (Doubleday), a new book by investigative reporter James Bamford about the history of America's largest spy agency, the National Security Agency. However, the plans were not connected to the agency, he notes.
The plans had the written approval of all of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and were presented to President Kennedy's defense secretary, Robert McNamara, in March 1962. But they apparently were rejected by the civilian leadership and have gone undisclosed for nearly 40 years.
"These were Joint Chiefs of Staff documents. The reason these were held secret for so long is the Joint Chiefs never wanted to give these up because they were so embarrassing," Bamford told ABCNEWS.com.
"The whole point of a democracy is to have leaders responding to the public will, and here this is the complete reverse, the military trying to trick the American people into a war that they want but that nobody else wants."
Gunning for War
The documents show "the Joint Chiefs of Staff drew up and approved plans for what may be the most corrupt plan ever created by the U.S. government," writes Bamford.
The Joint Chiefs even proposed using the potential death of astronaut John Glenn during the first attempt to put an American into orbit as a false pretext for war with Cuba, the documents show.
Should the rocket explode and kill Glenn, they wrote, "the objective is to provide irrevocable proof that the fault lies with the Communists et all Cuba [sic]."
The plans were motivated by an intense desire among senior military leaders to depose Castro, who seized power in 1959 to become the first communist leader in the Western Hemisphere - only 90 miles from U.S. shores.
The earlier CIA-backed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba by Cuban exiles had been a disastrous failure, in which the military was not allowed to provide firepower.The military leaders now wanted a shot at it.
"The whole thing was so bizarre," says Bamford, noting public and international support would be needed for an invasion, but apparently neither the American public, nor the Cuban public, wanted to see U.S. troops deployed to drive out Castro.
Reflecting this, the U.S. plan called for establishing prolonged military - not democratic - control over the island nation after the invasion.
"That's what we're supposed to be freeing them from," Bamford says. "The only way we would have succeeded is by doing exactly what the Russians were doing all over the world, by imposing a government by tyranny, basically what we were accusing Castro himself of doing."
'Over the Edge'
The Joint Chiefs at the time were headed by Eisenhower appointee Army Gen. Lyman L. Lemnitzer, who, with the signed plans in hand made a pitch to McNamara on March 13, 1962, recommending Operation Northwoods be run by the military.
Whether the Joint Chiefs' plans were rejected by McNamara in the meeting is not clear. But three days later, President Kennedy told Lemnitzer directly there was virtually no possibility of ever using overt force to take Cuba, Bamford reports. Within months, Lemnitzer would be denied another term as chairman and transferred to another job.
The secret plans came at a time when there was distrust in the military leadership about their civilian leadership, with leaders in the Kennedy administration viewed as too liberal, insufficiently experienced and soft on communism. At the same time, however, there real were concerns in American society about their military overstepping its bounds.
There were reports U.S. military leaders had encouraged their subordinates to vote conservative during the election.
And at least two popular books were published focusing on a right-wing military leadership pushing the limits against government policy of the day. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee published its own report on right-wing extremism in the military, warning a "considerable danger" in the "education and propaganda activities of military personnel" had been uncovered. The committee even called for an examination of any ties between Lemnitzer and right-wing groups. But Congress didn't get wind of Northwoods, says Bamford.
"Although no one in Congress could have known at the time," he writes, "Lemnitzer and the Joint Chiefs had quietly slipped over the edge."
Even after Lemnitzer was gone, he writes, the Joint Chiefs continued to plan "pretext" operations at least through 1963.
One idea was to create a war between Cuba and another Latin American country so that the United States could intervene. Another was to pay someone in the Castro government to attack U.S. forces at the Guantanamo naval base - an act, which Bamford notes, would have amounted to treason. And another was to fly low level U-2 flights over Cuba, with the intention of having one shot down as a pretext for a war.
"There really was a worry at the time about the military going off crazy and they did, but they never succeeded, but it wasn't for lack of trying," he says.
After 40 Years
Ironically, the documents came to light, says Bamford, in part because of the 1992 Oliver Stone film JFK, which examined the possibility of a conspiracy behind the assassination of President Kennedy.
As public interest in the assassination swelled after JFK's release, Congress passed a law designed to increase the public's access to government records related to the assassination.
The author says a friend on the board tipped him off to the documents.
Afraid of a congressional investigation, Lemnitzer had ordered all Joint Chiefs documents related to the Bay of Pigs destroyed, says Bamford. But somehow, these remained.
"The scary thing is none of this stuff comes out until 40 years after," says Bamford.
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ yhrhrhrhhrh wpeohhp98ut0w98ut0w "To say that the [Bush-Cheney] secret presidency is undemocratic is an understatement. I'm anything but skittish about government, but I must say this administration is truly scary and, given the times we live in, frighteningly dangerous." - (former Nixon White House counsel ) JOHN DEAN // "...What I was not quite sure how the handle this in the book because I didn't want to be an alarmist. About the time I was working on this section, General Tommy Franks came out with a statement and gave an interview, and he said, that if terrorists get a hold of weapons of mass destruction, and the United States knows it, he said, "this constitution in this country in this democracy we love, is in deep trouble." - Ex-Nixon Counsel John Dean //_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ yhrhrhrhhrh
i MOW editorial insertis- / Planning for martial law: When the war hits home U.S. Plans for Martial Law, Tele-Governance, and the Suspension of Elections
Since September 11, 2001, the Bush Regime, the US Congress and senior personnel in the U.S. military have been busy planning their escape routes from Washington, D.C. and surrounding communities in the event that the continental United States is attacked by another 19 global insurgents possessing little more than wit, dedication, an unrepentant animosity towards America, and an ample dose of radioactive material packed inside an explosive-laden metallic suitcase. Corporate executives have ensured that they too will find a place in the bunker along side their effete government colleagues through organizations such as National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee (NSTAC). That group is composed of "up to 30 industry chief executives representing the major communications and network service providers and information technology, finance, and aerospace companies the NSTAC provides industry-based advice and expertise to the President on issues and problems related to implementing national security and emergency preparedness " Defense contracting giants play a prominent role on the NSTAC and include Lockheed Martin, SAIC, Oracle (the company that volunteered to develop a post-911 national identification database), Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman and CSC. The chairman of the NSTAC also conveniently serves as an ex-officio member of Homeland Security czar Tom Ridge's President's Homeland Security Advisory Council.
The U.S. government and its military and corporate officials are fond of making the pitch to the American public that the U.S. Constitution mandates that their survival, above all others, is absolutely necessary to ensure that the government that emanates from that document survives a debilitating attack. It is astonishing that the American public believes such absurdities. But one has to admire the boldly craven and callous "doomsday" planning of the Bush regime and its military centurions and corporate nabobs, who take pleasure in gutting the environment, the workforce, the economy, and the world in general. These are the same people who played hide-and-seek with the American public in September 2001.
We the People?
On September 11, 2001, one of the commercial aircraft commandeered by suspected Saudi and Yemeni insurgents made its final approach to its destination, the Pentagon -- located roughly three miles across the Potomac River from the U.S. Capitol and White House in Washington, DC -- by following Columbia Pike, in Arlington, Virginia, to its target. The Pentagon is located adjacent to the glitzy Pentagon City Mall in Arlington, Virginia, not Washington, DC, as much of the media conveniently fudged the geographic difference. Although not Manhattan, Arlington is a densely packed and diverse community of close to 200,000 people. It hosts five high schools and two notable colleges: Marymount University and George Mason Law School. When the aircraft slammed into the Pentagon, residents of Arlington--including many in office buildings, stores, and schools in the "South Side" -- felt the thud of the explosion as the aircraft incinerated a block of the Pentagon and killed 123 employees and contractors on the ground and 64 on the Boeing 757.
Arlington fire fighters, police and EMT units were on the scene at the Pentagon -- as were their counterparts at the World Trade Centers in New York City-- within seconds of the aircraft's explosion. In Arlington's case, the rapidity of response was due to alert firefighters and police officers who noticed the aircraft off-path as it flew dangerously low over the heavily populated Columbia Pike corridor in Arlington that leads directly to the Pentagon. They alerted their colleagues in the Arlington Fire and Police Departments that something was terribly wrong. Someone at the controls of the aircraft knew to pick up the visual of the "Pike" as it is called by Arlingtonians, the same way other pilots pick up the Potomac River on visual to land at Reagan National Airport.
Local residents scrambled to get their youngsters out of schools where the hallways were filled with the crying and unsettled. Teachers, counselors, and coaches did all they could to calm student's nerves. Local firefighters and police were busy trying to give relief to the Pentagon structure and its mangled people. Local hospitals were alerted to receive Pentagon injured. The same scene was played out in New York City.
As mayhem broke loose in Arlington, Virginia, adjacent Washington, and New York City, the response of those who are tasked with national governance provides important clues as to who will live and die during the next disaster. Prior to 911, the only insight into continuity-of-government planning was provided by Stanley Kubrick's Doctor Strangelove, which through its characters, portrayed dimwitted "leaders"-- most un-elected -- sheltering themselves ahead of their populations.
(M.O.W. editorial insert)
911 Hide and Seek
Dick Cheney was hustled into a bunker and ultimately ended up in a cave running the Shadow Government. U.S. Supreme Court-anointed George Bush II and staff was whisked from an elementary school class--minus the children, teachers and school staff --- to undisclosed locations scattered across the land. Military installations barricade their gates. As F-16s patrolled the skies, government officials lauded the protection they were providing despite the fact that the fighters were there to shoot down commercial passenger planes. Leaders of both parties in Congress, and, in fact, all of Congress, were escorted from Washington, DC as if Gort from the Hollywood classic "The Day the Earth Stood Still" had gone on a rampage.
The Bush Regime's senior appointees and bureaucrats sprinted off to hardened bunkers or were taken by helicopter, like their military counterparts, to place like Site R in Pennsylvania to "monitor" the situation. Many of the local corporate senior managers and local newsreaders instructed the "public" to remain calm and not panic. A commonplace refrain from this lot was to "keep busy, be productive". The lone Superpower, with its arsenals and vaunted intelligence agencies convulsed from the handiwork of 19 insurgents, became enfeebled. In effect, the nation came under the rule of a tele-government. Undoubtedly, government and military planners -- and their think tanks - have discussed attack scenarios that include the institution of a Federal government tele-governing operation. Members of the U.S. Congress, Supreme Court justices, and the President and his cabinet could easily debate, vote, set policy, render legal decisions via encrypted communications lines, from the comfort of their protective bunkers, home shelters, and command posts on land, sea, and air. In the eventuality of nationwide martial law, these individuals, based on their cowardly performance on 911, would no doubt prefer the safe confines of Hitleresque bunkers. Such was the case on September 11, when, from the safety of a studio in a bunker and a phone line from a basement, the nation's "leadership" sought to govern in an ersatz manner.
The American public fell for this act from a "government" whose inserted president and appointees are the wealthiest Americans ever to oversee a US populace. And as the wealthiest and most corrupt person ever to occupy the White House uttered his inanities, "average people" were taking care of their post-attack communities in Arlington and New York City. As they suffered, the so-called civilian and military "leaders" ducked and covered in a classic CYA move. These are America's leaders who -- through sheer arrogance and stunning stupidity -- ignored reports from tireless FBI field agents that involved suspicious flight school activities and similar reports from gutsy Drug Enforcement Administration agents about the activities of Israeli "art student" spies who happened to be living in the same Florida and Texas neighborhoods as the future hijackers. The same "leaders" would stand by and watch the state of California get raped by Enron -- the Bush family's fund raising Ponzi scheme contrivance.
Where was the Senator or Representative, or Cabinet official (save for Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld) who said, "I'm staying with the people" and showed up in the bucket line? Where was the General or Admiral who said I'm staying with my people and worked with the body bags? Where was the Corporate Executive who, instead, was busy turning "patriotism" into profiteering to gain market share and recoup profits? Where will they be during the next attack?
As the U.S. military-industrial complex sells more and more advanced weaponry to Israel, Indonesia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Colombia, Pakistan, India, and Nepal and as more and more ethnic and religious minority groups, poor villagers, nomads, urban laborers, and sustenance farmers are massacred by national armies in the pay of ruling oligarchs and multinational corporations, will America's leaders care? No, it's good for business. After U.S. snubbing of the International Criminal Court (to protect war criminals like Henry Kissinger), Conventions on child soldiers and land mines, long-held international nuclear test-ban treaties, international protocols involving HIV/AIDS and global warming, will America's leaders care? No. When the Turkmens, Uzbeks, Afghans, Pakistanis, Azeris, Kurds, Turks, and Georgians tire of the special treatment that US Special Forces receive for guarding gas and oil pipelines -- and the young troops are killed-- will America's leaders notice? No.
Hand it to the CYA crowd, they now know that they can successfully sell the American public a rotten barrel of apples (or oil) and they will buy it gladly. Armed with that knowledge, the next attack may trigger enactment of national martial law.
Martial Law: Coming to a Neighborhood Near You?
The U.S. government has used martial law on numerous occasions, most often to quell domestic disturbances in specific locations around the country. According to the United States Constitution Online, during the War of 1812, Andrew Jackson imposed martial law in an area of New Orleans. When a judge demanded Jackson produce, through the writ of habeas corpus, a man arrested for sedition, Jackson ordered the arrest of the judge. in 1892 at Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, rebellious mine workers blew up a mill and shot at strike breaking workers. Mine owners requested that the state's governor impose martial law and, to no surprise, he did. In 1914, federal troops were ordered by Woodrow Wilson to end the Coal Field Wars in Colorado. In 1934, dockworkers in San Francisco initiated a strike and the governor declared the dockyards subject to martial law empowering the National Guard to make arrests and try detainees. The Supreme Court opined twice on matters involving martial law in Ex Parte Milligan and Duncan v. Kahanamoku. In 1866, Milligan's Supreme Court writers proclaimed that Abraham Lincoln's imposition of martial law had been unconstitutional:
"Martial law destroys every guarantee of the Constitution and effectually renders the military independent of any superior to the civil power--the attempt to do which by the King of Great Britain was deemed by our fathers such an offense that they assigned it to the world as one of the causes which impelled them to declare their independence. Civil liberty and this kind of martial law cannot endure together; the antagonism is irreconcilable, and, in the conflict, one or the other must perish."
In 1946, the Supreme Court ruled that the military arrest of two civilians in Hawaii during World War II and their subsequent trial by military tribunals was unconstitutional.
In 2002, with the U.S. Supreme Court nothing more than a useful machination of the Bush regime, it seems likely that if Americans become subjected to a Bush declaration of martial law, any challenge to it would fail miserably. With that thought in mind, its useful to note that the Bush crowd has had plenty of experience with martial law and states-of-emergency. In 1992, Bush the Elder issued Executive Order 12804 in response to the Los Angeles riots. Hence, the US Army 7th Infantry Division and detachments of US Marines were deployed to mop up Los Angeles. That order was only issued after the city's poor had destroyed their neighborhoods. As an aside, that event would expose the CIA's penchant for selling drugs to inner city youth to raise funds for U.S. government covert operations in Central and South America. Bush the Elder was the overseer of much of this activity when he lorded over the Iran-contra scandal while Vice President under Ronald Reagan. One of Bush's underlings at the time, Oliver North, came up with a secret plan, along with the fascist-oriented Federal Emergency Management Agency (the key-masters for the doors to the bunkers), to declare martial law in the event of a "national crisis," including "violent and widespread internal dissent or national opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad." Florida's provincial ruler Jeb Bush signed Executive Order 01-262 on September 11, 2001 declaring a State of Emergency in Florida. That was prior to similar declarations in New York and Virginia where the action was. "Jebbie" (that's what Bill Clinton calls him) also has the power to suspend elections for 30 days in a county under a State of Emergency.
The Bush family has managed to involve the United States in two wars; two invasions in Latin America, one that resulted in the fiery deaths of thousands of poor Panamanian barrio residents and another that resulted in the Bay of Pigs fiasco; aiding and abetting through murky financial investments America's Teutonic enemy in the last world war; corrupting the U.S. presidential election process; and making the wealthiest Americans and U.S. corporations richer while at the same cutting federal health, education, and welfare budgets and offloading those tasks to the overburdened states.
As the economy sputters with real unemployment close to 8 percent and as income disparity reaches astronomical proportions, it seems that the Bush regime will begin another war. Will that war be against Iraq, as Bush's neo-conservative hawks want? Or will the Seven Days in May crowd spin the Axis of Evil roulette wheel? Will the arrow point to Cuba? North Korea? Venezuela? The Bush family's record of death and destruction prompted one elderly couple in Baltimore, Maryland (the husband being a highly decorated WW II U.S. Army veteran) to say, " The Bush family should be barred from ever holding political office. Look what they've done to this nation!"
And They Are Not Done Yet
An invasion of Iraq or any of the "Axis of Evil" or "Beyond Axis of Evil" nations is likely to result in a response that means American citizens will die here in the U.S. One incident, one aircraft hijacked, a "dirty nuke" set off in a small town, may well prompt the Bush regime, let's say during the election campaign of 2003-2004, to suspend national elections for a year while his government ensures stability. The precedent for such thinking is now enshrined in GOP politics. Another egotistical politician, Rudolph Giuliani, suggested that he should stay on as Mayor of New York a while longer past his term to make sure "New Yorkers would get through this thing". Would it be any surprise to hear Bush II say the same thing late in 2003 after insurgents would have destroyed part of a city or a chemical weapons cloud spreads over half of a small state?
Many closed-door meetings have been held on these subjects and the notices for these meetings have been closely monitored by the definitive www.cryptome.org. In the event of martial law, the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which has already been largely gutted by the USA Patriot Act and other Bush II actions, would cease to exist. Posse Comitatus has, for over 100 years, served as an important criminal law safeguard proscribing the use of the Army (later, the Air Force and Navy) to "execute the laws," except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or by Congress. With the abrogation of Posse Comitatus and the imposition of martial law, the military would, as it did during post-Civil War Reconstruction in the South, be able to arrest and detain civilians for any flimsy reason. Civilian detainees consigned to federal prisons would be under the control of the Bureau of Prisons while those detained by the military would be subject to the regulations imposed by military commanders. The writ of habeas corpus would be suspended and the family members and legal representatives for detainees would not have a right to see them. This situation has already occurred with those detained in the wake of September 11 without a formal imposition of martial law.
Military tribunals could, as they did in Hawaii during the war, try and convict U.S. civilians. If prisons could not hold all the detainees, the government already has plans to create or reactivate large prison camps in the South and West. Some of these were already used to detain Cuban, Vietnamese, and Haitian "boat people."
(M.O.W. editorial insert) ' 'Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and associations; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.' / - Adolph Hitler's 1933 speech calling for 'an Enabling Act' for 'the protection of the People and the State' after the catastrophic Reichstag fire that the Nazis had secretly lit. / "To carry out these core missions, we need to provide sufficient force and budgetary allocations. In particular, the United States must: - control the new "international commons" of space and "cyberspace," and pave the way for the creation of a new military service U.S. Space Forces with the mission of space control." / - Excerpt from The Project for the New American Century's manifesto, "Rebuilding America's Defenses " (PDF format) : http://www.newamericancentury.org/publicationsreports.htm /
In the event of martial law, Draconian censorship laws would be implemented. Even now, the Patriot Act grants authority to obtain an order from the FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court requiring any person or business to produce any books, records, documents, or items." That law would undoubtedly be extended to encompass the Internet as well. It should be of little wonder why the Pentagon has brought Iran-contra felon Admiral John Poindexter back from retirement to head the Office of Information Awareness. Coupled with the Office of Information Exploitation, Poindexter's office is seeking ways to identify, block, and determine the sources of seditious material posted on the Internet. Blocked web sites, confiscated computers and servers, and the arrest of non-conforming web site managers would become the rule of the day.
Not that it would need much in the way of pressure, but the broadcast media would similarly be required to air only that which has been approved by government censors. For example, U.S. Air Force scientists are soon to meet with CNN to figure out how to gather and disseminate information. During the war against Yugoslavia, CNN and National Public Radio hosted as interns U.S. Army psychological warfare operatives who worked on news stories concerning the war.
Similar closed-door meetings for "Continuity of Government" have taken place since September 11, 2001. Odd, it seems, that no "regular U.S. citizen" and few first responders have had any input into this process. Chalk that up to the fact that the entire process is classified and a matter of "national security" - the rubric that is used to justify the constant whittling away of the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. If the general public knew that "Continuity" actually means that the abilities of the Internal Revenue Service to continue to collect taxes, the Customs Service to continue to collect duties, and the Environmental Protection Agency to continue to collect fines actually outweigh the health and safety of American citizens, they would be outraged. Hence the secrecy surrounding the continuity plans.
James Madison had in right in 1794 when he wisely warned about "the old trick of turning every contingency into a resource for accumulating force in the government." The United States was founded by political sages like Madison, Jefferson, and Franklin. It will ultimately see its demise as a democracy through the likes of Bush II, his father, and the Trent Lotts and Dick Armeys that pervade the American body politic.
John Stanton is an Arlington, VA-based writer and Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC journalist and commentator on national security and intelligence affairs. They can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com Reprinted from Counterpunch: http://www.counterpunch.org
/_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /yhrh/// "We have a deranged president. We have despotism. We have no due process." / - Gore Vidal/ // Do you live under despotism? Watch this film and you might get an answer. This short educational postwar documentary (1946) by Encyclopaedia Britannica Films, clearly explains the concept of despotism. / // "We are talking about despotism. The USA PATRIOT Act is as despotic as anything Hitler came up with-- --even using much of the same language. The Founding Fathers would have found this to be despotism in spades. And they would have hanged anybody who tried to get this through the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Hanged." / - Gore Vidal, LA WEEKLY, Nov.14-20, 2003 v/x
-Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814 "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross." - Sinclair Lewis
There Is Such a Thing as "Too Late" By Ray McGovern Common Dreams (excerpt) http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/082005Z.shtml . Ray McGovern's 27-year career as a CIA analyst spanned administrations from John F. Kennedy to George H. W. Bush.
what the vast majority of Germans did in the 1930s as Hitler
curtailed civil liberties and launched aggressive wars.
I was born in August 1939, a week before Hitler sent German tanks
into Poland to start World War II. I have studied that crucial
time in some detail. And during the five years I served in Germany
I had occasion to ask all manner of people how it could possibly
be that, highly educated and cultured as they were, the
Germans for the most part could simply ignore. Why was it that the institutional churches, Catholic
and Evangelical Lutheran, could not find their voice? Why was it that so few
A few did ... and they provide good example for us today. Lutheran Pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer spoke out, plotted against Hitler, and was executed. Also executed was a more obscure but equally courageous professor from the University of Berlin, Albrecht Haushofer.
Like Bonhoeffer, Haushofer was arrested for speaking out. The SS prison guards were required to extract a confession from prisoners before they were hanged or shot, but Haushofer refused. When they removed his body, though, a paper fell out of his pocket. It was his admission of guilt written in the form of a sonnet:
Schuld ...schuldig bin ich Anders als Ihr denkt. Ich musste früher meine Pflicht erkennen; Ich musste schärfer Unheil Unheil nennen; Mein Urteil habe ich zu lang gelenkt... Ich habe gewarnt, Aber nicht genug, und klar; Und heute weiß ich, was ich schuldig war. / Guilt I am guilty, But not in the way you think. I should have earlier recognized my duty; I should have more sharply called evil evil; I reined in my judgment too long. I did warn, But not enough, and clear; And today I know what I was guilty of. // _______________________
"Before the war is ended, the war party assumes the divine right to denounce and silence all opposition to war as unpatriotic and cowardly." - Senator Robert M. La Follette / "Cheney and Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz act like they know all the answers, almost like a divine right, They don't have a divine right, and they are wrong." - Senator Dianne Feinstein / _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ';L vcxWAR IS PEACE xcb vsxcv s "He knows that we are waging this war for a better peace, that we are fighting for the happiness of people who have so often been oppressed by their governments."jj "No power in the world will make us deny our duty, or forget even for a moment our historical task of maintaining the freedom of our people." / - Joseph Goebbels, chief Nazi propagandist bbrrrrbbrb "The reason we start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no more war!" / - George W. Bush, The first Presidential debate "The mission must be to fight and win war and therefore to prevent war from happening in the first place.'' / - The day before Super Tuesday 2000 in San Diego, Mr. Bush was talking about the need to give the military a new mission /_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ / "I think this is a deliberate, intentional destruction of the United States of America." / - Bill Moyers eth4hrhrhrh
- Harold Pinter / /_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
( CLICK HERE ) / /_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ /
444444444444444444444444444444444444444444 "We are on the verge of global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nations will accept the New World Order." / - David Rockefeller - Statement to the United Nations Business Council, 1994 444444444444/444444444444444444
/. "The issue today is the same as it has been throughout all history, whether man shall be allowed to govern himself or be ruled by a small elite." // - Thomas Jefferson / / "...The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist." ________________________________________________________________ / "There comes a time when deceit and defiance must be seen for what they are. At that point, a gathering danger must be directly confronted. / "...At that point, we must show that beyond our resolutions is actual resolve. The days of looking the other way while despotic regimes trample human rights, rob their nations' wealth, and then excuse their failings by feeding their people a steady diet of hatred are over." / - Dick Cheney, World Economic Forum January 24, 2004
"It's hard for free people to comprehend the mix of extremism and hatred that leads terrorists to murder innocent men, women and children. ....Throughout human history there have been those who seek power through fear and mass murder but eventually all of them, every one, has fallen." / - Donald Rumsfeld, Arlington Cemetary, Sunday September 11, 2005 / "If I may, I'd like to remind you what I said at the State of the Union. Liberty is not America's gift to the world, it is God's gift to each and every person. And that's what I believe. I believe that when we see totalitarianism, that we must deal with it." / - George W. Bush, prime time press conference, White House, Mar. 6, 2003 /
"The way of life can be free and beautiful. But we have lost the way.
asvxcGreed has poisoned men's souls - has barricaded the world with hate; has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. asvxc We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in; machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity; More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. asavxc The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men, cries out for universal brotherhood, for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world, millions of despairing men, women and little children, victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people. svavva To those who can hear me I say,"Do not despair". The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed, the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress: the hate of men will pass and dictators die and the power they took from the people , will return to the people; and so long as men die [now] liberty will never perish. . . asvxc Soldiers - don't give yourselves to brutes, men who despise you and enslave you - who regiment your lives, tell you what to do, what to think and what to feel, who drill you, diet you, treat you as cattle, as cannon fodder. vx x x vx "Military men are just dumb stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy." - Henry Kissinger (Bush's original choice to head the 911 commission) vx x x vx Don't give yourselves to these unnatural men, machine men, with machine minds and machine hearts. You are not machines. You are not cattle. You are men. You have the love of humanity in your hearts. You don't hate - only the unloved hate. Only the unloved and the unnatural. Soldiers - don't fight for slavery, fight for liberty. asvxc In the seventeenth chapter of Saint Luke it is written: asvxc " the kingdom of God is within man" asvxc asvxc - not one man, nor a group of men- but in all men - - in you, the people. fbgdzg You the people have the power, the power to create machines, the power to create happiness. You the people have the power to make life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure. Then in the name of democracy let's use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world, a decent world that will give men a chance to work, that will give you the future and old age and security. asvxc By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power, but they lie. They do not fulfil their promise, they never will. asvxc Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people. Now let us fight to fulfil that promise. Let us fight to free the world, to do away with national barriers, do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. asvxc Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men's happiness. asvxc Soldiers - in the name of democracy, let us all unite! asvxc - Charlie Chaplin's end speech in his film "The Great Dictator" (1940)
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