Either fight it now, or get used to this kind of thing: Pennsylvania State Troopers -- one with a drawn assault rifle, his trigger-finger ready -- bracket a terrified driver during a roadblock set up near Pittsburgh following the death of a "comrade" in a domestic shooting. Don't assume for a pico-second that the friendly people in official costumes would resist any opportunity to treat the rest of us like this.
We will not recognize [American Fascism] as it rises. It will wear no black shirts here. It will probably have no marching songs. It will rise out of a congealing of a group of elements that exist here and that are the essential components of Fascism....
It will be at first decorous, humane, glowing with homely American sentiment. But a dictatorship cannot remain benevolent. To continue, it must become ruthless. When this stage is reached we shall see that appeal by radio, movies, and government-controlled newspapers to all the worst instincts and emotions of our people. The rough, the violent, the lawless men will come to the surface and into power. This is the terrifying prospect as we move along our present course. --
John T. Flynn, American Mercury, February 1941
The formula for an American variant of Fascism includes, but is not limited to, the following:
*A fusion of institutions the constitutional Framers intended to keep separate; abolition or nullification of any residual checks on the power of the central government.
Barack Obama's January 11 executive order creating a "Council of Governors" to help "synchronize" policy regarding foreign and domestic military operations doesn't merely add another redundant layer of bureaucracy to the overgrown Homeland Security apparatus. It represents a critical milestone in the devolution of the American republic into an undisguised Reich.
The Council of Governors will be a bipartisan panel of ten state governors who "meet at the call” of various executive functionaries, including the Secretaries of Defense and Homeland Security, to assist the Supreme Leader in carrying out the “synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States.”
In 2006 Congress turned the National Guard into something akin to a Praetorian Guard to be used — whether at home or abroad — as the president desires. This helps explain an obvious and ominous change in the Guard’s definition of its mission and responsibilities, which include hands-on involvement in domestic law enforcement.
[See the clarification below.]
The Constitution's Framers defined what we now call "law enforcement" as a function to be reserved almost entirely by the states. They were deeply hostile to the concept of a standing army; it's not clear that most of them would support the existence of paramilitary government police bodies. It is clear, however, that they would be intransigently opposed to the consolidation of military and police power. They would also view the creation of an executive branch organ like the Council of Governors with considerable alarm.
As an advisory body, the Council of Governors will have no real policy-making authority. Its chief function, I suspect, will be to ratify a binding "consensus" on behalf of whatever mission the Commander-in-Chief ordains for his new personal army. This "consensus" will be invoked to justify the usurpation of state control over Guard units.
According to an official White House press release, the Council “will provide an invaluable Senior Administration forum for exchanging views with State and local officials on strengthening our National resilience and the homeland defense and civil support challenges facing our Nation today and in the future.”
In the interests of brevity, the Obamacrats could simply have said that the Council will help “relieve the distress of the people and Reich" -- a justification used by the German National Socialists during their own campaign of national "synchronization and integration."
The Nazis used the term Gleichschaltung to describe this process of “coordination” or “synchronization” of all government functions by centralizing power in the Chief Executive. This was accomplished through a series of executive decrees supposedly authorized by the 1933 Enabling Act, formally known as the “Law for Removing the Distress of People and Reich.”
Obama's January 11 executive order is a natural outgrowth of the post-911 American Enabling Act.
*Imposition of the "Leader Principle" under which the powers of the chief executive are self-defined, self-ratifying, and effectively limitless.
In terms of the role it played in institutionalizing a permanent state of emergency and wartime executive dictatorship, the German Enabling Act was the direct antecedent of the September 14, 2001 “Authorization for Use of Military Force” enacted by a Congress in a fit of institutional panic.
That measure was an open-ended grant of unspecified power to conduct war against all and sundry, whether at home or abroad. It has been invoked to justify the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, low-grade warfare in Pakistan and Yemen, and the prospective war against Iran.
Celebrity war criminal John Yoo, the chief legal architect of the American torture regime, maintains that the September 14 Enabling Act justifies any imaginable exercise of power by the president. On this construction the president can summarily imprison anyone he chooses to, authorize the use of torture -- either against the detainee or even his children -- or even order summary executions.
The only congressional recourse, according to Yoo and those who share his perspective, is to de-fund such presidential activities should they ever come to public notice. Given that Congress in September 2008 essentially surrendered its constitutional authority to control the public purse, it's not at all clear that it even retains the ability to withhold funding as a way of addressing presidential atrocities after the fact.
*Repudiation of explicit and indispensable due process guarantees and protections in the interest of "efficiency," expediency, and public "safety."
The most remarkable legal "victory" won by the Obama regime effectively re-instates the odious assumption at the heart of the infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision -- namely, that the government can treat some human beings as "non-persons."
On December 14, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court’s ruling that suspected terrorists classified as “unlawful enemy combatants” enjoy no legal protection against torture or other mistreatment because they are not considered “persons” under the law.
Attorneys representing terrorist suspects had invoked the protections of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (or RFRA), which explicitly applies to all “persons.” A federal appeals court rejected that argument, thereby effectively categorizing such detainees as “non-persons.”
Just as remarkable is the lower court's blithe observation that "torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants." Accordingly, torture victims thus categorized have no standing to pursue civil relief, let alone criminal prosecution despite the fact that torture is explicitly forbidden by both federal statute and the U.S. Constitution (as well as international accords, for whatever they're worth).
There is a sinister syllogism here: Only "persons" enjoy legal standing; "suspected enemy combatants" subjected to torture aren't "persons"; ergo, they have no legal standing and thus no recourse.
"Your papers, please": This billboard was on display in rural Arizona. (Photo courtesy of Ernest Hancock.)
It's not just accused or suspected terrorists who qualify for indefinite detention.
In 2006 -- a very busy year for those beavering away constructing the Homeland Security State -- Congress enacted the "Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act," a measure that permits perpetual "civil confinement" of "sexually dangerous persons."
As previously noted in this space, the Adam Walsh Act is firmly in the totalitarian tradition of designating entire groups of people to be "socially dangerous" and thus suitable only for confinement, even in the absence of a criminal conviction or after a prison term has been served.
The Obama administration, which recently defended that law before the Supreme Court, subscribes to the view of its predecessor that the end of a prison term doesn't necessarily mean the end of imprisonment. During oral arguments, this view appeared find favor with a majority on the Court, including liberal (and therefore supposedly "soft-on-crime") Justices Breyer and Ginsburg. Breyer, according to the Los Angeles Times, drew an analogy between open-ended "civil confinement" and quarantine.
The chief distinction here, of course, would be that "sexually dangerous" people (a category that includes many people entirely innocent of actual criminal offenses) would be subject to perpetual quarantine. As one former civil detainee pointed out to CNN, this may mean being "committed to a mental institution for the rest of your life."
No rational person should suppose that the practice of perpetual civil confinement will be restricted to "sexually dangerous people." The definition of "socially dangerous people" will be made as elastic as our rulers desire, eventually becoming a net that will gather indiscriminately of every kind of dissident. This is exactly how the Soviet ruling elite filled the gulag.
*Subsumation of state and local police into a centralized, militarized internal security apparatus.
With apologies to the immortal Marty Robbins: Down in the west Texas town of El Paso, each cop will now have an AR-15....
Last fall, the city government of El Paso received a federal "stimulus" grant of nearly one million dollars to use at their discretion.
Despite being the second-safest city in the U.S. in terms of violent crime, the city decided to spent the money on 1,145 military-grade assault weapons for the local police.
Well -- would you believe that the police are threatened by narcotics syndicates across the border in Juarez?
Actually, they aren't. While spectacular criminal violence does plague Juarez, El Paso, once again, is the second-safest city in the United States.
All right -- would you believe that the police are concerned that "errant soldiers" stationed at local Ft. Bliss might run amok and slaughter local citizens?
While this argument effectively demolishes an assumption cherished by advocates of civilian disarmament (namely, that police and soldiers are uniquely trustworthy when it comes to firearms), firearms-related crimes involving soldiers have been quite rare and the weapon of choice has invariably been a handgun.
Well, whatever you do believe, those responsible for this policy simply won't countenance the idea that the police intend to over-awe the gun-owning public.
"We are not trying to outgun the people with guns in our community," insists El Paso city council member Beto O'Rourke, "but to protect the public."
Fellow council member Susie Byrd, to her credit, isn't inclined to buy what O'Rourke and his allies are selling. "You always want police to approach any situation with an abundance of caution," she points out. "Having big assault rifles might embolden less cautious behavior."
This isn't just a particularly troublesome example of the familiar bureaucratic routine of finding a "problem" to justify a profligate "solution." It's a splendid example of the federally subsidized militarization of "local" law enforcement in the absence of any legitimate threat.
This began in earnest decades ago with the creation, by future LAPD Chief Daryl Gates, of the first SWAT team, which was supposed to be used in extraordinary circumstances, such as hostage situations.
Richard Nixon's politically motivated invention of the "War on Drugs" caused a nation-wide proliferation of SWAT teams. In recent years, SWAT missions have expanded to include commonplace tasks, such as serving warrants or even policing city parades. It seems as if many police departments are becoming civilian support systems for the local SWAT teams.
SWAT and other tactical units are armed, trained, and equipped by the Pentagon; their members are marinated in military doctrines incompatible with civilian peace officer duty. It's reasonable to suspect that, whether by design or default, SWAT teams serve as a way to circumvent the Posse Comitatus prohibition on the use of the military for domestic law enforcement.
Lt. Andrew Esposito, Operational Commander of the Rescue Entry and Counter Terrorism (REACT) team for Rockland County, New York, regards the Posse Comitatus act as an impediment to effective counter-terrorism arrangements, which would involve extensive coordination between law enforcement and the military.
Lt. Esposito (a 21-year Marine veteran) would also require that "local" police departments "send [their] operators and SWAT commanders to Military schools that instruct infantry tactics and command.
A recent RAND Corporation report commissioned by the Pentagon's Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute explores another possible detour around the Posse Comitatus Act -- namely, the creation of a "hybrid" military/law enforcement body called the "Stability Police Force."
The SFOR would created within the U.S. Marshals Service (USMS) for use “in a range of tasks such as crowd and riot control, special weapons and tactics (SWAT), and investigations of organized criminal groups” — both in UN-supervised military missions abroad, and domestic emergencies here at home. Initially as small as 2–6,000 personnel, the SFOR’s size “could be increased by augmenting it with additional federal, state, or local police from the United States” as necessary.
Using the Marshals Service rather than the US Army’s Military Police as host for the SFOR would provide the Regime with all the advantages of militarizing law enforcement without creating a direct conflict with the Posse Comitatus Act. Using the USMS as a platform for the unit “would place it where its members can develop the needed skills under the hybrid staffing option,” summarizes the RAND report. “Furthermore, the USMS has the broadest law enforcement mandate of any U.S. law enforcement agency…. [This model] provides significant domestic policing and homeland security benefits by providing thousands of additional police officers across the United States.” (Emphasis added.)
Once retro-fitted into the Marshals Service, the SFOR would be used to deepen and accelerate the process of assimilating domestic law enforcement into the military by "augmenting state and local agencies, many of which currently suffer from severe personnel shortages."
*The demand for instant, unqualified submission by "civilians" to any directive issued by someone in a government-issued costume.
A recent California court ruling held that police officers cannot use Tasers as instruments of "pain compliance" in situations involving simple defiance of supposed police authority. Not surprisingly, that decision -- which probably won't lead to a noticeable reduction in gratuitous use of Officer Jackboot's favorite torture toy -- provoked the indignation of police unions and was widely criticized by people who assume that citizens are required to render immediate, unquestioning submission to any demand made of them by anyone bearing the State's insignia.
News archives and file-sharing sites abound in episodes of entirely unnecessary criminal violence inflicted on harmless people in retaliation for "contempt of cop." (Here is an exceptionally comprehensive source.) To that collection we can add the recent experience of retired Marine and former police officer Ron Doyle of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.
Last Sunday (January 10), Doyle noticed a pickup truck parked in the fire lane outside a local grocery store. Annoyed by the sight, Doyle confronted the driver. The man, who was dressed in casual clothes, responded by reaching into the pocket of his jeans and produced the piece of costume jewelry identifying himself as a Pennsylvania State Trooper named Craig Finkle.
After Doyle made a disparaging comment pointing out that Finkle wasn't on duty and turned to leave. The Trooper pulled out his cell phone and demanded that Doyle come back; as Doyle approached Finkle again he overheard the Trooper call for "units that can roll now." Doyle quite understandably decided to leave. He walked a short distance to his car and drove home, with Finkle trailing him.
Shortly thereafter three state police cars converged on Doyle's home. Displaying a confidence that would be touching if not so tragically misplaced, Doyle called 911 and pleaded for intervention by the local borough police department.
The phone line was left open as Doyle unlocked the door, only to be dragged to the floor by three of Finkle's homies, who said he was being arrested for "disorderly conduct" -- a "cover charge" commonly used to punish anyone perceived to be insufficiently servile in the presence of the state's punitive priesthood.
Finkle -- who, as a police officer, is quite literally trained to lie -- claimed that a visibly intoxicated Doyle shouted obscenities at him. The arresting officers claimed that he had assumed an "aggressive stance" -- a phrase used to describe any posture other than that of cringing, chastened submission -- and that he had shouted obscenities at them as well.
Doyle points out that the entire incident was recorded by the 911 dispatcher. The "local" police, in whom Doyle had invested his trust, are refusing to release the recording. According to the county "open records" officer, "the public interest in disclosure does not outweigh the interest in nondisclosure." This almost certainly means that publicizing the recording would contradict the official story, which of course simply wouldn't do.
*The emergence of the military as the core public institution.
In the Winter 1992-1993 issue of Parameters, the journal of the U.S. Army War College, military historian Charles J. Dunlap published a premonitory essay entitled "The Origins of the American Military Coup of 2012."
Written from the perspective of an officer awaiting execution as a traitor to the new junta, Dunlap's essay presents a terrifyingly plausible scenario for America's descent into undisguised military rule.
On the Empire's errand: In a Photoshop composite widely circulated by supporters of the Iraq War, a U.S. soldier in Iraq uses shoulder patches to express disdain for the refusal of Washington's tributaries to bear their "share" of an unnecessary imperial burden.
"It wasn't any single cause that led us to this point," writes the condemned patriot in a long letter to a friend. "It was instead a combination of several different developments, the beginnings of which were evident in 1992.
Unlike previous eras in which the military would be de-mobilized after a war, the end of the Cold War saw an increase in the op-tempo of deployments abroad, both for "peacekeeping" missions and various "operations other than war."
Rather than cashing in a peace dividend, the federal government actually expanded the military budget. It also found new domestic missions to keep the military occupied.
Military personnel became "an adjunct to all police forces in the country," the officer recalls; social and economic problems were redefined as "national security" issues and brought within the military's area of responsibility.
Uniformed military personnel became a common sight, recalls Dunlap's fictional narrator. People became inured to the sight of "uniformed military personnel partrolling their neighborhood.... Even the youngest citizens were co-opted.... [We have] an entire generation of young people who have grown up comfortable with the sight of military personnel patrolling their streets and teaching in their classrooms."
As political and economic turbulence hit the United States, the military was exempt from public disaffection with government institutions. While most people properly viewed elected officials and bureaucrats with contempt, for some reason they saw the military as a bottomless well of competence.
That perception somehow survived the disasters Dunlap predicted would occur in 2010, when the "Second Gulf War" in Iraq metastasized into a large-scale conflict with Iran, and event that triggered a terminal crisis of confidence in the existing political order.
As the federal government became a failed state, the proverbial Man on a White Horse arrived: General E.T. Brutus, who seized power in a bloodless coup in 2012, indefinitely "postponed" elections, and engineered a referendum in which his new status as military ruler of the United States was ratified by a traumatized and desperate plurality of the voting public.
Tanks for nothing: Is this what Washington will look like some day in the near future, when putsch comes to shove?
For Dunlap and others who cherish individual liberty protected by law, this projection is a nightmare scenario. For many conservatives it embodies an entirely realistic political "solution" for our current distress -- or perhaps even their fondest and most earnest wishes.
"When I see the worsening degeneracy in our politicians, our media, our educators, and our intelligentsia, I can’t help wondering if the day may yet come when the only thing that can save this country is a military coup," mused conservative columnist Thomas Sowell a few years ago.
Sowell later defended, and elaborated on, that comment during an interview on Sean Hannity's Fox "News" program: "I’m very serious about whether or not the country can be saved at all in the long run, especially with Iran moving toward nuclear weapons, with so many signs of degeneracy – the schools, whatnot. Heaven knows, I don’t want to see a military coup but I don’t want to see the society disintegrate, either."
Though it may appear odd to hear such sentiments emanating from a pundit regarded by many as a species of libertarian, it's reasonable to believe that the same views are shared by a significant portion of the punitive populist right, and liberals who covet the power to wage domestic war against their own political enemies. For people of that persuasion, Guy Odom's 1999 manifesto America's Man on Horseback is pure political poetry. For militarists of the Victor David Hanson variety, Odom's book would be like Viagra in print.
Odom, a Texas resident who is a Navy veteran, self-made billionaire, and self-taught political philosopher, is a writer of considerable gifts and no small amount of wit. He describes his book as an updating of Machiavelli's notorious work The Prince, in this case addressed to the military veteran Odom predicts will arise in 2013 to become the first ruler of an undisguised American Empire.
While I may be blind to some Swiftian subtlety in Odom's writing, it seems clear to me that the author eagerly anticipates a military dictatorship and intended for his book to serve as a program of action, a blueprint for "America's transition from a dying Republic to a dynamic Empire."
The titular Man on Horseback, Odom predicts, will be a military veteran in robust middle age who will be elected "to deliver the honest, hardworking, law abiding minority from their persecution by the ungodly and the unconscionable ... the first president empowered to rid the country of crime and punish all criminals, whether violent or nonviolent, who rob Americans of their lives, their safety, and their livelihoods."
While the Ruler, the "sole arbiter of good and evil," will have power to do whatever he pleases to whomever he chooses, Odom predicts that he will exercise such power with surgical delicacy in order to "benefit the population on the whole with your necessary cruelties."
As was the case with Dunlap's dystopian projections, Odom's eager prescription for dictatorship anticipates developments that have already come to pass, either in whole or part.
"When you suspend the Constitution and the writ of Habeas Corpus, enemies and their public statements of indignation will surface," Odom writes. While the former hasn't formally happened -- why "suspend" a charter of government that has been rendered useless through decades of institutional contempt? -- the latter happened in 2006.
Odom observes that the Ruler's minions "will record the names" of those who condemned the abolition of the Great Writ and otherwise opposed the Dear Leader, "tape their television quotes, and fill electronic file cabinets with their newspaper articles -- all of which can be of immense value to you in times ahead, as the names of your impulsive adversaries will be documented for future recall and consideration."
A literal domestic "war on crime" would be undertaken, led by the Marines. All civilian law enforcement agencies would be "inducted temporarily into America's armed forces" in order to participate in "open warfare" against criminals. Rioters and armed domestic dissidents would be quickly liquidated, of course.
Under the new "justice" system, convicted criminals would be subject to "extraordinary rendition" to prisons in Siberia and Africa. Blackwater-style mercenaries in the employ of the president would be dispatched overseas to apprehend tax evaders and others who had fled the dictator's jurisdiction.
Odom anticipates a vastly expanded role for the Internal Revenue Service. It would be assigned to "oversee the United States domestic law enforcement agencies"; it would be put in charge of the national census, and be given the resources to hire huge numbers of civilian informants; it would be in charge of a database containing DNA samples from each American, and supervise the quarantine of anybody carrying AIDS or afflicted with other dangerous diseases.
The IRS would also be given the assignment of enforcing a sweeping bill of attainder against those deemed to be hereditary enemies of the state. Although those summarily executed would be "relatively few in number," Odom writes, at least some of them would be punished not for anything they had done, but because of the purported crimes of their ancestors.
"Attainder and corruption of blood recognize no innocence," he observes. "For the first time in American history, citizens will perish without a trial and, even, without a pronouncement of guilt." The IRS would seize and bank the assets of those "cleansed" in that fashion, an entirely suitable task for that repellent agency.
In economic affairs, the Ruler's regime would implement a hyper-Hamiltonian regime of state corporatism, with the federal government as the "employer of last resort." Vast New Deal-style public works projects would be undertaken. The educational system would be fused with early childhood programs and placed under the Ruler's personal direction as "child development centers."
"For your future glory, name the child-development schools after yourself," oozes Odom in an appropriately obsequious tone. Those centers would provide the Ruler with the means of cultivating a huge corps of Janissaries -- most of whom would be recruited from economically blighted inner cities -- ready to give their lives on behalf of their Dear Leader.
To offer his Janissaries a chance to prove their devotion in combat, the Ruler would embark on an ambitious campaign of foreign aggression that would include the conquest of Mexico and the destruction of "terrorist" nations by any necessary means, including pre-emptive nuclear strikes.
"Mobilizing the country's armed forces and making war to acquire territory is the only way a country can climb out of its decadence and into a stable period of growth and prosperity," writes Odom in a remarkably pure expression of military Keynesianism.
In addition to serving as the ultimate government "economic stimulus program," war is necessary in order to ensure the Ruler's continued primacy: "Without the catharsis of war, authoritative leaders are dislodged. Conquest can help maintain your leadership, Mr. President.... Conquest at some point becomes a must for you, Mr. President, not an option."
The Generalissimo envisioned by Odom would rule for at least thirty years, leaving behind him an American Empire spanning the entire Western Hemisphere, with the possible exception of Quebec.
Much of what Dunlap warned against, and Odom cheerfully anticipated, can be seen materializing around us. The ambivalent good news is that the Regime may collapse before those predictions are consummated. This wouldn't mean the end of the domestic garrison state, but it would offer opportunities for rebellion against the imperial center, both abroad and at home. The growing movement toward interposition is a very encouraging trend, but that political movement will avail little unless Americans by the tens of millions start practicing interposition and nullification on an individual level.
"Everything within the state; nothing outside the state; nothing against the state," pronounced Mussolini in defining the fundamental fascist formula. Restoring freedom will me inverting that formula: We must exploit every opportunity to reject the state's authority over our lives, refuse both its plundered largesse and the chains that accompany it, and develop systems of mutual support outside of the state's ambit.
This will involve some social hardship and even an element of physical danger. Conspicuously refusing to celebrate the supposed valor and virtue of the imperial military and law enforcement apparatus is not a prescription for popularity. De-monetizing one's assets by converting them from fiat Federal Reserve Notes into real money (gold and silver) requires uncomfortable adjustments in one's time preference and consumer habits. Devising contingency plans to protect one's family in the event of a sudden threat from the State is difficult and time-consuming. Refusing to submit to unwarranted demands issued by an armed state functionary can be exceptionally risky.
These are minor inconveniences or trivial trials when examined in light of the future that awaits us. Breaking up Leviathan's political mass through political and personal secession may be the only way to prevent it from becoming a super-dense, liberty-annihilating political singularity.
The Leahy "National Guard Empowerment" Measure
A reader points out that the Senate passed a measure sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) overturning the 2006 amendment to the Insurrection Act. That amendment was designed to make the National Guard, in effect, the president's personal militia.
Sen. Leahy was an outspoken critic of the Insurrection Act revision, and the "National Guard Empowerment" amendment he sponsored in 2007 did mitigate its danger. In my view, however, Leahy's amendment isn't a step back from the brink, but more accurately seen as a sideways step along the brink.
For what it's worth, here's my assessment ("Martial Law on the Installment Plan," PL, May 29, 2008) of that measure shortly after it was passed:
"The Guard `empowerment' bill sponsored by Leahy ... actually continues the process of folding the Guard -- which was once ... the independent people's militias -- into the national military establishment.... Its commanding officer is made a full general, for instance, and given a more prominent role in the Pentagon's councils.
More significantly, the measure creates `a stronger relationship between the Guard and the Northern Command' and instructs the Pentagon to work with the Guard in planning homeland defense."
In the event of a future terrorist attack or a White House-decreed national emergency, I noted, Northern Command "would provide the assets and manpower to lock down the country under Homeland Security supervision."
This arrangement plays a very significant role in the developments I describe in the multi-part "Rubicon in the Rear-View" series published in this space in 2008. One very telling example was the role played by the National Guard in suppressing demonstrations during the 2008 Republican and Democratic political conventions.
(Please note that the modified image of the Iraq soldier above was not identified as such in the original version of this essay. My thanks to the commenter below for catching this oversight.)
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Dum spiro, pugno!
Will, you must be channeling the very conversations I have with a friend of mine in Texas! How eerie can it get when it was this very sort of discussion we were having and in particular we were discussing an article he forwarded to me from some fellow named McIntosh. This fella wrote as though he eagerly anticipated and, I gather between the lines, even "hoped" for a military solution. I told my buddy that he'd better hope the hell it never came to that because the gang of rats we have in charge both in the civilian and military wings of our military-industrial complesx of a country haven't seen fit to stop or disobey unlawful and murderous actions in the past nor the present and most certainly he'd shouldn't be surprised when they turn the guns on us! Short term solutions with deadly consequences for the majority of us is what is in store.
Dear Mr. Grigg!
As always I read your post with great interest.
However, the picture of the soldier with the "doing the work of" patch seems to be a photoshop.
According to www.snopes.com, the original can be found here:
I must correct one thing. The opening picture of the man the "assault rifle"- it probably is just a semi-auto not. Also, even if it was an automatic weapons, it should only be called an "assault" weapon if it's in a private citizen's possession. They are properly called "patrol" rifles in the hands of a god.
Odious as Odom's tome is, reactions to it may prove useful in prioritizing the list of those who need a bullet in the ear hole, when the inevitable polarization into Resistor and Collaborator camps occurs.
Yep, I can see the fans of Sarah Palin rooting for Odom's scenario, and I can see Bill 0'Limbaugh Beck supporting it on the radio, with Mark Levin calling for the arrest of Ron and Rand Paul. Anyway...So this will be America's "V for Vendetta" scenario....just another reason to get out of the system.
TO the guy complaining about "assault rifle" terminology, this is not the place for that gun geek crap. If that is what you're worried about after reading this article, you need to get your priorities straight.
I have read a lot of scary stuff on the web over the last 15 years, most of it tinfoil nonsense, but this is among the worst, probably because it's so credible.
Hope you are the same PL from H&R, love your blog!
Guns everywhere. New weapons coming out everday and they are not guns. The Gestapo will experience a lot of new warfare when civil revolt begins. Think like James Bond. Our priorities will be to destroy Government Militias at all costs. It's going to be a nasty time for The USA. Of course the world be looking on and celebrating the fall of this once great Nation. Does this irk you? If so, you're on the hit list as well. We will cleanse this country of corruption and restore our REPUBLIC and all traitors to the Constitution will be executed. Hope for America is not lost if you still posess backbone with no yellow streak running down your back.
Mr. Grigg, & fellow Libertarians,
Your headline, "All the Reich Moves" is more apt than you know.
There is in fact a domestic spying organization, called INFRAGARD, set up by the FBI, which is directly modeled on the Gestapo "Vertrauens-Leute" or "V-Leute" (Trusted People) program. The V-Leute program recruited office workers, schoolteachers, bus drivers, shopkeepers, and landlords, as well as prominent industrialists, politicians, miltary people, doctors, and others, to be spies for the Gestapo. As a result, even though the Gestapo had at its peak only about 35,000 career law-enforcement officers, there was a universal public fear in Germany of openly expressing opinions unfavorable to the Nazi Party and its policies, (including the extermination of Jews, which was widely known about but never discussed.) There was an impression in Nazi Germany that "spies were everywhere, watching and listening," which they were.
Now we have the same thing in this country. How do you think 800,000 people have managed to get their names on the "no-fly" lists?
Here in America, nobody realizes that INFRAGARD is directly modeled on the techniques and structure of the Gestapo "V-Leute," as expounded to the US Government by Heinrich Mueller, the supreme head of the Gestapo who reported directly to Heinrich Himmler, and who worked in America for the CIA and the FBI from 1948 to the mid-1950s. Although his presence in the US is strenuously denied by the USGOV, Heini Mueller's grave (he died in 1983) is in Mountain View, CA, the gravestone bearing the single word: "Mueller."
The website of INFRAGARD may be found at: http://www.infragard.net/
INFRAGARD has by its own admission 34,000 members, although this may be understated, and 39 local chapters, each headed by an FBI official. An exposition of the parallels between the Gestapo's "V-Leute" program and INFRAGARD may be found at:
It is amazing that this sort of officially sponsored Nazi-style spying by Americans on Americans can go on, in the full light of day, and nobody knows or cares about it.
There is a second area of parallel between Nazi Germany and America, which somewhat contradicts your thesis:
The main clandestine opposition to Nazism, and the source of most of the attempts on Hitler's life, originated in the German military establishment. This was because they were informed enough to see the catastrophe Hitler was bringing about, and only the top military had the access to Hitler to do something about it.
Similarly in America, the only reason that Bush was unable to establish a military dictatorship and incarcerate all his opponents in concentration camps, which to this day stand empty, ready and waiting to house 1-2 million dissidents in remote areas of Western states, was because the military brass told him he was nuts, they categorically refused to go against the Constitution and attack the American public for Bush and Cheney, and also told him if there WAS a military coup, Bush and Cheney would be the first people to be arrested and jailed.
Trust me, this is true. You will never hear it mentioned in public - these were verbal exchanges behind closed doors in the White House.
However, the coordination of local police forces under a national umbrella, and the militarization thereof, closely parallel the creation of the SS and the absorbtion of the various domestic Third Reich police forces under Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS. Initially, Goering was in charge of some police forces, but when these (including the Gestapo,) were all subsumed into the SS, Goering was eased out and given command of the Luftwaffe instead.
(The Gestapo was responsible for domestic intelligence and spying, and the arrest and transport of Jews and other undesirable elements to the Konzentrations-Lage or camps, which were operated by the SS. This is what the FBI now does in America. The umbrella SS was a private Nazi Party paramilitary police force, similar to the position of Blackwater/Xe in the USA under the Bush Adminstration. Fortunately for us, Hurricane Katrina and an economic collapse spoiled the Republican plans.)
So do NOT blame the US military. They are probably the most loyal and patriotic branch of our official establishment, and to them we owe the preservation of our liberties against the evil designs of BushCo.
The same cannot be said for the CIA, the FBI, the TSA, the DHS, and local police forces - these are steadily becoming a cabal of criminal mafias, mostly loyal to the Republican Party, although the Democratic Party too is rapidly selling out to the same fascist and corporatist interests that have traditionally been served by the Republicans.
Mr. Grigg, there you have it. Truth AND consequences all in one bitter pill. I hope your readers understand the implications and follow the links to investigate INFRAGARD - this is too important to be ignored.
"While I may be blind to some Swiftian subtlety in Odom's writing, it seems clear to me that the author eagerly anticipates a military dictatorship. . ."
For what it's worth, Odem denies this. While looking on Amazon.com, I found the following statement in the introduction (pg 4-5):
"Does America’s Man on Horseback represent my wishes for the future of this great nation? Certainly not!"
Nevertheless, excellent writing, as usual, Will.
Thanks for your kind words, David S.
You're right in pointing out that Odom doesn't want the future to unfold as he anticipates, but at the time he wrote the book he seemed to be convinced that America would descend into lawlessness of the kind that could only be cured through dictatorship. I doubt that his views have changed significantly post-9/11.
"When" -- not "if" -- "America's `man on horseback' prevails, he may find interesting what I attribute as the cause of our nation's decline," writes Odom. He admits that his scenario in its specifics is the product of a "writer's fancy," but insists that "an American dictator will emerge between 2013 and 2029."
"If I were to depict his true draconian potential, it would be ten times worse than any I outline in this book," he observes. I take this to mean that the regime he describes could be taken as his preferred outcome of several very dismal futures.
Frankly, none of us can see the future. Many today are using history as their guide to try and understand the changes that are taking place in America today. Which is a very intelligent way to try and find answers for how to roll with the punches.
The more critical thinking people in America have been watching what is going on in keen awareness for years now. However it seems many new citizens have joined the ranks of critical thinkers to look for answers. Nevertheless, most Americans know something is very wrong with the direction this country is headed. They may not understand how government works or understand history but their God giving common sense for self preservation is kicking in.
Once again many thanks. I am taking full advantage of the Pulitzer Prize
Board's new rules for online journalism.
I am nominating you.
Now all you have to do is sit back and wait for the applause...
I'm sure that the newest board member will quickly agree that you deserve the Award. And who knows? He may even start publishing you in his Politico blab.
Wouldn't this country be great if we still upheld the valor of true journalistic endeavor?
Bush-era memos saw rights limits in U.S. ‘terror war’
March 3, 2009
by Randall Mikkelsen
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military could have kicked in doors to raid a suspected terrorist cell in the United States without a warrant under a Bush-era legal memo the Justice Department made public on Monday.
The memo, from October 23, 2001, also said constitutional free-speech protections and a prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure could take a back seat to military needs in fighting terrorism inside the country.
It was one of nine previously undisclosed memos and legal opinions which shed light on former President George W. Bush's legal guidance as he launched a war against terrorism after the September 11 attacks.
"The government's compelling interests in wartime justify restrictions on the scope of individual liberty," it said.
Other memos held that the president had broad power to detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism and to suspend treaty obligations on issues as seen fit.
The memos depict an administration apparently determined to assert sweeping powers for the president after the shock of September 11, and add fuel to critics' charges that fundamental constitutional protections were threatened in the process.
"The current campaign against terrorism may require even broader exercises of federal power domestically," Justice Department officials John Yoo and Robert Delahunty wrote White House counsel Alberto Gonzales in the October 23 memo.
"We do not think that a military commander carrying out a raid on a terrorist cell would be required to demonstrate probable cause or to obtain a (search) warrant," they said.
The Supreme Court has held that the Constitution's Fourth Amendment ordinarily requires a probable cause and a warrant to execute a search. However, the memo said those requirements "are unsuited to the demands of wartime."
Furthermore, it said, "First Amendment speech and press rights may also be subordinated to the overriding need to wage war successfully."
The Justice Department under Bush had fought a lawsuit by the American Civil Liberties Union which sought to make that and other the legal memos public.
"These memos essentially argue that the president has a blank check to disregard the Constitution during wartime," said Jameel Jaffer, national security director for the ACLU.
The memos could also increase Democratic calls for wide investigations to shed light on Bush's security practices, such as a "truth commission" proposed by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy. Leahy said they help illustrate Bush's "misguided national security policies."
Bush's Justice Department disavowed the early advice in a final memo dated days before U.S. President Barack Obama took office, and Obama later declared all of the memos invalid.
The January 15, 2009 memo from the Bush department's Office of Legal Counsel said: "The following propositions contained in the opinions .... do not currently reflect, and have not for some years reflected, the views of the OLC."
It said the counsel's office had not relied on the opinions since 2003 "and on several occasions we have already acknowledged the doubtful nature of these propositions."
The memos' release was the latest move in the Obama administration's swift repudiation of many of Bush's counterterrorism policies, which have been criticized by U.S. allies and advocates of human rights and civil liberties.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he intended to release future legal counsel opinions when possible, "while still protecting national security information and ensuring robust internal executive branch debate and decision-making."
The ACLU welcomed the decision to make the documents public but said it hoped this was the first step in a broader release.
I have asked the police, the country commission, even both my Assembly elected officials and the Governor to justify the purchase of military equipment for the civilian police.
These morons either give some spill about the police need them to protect me or for their safety. This is garbage, and I then inquire about my liberty over their safety, this is usually out and out ignored by them,for they will not answer the question at all.
The fact is, they don't care about either our liberty or safety. They just the ability to take both from us.
Well, they can try - at their peril.
Very well written.
I am hoping that the American people are waking up and will throw the idiots out of office. Unfortunately we are give a choice of the red puppet or the blue puppet but the strings are held by the same hands.
The State sovereignty movement seems to be our best bet. That and the military oath keepers. Unfortunately they have probably been singled out for use as front line cannon fodder on foreign shores.
On the topic of police receiving AR-15's. Police used to and some still carry shot-guns, those weapons I would expect you to still cry about? Police carry their sidearms for the rare occasion they may use it. It is the same reason they want assualt rifles more and more police forces around the world not just the U.S. are moving to assualt rifles over the traditional shotgun. This has nothing to do with any of you just police forces modernizing as criminals do the same, grow up
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