Thursday, October 12, 2006

What Do We Do? Fight Them, Until We Can't

“... the liberty of my country is gone, and I go after it!”

Patriot-martyr James Otis, reacting to a speech offered by Tory Timothy Ruggles during a meeting of the Massachusetts Assembly in 1769; Otis then dashed from the House as if in physical pursuit of the freedom that had fled from America's shores.

“What do we do now?”
“Same thing we always do – fight them until we can't.”

Kara “Starbuck” Thrace, answering a question from her compatriot Tyrol as they contemplate life under the tyrannical Cylon occupation, on “Battlestar Galactica.”

Freedom has fled our country. Tyranny has descended, albeit in tiny but perceptible increments -- much like the first modest droplets that prefigure a deluge of Noachian proportions.

Before September 28, we were still, in principle, a relatively free country. Today we are, in principle, a nation of slaves – or at least we will be as soon as the demented little pseudo-male in the White House puts crayon to parchment and signs the Military Commissions Act into “law.”

As late as a month ago, it was possible to prevent this outcome. Now it's all over but the sound of one Sharpie marker scratching out the Bushling's appropriately childish signature.

Many people – including some I once thought cared about freedom – will contend that this assessment is both alarmist and defeatist, since for the most part we'll be able to go about our business.

But this misses the point. In principle, our freedom of movement and the other liberties that were given to us by our Creator are now conditional and revocable at the whim of the insensate clod who defiles the White House. Once again, this means that although in practice we may behave as free people, in principle we're slaves.

John Locke taught this principle to the anti-government extremists and miscellaneous reprobates who won our independence from Great Britain. Slavery, Locke pointed out, consists of being "subject to the incessant, uncertain, arbitrary will of another man" and that "absolute arbitrary power" is the practice of "governing without settled standing laws."

The Bushling, under the Military Commission Act, can imprison and torture anyone he chooses to designate as an “unlawful enemy combatant.” And through the use of “signing statements,” he can set aside the substance of any duly enacted law by invoking his supposed authority as a “war president” (this is most commonly known as the doctrine of the “unitary executive”).

True, these powers have already been exercised, but only (for the most part) against foreigners and a few disreputable US citizens, such as Jose Padilla. This, like the illegal surveillance of domestic phone calls and other impositions, was done without express legislative consent – until September 28, 2006, The Day Liberty Died.

“But we're still freer than people in Cuba, Iran, China, or Russia, or Syria, or Saudi Arabia,” many will contend. No, we're not – in principle. As is the case with Cubans, Iranians, Chinese, Russians, Syrians, and subjects of the House of Saud, our freedoms are contingent on the continued grace of our master and his duly appointed agents. They may leave us alone entirely; they may impose upon us slightly; they may suddenly descend on us in fury to deprive us of our homes, our families, and our lives. According to what our rulers are pleased to call the “law,” the choice is entirely theirs.

“A nation of slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of their master, who, in the abuse of absolute power, does not proceed to the last extremes of injustice and oppression,” wrote Edward Gibbon , getting the principle right even if he applies it somewhat dubiously to the fate of pagans under Emperor Theodosius. We should remember that proverb whenever some lickspittle like Sean Hannity or Rush Limbaugh advises us that George the Bold – slayer of Zarqawi and “liberator” of Iraq and Afghanistan – is both good and wise, and will only take but a few of our rights away for the greater good.

Of either Limbaugh or Hannity it can be said: He has the soul of a kapo – assuming, of course, that he has a soul of any kind.

The case of the above-mentioned Jose Padilla illustrates perfectly what the regime has planned for us.

Padilla, a US citizen, is an ex-con, a former gang-banger. By most accounts, he's a pretty loathsome fellow – perhaps half as loathsome as the typical tax-fattened parasite working for the world's most murderous gang, the Federal Government. He was arrested in Chicago by the Feds, designated an “enemy combatant” by Emperor George Witless Bush, and detained without appeal in a Naval brig in Charleston, South Carolina.

Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft made a dramatic announcement (appropriately enough, in Moscow) that Padilla was part of an al-Qaeda plot to smuggle and detonate a “dirty” bomb in the United States. Bush and his handlers insisted that the president has the authority to detain an enemy combatant indefinitely, simply on the chief executive's say-so.

When it appeared that this claim was headed for a Supreme Court challenge that the administration would lose, Padilla was released from military detention and indicted on various charges that had nothing to do with a “dirty” bomb plot. This way Bush and his cohorts could protect the purported presidential authority to lock up a U.S. Citizen at whim – until that claim was ratified by Congress, as it was on September 28.

The prosecution of Padilla has shaken loose revelations – almost entirely ignored by what we're told is the “liberal” media – about the real reason he was arrested and detained for more than three years without trial or legal recourse: The Feds wanted to recruit him as an informant and operative, and he refused to play along.

In addition to being illegally arrested and imprisoned for three years, Padilla was tortured, according to a very plausible brief filed by his attorney.(.pdf)

“In an effort to gain Mr. Padilla's `dependency and trust,' he was tortured for nearly the entire three years and eight months of his unlawful detention,” reports the brief. “The torture took myriad forms, each designed to cause pain, anguish, depression and, ultimately, the loss of will to live.”

The chief torture method employed by the regime was isolation and sensory deprivation, coupled with efforts to deprive him of sleep. He was also “put in stress positions for hours at a time. He would be shackled and manacled, with a belly chain, for hours in his cell. Noxious fumes would be introduced to his room causing his eyes and nose to run.”

He was threatened with deportation to Gitmo – a place that this loser insists is a paradise on earth – as well as “being cut with a knife and having alcohol poured on the wounds. He was also threatened with imminent execution.”

Padilla also claims to have been drugged with LSD (which was developed by the CIA, let's not forget, for just such uses).

Why was this done to Padilla? The Regime's answer, in the form of a brief it filed opposing Padilla's right to legal counsel, is quite telling:

“Only after such time as Padilla has perceived that help is not on the way can the United States reasonably expect to obtain all possible intelligence information from Padilla.... Providing him access to counsel now .. would break – possibly irreparably – the sense of dependency and trust that the interrogators are attempting to create.”

Roll that statement around on your mental palate for a while. Then rinse, and spit.

Padilla, remember, had nothing to do with a terrorist plot. The Regime was simply trying to break his will – through torture – in order to turn him into an informant and, quite likely, an agent provocateur. The case for denying him legal counsel boils down to this: If he knows he has rights, we can't break his will; ergo – no lawyers for him!

Here's something else to contemplate:

Under the Military Commissions Act, “evidence” obtained through torture can be used against those designated “unlawful enemy combatants” by presidential decree. The methods used in the attempt to break Jose Padilla's will could therefore be used to extort accusations for use in “court.”

How would Americans – at least those of us who pay attention to the news – react if what we're discussing now were being said about Cuba, China, Iran, Russia, Syria, or Saudi Arabia? Bear in mind that most people who live in those countries never experience such things, yet we have no difficulty referring to the governments ruling those unfortunate nations as despotisms.

Yet for some reason most Americans cannot or will not face this unpleasant but insurmountable fact: As of September 28, the government that rules us has officially claimed the power to behave exactly like the regimes ruling all of those long-suffering nations.

Our freedom has fled. How many Americans are willing to pursue it, before the regime that chased it away catches up to them?


Jeff Taylor said...

Thank you for your wisdom, Will. It's a sad situation, isn't it? The Fred Reed column over at that you linked to is sobering as well.

I doubt that the Democrats have either the guts or principles to impeach Bush--partly because they're envious he gets away with so much--but I still think we'd be better off with Congress under Democratic control because Republicans need to be taught a lesson. Their hubris knows no bounds while they follow their Great Leader (who himself is following the Father of Lies--whether he knows it or not).

P.S.: If you're interested in an interpretation of Bush from an evangelical Christian perspective, here's one:

dixiedog said...

And aren't we doing that now, simply by communicating the truth over the last frontier of freedom, the internet?

No, since most folk actively look to the same sources for their info on the Internet as they would have passively, in a previous era, looked on as a mindless couch potato in the living room from the boob tube. Same ol' sources, same ol' propaganda, just different mediums is all.

The ABCNNBCBS core cabal still remains their primary daily info source, only they now can actively navigate gingerly to their respective websites in addition to passively watching them on the boob tube.

In fact, we commoners already don't really control the accessibility of data residing on the publicly-accessed servers as it is, even if the data in question is our own. Remember, the commoners don't actually make the policies; rather, it's the multinational corps. like Google, Yahoo, MS, and other entities that control the pipes and the public access servers that do. And since corporations are more congenial toward governments than individuals, the freedom extant is only momentary and completely arbitrary. Sure, they allow some freedom of expression at the moment, of course, but it's whimsical at best.

kishnevi said...

I would date the death of the Constitution to the announcement of Padilla's arrest. But otherwise your analysis is spot on.

Although looking back into history, everything GWB is doing was pioneered by that earlier Republican, Lincoln. But even Honest Abe was honest enough to acknowledge that his suspension of habeas corpus and arrest of war critics was an extraordinary step that was was justified by the need to "save" the Constitution but not by the Constitution itself. The modern Republicans have so little understanding and integrity left that they refuse to acknowledge even that much.

dixiedog said...

If you really think the cause is hopeless, why don't you shut up?

Typically, I am for the most part quiet and subdued, except when I see folk like you who are long on spout, but always short on action. That only makes you part of the problem not a solution. Alligator mouths w/jaybird asses always raise my temperature.

Not that I'm imposing on your freedom of speech, I just wonder why you bother if you think there's no value to it.

Why do I bother with what or about what??? Bother voting? Bother worrying about the certain inevitability of world government? The inevitability of the NAU?

Newsflash! I haven't bothered in years now because as I mentioned in the previous thread most folk live by pragmatism, not prudence. Sometimes it takes several trips around the mountain or through the wilderness for the light to finally turn on and they grab a cluestick. So be it, that's human nature.

Millions of people get their news and information from alternatives to big media. Polls show it's having an effect -- the vast majority opposes the war, and will vote against the Republicans this Fall.

If "millions of people" get their news from the JBS, TNA, and other real bona fide alternatives rather than from the global-centric cabal or the other elephant-aligned and donkey-aligned sites, why are they so ignorant of the machinations in play?

In case this is a revelation to you, contrary to popular myth voting != freedom and proves meaningless time and time again because it's just a pendulum play between degrees of totalitarianism the masses will tolerate (or desire as the case may be), choosing either the Countach or a Volkswagen but always, with few exceptions, moving in the same direction. Besides, the most tyrannical societies on the planet often have 100% voter turnout. Actually when women were given the right to vote, it was another fatal blow to liberty since women by nature are tyrannical minded - safety and security top every other concern, bar none. John Adams mentioned the "tyranny of the petticoat" himself.

Do you not go out much? You can observe and listen to folk especially women folk, as they generally loathe high taxes and such like most but, on the other hand, crying out for more government action in some area, the "There needs to be a LAW..." syndrome. Even men are quite prone to it these days.

Now, if you want to call me a defeatist, fine, whatever floats ya boat impy. Frankly, I believe the country is beyond the point of no return to a constitutional republic at this stage. The problems with this country are w-a-y beyond mere politics, political parties, and the vastly overstated importance of d-a v-o-t-e. It's the core innards that are rotting. The politicos simply reflect the mass innards from which they come.

Only the King of Kings will break it down; we won't, we cannot. So am I worried little man/woman? Cryin' a river of despair? Not at all. Nobody said life would be leisurely and carefree, and mine certainly hasn't been hitherto, so why worry so much and work up a sweat to momentarily change the politicos instead of impacting individual hearts and minds for Christ, one person at a time? After all things don't change, other than momentarily, from the top down, only from the bottom up makes a real significant and lasting impact.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to talk every petticoat I know into voting for Ron Paul. How 'bout y'all?