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?
at 11:13 PM