Outlaw Police State
Wednesday May 2, 2012 - 19:27
Excerpt from e-zine
Outlaw Police State
It may still be news to you that there has been a fundamental change in the political character of the US, with effective suspension of the Constitution, an end to freedoms once protected in the Bill of Rights, and the abandonment of the rule of law as power is concentrated in the executive branch of government in a one party state (see Welcome). The final stage in the transformation to an authoritarian society of control was not a response to a crisis (9/11 trade-off of ‘freedom for security’), but the intended arrival of a totalitarian future, enabled by technological change and the crime of the 9/11 catalyst event. In a political version of bait-and-switch, even as the ‘war on terror’ is declared over (Obama, April 24, 2012), the new security superstructure it engendered remains in place, keeping its digital eyes and ears vigilantly trained on the enemy—Americans. They are not protecting us from terrorists. They are protecting themselves from us.
Case of the Two Pariahs
It’s instructive to compare the cases of the post-coup US and Nazi Germany. The Reichstag fire decree of Feb. 28, 1933 “to remedy dangers to public safety” ended the very same freedoms that Americans have lost, in a piecemeal fashion, since 2001, such as habeas corpus (Guantanamo, NDAA 2012), political speech (see ‘Info War’ below), privacy of communications (mass surveillance, see below)—or are losing—free assembly (‘illegal’ protests, free speech pens), etc.
All Power to the Executive
Germany’s Enabling Act of March 23, 1933 established dictatorship by giving the Cabinet the authority to legislate, merging executive and legislative power, followed by the creation of special tribunals for executive exercise of judiciary power. In the US this authoritarian merging has been imperfect in form (despite Anthrax attacks on the Congress and the creation of short-circuit ‘Super Committees’) but still effective, with executive orders ‘legislating’ military tribunals (Nov. 13, 2001) and surveillance (Terrorist Surveillance Program, 2002); plain lawlessness like Guantanamo, torture and executive ‘kill lists’ of citizens; and much rubber stamping of other illegal deviancies.
For their part, stacked Courts in a hijacked system have reliably gone along for the downhill ride to historic ignominy with eyes wide shut, even pronouncing that the judiciary branch lacks jurisdiction (4th US Circuit Court of Appeals decision, Jan. 23, 2012) on (US citizen Jose) Padilla v. Hanft, because of ‘state secrets,’ making legal redress (for Americans tortured by the state) a political decision, not a legal one. This is the explicit abandonment of rule of law and the definition of a police state.
Police state: “little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive” —http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Police...
Abrogation of Rule of Law
The American Way
Legal commentators have noted a strategy of workarounds to legality, an extra-legal, parallel framework for lawlessness that’s been called jurisdiction by permanent exception, justified by a state of ‘permanent crisis.’
As law of the land, the US Constitution trumps aberrant legislation and executive orders, according to US jurisprudence. But this legality becomes purely academic when corrupt courts fall in line, as now. Legal redress for violation of constitutional rights is therefore not possible in American courts today, where government spying, torture, detention and execution without trial have all been ’legalized.’ Legal proof as it were of the crime of killing off the US Constitution, until further notice, a dead letter.
Domestic spying on the citizenry violates the US constitution’s Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable search and seizure. That is why CIA spying has always been banned, in law, domestically and one reason why the FBI’s covert COINTELPRO (CounterIntelligenceProgram) was deemed illegal by the Senate Church Committee years ago. [Other reasons were harassment, threats, intimidation, stalking, slander, violence, bombings (Bari v. FBI) and assassination (of 28 Black Panther Party leaders 1967-69, for example - Our Enemies in Blue, Kristian Williams, p. 158). TSA searches are also illegal by the same law, “the right of the people to be secure in their persons against ..unreasonable searches.. shall not be violated”. ]
Nevertheless, since the USA Patriot Act of Oct. 26, 2001, the federal police apparatus has grown to include 16 different intelligence agencies forming overlapping dragnets for the digital data trails (including voice and location) of law abiding citizens. Here are six of them:
CIA (collaborates with national agencies) DHS -”Suspicious Activity Reports” National Intelligence Program, National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC-kill lists) + TSC FBI - Terrorist Screening Center (TSC) - Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) = Fusion Centers NSA - electronic surveillance/signals intercept (SIGINT) National Geospatial Intelligence Agency (NGA) - ‘mapping matrix’ for battlefield USA
Culture of Secrecy
One explanation for the hodge-podge, overlapping organizational approach is that the paper or e-trail of the illegal espionage is harder to follow if done by many and not one agency, a goal also served by new FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) loopholes from compliance (DOJ order Oct. 17, 2001) and ‘attempts to criminalize disclosure’ (D. Priest, Top Secret America, preface).
As the three constitutional government branches merge into one, the new surveillance superstructure extends federal control over state and local law enforcement through the use of military and other federal actors in FBI-led state Fusion Centers, which even corporate press reports have compared to the local ‘Red squads’ of 20th century America. Or COINTELPRO II with the dirty work offloaded to privateers (contractors), who also staff the spying centers along with DHS and others. The mix of actors makes it possible for ‘Army intelligence’ to be briefed on information collected at the local level. It also allows “both local and federal agencies to sidestep restrictions on their activities by working together" (Enemies in Blue, Kristian Williams, p. 167)
From Free Competition of Ideas to Info War
The new Fusion Centers constitute a political police force, performing a function already envisaged as early as 1983 by FEMA: FEMA’s role includes "prevention of dissident groups.. gaining access to U.S. opinion, or a global audience in times of crisis."
*** USA Patriot Act ...laid down “ the foundation of a domestic intelligence gathering system.. tearing down the legal firewall’ (ca. 1975) limiting police surveillance to ongoing criminal investigation." —Jim McGee, Washington Post, Nov. 4, 2001 ***
As federal tentacles invade once sacro-sanct state realms through new creatures like the Fusion Centers, state and local law enforcement has become more militarized, with paramilitary units, non-lethal weapons and military equipment acquired, and the spread of military drones into the ‘homeland’ battlefield (from May 2006).
Since 2002, the military’s Northern Command (NORTHCOMM) has responsibility for ‘homeland’ defense or internal security, with 20,000 armed troops reportedly (Al Jazeera: D. Parvaz Dec. 16, 2011) deployed on the mapped domestic ‘battlefield’. The 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA 2012) effectively declares war on Americans, having extended the conception of the worldwide ‘war on terror’ battlefield to include the ‘homeland’, to attempt to justify potential ‘enemy combatant’ status for citizens and military authority for indefinite detention, torture or execution.
With Posse Comitatus limitations on the sensitive use of federal troops internally, National Guard units are reportedly being prepared for deployment across state borders (Kent State shoot thy neighbor updated to the more practicable you shoot my neighbor and I’ll shoot yours).
The sea change in internal security is the visible manifestation of an unspoken mission creep: From criminal investigation for protection (police) and defense (military) to ideological profiling and political policing—control over political speech and the political life of the nation through permanent, institutionalized counter-insurgency at home.
When Big Business Swallows Government
It’s clear that the structure of business organization under capitalism, from Board of Directors down to workers, has always been authoritarian, not democratic. Big business is politically feudalistic, with the vassal workers living off their usefulness to their corporate sponsors (lords). They have no political power within the organization to affect change over executive decision making, the balance of power or the distribution of wealth.
What characterizes our recast Western world in the 21st century is that this model of private power has encroached on the once separate and public sphere of (self-) government, replacing the remains of sovereign nation states based on the legal rights of citizens with an imperial superstructure of World Institutions (World Bank, IMF, WTO, G8, etc.)—that no one voted for—organized around central banking and based on corporate profit for shareholders. A sort of feudal restoration has been set in motion, with the political hour rewound to oligarchic rule by the unaccountable private power of a financial aristocracy. The new order consists of imposing this regression by violence as one world government in a ’global society of control’ (Empire: Negri, Hardt). The place of the people in this brave new world has already been evoked—a material to be worked, processed, consumed (slaughtered). (See earlier article, ’America’s Extreme Right’ at http://metatexte.net/nftr )
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