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Craig Rosebraugh's written testimony - part 2

Written Testimony Supplied to The U.S. House Subcommittee on Forests and Forests Health for the February 12, 2002, Hearing on “Ecoterrorism” Craig Rosebraugh Submitted to the House on February 7, 2002 - part 2
In the early 1990s, the U.S. government continuously bombed Iraq for more than 40 days and nights. One hundred seventy-seven million pounds of bombs fell during this time on the people of Iraq. The remaining uranium deposits from weapons resulted in massive birth defects and incidences of cancer. Between 1990 and 1995, the United States was directly responsible for killing more than 500,000 Iraqi children under the age of five due to economic sanctions. Additionally, due to these sanctions, coupled with the continuous U.S. bombing that has occurred on Iraq since the Gulf War, more than 1.5 million innocent Iraqi people have been killed. These few examples since 1950 of U.S.-sponsored and organized terrorism are horrendous, and, unfortunately, these massive murderous tactics continue today. On October 7, 2001 the U.S. government began a full-scale military invasion of Afghanistan without even providing a shred of factual evidence linking Osama Bin Laden or Al Qaida to the attacks in this country on September 11. To date, well over 4,000 innocent Afghani civilians have been killed by the U.S. government in this massive genocidal campaign. All along, U.S. government officials have claimed to possess concrete evidence proving the guilt of both Bin Laden and Al Qaida, but repeatedly said they cannot release this “proof” as doing so may endanger the lives of U.S. military personnel. This simply makes no sense, as there could not be any justifiable threat to U.S. personnel if they weren’t already in inexcusable positions, violating the sovereignty of internationally recognized nations.

The Taliban, which the United States help put into power in 1994, have stated repeatedly to the U.S. government and the world that it would hand over Bin Laden to an international court if the United States provided proof of his guilt. The United States refused and instead claimed the Taliban was not cooperating and was therefore harboring terrorists. Can you imagine what would have happened if, prior to September 11, 2001, a structure in Kabul was bombed and the Taliban immediately suspected CIA director George Tenet as the prime suspect? Would the United States hand over Tenet to the Taliban if requested if there was not substantial evidence provided of his guilt? Even if the Taliban supplied any shred of evidence, the United States still would refuse to hand over Tenet or any privileged citizen to an international court because the United States does not abide by them or agree to them. Regardless, the U.S. government believes that it has the right to provide no evidence of Bin Laden’s or Al Qaida’s guilt to the Taliban or the world before launching a massive genocidal campaign against Afghanistan civilians.

The true motives and the identities of those involved both in September 11, 2001 and October 7, 2001 are known only to a select few in power. However, evidence does exist in media sources as mainstream as the BBC (reported on September 18, 2001) that suggests the U.S. government was planning a military invasion of Afghanistan to oust the Taliban as early as March 2001. Furthermore, the intended deadline for the invasion was set for not later than October of the same year. The October 7, 2001, invasion by the United States into Afghanistan appears to have been right on schedule.

This war against terrorism, otherwise known as Operation Enduring Freedom, is the latest example of U.S. based terrorism and imperialism. It is clear that the events of September 11, 2001, were used as a chance for the U.S. government to invade Afghanistan, to attempt to increase U.S. regional and global power in addition to open up the much-sought-after oil reserves in the Middle East and Central Asia. The bonus, of course, was that this mission has given the United States the opportunity to target and attempt to annihilate any anti-U.S. sentiment within 10 that region. As the war against terrorism expands, so does the possibility of more U.S. military bases and more security for the global economic powers.

If the U.S. government is truly concerned with eradicating terrorism in the world, then that effort must begin with abolishing U.S. imperialism. Members of this governing body, both in the House and Senate as well as those who hold positions in the executive branch, constitute the largest group of terrorists and terrorist representatives currently threatening life on this planet. The only true service this horrific organization supplies is to the upper classes and corporate elite. As an innocent child, I used to have faith in my government and pride in my country. Today I have no pride, no faith, only embarrassment, anger, and frustration. There are definite and substantiated reasons why the U.S. government is not only disliked but hated by populations in many nations around the globe. The outrage and anger is justified due to the history of U.S. domestic and foreign policies.

Here in the United States, the growth of the empire, of capitalism, and of industry, has meant greater discrepancies between the wealthy and poor, a continued rise in the number of those considered to be a threat to the system, as well as irreversible harm done to the environment and life on the planet. Corporations in the United States literally get away with murder, facing little or no repercussions due to their legal structures. The U.S. government, which sleeps in the same bed as U.S. corporations, serves to ensure that the “business as usual” policies of imperialism can continue with as little friction as possible. Anyone questioning the mere logic of this genocidal culture and governing policy is considered a dissident and, more often than not, shipped off to one of the fastest growing industries of all, the prison industrial complex. Internationally, U.S. policies have amounted to the same, often times worse, forms of violence. As I demonstrated herein with examples since 1950, the foreign policy track record has included genocide, assassinations, exploitation, military action, and destruction. Disguised as promoting or protecting freedom and democracy, U.S. foreign policies aim to directly control and conquer, while gaining power, finances, and resources.

U.S. imperialism is a disease, one that continues to grow and become more powerful and dangerous. It needs to be stopped. One of the chief weapons used by those protecting the imperialist policies of the United States is a slick, believable propaganda campaign designed to ensure U.S. citizens do not question or threaten the “American way of life.” Perhaps the strongest factor in this campaign is the phenomenon of capitalism. By creating a consumer demand for products, corporations, greatly aided by the U.S. government, can effectively influence people’s dreams, desires, wants, and life plans. The very American Dream promoted throughout the world is that anyone can come to the United States, work hard, and become happy and financially secure. Through the use of the propaganda campaign designed, promoted, and transmitted by the U.S. ruling class, people are nearly coerced into adopting unhealthy desires for, often times, unreachable, unneeded, and dangerous consumer goods. Through impressive societal mind control, the belief that obtaining consumer products will equal security and happiness has spread across the United States, and much of the planet at this point, like some extreme plague. The fact that the policies of the United States murder people on a daily basis is unseen, forgotten, or ignored, as every effort is made by people to fit into the artificial model life manufactured by the ruling elite.

A universal effort needs to be made to understand the importance and execution of abolishing U.S. imperialism. This by no way refers to simply engaging in reformist efforts, rather, a complete societal and political revolution will need to occur before real justice and freedom become a reality. The answer does not lie in trying to fix one specific problem or work on one individual issue, but rather the entire pie needs to be targeted, every last piece looked upon as a mere representation of the whole.

If the people of the United States, who the government is supposed to represent, are actually serious about creating a nation of peace, freedom, and justice, then there must be a serious effort made, by any means necessary, to abolish imperialism and U.S. governmental 11 terrorism. The daily murder and destruction caused by this political organization is very real, and so the campaign by the people to stop it must be equally as potent. I have been told by many people in the United States to love America or leave it. I love this land and the truly compassionate people within it. I therefore feel I not only have a right, but also an obligation, to stay within this land and work for positive societal and political change for all.

I was asked originally if I would voluntarily testify before the House Subcommittee on Forests and Forest Health at a hearing focused on “ecoterrorism.” I declined in a written statement. U.S. Marshals then subpoenaed me on October 31, 2001 to testify at this hearing on February 12, 2002, against my will. Is this hearing a forum to discuss the threats facing the health of the natural environment, specifically the forests? No, clearly there is not even the remotest interest in this subject from the U.S. government or industry. The goal of this hearing is to discuss methodologies to improve the failed attempts law enforcement have made since the mid-1990s in catching and prosecuting individuals and organizations who take nonviolent, illegal direct action to stop the destruction of the natural environment. I have no interest in this cause or this hearing. In fact, I consider it a farce.

Since 1997, the U.S. government has issued me seven grand jury subpoenas, raided my home and work twice, stealing hundreds of items of property, and, on many occasions, sent federal agents to follow and question me. After this effort, which has lasted nearly five years, federal agents have yet to obtain any information from me to aid their investigations. As I have never been charged with one crime related to these so-called ecoterrorist organizations or their activities, the constant harassment by the federal government constitutes a serious infringement on my Constitutional right to freedom of speech. This Congressional Subcommittee hearing appears to be no different, harassing and targeting me for simply voicing my ideological support for those involved in environmental protection.

I fully praise those individuals who take direct action, by any means necessary, to stop the destruction of the natural world and threats to all life. They are the heroes, risking their freedom and lives so that we as a species as well as all life forms can continue to exist on the planet. In a country so fixated on monetary wealth and power, these brave environmental advocates are engaging in some of the most selfless activities possible.

It is my sincere desire that organizations such as the Earth Liberation Front continue to grow and prosper in the United States. In fact, more organizations, using similar tactics and strategies, need to be established to directly focus on U.S. imperialism and the U.S. government itself. For, as long as the quest for monetary gain continues to be the predominant value within U.S. society, human, animal, and environmental exploitation, destruction, and murder will continue to be a reality. This drive for profits at any cost needs to be fiercely targeted, and those responsible for the massive injustices punished. If there is any real concern for justice, freedom, and, at least, a resemblance of a true democracy, this revolutionary ideal must become a reality.