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Dictatorship and the Loss of Conscience In America

War in Iraq could result in complete loss of civil liberties in America. The Bush Administration does not take well to dissent and organized dissent regarding the war could result in internment of peaceful demonstrators. Perhaps the waters that are now washing thru Europe will remind our allies and that America's disrgard for international law could be a disasterous as our disregard for global warming.
Dictatorship and The Loss of Conscience in America

I write this article with some hesitation since the implications are so horrendous. What I am about to say still seems in the realm of the conspiracy theory or perhaps the thoughts of a paranoid delusional.

On the other hand, I cannot ignore the denial that took place in pre-nazi Germany, and the common belief that it can't happen here.

Simply put I believe it's very possible the United States will go to war with Iraq. If so, I believe this genocide and international terrorism by the United States will push our nation into a social revolution that will require the use of military forces to quiet domestic resistance. This will result in the curtailment of current civil liberties and a constitutional crisis that hasn't been seen since the Civil War.

The stage for such action was set with the USA Patriot Act which resulted from the horror of 9/11.

USA PATRIOT ACT

First, we have the "US Patriot Act" which was written soon after 9/11. As a result of this act the civil liberties of many non-citizens in the United States were totally disregarded. Their names, location, and the charges against them were never given. Today a federal Judge is still trying to get the names 11 detaines still held in secret.

The current anti-terrorism laws, however, are not limited to non-citizens and can be readily abused. The article "Dictatorship at your doorstep - How anti terrorism laws threaten you" (May 2002) outlines the power of the "USA Patriot Act"

www.isil.org/resources/lit/dictatorship-at-doorstep.html

These powers currently authorize the following:

1 "Cops can now rob your house or office at will: Under Section 213, police can now secretly break into your home or business if they merely suspect you're involved in any criminal activity involving a computer."

2. "Under Section 207(III) the Feds can now eavesdrop on your phone calls, faxes, and e-mail at will -- without any search warrant. Internet Service Providers must turn over your e-mail records and customer information upon government demand. Telephone companies also must turn over detailed phone records, including any credit-card or bank-account numbers used for payments"

This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the powers which both federal and state government can abuse in the name of anti-terrorism.

TIPS PROGRAM: Terrorism Information and Prevention System

While the proposed TIPS program is now dead in Congress. the fact that it was even proposed by the Bush and Ashcroft administration makes my skin crawl. Eventually anything illegal would have become reportable. The ACLU states the following about the TIPS program in its article, "Stop the Government from Turning Neighbor Against Neighbor!"

www.aclu.org/action/tips107.html

"This dangerous program would not only allow peoples' homes to be searched without cause or warrants, but it would also turn neighbor against neighbor and potentially generate thousands of unreasonable and unwarranted charges against innocent people."

Another ACLU article regarding TIPS is titled: "ACLU Says Bush Administration Should Not Allow Operation TIPS To Become An End Run Around Constitution"

www.aclu.org/news/2002/n071502a.html

In other words, the Bush administration is doing everything possible to destroy our constititution, and replace it with a dicatiorship. As it stands now the TIP program is now being hosted by "American's Most Wanted." If the government can't do it perhaps TV can.

The WAR IN AFGHANISTAN

The war in Afgahanistan has been a farce. The only thing it did in terms of stopping terrorism is redefine the "term" so the United States could use its military strength against any nation it chooses - including Iraq. Our enemy has now been extended to include an "Axis of Evil." This is a nebulous form of evil with all the Evangelical attributes of Satan and Jerry Farwell. How many children were needlessly harmed or killed in our attack on Afghanistan is unknown, but the war was more a revenge killing than any rational response to terrorism.

Benjamin Even and his article, "Deconstructing the War on Terror: Race, Gender and History," publish on Z Net in the section Terrorism is the best article I've read on American's war in Afghanistan and why our plans for further terrorism are misguided.

The Bush administration's lust for a dictatorship and oil, makes an attack on Iraq very likely, even thought the current sanctions alone have done far more to hurt and kill the children of that country than is imaginable.

In the article "What About the Children in Iraq: A report from the UN Special Session on Children," May 8-10 2002 by Claude Lefko, on Z Net states that the sanctions against Iraq, ensured by the United States, have resulted in the death of 5,000 children under the age of five every month. Further, more than half a million children have died over the last decade because of the sanctions."

www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm

It's hard to believe that those in positions of influence could allow such genocide to take place. But as a nation we've insulated ourselves from the needs of other nations by the use of a mainstream media that is a corporate monopoly, and ass wipe, for the Bush administration and corporate greed.

THE POSSE COMITASUS ACT, OF 1878

If there is an invasion of Iraq I believe it will be in October. The Posse Comitasus Act of 1879 is now being given new life so organized resistance similar to that seen at the end of Viet-Nam war will quickly be put down by martial law and American troops.

In a country where questioning the war in Afghanistan has been termed giving "aid and comfort to the enemy" and turning ones back to the President can result in being expelled from school or arrested, strong organized opposition to war in Iraq could easily be defined as a terrorist activity, and those in organized opposition to the war (student groups), using non-violent civil disobedience, could easily be put in concentration camps without their names or location being released. The precedent has already been established with non-citizens in the United States.

For those with questions about the use of the Posse Comitasus Act to quell domestic protest over the proposed war in Iraq I suggest the following article:

"Misguided mission for military," by Gene Healy, of the Washington Times,
July 31, 2002

www.washtimes.com/commentary/20020731-31834290.htm

CONCLUSION

We have a government that is ready to move ahead with war in Iraq. The stage has been set for the misuse of our civil liberties as authorized by the "USA Patriot Act. We have an administration that is reevaluating the Posse Comitasus Act that will give the Bush authorization to use troops to put down any organized resistance to the upcoming war.

The only thing need is the willingness of US troops to kill and imprison US citizens designated as terrorists because of their anti-war protesting. The militaries readiness to do this is highlighted in a frightening article called, "The Fort Bragg murders: a grim warning on the use of the military," by Bill Vann, 2 August 2002.

Such "interment" camps are becoming more of a reality as expressed in the article.
"Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish Vision" August 14, by JONATHAN TURLEY, in the Los Angeles Times:

 http://www.latimes.com/la-oe-turley14aug14.story

In the article dealing with the Fort Bragg murders I was surprised to see how the murder of 5 wives by their husbands returning from combat in Afghanistan could be a foreboding of far worse things to come.

www.wsws.org/articles/2002/aug2002/brag-a02_prn.shtml

I will simply quote from the last part of the article as a way of finalizing my concerns. Those who love children should think about a war with Iraq, and the carnage it will impose on that country. If war with Iraq does take place the governments confrontation with those protesting the war will I believe lead to the ultimate test of constitution and our nation as a free society. Our government has clearly expressed its distain of dissent.

"The Fort Bragg murders: a grim warning on the use of the military"

"The danger is that the same breed of US military forces who organized the assassinations of tens of thousands of Vietnamese during Operation Phoenix in Vietnam; who trained and "advised" the death squads in El Salvador and Guatemala; and who most recently carried out war crimes in Afghanistan will be deployed against working people in the US itself."

It is in this sense that the spasm of killings at Fort Bragg must be taken as a warning. In every country where the military has been called out to repress the population—from the bloodbath that followed the 1973 CIA backed coup in Chile to the massacre of unarmed Chinese demonstrators in Tiananmen Square in 1989—the refrain has always been the same: How could they do this to their own people? The seemingly gratuitous brutality and bloodlust appeared incomprehensible. But a great deal of effort was expended by the ruling powers to emotionally and psychologically condition its shock troops to carry out the most savage and inhuman acts.

The American people are not immune to the worldwide eruption of US militarism. Torture, death squads and "disappearances" that so many peoples have suffered at the hands of US backed dictatorships can, indeed, happen here."

I hope my concerns are misplaced, and this article is over reaction to present behaviors. Perhaps the waters that are now washing thru Europe will remind not only American citizen, but our allies, that this administration"s disrgard for global warming could be as disasterous as our disregard for international law.
scary but true - what do we do? 15.Aug.2002 09:36

young activist

i'm a young activist and have felt pretty darn scared about all the things mentioned in this article, and other things too, not mentioned here. i have wondered if i'm being paranoid so i've been speaking to older activists about it - people who remember McCarthyism in the 50's or who have knowledge from even earlier times. to a person, they are all saying that things are worse now than they ever have been when it comes to civil liberties erosion and threats from the gov't regarding repression. these are indeed scary times we live in and who knows what it will be like to live here a year from now. on example is the recent indictments of 4 activists under the guise of investigating that logging equipment arson last year (an arson that would've been helpful to the logging company itself as a way to get out of an increasingly unprofitable and unpopular timber sale). these indictments come when the joint terrorism task force is up for renewal and wanting to proves its effectiveness in fighting terrorism. as if burning logging equipment is terrorism. terrorism is "creating terror" and the people doing that are the gov't and corporate media, working hand in hand like the partners in crime that they are. we must continue to dissent. those who don't want to be locked up in internment camps must also have a Plan B. (imprisonment is a political choice that works well for some but not for others.)

on a national scale, it seems like portland and the northwest is a center of resistance against tyranny, and that much of the rest of the country might be unreachable. but on a global scale, the centers are in other places (south america, europe, among others), and the u.s might seem unreachable. at some point it might be most effective to go where the revolution against global capital actually has a chance of working and that might not be anywhere here in this country. but maybe i'm giving in to the terror and fear that the gov't/media are creating by suggesting that. i don't know. these are confusing times to live in...

yes, what do we do? 16.Aug.2002 16:29

Roadrunner

I'm with you, young activist. It definitely seems like we're headed to a big turning point in the struggle between the rich and the rest of us. That great and wonderful dream of the American Middle Class that allowed 'us' to let troubles outside our homes just keep coasting by is about to crap out.

Hopefully the people who think that they are in the middle class will wake up and realize this and join us. But they probably won't, not until things get Great Depression bad.

I think the hopeful signs you see in South America are there because their situation is Great Depression bad, or worse.

As for Europe... Europe gives me some hope. People just seem generally more aware in Europe than here.

But as for right here, right now, Portland might be where young activists need to be. At least for A22.

In the meantime, hang in there. Talk to your friends, talk to your family. I suggest avoiding any destruction of public property, because, you know, after the revolution we might want be able to use that lamp post/mailbox/streetcar/etc. But that's just my suggestion.

Another suggestion is support the alternative economy. Shop at co-ops. Join co-ops. Help start up a local currency, maybe. Keep finding positive things to do, despite the ever encroaching Shadow of the Forces of Darkness.