Tag Archives: Congress

Data-gate Shows We’re On the Cusp by Justin Raimondo — Antiwar.com

… Between liberty and tyranny

by , August 14, 2013
It’s a small detail, in the general scheme of things, but one indicative of a troubling recent trend: when Congress voted on reauthorization of the Patriot Act, in 2011, the administration sent summaries [.pdf] to the House intelligence committee describing – without going into too much detail – the data dragnet conducted by the NSA under section 215. “We believe that making this document available to all members of Congress, as we did with a similar document in December 2009, is an effective way to inform the legislative debate about the reauthorization of Section 215,” read the cover letter accompanying the documents. Apparently Rep. Mike Rogers, the neocon tool who heads up the committee, didn’t agree: the summaries were never seen outside the committee.
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Hush-Hush Congressional Research Report: The Myth of Social Mobility … Not

Original article: http://www.thedailybell.com/3713/Hush-Hush-Congressional-Research-Report-The-Myth-of-Social-Mobility

Monday, March 19, 2012 – by Staff Report
Income inequality in the United States is more pronounced than in other developed countries, a new report from the Congressional Research Service finds, while the possibility of economic mobility is more constrained than commonly believed. “Based on the limited data that are comparable across nations, the U.S. income distribution appears to be among the most uneven of all major industrialized countries and the United States appears to be among the nations experiencing the greatest increases in measures of inequality.” – FAS Secrecy News Blog
 

Dominant Social Theme: In America, anyone can get rich.

Free-Market Analysis: Here’s a big myth: US social mobility is fungible and anyone can grow rich. Now a report from the Congressional Research Service has found that income inequality in the US is extreme and growing worse. Also, that where you’re born, socially speaking, is where you stay.Did you read about these findings? Didn’t think so. For one reason or another, Congress doesn’t seem inclined to make a big fuss over this information. Wonder why.Actually not. We think we know why. Congress’s approval ratings are stuck near the SINGLE DIGITS and have stayed there for years. This is because most people in the US likely see Congress as an instrument of repression and the increasingly savage status quo.There is a lot of truth to this assumption. Who at this point would want to work in Congress but a sociopath or psychopath? And there is plenty of evidence that the US Congress includes both.• In Afghanistan and Iraq, the US has been using depleted uranium weapons regularly for nearly a decade. The poisoning of these poor people has been so intense that many die of obscure cancers and mothers are routinely told not to have babies. Neither of these wars has been successful, and the depleted uranium poisoning has injured hundreds of thousands of returning US vets as well.• In the US, one third of citizens now have some exposure to the criminal justice system by the time they are in their early 20s. The US system of jurisprudence has resulted in some six million behind bars at any one time, more than half the world’s population of incarcerated individuals. The costs in damaged lives and families in tremendous. Routinely, as well, innocent people are put to death, victims of Draconian US “justice.”• The US population on food stamps has exploded, with some 50 million using food stamps now. And ALL US citizens eventually come to use some form of government assistance, especially if one includes Social Security. Medicare is another ubiquitous and badly run program encouraging citizen dependence on the government.• The Federal Reserve system, authorized and overseen by Congress, is responsible for the degradation of the US dollar by some 95-99 percent. The entire dollar reserve system is now on the verge of unraveling as the “depression” of the 2000s winds on with no real signs of abating.• The income tax system, and taxes generally, remove up to 50 percent or more of a person’s disposable income when one actually peers behind the various charges that are leveled on producers and consumers. Products are taxed all the way through the supply chain, so that the end price may reflect dozens of tax charges.This is but a tiny sampling of the kinds of results that Congress has been partially responsible for. The executive wing, of course, is equally culpable, as is the US Supreme Court. Those born in the US are subject to millions of regulations and thousands of taxes that they had no say in creating. They are saddled, as well, with the US’s “national debt.”The US has likely reached a point of no return when it comes to its regulatory, tax and monetary structure. The regulatory structure especially tends to freeze people into place from an economic and social mobility standpoint.This is, of course, exactly what the larger power elite wants. The apparent handful of dynastic families that control central banking around the world use regulation, taxes and fiat-money inflation as a way of ensuring that the billions beneath them have little hope of advancement.Yes, a tiny group of people seeks to implement world government apparently and uses various methodologies of control to shove the world and its billions in this direction. This is why societies around the world, including Western societies, are increasingly dysfunctional.This is a change from several hundred years ago when the US itself emerged as the hope of the world for social mobility. This is also why the US has been under tremendous attack from the elites for nearly its entire existence.The US “exception” shows us how a somewhat “free” society can actually work. Free banking, an economy based in part on gold and silver and a lack of formal regulation all catapulted the US into the topmost tier of the world’s wealthiest countries.But by the 20th century, the elites unceasing attacks on the libertarian positioning of the US had taken their toll. The proximate cause was the Civil War, which put the New York Banks (the European axis) in charge of the federation. From there it was just a matter of time.In the 20th century, the authoritarians struck. The silver standard, removed in the 19th century, was suddenly buttressed by the graduated income tax and the Federal Reserve. Two world wars effectively militarized the entire US, gave rise to an empire and a shadow world government managed out of the City of London with branches in Washington DC, Tel Aviv and elsewhere.The empire that the US has become is commonly seen by the bought-and-paid-for media as the apogee of sociopolitical and cultural achievement. But as we have pointed out, empire is nothing more than the last exhalation of a dying and corrupt culture.It is the time PRECEDING empire during which cultures achieve greatness, when people have social mobility and control over their own lives, inspirations and inventions. Empire is inevitably a military excrescence that takes each positive enumeration of civil society and weaponizes it.Pre-empire cultures are great places to live. But cultures that celebrate empire are miserable ones, full of hate, fear, paranoia and socio-economic and political control.The US, now in the empire phase, is failing fast. US citizens can only look back to the pre-Civil War period for a glimpse of the freedom that created a great country that spanned the world with its agricultural, cultural and mechanical gifts. The phrase “Yankee ingenuity” became a cliché for a reason.Above all, the US, “free banking” economic system based on gold and silver was the envy of the world. Though the power elite owned both gold and silver, it is evident and obvious that the elites could NOT control the US economy no matter how much gold and silver they owned.In fact, this directly rebuts Greenbackers’ contention that those who own the gold and silver will control the world even within a free-market economy. In the US, they didn’t and could not. This helps bear out the truth of Austrian economiststhat it is impossible to sustain unwanted monopolies in free market societies.They needed to use force, as they always do, to control society. First they fought the Civil War to destroy private banking and private money and to build up Wall Street and the power of the New York banks. After this in rapid succession came the graduated income tax, the Federal Reserve and various world wars.And now social mobility is all-but-frozen in the US. The power elite has been immeasurably aided in their quest to subvert the freedoms in the US by the various myths that still exist in the country regarding the way it used to operate. The article, excerpted above, makes this point as well:“Americans may be less concerned about inequality in the distribution of income at any given point in time partly because of a belief that everyone has an equal opportunity to move up the income ladder. A review of the literature suggests that Americans’ perceptions about their likelihood of changing position in the income distribution may be exaggerated,” the CRS report said.“It … appears that going from rags to riches is relatively rare; that is, where one starts in the income distribution greatly influences where one ends up.” See The U.S. Income Distribution and Mobility: Trends and International Comparisons, March 7, 2012.We have long been aware of the increasing inequities in US society and the “welfarization” of the economy that has accompanied its authoritarianism militarization and regulatory and penal deconstruction. But eventually, the new realities probably will begin to wake up more people in the US.When they do, we expect there may be considerable social trouble. People currently still anticipate the current “recession” will end. They cannot be blamed, struggling as they are, for not understanding that the power elite has apparently turned a fundamental page.The elites now seek frank world government from what we can tell and are promoting economic disaster, regional and world wars and increased authoritarianism around the world in order to realize their goals. Out of chaos … order.The problem, as we long have pointed out, is that what we call the Internet Reformation is increasingly educating and radicalizing much of the ‘Net intelligentsia. This is a critical breech in the elite’s plans.

Conclusion: The successful conclusion of the elite’s plans is by no means certain, even though they try to make it appear so. They have certainly managed to deconstruct US exceptionalism and make the lives of many a living hell. But even this can be reversed over time and we don’t count out the possibility that it shall be.

 


TEA PARTY CRASHES: THE MOST UNPATRIOTIC ACT

February 15th, 2011

By Susan Lindauer, 9/11 Whistleblower indicted on the Patriot Act

I confess that since November I’ve been holding my breath, watching the clock for how long Tea Party newcomers could hold out against the entrenched Republican elite on Capitol Hill. Collapse was inevitable, however I admit to feeling bitterly surprised at how rapidly they have thrown in the towel.

For the record, most of the Tea Party quit their principles of liberty on February 14, 2011—20 days into the new Congress—when Tea Party leaders abruptly abandoned their opposition to the Patriot Act and voted to extend intrusive domestic surveillance, wire tapping and warrantless searches of American citizens. In so doing, they exposed the fraud of their soaring campaign promises to defend the liberty of ordinary Americans, and fight government intrusions on freedom. All those wide eyed speeches that flowed with such thrilling devotions, all of it proved to be self-aggrandizing lies.

The Tea Party didn’t even put up a fight. Briefly they rejected a sneak attack to renew three surveillance clauses of the Patriot Act on a suspension vote. That filled my heart with hope. One push from the Republican elite, however and they went down with a loud thud.

My disappointment is particularly acute. Rather notoriously, I am distinguished as the second non-Arab American to face indictment on the Patriot Act, after Jose Padilla.

My status was pretty close to an enemy non-combatant. One would presume that I must have joined some terrorist conspiracy? Or engaged in some brutal act of sedition, such as stock piling weapons and munitions to overthrow those crooks in Congress?

You would be wrong. I got indicted for protesting the War in Iraq. My crime was delivering a warm-hearted letter to my second cousin White House Chief of Staff, Andy Card, which correctly outlined the consequences of War. Suspiciously, I had been one of the very few Assets covering the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations for seven years. Thus, I was personally acquainted with the truth about Pre-War Intelligence, which differs remarkably from the story invented by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill.

More dangerously still, my team gave advance warnings about the 9/11 attack and solicited Iraq’s cooperation after 9/11. In August 2001, at the urging of my CIA handler, I phoned Attorney General John Ashcroft’s private staff and the Office of Counter-Terrorism to ask for an “emergency broadcast alert” across all federal agencies, seeking any fragment of intelligence on airplane hijackings. My warning cited the World Trade Center as the identified target. Highly credible independent sources have confirmed that in August, 2001 I described the strike on the World Trade Center as “imminent,” with the potential for “mass casualties, possibly using a miniature thermonuclear device.”

Thanks to the Patriot Act, Americans have zero knowledge of those truths, though the 9/11 Community has zoomed close for years. Republican leaders invoked the Patriot Act to take me down 30 days after I approached the offices of Senator John McCain and Trent Lott, requesting to testify about Iraq’s cooperation with the 9/11 investigation and a comprehensive peace framework that would have achieved every U.S. and British objective without firing a shot. Ironically, because of the Patriot Act, my conversations with Senator Trent Lott‘s staff got captured on wire taps, proving my story.

You see, contrary to rhetoric on Capitol Hill, the Patriot Act is first and foremost a weapon to bludgeon whistleblowers and political dissidents. Indeed, it has been singularly crafted for that purpose.

The American people are not nearly as frightened as they should be. Many Americans expect the Patriot Act to limit its surveillance to overseas communications. Yet while I was under indictment, Maryland State Police invoked the Patriot Act to wire tap activists tied to the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, an environmental group dedicated to wind power, solar energy and recycling. The DC Anti-War Network was targeted as a “white supremacist group.” Amnesty International and anti-death penalty activists got targeted for alleged “civil rights violations.”

All of these are American activists engaged in lawful disputes of government policy. All of them got victimized by the surveillance techniques approved by Tea Party leaders, because they pursued a policy agenda that contradicted current government policies. The Tea Party swore to defend the freedom of independent thinking in Congressional campaigns. One presumes those promises are now forgotten until the next election.

I cannot forget. I cannot forget how I was subjected to secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony that denied my right to face my accusers or their accusations in open court, throughout five years of indictment. I cannot forget my imprisonment on a Texas military base for a year without a trial or evidentiary hearing.

I cannot forget how the FBI, the US Attorneys Office, the Bureau of Prisons and the main Justice office in Washington — independently and collectively verified my story— then falsified testimony to Chief Justice Michael Mukasey, denying our 9/11 warnings and my long-time status as a U.S. intelligence Asset, though my witnesses had aggressively confronted them. Apparently the Patriot Act allows the Justice

Department to withhold corroborating evidence and testimony from the Court, if it is deemed “classified.”

I cannot forget threats of forcible drugging and indefinite detention up to 10 years, until I could be “cured” of believing what everybody wanted to deny— because it was damn inconvenient to politicians in Washington anxious to hold onto power.

Some things are unforgivable in a democracy. The Patriot Act would be right at the top of that list. Nobody who has supported that wretched law should ever be allowed to brag of defending liberty again. That goes for the Tea Party. By voting to extend surveillance of American citizens, they have abandoned the principles of freedom that brought about their rise to power. They have shown their true face.

It is a face that we, the people, will remember. I, for one, have no intention of allowing them to forget.

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Susan Lindauer is the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq | Audio interview | Book review

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