Tag Archives: Janet Napolitano

Governments Lie-Always

TSA

Exposed documents reveal Napolitano, TSA lied about safety of cancer-causing naked body scanners

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 by: Ethan A. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) Remember when Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano claimed back in 2010 that the US Transportation Security Administration‘s (TSA) naked body scanners had been proven safe by research conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter…)? A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request recently brought to light internal emails that were sent by NIST to DHS that basically decry Napolitano’s false assertion that NIST had verified the safety of the naked body scanners.Amid the string of emails discussing the matter, an undisclosed sender explains that NIST was “a little concerned” over Napolitano’s public reassurances that TSA’s naked body scanners are safe. After all, NIST does not test products, and it never tested the naked body scanners in the first place. Napolitano apparently took the individual machine dose measurements that NIST had gathered and twisted them to say what she wanted them to say, which was that the machines are safe.You can view a partially-censored copy of that email exchange here:
http://epic.org/privacy/backscatter…Worse, NIST had actually warned DHS and TSA that the machines were not necessarily safe, and that airport screening agents should avoid standing next to them because of the harmful radiation they emit. It is unclear whether or not this warning was ever taken seriously by TSA officials.

Napolitano also falsely claimed that research conducted by the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory confirms the safety of naked body scanners, even though the research actually suggests the opposite. Dr. Michael Love from the school publicly stated that the machines are going to give people skin cancer, and the specific findings of the report indicate that “radiation zones” around the machines emit enough radiation to exceed the “General Public Dose Limit.”

One thing is for sure, though. Many current and former TSA agents who have developed cancers are now speaking out against the machines, as they believe repeated and continual exposure to them is responsible for their conditions. Many TSA agents have repeatedly requested that they be given dosimeters to wear that will warn them of dangerous radiation exposure — but TSA higher-ups have never followed through in addressing their concerns, despite empty promises that they would.

Sources for this story include:

http://www.prisonplanet.com/new-doc…

http://epic.org/2011/06/epic-v-dhs-…

Original Article: http://www.naturalnews.com/032839_body_scanners_TSA.html

Related articles
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Can Jesse Ventura force a TSA submission?

Things have come to a pretty pass if our best hope is a former pro wrestler’s lawsuit against the TSA‘s violations of privacy

Jennifer Abel guardian.co.uk,

Tuesday 1 February 2011 14.48 GMT Article history

In this 1999 file photo, then-Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura presents his first state of the state address at the state capitol in St Paul. Photograph: Tom Olmscheid/AP

Desperation is when once-proud and free Americans like me are reduced to pleading, “Save us, Jesse Ventura, you’re our only hope.”

It’s over three months now since the unelected political appointees heading the TSA made their sexually abusive Hobson’s choice mandatory for American airline customers: either step through a scanner whose potentially cancerous radiation lets TSA agents view your nude body, or adopt guilty-criminal, hands-in-the-air poses, while agents grope you head to toe, genitalia included.

Two months since Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano suggested expanding this to all forms of mass transit. Eight weeks since the House of Representatives voted 417 to 3 in favour of House Resolution 28, supporting exactly that TSA expansion. And mere days since Barack Obama joked about the patdowns in his state of the union address. (Easy for him to laugh, as one of the privileged few exempt from the humiliations TSA imposes on his countrymen.)

What about the rest of us Americans? I’m one who insists, along with others, “We won’t fly”, so long as TSA abuse remains part of the experience. Yet much of the media insists that makes us stubbornly selfish at best, prudishly insane at worst.

Then, there’s Jesse Ventura, the former pro wrestler and Reform party governor of Minnesota. He doesn’t belong to the “boycott flying”contingent; indeed, he flies several times each week in order to host his TV show, Conspiracy Theory. But Ventura, like millions of Americans, has health problems that force him to rely on medical implants or prosthetics – in his case, a titanium hip replacement that’s set offmetal detectors ever since he got it in 2008.

Ventura had no objections when the TSA used a handheld wand to clear him through security, but that changed with the “nude-scan or grope-down” policy last autumn. So, on 25 January 2011, he filed a lawsuit against Homeland Security and TSA for violating his fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure, claiming the patdowns “exposed him to humiliation and degradation through unwanted touching, gripping and rubbing of the intimate areas of his body.”

No comment from the TSA, though, a few days later, Administrator John Pistole made the unrelated announcement he won’t allow any moreairports to opt out of TSA staffing.

Though they did blink last Thanksgiving eve, when the National Opt-Out Day protest was scheduled; the plan called for fliers to refuse the scanners en masse, so the TSA turned them off at major airports. Then, spokeswoman Ann Davis gloated over her “overall sense that passengers seem to be opting out of Opt Out.” The agency has since refused all freedom of information requests demanding to know why those allegedly essential security procedures were ignored on Opt-Out Day.

Meanwhile, we learned that the scanners can’t discern between “plastic explosives” and “human flesh”. The TSA has yet to find a single terrorist, though they have no difficulty detecting menstruating women, or cancer patients with colostomy bags, or prosthetic breasts.

When gropings make small children scream in terror, TSA director James Marchand advised agents, “If you can come up with some kind of a game to play with a child, it makes it a lot easier” – advice, akin to paedophile “grooming”, which has caused alarm among sex abuse experts.

The lawsuits keep coming; the TSA keeps losing, yet the agency presses ever forward rather than backing down. It’s too early to predict how Ventura’s lawsuit will be decided, although the TSA hasn’t been faring well in court lately: last week, Phil Mocek was acquitted of the four charges the TSA brought against him after he (legally) videotaped agents at work and refused to show his ID. TSA’s case was so weak,Mocek’s defence didn’t even need to call witnesses. Two weeks before that, the TSA settled another lawsuit brought by Lynsie Murley, after agents in Texas allegedly pulled down her blouse, exposing her breasts to all, then teased her about it.

American taxpayers – who actually paid for that settlement – weren’t told how much it was for. TSA spokesman Luis Casanova also refused to name the agents responsible, but did say they hadn’t been fired or disciplined. “When a settlement is reached, there is no disciplinary action,” Casanova said. “It’s a no-fault kind of settlement.”

It always is where the TSA’s concerned.

`


We Own You!

Red Light Cameras: Safety Devices or One More Step Toward a Surveillance State?

by John W. Whitehead

Recently by John W. Whitehead: Attention, Walmart Shoppers: Big Sis Wants You to Spy on One Another

Before Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, unleashed full body imaging scanners and “enhanced” pat downs on American airline passengers, she subjected Arizona drivers to red light cameras. In August 2008, Napolitano, then-governor of Arizona, instituted a statewide system of 200 fixed and mobile speed and red light cameras, which were projected to bring in more than $120 million in annual revenue for the state. She was aided in this endeavor by the Australian corporation Redflex Traffic Systems.

Two years later, after widespread complaints that the cameras intrude on privacy and are primarily a money-making enterprise for the state (income actually fell short of the projections because people refused to pay their fines), Arizona put the brakes on the program. And while other states – including Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia and Wisconsin – have since followed suit, many more municipalities, suffering from budget crises, have succumbed to the promise of easy revenue and installed the cameras. As the Washington Post notes:

A handful of cities used them a decade ago. Now they’re in more than 400, spread across two dozen states. Montgomery County started out with 18 cameras in 2007. Now it has 119. Maryland just took the program statewide last month, and Prince George’s is putting up 50. The District started out with a few red light cameras in 1999; now they send out as many automated tickets each year as they have residents, about 580,000.

In most cases, state and local governments arrange to lease the cameras from the Redflex Corporation, with Redflex taking its cut of ticket revenue first, and the excess going to the states and municipalities.

The cameras, which are triggered by sensors buried in the road, work by taking photos of drivers who enter intersections after a traffic light turns red. What few realize, however, is that you don’t actually have to run a red light to get “caught.” Many drivers have triggered the cameras simply by making a right turn on red or crossing the sensor but not advancing into the intersection.

Each municipality has its own protocol for what happens next, but generally, the photos are reviewed by Redflex, which then issues tickets to the drivers. And this is where your right to a fair and full hearing largely goes out the window. Indeed, while there is a system for challenging a ticket, it is often convoluted and onerous, with the burden of proof resting upon the driver. Even the courts have a tendency to view the cameras as infallible. According to the Washington Post, Montgomery County, “in screening the tickets to mail out, has had to kick out 23,266 ‘violations’ from May 2007 to June 2009 because ‘No violation occurred/operator error.’ And 10,813 were tossed for reasons including ‘power interruption’ and ‘equipment malfunction.’” Once in court, however, the drivers were invariably found guilty 99.7 percent of the time.

Some opponents advocate ignoring the ticket altogether on the pretext that there are few real penalties to not paying. In Los Angeles, about 56,000 people have opted not to pay their red light camera tickets, resulting in roughly 45 percent of all tickets issued since 2006 going unresolved with no punishment.

Still, supporters contend that the ends justify the means because the cameras increase traffic safety. Yet research suggests otherwise. In fact, multiple studies indicate that red light cameras actually increase the number of crashes. For example, in Greensboro, N.C., the Urban Transit Institute at the North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University analyzed 57 months of data and concluded that the red light cameras were associated with a 40% increase in crashes. In Ontario, Canada, Synectics Transportation Consultants found a 16% increase in accidents at intersections with cameras, as opposed to an 8% increase at comparison intersections with no police enforcement or cameras. It also found a 2% increase in injury/fatal crashes at camera intersections as opposed to a 10% decrease with police enforcement.

Studies conducted in Virginia also show that the cameras result in an increased number of rear-end collisions. The Virginia Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration funded a study of seven years of crash data by the Virginia Transportation Research Council. The study associated red light cameras with a 27% increase in rear-end crashes and a 42% decrease in red-light-running crashes across six Virginia jurisdictions (Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Vienna). Overall, however, crashes increased because there are generally more rear-end crashes than red light running crashes. Thus, the study concluded that the results “cannot be used to justify the widespread installation of cameras because they are not universally effective.”

There are, in fact, far superior alternatives to red light cameras. For instance, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, intersection safety would be increased by simply lengthening the yellow light time or adding an all-red light interval. A study by the Texas Transportation Institute found that increasing the length of yellow lights by one second decreased the chance of accidents by 40%. Similarly, another case study revealed that a mere 30% increase in yellow light time produced substantial safety benefits. And when the Virginia Department of Transportation increased the yellow light duration from 4.0 seconds to 5.5 seconds at an Arlington intersection in 2000, the problem of red light running practically disappeared.

Rather than trading one type of crash for another, which is what red light cameras do, increasing the duration of the yellow light has proven to be effective in actually enhancing intersection safety. So why aren’t more communities extending the yellow lights?

Regrettably, a close examination of the history of traffic monitoring devices reveals that, on a larger scale, the profit motive figures prominently into the increased use of red light cameras. In fact, despite the fact that lengthening the yellow light duration has been shown to increase intersection safety, national guidelines have actually lowered the recommended yellow light duration at problem intersections, apparently in an effort to spawn the implementation of red light cameras across the nation.

Moreover, a 2001 report released by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey found that in 1985, the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) began to change the way signal times were calculated so as to provide at least three methods resulting in a reduction of yellow light time. The report ultimately concluded:

Transportation officials and engineers know that the yellow signal timing is essential to safety. The data showing this to be the case are found in their studies. Nonetheless, some have systematically and intentionally ignored the inescapable engineering fact that longer yellows would solve the so-called crises caused by shortened yellows. Red light cameras present a perverse disincentive for local jurisdictions to fix intersections with excessive red light entries. It’s hard to fix a “problem” that brings in millions in revenue. In other words, red light cameras aren’t fixing a safety problem, they’re creating one.

Virginia is a perfect example of what happens when politicians sacrifice safety to generate revenue. In March 2010, Governor Bob McDonnell (R) approved legislation that allows private corporations operating the red light camera systems, such as Redflex, to directly access motorists’ confidential information from the Department of Motor Vehicles. What this means is that not only will government agents have one more means of monitoring a person’s whereabouts, but a remote, privately-owned corporation will now have access to drivers’ confidential information.

Another provision signed into law by McDonnell also shortened the amount of time given to alleged traffic law violators to respond to citations resulting from red light camera violations. While prior law allotted 60 days for the response, the amendment cut that time in half to 30 days. This gives the driver scant time to receive and review the information, determine what action is required, inspect the evidence, consider appealing the citation and respond appropriately. In this way, by shortening the appeal time, more drivers are forced to pay the fine or face added penalties.

The bottom line is this: red light cameras are not safety devices – they’re revenue-raising devices for corporations, states and municipalities, which is bad enough when it comes at taxpayer expense. But when coupled with the entire arsenal of technological tools being aimed at the American people, from license-plate readers, mobile scanners and iris scanners to full-body scanners in airports, biometric ID cards, etc., they become yet another layer in our surveillance society. Ultimately, surveillance is about one thing – total control of the citizenry.

December 21, 2010

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead [send him mail] is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. He is the author of The Change Manifesto (Sourcebooks).

Copyright © 2010 The Rutherford Institute

The Best of John W. Whitehead

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


ICE Won’t Let Local Police Opt Out of Assisting Federal Enforcement

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look, whatever you may think about immigration this is not about that. This is about the RIGHT of local government to say to the feds “thanks but we would just prefer not to.” In other words it is about your police chief or your county sheriff deciding that the resources, eg. officers, are not available because they actually want to use them for dealing with crime in your community. If local officers are used by ICE that means less of them on the street for local protection. Besides that, who the h**l do the feds think they are telling us what our law enforcement can or cannot do! (E)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Data provided by ICE shows that contrary to their goals, people targeted by the Secure Communities program have minor criminal convictions or have no criminal convictions.

TruthOut.org / By Willam Fisher

November 4, 2010 |

*

 

Photo Credit: Public Domain
Will U.S. local law enforcement be forced to participate in a program that critics say will put city police in the position of enforcing federal immigration law and, in the process, divert scarce resources from essential community policing, discourage immigrants from working with police to solve crimes and increase racial profiling?

Or is it a voluntary program?

Those are the questions being raised by civil rights advocacy groups in a federal court filing seeking an injunction requiring the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency to turn over critical documents concerning the ability of communities to opt out of what they label “the massive deportation dragnet”, the Secure Communities — S-Comm — program.

The groups seek to clarify ICE’s statements, which they say have been “inconsistent and confusing”. In August, ICE released a memo entitled “Setting the Record Straight” setting forth an opt-out policy, which involves submitting a request in writing and meeting with ICE officials.

Janet Napolitano, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, later confirmed that process to be accurate.

But subsequent communications to and from ICE have muddied the waters, making it less clear that there is any opt-out policy at all.

The Washington Post claims that opting out of Secure Communities “is not a realistic possibility, and never was”. This question takes on significance because a number of municipal and country law enforcement agencies have made it clear that they do not wish to participate in S-Comm.

Sunita Patel, an attorney with the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), told IPS, “The misnamed Secure Communities program is the Department of Homeland Security’s current scheme to rope local cops into immigration enforcement. Though branded as a race-blind way to arrest certain people, the numbers show it’s actually a trap.”

And Francis Boyle, a law professor at the University of Illinois, told IPS, “This is simply an exercise in racial profiling against Latinos.”

On Aug. 10, the groups filing the new freedom of information suit — CCR, the National Day Laborer Organising Network and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law — released internal government documents newly obtained through a lawsuit filed in a New York federal court in April.

According to advocates who have reviewed the documents, they reveal a pattern of dishonesty regarding the S-Comm program.

S-Comm, which currently operates in approximately 600 jurisdictions across the country, functions like the controversial 287(g) program and Arizona’s SB1070, making state and local police central to the enforcement of federal immigration law.

The program automatically runs fingerprints through immigration databases for all people arrested and targets them for detention and deportation even if their criminal charges are minor, eventually dismissed, or the result of an unlawful arrest. The program links FBI criminal databases with civil immigration databases.

Several local jurisdictions have already asked to opt out, and were given a variety of responses. In May 2010, Sheriff Michael Hennessey of San Francisco requested an opt-out from ICE, but ICE directed him to California state officials. The California attorney general denied the sheriff’s request and claimed that there was no opt-out option.

Arlington County, Virginia held a community forum in July to discuss opting out of the program, at which the chief of police stated that ICE had told him that there was no opt-out — Secure Communities was federally mandated.

Others, including Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat from California, the Santa Clara Board, and the San Mateo County Board of Supervisors, all contacted ICE asking for information about the opt-out policies. None received an immediate response.

In the meantime, in response to legislation before the Council of the District of Columbia to terminate Secure Communities, the Washington DC chief of police terminated the city’s Secure Communities program with ICE.

So now at least two counties, plus Washington, DC have decided not to participate in the program. Why?

The groups bringing the lawsuit claim that “People are concerned that, similar to the 287(g) program, there is no oversight of Secure Communities. The data provided by ICE thus far has shown that contrary to ICE’s intention to focus on immigrants with serious criminal convictions, the majority of people identified by Secure Communities have minor criminal convictions or have no criminal convictions.”

They add that, in some cases, “U.S. citizens have been wrongly identified by the program. There are also concerns that the program leads to racial profiling and pretextual arrests. Furthermore, local law enforcement agencies that suspect that persons in their jails may be deportable immigrants already have the ability to contact ICE directly.”

The Secure Communities program, launched in 2008, is currently active in 658 jurisdictions in 32 states, according to ICE, which plans to activate the program in every jurisdiction in every state by 2013.

Secure Communities, 287(g), and the Criminal Alien program — the Barack Obama administration‘s signature immigration enforcement programs — all rely on heavy involvement from and cooperation with local law enforcement to siphon immigrants into the immigration enforcement and detention system and, ultimately, through deportation proceedings.

Meanwhile, in a related development, the Department of Justice will be in federal appellate court in San Francisco on Monday, Nov. 1, urging the court to keep in place an injunction blocking the core provisions of SB 1070, Arizona’s racial profiling law.

The American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of civil rights groups will also be present. They filed a friend-of- the-court brief in the case in September, supporting the injunction and illustrating the serious harm that SB 1070 would cause.

William Fisher has managed economic development programs in the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Asia for the U.S. State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

Related Articles

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The Truth About Terrorism, and the U.S. Government

by Scott Lazarowitz

Recently by Scott Lazarowitz: The Choice Between Two Americas

My writing this was inspired by Paul Craig Roberts’s great article The War on Terror, in which he tells the truth about what’s really going on, and I wanted to expand more on this terrorism subject.

There are many reasons why the U.S. government needs to place itself on the Terrorist Watch List, but since there isn’t enough space to include all that here, I’ll just touch on the most important points.

To begin, millions of Americans report their income and employment status to the U.S. government out of fear, and for no other reason. It certainly isn’t out of the goodness of their hearts (except for the most naïve amongst us). Most Americans who are required to pay a certain percentage of their income to the feds aren’t really paying – it is being taken from them under the threat of various intrusions, such as garnishing their wages or putting a lien on their homes (like a lien on one’s home really matters anymore now in the time of ForeclosureGate). For many Americans, the taking is automatic, directly from their paychecks. So employers as well as workers must submit to the threat of brute force if they don’t comply with the demand for information on employment status and payment. Millions of Americans are terrorized by the federal government, not only for what might happen to them if they don’t comply with the demands, but if a mistake is made. There have been horror stories told by many Americans of what happened to them because a mistake was made – including mistakes made by the government.

And many owners of businesses, especially of small businesses, are terrified that they will be persecuted by some government bureaucrat for not following one of the many thousands of regulations that businesses must obey, regulations that exist for no good reason – only to protect larger businesses’ profits. (Thanks, Herr Lincoln.) And especially because of the unstable economic environment now, millions of businesses are afraid to take risks, make any new investments, or hire new workers because they don’t know what the situation will be for them even months from now, let alone years. And Congress won’t even let people know whether or not the Bush tax cuts will be extended or allowed to expire after January 1st, 2011. No one knows what to do. (I’m sure businesses and workers all across America would prosper, if we could only abolish Congress.)

Regarding the War on Terrorism and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), I am now terrified of flying. This is not because a terrorist might hijack the plane, but because of the intrusiveness of what people now have to endure when going through security checkpoints: the pornographic X-rays, the frisking and groping, the searching of my clothing and belongings, the harsh interrogations. Out of their blind faith in the State, the American sheeple have assumed that there should be no alternative to the State’s monopoly in territorial protection, and have passively accepted the constantly growing intrusions by the State against the people and their Liberty. As an experienced pilot has suggested, the airlines should be responsible for their security, not the government. And arm the pilots as well. And arm the passengers as well. In the meantime, I won’t fly.

And then there are the anti-civil liberties, anti-Due Process presidential powers that the Bush Administration had usurped, and that the Obama Administration seems to enjoy having, of apprehending and detaining individuals without actual suspicion, of extraordinary rendition, torture, even presidentially-directed assassinations of individuals deemed by the president and his agents to be “terrorists” without due process or trial. And, given that the whole world, including U.S. territory, is considered to be part of the Global Battlefield in the Global War on Terror, and given that Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano has issued warnings against “right-wing extremists,” essentially those who disagree with Obama’s policies, and given that I happen to be one who disagrees with just about all of Obama’s policies from his war crimes to his communist social policies, then obviously no place in America is safe, and it really is terrifying now.

And regarding the federal government’s intrusions into Americans’ private health matters, I know someone who has said that, because of the new ObamaCare medical intrusions, he will not have his follow-up medical procedures as long as ObamaCare is in place. He just doesn’t want his medical details being scrutinized by government officials. And I also have some health situations for which I rely very much on OTC vitamins and supplements. But, because the Obama FDA wants to crack down on OTC supplement makers, that really is a direct threat to me. I am literally terrified that these bureaucratic misfits in Washington want to take away my only real means of keeping me in (somewhat) good health, and all on behalf of Big Pharma. It’s disgusting how so many people in various federal agencies are on the boards of large pharmaceutical industries, and the cahoots between Big Pharma and Big Government, with lobbyists and campaign donations to legislators to vote Big Pharma’s way, is downright scary.

Also, because the U.S. government has done nothing but provoke Muslims in Middle Eastern countries to act against Americans, I am terrified of another major terrorist attack in the U.S. It would be solely because of what the U.S. government has been doing, especially since 1990. The U.S. government’s actions of terrorism against innocents in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other parts of the Middle East, and its intrusions into just about every aspect of daily life, have been making me less safe, as well as all other Americans.

Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Bush’s father George H.W. Bush actually should all be tried for war crimes and terrorism, especially against Muslims in the Middle East. The IRS, the FDA, the TSA, and other extensions of the federal Leviathan also need to be held accountable for their actions. If we can’t have that, then at the very least, the U.S. government must place itself on the Terror Watch List, as it is the one organization that has been most responsible for terrorizing the most people, ever.

October 20, 2010

Scott Lazarowitz [send him mail] is a commentator and cartoonist at Reasonandjest.com.

Copyright © 2010 by LewRockwell.com. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.

The Best of Scott Lazarowitz


It Is Official: The US Is a Police State

by Paul Craig Roberts

Recently by Paul Craig Roberts: The True Cost of the War

On September 24, Jason Ditz reported on Antiwar.com that “the FBI is confirming that this morning they began a number of raids against the homes of antiwar activists in Illinois, Minneapolis, Michigan, and North Carolina, claiming that they are ‘seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.’”

Now we know what Homeland Security (sic) secretary Janet Napolitano meant when she said on September 10: “The old view that ‘if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won’t have to fight them here’ is just that – the old view.” The new view, Napolitano said, is “to counter violent extremism right here at home.”

“Violent extremism” is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. In this morning’s FBI’s foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience, it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with “the material support of terrorism,” just as conservatives equated Vietnam era anti-war protesters with giving material support to communism.

Anti-war activist Mick Kelly whose home was raided, sees the FBI raids as harassment to intimidate those who organize war protests. I wonder if Kelly is underestimating the threat. The FBI’s own words clearly indicate that the federal police agency and the judges who signed the warrants do not regard antiwar protesters as Americans exercising their Constitutional rights, but as unpatriotic elements offering material support to terrorism.

“Material support” is another of those undefined police state terms. In this context the term means that Americans who fail to believe their government’s lies and instead protest its policies, are supporting their government’s declared enemies and, thus, are not exercising their civil liberties but committing treason.

As this initial FBI foray is a softening up move to get the public accustomed to the idea that the real terrorists are their fellow citizens here at home, Kelly will get off this time. But next time the FBI will find emails on his computer from a “terrorist group” set up by the CIA that will incriminate him. Under the practices put in place by the Bush and Obama regimes, and approved by corrupt federal judges, protesters who have been compromised by fake terrorist groups can be declared “enemy combatants” and sent off to Egypt, Poland, or some other corrupt American puppet state – Canada perhaps – to be tortured until confession is forthcoming that antiwar protesters and, indeed, every critic of the US government, are on Osama bin Laden’s payroll.

Almost every Republican and conservative and, indeed, the majority of Americans will fall for this, only to find, later, that it is subversive to complain that their Social Security was cut in the interest of the war against Iran or some other demonized entity, or that they couldn’t have a Medicare operation because the wars in Central Asia and South America required the money.

Americans are the most gullible people who ever existed. They tend to support the government instead of the Constitution, and almost every Republican and conservative regards civil liberty as a coddling device that encourages criminals and terrorists.

The US media, highly concentrated in violation of the American principle of a diverse and independent media, will lend its support to the witch hunts that will close down all protests and independent thought in the US over the next few years. As the Nazi leader Joseph Goebbels said, “think of the press as a great keyboard on which the Government can play.”

An American Police State was inevitable once Americans let “their” government get away with 9/11. Americans are too gullible, too uneducated, and too jingoistic to remain a free people. As another Nazi leader Herman Goering said, “The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. Tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peace-makers for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger.”

This is precisely what the Bush and Obama regimes have done. America, as people of my generation knew it, no longer exists.

September 25, 2010

Paul Craig Roberts [send him mail], a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, has been reporting shocking cases of prosecutorial abuse for two decades. A new edition of his book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, co-authored with Lawrence Stratton, a documented account of how Americans lost the protection of law, has been released by Random House.

Copyright © 2010 Paul Craig Roberts

The Best of Paul Craig Roberts

Related Video




%d bloggers like this: