The Fraudlent War on Terror

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

 

Americans had best rethink the “war on terror” while they still have the liberty to do so. For all of President Bush’s blah-blah talk about bringing democracy to the world, the Bush administration has proved that it is no friend of liberty at home.

The Bush administration has violated constitutional principles, US law, and the Geneva Conventions as no previous administration has done. Here is a short list of the Bush administration’s crimes:

Spying without court warrants on Americans in violation of both the US Constitution and the FISA statute.

The denial of habeas corpus, attorney-client privilege, due process, and Geneva Conventions protections to those, American or foreign, designated without evidence as terrorists or enemy combatants.

The justification and use of torture to coerce confessions and the kidnapping of foreign nationals who are sent to be tortured in foreign prisons.

The initiation of military aggression against states based on intentional deception by the Bush administration of the US public and the United Nations, and the intentional fabrication of “evidence” to justify unprovoked aggression against sovereign states, which is a war crime under the Nuremberg standard established by the US.

Violation of the oath of office to defend the US Constitution by practically every member of the Bush administration and Congress.

Bush has assaulted the separation of powers and the rule of law with “signing statements” and “executive orders” that President Nixon’s White House Counsel John Dean says are commands that treat the co-equal branches of government and the electorate as subservient to executive authority. In April 2006, Boston Globe reporter Charlie Savage listed 750 laws “challenged” by the Bush administration. Not even the demonized president of Iran claims to be above the law.

Genocide against the people of Iraq where one million Iraqis have died as a result of Bush’s invasion and several million Iraqis are displaced persons.

Massive civilian casualties in Afghanistan, which is a form of genocide in which military force is routinely applied to unarmed noncombatants.

Massive corruption in which no-bid contracts are issued to Republican corporations in exchange for kickbacks to political campaigns.

The theft of two national elections as documented in books by Mark Crispin Miller and Greg Palast.

The Bush administration has even conducted Stalinist show trials against innocent Muslim charities as part of its propaganda to make the American people fearful that they are surrounded by hostile terrorists. In December 2001 President Bush declared the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development to be a “terrorist organization” and seized the charity’s assets. Bush put the charities’ officials on trial as terrorists. Six years later on October 22, 2007, after years of investigations and two months of testimony by who but “Israeli intelligence agents” (according to the New York Times), the US government’s case fell apart in the courtroom.

One of the jurors said that the case ” was strung together with macaroni noodles. There was so little evidence.”

Georgetown University professor of constitutional law David D. Cole said the case “suggests the government is really pushing beyond where the law justifies them going.”

While committing these unprecedented crimes, President Bush has claimed the moral high ground despite having lied to the American people and despite devastating two countries in the name of “making the world safe from terrorists.” When people in Iraq and Afghanistan are asked who are the terrorists, they answer that it is the Americans.

The Bush administration has not been held accountable for any of its crimes. By failing to hold government accountable to law, the Constitution, and the American people. the opposition party and the corporate media have abandoned their responsibility to protect freedom and democracy in the United States.

There can be no democracy where there is no government accountability, and there is no government accountability in the United States–except, of course, to the Israel Lobby.

Now the Bush administration wants to take away the American people’s freedom to travel within their own country by airplane. Not content with an 80,000 “no fly” list, a subset of a 500,000-750,000 “watch list,” the Bush administration’s Transport Security Administration has proposed new rules that will require Americans to get government permission 72 hours in advance prior to being allowed to board a domestic flight.

The TSA justifies this extraordinary violation of our constitutional rights on the grounds that 90 to 93 percent of all travel reservations are final by then.

So what?!

And what of the 7 to 10 percent of flights that the TSA estimates are not on the books 72 hours in advance? These are family emergencies and critical business deals. What does the TSA care if a member of your family dies while you await the government’s permission to fly?

Any agency of the government that can propose such a tyrannical regulation should be abolished. The TSA’s mentality shows it to be a far greater threat to Americans than are terrorists.

Even without the “permission to fly” rule, the TSA’s practices are ridiculous and unjustified. The confiscation of tooth paste and unopened bottles of perfume, the harassment of US military officers in uniform, the harassment of old people struggling with their walkers, of mothers struggling with small children–none of this makes any sense except in terms of getting Americans accustomed to harassment as a citizen’s duty to government and to train a cadre to conduct warrantless searches of fellow citizens.

The no-fly list itself is absurd. If a known terrorist were to show up at an airport, he would be arrested, not refused permission to fly. Anyone else who can clear security like other passengers has every right to fly.

Set aside the violation of the Constitution and the Soviet-style tyranny of the loss of the freedom to travel and consider merely the practical aspect of the proposal. What American wants his travel plans dependent on a government bureaucracy capable of putting US Senator Ted Kennedy on the “no fly” list and capable of issuing US visas to two of the alleged 9/11 hijackers six months after they allegedly died in the 9/11 events?

If we believe the official story, 9/11 itself reveals a government totally devoid of any competence whatsoever.

The “war on terror” is fraudulent. The cruel war and the deceptive vocabulary that protects it are a cover for expanding US and Israeli hegemony in the MIddle East and for constructing a functioning police state at home. A country in which people cannot make airline reservations without the government’s permission is not a free country.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal editorial page and Contributing Editor of National Review. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions.He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is How America Was Lost.

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 03, 2015
Joseph Mangano – Janette D. Sherman
The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure
Nelson Valdes
An Internet Legend: the Pope, Fidel and the Black President
Robert Hunziker
The Perfectly Nasty Ocean Storm
Jack Dresser
The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook
Ahmad Moussa
Incinerating Palestinian Children
Greg Felton
Greece Succumbs to Imperialist Banksterism
Binoy Kampmark
Stalling the Trans-Pacific Partnership: the Failure of the Hawai’i Talks
Ted Rall
My Letter to Nick Goldberg of the LA Times
Mark Weisbrot
New Greek Bailout Increases the Possibility of Grexit
Jose Martinez
Black/Hispanic/Women: a Leadership Crisis
Victor Grossman
German Know-Nothings Today
Patrick Walker
We’re Not Sandernistas: Reinventing the Wheels of Bernie’s Bandwagon
Norman Pollack
Moral Consequences of War: America’s Hegemonic Thirst
Ralph Nader
Republicans Support Massive Tax Evasion by Starving IRS Budget
Alexander Reid Ross
Colonial Pride and the Killing of Cecil the Lion
Suhayb Ahmed
What’s Happening in Britain: Jeremy Corbyn and the Future of the Labour Party
Weekend Edition
July 31-33, 2015
Jeffrey St. Clair
Bernie and the Sandernistas: Into the Void
John Pilger
Julian Assange: the Untold Story of an Epic Struggle for Justice
Roberto J. González – David Price
Remaking the Human Terrain: The US Military’s Continuing Quest to Commandeer Culture
Lawrence Ware
Bernie Sanders’ Race Problem
Andrew Levine
The Logic of Illlogic: Narrow Self-Interest Keeps Israel’s “Existential Threats” Alive
ANDRE VLTCHEK
Kos, Bodrum, Desperate Refugees and a Dying Child
Paul Street
“That’s Politics”: the Sandernistas on the Master’s Schedule
Ted Rall
How the LAPD Conspired to Get Me Fired from the LA Times
Mike Whitney
Power-Mad Erdogan Launches War in Attempt to Become Turkey’s Supreme Leader
Ellen Brown
The Greek Coup: Liquidity as a Weapon of Coercion
Stephen Lendman
Russia Challenges America’s Orwellian NED
Will Parrish
The Politics of California’s Water System
John Wight
The Murder of Ali Saad Dawabsha, a Palestinian Infant Burned Alive by Israeli Terrorists
Jeffrey Blankfort
Leading Bibi’s Army in the War for Washington
Mary Lou Singleton
Gender, Patriarchy, and All That Jazz
Robert Fantina
Israeli Missteps Take a Toll
Pete Dolack
Speculators Circling Puerto Rico Latest Mode of Colonialism
Ron Jacobs
Spying on Black Writers: the FB Eye Blues
Paul Buhle
The Leftwing Seventies?
Binoy Kampmark
The TPP Trade Deal: of Sovereignty and Secrecy
David Swanson
Vietnam, Fifty Years After Defeating the US
Robert Hunziker
Human-Made Evolution
Shamus Cooke
Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone
David Rosen
Hillary Clinton: Learn From Your Sisters
Sam Husseini
How #AllLivesMatter and #BlackLivesMatter Can Devalue Life
Shepherd Bliss
Why I Support Bernie Sanders for President
Louis Proyect
Manufacturing Denial
Howard Lisnoff
The Wrong Argument
Tracey Harris
Living Tiny: a Richer and More Sustainable Future