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Death of the First Amendment

The Nazification of the United States

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

Chuck Norris is no pinko-liberal-commie, and Human Events is a very conservative publication. The two have come together to produce an important article, “Obama’s US Assassination Program.”

It seems only yesterday that Americans, or those interested in their civil liberties, were shocked that the Bush regime so flagrantly violated the FlSA law against spying on American citizens without a warrant. A federal judge serving on the FISA court even resigned in protest to the illegality of the spying. 

Nothing was done about it.  “National security” placed the president and executive branch above the law of the land. Civil libertarians worried that the US government was freeing its power from the constraints of law, but no one else seemed to care.

Encouraged by its success in breaking the law, the executive branch early this year announced that the Obama regime has given itself the right to murder Americans abroad if such Americans are considered a “threat.”  “Threat” was not defined and, thus, a death sentence would be issued by a subjective decision of an unaccountable official.

There was hardly a peep out of the public or the media. Americans and the media were content for the government to summarily execute traitors and turncoats, and who better to identify traitors and turncoats than the government with all its spy programs.

The problem with this sort of thing is that once it starts, it doesn’t stop. As Norris reports, citing Obama regime security officials, the next stage is to criminalize dissent and criticism of the government.  The May 2010 National Security Strategy states: “We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between homeland and national security. . . . This includes a determination to prevent terrorist attacks against the American people by fully coordinating the actions that we take abroad with the actions and precautions that we take at home.”

Most Americans will respond that the “indispensable” US government would never confuse an American exercising First Amendment rights with a terrorist or an enemy of the state. But, in fact, governments always have. Even one of our Founding Fathers, John Adams and the Federalist Party, had their “Alien and Sedition Acts” which targeted the Republican press.

Few with power can brook opposition or criticism, especially when it is a simple matter for those with power to sweep away constraints upon their power in the name of “national security.” Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan recently explained that more steps are being taken, because of the growing number of Americans who have been “captivated by extremist ideology or causes.” Notice that this phrasing goes beyond concern with Muslim terrorists.

In pursuit of hegemony over both the world and its own subjects, the US government is shutting down the First Amendment and turning criticism of the government into an act of “domestic extremism,” a capital crime punishable by execution, just as it was in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia. 

Initially German courts resisted Hitler’s illegal acts. Hitler got around the courts by creating a parallel court system, like the Bush regime did with its military tribunals. It won’t be long before a decision of the US Supreme Court will not mean anything. Any decision that goes against the regime will simply be ignored.

This is already happening in Canada, an American puppet state. Writing for CounterPunch, Andy Worthington documents the lawlessness of the US trial of Canadian Omar Khadr. In January of this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the interrogation of Khadr constituted “state conduct that violates the principles of fundamental justice” and “offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.” According to the Toronto Star, the Court instructed the government to “shape a response that reconciled its foreign policy imperatives with its constitutional obligations to Khadr,” but the puppet prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, ignored the Court and permitted the US government to proceed with its lawless abuse of a Canadian citizen.

September 11 destroyed more than lives, World Trade Center buildings, and Americans’ sense of invulnerability. The event destroyed American liberty, the rule of law and the US Constitution.

PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.  His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com