FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

What Free Press?

by NORMAN POLLACK

Breaking news of DOJ surveillance of the AP brought a welcome fighting back, a rare display of calling Obama on his running roughshod over civil liberties and here freedom of the press.  The Holder-DOJ record so tarnishes the Constitution, all with Obama’s knowledge and blessing, as to erase any real distinction between the two major parties weighing all things considered.  What ever happened to Harvard Law, the descent into the gutter from the days of Pound, Cox, Griswold, now to Obama, one convinced he can act with impunity with his transgressions of the rule of law.

Lucky for him, the US is in a state of profound alienation, willingly acquiescent in anything or anyone who promises security from terrorism, as POTUS meanwhile has transformed counterterrorism into an agency of TERROR, at home through seeking the eradication of dissent, abroad, through the military-saturation of the globe with Special Ops, bases, assassination, doctrines of containment and hegemony (both directed at China), intervention (aka, regime change) in the internal affairs of nations the US does not like (Venezuela, for one, but others too), indeed, as Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo all testify, we are approaching the nadir of US foreign relations since Vietnam, and this under a Democratic president!

When will this criminal attack on international law stop?  Probably not in the foreseeable future, as the Obama-Brennan team lays the groundwork for a condition of permanent war, as much to prevent the democratization of the class structure, by among other means the squeezing dry of the social safety net, as it is to achieve—already a work in progress—the militarization of US capitalism as a vain effort to remain on top in which unilateral dominance is no longer possible.

Obama will fail, at least on the second count, which in turn will adversely affect the domestic system, driving America further into the moral void of militarism as the national policy.  What does DOJ’s invasion of the AP have to do with the US’s decline and growing belligerence?  Everything, for when the agency of law enforcement acts the role of common criminal and invades the security of lawful activity, one instinctively knows that fascism is just around the corner.  My Comment to the Times (May 14) on DOJ skullduggery follows:

Wake up, NYT. Your editorial page continues to give Obama praise because he somehow appears less repellent than the Republicans. Yet your investigative reporters, like Savage, Mazzetti, Shane, know better. AG Holder has been leading the assault on the Constitution since taking office–and Carney’s claim of Obama’s noninvolvement reeks with duplicity. How much evidence do you require that Obama tramples on the law, from denying (while still proclaiming) transparency to the questionable use of surveillance, the Espionage Act, and of course assassination as a tool of national policy.

Liberals and progressive fail to stand up to him. But I expect better of The Times. This is not a Left vs. Right issue, but simply one of freedom of the press. “Punch” is gone–does that give license to coddling those who suppress news-gathering? I wish you would come out fighting on PRINCIPLE, by exposing the abuses of POTUS and especially DOJ. For some time we have been in a new era of McCarthyism, but unlike the late 1940s when I and other resisted, the civil-rights community is silent as the tomb–the tomb in which we shall all be buried, if Obama-Holder have their way.

Norman Pollack is the author of “The Populist Response to Industrial America” (Harvard) and “The Just Polity” (Illinois), Guggenheim Fellow, and professor of history emeritus, Michigan State University.

 

Norman Pollack Ph.D. Harvard, Guggenheim Fellow, early writings on American Populism as a radical movement, prof., activist.. His interests are social theory and the structural analysis of capitalism and fascism. He can be reached at pollackn@msu.edu.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

March 28, 2017
Mike Whitney
Ending Syria’s Nightmare will Take Pressure From Below 
Mark Kernan
Memory Against Forgetting: the Resonance of Bloody Sunday
John McMurtry
Fake News: the Unravelling of US Empire From Within
Ron Jacobs
Mad Dog, Meet Eris, Queen of Strife
Michael J. Sainato
State Dept. Condemns Attacks on Russian Peaceful Protests, Ignores Those in America
Ted Rall
Five Things the Democrats Could Do to Save Their Party (But Probably Won’t)
Linn Washington Jr.
Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Hiring Practices: Privilege or Prejudice?
Philippe Marlière
Benoît Hamon, the Socialist Presidential Hopeful, is Good News for the French Left
Norman Pollack
Political Cannibalism: Eating America’s Vitals
Bruce Mastron
Obamacare? Trumpcare? Why Not Cubacare?
David Macaray
Hollywood Screen and TV Writers Call for Strike Vote
Christian Sorensen
We’ve Let Capitalism Kill the Planet
Rodolfo Acuna
What We Don’t Want to Know
Binoy Kampmark
The Futility of the Electronics Ban
Andrew Moss
Why ICE Raids Imperil Us All
March 27, 2017
Robert Hunziker
A Record-Setting Climate Going Bonkers
Frank Stricker
Why $15 an Hour Should be the Absolute Minimum Minimum Wage
Melvin Goodman
The Disappearance of Bipartisanship on the Intelligence Committees
Patrick Cockburn
ISIS’s Losses in Syria and Iraq Will Make It Difficult to Recruit
Russell Mokhiber
Single-Payer Bernie Morphs Into Public Option Dean
Gregory Barrett
Can Democracy Save Us?
Dave Lindorff
Budget Goes Military
John Heid
Disappeared on the Border: “Chase and Scatter” — to Death
Mark Weisbrot
The Troubling Financial Activities of an Ecuadorian Presidential Candidate
Robert Fisk
As ISIS’s Caliphate Shrinks, Syrian Anger Grows
Michael J. Sainato
Democratic Party Continues Shunning Popular Sanders Surrogates
Paul Bentley
Nazi Heritage: the Strange Saga of Chrystia Freeland’s Ukrainian Grandfather
Christopher Ketcham
Buddhism in the Storm
Thomas Barker
Platitudes in the Wake of London’s Terror Attack
Mike Hastie
Insane Truths: a Vietnam Vet on “Apocalypse Now, Redux”
Binoy Kampmark
Cyclone Watch in Australia
Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail