FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

The National Security Blight

by NORMAN POLLACK

A blight impairs or destroys something, here, the National-Security State, which Obama, his Administration, and personifying these trends of lawlessness and government violative of the US Constitution, the Department of Justice under Eric Holder, not merely impairs but is actively destroying the democratic civil-liberties guarantees of a free society.  The Justice Department a vehicle of injustice reminds one of A. Mitchell Palmer and the Red Raids under Wilson, only now, under Obama, subversion (aka, terrorism) is defined in wider terms, as sedition, a crime against the State, whenever its own crimes are revealed by whistleblowers and made public.  E.g., Bradley Manning is a terrorist by the Obama-Holder reckoning (and AG Holder cannot use the lame excuse of recusal when he actively has prosecuted Espionage Act cases, specifically against whistleblowers), because he made possible the divulgence, so that the public may know, of government practices, enshrouded in heavy layers of secrecy, that cannot stand the light of day—nor pass any meaningful democratic “smell” test.

Obama-Holder, Siamese twins when it comes to the deprivation of civil liberties (how many Court filings has DOJ entered to deny habeas corpus rights to detainees?!), like Obama-Brennan, Siamese twins when it comes to targeted assassination, as part of the planned continuity of the armed drone program as the prerequisite for binding future administrations to the acceptance of the doctrine of permanent war, to which Holder-DOJ contempt for civil liberties perfectly fits, points the way to station two or three on the slippery slope toward fascism in America.  Holder’s appearance before House Judiciary yesterday (May 15) is a disgrace, as much for what he was allowed to get away with, as for what he said.  And what he said bears scrutiny: “There should be a shield law with regard to the press’s ability to gather information and to disseminate it.  The focus should be on those people who break their oath and put the American people at risk, not reporters who gather this information.” (Italics, mine)

With friends of a free press like that, what’s any longer to worry?  Plenty.  First, his gobbledygook in fact focuses on the whistleblower, here rendered an enemy of the State, AND made into a positive menace, the domestic terrorist in our midst whom we must resolutely squelch (think Bradley Manning, yet also a message of stern warning to all others of harsh treatment from the Government, at the least, solitary confinement and sleep deprivation while awaiting trial—somewhat beyond A. Mitchell Palmer’s Boys), all for what?  For speaking truth to power—a power getting increasingly out of hand, and to which most liberals and progressives appear to have submitted to, and then praised because somehow less horrendous than what the other major party has on offer.  And second, finally, Holder’s statement is at one with the phony retreat of the Administration, indeed, serves to introduce it, following the news of spying on the Associated Press.  Specifically, Obama has called on Sen. Schumer to re-introduce his bill on the so-called protection of the press, so-called because this is a shabby attempt for the Administration to have its cake and eat it.  Protection—to a point, on civil cases, less so, criminal cases, NONE WHATEVER on national-security cases.  It is fitting Schumer should introduce this sham, for it illustrates the integrated nature of national-security: a leading protector of Wall Street is also an enabler par excellence of American militarism.

Even the criticisms made of Obama, superficial in the extreme, today’s New York Times piece by Peter Baker on how POTUS has temporarily lost his way and is chagrined by the obstacles thrown in the way of his noble plans (what plans? how noble?) as a case in point, fail to touch on the broad area of civil liberties.  Yet the Constitution is fast going down the tubes as we, the nation, sit on our collective hands and cheer on the warmaking machine.

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

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail