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It is now time for the U.S. military to act against a dangerous regime that is in material breach of one of the most important legal instruments in the world–the U.S. Constitution. And it is not Sadaam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, or Fidel Castro who threaten the Constitution.
George Bush, Dick Cheney, and every Cabinet member swore an oath to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. But what happens when the domestic threat is from the very people who swore to defend the Constitution?
The U.S. military, including a large number of Reserves and National Guard are being deployed to the desert sands of Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan and other countries. Their absence from the United States permits the Bush regime to seize more and more constitutional rights of the American people without the possibility of substantial resistance. The only people who are currently defenseless in the world today are the American people–they are vulnerable to the machinations of their own illegal regime.
That leaves only law enforcement as our only real defense. And while most police–Federal, state, and local–seem to be in lockstep with Bush’s march towards totalitarianism in the United States, there are now even rumblings from these ranks. Said one local law enforcement officer in the Washington, DC area, “our military reserve personnel are being sent to the Middle East and our ability as first responders is weakened.” And this from one Federal law enforcement official, “I can tell you that Bush is heartless.”
Hollywood has long pondered, through movies like Seven Days in May, what might happen to America if an extra-constitutional situation were to arise. While most of these cinematic presentations focused on power-hungry generals seizing control from democratically-elected presidents, no one in Hollywood ever really considered the possibility of generals imbued with democratic values ousting a President who was bent on seizing unconstitutional powers. However, this is exactly the nightmarish scenario that is beginning to arise in Washington.
After steamrolling through the U.S. Congress the USA PATRIOT Act at a time when the legislative branch was under an obvious home-grown anthrax attack, the Bush regime is now preparing to drop the other jack boot–the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 or as it has been dubbed — USA Patriot Act II. This law would effectively abrogate many of the protections granted by the Bill of Rights and virtually gut the Privacy and Freedom of Information Acts. It is yet another step towards the creation of Bush’s maniacal American Empire–one that foresees a final decisive battle between the forces of unbridle corporatism and fundamentalist Judeo-Christianity on one side and Islam, European liberal humanism, social democracy, and pacifism on the other.
Like Roman Caesars Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Claudius, and Napoleon Bonaparte, Adolf Hitler, and Benito Mussolini before him, Bush’s fanaticism threatens to plunge the world into endless war and bring to an ignoble close America’s 227-year democratic run.
It is perhaps telling that as the Bush regime further curtails the public’s right to know, patriots within the U.S. law enforcement establishment chose to leak the “Confidential-Not for Distribution” draft of the “USA Patriot II” Act. Just as Pentagon officials are leaking information on Donald Rumsfeld’s inhuman plans to cremate the remains of U.S. troops killed by Iraqi chemical or biological weapons, there are increasing signs that the U.S. government bureaucracy is becoming increasingly restless with the Bush clique. The General Accounting Office, the congressional watchdog agency, fresh from being trounced in its efforts to obtain Dick Cheney’s notes on his secretive Energy Task Force, is now conducting an audit of Federal agency compliance with the Privacy and Freedom of Information Acts. This is in response not to Congress, which could not care less about either law, but from government bureaucrats who are apparently blowing the whistle on abuses. It may not result in much of anything, but indicates that there may be a simmering reaction to Bush from one of the most static layers in government–the career civil service.
The career military has just about had it with Rumsfeld’s constant paranoia about leaks and his aggressiveness in conducting the type of sweeping investigations of his officer corps and non-commissioned officer ranks that are reminiscent of Richard Nixon’s Plumbers Unit.
Anyone who closely examines Patriot II will realize that the document represents the same sort of power grab by Hitler after the Reichstag Fire of 1933. Using the pretext that the Reichstag was burned down by Communists (when, in fact, it was engineered by Nazis), Hitler pushed through the “Decree by the Reich President for the Defense of People and State.” The Reichstag Fire Decree, intended only as a “temporary” measure, permitted Hitler and his regime to jail political opponents at will, bypass the judicial system, and eventually force millions of people into concentration camps.
Like the Reichstag Fire Decree, there is nothing really temporary with either Patriot I or II. With a virtual rubber stamp legislature, Bush can simply extend the so-called “sunset” provisions of the first act and any that may appear in the second.
It is also important to point out that much of what is contained in Patriot II is not aimed at effectively defending the United States against terrorists, but at curtailing the freedoms of the American people. In fact, Bush has all but ignored Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, choosing instead to pathologically focus on Saddam Hussein.
Attorney General John Ashcroft would be armed with increased powers to curtail the public’s access to government information, including information on environmental hazards and other public safety information shared by corporations with the Federal government. And, while the FBI would be able to routinely and without sufficient court order browse the financial records of American citizens, Cabinet and sub-cabinet officers, members of Congress, and Supreme Court Justices could hide from the Internal Revenue Service any fringe benefits deemed to be in the category of “protective security.”
In a direct violation of the Tenth Amendment, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people,” Ashcroft and the FBI will also be able to terminate state laws prohibiting local police from gathering information about people and organizations. These laws were enacted in reaction to past abuses by so-called police “Red Squads” that later were reorganized to keep track of civil rights and anti-war groups.
Further violating the letter and spirit of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the Pentagon would be permitted to conduct DNA dragnets and collect the DNA of “certain classes of aliens including those engaged in activity that endangers national security.” Certainly, if DNA technology were available to Hitler, such a decree would have enabled the Gestapo to collect the DNA of Jews, the Roma people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Africans–all of whom were declared aliens and not Germans under Hitler’s racial purification laws.
Elements of racial purification are also contained in Patriot II. The Bush regime would be empowered to take away the citizenship of Americans involved with a “foreign terrorist organization.” The Secretary of State is currently authorized the designate, as his whim, what constitutes a “foreign terrorist” organization. It is not just Arab or Muslim-Americans who could lose their citizenship in this respect. In their zeal to ethnically-cleanse America, the Bush regime could eventually withdraw citizenship from Latinos involved with the Colombian FARC or Mexican Zapatistas, Tamil-Americans, Basque-Americans, Irish-Americans, or any American ethnic group that begins to actively oppose, in concert with revolutionary or secessionist movements, America’s grand imperial designs in their native lands.
The U.S. government would also be empowered to conduct surveillance of groups active in the United States that are deemed “terrorist” by foreign governments. This would effectively end America’s role as a safe haven for pro-democracy organizations fighting repressive regimes that join Bush’s coalition for world domination. By not adequately defining what constitutes “material support” for designated terrorist organizations, the Bush regime is coming ominously close to declaring thought crimes to be a national security offense. A web site, which merely expresses support for some group or cause opposed by the Bush cabal, could be shut down and its operators jailed if someone decides it is a threat.
Supported by a sycophantic media, the Bush regime is trying to convince the world that its first war of many is just. But even conservatives like Robert Novak are questioning Bush’s Imperial Romanesque plans. In a February 10 column, Novak writes that Bush “projects an American imperium that evokes apprehension among some conservative supporters of President Bush.”
Similarly, members of the U.S. intelligence community are pointing to an October 7, 2002 letter from the CIA to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The CIA took issue with the notion that Saddam would engage in a first use of weapons of mass destruction or give them to terrorists like Al Qaeda. The CIA has also dismissed links between Saddam and Al Qaeda, a stance supported by the agency’s British counterpart, MI-6.
As evidence of just how far out of step the Bush administration is with the rest of the world, consider the statements of America’s traditional allies. Responding to Rumsfeld’s Hermann Goering-like bellicosity, Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel said, “When one has to take a slap in the face such as the insulting remarks . . . by Mr. Rumsfeld, who comes to teach a thing or two to ‘old Europe’, the Europe of democratic values, humanist Europe, the Europe of the Age of Enlightenment, personally I find that this hurts.” The press aide to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien called Bush a moron. The former German Justice Minister likened Bush to Hitler. Bush insulted his former friend, Mexico’s President Vicente Fox, by walking away from a press conference before the translator had finished translating to English Fox’s answer to a question. Bush was miffed that Mexico was not supporting Bush in the UN Security Council. He ratchets up North Korea’s Kim Jong Il and risks a potential nuclear war by telling a reporter that he “hates” Kim because he starves his own people. Bush refers to Russian President Vladimir Putin as “Pooty Poot” and then expects Russia’s support for his Iraq and North Korea adventures–support he unsurprisingly fails to get. Bush calls the Pakistanis “Pakis” and Greek “Grecians.” He doesn’t know the difference between two incoming NATO members — Slovenia and Slovakia.
Bush proudly stands on a trash heap of treaties he has rejected either in word or by spirit–Kyoto, Madrid and Oslo, International Criminal Court, Anti-Ballistic Missile, Nuclear Test-Ban, the Biological and Toxin Warfare Convention (BTWC), Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Ottawa Convention on Land Mines, and, more recently, the UN Charter and NATO.
Bush’s cult-like right-wing supporters begin calling for sanctions against France and Germany. Fine. Thanks to Bush’s rants, we already have 100,000 North Korean artillery shells trained on 37,000 US troops and millions of South Koreans. But when the pseudo-moderate Colin Powell calls France and Germany the “Paris-Berlin Axis,” he continues the insults of Rumsfeld, who publicly placed Germany in a pro-Iraqi axis with Cuba and Libya. And obviously the Bush war hawks forget one very important thing: by threatening Paris, Berlin, and Brussels, the Bush clique may be the first U.S. administration to force France to think about retargeting its nuclear “force de frappe” strike force, which is complete with sea-to-ground and ground-to-ground intercontinental nuclear missiles. And with Putin now in closer consultation with France, Russia may also feel that it is past time to again focus its nuclear arsenal on a possible conflict with the United States.
Which brings us back to the original concept of Bush’s extra-constitutional maneuverings. With an administration that will soon have at its disposal the control over non-auditable computer voting machines across the land, Bushes-in-waiting that will undoubtedly seek higher national office on an endless quasi-monarchical merry-go-round, a compliant Congress run by repulsive demagogues like Tom DeLay, Mitch McConnell, George Allen, Curt Weldon, and Rick Santorum, and virtual dictatorial powers enshrined in the Patriot I and II Acts, there is no relief in sight for America’s rapidly fading democracy.
A former British Lieutenant Colonel named George Washington once turned the weapons of his army of rebels against his former masters, thus helping to launch the United States as a free and independent nation. One of Washington’s indicted co-conspirators and successors as President, Thomas Jefferson, gave us a blueprint on how to handle the Bush regime: “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new Government… it is their Right, it is their Duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future Security.”
And just in case the fascists in control of our government contend that the Founding Fathers were part of another era, let us remember some more recent quotes:
“This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or exercise their revolutionary right to overthrow it.”–Abraham Lincoln.
“I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”–Barry Goldwater.
“For the sake of peace and justice, let us move toward a world in which all people are at last free to determine their own destiny.”–Ronald Reagan.
From our Founders to our more recent leaders we have been given the answer to how best deal with the gravest constitutional dilemma that has ever befallen the United States of America. Our modern militia, whose forbearers defended us from the British, pro-slavery secessionists, the Germans, and the Soviet Union, must now defend us once again against all enemies, not foreign but domestic.
WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.
Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com