FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Fraudlent War on Terror

 

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

 

 

 

More articles by:

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 The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Weekend Edition
March 22, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Henry Giroux
The Ghost of Fascism in the Post-Truth Era
Gabriel Rockhill
Spectacular Violence as a Weapon of War Against the Yellow Vests
H. Bruce Franklin
Trump vs. McCain: an American Horror Story
Paul Street
A Pox on the Houses of Trump and McCain, Huxleyan Media, and the Myth of “The Vietnam War”
Andrew Levine
Why Not Impeach?
Bruce E. Levine
Right-Wing Psychiatry, Love-Me Liberals and the Anti-Authoritarian Left
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Darn That (American) Dream
Charles Pierson
Rick Perry, the Saudis and a Dangerous Nuclear Deal
Moshe Adler
American Workers Should Want to Transfer Technology to China
David Rosen
Trafficking or Commercial Sex? What Recent Exposés Reveal
Nick Pemberton
The Real Parallels Between Donald Trump and George Orwell
Binoy Kampmark
Reading Manifestos: Restricting Brenton Tarrant’s The Great Replacement
Brian Cloughley
NATO’s Expensive Anniversaries
Ron Jacobs
Donald Cox: Tale of a Panther
Joseph Grosso
New York’s Hudson Yards: The Revanchist City Lives On
REZA FIYOUZAT
Is It Really So Shocking?
Bob Lord
There’s Plenty of Wealth to Go Around, But It Doesn’t
John W. Whitehead
The Growing Epidemic of Cops Shooting Family Dogs
Jeff Cohen
Let’s Not Restore or Mythologize Obama 
Christy Rodgers
Achieving Escape Velocity
Monika Zgustova
The Masculinity of the Future
Jessicah Pierre
The Real College Admissions Scandal
Peter Mayo
US Higher Education Influence Takes a Different Turn
Martha Rosenberg
New Study Confirms That Eggs are a Stroke in a Shell
Ted Rall
The Greatest Projects I Never Mad
George Wuerthner
Saving the Big Wild: Why Aren’t More Conservationists Supporting NREPA?
Norman Solomon
Reinventing Beto: How a GOP Accessory Became a Top Democratic Contender for President
Ralph Nader
Greedy Boeing’s Avoidable Design and Software Time Bombs
Tracey L. Rogers
White Supremacy is a Global Threat
Nyla Ali Khan
Intersectionalities of Gender and Politics in Indian-Administered Kashmir
Karen J. Greenberg
Citizenship in the Age of Trump: Death by a Thousand Cuts
Jill Richardson
Getting It Right on What Stuff Costs
Matthew Stevenson
Pacific Odyssey: Puddle Jumping in New Britain
Matt Johnson
The Rich Are No Smarter Than You
Julian Vigo
College Scams and the Ills of Capitalist-Driven Education
Brian Wakamo
It’s March Madness, Unionize the NCAA!
Beth Porter
Paper Receipts Could be the Next Plastic Straws
Christopher Brauchli
Eric the Heartbroken
Louis Proyect
Rebuilding a Revolutionary Left in the USA
Sarah Piepenburg
Small Businesses Like Mine Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Robert Koehler
Putting Our Better Angels to Work
Peter A. Coclanis
The Gray Lady is Increasingly Tone-Deaf
David Yearsley
Bach-A-Doodle-Doo
Elliot Sperber
Aunt Anna’s Antenna
March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail