Saturday, March 01, 2008

Glad This Never Happens In America...Or Does It?

How many people remember the speech given by Ronald Reagan in West Berlin in June of 1987 in which President Reagan made the statement, 'Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall'? It took two years, but in 1989 the Berlin Wall finally came down, marking the beginning of the end of the Cold War and with it the downfall of Communism.

I remember that speech vividly, as if it only happened yesterday. When I speak of Communism many people only remember the nuclear tipped missiles that Russia had aimed at us. Me, I remember hearing about the police state under which the Russian people lived under controlled by the KGB and the GRU.

I am too young to remember the widespread fear of the spread of communism, but I do remember the bomb drills in school. I remember the overall loathing of communism and their state police the KGB. I also remember being taught about the evils of the Gestapo and the SS of Nazi Germany.

The Gestapo was the secret state police that was commanded by Herman Goring and worked under the general administration of the Schutzstaffel SS which was commanded by Heinrich Himmler. The SS began as a small paramilitary unit into an elite force that served as Hitler’s own Praetorian Guards. During its time in existence the Gestapo operated entirely without restrictions by civil authority, that is they could do anything at all without fear of reprisal. Both the KGB and the Gestapo were well known for their ruthless persecution of those whom they considered political dissidents, or enemies of the state.

Many people today are too young to remember all this. However there are those of us who still remember that it was more than just fiction, the stuff that movies were made of. We remember it was something that we looked upon with fear and loathing. It made us glad to live in America, the land of the free and the home of the brave, a place were things like that never happened. That is what we thought at the time. How little did we know that things could change so easily.

The men who fought for and created the system of government that we live under were wise and knowledgeable men. They knew the nature of man and were well studied when it came to the nature of governments. They understood that freedom and liberty were gifts bestowed upon us at birth but they also realized that these principles were fleeting and only temporary as long as there were governments that were willing to violate these unalienable rights.

Thomas Jefferson said that "When the government fears the people there is liberty; when the people fear the government there is tyranny." James Madison believed that "...there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Madison also warned that "The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become the instruments of tyranny at home." Ben Franklin issued a stern rebuke for those who would tolerate the infringement of their rights when he said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

When someone mentions a police state most people get the impression that they would be under constant surveillance and their freedom and liberties would be severely restricted. They would be right, but they would also fail to realize that those criteria already exist within these United States.

The threat to our inalienable rights and liberties goes back a long way in our nations history. The very first assault upon these rights and liberties goes back to the presidency of John Adams with the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts.

The Sedition Act made it a crime to “... write, print, utter. Or publish... any false, scandalous and malicious writing or writings against the government of the United States, or either house of the Congress of the United States, or the President of the United States, with intent to defame the said government, or either house of the said Congress, or the said President, or to bring them. or either of them, into contempt or disrepute; or to excite against them, or either or any of them, the hatred of the good people of the United States...”

During the Civil War President Lincoln was also guilty of violating the rights of the people when he took away the right of habeas corpus and he imprisoned thousands of people who opposed his war, and that he shut down hundreds of newspapers that printed articles in opposition to his policies.

Even during World War 1 we had President Woodrow Wilson enact another Sedition Act that made it a crime for Americans to use ‘disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language’ about the government, the flag or the armed forces in time of war. This act also allowed the Postmaster General to deny mail service to dissenters of government policy during time of war.

These are just a few examples from our nations history in which our rights and liberties have been violated by our government. However, since President George W. Bush has been in office there has been more damage to our rights and liberty than in the entire 200 year history of this nation. These steps could not have been taken unless we the people allowed them to happen. After all, aren't the President and the Congress our public servants? Do they not work for us? Therefore either we are no longer free and our servants have become our masters, or we have been fooled into believing that these steps are in our best interests. If that is the case, the rebuke offered by Ben Franklin is quite fitting for a people who have been willing to give up their freedom and liberty without even a whimper.

Since we are not presently under such a state, with the military roaming the streets asking for your papers while we live under martial law people are unwilling to admit that we are just one natural disaster, one serious medical emergency, or one terror attack away from that scenario taking place right here within our borders.

People only have to go back and look at what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to get a glimpse of what lies in store for this county as a whole if our government decides that it is time for them to assume all control over our rights and liberties.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, under the orders of Mayor Ray Nagin and Edwin P. Compass III, the superintendent of police, the New Orleans Police, the National Guard, and U.S. Marshall’s began breaking into homes at gunpoint while confiscating the lawfully owned firearms of all citizens and evicting them from their homes.

While it may have been foolish for many of these residents to remain behind, it was their choice. They had the right to stay and to protect what was theirs from looters and other criminals.

A New York Times article afterwards stated that although no civilians would be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns or other firearms, that order apparently did not apply to the Blackwater Security firm personnel who were seen walking the streets of New Orleans with fully automatic weapons.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/09/national/nationalspecial/09storm.html

Is this the future that lies ahead for our country? It may very well be the future of this country if people do not wake up and realize that everything they are doing to ‘protect’ them is in their best interests.

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001 America was torn between conflicting emotions. We were angry that we had been attacked upon our own soil in such a devastating manner. Our protective bubble had also been pierced and we were fearful that we were vulnerable to another similar attack. Our government realized this and they used our fears and emotions to pass numerous pieces of legislation that we would normally have found repulsive. Remember when George W. Bush said that “Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists”? We have been played for fools by our government and have allowed them to lay the groundwork for a total police state in which the government controls all aspects of our lives.

Within weeks of the terrorist attacks our nations lawmakers were presented with the Patriot Act for their vote. The bill upon which they voted was only placed on the House intranet fifteen minutes prior to the vote, having replaced the version that they had been allowed to read and study.

Under Section 213 of the Patriot Act your home can be searched without your knowledge until after the search is complete if you are suspected of being linked to terrorism. Section 215 of the Patriot Act allows warrantless searches that allow them to produce ‘any tangible things’ that may link you to a terrorist investigation. Under Section 215 also anyone telling you that the FBI is investigating you can be imprisoned for 5 years, violating their first amendment rights. Under Section 216 of the Patriot Act the government merely has to claim that it is conducting a terrorist investigation and it can monitor all your internet activities to include e mail and websites visited. The government has a tracking system known as Carnivore which can even monitor every keystroke you make. Under the Patriot Act your phone can be tapped if the government claims that it is gathering foreign intelligence without even having to provide proof that that is the actual reason for the wiretap.

On the same Day that Saddam Hussein was captured, President Bush signed the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2004. With that signature the President granted almost unlimited power to the FBI to search your personal records. They can now browse through your financial records at will, see how much money you have in your 401k and other stock market funds, see how much you have spent on money orders or even how much you have wired your family via Western Union. Once again the financial institutions face a 5 year prison sentence if they notify you that you are under investigation.

If you try really hard you can convince yourself that these things aren't that bad. After all, you have done nothing wrong, you are not a terrorist so you have nothing to worry about, right? Think again.

According to Section 802 of the Patriot Act I may be defined as a terrorist for writing articles that condemn our governments abuse of power. According to that section you might be considered a terrorist if you oppose the war, or have written your elected official to voice your disapproval of the war or the legislation passed on behalf of the War on Terror.

Section 802 of the Patriot Act states;

(5) the term `domestic terrorism' means activities that--
(A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(B) appear to be intended--
(i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;
(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or
(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.'.

That sounds just a bit frightening, doesn't it? After all now you might be considered a terrorist if you oppose the policies of our government and work to change them. But still, what are they going to do, listen to your calls, check your financial transactions or monitor your online habits. That isn't too bad, is it?

How would you feel if the authorities came to your house in the middle of the night and slapped the handcuffs on you, drug you away from your wife and children and put you into a cell? How would you feel if they denied you the right to legal defense? How would you feel if no charges were ever filed against you while you just rotted away in some cell? Or how would you feel if you were waterboarded until you admitted to doing something wrong? How would you feel if that admission was evidence enough to convict you, not in a public trial but a military trial, and that you might be facing the death penalty for your crimes?

You think that could never happen? Have you read Senate Bill 3930, Pub. L. No. 109-366 Stat. 2600, otherwise known as the Military Commissions Act? If you are defined as a terrorist, whether it be domestic or otherwise, you can now be imprisoned without charges, denied legal representation, and brought before a military tribunal because of the Military Commissions Act. Your family may never see your face again, think about that if you think that our government is only looking out for the welfare of all Americans.

You may still be thinking that if you really mind your P’s & Q’s and stay out of trouble you are safe. Sorry, I am not done with the bad news yet.

Have you heard of Public Law 109-364, or the "John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007" (H.R.5122)? This little tidbit which was signed by the commander in chief on October 17th, 2006, in a private Oval Office ceremony, allows the President to declare a "public emergency" and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to "suppress public disorder."

Now we have the possibility of having the military roaming our streets enforcing our laws, remember what happened in New Orleans? You would think there was a law against that, wouldn’t you? There is, and it is called the Posse Comitatus Act. The Posse Comitatus Act simply states “Whoever, except in cases and under circumstances expressly authorized by the Constitution or Act of Congress, willfully uses any part of the Army or the Air Force as a posse comitatus or otherwise to execute the laws shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than two years, or both.”

You might now be asking yourself isn’t the National Guard, a branch of the military, used by the states to uphold the law? You would be correct if you asked that. However, according to Major Craig Trebilcock, a member of the Judge Advocate General’s Corps in the U.S. Army Reserve, “It is only when federalized pursuant to an exercise of presidential authority that the Guard becomes subject to the limitations of the Posse Comitatus Act.”

So, if the President utilizes the military under the provisions of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act he will be in violation of the Posse Comitatus Act. Section 1076 of the John Warner Defense Authorization Act states,

USE OF THE ARMED FORCES IN MAJOR PUBLIC EMERGENCIES.
(a) Use of the Armed Forces Authorized-
(1) IN GENERAL- Section 333 of title 10, United States Code, is amended to read as follows:

Sec. 333. Major public emergencies; interference with State and Federal law
`(a) Use of Armed Forces in Major Public Emergencies- (1) The President may employ the armed forces, including the National Guard in Federal service, to--
`(A) restore public order and enforce the laws of the United States when, as a result of a natural disaster, epidemic, or other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident, or other condition in any State or possession of the United States, the President determines that--
`(i) domestic violence has occurred to such an extent that the constituted authorities of the State or possession are incapable of maintaining public order; and
`(ii) such violence results in a condition described in paragraph (2); or
`(B) suppress, in a State, any insurrection, domestic violence, unlawful combination, or conspiracy if such insurrection, violation, combination, or conspiracy results in a condition described in paragraph (2).


Living in a society much like those of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia seem to be something that is a lot closer to a reality in this country. Are you concerned yet? If not, my bag of good news isn’t empty yet, read on.

Have you ever heard the term Presidential Directive? If you haven’t, don’t feel alone, as many people probably haven’t either. A Presidential Directive is similar to an executive order except that it pertains to national security. It is just as binding as an EO, but it is not found on the Federal Register. It remains in effect until rescinded by another president.

In May of 2007 President Bush enacted NATIONAL SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/NSPD 51 and HOMELAND SECURITY PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE/HSPD-20. The subject of these two directives was the continuance of government in the event of a major disaster or terrorist attack. They state,

Subject: National Continuity Policy
Purpose
(1) This directive establishes a comprehensive national policy on the continuity of Federal Government structures and operations and a single National Continuity Coordinator responsible for coordinating the development and implementation of Federal continuity policies. This policy establishes "National Essential Functions," prescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.


(e) "Enduring Constitutional Government," or "ECG," means a cooperative effort among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the Federal Government, coordinated by the President, as a matter of comity with respect to the legislative and judicial branches and with proper respect for the constitutional separation of powers among the branches, to preserve the constitutional framework under which the Nation is governed and the capability of all three branches of government to execute constitutional responsibilities and provide for orderly succession, appropriate transition of leadership, and interoperability and support of the National Essential Functions during a catastrophic emergency;
(f) "Executive Departments and Agencies" means the executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1), and the United States Postal Service;

Now let’s look at what President Bush signed into law, "Executive Departments and Agencies" means the executive departments enumerated in 5 U.S.C. 101, independent establishments as defined by 5 U.S.C. 104(1), Government corporations as defined by 5 U.S.C. 103(1)”. There is a distinct difference between Section 5 of the U.S. Code and what the Constitution, defines as ‘our government’.

If you think it is only the War on Terror that has caused our country to lose so many liberties and freedoms, think again. The War on Drugs is another culprit in that regards. According to the Violent Crime Control Act of 1991 the President has the power to suspend the Constitution and all rights guaranteed under it, to establish detention camps, seize your property and control populated areas in the event of a so called ‘drug crisis’.

These are the tools that have built the coffin in which lay our rights, our freedoms and our liberties as we have known them for almost 200 years under the Constitutional form of government that far too many people still believe we have. All that is left is to have the nails driven into the coffin to convert America into a police state just like Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

Those nails are already there, just waiting to be used, in the form of numerous Executive Orders enacted by President Bush. Here are just a few of them, with a brief synopsis of their meaning for the people of this country.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11051 specifies the responsibility of the Office of Emergency Planning and gives authorization to put all Executive Orders into effect in times of increased international tensions and economic or financial crisis.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11921 allows the Federal Emergency Preparedness Agency to develop plans to establish control over the mechanisms of production and distribution, of energy sources, wages, salaries, credit and the flow of money in U.S. financial institution in any undefined national emergency. It also provides that when a state of emergency is declared by the President, Congress cannot review the action for six months.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 12148 created the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that is to interface with the Department of Defense for civil defense planning and funding. An "emergency czar" was appointed. FEMA has only spent about 6 percent of its budget on national emergencies, the bulk of their funding has been used for the construction of secret underground facilities to assure continuity of government in case of a major emergency, foreign or domestic.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 12656 appointed the National Security Council as the principal body that should consider emergency powers. This allows the government to increase domestic intelligence and surveillance of U.S. citizens and would restrict the freedom of movement within the United States and granted the government the right to isolate large groups of civilians. The National Guard could be federalized to seal all borders and take control of U.S. air space and all ports of entry. Many of the figures in the Iran-Contra scandal were part of this emergency contingent, including Marine Colonel Oliver North.

This is a lot of information to take in and the implications of it is something that needs to be pondered by all Americans who value their freedom. Has our government overstepped it’s authority? If you ask me it has gone totally off the deep end in regards to what powers it has granted unto itself. It can best be summed up by something stated by activist Howard J. Ruff, "Since the enactment of Executive Order 11490, the only thing standing between us and dictatorship is the good character of the President, and the lack of a crisis severe enough that the public would stand still for it."

One more terrorist attack, one outbreak of disease, one more major natural disaster is all that stands between our freedom and a dictatorship in which the President could suspend all Constitutional liberties and impose martial law. Is it not time to recall the words of Ben Franklin when he said, "They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."

The choice is yours, the time is near at hand that we all must make a decision about how we wish to live, as freemen, or as slaves. I can only echo the words of Patrick Henry, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

7 comments:

The Zombieslayer said...

I forwarded this one on to some fellow Freedom lovers. I only wish they'd comment on blogs though.

neal said...

I sent it out via e mail to a few people as well and one of them told me to condense it, that it was too long.

tshsmom said...

Don't condense it!! That's what I like about you; you're so thorough.

neal said...

Am I thorough or just long winded

;-)

Eileen Dannemann said...

Neal: If you send me your email...

You might be interested in "Infragard" where the FBI is organizing through out the nation with different industries...that gives authority to corporations, academic institutions and rural people to communicate information to the FBI and homeland security as well as during an emergency organize for the FBI including shooting to kill.

I am writing some of the research up for a newspaper in New Mexico. I can send it to you, too.

Eileen

neal said...

Eileen

try bonsai@syix.com

Ca said...

Thorough? Long-winded? Does it really matter?

You think right, you have your ideas on your subject well in hand, you have the ability to present it in an orderly and logical manner and you're easy and entertaining to read. What else is important?

And, yes, the "Infraguard" program is one of the most chilling, half-baked ideas put in place by our "benevolent" government yet. Your comments on that fiasco will be very interesting to read...

Cashu