Police state : ZNet : “America undergoing metamorphosis”


Richard Moore


ZNet | Activism 

Drifting towards a Police State 

by Mike  Whitney; November 04, 2005 

    "Those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost
    liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid the
    terrorists for they erode our national unity and diminish
    our resolve. They give ammunition to America's enemies and
    pause to America's friends"
    - Former Attorney General, John Ashcroft

Did you know that under the terms of the new Patriot Act
prosecutors will be able to seek the death penalty in
cases where "defendants gave financial support to umbrella
organizations without realizing that some of its adherents
might eventually commit violence"? (NY Times; editorial
10-30-05) So, if someone unknowingly gave money to a
charity that was connected to a terrorist group, he could
be executed.

Or, that the Senate Intelligence Committee is fine-tuning
the details of a bill that will allow the FBI to secretly
procure any of your personal records without "probable
cause" or a court order giving them "unchecked authority
to pry into personal and business matters"? (New York
Times, "Republicans seek to widen FBI Powers, 10-19-05)

Or, that on June 29, President Bush put "a broad swath of
the FBI" under his direct control by creating the National
Security Service (aka; the "New SS")? This is the first
time we've had a "secret police" in our 200 year history.
It will be run exclusively by the president and beyond the
range of congressional oversight.

Or, that on October 27, 2005 president Bush created the
National Clandestine Service, which will be headed by CIA
Director Porter Goss and will "expand reporting of
information and intelligence value from state, local and
tribal law enforcement entities and private sector
stakeholders"? This executive order gives the CIA the
power to carry out covert operations, spying, propaganda,
and "dirty tricks" within the United States and on the
American public. ("The New National Intelligence Strategy
of the US" by Larry Chin, Global Research)

Or, that Pentagon intelligence operatives are now
permitted to collect information from US citizens without
revealing their status as government spies? ("Bill would
give Cover to Pentagon Spies", Greg Miller, Times Staff
writer, "The Nation")

Or, that within 2 years every American license and
passport will be made according to federal uniform
standards including microchips (with biometric
information) that will allow the government to trace every
movement of its citizens?

Or, that recent rulings, the DC District Court unanimously
decided in two different cases that foreign prisoners have
no rights under international law to challenge their
indefinite imprisonment by the United States and, (in
Rumsfeld vs. Padilla) that the president can lock up an
American citizen "without charges" if he believes he may
be an "enemy combatant"? Both verdicts overturn the
fundamental principles of "inalienable rights", habeas
corpus, and the presumption of innocence; replacing them
with the arbitrary authority of the executive.

The American people have no idea of the amount of energy
that has been devoted to stripping them of their
constitutional protections and how stealthily that plan
has been carried out. It has required the concerted
efforts of the political establishment, the corporate
elite, and the collaborative media. For all practical
purposes, the government is no longer constrained in its
conduct towards its citizens; it can do as it pleases.

The campaign to dismantle the Bill of Rights has focused
primarily on the key amendments; the 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th,
8th and 14th. These are the cornerstones of American
liberty and they encompass everything from due process to
equal protection to free speech to a ban on the "cruel and
unusual" treatment of prisoners. Freedom has little
tangible meaning apart from the safety provided by these

At present, there's no reason for the administration to
assert its new powers. That would only dispel the
widely-held illusion of personal freedom. But, the
existing climate of "well being" will not last forever.
The poisonous effects of war, tax cuts, burgeoning budget
deficits, and inflation indicate that darker days lie
ahead. The middle class is stretched paper-thin and
disaster could be as close as a hike in interest rates.
The new repressive legislation anticipates the massive
political unrest that naturally follows a tenuous and
volatile economic situation.

Is this why Congress has rubber stamped so many of the
administration's autocratic laws, or does Bush simply
"hate our freedoms"?

The members of America's ruling elite carefully follow the
shifting of policy in Washington. They have the power to
access the mainstream media and dispute the changes in the
law that they oppose. Regrettably, there's been no sign of
protest from the bastions of the corporate, financial and
political oligarchy; just an ominous silence.

Does this mean that American Brahmins have abandoned their
support for personal liberty and the rights of man?

America is undergoing its greatest metamorphosis. It has
been severed from its constitutional moorings and is
drifting towards a police state. If Samuel Alito is
appointed to the Supreme Court then Bush will be able to
solidify his "unchecked" power as executive and 50 years
of progressive legislation will be up for review.
Everything from abortion to Miranda will be reconsidered
through the hard-right lens of the new majority.

Americans still seem blissfully unaware of the fundamental
changes to the political system. The cloak of
disinformation and diversion has successfully obscured the
perils of our present course.  Freedom is no longer
guaranteed in Bush's America nor is liberty everyman's
birthright. The rickety scaffolding that supports the rule
of law has been replaced by the unbridled authority of the
supreme presidency. The country is slipping inexorably
towards the Orwellian nightmare; the National Security


"Apocalypse Now and the Brave New World"

Posting archives:

Subscribe to low-traffic list:
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a
prior interest in receiving the included information for
research and educational purposes.