Edited extracts from this article by Justin Raimondo,
with comments, pictures and captions by Lasha Darkmoon
“There is no freedom, no democracy, and no government accountability in Amerika, a fascist state.” — Paul Craig Roberts
Hitler and Stalin, move over!
Your respective countries
are about to be eclipsed by
a new emerging dictatorship. STEP FORWARD, AMERICA!
In a revealing series of interviews on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now” program, three individuals targeted by the American surveillance state — William Binney, former top NSA official, Jacob Applebaum, an internet security specialist who works with WikiLeaks, and Laura Poitras, an Oscar-nominated documentary film-maker whose work has brought her to the attention of US authorities and led to her harassment by US government agents — give compelling evidence that America is no longer a free country.
Binney resigned his position with the National Security Agency (NSA) after 40 years in protest at the government’s increasingly totalitarian methods of data-collection and retention, without judicial oversight. The government has targeted him: in 2007, his home was invaded by FBI agents after he went to the Senate Intelligence Committee with revelations about illegal NSA spying on American citizens: they pointed guns at him, and warned that he would “not do well” in prison.
Applebaum and Poitras have been detained, searched, and interrogated every time they have re-entered the US from abroad — Poitras over 40 times— and had their laptops seized and presumably copied.
None of these individuals have been charged with a crime.
The degree to which our constitutionally-protected liberties have been usurped is shockingly described by Binney:
AMY GOODMAN: Do you believe all emails, the government has copies of, in the United States?
WILLIAM BINNEY: I would think — I believe they have most of them, yes.
GOODMAN: And you’re speaking from a position where you would know, considering your position in the National Security Agency.
BINNEY: Right. All they would have to do is put various Narus devices at various points along the network, at choke points or convergent points, where the network converges, and they could basically take down and have copies of most everything on the network.
While this level of surveillance started during the Bush administration, under President Obama, Binney says:
The surveillance has increased. In fact, I would suggest that they’ve assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens.
AMY GOODMAN: How many?
WILLIAM BINNEY: Twenty trillion.
What are they doing with all those emails? They’re targeting their enemies, domestic as well as foreign, and combining this information with “meta-data” — i.e., financial records, credit card transactions — to create comprehensive profiles of those on their enemies list.
There’s nothing to stop them from “leaking” this information to anyone, for any purpose — because it all takes place in the dark. And if they want to find something on you, they will find it and use it.
This, in short, is what it means to live in a police state.
Glenn Greenwald wrote about this in a recent column, and he said something very important that we should all focus on:
So just look at what happens to people in the U.S. if they challenge government actions in any meaningful way — if they engage in any meaningful dissent. We love to tell ourselves that there are robust political freedoms and a thriving free political press in the U.S. because you’re allowed to have an MSNBC show or blog in order to proclaim every day how awesome and magnanimous the President of the United States is and how terrible his GOP political adversaries are — how brave, cutting and edgy! — or to go on Fox News and do the opposite. But people who are engaged in actual dissent, outside the tiny and narrow permissible boundaries of pom-pom waving for one of the two political parties — those who are focused on the truly significant acts which the government and its owners are doing in secret — are subjected to this type of intimidation, threats, surveillance, and climate of fear, all without a whiff of illegal conduct.
A controversial quote from an article in the Czech Republic newspaper, Prager Zeitungon, has recently been translated into English and is made available here for the first time. This quote says it all:
“The danger to America is not Barack Obama, but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools, such as those who made him their President.”
With Fox News and MSNBC braying at one another, and the airwaves filled with corporate-funded political ads detailing the dirt on this or that candidate, the illusion of liberality persists. Yet all one has to do is challenge the “national security” prerogatives of an ever-expanding American empire — as Binney, Applebaum, and Poitras did — and suddenly one is transported into the world of It Can’t Happen Here, Sinclair Lewis’s masterful evocation of what a distinctively American dictatorship might look like, Orwell’s 1984, or some other dystopian vision of a totalitarian future.
BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU!
“The commitment to civil liberties ended suddenly on September 11, 2001. In eleven years the Bush/Obama Regime repealed 800 years of human achievements that established law as a shield of the people.Today Americans and citizens of other countries can be confined to torture dungeons for the duration of their lives, or they can be shot down in the streets or exterminated by drone missiles.” — Paul Craig Roberts, How Liberty was Lost
Take Orwell’s classic work which posited a world in a state of perpetual warfare (check!), where constant and universal surveillance is the norm (check!), where “thoughtcrime” is ruthlessly punished, and where most ordinary people (the “proles”) are basically left alone, with totalitarian methods of repression directed almost exclusively against rebellious elites (check!)
With the left co-opted, and the right pushing for an even more draconian crackdown on what is left of our constitutionally-protected rights, we are left with only Ron Paul holding up a copy of the Constitution and demanding its restoration.
Unfortunately, even that voice will be stilled.
What this means is that the authoritarian trend in American politics will continue, unabated and unopposed.
“Once Washington confirmed that the American public was both too ignorant and too inattentive to pay any attention to events that would alter their lives and jeopardize their existence, every thing else followed: the PATRIOT Act, the suspension of the Constitution and destruction of civil liberty. Homeland Security has quickly extended its gestapo reach from airports to train stations, bus terminals and highway road blocks. It has criminalized dissent, equating critics of the government with supporters of terrorism. It has mandated the home invasions of antiwar protesters and their arraignment before a grand jury. It has prosecuted whistleblowers who reveal government crimes. And the list goes on and on.”
“You are with us or against us” is taking on threatening instead of reassuring connotations, implying that anyone who opens his or her mouth in any dissent is thereby transformed into an “enemy of the state.”
In this context, it is appropriate to recall the warning of John T. Flynn, former New Dealer-turned-constitutionalist, a financial writer purged from The New Republic and polite liberal society for his vocal opposition to the policies of Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
Fascism will come at the hands of perfectly authentic Americans…who wish to commit this country to the rule of the bureaucratic state; interfering in the affairs of the states and cities; taking part in the management of industry and finance and agriculture; assuming the role of great national banker and investor, borrowing millions every year and spending them on all sorts of projects through which such a government can paralyze opposition and command public support; marshaling great armies and navies at crushing costs to support the industry of war and preparation for war which will become our greatest industry … all to be done under the authority of a powerfully centralized government in which the executive will hold in effect all the powers, with Congress reduced to the role of a debating society.
There is your fascist state!
And the sooner America realizes this dreadful fact the sooner it will arm itself to make an end of American fascism masquerading under the guise of the champion of democracy.
They are not disturbed: because they know that they will never burn books, and they will never hound the Jews or the Negroes.
What will turn up in their hands will bea very genteel and dainty and pleasant form of fascism which cannot be called fascism at all because it will be so virtuous and polite.
Those words were published in 1944, and they are truer today than on the day they appeared in print.
. . . a very genteel and dainty and pleasant form of fascism . . .
. . . which cannot be called fascism at all because it will be so virtuous and polite . . .