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Found 8 results

  1. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dymKIrcXArw&feature=player_detailpage
  2. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-15/montana-passes-sweeping-anti-government-spying-bill Montana Passes Sweeping Anti-Government Spying Bill Tyler Durden's pictureSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 07/15/2013 20:03 -0400 Recession SPY Submitted by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, What is so interesting about Montana’s House Bill 603, which passed overwhelmingly the state Senate by a 96-4 margin, is that it was passed in April, or several months before Edward Snowden’s NSA revelations. Talk about some foresight. Hopefully, we will see many more such bills sweep across the nation, as “change” will have to be done at the local level. The central government in D.C. is hopelessly corrupt and I don’t see that changing. We must just decentralize away from the District of Criminals on our own. From the Atlantic Wire: Privacy advocates, behold the Montana legislature and House Bill 603, a measure that requires the government to obtain a probable cause warrant before spying on you through your cell phone or laptop. HB 603 was signed into law this past spring, effectively making Montana the first state to have an anti-spy law long before anyone heard of Edward Snowden. To be clear, HB 603 passed the state Senate overwhelmingly by a vote of 96-4 in April and was signed into law on May 6. At the time, the law might have seemed extraneous, or even paranoid. But knowing what we know now, the law seems prophetic. The law is pretty straightforward—the government can’t spy on Montanans through their electronic devices unless they obtain a warrant: That effectively makes Montana the first state in the country’s history to pass an electronic privacy law that protects you from the government. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, and Montana’s lawmakers outpaced all the states in the country when it comes to privacy. “The younger Democrats and Republicans were the ones really for the bill. The older legislators in Helena didn’t say much for or against it,” Zolnikov told the Daily Interlake. The above line explains precisely why the government is concerned about “an increasingly disgruntled, post-Great Recession workforce and the entry of younger, ‘Gen Y’ employees who were ‘raised on the Internet,’” as noted in the recent “Insider Threat” article from McClatchy. MORE: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/national/2013/07/if-you-dont-want-government-spy-you-move-montana/66962/ If You Don't Want the Government to Spy on You, Move to Montana flickr user: archerwl Share Share Print article Email article Comments Comments ALEXANDER ABAD-SANTOS 7,704 ViewsJUL 9, 2013 Privacy advocates, behold the Montana legislature and House Bill 603, a measure that requires the government to obtain a probable cause warrant before spying on you through your cell phone or laptop. HB 603 was signed into law this past spring, effectively making Montana the first state to have an anti-spy law long before anyone heard of Edward Snowden. To be clear, HB 603 passed the state Senate overwhelmingly by a vote of 96-4 in April and was signed into law on May 6. That's almost one month to the day when we first found out about the NSA's secret order to collect phone records from Verizon, which has since ballooned into a world-wide scandal and chase. "The NSA reports hadn’t even come out at that time," said one of the law's supporters to the news website The Daily Interlake. That we didn't find out about the extensive NSA spying and Edward Snowden until June, is probably the reason HB 603 passed without much fanfare in the spring. At the time, the law might have seemed extraneous, or even paranoid. But knowing what we know now, the law seems prophetic (not unlike the way Shia LaBeouf warned us about spying back in 2008) and is getting some new-found attention. The law is pretty straightforward—the government can't spy on Montanans through their electronic devices unless they obtain a warrant: And "electronic device" is meant to encompass laptops, cell phones and tablets: That effectively makes Montana the first state in the country's history to pass an electronic privacy law that protects you from the government. The bill's sponsor, Rep. Daniel Zolnikov, and Montana's lawmakers outpaced all the states in the country when it comes to privacy—Texas signed an email privacy bill into law last month, and Massachusetts and a handful of other states are considering their own privacy laws when it comes to electronic surveillance and wiretapping. "The younger Democrats and Republicans were the ones really for the bill. The older legislators in Helena didn’t say much for or against it," Zolnikov told the Daily Interlake. Zolnikov actually wanted a harsher bill that would have limited federal authority. "This is very small compared to what we want to accomplish," he added.
  3. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-07-15/guest-post-criminals-have-seized-power The Criminals Have Seized Power 07/15/2013 16:49 -0400 Authored by Paul Craig Roberts, via Jim Quinn's Burning Platform blog, How do you change the direction of the country when power has been seized by the ultra-wealthy criminal class? When the financial, economic, political, military, judicial, and media organizations have been taken over by criminals who are looking out only for their financial interests, the few citizens who have the courage to speak the truth become enemies of the state. There is no non-violent solution to this state of affairs. This is what Fourth Turnings are all about. The American people have suffered a coup d’etat, but they are hesitant to acknowledge it. The regime ruling in Washington today lacks constitutional and legal legitimacy. Americans are ruled by usurpers who claim that the executive branch is above the law and that the US Constitution is a mere “scrap of paper.” An unconstitutional government is an illegitimate government. The oath of allegiance requires defense of the Constitution “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” As the Founding Fathers made clear, the main enemy of the Constitution is the government itself. Power does not like to be bound and tied down and constantly works to free itself from constraints. The basis of the regime in Washington is nothing but usurped power. The Obama Regime, like the Bush/Cheney Regime, has no legitimacy. Americans are oppressed by an illegitimate government ruling, not by law and the Constitution, but by lies and naked force. Those in government see the US Constitution as a “chain that binds our hands.” The South African apartheid regime was more legitimate than the regime in Washington. The apartheid Israeli regime in Palestine is more legitimate. The Taliban are more legitimate. Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein were more legitimate. The only constitutional protection that the Bush/Obama regime has left standing is the Second Amendment, a meaningless amendment considering the disparity in arms between Washington and what is permitted to the citizenry. No citizen standing with a rifle can protect himself and his family from one of the Department of Homeland Security’s 2,700 tanks, or from a drone, or from a heavily armed SWAT force in body armor. Like serfs in the dark ages, American citizens can be picked up on the authority of some unknown person in the executive branch and thrown in a dungeon, subject to torture, without any evidence ever being presented to a court or any information to the person’s relatives of his/her whereabouts. Or they can be placed on a list without explanation that curtails their right to travel by air. Every communication of every American, except face-to-face conversation in non-bugged environments, is intercepted and recorded by the National Stasi Agency from which phrases can be strung together to produce a “domestic extremist.” If throwing an American citizen in a dungeon is too much trouble, the citizen can simply be blown up with a hellfire missile launched from a drone. No explanation is necessary. For the Obama tyrant, the exterminated human being was just a name on a list. The president of the united states has declared that he possesses these constitutionally forbidden rights, and his regime has used them to oppress and murder US citizens. The president’s claim that his will is higher than law and the Constitution is public knowledge. Yet, there is no demand for the usurper’s impeachment. Congress is supine. The serfs are obedient. The people who helped transform a democratically accountable president into a Caesar include John Yoo, who was rewarded for his treason by being accepted as a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, Boalt school of law. Yoo’s colleague in treason, Jay Scott Bybee was rewarded by being appointed a federal judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. We now have a Berkeley law professor teaching, and a federal circuit judge ruling, that the executive branch is above the law. The executive branch coup against America has succeeded. The question is: will it stand? Today, the executive branch consists of liars, criminals, and traitors. The evil on earth seems concentrated in Washington. Washington’s response to Edward Snowden’s evidence that Washington, in total contravention of law both domestic and international, is spying on the entire world has demonstrated to every country that Washington places the pleasure of revenge above law and human rights. On Washington’s orders, its European puppet states refused overflight permission to the Bolivian presidential airliner carrying President Morales and forced the airliner to land in Austria and be searched. Washington thought that Edward Snowden might be aboard the airliner. Capturing Snowden was more important to Washington than respect for international law and diplomatic immunity. How long before Washington orders its UK puppet to send in a SWAT team to drag Julian Assange from the Ecuadoran embassy in London and hand him over to the CIA for waterboarding? On July 12 Snowden met in the Moscow airport with human rights organizations from around the world. He stated that the illegal exercise of power by Washington prevents him from traveling to any of the three Latin American countries who have offered him asylum. Therefore, Snowden said that he accepted Russian President Putin’s conditions and requested asylum in Russia. Insouciant americans and the young unaware of the past don’t know what this means. During my professional life it was Soviet Russia that persecuted truth tellers, while America gave them asylum and tried to protect them. Today it is Washington that persecutes those who speak the truth, and it is Russia that protects them. The American public has not, this time, fallen for Washington’s lie that Snowden is a traitor. The polls show that a majority of Americans see Snowden as a whistleblower. It is not the US that is damaged by Snowden’s revelations. It is the criminal elements in the US government that have pulled off a coup against democracy, the Constitution, and the American people who are damaged. It is the criminals who have seized power, not the American people, who are demanding Snowden’s scalp. The Obama Regime, like the Bush/Cheney Regime, has no legitimacy. Americans are oppressed by an illegitimate government ruling, not by law and the Constitution, but by lies and naked force. Under the Obama tyranny, it is not merely Snowden who is targeted for extermination, but every truth-telling American in the country. It was Department of Homeland Security boss Janet Napolitano, recently rewarded for her service to tyranny by being appointed Chancellor of the of the University of California system, who said that Homeland Security had shifted its focus from Muslim terrorists to “domestic extremists,” an elastic and undefined term that easily includes truth-tellers like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden who embarrass the government by revealing its crimes. The criminals who have seized illegitimate power in Washington cannot survive unless truth can be suppressed or redefined as treason. If Americans acquiesce to the coup d’etat, they will have placed themselves firmly in the grip of tyranny.
  4. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-11/guest-post-why-surveillance-state-must-be-erased Why The Surveillance State Must Be Erased Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/11/2013 21:18 -0400 Submitted by Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog, In America today there is a great rushing storm, a swirling hurricane of clashing opinions and ideologies that defy coherent organization and classification. This social tempest has been triggered by certain revelations among the general public on issues which we in the Liberty Movement have long been aware. The fact that our government is bought and paid for by international corporate interests, the fact that our government has positioned itself to spy on ALL Americans without warrant and without probable cause, the fact that our government is instituting policy initiatives that target common citizens as enemy combatants, the fact that every one of our Constitutional rights is being deliberately torn away; these things are not news to us, but to many once ignorant people, they are a shock to the system. Open corruption on the part of a criminal establishment has a funny way of politicizing everyone, even those people who go out of their way to avoid the bigger picture. In the end, no man or woman gets a pass. Whether you like it or not, one day soon, you will have to choose a side; freedom or tyranny. There is no middle ground. There is no Switzerland. With all the rationalizations and counter-rationalizations flying around concerning the current avalanche of admissions and data leaks, it is easy to lose track of the root of the overall conflict. It’s as if we have been dropped into the heart of an Amazonian swamp, our feet encased in a thick sludge of social inaction as a dark cloud of mindless mosquito-people buzz about us, pecking hungrily at our veins with their warped and uneducated world views. The deafening chorus distracts us from what is truly important. Here is the reality of our situation: 1) Both the Bush Administration and the Obama Administration supported FISA domestic surveillance legislation. FISA is the legal tool which the federal government now uses to justify the monitoring of journalists and recently exposed mass surveillance programs such as PRISM. Politicians from both the Republican and the Democratic parties have defended the use of FISA and PRISM. Both parties support the destruction of your 4th Amendment rights. 2) The Obama Administration openly admits to the monitoring of journalists phone and email records in an attempt to thwart whistleblowers that might actually bring the truth of what the government is doing into the light of day. Obama of course defends this position by claiming that “national security” is at stake. 3) Part of the motivation for surveillance measures against journalists has clearly been the Benghazi conspiracy, which is a thorn in the side of the establishment that refuses to go away. Like Watergate, or Iran-Contra, the White House has been caught with its pants down and instead of admitting its guilt, has decided to attack the messengers instead. 4) Another motivation was certainly the exposure of the ATF’s “Fast And Furious” program, which funneled U.S. firearms into the hands of Mexican drug cartels so that American firearms dealers and owners could be blamed for the escalation of deadly violence south of the border. Again, Obama and his handlers seek to use a suffocating surveillance grid in order to thwart whistleblowers and prevent federal crimes from being aired in public. 5) The use of the IRS as a weapon against the political enemies of the establishment (namely Tea Party groups) verifies that government surveillance without oversight can indeed lead to political profiling and unjustified punishment. 6) The PRISM scandal, leaked by former CIA operative and NSA contractor Edward Snowden, has given the general public a raw naked look at the reality of the FISA spy initiative. In the past, Liberty Movement champions have been derided as “paranoid” for pointing out that there were no limitations to FISA, and that the entire nation might one day be monitored and catalogued like animals in a great technological cage. Today, the public now knows that this concern is concrete and undeniable. EVERYONE is being watched. Reports now estimate that NSA hackers harvest over 2.1 million gigabytes of data on American citizens per hour. 7) Privacy rights have been so debased that the invasion of our electronic communications is the least of our worries. The Supreme Court has ruled in Maryland v. King that police now have the authority to extract DNA samples from any person placed under arrest, without a warrant, and without due process. This means that the second a law enforcement officer places you in cuffs, your genetic materials are no longer your property, even if the charges against you are erroneous, if charges are ever filed at all. The government admits to having at least 10 million people catalogued in their genetic database already. 8) Since 9/11, U.S. cities have added approximately 30 million new CCTV cameras on top of those already in operation. After the Boston Bombing, even more are expected to be installed. There are few places in most major cities where you are not being watched, and even smaller municipalities with miniscule crime rates are beginning to follow suit. It would seem that our government has somehow overlooked the 4th Amendment of our Constitution, and statist rationalists would do well to study it before defending their actions. Let’s read it, shall we? The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Now let’s examine the arguments of the establishment in favor of the Surveillance State: Argument #1: Mass Surveillance Has Been Going On For A Long Time And Is Nothing New Dianne Feinstein and Lindsey Graham, perhaps the most evil political duo since McCain and Lieberman, have both used the above talking point in order to rationalize the mass surveillance of FISA and PRISM. But let’s put this in perspective… Feinstein and Graham are essentially saying that because the government has criminally trespassed on our privacy for years, we should not complain when we discover that the invasion was a bit more elaborate than we had originally suspected. They are saying that because we allowed them to get away with taking an inch, we might as well allow them to get away with taking a mile. This is the logical fallacy of incrementalism, and tyrants use it in their arguments all the time. Despotism rarely establishes itself overnight. Rather, it slithers slowly into the midst of a society like a parasite, and carefully entrenches itself under our skin bit-by-bit so that we do not notice until it is buried so deep we fear removing it at all. A line must be drawn in the sand eventually. Past mistakes are not a license for future failures and future regrets, and anyone who claims otherwise is trying to take something away from you. Argument #2: If You’re Not Talking To Terrorists, Then You Have Nothing To Worry About Another debate point from the bottom feeding Lindsey Graham. First off, our Constitutional rights are not predicated on whether or not we are guilty of “terrorism”. Even a so-called terrorist is supposed to be protected under the Bill of Rights. The law is very clear, and this is not a negotiable position. Every American, regardless of government suspicion, has a right to privacy, and is protected from unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause. Period. Graham’s argument perpetuates the fallacy that the word “terrorism” is somehow a magical password that allows the federal government to bypass Constitutional barriers. I’m sorry to tell Lindsey that he is greatly mistaken. Secondly, the very foundation of a free society requires that every person be treated as INNOCENT until proven guilty. Mass surveillance twists this principle, so that all people are treated by the state as guilty until proven innocent. Such a system will inevitably generate a vast rift between the populace and the government because it designates the political elite as the “watchers” and the public as the “watched”. As history has shown us, the "watchers" always become the enslavers, and the "watched" always become the enslaved. I’m not sure why so many people, including U.S. senators, do not seem to grasp this concept. Argument #3: We Must Trust That The Government Is Using The Surveillance Apparatus For Good Barack Obama in defense of the leaked PRISM initiative and all encompassing NSA surveillance stated that Americans must simply “trust” that the federal system is using the data they have criminally harvested for the good of the country. That is to say, we should have “faith” in the White House. I’m sorry, but the Constitution was written exactly because governments are run by men, NOT benevolent gods, and men are notorious for abusing power. The Constitution exists because NO government can be trusted to act in a principled manner. We do not have to “trust” them because tight constitutional restrictions are in place to ensure that they aren’t given enough slack to become dangerous. When those restrictions are diminished, we get programs like PRISM… The checks and balances of due process and warrants are supposed to be absolutely public and transparent so that we can see, with our own eyes, that all is being handled justly and honorably. Mass surveillance in particular is an affront to the 4th Amendment because there is no conceivable way that warrants could ever be issued for the incredible volume of materials gathered, and therefore, there is no conceivable way that any legitimate judicial oversight is being enforced. Secret courts, secret charges, secret programs targeting entire subsections of the population, were expressly forbidden by the Founding Fathers as totalitarian in nature. In February of this year, Obama boasted during a Google Plus “Fireside Chat” that his was “the most transparent administration in history”. The ability of politicians to lie with sociopathic expertise is well documented, hence, my lack of faith. The government and the Obama White House in particular do not deserve our trust. Trust has to be earned… Argument #4: Surveillance Programs Are Essential To The Safety Of The Public At this point I find that anyone who still uses the “safety” position to justify the trampling of our freedoms is a lost cause. Years ago, when the surveillance grid was being put into place through legal chicanery, the common skeptic would insist that such subversive laws had not yet hurt anyone, and that the concerns of the Liberty Movement were “overblown”. Today, it’s no longer about theory. Our cultural pain is real, people are being targeted, people are suffering, and it’s only going to get worse from here on. And, as we warned a long time ago, the concept of “collective safety” would be the primary persuasion technique used to lead America further into oblivion. In a race to spin the leak of PRISM, lawmakers and establishment shills have come out in droves to suggest that the secret surveillance state has “stopped terrorist attacks” and “saved lives”. Of course, because all the details of the program are classified, we’ll never see any proof that such claims are true. What a conundrum. Frankly, I know enough about government sponsored terrorism to understand that even if PRISM thwarted an attack, our clandestine alphabet bureaucracy has created far more death and destruction than they have ever prevented. In the end, I couldn’t care less if PRISM stopped a terrorist act. The point is irrelevant. Our civil liberties are not subject to the supposed success of an unconstitutional government action. The promise of safety does not nullify our rights, nor does it give government capital to do whatever it pleases. Comfort Means Death I believe the establishment has moved away from the denial of so many abuses because it hopes to convince us that this is the “new normal” of our society. They want us to embrace the surveillance state and become comfortable in its cradling arms. I do not plan to get “comfortable”. When political villains no longer fear the exposure of their villainy, it is time to start worrying. There has been a lot of unrestrained conjecture on the motivations of the suddenly world-famous Edward Snowden. The fact is we still know very little about him, and for now I will reserve judgment; partially because I know that one day people like myself could be accused of “fomenting controlled opposition” or “working for the enemy”. Our culture has become so cynical that we refuse to believe that anyone does anything anymore out of a sense of principle. Whatever Snowden’s original intentions, I find his admitted reasons inspiring. When asked why he forced the truth of PRISM into the mainstream, Snowden replied: "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things ... I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under…" "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that [career and former life] because I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building." "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which was done in their name and that which is done against them…I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions. I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant." The surveillance machine is the key to control. When each person feels the eyes of the state constantly upon them, dissent and rebellion becomes unthinkable. At the very least, those of us who are aware of the great Orwellian shift before us must take an immovable stand. The right to privacy is an inherent right of natural law. No individual or government system should be allowed legal precedence to invade my privacy, and all people have the right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty rather than guilty until proven innocent. As an individual, I do not owe the collective, or the government, a constant update on whether or not I am a "threat". In fact, I don't owe anyone anything. If someone continues to treat me as an enemy and constantly tramples my natural right to privacy, I am going to fight them, and I am going to hurt them, perhaps mortally. This is what people who support surveillance society need to understand; there will be consequences for their trespasses against the natural rights of others. There can be no negotiation. There can be no compromise. The surveillance state must be erased.
  5. http://nationalreport.net/doj-fbi-raid-news-media-offices-after-releasing-an-alarming-story-on-president-obama/ DOJ & FBI Raid News Media Offices After Releasing an Alarming Story on President Obama! FBI Agents Load Seized Documents From the National Report's Offices By National Report Staff \ Within hours of publishing a scathing story on President Obama the DOJ raided the offices of the National Report claiming the raid was lawful under the USA Patriot Act but refusing to say why the government was taking the action. At about 12:50 this afternoon the National Report released a damning story on the Obama birth certificate scandal providing new evidence which clearly shows the document to be fraudulent. According to Sheriff Joe Arpaio, his Cold Case Posse has the evidence to prove the presidents birth certificate was computer generated using Adobe Illustrator. Cold Case Posse lead investigator Mike Zullo, revealed for the first time that his findings have been confirmed in a 40 page report by Reed Hayes, a Certified Documents Examiner (CDE) from Hawaii. The birth certificate posted to the White House website clearly shows it was forged using cut & paste methods in several layers. At about 2:08 pm employees at the National Report were shocked when dozens of black clad machine gun toting DOJ agents wearing black masks entered the National Report office forcing everyone to the ground while demanding they put their hands on top their heads. After securing all employees FBI agents entered and began questioning employees and seizing files and other documents. "We did exactly as they told us," said National Report's publisher Allen Montgomery, who added "No one knew what was happening." Its being reported that the offices of Montgomery and Editor-in-Chief Nigel Covington, were ransacked and boxes of files were seized and carted off by FBI agents. Covington said, "This is a gross violation of our Constitutional rights as American citizens and as journalists. All our files relating to President Obama were seized with others including all employee personnel files." Montgomery said federal agents did not have a warrant and offered no explanation for the action. He added about an hour before the raid, the National Report had released a story about the mounting evidence which confirms Obama's birth records are in fact forged. Montgomery said most employees were so shaken up by the raid he let them go home early. More on this breaking story as it becomes available
  6. http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2013-06-10/real-reason-government-spying-americans Is This the REAL Reason for the Government Spying On Americans? Submitted by George Washington on 06/10/2013 14:51 -0400 To understand the scope, extent and reason that the government spies on all Americans, you have to understand what has happened to our Constitutional form of government since 9/11. State of Emergency The United States has been in a declared state of emergency from September 2001, to the present. Specifically, on September 11, 2001, the government declared a state of emergency. That declared state of emergency was formally put in writing on 9/14/2001: A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, I hereby declare that the national emergency has existed since September 11, 2001 . . . That declared state of emergency has continued in full force and effect from 9/11 to the present. President Bush kept it in place, and President Obama has also. For example, on September 9, 2011, President Obama declared: CONTINUATION OF NATIONAL EMERGENCY DECLARED BY PROC. NO. 7463 Notice of President of the United States, dated Sept. 9, 2011, 76 F.R. 56633, provided: Consistent with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency previously declared on September 14, 2001, in Proclamation 7463, with respect to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States. Because the terrorist threat continues, the national emergency declared on September 14, 2001, and the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2011. Therefore, I am continuing in effect for an additional year the national emergency that was declared on September 14, 2001, with respect to the terrorist threat. This notice shall be published in the Federal Register and transmitted to the Congress. The Washington Times wrote on September 18, 2001: Simply by proclaiming a national emergency on Friday, President Bush activated some 500 dormant legal provisions, including those allowing him to impose censorship and martial law. The White House has kept substantial information concerning its presidential proclamations and directives hidden from Congress. For example, according to Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy: Of the 54 National Security Presidential Directives issued by the [George W.] Bush Administration to date, the titles of only about half have been publicly identified. There is descriptive material or actual text in the public domain for only about a third. In other words, there are dozens of undisclosed Presidential directives that define U.S. national security policy and task government agencies, but whose substance is unknown either to the public or, as a rule, to Congress. Continuity of Government Continuity of Government (“COG”) measures were implemented on 9/11. For example, according to the 9/11 Commission Report, at page 38: At 9:59, an Air Force lieutenant colonel working in the White House Military Office joined the conference and stated he had just talked to Deputy National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley. The White House requested (1) the implementation of continuity of government measures, (2) fighter escorts for Air Force One, and (3) a fighter combat air patrol over Washington, D.C. Likewise, page 326 of the Report states: The secretary of defense directed the nation’s armed forces to Defense Condition 3, an increased state of military readiness. For the first time in history, all nonemergency civilian aircraft in the United States were grounded, stranding tens of thousands of passengers across the country. Contingency plans for the continuity of government and the evacuation of leaders had been implemented. The Washington Post notes that Vice President **** Cheney initiated the COG plan on 9/11: From the bunker, Cheney officially implemented the emergency continuity of government orders . . . (See also footnotes cited therein and this webpage.) CNN reported that – 6 months later – the plans were still in place: Because Bush has decided to leave the operation in place, agencies including the White House and top civilian Cabinet departments have rotated personnel involved, and are discussing ways to staff such a contingency operation under the assumption it will be in place indefinitely, this official said. Similarly, the Washington Post reported in March 2002 that “the shadow government has evolved into an indefinite precaution.” The same article goes on to state: Assessment of terrorist risks persuaded the White House to remake the program as a permanent feature of ‘the new reality, based on what the threat looks like,’ a senior decisionmaker said. As CBS pointed out, virtually none of the Congressional leadership knew that the COG had been implemented or was still in existence as of March 2002: Key congressional leaders say they didn’t know President Bush had established a “shadow government,” moving dozens of senior civilian managers to secret underground locations outside Washington to ensure that the federal government could survive a devastating terrorist attack on the nation’s capital, The Washington Post says in its Saturday editions. Senate Majority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (D-S.D.) told the Post he had not been informed by the White House about the role, location or even the existence of the shadow government that the administration began to deploy the morning of the Sept. 11 hijackings. An aide to House Minority Leader Richard A. Gephardt (D-Mo.) said he was also unaware of the administration’s move. Among Congress’s GOP leadership, aides to House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (Ill.), second in line to succeed the president if he became incapacitated, and to Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (Miss.) said they were not sure whether they knew. Aides to Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W. Va.) said he had not been told. As Senate president pro tempore, he is in line to become president after the House speaker. Similarly, the above-cited CNN article states: Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-South Dakota, said Friday he can’t say much about the plan. “We have not been informed at all about the role of the shadow government or its whereabouts or what particular responsibilities they have and when they would kick in, but we look forward to work with the administration to get additional information on that.” Indeed, the White House has specifically refused to share information about Continuity of Government plans with the Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress, even though that Committee has proper security clearance to hear the full details of all COG plans. Specifically, in the summer 2007, Congressman Peter DeFazio, on the Homeland Security Committee (and so with proper security access to be briefed on COG issues), inquired about continuity of government plans, and was refused access. Indeed, DeFazio told Congress that the entire Homeland Security Committee of the U.S. Congress has been denied access to the plans by the White House. CLICK ON LINK FOR VIDEO: (Or here is the transcript). The Homeland Security Committee has full clearance to view all information about COG plans. DeFazio concluded: “Maybe the people who think there’s a conspiracy out there are right”. University of California Berkeley Professor Emeritus Peter Dale Scott points out that – whether or not COG plans are still in effect – the refusal of the executive branch to disclose their details to Congress means that the Constitutional system of checks and balances has already been gravely injured: If members of the Homeland Security Committee cannot enforce their right to read secret plans of the Executive Branch, then the systems of checks and balances established by the U.S. Constitution would seem to be failing. To put it another way, if the White House is successful in frustrating DeFazio, then Continuity of Government planning has arguably already superseded the Constitution as a higher authority. Indeed, continuity of government plans are specifically defined to do the following: Top leaders of the “new government” called for in the COG would entirely or largely go into hiding, and would govern in hidden locations Those within the new government would know what was going on. But those in the “old government” – that is, the one created by the framers of the Constitution – would not necessarily know the details of what was happening Normal laws and legal processes might largely be suspended, or superseded by secretive judicial forums The media might be ordered by strict laws – punishable by treason – to only promote stories authorized by the new government See this, this and this. Could the White House have maintained COG operations to the present day? I don’t know, but the following section from the above-cited CNN article is not very reassuring: Bush triggered the precautions in the hours after the September 11 strikes, and has left them in place because of continuing U.S. intelligence suggesting a possible threat. Concerns that al Qaeda could have gained access to a crude nuclear device “were a major factor” in the president’s decision, the official said. “The threat of some form of catastrophic event is the trigger,” this official said. This same official went on to say that the U.S. had no confirmation — “and no solid evidence” — that al Qaeda had such a nuclear device and also acknowledged that the “consensus” among top U.S. officials was that the prospect was “quite low.” Still, the officials said Bush and other top White House officials including Cheney were adamant that the government take precautions designed to make sure government functions ranging from civil defense to transportation and agricultural production could be managed in the event Washington was the target of a major strike. As is apparent from a brief review of the news, the government has, since 9/11, continuously stated that there is a terrorist threat of a nuclear device or dirty bomb. That alone infers that COG plans could, hypothetically, still be in effect, just like the state of emergency is still in effect and has never been listed. Indeed, President Bush said on December 17, 2005, 4 years after 9/11: The authorization I gave the National Security Agency after Sept. 11 helped address that problem in a way that is fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities. The activities I have authorized make it more likely that killers like these 9/11 hijackers will be identified and located in time. And the activities conducted under this authorization have helped detect and prevent possible terrorist attacks in the United States and abroad. The activities I authorized are reviewed approximately every 45 days. Each review is based on a fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government and the threat of catastrophic damage to our homeland. During each assessment, previous activities under the authorization are reviewed. The review includes approval by our nation’s top legal officials, including the attorney general and the counsel to the president. I have reauthorized this program more than 30 times since the Sept. 11 attacks [45 days times 30 equals approximately 4 years] and I intend to do so for as long as our nation faces a continuing threat from Al Qaeda and related groups. The N.S.A.’s activities under this authorization are thoroughly reviewed by the Justice Department and N.S.A.’s top legal officials, including N.S.A.’s general counsel and inspector general. In other words, it appears that as of December 2005, COG plans had never been rescincded, but had been continously renewed every 45 days, and . In 2008, Tim Shorrock wrote at Salon: A contemporary version of the Continuity of Government program was put into play in the hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when Vice President Cheney and senior members of Congress were dispersed to “undisclosed locations” to maintain government functions. It was during this emergency period, Hamilton and other former government officials believe, that President Bush may have authorized the NSA to begin actively using the Main Core database for domestic surveillance [more on Main Core below]. One indicator they cite is a statement by Bush in December 2005, after the New York Times had revealed the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping, in which he made a rare reference to the emergency program: The Justice Department’s legal reviews of the NSA activity, Bush said, were based on “fresh intelligence assessment of terrorist threats to the continuity of our government.” In 2007, President Bush issued Presidential Directive NSPD-51, which purported to change Continuity of Government plans. NSPD51 is odd because: NSPD51 was passed without Congressional input Even the New York Times wrote in an editorial: Beyond cases of actual insurrection, the President may now use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, terrorist attack, or to any ‘other condition.’ Changes of this magnitude should be made only after a thorough public airing. But these new Presidential powers were slipped into the law without hearings or public debate. Everyone from “conservative activist Jerome Corsi [to] Marjorie Cohn of the [liberal] National Lawyer’s Guild have interpreted [the COG plans contained in Presidential Directive NSPD-51] as a break from Constitutional law ….“ As a reporter for Slate concluded after analyzing NSPD-51: I see nothing in the [COG document entitled presidential directive NSPD51] to prevent even a “localized” forest fire or hurricane from giving the president the right to throw long-established constitutional government out the window White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said that “because of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the American public needs no explanation of [Continuity of Government] plans” This is all the more bizarre when you realize that COG plans were originally created solely to respond to a decapitating nuclear strike which killed our civilian leaders. (It was subsequently expanded decades before 9/11 into a multi-purpose plan by our good friends **** Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld. See this, this and this.) Does COG Explain the Pervasive Spying on Americans? 5 years ago, investigative reporter Christopher Ketcham disclosed the spying which was confirmed last week by whistleblower Edward Snowden: The following information seems to be fair game for collection without a warrant: the e-mail addresses you send to and receive from, and the subject lines of those messages; the phone numbers you dial, the numbers that dial in to your line, and the durations of the calls; the Internet sites you visit and the keywords in your Web searches; the destinations of the airline tickets you buy; the amounts and locations of your ATM withdrawals; and the goods and services you purchase on credit cards. All of this information is archived on government supercomputers and, according to sources, also fed into the Main Core database. Given that Ketcham was proven right, let’s see what else he reported: Given that Ketcham was right about the basics, let’s hear what else the outstanding investigative journalist said in 2008: There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.” *** According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger [for martial law ]. *** When COG plans are shrouded in extreme secrecy, effectively unregulated by Congress or the courts, and married to an overreaching surveillance state—as seems to be the case with Main Core—even sober observers must weigh whether the protections put in place by the federal government are becoming more dangerous to America than any outside threat. Another well-informed source—a former military operative regularly briefed by members of the intelligence community—says this particular program has roots going back at least to the 1980s and was set up with help from the Defense Intelligence Agency. He has been told that the program utilizes software that makes predictive judgments of targets’ behavior and tracks their circle of associations with “social network analysis” and artificial intelligence modeling tools. *** A former NSA officer tells Radar that the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, using an electronic-funds transfer surveillance program, also contributes data to Main Core, as does a Pentagon program that was created in 2002 to monitor antiwar protesters and environmental activists such as Greenpeace. *** If previous FEMA and FBI lists are any indication, the Main Core database includes dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people. A veteran CIA intelligence analyst who maintains active high-level clearances and serves as an advisor to the Department of Defense in the field of emerging technology tells Radar that during the 2004 hospital room drama, [current nominee to head the FBI, and former Deputy Attorney General] James Comey expressed concern over how this secret database was being used “to accumulate otherwise private data on non-targeted U.S. citizens for use at a future time.” [snowden and high-level NSA whistleblower William Binney have since confirmed this] …. A source regularly briefed by people inside the intelligence community adds: “Comey had discovered that President Bush had authorized NSA to use a highly classified and compartmentalized Continuity of Government database on Americans in computerized searches of its domestic intercepts. [Comey] had concluded that the use of that ‘Main Core’ database compromised the legality of the overall NSA domestic surveillance project.” *** The veteran CIA intelligence analyst notes that Comey’s suggestion that the offending elements of the program were dropped could be misleading: “Bush [may have gone ahead and] signed it as a National Intelligence Finding anyway.” But even if we never face a national emergency, the mere existence of the database is a matter of concern. “The capacity for future use of this information against the American people is so great as to be virtually unfathomable,” the senior government official says. In any case, mass watch lists of domestic citizens may do nothing to make us safer from terrorism. Jeff Jonas, chief scientist at IBM, a world-renowned expert in data mining, contends that such efforts won’t prevent terrorist conspiracies. “Because there is so little historical terrorist event data,” Jonas tells Radar, “there is not enough volume to create precise predictions.” *** [J. Edgar Hoover's] FBI “security index” was allegedly maintained and updated into the 1980s, when it was reportedly transferred to the control of none other than FEMA (though the FBI denied this at the time). FEMA, however—then known as the Federal Preparedness Agency—already had its own domestic surveillance system in place, according to a 1975 investigation by Senator John V. Tunney of California. Tunney, the son of heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney and the inspiration for Robert Redford’s character in the film The Candidate, found that the agency maintained electronic dossiers on at least 100,000 Americans that contained information gleaned from wide-ranging computerized surveillance. The database was located in the agency’s secret underground city at Mount Weather, near the town of Bluemont, Virginia. [One of the main headquarter of COG operations.] The senator’s findings were confirmed in a 1976 investigation by the Progressive magazine, which found that the Mount Weather computers “can obtain millions of pieces [of] information on the personal lives of American citizens by tapping the data stored at any of the 96 Federal Relocation Centers”—a reference to other classified facilities. According to the Progressive, Mount Weather’s databases were run “without any set of stated rules or regulations. Its surveillance program remains secret even from the leaders of the House and the Senate.” *** Wired magazine turned up additional damaging information, revealing in 1993 that [Oliver] North, operating from a secure White House site, allegedly employed a software database program called PROMIS (ostensibly as part of the REX 84 plan). PROMIS, which has a strange and controversial history, was designed to track individuals—prisoners, for example—by pulling together information from disparate databases into a single record. According to Wired, “Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Senator Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude.” Sources have suggested to Radar that government databases tracking Americans today, including Main Core, could still have PROMIS-based legacy code from the days when North was running his programs. *** Marty Lederman, a high-level official at the Department of Justice under Clinton, writing on a law blog last year, wondered, “How extreme were the programs they implemented [after 9/11]? How egregious was the lawbreaking?” Congress has tried, and mostly failed, to find out. *** “We are at the edge of a cliff and we’re about to fall off,” says constitutional lawyer and former Reagan administration official Bruce Fein. “To a national emergency planner, everybody looks like a danger to stability. There’s no doubt that Congress would have the authority to denounce all this—for example, to refuse to appropriate money for the preparation of a list of U.S. citizens to be detained in the event of martial law. But Congress is the invertebrate branch. *** UPDATE [from Ketcham]: Since this article went to press, several documents have emerged to suggest the story has longer legs than we thought. Most troubling among these is an October 2001 Justice Department memo that detailed the extra-constitutional powers the U.S. military might invoke during domestic operations following a terrorist attack. In the memo, John Yoo, then deputy assistant attorney general, “concluded that the Fourth Amendment had no application to domestic military operations.” (Yoo, as most readers know, is author of the infamous Torture Memo that, in bizarro fashion, rejiggers the definition of “legal” torture to allow pretty much anything short of murder.) In the October 2001 memo, Yoo refers to a classified DOJ document titled “Authority for Use of Military Force to Combat Terrorist Activities Within the United States.” According to the Associated Press, “Exactly what domestic military action was covered by the October memo is unclear. But federal documents indicate that the memo relates to the National Security Agency’s Terrorist Surveillance Program.” Attorney General John Mukasey last month refused to clarify before Congress whether the Yoo memo was still in force. Americans have the right to know whether a COG program is still in effect, and whether the spying on our phone calls and Internet usage stems from such COG plans. Indeed, 9/11 was a horrible blow, but it was not a decapitating nuclear strike on our leaders … so COG and the state of emergency should be lifted. If COG plans are not still in effect, we have the right to demand that “enemies lists” and spying capabilities developed for the purpose of responding to a nuclear war be discarded , as we have not been hit by nuclear weapons … and our civilian leaders – on Capital Hill, the White House, and the judiciary – are still alive and able to govern.
  7. http://www.naturalnews.com/040442_immigration_reform_Department_of_Homeland_Security_Janet_Napolitano.html DHS to be granted total dictatorial power in immigration bill, all laws nullified, voters silenced Wednesday, May 22, 2013 by: J. D. Heyes (NaturalNews) There has been a lot of rhetoric on both sides of the issue regarding the current "immigration reform bill" that the Senate has taken up, but one thing you likely haven't heard about at all is the scope and breadth of power the massive 850-page-plus measure contains. Simply put, if it becomes law, it will give the Department of Homeland Security near-dictatorial powers. Sen. Jeff Sessions, an Alabama Republican, has entered a letter into the congressional record from law enforcement personnel around the country who are warning S.744, officially titled the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act," would grant sweeping, discretionary powers to "political appointees" - bureaucrats - while stripping law enforcement of authority. 'Virtually unlimited discretion' The letter, from the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Council of the American Federal of Government Employees Affiliated with AFL-CIO, states: Congress can and must take decisive steps to limit the discretion of political appointees and empower ICE and CBP to perform their respective missions and enforce the laws enacted by Congress. Rather than limiting the power of those political appointees within DHS, S. 744 provides them with nearly unlimited discretion, which will serve only to further cripple the law enforcement missions of these agencies. The members warn that the bill conveys to DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano "virtually unlimited discretion to waiver" prohibitions on getting legal status, such as previous deportations or criminal activity: This same section (Section 2101 of S. 744) gives the Secretary of Homeland Security virtually unlimited discretion to waive any manner of crimes that would otherwise make an individual ineligible for legal status - for such expansive reasons as family unity, humanitarian purposes, or what the Secretary believes is in the public interest. ICE agents would become 'powerless' The letter continues: At least two of these standards appear undefined by S. 744 or current law, providing political appointees with broad authority to establish their own definitions of these terms and pardon criminal acts under almost any circumstance. The bill states that individuals who have previously been deported or otherwise removed from the country are ineligible to apply for legal status. However, the Secretary is given the 'sole and unreviewable discretion' to waive that ineligibility for large classes of qualifying aliens. CNSNews.com noted that in seven instances, the measure grants "unreviewable" powers (see them here). "Congress can and must take decisive steps to limit the discretion of political appointees and empower ICE and CBP to perform their respective missions and enforce the laws enacted by Congress. Rather than limiting the power of those political appointees within DHS, S. 744 provides them with nearly unlimited discretion, which will serve only to further cripple the law enforcement missions of these agencies," the letter continues. Crafters of the letter went on to conclude that ICE agents would essentially become "powerless" to protect the general public, or be able to perform their duties as required, if the bill passes the House. "If this legislation were enacted tomorrow, ICE officers would continue to be powerless to effectively enforce our nation's laws and provide for public safety as S. 744 does nothing to end these dangerous agency- and department-level directives," the letter said. Oh, and there's a privacy concern as well UPDATE: Here's another reason to oppose the measure, according to Wired: The immigration reform measure the Senate began debating yesterday would create a national biometric database of virtually every adult in the U.S., in what privacy groups fear could be the first step to a ubiquitous national identification system. As you probably guessed, this little Fourth Amendment violation is buried in the hundreds of pages of text and innocuously named (in this instance, the requirement is called a "phone tool"). The provision called for "a massive federal database administered by the Department of Homeland Security and containing names, ages, Social Security numbers and photographs of everyone in the country with a driver's license or other state-issued photo ID," Wired reported. No agency of the U.S. government deserves or should have this kind of unchecked power. And along that line, our laws should not be several hundred pages long. The founders believed laws should be simple and straightforward, not so complex they couldn't be read and understood by regular citizens who then have to live under them.
  8. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-05-21/pentagon-admits-war-terror-will-never-end The Pentagon Admits: The "War On Terror" Will Never End Submitted by Tyler Durden on 05/21/2013 21:26 -0400 fixed national security Obama Administration Submitted by Michael Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog, It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat. - Glenn Greenwald from his recent article: Washington Gets Explicit: Its “War on Terror” is Permanent-LINK: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/may/17/endless-war-on-terror-obama So last Thursday at a hearing held by the Senate Armed Services Committee, we found out what many of us already knew. That the “war on terror” is never going to end. Indeed, it was never supposed to end. This never-ending “war” on a fantastical enemy provides the American oligarch class with too much money and too much power to ever make it worthwhile for the establishment to shut down. It matters not to them that this civil liberties destroying fraud has been going on for my entire post-college life and, if they have their way, for the remainder of it. It matters not to them that the “war on terror” itself has done more to destroy the Constitution and vital essence of this nation than any terrorist act ever could. No, it matters very little indeed. What matters to them is money and power, and the “war on terror” provides them with boatloads of both. My favorite excerpts from Glenn’s article are below: On Thursday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on whether the statutory basis for this “war” – the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) – should be revised (meaning: expanded). This is how Wired’s Spencer Ackerman (soon to be the Guardian US’s national security editor) described the most significant exchange: “Asked at a Senate hearing today how long the war on terrorism will last, Michael Sheehan, the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and low-intensity conflict, answered, ’At least 10 to 20 years.’ . . . A spokeswoman, Army Col. Anne Edgecomb, clarified that Sheehan meant the conflict is likely to last 10 to 20 more years from today – atop the 12 years that the conflict has already lasted. Welcome to America’s Thirty Years War.” That the Obama administration is now repeatedly declaring that the “war on terror” will last at least another decade (or two) is vastly more significant than all three of this week’s big media controversies (Benghazi, IRS, and AP/DOJ) combined. The military historian Andrew Bacevich has spent years warning that US policy planners have adopted an explicit doctrine of “endless war”. Obama officials, despite repeatedly boasting that they have delivered permanently crippling blows to al-Qaida, are now, as clearly as the English language permits, openly declaring this to be so. It is hard to resist the conclusion that this war has no purpose other than its own eternal perpetuation. This war is not a means to any end but rather is the end in itself. Not only is it the end itself, but it is also its own fuel: it is precisely this endless war – justified in the name of stopping the threat of terrorism – that is the single greatest cause of that threat. In response, I wrote that the “war on terror” cannot and will not end on its own for two reasons: (1) it is designed by its very terms to be permanent, incapable of ending, since the war itself ironically ensures that there will never come a time when people stop wanting to bring violence back to the US (the operational definition of “terrorism”), and (2) the nation’s most powerful political and economic factions reap a bonanza of benefits from its continuation. Whatever else is true, it is now beyond doubt that ending this war is the last thing on the mind of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize winner and those who work at the highest levels of his administration. Is there any way they can make that clearer beyond declaring that it will continue for “at least” another 10-20 years? And then there’s the most intangible yet most significant cost: each year of endless war that passes further normalizes the endless rights erosions justified in its name. The second term of the Bush administration and first five years of the Obama presidency have been devoted to codifying and institutionalizing the vast and unchecked powers that are typically vested in leaders in the name of war. Those powers of secrecy, indefinite detention, mass surveillance, and due-process-free assassination are not going anywhere. They are now permanent fixtures not only in the US political system but, worse, in American political culture. Each year that passes, millions of young Americans come of age having spent their entire lives, literally, with these powers and this climate fixed in place: to them, there is nothing radical or aberrational about any of it. The post-9/11 era is all they have been trained to know. That is how a state of permanent war not only devastates its foreign targets but also degrades the population of the nation that prosecutes it. This war will end only once Americans realize the vast and multi-faceted costs they are bearing so that the nation’s political elites can be empowered and its oligarchs can further prosper. But Washington clearly has no fear that such realizations are imminent. They are moving in the other direction: aggressively planning how to further entrench and expand this war. Newly elected independent Sen. Angus King of Maine said after listening to how the Obama administration interprets its war powers under the AUMF: This is the most astounding and most astoundingly disturbing hearing that I’ve been to since I’ve been here. You guys have essentially rewritten the Constitution today.” Former Bush DOJ official Jack Goldsmith, who testified at the hearing,summarized what was said after it was over: Obama officials argued that “they had domestic authority to use force in Mali, Syria, Libya, and Congo, against Islamist terrorist threats there”; that “they were actively considering emerging threats and stated that it was possible they would need to return to Congress for new authorities against those threats but did not at present need new authorities”; that “the conflict authorized by the AUMF was not nearly over”; and that “several members of the Committee were surprised by the breadth of DOD’s interpretation of the AUMF.” Conveying the dark irony of America’s war machine, seemingly lifted right out of the Cold War era film Dr. Strangelove, Goldsmith added: Amazingly, there is a very large question even in the Armed Services Committee about who the United States is at war against and where, and how those determinations are made.” Nobody really even knows with whom the US is at war, or where. Everyone just knows that it is vital that it continue in unlimited form indefinitely. 1984 really was an instruction manual for the people in power. Terrifying.
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