Thursday, February 3, 2011

In The Name Of Order And Citizen Protection Governments Lie, Spy, Corrupt And Subvert Every Legal And Human Right.

In The Name Of Order And Citizen Protection Governments Lie, Spy, Corrupt And Subvert Every Legal And Human Right.

Joan Baez - "We Shall Overcome" | PBS

Last week, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, introduced legislation to extend the Patriot Act past its February 28 expiration date to December 2013. Though the extension once again saves some of the most nefarious, First-Amendment trampling provisions of the act -- roving wiretaps, secret access to third-party records, the hunting of targets unafilliated with foreign powers -- Leahy released a statement assuring us that the new extension will increase citizen protections.

“It will promote transparency and expand privacy and civil liberties safeguards in current law,” he said in a statement. “It increases judicial oversight of government surveillance powers that capture information on Americans. This is a package of reforms that all Americans should support.” The expanded bill would require the Department of Justice to issue public reports and generally expand oversight.

 But will token rights-preserving provisions matter if the FBI refuses to comply?

Over the last decade, the FBI has been found to violate the Constitution countless times under the guise of the Patriot Act, including a 2007 scandal that led FBI head Robert Mueller to publicly apologize for the preponderance of security abuses, misconduct and violation of civil liberties on his watch. 

We’ve known since its enactment in 2001 that the Patriot Act, with its gross expansion of law enforcement power and murky reporting requirements, was just a rulebook waiting to be spoiled.

But according to a new report released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), the FBI’s violations go far beyond what has been reported.

Since July 2009, EFF has been involved in litigation with seven different federal agencies for ignoring EFF’s requests for information submitted in 2008. In December 2009, the CIA, NSA, Department of Defense, Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Department of State were ordered by the Court to comply with EFF’s requests under the Freedom of Information Act, though it did not receive the complete papers from the FBI until October 2010.

The resulting 2,500-page document consists of FBI reports to the citizen-run Intelligence Oversight Board during the years 2001-2008. Consistently, documents released from the IOB reveal investigations of abuse that often have not been reported to Congress or the Department of Justice as required.

But EFF’s analysis, pored over for several months, illuminates exactly how, when and why these investigations happened, and the results are shocking.
First, the numbers: EFF found that, since 9/11, the FBI has been responsible for up to 40,000 violations. Most often, said violations included bucking guidelines for internal oversight, abusing the National Security Letters and trampling on the Fourth Amendment. 

This, in tandem with the IOB’s weakened capacity for oversight under President George W. Bush, has resulted in nothing short of disaster. 

In 2008, Bush revoked the IOB’s right to refer violations to the Attorney General, and eliminated the agency’s requirement to report quarterly to the IOB. As EFF found, "The FBI’s disregard for its own internal oversight requirements and the Bureau’s failure to timely report violations to the IOB undermined the safeguards established to protect civil liberties violations from occurring." While the Obama administration restored a few of those changes, it still has not provided the proper transparency needed for a true citizen-protective oversight board or fully disclosed its makeup.

Some of the more egregious abuses, according to EFF’s report:
  • Private entities such as phone companies, banks and Internet providers assisted the FBI’s National Security Letters abuse with alarming frequency, turning over information without valid legal justification in more than half of all case. 
  • Between 2001-2008, the average time between when a violation was committed, and when it was reported to the IOB, was 2.5 years. 
  • During that same time frame, the FBI was found to have submitted false or inaccurate documents to courts, used "improper evidence" to obtain subpoenas, and accessed password-protected documents without a warrant. 
This is government spying, in no uncertain terms.

In his bill to renew the Patriot Act, Senator Leahy called for "a higher standard" from the government, including "a statement of facts showing reasonable grounds to believe the tangible things are relevant to an authorized investigation and pertain to (a) an agent of a foreign power, (b) the activities of a suspected agent, or (c) an individual in contact with or known to a suspected agent of foreign power."

Lip service is mighty, but without true reform to the articles like Lone Wolf, It’s likely the FBI won’t stop stampeding our rights anytime soon.

12 Examples of Stunning Hypocrisy from Tea Party Republicans In One Short Month

McCain Fires Back at Rumsfeld Memoir: 'Thank God He Was Relieved of His Duties' ABC News (blog)

The absence of WMDs and the war crimes we committed quashed any thought of victory. Sometimes McCain says and does the right things. This is one of them. ...
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 Tony Blair: Mubarak Is 'Immensely Courageous And A Force For Good'


Tony Blair has described Hosni Mubarak, the beleaguered Egyptian leader, as "immensely courageous and a force for good" and warned against a rush to elections that could bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power.

The former prime minister, now an envoy to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, praised Mubarak over his role in the negotiations and said the west was right to back him despite his authoritarian regime because he had maintained peace with Israel.

But that view is likely to anger many Egyptians who believe they have had to endure decades of dictatorship because the US put Israel's interests ahead of their freedom.

Speaking to Piers Morgan on CNN, Blair defended his backing for Mubarak.
"Where you stand on him depends on whether you've worked with him from the outside or on the inside. I've worked with him on the Middle East peace process between the Israelis and the Palestinians so this is somebody I'm constantly in contact with and working with and on that issue, I have to say, he's been immensely courageous and a force for good," he said.

"Inside Egypt, and I have many Egyptian friends, it's clear that there's been a huge desire for change."

Asked if the west had not been an obstacle to change, Blair defended the policies of his and other governments.

"I don't think the west should be the slightest bit embarrassed about the fact that it's been working with Mubarak over the peace process but at the same time it's been urging change in Egypt," he said.

Blair argued that the region has unique problems that make political change different from the democratic revolutions in Eastern Europe. He said the principal issue was the presence of Islamist parties that he fears will use democracy to gain power and then undermine the freedoms people seek.

"It's perfectly natural for those from the outside to want to support this movement for change at the same time as saying let's be careful about this and make sure that what happens in this process of change is something that ends in free and fair elections and a democratic system of government and it doesn't get taken over or channeled in to a different direction that is at odds with what the people of Egypt want," he said.

Blair said that meant there should not be a rush to elections in Egypt.
"I don't think there's a majority for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. On the other hand, what you've got to watch is that they are extremely well-organized and well-funded whereas those people who are out on the street at the moment, many of them will be extremely well-intentioned people but they're not organized in political parties yet. So one of the issues in the transition is to give time for those political parties to get themselves properly organized," he said.

Blair said he did not doubt that change was coming to Egypt.

"People want a different system of government. They're going to get it. The question is what emerges from that. In particular I think the key challenge for us is how do we help partner this process of change and help manage it in such a way that what comes out of it is open minded, fair, democratic government," he said.

Britain. Incipient Fascist State : By Alex
The only Brave New World around was Huxley's, and I read the articles about the impending decline of the U.S.A. into fascism, ('America Has Gone Away' by Paul Craig Roberts (ref.1), and the somewhat more recent, 'Does Fascism Lurk ...-

Wikileaks Cables: FBI Investigation Into Suspected 9/11 Gang To Be Reviewed

An FBI investigation into a previously unknown gang suspected of involvement in the September 11 attacks is to be reviewed following disclosures by the Daily Telegraph.

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'Baby Doc' Duvalier claims he introduced democracy to Haiti

Duvalier, 59, returned unexpectedly to Haiti last month after 25 years of exile in France. He now faces charges of corruption and crimes against humanity for the killings and torture that occurred during his 15-year rule.

Haitians and international observers have speculated that he returned in an attempt to release millions of dollars frozen in a Swiss bank account, money he is suspected of looting from Haiti's treasury.

Duvalier said that money would be used for post-earthquake reconstruction.

The UN human rights office in Geneva has offered to assist Haiti's courts in prosecuting Duvalier.

"Haiti has an obligation to investigate the well-documented serious human rights violations that occurred during the rule of Mr Duvalier and to prosecute those responsible for them," the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, said yesterday….

Why I have nominated Wikileaks for the Nobel Peace Prize

Hail Sarah: America Flirts With The Fresh Face Of Fascism

Once upon a time, fascism was a dark place in dark times dominated by goose-stepping soldiers and a (male) megalomaniac inciting the masses from the palace balcony. But with the inexplicable rise of Sarah Palin, this extreme political phenomenon may be getting a change of face.

This column is an attempt to explain America’s infatuation with the former governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, a woman who seemingly fulfilled her patriotic duty by suddenly quitting politics in the Summer of ‘09. Although much of America breathed a collective sigh of relief with the announcement, this one writer rightly predicted (excuse me, pundits are so frequently wrong in their predictions that they cannot resist tooting their horns when they actually nail one on the head) that this was just the beginning of her bid for the 2012 presidential campaign. And so it was.

For reasons that defy the laws of attraction, not to mention simple common sense, plain Sarah Palin continues to beat a haphazard path across America’s heartland, attracting crowds, not to mention millions of dollars of free political advertising courtesy of the mainstream media. In fact, Palin works as a commentator for Fox News, the right-wing news program, which faithfully reports on her every nutty utterance. This is no small support, of course, since a politician does not exist in the United States unless the media says they do.

Last month, for example, punchy Palin mounted the nostrum of the smoky Safari Club, where she paid glossy lip service to US gun rights (despite her “conservative” beliefs, the diva demagogue reportedly earns a cool $100,000 per engagement). Speaking before the national hunting club – and just weeks after Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was the target of a savage assassination attempt – Palin harangued President Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, suggesting he would “perhaps infringe further upon our Second Amendment rights."

“We need to keep tabs on what the White House is telling us," Sarah stormed. "Just think if we had even stricter gun control laws!"

Yes, Sarah, just think! No more maniacs off their medication gunning down American politicians in broad daylight; no more kids dragging Daddy’s Colt 45 to school for show and tell; no more reenactments of the OK Corral at the neighborhood hamburger joint. Why, how could any red-blooded American possibly condone such an uneventful future? (Personally, I support the idea of gun ownership. But what is hard to understand is how the National Rifle Association and Republicans continue to shoot themselves in the foot by rejecting the simplest measures to prevent the occurrence of more massacres, like introducing safety technologies on handguns – fingerprint safety locks, for example – that could dramatically reduce gun-induced fatalities. More importantly, however, such minuscule measures would reduce the chances that some much harsher gun restrictions will win broad public support).

Like everyplace that John McCain’s former running mate rears her perfumed head, the crowds just can’t seem to get enough. And the question remains the same now as it was three years ago when the obscure politician was dragged into national politics from the great Alaskan outback: WHY? After all, her “message” does not contain a single thing that has not been said before – and far better – by other members of the political right.

It is no secret that Americans, and especially the Republicans, have no problem with a clueless leader in office. Furthermore, the “conservatives” – the billionaire defense contractors, bankers and CEOs who are in the process of destroying America – salivate at the idea of a female version of George W. Bush, a woman whose foreign policy experience is limited to the Bering Strait, becoming the next Commander-in-Chief.

­To prove this woman’s staying power, she even managed to insult the one sector of American society that should never be insulted: the American-Jewish voters.

Following the bloodbath in Tucson, Arizona, which resulted in the death of six, Palin was dragged over America’s hot political coals due to her “Take Back the 20” campaign, which used a poster showing the crosshairs of a rifle scope to indicate the regions that the Conservative Party would take back (And what crime did those Democratic politicians commit to win themselves the Republican crosshairs? Why, they threw their commie support behind Obama’s national healthcare plan at a time when the unemployment level in the United States is at levels not seen since the Great Depression. Yes, the mind really is a terrible thing to waste).

So in her passionate defense of the most important subject for Sarah Palin, which is of course Sarah Palin, she pointed a painted finger of condescension at the “liberal media” (which is anything but, in fact) accusing them of committing the historically loaded act of “blood libel.”

“Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own,” Palin huffed in a seven-and-a-half minute video posted to her Facebook page that has her seated in front of an American flag. “Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible.”

The term “blood libel” generally relates to the accusation that Jews murder Christian babies and use their blood in religious rituals, in particular the baking of matzos. The rumor was circulated for centuries and was the justification for more than one pogrom against Jews.

The Anti-Defamation League, amongst many other Jewish groups, quickly slammed Palin for her choice of words.

ADL Director Abraham Foxman said in a statement that “we wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase ‘blood-libel,’” calling it a phrase “fraught with pain in Jewish history.”

The Guardian spoofed Palin’s effort to attack the US media, positioning herself once again as the victimized darling of American politics, with a cartoon that shows a wild-eyed Palin, left arm cradling an M-16, with her right hand extended in the shape of a gun pointing to the head of a moose. “Back off the blood libel or the moose get its,” the caption reads.

Palin powers ahead

So who is Sarah Palin, and why has the Tea Party permitted her to speak on their behalf? But a much better question would be: What in the heck is the Tea Party? Nobody seems to be able to answer this question.

The first Tea Party event was organized on the anniversary of the Boston Tea party in 2008 by Republican Congressman Ron Paul. The demonstration drew public awareness to the unconstitutional activities of the Federal Reserve System, as well as bloated government. 

But somehow along the way the organization was hijacked by other Republicans who seem to be following a completely different script (The German Workers Party, incidentally, was also hijacked by a little known government official known as Adolf Hitler, who turned the movement into the Nazi Party). 

Although Tea Party members argue against big government (while casually forgetting that it has been the Republicans who have been responsible for a $1 trillion dollar military budget, for example), there are other elements of the movement – anti-immigration, gun rights and a sense of American exceptionalism, for example – that have been added to the movement’s agenda.

In fact, Founding Father Ron Paul only ranked fourth, behind Sarah Palin (14%) and Fox News commentator Glenn Beck (7%) and Jim DeMint (6%), in a poll organized by the Washington Post that asked “which national figure best represents your groups?”

Meanwhile, Michelle Bachmann, who plays a rather convincing Gestapo to Palin’s Fuhrer, put together the Tea Party Caucus, which consists of Members of Congress who have officially joined the traveling circus. Ron Paul, incidentally, is not on the list, nor is his recently elected son, Rand.

Now, the Republicans are attempting to reign in the Tea Party, but with little luck so far. This was evident after Obama’s State of the Union Address when Republican House Speaker Boehner chose Paul Ryan, House Budget Committee Chairman, for the prestigious role of speaking against Obama’s speech. Michelle Bachmann obviously felt snubbed.

“Boehner’s opportunity to rope the new crop of Tea Party members into his agenda runs through Bachmann,” wrote Margaret Carlson for Bloomberg. “She isn’t making it easy.”

After Boehner handpicked in swept Bachmann to make a separate but equal…response on behalf of the Tea Party. Who knew one wasn’t enough?

“Could there be a more vivid demonstration of the divide between mainstream Republicans and the Tea Party,” Carlson asked. “Bachmann went rogue and no one could stop her. Boehner said “other obligations” kept him from watching her performance. But lots of other people watched, as it grew from a Web-only event to live coverage on CNN, to the consternation of Republicans who wanted it buried.”

Welcome to Fascism, Pop. 300 million

Several events in the United States, besides the inexplicable rise of the Tea Party, and its prima donna diva, Sarah Palin, prompted me to write this column.

The first event was the release of a book, entitled, “The Anti-American Manifesto,” by Ted Rall, an award-winning political cartoonist who envisions what many other Americans have feared and predicted for a long time: the collapse of the American Empire. The release of such a book, totally unthinkable before, is in itself a worrying sign. It means other people are entertaining such ideas.

Rall foresees the imminent downfall of the United States not as being triggered by outside forces, or terrorists, or Osama bin Laden, but rather by a nasty domestic clash that pits right against left, rich against poor, and corporate power against people power. In other words, a full-blown class war.
“There is going to be an intense, violent, probably haphazard struggle for control. It’s going to come down to us versus them,” Rall predicts with a candidness that almost leaves one breathless.

He describes “Us” as the “hard-working, underpaid, put upon, thoughtful, freedom-loving, disenfranchised, ordinary people” (otherwise known as the Liberals), and “Them,” as “reactionary, stupid, overpaid, greedy, shortsighted, exploitative, power-mad, abusive politicians and corporate executives” (in short, the Conservatives).

Rall paints a grim picture of the United States, comprised of corrupted politicians in collusion with corporate power, which has no real interest in defending the interests of the little guy.

“A veneer of normalcy slapped – sloppily slapped – on top of a stinking pile of obviously out-of-control unsustainability can no longer disguise the ugly truth: The United States of America is finished. Shopkeepers still take our dollars, foreigners still fear our bombs, but watching the crazy federal deficits, the wildly expanding international military presence, the putrid joke that is our healthcare/education/employment system, and a natural world in free fall…makes the debate over whether Democrats are better than Republicans feel surreal.”

­For most Americans, of course, who are regularly reminded of their “exceptionalism” from every media outlet, such words are hard to swallow.

Yet Rall’s basic conclusion is no different from many other people’s today, and especially following an economic crisis that essentially awarded the criminals and (t)axed the innocent: “Government exists to serve economic power.”

Okay, so let’s assume for the sake of argument that Rall is correct: the United States is sliding rapidly down a slippery slope and an entirely undesirable situation may occur at any moment. What then? Well, something will be forced to step into the void, into this post-apocalyptic world when the streets are overrun with looters and our credit cards are suddenly useless. In other words, imagine the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina multiplied by about 1,000. Under such circumstances, America could easily come face-to-face with the ugly F-word.

In a world suddenly dominated by Tea Party types, Rall envisions the “end days” as a chapter taken out of Margaret Atwood’s novel, The Handmaid’s Tale, with right-wing “rednecks in the trenches, hard military men running things, minorities and liberals taken away and massacred, setting the stage for an even more extreme form of laissez-faire corporate capitalism than we’re suffering under today…”

Clearly, such a situation would bring on a form of fascism like the world has never seen before: nuclear-armed, culturally divisive, biblically apocalyptic, militant and armed to the teeth and no longer even God-fearing.

Pall then paraphrases Professor Robert O. Paxton, the author of “The Anatomy of Fascism,” the definitive study of this political and social phenomenon, as saying that the United States is “the nation that is most likely to go fascist, due to the ‘necessary ingredients’, which are, amongst others, ‘extreme militarism and a highly industrialized society.’”

Since I have Paxton’s book, I now had extra incentive to reread parts and see exactly what the former Columbia University professor had to say on the subject.

[Fascism began on a Sunday morning, March 23, 1919, when Benito Mussolini assembled his Fasci Italiano di Combattimento for their fist meeting at the Piazzo San Sepolcro in Milan. The other obvious bookend to the two most infamous European fascist movements came about with Corporal Adolf Hitler, who almost singlehandedly transformed the German Workers’ Party (DAP) into the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeitpartei (NSDAP, or “Nazi” Party, for short)].

Although it requires a very particular type of soil for such extreme movements to arise, Paxton alluded to nine factors. What alarmed me about Paxton’s recipe for fascism is how many of the necessary conditions seem to conform to what is happening in the United States at this particular moment.

­Here is Paxton’s list of “mobilizing passions” that make up fascism’s foundations; my comments on each follow in italics.

1. A sense of overwhelming crisis beyond the reach of any traditional solutions.

America and the world have just passed through the worst part of an “overwhelming crisis” known as the Great Recession. Due to a massive rescue package arranged by the US Federal Reserve to associate banks around the world, the financial and corporate sectors have managed to pull through the crisis, but not without a huge amount of collateral damage in the form of jobs, unemployment and a future debt load that may never get paid off. US unemployment remains stuck at just below 10 percent, while millions of people have given up the search for work altogether. Meanwhile, there are other types of “overwhelming crisis,” including, for example, environmental degradation, brought about by corporate recklessness, and therefore incapable of being “fixed” by our leaders.

2. The primacy of the group, toward which one has duties superior to every right, whether individual or universal, and the subordinates of the individuals to it.

Paxton is referring to the phenomenon of “mass mentality” that grips a nation or people caught up in the great emotional undertow of fascism. Although it is may be too early to label the Tea Party under such an extreme type of group, it is beginning to coalesce into something that is outside the shade of “normal” American politics. For starters, as more than one commentator has already noted, Tea Party members are overwhelmingly white, and in favor of tough immigration laws, and loose gun laws. In other words, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and waddles like a duck, it’s probably a duck.   

3. The belief that one’s group is a victim, a sentiment that justifies any action, without legal or moral limits, against its enemies, both internal and external

Again, it is nearly impossible not to think of the ties that bind the Tea Party members together when reading this one. Indeed, one of the party’s leading figures, Sarah Palin, practically got to where she is on the draw of the victim card. During her surprise resignation as Alaskan governor in July 2009, Palin said she had fallen victim to the "politics of personal destruction," including "frivolous" ethics probes and "mean-spirited" cracks about her kids (her son, Trig, was born with Down’s Syndrome). 

Meanwhile, just days after Democrat Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was nearly assassinated in Tucson with a gunshot to the head, Palin drew the victim card again with a  “blood libel” defense against those who said her words and actions contributed to the carnage in Tucson, Arizona. “For a little while longer, Palin could have conceded the field to the real victims,” wrote Chuck Raasch in USA Today [“Playing Victim, Palin took the Left’s Bait”]. “Instead, she played victim again, further demonstrating why she is the most polarizing figure in American politics.”

4. Dread of the group’s decline under the corrosive effects of individualistic liberalism, class conflict, and alien influences.

Although the parts about “liberalism” and “alien influences” would fit into the standard Conservative ideology, the part on “class conflict,” although a seemingly archaic word, is once again coming back into fashion, especially with about 25% of the total wealth in America now concentrated in the hands of the top 1%. Never before has the corporate executive to employee pay ratio – now at about $500 dollars to $1 – been so great.

5. The need for closer integration of a purer community, by consent if possible, or by exclusionary violence if necessary.

It is no secret that the debate over immigration has moved front and center in American politics, and will certainly be a pivotal issue in the 2012 presidential campaign. Although the debate refers to other social groups besides Mexicans, the spotlight has fallen on these people. In April, the state of Arizona passed the nation’s toughest bill on illegal immigration, which aims to profile, prosecute and push out illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, anti-immigration groups, like the American Immigration Control Foundation (AICF), are winning newfound support.

6. The need for authority by natural leaders (always male), culminating in a natural chief who alone is capable of incarnating the group’s destiny;

Again, Sarah Palin. Although clearly unqualified for the formidable task of running a country, not to mention a banana republic, Palin’s appeal, her cult of personality, if you will, is very difficult to explain. But I would like to go on the record as saying that I was one of the few people who correctly predicted this woman’s climb to the top of the political heap. Certainly some of her “attraction” is due to the maddening fact that the US media cannot stop fawning over her every move. It would be difficult to name another political figure that gets more gratuitous media time than the former Alaskan governor. 

Now imagine, if you will, a fascist party led not by an obvious Mussolini or Hitler type figure, but somebody who you would never suspect being the head of such a political phenomenon (In other words, as sexist as this may sound, an attractive woman – fascism demands some sort of sex appeal – could more easily sell a fascist message than a man, simply because it would fly in under our moral radar). After all, America dresses up every act of oppression in the prettiest propagandist colors, and sells them wholesale. It would not be any different with fascism.

7. The superiority of the leader’s instincts over abstract and universal reason.

See Number 6.

8. The beauty of violence and the efficacy of will, when they are devoted to the group’s success.

While we have not reached the point when SS troops are controlling town and country, it has already been the subject of deep national introspection that America’s political atmosphere has reached a dangerously high temperature. “Don’t retreat, reload” was one of Sarah Palin’s ill-chosen political slogans in the days before Congresswoman Giffords was gunned down in Tucson. The yellow Gadsden Flag, which bears the revolutionary motto “Don’t Tread on Me,” is often seen flying at Tea Party events. Meanwhile, the flammable vitriol coming from hugely popular right-wing talk radio and TV personalities, like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, has certainly added an element of hate to US politics that did not exist just 10 years ago.

9. The right of the chosen people to dominate others without restraint from any kind of human or divine law, right being decided by the sole criterion of the group’s prowess within a Darwinian struggle.

Of all of Paxton’s nine “conditions for fascism” this last one made the biggest impression on me. From the deplorable and inhumane treatment of detainees at Guantanamo Bay at the hands of US soldiers, who forced their prisoners to wear “sensory-deprivation” outfits (no light, no movement, even ears were muffled) to the way US employees are being treated by Corporate America (Americans have the least amount of vacation time in the world, even behind the so-called oppressive regime of China). In other words, the soil is prepared for the rise of something terribly foreign to America.

I will close with a quote by Noam Chomsky, the leading American intellectual, who warned last year – before the Giffords’ assassination attempt – about the increasing level of hate in US politics.

“I’m just old enough to have heard a number of Hitler’s speeches on the radio,” Chomsky told an audience at the Orpheum Theater in Madison, Wisconsin. “And I have a memory of the texture and the tone of the cheering mobs, and I have the dread sense of the dark clouds of fascism gathering” here at home.

 “The level of anger and fear is like nothing I can compare in my lifetime,” he said.

Chomsky went on to warn that “ridiculing the Tea Party shenanigans is a serious error.” 

Their attitudes “are understandable,” he said. “For over 30 years, real incomes have stagnated or declined. This is in large part the consequence of the decision in the 1970s to financialize the economy.”

There is clear class resentment, he noted. “The bankers, who are primarily responsible for the crisis, are now reveling in record bonuses while official unemployment is around 10 percent and unemployment in the manufacturing sector is at Depression-era levels,” he said.

“People want some answers,” Chomsky said “They are hearing answers from only one place: Fox, talk radio, and Sarah Palin.” -Robert Bridge

(The Parakeet Cage Shit Droppings Sheet Paper In DC)

In a January 31 editorial, The Washington Examiner used the ongoing protests in Egypt to baselessly claim that Muslim extremists are infiltrating "the Department of Justice and Homeland Security" and "are in prisons ... and in polling organizations" and are also "military chaplains." As Media Matters has documented, Fox News has also recently used the turmoil in Egypt to claim that Islamists are using "subversive techniques" to impose Shariah law in the U.S. [Media Matters, 1/31/11]

From the January 31 editorial:

Western secularists either don't believe this or stupidly think these beliefs can be overcome. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood and its growing adherents plan to overcome us and prove it daily.

"Not all Muslims are radicals." True. "Islam is fundamentally a peaceful religion." Also true.

But the growing threat of radical Islam is real enough that we should be mindful of the exceptions, not the rule. To do otherwise dulls the senses and lulls us all into a false sense of security, which is exactly what our enemies want.

Daniel Pipes, director of the Middle East Forum, notes, "Islamists wish to repeat their success in Iran by exploiting popular unrest to take power."
That strategy worked in Russia a century ago when the communists exploited grievances against the czar to grab power. It worked in Germany when the Nazis used German humiliation following World War I to ride to power. Now it is Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Jordan and Lebanon with more to come.

In her book "Londonistan," Melanie Phillips writes, "We have long contracted our understanding of the extremists to the extremists." She means that instead of pursuing a policy to defeat radical Islamists, we have welcomed them among us.

They are at the Department of Justice and Homeland Security, giving "sensitivity training" to people who are supposed to be protecting us from them. They are in prisons, organizing the disaffected into "hate America" cadres.

They are military chaplains and in polling organizations, shaping the way questions are asked and manipulating results to further their interests.
This isn't "bigotry." It is provable fact, which the Islamists believe we will ignore. [The Washington Examiner, 1/31/11]

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