Introduction: The Makings of a Police State

Aren’t We There?

I am starting my new series on a topic that for some reason, or reasons, has been designated as another of those ‘no no’ subjects. Even the mentioning of this topic is enough to get one labeled as an extremist, radical, nutty, kooky…Why do most people react this way? As with other issues here too we are looking at multiple factors.

For the government, the establishment, side of it, the reasons are obvious, and fit any government that is, has been, or was ever considered a police state. Have you ever come across a police state that actually considered itself to be a ‘police state’? Exactly, I didn’t think so. The governing/ruling powers of police states always seek to legitimize their police measures; whether made necessary by external threats, domestic threats, economic threats, security or terrorism threats…there is always a big threat(s) they point to and base their justification upon, and they always, and I mean always, claim that their measures are for the good of the public, for the security of their people, for the protection of their constituents. They portray their dissenters as collaborators in whatever ‘threat’ they claim they are fighting against, and silence their critics either with extreme authoritarian measures, or, if they are able to, by simply labeling them as radical, nutty, and kooky, enough to marginalize them and neutralize their potential effect.

The same holds true for the media side of this phenomena. After all, one of the major characteristics of a police state is social control and indoctrination through control of the media. These states utilize the media to spread their propaganda, to manufacture consent, to evilize chosen enemies, to paint dissent as unpatriotic, the dissenters as the enemies of the state, and of course the critics as the radical and nutty minority.

Now how about the people? Why are the majority of our people so quick to write off even the possibility of us becoming a police state, and do so in a similar manner as the government and media as described above? Aside from being indoctrinated by the establishment’s calculative presentations, most people seem to be guided by their own biased beliefs and misplaced values. It may be from misdirected patriotism, when their love of our nation subconsciously is coupled with the love of whoever may be ruling it. It may be the simple act of denial; just as parents blinded by their parental love and pride refuse to see and acknowledge the negative realities in their children, there are those who willingly put on blinders before their eyes just so that they don’t see the ugly realities inflicting the country they love and value. Maybe it is a case of extreme pride being misdirected towards those misperceived…

Whatever the reasons, the almost uniform response to those who even attempt to raise the police state question seems to be the same. Perhaps this is the reason why the very few outspoken legal experts, historians, and civil liberties activists, carefully, almost timidly, choose their words when it comes to the question of a police state in the USA. What I hear, what I read is usually along the following lines:

We may be moving toward a police state.

At this rate we may become a police state.

Are we on our way to become a police state?

These people talk about a ‘police state’ as if there is this exactly defined state with even more exactly defined prerequisites, so that when this state is reached it can be uniformly declared by all as a police state at the exact same time. However, most of these same people, when I talk with them privately, in a hushed voice tell me that they actually think we are there, or almost there. They are so afraid to come out and say it. They are terrified at the prospect of being attacked, labeled, and marginalized. So this is why you get the careful phrasing, and when you get close, the hushed voices.

Anyhow, I am not known to shy away too much from being labeled, attacked, and/or ostracized. I have serious concerns for my country, where it is today, and where it’s headed. I have questions that I’ve been seeking answers for, which I want to share and discuss with you, openly and loudly, not in whispers. My main question pertaining to a police state is ‘aren’t we there?’ rather than ‘are we there?’ I keep scrutinizing the broad definitions and characteristics of a police state in every encyclopedia and other source I can get my hands on, then I check and compare those aspects with what we have today as a national security state, and every time I do this my checkmark list tells me we seem to be ‘there’ already:

On Invoking, Creating and Maintaining Perpetual Wars:

Our ambigious unending War on Terror, Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq

On Control and Monitoring Mass Communication:

NSA’s domestic spying on US Citizens are made legal & advocated as necessary

On Search & Seizures with No Probable Cause or Judicial Oversight:

FBI’s National Security Letters to be used on American Citizens with its Gag Order Provision

On Controlling & Restricting Citizens’ Mobility:

TSA’s ever expanding secretive No Fly List with the ‘known’ inclusion of One Million Americans

On Government Operating in Extreme Secrecy:

Government expenditures of nearly $10 BILLION to maintain tens of millions of secret documents and operations, and unconstitutional uses of Executive Privileges such as State Secrets Privilege

On Control and Usage of Media as Government’s Own Propaganda Machine:

The American Mainstream Media today is an extension and mouthpiece of the Federal Government

On Silencing & Persecution of Dissent:

Our government’s well-established record of its treatment of whistleblowers and critics, whether by gag orders or other overt and covert measures

On General Disregard for Human Rights and Related International Laws:

Our Government’s documented record on Rendition and Torture

I can easily go on and list more items, and justify every single one of them with supporting documents, cases, and reports, but for now the above criteria should suffice for our upcoming discussions and analyses. While I am at it I want to preempt one expected argument I have heard more than once:

‘Of course we are not a police state, since you and others can write and talk about these issues without getting arrested or executed. Just look at all these bloggers and independent media…’

First, that’s confusing a totalitarian government with a police state. You don’t have to be a totalitarian state in order to be a police state. In fact police states can and do emerge in democratic countries – with the consent and acceptance of the populace. Totalitarianism is simply an extreme version.

Next, not being ‘there’ yet in this regard does not mean we don’t fulfill most if not all other criteria to be considered a police state. Nations gradually creep towards becoming a police state, in various stages and by various degrees.

Finally, this aspect may actually be an indicator of an even more pathetic situation. Meaning, by having complete control over the mass media and utilizing successful propaganda and indoctrination the government doesn’t even feel the need to go after the irate vigilant minority. They let their PR machine marginalize these voices and ensure their exclusion from the broad medium of communication channels.

Okay, now it is your turn. Don’t be shy, and please don’t censure yourself. Where do you see us as a nation? How do you define a police state? Do you think we are already there?

And take a few seconds to participate in our survey on the left column.

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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Intelligence agencies and public relations firms outsource intel collection services to private firms like this. http://www.burrellesluce.com/imonitor/#

  2. Anonymous says:

    Excellent and a very timely piece sibel. Thank you X millions!!!
    Janet

  3. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Please invite everyone you know to stop by and participate in this survey. It takes only 1 second! Thank You.

    Anon: That's a very important topic. I am interviewing someone this evening (for upcoming podcast interview series) and this will be one of the questions asked. Keep that thought!

    Janet: Good to have you back. Please forward this survey to those on your list…

  4. Anonymous says:

    You forgot to mention the Drug War in "On Invoking, Creating and Maintaining Perpetual Wars:". That has been an excellent tool for softening the people up and meddling in everyone's (nationally and internationally) affairs.

    Also, I think you should read The Authoritarians by Prof. Bob Altemeyer if you haven't already.

  5. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Anon: You are right; The Drug War is another example. However, I didn't forget it. As I said: I could have gone and listed several other equally important criteria…The series will go for the next few months and I will definnitely cover the Drug War…Thank you!

  6. Anonymous says:

    RE: anon#1…Many scandals that make news usually hire the firm mentioned for possible damage control long befor any "stories" make it out. Such as the Enron issue. Enron "may" ; )have had an account regarding "enron ICW (in connection with) serious trouble. Such accounts may by started long before most board members knew about "the trouble". If the appropriate investigative authorities would look into "major scandals" and ask if such services were used, and by who and what the keyword(s) were, justice might be served. Paper Trails…

  7. Metemneurosis says:

    Even though I voted 'yes we're already there' I'd like to point out one thing those who would dissent can say against that position. I think, for the most part, words get meaning when they are used in certain ways and that use becomes socially entrenched. Even words that are fairly commonly used can have certain vagaries about them. So it's not surprising that 'police state' would as well (you did mention that this comes in degrees). But another point is that dictionaries often try to regiment meanings to fit with the dictionary format. It's quite difficult for them to convey emotional associations that words have and yet those things can be essential to the meaning. Police state doesn't have a perfectly delimited sense, as you point out, and I think it's most often used for 'those other guys over there who do things we disapprove of'. So part of the problem is that it automatically has two connotations. There's a distancing affect – we distance our self from 'that' state – and there's a pejorative aspect. If you use such terminology you are distancing yourself from the state symbolically in order to be against it (I use the term 'state' specifically because I think it's ambiguous between a nation of people and the whole governmental apparatus). So, I think it's somewhat understandable that people would want to minimize that kind of connotation to avoid giving their detractors ammunition. And also it deciding whether or not it's applicable in terms of merely factual criteria may be missing part of the picture. That being said, perhaps we should come up with a different phrase that means something nearly the same but which focuses it's accusatory tone more directly at the government or even the laws. Or then again perhaps it's the very contentious nature of saying something that comes across as extreme which we want to use to draw people into discussing whether the claim is supportable. I think it's an open question which strategy is going to work better. If one were already somewhat established, like say Glen Greenwald, and used it it could potentially be a useful to wake people up. But using it when you're already on the outside might be giving people reason to dismiss you.

    Maybe we should just say 'this is a police state law' or 'this is a law that a police state would have', that's less contentious and harder for people to deny.

    Just some thoughts.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mrs. Edmonds, I'm going to post this on my Facebook page. Hopefully more and more people will read this.
    I'm off the belief that people don't really know because they aren't affected by this YET!! Notice I said yet.
    People do get motiviated to do something about this when it either effects them or effects their friends, or family.
    Also, another area that deserves mention is RFID's which are being placed in everything we buy. They are even putting them in passports.
    Mrs. Edmonds, I wonder if you've been contacted by Judge Napolitano to be on his show. I hope one day you are invited. He has a growing audience. I wish you well.

  9. 'Almost – We are headed that way.'

    "You don’t have to be a totalitarian state in order to be a police state."

    Agreed – Police states tend to be self-supporting due to the continued paranoia and support of the populace.

    Economic, social, religious controls..

    I see the North East as already there. Common hatred of 'Muslims', not Arabs, not Persians, not Kurds, not anything other than a huge blanket 'race'.

    There's the hate.

    You've got the fear, the ever present talk of 9/11. They say I'd have gotten it if I "was there" to smell the destruction.

    And of course, the police that will pull off rapes without as much a slap on the wrist.

    Throw in NY being center to the world media, and they're already gone.

    The majority of the Western US doesn't care about Osama or Al Qaeda, we don't want to be dragged into unending war, 9/11 theories were a topic of discussion in coffee shops, and if you're not in Southern California the cops are actually citizens subject to the law.

    We've been coming around in a lot of ways – The west utterly rejected the Republican Party (rightfully so) and all of its ideals(not so rightfully) because all we saw was the corruption and psychoses that ran contrary to everything these people claimed to believe.

    Ditto for any form of religion.

    We also generally won't wear a suit unless we're being paid quite a bite more than minimum wage.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I'll say the obvious:

    Zionist Globalist bankers have turned this into an ogliarchy police state, the likes of which is not any longer recognizable.

    It's been a long gradual process and now a foreign state controls the government.

    Ashamed to have even been a part of it at all.

    Most who even point out the NSA is unconstitutional and should be stopped, are labeled as antisemites.

    Or people who just want to stir the pot & should shut their mouth.

    The problem with some conspiracy theories, is the worst ones, depending on what happened can turn out to be true….

    http://www.globalassault.com

    Besides all that, the corporate media is an extension of Globalism and is promoting Globalization worldwide. With clearly a sacrosanct agenda that is the OPPOSITE of beneficial….for the ones who rule the Banking Complex.

    Global Bankers appear to be widening the conflict and re-drawing the lines of insanity, they white wash the Federal Reserve from all news reports, all the while the banks grow larger & the corporations around the banks grow up around those.

  11. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Metemneurosis: This is a sound analysis of the concept; thank you!
    "I think it's most often used for 'those other guys over there who do things we disapprove of'" Good Point. "There's a distancing affect – we distance our self from 'that' state – and there's a pejorative aspect." So very true.
    "But using it when you're already on the outside might be giving people reason to dismiss you." Well, until the outsiders outnumber the insiders; wishful thinking for my side? Maybe;-)

    Anon w/Face Book Comment: "people don't really know because they aren't affected by this YET!! Notice I said yet." EXCELLENT POINT! IN fact, I should have listed this as the number ONE reason for people's response. It is the number ONE reason. Thank you so very much for bringing our attention to this important ingredient. Hope to see you here regularly, and with a screen name so that I don't have to call you 'Anon with Facebook';-)

  12. Anonymous says:

    It seems to me that developed societies have all the tools to implement a police state, but they haven't been inclined to use those tools fully yet. The US leaders in the last 9 years seem to be obsessed with increasing their police powers. I am not sure why. The events of 9/11 are an excuse and not a good reason for all the eroding loss of liberties or potential loss, anyway. Sometimes I think they are preparing for an expected natural catastrophe or maybe they are aware of some technical development that could create havoc in the wrong hands…I am thinking of something beyond the usual atomic bomb. At the same time, it seems to me that the powers that be aren't too inclined to actually bully people, unless, of course, they are ones sent to Guantanamo. Politicians like Obama, certainly, seem to go more for manipulation, propaganda, and mind control…far beyond what earlier politicians have used. In a way, that kind of control seems to me even more evil…that's the only word I can think of. I am still looking for an honest, straight-talking national political leader who is not afraid of government. I have to throw that last qualification in there because I don't believe Libertarianism is the answer either.

  13. Edit_Mommies says:

    Police are supposed to be the good. When you make them all evil you cannot prosecute the dissenters.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Collusion in the Corporate media is rampant…

    This right here is just the latest proof and example…here's this friend of Blinkhorn & Government lobbyists, who works at the New York Federal Reserve writing the articles & news report to make Ron Paul and other congressman look like raving loons….
    http://www.businessinsider.com

    Here's the problem…This guy, and most Washington Post editors don't disclose their very interesting relationship with the Federal Reserve…In this one Mr. Kohn happens to be Vice President of the New York Federal Reserve.

    Why are they, the Washington Post et. all, all allowed to discuss and educate the public all the time about the very institutions that they work for?

    Now…..that clearly shows how Revolving Door Incorporated works and that's but one of thousands..

    The media hasn't been doing their job because what passes for media nowadays, are lobbyists tied into the Federal Reserve.

    The Public should very easily be able to deduce this whole back scratching scam finally…..
    This scam reeks of violation of the Sherman act / Fair Reporting act.

    They do this for their lobbies and corporations too. The only reason I can think of that the Banking industry would be writing just about all our news & even writing about itself, is they got something rather large to hide!

  15. eric zaetsch says:

    Denial of being bound by international law. Even while wanting certain Serbs to go to the Hague.

    Narrowing and narrowed reading of Bill of Rights protections, enlarging waiver situations. The Goldman Sachs situation, having the former programmer arrested as they did, the individual's freedom is subordinated to claims of an elite institution.

    Off budget financing.

    Police patrolling with tape over their badge numbers.

    Severe penalty for minor drug infraction, with discretionary enforcement [incentives to recruitment of street informants].

    Secret grand juries where opposing counsel is excluded.

    Overly broad crime definitions or definitions to trigger a restrictive government action or reaction even in arguably marginal situations [RICO and wording of the pending Cyber Security bill].

    Mandatory sentencing.

    Judge shopping to get a warrant signed; exceptions created judicially to the warrent requirement [emergency response, plain view, etc.].

    Preventative detention [as at Battle of Seattle and the St. Paul RNC convention – Rowley can tell you].

    Need to keep the Homeland secure [Hitler had the Fatherland as his worry, Stalin had Mother Russia, we were left with leftovers, hence we guard "the Homeland"].

  16. Kingfisher says:

    @Sibel,
    Email sent to your nswbc address.

    best,
    Kingfisher

  17. Sibel Edmonds says:

    Kingfisher: can you forward it to sibel@justacitizen.com That way it gets automatically forwarded…thank you.

  18. Kingfisher says:

    done

  19. Imhotep says:

    I've been observing that few police are held accountable (none that I remember for some time) for gross misconduct or error, even when it resulted in death.
    Point of evidence… that 14 year old girl who was shot in the head with a taser by a chief of police.. "because she was running away". The taser prong penetrated her skull resulting in extensive stitches. She was also an epileptic taking drugs to control her seizures.
    There have been over 300 taser deaths and yet this "Safe" method of law enforcement is not closely regulated.
    Since Rodney King and before we continue to have police battery and assault of suspects…. with not one of the police involved going to jail that I am aware of.
    And let's not forget the police arresting the press (Amy Goodman) at the Republican Convention in St. Paul, MN.
    A true sign of a Police State is when the police are in black without name tags or other identification as they were in Minneapolis, in Denver and at the G8 in Seattle.

  20. Edit_Mommies says:

    Even if people are aware of an individuals physical and mental capabilities they still want to play fantasy roman soldiers with each other. Are Tasers for refined individuals? I was like, "They get Tasers, What the Fuck, are they about to Legalize Crime?" After all wasn't electricity the cure all for every type of ugly that ever bumped? The problem with fantasy is the impact it has on any individual's origin. Too often negativity dominates these fantastic outlets for communication and education. We make simple facts horrendous for children to get sick and go crazy. Facts like disguise without make-up. Violent reactions to nudity. Everyone they electrocute for remembering how they first learned to ride a bike is possibly at the wrong place at some other sick persons switch throwing leisure. Learn to ride a bike, who cares, poison neighborhood cats, the candy man is coming for you, yadda, yadda, yadda. Did that cat have to die or maybe there is someone with a switch throwing habit that needs a set of balls to electrocute on top of some fucking castle 88 mile per hour? Fuck lady did you mention that all these people are connected to screaming angels in heaven before they need to take pharmaceuticals? what the fuck is this writing?

  21. Ishmael says:

    Yes, we live in a police state that functions to protect the power elite from the consequences of their own illegal actions. Consider this column from huffpo today in light of your own chairmanship of the NSWBC. You might have a prospective new member here:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/andrew-kreig/as-rove-testifies-about-f_b_228231.html

    The curse of being an amateur historian, a Brother of Equal Indignity of the Ancient & Honorable Order of E. Clampus Vitus and an armchair intelligence analyst is that I look for common threads in disparate stories and commentaries in search of the larger truth. So when I see stories of Rupert Murdoch owned papers hacking into the private records of celebrities, politicians and others, I remember Choicepoint, private data mining and the privatization of intelligence gathering by corporate entities. So here asre two 6-year-old commentaries on the Police State and it's possible motivations by my favorite social commentator/poet.

    John Trudell: The Futuristic Police State:



    John Trudell:33,000,000(the projected US prison population in the next 50 years):



  22. Kingfisher says:

    Taser stock has been subject to a vicious attack by short selling hedge funds the past couple of years, which has included a vicious disinformation campaign.

    Yes, law enforcement in this country has come to overuse the Tasers. There are several reasons why, one of which is women. Yes, I said women. Rightly or wrongly, affirmative action policies made law enforcement co-ed, leaving many officers at a distinct physical disadvantage against hostile suspect. As such Tasers could help bridge this gap with a “non-lethal” solution, and they soon proliferated.

    Also, as we are litigious society, beating the crap out of a hostile suspect to subdue him placed departments at risk of lawsuit, and Tasers increasingly became standard operating procedure.

  23. Not a single news story of taser abuse comes to mind in which a female officer was the attacker.

  24. Kingfisher says:

    "Not a single news story of taser abuse comes to mind in which a female officer was the attacker."

    http://rawstory.com/news/2007/Florida_cop_Tasers_female_shopping_for_1221.html

    http://www.5280.com/blog/?p=1925

  25. http://www.amnestyusa.org/us-human-rights/taser-abuse/page.do?id=1021202

    http://www.amnestyusa.org/uploads/ListOfDeaths.pdf

    You've got two.

    Off the top of my head in recent memory(past couple months), the dude on heroin in Canada and the Arizona pastor.

    The cop who tased a little girl recently.

    Female officers are generally confined to 'less dangerous' activities within a police force. Situations where a physical altercation is less likely.

    Copout.

    It's systemic, it's social, it's a lot of cowardice.

    Maybe they should take a few punches in their training.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Sibel, this is definitely true! However it's turning into police states incorporated. Atlanta has long been experimenting with law enforcement projects sponsored by a collection of the biggest corporations. Uniformed police officers from either APD work directly under the project known as Midtown Blue which is initially a public safety force in the private sector sponsored by private companies.

    http://www.midtownalliance.org/MB_overview.html

    This demonstrates a clear example whether corporate companies are buying up law enforcement to the extent of becoming Police State Inc.
    This growing trend is also being followed throughout the big cities in the country much like private military companies have had a major presence in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
    Another private security company that used uniformed deputy sheriffs for private security contracts was investigated in 2000. In Dec, 2000 the same day when the new county sheriff in that county had been sworn in he was gunned down outside his home assassination style.

    Slain sheriff had vowed to clean up corruption http://www.onlineathens.com/stories/122200/new_1222000007.shtml

    That Sheriff had promised in his campaign that he would clean up corruption within his department. HIs opponent was the former Sheriff that used uniformed deputies for his private security company.

    Food for thought!

    Anon in Norway

  27. Anonymous says:

    I think a lot of it has to do with cultural conditioning. A good example is Marijuana. Why is it mom and dad hate it so? Cause their mom and dad did.

    But why did this happen in the first place?

    Yeah, thought so.

    Anyway, with any luck, there won't be any more money for this nonsense much longer.

    ~phil

  28. Anonymous says:

    The police state has arrived, Sibel. You know it. I know it. Everyone with a discerning mind knows it. The question is degree.

    My friends believe the Soviet Union never really collapsed. They just moved to DC. 🙂

    A leading proponent of the emerging police state IS AN ELECTED OFFICIAL: in the house of Representatives JANE HARMAN, D CALIFORNIA. She has authored the nightmare bill from Hell to start censoring the internet.

    WE THE PEOPLE NARROWLY DODGED A BULLET CALLED: HR 1955 IN the last session of congress, which would have brought us back to the Senator Joe McCarthy situation of the 1950's. An era when we were so interested in spies and communists in the State Department. SEE

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Violent_Radicalization_and_Homegrown_Terrorism_Prevention_Act_of_2007

    We have come full circle. Now the boggy men are TERRORISTS! EVEN HOMEGROWN T'S.

    America's descent has been documented in book form, Naomi Wolf. See:

    Fascist America, in 10 easy steps

    Naomi Wolf
    The Guardian
    Tue, 24 Apr 2007 13:14 UTC

    From Hitler to Pinochet and beyond, history shows there are certain steps that any would-be dictator must take to destroy constitutional freedoms. And, argues NAOMI Wolf, George Bush and his administration seem to be taking them all.

    This author's writing is easy to find if one looks:

    http://74.125.155.132/search?q=cache:VesSRI-bwNcJ:www.sott.net/articles/show/130839-Fascist%2BAmerica,%2Bin%2B10%2Beasy%2Bsteps+AMERICA+steps+%22fascist+state%22&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

    The MSM cannot save us. The process has continued too long.

  29. Edit_Mommies says:

    I wonder when they are going to explain Costume without the use of Make-up. A Catholic Priest materializes a grand visage when presenting a devotional sermon. Now-a-days any person walking outside "demonstrates" devotional visages. Dangerous, synthetically constructed facial features can be used as mesmerizing weaponry. Groups of people can even repeatedly impersonate your loved ones. When this magical phenomena functions with a framework of individuals attempting to outline a goal, a feverish area of time abounds. Very similar to large scale smuggling operations. Corporations, approved Religious groups and Law enforcement use these tactics to build a purse for their dangerous involvement in human engineering. Very much the opposite of healing or emotional strength. People cannot identify with secret societies that do not communicate effectively or even worse fate individuals. Even those tender sounds we built our freedom of life and communication through are at the mercy of varying groups of manipulators. When an infant is cycling through sets of very predictable sounds, building words, a human face emerges. Language rudiments and phonics will shape and control thoughts. A group of well timed sounds, possibly reminiscent of a passed loved one or violence can cause a victim a Tourette syndrome like ejaculation. Especially effective as weapons when you coordinate the effects upon a person who is trying to defend themselves. When life works outside of core human attributes, things like drugs and porn provide answers to questionable, unexplainable natures. Unexplainable natures are provided in order to frustrate and condemn. What we started noting when we grew up was that unexplainable natures are childish and embarrassing. Nudity, pharmaceuticals and the human response should progress. Imagine how many people are caught up in unreasonable circumstance. 2 parts aesthetic, 1 part biological engineering.

  30. Hannah K. O'Luthon says:

    Even if we forgot everything else, the
    "airport security dog and pony show"
    that forces thousands of U.S. fliers to
    bow and shuffle before the Homeland Security officers is, in itself, an indication of how willingly Americans surrender their privacy and dignity. I say this with full cognizance of the facts that 1) the security officials are almost invariably courteous and well-intentioned,
    and 2) the trauma of 9/11 has still not been metabolized by the American body politic. Unfortunately I suspect that the only way these daily intrusion on individual privacy will be curtailed will be as a result of a prolonged and drastic decrease in air travel and, especially, foreign tourism to the U.S.
    When the air companies see the security fetish as an assault on their "bottom lines", we may find some congressman with the courage to enunciate the obvious.

  31. Anonymous says:

    It's old news, but the corporate comment reminded me, that Brown and Root had contracts to build prisons in remote parts of the U.S. If you link this to Cheney's cronies, prison building is big business. Yep, we just about there.

  32. Quaker Orts says:

    Sibel,

    I never had a hero (and thought I never would) until I heard about you. Thanks for all you've done, all you continue to do and all you've sacrificed.

    This new series on the police state is excellent. I couldn't agree more.

    Peace!

  33. Anonymous says:

    re: July 11, 2009 7:53 AM Anonymous comment just above…

    Reminds me of a SF Chronicle article: "Rule by law or Rule by Fear"; an opinion piece which has itself drawn 130 comments. Link:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/02/04/ED5OUPQJ7.DTL

    California, where I live, jails more people per capita than any other "nation" on the planet. The state’s budget is a train wreck. See today's newspapers.

    Former flagship General Motors just narrowly averted bankruptcy. The private security business is practically the only industry that continues to grow in this US economy. Bad news.

    WHAT OF HABEUS CORPUS RIGHTS? "The Military Commissions Act of 2006, rammed through Congress just before the 2006 midterm elections, allows for the indefinite imprisonment of anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on a list of "terrorist" organizations, or who speaks out against the government's policies." Based on above statement from the article, I should not pay my taxes because it would be used to support a terrorist organization. The U.S. Government. Our country has been under attack with the intent of destroying our economy. That my friend is terrorism.

    From 2003 …Anyone hear about University of South Florida computer engineering professor Sami Al-Arian. Is he the North American leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as Attorney General John Ashcroft said in announcing the federal indictment?
    The Palestinian Islamic Jihad is a U.S. government-designated foreign terrorist organization committed to homicide bombings and violent jihad activities, Ashcroft said.

    I say:
    This guy, a political prisoner, still languishes in an OBama real change, Federal prison. Even after a jury has concluded that he is not guilty… for six years even.

    Also in 2007, the White House quietly issued National Security Presidential Directive 51 (NSPD-51), to ensure "continuity of government" in the event of what the document vaguely calls a "catastrophic emergency."

    The U.S. Military can now legally police America’s streets. This would not have been legal a couple years ago.

    See Wikipedia (Where the text of the Enabling Act is translated into English):
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enabling_Act_of_1933

    The Enabling Act (German: Ermächtigungsgesetz) was passed by Germany's Reichstag and signed by President Paul von Hindenburg on March 23, 1933. It was the second major step, after the Reichstag Fire Decree, through which Chancellor Adolf Hitler legally obtained plenary powers and became Führer. The Act granted the Cabinet the authority to enact laws without the participation of the Reichstag for ONLY four years.
    The formal name of the Enabling Act was Gesetz zur Behebung der Not von Volk und Reich (English: "Law to Remedy the Distress of the People and the Nation"). …SOUNDS TO ME LIKE THE PATRIOT ACT I AND II.

    Gleichschaltung, In English, meaning "coordination", "making the same", "bringing into line", is a Nazi term for the process by which the Nazi regime successively established a system of totalitarian control over the individual, and tight coordination over all aspects of society and commerce.

    One goal of this policy was to eliminate individualism by forcing everybody to adhere to a specific doctrine and way of thinking and to control as many aspects of life as possible using an invasive police force. Look around at the 600 passenger carrying US Airports these days. THE US FLYING PUBLIC WILL LIKELY TOLERATE THESE RESTRICTIONS FOREVER.

    Parallels are striking, Facts speak for themselves.

  34. More and more the US resembles Turkey in the way it handles its domestic affairs.

    What's ironic is that those who now believe that anyone who fights against the repression of the Turkish state is a terrorist, well, they're going to become terrorists, too.

    So often I have heard Americans say that if a police state came to the US, they'd take up arms and fight against it. You know, like if the state came and drove them out of their homes and towns, rounded up their families and tortured parents in front of children, or made other family members eat human feces. Or maybe rape the females. Burn down their homes, commit extrajudicial murder, establish a culture of impunity by security forces, dumping bodies in acid wells . . . all the usual stuff that Turkey's been doing for decades. I've heard Americans say that if these things happened here, they'd take up arms against it.

    But the moment you do that, you become terrorists, just like Kurds. Just like Tamils. Just like Palestinians.

    So ironic.

    And I didn't even mention all the false flag stuff.

  35. YuvbinDuped says:

    Check This out. It is by Lysander Spooner from 1851 and blew me away.

    THE RIGHT OF JURIES
    TO JUDGE OF THE JUSTICE OF LAWS

    Section I

    For more than six hundred years-that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215–there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their light, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such law.

    Unless such be the right and duty of jurors, it is plain that, instead of juries being a "palladium of liberty"-a barrier against the tyranny and oppression of the government-they are really mere tools in its hands, for carrying into execution any injustice and oppression it may desire to have executed.

    But for their right to judge the law, and the justice of the law, juries would be no protection to an accused person, even as to matters Of fact; for, if the government can dictate to a jury any law whatever, in a criminal case, it can certainly dictate to them the laws of evidence. That is, it can dictate what evidence is admissible, and what inadmissible, and also what force or weight is to be given to the evidence admitted. And if the government can thus dictate to a jury the laws of evidence, it can not only make it necessary for them to convict on a partial exhibition of the evidence rightfully pertaining to the case, but it can even require them to convict on any evidence whatever that it pleases to offer them.

    That the rights and duties of jurors must necessarily be such as are here claimed for them, will be evident when it is considered what the trial by jury is, and what is its object.

    "The trial by jury," then, is a "trial by the country"-that is, by the people- as distinguished from a trial by the government.

    It was anciently called "trial per pais"-that is, "trial by the country." And now, in every criminal trial, the jury are told that the accused "has, for trial, put himself upon the country; which country you (the jury) are."

    Morre: http://www.geocities.com/Heartland/7394/lysander.html

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