For decades the federal government has been developing a highly classified plan that would override the Constitution in the event of a terrorist attack. Is it also compiling a secret enemies list of citizens who could face detention under martial law?
By Christopher Ketcham
In the spring of 2007, a retired senior official in the U.S. Justice Department sat before Congress and told a story so odd and ominous, it could have sprung from the pages of a pulp political thriller. It was about a principled bureaucrat struggling to protect his country from a highly classified program with sinister implications. Rife with high drama, it included a car chase through the streets of Washington, D.C., and a tense meeting at the White House, where the president’s henchmen made the bureaucrat so nervous that he demanded a neutral witness be present.
The bureaucrat was James Comey, John Ashcroft’s second-in-command at the Department of Justice during Bush’s first term. Comey had been a loyal political foot soldier of the Republican Party for many years. Yet in his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, he described how he had grown increasingly uneasy reviewing the Bush administration’s various… Continue reading
The FBI now has more than 100 task forces devoted exclusively to fighting terrorism. But is the government manufacturing ghosts?
February 07, 2008
Click here to read a history of every homeland-security terror alert and the real news that was buried: “Truth or Terrorism? The Real Story Behind Five Years of High Alerts–A history of the Bush administration’s most dubious terror scares — and the headlines they buried” TIM DICKINSON, Feb 07, 2008
“So, what you wanna do?” the friend asked. “A target?” the wanna-be jihadi replied. “I want some type of city-hall-type stuff, federal courthouses.”
It was late November 2006, and twenty-two-year-old Derrick Shareef and his friend Jameel were hanging out in Rockford, Illinois, dreaming about staging a terrorist attack on America. The two men weren’t sure what kind of assault they could pull off. All Shareef knew was that he wanted to cause major damage, to wreak vengeance on the country he held responsible for oppressing Muslims worldwide. “Smoke a judge,” Shareef said. Maybe firebomb a government building.
But while Shareef harbored violent fantasies, he was hardly a serious threat as a jihadi. An American-born convert to Islam, he had no military training and no weapons. He had less than $100 in the bank. He worked in a dead-end job as a clerk in a video-game store. He didn’t own a car. So dire were his circumstances, Shareef had no place to live. Then one day, Jameel, a fellow Muslim, had shown up at EB… Continue reading
Ministry of Mythinformation Blog
Concerning the graduated repression of the Nazi regime, the Reverend Martin Niemoller, in 1945, stated, to the effect:
First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.
Though this quote has taken on many forms and endured several disputes, the ultimate interpretation stands. That silence about liberty infractions equals civil death.
Further, on the notion of leading the public headstrong into oblivion, the Nazis said it best:
“Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia , nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany . That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” Hermann Goering, 1946… Continue reading
By Jeremy Grant in Washington
Published: August 14 2007 00:06
The US government is on a ‘burning platform’ of unsustainable policies and practices with fiscal deficits, chronic healthcare underfunding, immigration and overseas military commitments threatening a crisis if action is not taken soon, the country’s top government inspector has warned.
David Walker, comptroller general of the US, issued the unusually downbeat assessment of his country’s future in a report that lays out what he called “chilling long-term simulations”.
These include “dramatic” tax rises, slashed government services and the large-scale dumping by foreign governments of holdings of US debt.
Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr Walker warned there were “striking similarities” between America’s current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including “declining moral values and political civility at home, an over-confident and over-extended military in foreign lands and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government”.
“Sound familiar?” Mr Walker said. “In my view, it’s time to learn from history and take steps to ensure the American Republic is the first to stand the test of time.”
Mr Walker’s views carry weight because he is a non-partisan figure in charge of the Government Accountability Office, often described as the investigative arm of the US Congress.
While most of its studies are commissioned by legislators, about 10 per cent – such as the one containing his latest warnings – are initiated by the comptroller general himself.
In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Walker said he had… Continue reading
Congressman Denied Access To Post-Attack Continuity Plans
Newhouse News Service
Washington – Constituents called Rep. Peter DeFazio’s office, worried there was a conspiracy buried in the classified portion of a White House plan for operating the government after a terrorist attack.
As a member of the House Committee on Homeland Security, DeFazio, D-Ore., is permitted to enter a secure “bubbleroom” in the Capitol and examine classified material. So he asked the White House to see the secret documents.
On Wednesday, DeFazio got his answer: DENIED.
“I just can’t believe they’re going to deny a member of Congress the right of reviewing how they plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack,” DeFazio said.
Homeland Security Committee staffers told his office that the White House initially approved his request, but it was later quashed. DeFazio doesn’t know who did it or why.
“We’re talking about the continuity of the government of the United States of America,” DeFazio said. “I would think that would be relevant to any member of Congress, let alone a member of the Homeland Security Committee.”
Bush administration spokesman Trey Bohn declined to say why DeFazio was denied access: “We do not comment through the press on the process that this access entails. It is important to keep in mind that much of the information related to the continuity of government is highly sensitive.” Norm Ornstein, a legal scholar who studies government continuity at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, said he “cannot… Continue reading
Editor’s Note: Should an actual “showdown” occur over the constitutionality of Cheney’s stonewalling, we would welcome it. Let’s know exactly where we stand with respect to the willingness of elected officials to stand up to the criminals-in-chief.
It’s well past the time Leahy and company should have been pressing for these sorts of answers. Get on with it.
By Leonard Doyle in Washington
Published: 28 June 2007
The Bush administration may soon face a courtroom showdown over its secret eavesdropping programme after subpoenas were issued to the White House, Vice-President Dick Cheney, and the Justice Department.
There is a storm gathering over Mr Cheney in particular, with increasingly vocal demands for his impeachment for “political crimes against the nation”.
The Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know the legal basis, if any, for the placing of wiretaps on American citizens without court warrants, as part of the war on terror.
These taps were placed by the National Security Agency, which runs a vast international electronic eavesdropping and codebreaking web with Britain’s GCHQ. When reports emerged in the media of the wiretaps, it provoked widespread anger.
The Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Patrick Leahy gave the Bush administration until 18 July to hand over documents which the White House described last week as highly classified and off limits.
Senator Leahy wrote: “Over the past 18 months, this committee has made no fewer than nine formal requests to the Department of Justice and to the White House, seeking information and documents about the authorisation of and legal justification for this programme.”
The eavesdropping programme began after the attacks of 11 September 2001.…Continue reading
In the Bush era, the timing and quality of “arrests” and “warnings” have a suspicious ring
By Joshua Micah Marshall
July 07, 2006
In these perilous days, we must be ready to think the unthinkable. No, I don’t mean the possibility of a catastrophic terrorist attack. After 9/11, that’s all too easy to imagine. No, I’m talking about a thought that even now seldom forces its way into respectable conversation: the quite reasonable suspicion that the Bush Administration orchestrates its terror alerts and arrests to goose the GOP’s poll numbers.
Now, I’m a respectable columnist. I don’t want to draw rolled eyes. But think about it.
The 18 months prior to the 2004 presidential election witnessed a barrage of those ridiculous color-coded terror alerts, quashed-plot headlines and breathless press conferences from Administration officials. Warnings of terror attacks over the Christmas 2003 holidays, warnings over summer terror attacks at the 2004 political conventions, then a whole slew of warnings of terror attacks to disrupt the election itself. Even the timing of the alerts seemed to fall with odd regularity right on the heels of major political events. One of Department of Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge’s terror warnings came two days after John Kerry picked John Edwards as his running mate; another came three days after the end of the Democratic convention.
So it went right through the 2004 election. And then not long after the champagne corks stopped popping at Bush campaign headquarters, terror alerts seemed to go out of style.…Continue reading
By Bob Herbert
New York Times
May 15, 2006
In the dark days of the Depression, Franklin Roosevelt counseled Americans to avoid fear. George W. Bush is his polar opposite. The public’s fear is this president’s most potent political asset. Perhaps his only asset.
Mr. Bush wants ordinary Americans to remain in a perpetual state of fear — so terrified, in fact, that they will not object to the steady erosion of their rights and liberties, and will not notice the many ways in which their fear is being manipulated to feed an unconscionable expansion of presidential power.
If voters can be kept frightened enough of terrorism, they might even overlook the monumental incompetence of one of the worst administrations the nation has ever known.
Four marines drowned Thursday when their 60-ton tank rolled off a bridge and sank in a canal about 50 miles west of Baghdad. Three American soldiers in Iraq were killed by roadside bombs the same day. But those tragic and wholly unnecessary deaths were not the big news. The big news was the latest leak of yet another presidential power grab: the administration’s collection of the telephone records of tens of millions of American citizens.
The Bush crowd, which gets together each morning to participate in a highly secret ritual of formalized ineptitude, is trying to get its creepy hands on all the telephone records of everybody in the entire country. It supposedly wants these records, which contain crucial documentation of calls for Chinese takeout in Terre Haute, Ind., and birthday greetings to Grandma in Talladega, Ala., to help in the search for Osama bin Laden.…Continue reading
Apocalypse of Coercion: Why We Listen to What “They” Say About 9/11
By Kevin Barrett, mujca.com
“That’s just like hypnotizing chickens.” –Iggy Pop, “Lust for Life”
“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice…uh…(long pause)…we won’t get fooled again.” George W. Bush
They say suicidal Muslim fanatics did it. They say those radical Muslims hate our freedoms. They say the country is full of sleeper agents who could wake up and kill us at any moment, as soon as their little red-white-and-blue “I hate the USA” wristwatch alarms go off.
They say that Saddam Hussein had something to do with it–he’s Muslim, isn’t he? They say invading Afghanistan and Iraq was the appropriate response; we had to do something, right? They say if you’re not with us, you’re against us–and if you’re against us, you’re on the side of the evildoers.
They say those cunning, devious suicide hijackers defeated America’s defenses using flying lessons and box cutters. They say it was ordered by a tall, dark, handsome, sinister, hooknosed kidney patient in a cave in Afghanistan–a ringer for the evil vizier Jaffar in the Disney film Aladdin, but with a thicker beard to signify “Islamist.” They say it was masterminded by a real bad dude named KSM. They say they finally caught KSM, and that the whole story, enshrined in the official 9/11 Commission Report, is based on what KSM said under interrogation–so it’s all right from the horse’s mouth.
They say it happened because our… Continue reading
What Should We Really Be Afraid Of?
By W. David Jenkins III
Project for the Old American Century
June 1, 2005
Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can only be maintained by violence.- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
Although tyranny…may successfully rule over foreign peoples,
it can stay in power only if it destroys first of all the national institutions of its own people. ~Hannah Areddt
That’s right, I said it. Forget about 9/11. Just put all those horrible images away. I mean no disrespect but I think it’s time to put things in perspective.
9/11 has become an excuse for those who would exploit it and the world is a sadder and more dangerous place because of those who have used the tragedy for their own gains. This isn’t exactly a news flash but it isreality. An unfortunate reality that you and I had no part in making. That responsibility lays with the people who are still scared and those who would continue to exploit their fear. And that fear is the very foundation, the very source of strength of the present administration. Fear is now the guiding principle of almost every aspect of almost every person in America today. We have all become afraid just for different reasons.
Lately I’ve been doing a bit of research on fear and the odds we all face when it comes to our eventual deaths. Let’s face it; we’re all going to go sometime.
With acknowledgements to The National Safety Council (NSC), the FBI, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and some great work by writer, John Schettler (Scare Tactics), I’ve come to the conclusion that many Americans are afraid of the wrong things.…Continue reading
By Kevin Ryan
June 9th 2005
Have you ever found yourself caught between several hundred million people and their most cherished lies? After writing a letter to a government scientist, pleading with him to clarify a report of his work, I found myself in just that situation. The letter was circulated on the internet and for a brief time I became a reluctant celebrity. Of course I stand behind what I wrote, although it was originally intended as a personal message, not an open letter. Since many have asked for clarification, here is my message to all.
To me, the report in question represents a decision point, not just for the US, but for humanity as a whole. We’re at a point where we must decide if we will live consciously, or literally give up our entire reality for a thin veneer of lies. In the US these lies include cheap propaganda that passes for journalism, police-state measures that promise security, and mountains of debt that paint a picture of wealth. Additionally we’ve adopted many implicit self-deceptions, like the idea that we’ll always enjoy a limitless share of the world’s resources, no matter where these are located or who might disagree.
All people lie to themselves. It’s one of the most important things we have yet to accept about our own nature. We lie to ourselves to justify our past actions, to protect our self-image, and to promote ourselves relative to others. This lying is at the root of many of our problems (e.g.…Continue reading
By Peter Phillips
For many Americans, there is a deep psychological desire for the 9/11 tragedy to be over. The shock of the day is well remembered and terrorist alerts from Homeland Security serve to maintain lasting tensions and fears. The 9/11 Commission report gave many a sense of partial healing and completion – especially given the corporate media’s high praise of the report. There is a natural resistance to naysayers who continue to question the US government’s version of what happened on September 11, 2001. This resistance is rooted in our tendency towards the inability to conceive of people we know as evil; instead evil ones must be others, very unlike ourselves.
We all remember, as young children, scary locations that created deep fears. We might imagine monsters in the closet, dangers in a nighttime backyard, and creepy people in some abandoned house down the street. As we get older we build up the courage to open the closet, or walk out into the backyard to smell the night air. As adults there are still dark closets in our socio-cultural consciousness that make it impossible to even consider the possibility of the truthfulness of certain ideas. These fearful ideas might be described as threshold concepts in that they may be on the borders of discoverability, yet we deny even the potentiality of implied veracity – something is so evil it is completely unimaginable.
A threshold concept facing Americans is the possibility that the 9/11 Commission Report was on… Continue reading
This long heads-up analysis of our apparently imminent war on Iran by CIA veteran (and 9/11 Truth Statement co-signer) Ray McGovern is vital reading for three reasons. One, it outlines the endgame of the Bush team’s global petro-dominance plan, a plan that arguably first became public when planes started striking the WTC towers in New York. Second, it speaks clearly and courageously about Israel’s provocative nuclear arsenal and the overwhelming power Israeli rightists like Sharon now wield over US policy. And finally, it instructively portrays the hell-bent Orwellian mindset of the reigning neocon crew, who were collectively called “the crazies” in the Reagan/Bush era and whom Colin Powell was still calling “the f**king crazies” a year after 9/11 hit. It is not a pretty picture, but understanding the methodic deception that empowers their madness also moves us closer to 9/11 truth.
Attacking Iran: I Know It Sounds Crazy, But…
By Ray McGovern
“‘This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.’
“‘This notion that the United States is getting ready to attack Iran is simply ridiculous.’
“‘And having said that, all options are on the table.’
“Even the White House stenographers felt obliged to note the result: ‘(Laughter).’”
(The Washington Post’s Dan Froomkin on George Bush’s February 22 press conference)
For a host of good reasons — the huge and draining commitment of U.S. forces to Iraq and Iran’s ability to stir the Iraqi pot to boiling, for starters — the notion that the Bush administration would mount a “preemptive” air attack on Iran seems insane. And still more insane if the objective includes overthrowing Iran’s government again, as in 1953 — this time under the rubric of “regime change.”
But Bush administration policy toward the Middle East is being run by men — yes, only men — who were routinely referred to in high circles in Washington during the 1980s as “the crazies.” I can attest to that personally, but one need not take my word for it.
According to James Naughtie, author of The Accidental American: Tony Blair and the Presidency, former Secretary of State Colin Powell added an old soldier’s adjective to the “crazies” sobriquet in referring to the same officials. Powell, who was military aide to Defense Secretary Casper Weinberger in the early eighties, was overheard calling them “the f—ing crazies” during a phone call with British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw before the war in Iraq. At the time, Powell was reportedly deeply concerned over their determination to attack — with or without UN approval. Small wonder that they got rid of Powell after the election, as soon as they had no more use for him.
If further proof of insanity were needed, one could simply look at the unnecessary carnage in Iraq since the invasion in March 2003. That unprovoked attack was, in my view, the most fateful foreign policy blunder in our nation’s history…so far.
It Can Get Worse
“The crazies” are not finished. And we do well not to let their ultimate folly obscure their current ambition, and the further trouble that ambition is bound to bring in the four years ahead. In an immediate sense, with U.S. military power unrivaled, they can be seen as “crazy like a fox,” with a value system in which “might makes right.” Operating out of that value system, and now sporting the more respectable misnomer/moniker “neoconservative,” they are convinced that they know exactly what they are doing. They have a clear ideology and a geopolitical strategy, which leap from papers they put out at the Project for the New American Century over recent years. Continue reading
Their page states, “Prior to September 2001 this was one of the smallest sections on this site. It has since become one of the largest.
Insights into Fear-based Governance
from the Doggo Commonwealth
Wide ranging collection of passages, quotes and meditations on these systems of government, the type of people who impose or accept them, and our nearness to their grip today.
Savor the site here.
- Characterized by or favoring absolute obedience to authority, as against individual freedom.
- Of, relating to, or expecting unquestioning obedience.
Of, relating to, being, or imposing a form of government in which the political authority excercises absolute and centralized control over all aspects of life, the individual is subordinated to the state, and opposing political and cultural expression is suppressed.
by Scott McConnell
February 14, 2005
The Iraq war has brought out a “hunger for dictatorship” in the Right that could signal the end of American democracy. — Editor of American Conservative
Students of history inevitably think in terms of periods: the New Deal, McCarthyism, “the Sixties” (1964-1973), the NEP, the purge trial–all have their dates. Weimar, whose cultural excesses made effective propaganda for the Nazis, now seems like the antechamber to Nazism, though surely no Weimar figures perceived their time that way as they were living it. We may pretend to know what lies ahead, feigning certainty to score polemical points, but we never do.
Nonetheless, there are foreshadowings well worth noting. The last weeks of 2004 saw several explicit warnings from the antiwar Right about the coming of an American fascism. Paul Craig Roberts in these pages wrote of the “brownshirting” of American conservatism–a word that might not have surprised had it come from Michael Moore or Michael Lerner. But from a Hoover Institution senior fellow, former assistant secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, and one-time Wall Street Journal editor, it was striking.
Several weeks later, Justin Raimondo, editor of the popular Antiwar.com website, wrote a column headlined, “Today’s Conservatives are Fascists.” Pointing to the justification of torture by conservative legal theorists, widespread support for a militaristic foreign policy, and a retrospective backing of Japanese internment during World War II, Raimondo raised the prospect of “fascism with… Continue reading
Important study showing prevalence of conservative (authoritarian) personality traits in the convict population, and their relationship to poor education, fear and prejudice.
Change in the Conservative Personality
Equals Change in the Offender
with a Resultant Reduction in Recidivism
by Michael D. Parsons and Jennifer G. Parsons
Journal of the Oklahoma Criminal Justice Research Consortium
Offenders have many of the characteristics of the conservative personality as defined by Adorno, Collins, Wilson, and Boshier. The characteristics of the conservative personality limit change necessary for rehabilitation. Until that personality is modified, it is very difficult to reduce recidivism. Modification of the conservative personality through education and environment can lead to change in the offender’s behavior.
Is it possible to reduce violence by the criminal offender during incarceration? This paper presents the basis for a model which deals with certain offenders through an educational effort to modify some of their negative characteristics which include violence. The model in this paper is based on the concept of a conservative/authoritarian personality as it is found in offenders. The concept of the authoritarian personality remains important today as evidenced by coverage in current introductory psychology textbooks (Crooks & Stein, 1991; Dworetzky, 1991; Gleitman, 1991). “It appears that conservatism has pathological dimensions manifested in violence and distorted psycho-sexual development” (Boshier, 1983, p. 159). This is supported by a study conducted by Walker, Rowe, and Quincey (1993) in which there was a direct correlation between authoritarianism and sexually aggressive behavior. An investigation done by Muehlenhard (1988) revealed that rape justification and aggression toward subordinate individuals was much higher in traditional (conservative personality) than non-traditional personalities. It is postulated in this paper that the offender has a conservative personality and, therefore, manifests that violence.
The conservative personality work has as its antecedents the efforts on authoritarianism as developed by Adorno, Frenkel-Brunswick, Levinson, and Sanford (1950) in their book The Authoritarian Personality. Adorno, et al. developed what was called an F-Scale, or Fascist scale, which dealt with nine variables thought to be found in the authoritarian personality: anti-contraception, conventionalism, authoritarian submission, authoritarian aggression, power/toughness, projectivity, superstition/stereotyping, destruction/cynicism, and sex. Historically several problems with the F-Scale instrument were found. To counteract these problems, a Conservatism or C-Scale was developed by Wilson and Patterson in 1968 (Boshier, 1983, p. 50). To reduce confusion, the remainder of this paper will interchange the terms conservatism/authoritarianism, as “neither conceptually nor empirically does there appear to be any grounds for distinguishing authoritarianism and conservative personality–except that the former may be regarded as a somewhat more particular case of the latter” (Wilson, 1973, p. 33). Dogmatic attitudes tend to be related to close-mindedness. The individuals who adhere to dogmatic attitudes have behaviors including: authoritarianism, tough-mindedness, conservatism, and alienated behavior (Rajnarain, 1986). Continue reading
By Kathleen Maclay
22 July 2003 (revised 7/25/03)
BERKELEY — Politically conservative agendas may range from supporting the Vietnam War to upholding traditional moral and religious values to opposing welfare. But are there consistent underlying motivations?
Four researchers who culled through 50 years of research literature about the psychology of conservatism report that at the core of political conservatism is the resistance to change and a tolerance for inequality, and that some of the common psychological factors linked to political conservatism include:
“From our perspective, these psychological factors are capable of contributing to the adoption of conservative ideological contents, either independently or in combination,” the researchers wrote in an article, “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” recently published in the American Psychological Association’s Psychological Bulletin.
Assistant Professor Jack Glaser of the University of California, Berkeley’s Goldman School of Public Policy and Visiting Professor Frank Sulloway of UC Berkeley joined lead author, Associate Professor John Jost of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, and Professor Arie Kruglanski of the University of Maryland at College Park, to analyze the literature on conservatism.
The psychologists sought patterns among 88 samples, involving 22,818 participants, taken from journal articles, books and conference papers. The material originating from 12 countries included speeches and interviews given by politicians, opinions and verdicts rendered by judges, as well as experimental, field and survey studies.
Ten meta-analytic calculations performed on… Continue reading
Those agape at the barbed-wire cage designated as a “free speech zone” in Boston may wonder how it can be topped for its fascist implications. Actually, this already happened last month and went largely unnoticed.
Early in his administration Bush invited a group of pharmaceutical firms, among them companies that have been financing him since he was Texas governor, to join a commission on mental health and disabilities known as the New Freedom Initiative.
In its report presented in June, NFI proposes a universal program of mental health “screening” for everyone in the United States – starting with a captive market of 52 million pupils and 6 million teachers in the schools. The panel recommends that those diagnosed with a syndrome receive a prescription regimen based on treatment algorithms devised by the participating drug companies. (Now what makes me think there is a syndrome waiting for pretty much everyone?) The algorithms (hey, science!) derive from a program already implemented by Bush in Texas.
Unfortunately, Orwellian moments like these are only going to come thicker. The thrust towards the New Feudalism, Corporate Totalitarianism, New World Order, or whatever other name you like is in the open now, and it will not slow down unless we arise as a people to end it.
The New Freedom program fits seamlessly into the Kean Commission report proposals for a national ID system using biometric indicators. If we are all about to be fingerprinted and retinal-scanned and fed into a single database integrating all federal… Continue reading