Looking Beyond Election Day: The Issues That Threaten to Derail the Nation

Published On November 8, 2012 | By CopBlock | Articles

This post was written by John W. Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute and published to HuffingtonPost.com on Oct. 31st 2012. [You'll recall how instrumental the Rutherford Institute was to get Brandon Raub released].

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by John W. Whitehead

While it may be months before the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy can be fully resolved, Americans cannot afford to lose sight of the very real and pressing issues that threaten to derail the nation.

What follows is an overview of the major issues that both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, despite their respective billion dollar war chests, have failed to mention during their extensive campaign trail stumping and televised debates. These are issues that aren’t going away anytime soon. Indeed, unless we take a proactive approach to the problems that loom large before us, especially as they relate to America’s ongoing transformation into a police state, we may find that they are here to stay.

Militarized police. Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces are being transformed from peace officers to heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. As Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, observed, “Today, 17,000 local police forces are equipped with such military equipment as Blackhawk helicopters, machine guns, grenade launchers, battering rams, explosives, chemical sprays, body armor, night vision, rappelling gear and armored vehicles. Some have tanks.” In other words, what we are witnessing is an inversion of the police-civilian relationship.

Drones. As mandated by Congress, there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth as much as $30 billion per year. These machines will be able to record all activities, using video feeds, heat sensors and radar. Some drones are capable of hijacking Wi-Fi networks and intercepting electronic communications such as text messages.

SWAT team raids. With more than 50,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans for relatively routine police matters and federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions, the incidence of botched raids and related casualties is on the rise. Nationwide, SWAT teams have been employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession, to give a brief sampling.

Suspect society. Due in large part to rapid advances in technology and a heightened surveillance culture, the burden of proof has been shifted so that the right to be considered innocent until proven guilty has been usurped by a new norm in which all citizens are suspects. This is exemplified by police practices of stopping and frisking people who are merely walking down the street and where there is no evidence of wrongdoing. Making matters worse are Terrorism Liaison Officers (firefighters, police officers, and even corporate employees) who have been trained to spy on their fellow citizens and report “suspicious activity,” which includes taking pictures with no apparent aesthetic value, making measurements and drawings, taking notes, conversing in code, espousing radical beliefs and buying items in bulk. TLOs report back to “fusion centers,” which are a driving force behind the government’s quest to collect, analyze, and disseminate information on American citizens.

VIPR Strikes. Under the pretext of protecting the nation’s infrastructure (roads, mass transit systems, water and power supplies, telecommunications systems and so on) against criminal or terrorist attacks, VIPR task forces (comprised of federal air marshals, surface transportation security inspectors, transportation security officers, behavior detection officers and explosive detection canine teams) are being deployed to do random security sweeps of nexuses of transportation, including ports, railway and bus stations, airports, ferries and subways. VIPR teams are also being deployed to elevate the security presence at certain special events such as political conventions, baseball games and music concerts. Sweep tactics include the use of X-ray technology, pat-downs and drug-sniffing dogs, among other things. These stings inculcate and condition citizens to a culture of submissiveness towards authority and regularize intrusive, suspicion-less searches as a facet of everyday life.

Invasive surveillance technology. Police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike — including homes. Coupled with the nation’s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.

USA PATRIOT Act, NDAA. America’s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued since 9/11, has chipped away at our freedoms, unraveled our Constitution and transformed our nation into a battlefield, thanks in large part to such subversive legislation as the USA PATRIOT Act and National Defense Authorization Act of 2012. These laws completely circumvent the rule of law and the constitutional rights of American citizens, re-orienting our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the rule of law — our U.S. Constitution — becomes the map by which we navigate life in the United States.

Schoolhouse to jailhouse track. The paradigm of abject compliance to the state is being taught by example in the schools, through school lockdowns where police and drug-sniffing dogs enter the classroom, and zero-tolerance policies that punish all offenses equally and result in young people being expelled for childish behavior. As a consequence, school districts are increasingly teaming up with law enforcement to create what some are calling the “schoolhouse to jailhouse track” by imposing a “double dose” of punishment: suspension or expulsion from school, accompanied by an arrest by the police and a trip to juvenile court. In this way, young people find themselves in an environment where they have no true rights and government authorities have near total power over them and can violate their constitutional rights whenever they see fit.

Overcriminalization. In the face of a government bureaucracy consumed with churning out laws, statutes, codes and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, we are all petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. In fact, the average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to an overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal and an inclination on the part of prosecutors to reject the idea that there can’t be a crime without criminal intent. Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork. This frightening state of affairs — where a person can actually be arrested and incarcerated for the most innocent and inane activities, including feeding a whale and collecting rainwater on their own property–is due to what law scholars refer to as overcriminalization.

Privatized Prisons. At one time, the American penal system operated under the idea that dangerous criminals needed to be put under lock and key in order to protect society. Today, as states attempt to save money by outsourcing prisons to private corporations, imprisoning Americans in private prisons run by mega-corporations has turned into a cash cow for big business. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90 percent occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years. Such a scheme simply encourages incarceration for the sake of profits, while causing millions of Americans, most of them minor, nonviolent criminals, to be handed over to corporations for lengthy prison sentences which do nothing to protect society or prevent recidivism.

Endless wars. Having been co-opted by greedy defense contractors, corrupt politicians and incompetent government officials, America’s expanding military empire is bleeding the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour) — and that’s just what the government spends on foreign wars. That does not include the cost of maintaining and staffing the 1000-plus U.S. military bases spread around the globe. Incredibly, although the U.S. constitutes only 5 percent of the world’s population, America boasts almost 50 percent of the world’s total military expenditure, spending more on the military than the next 19 biggest spending nations combined. In fact, the Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense.

Rise of the Imperial President. During his two terms in office, George W. Bush stepped outside the boundaries of the Constitution and assembled an amazing toolbox of powers that greatly increased the authority of the Executive branch and the reach of the federal government. Bush expanded presidential power to, among other things, allow government agents to secretly open the private mail of American citizens; authorize government agents to secretly, and illegally, listen in on the phone calls of American citizens and read our e-mails; assume control of the federal government following a “catastrophic event”; and declare martial law. Thus, the groundwork was laid for an imperial presidency, a state of affairs that continued after Barack Obama’s ascension to the Oval Office and one that will likely not improve, no matter who wins on Election Day, unless something is done to restore the balance between government and its citizens.

 

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  • PSOSGT

    I always LOVE the lists!!!! jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. And I love it when they list pepper spray, battons, and stun guns. As if cops shouldn’t have these…..yet when we shoot someone…the 1STFUCKING THING THAT IS SAID…. why didn’t they pepper, stun, or use the botton. You can’t complain about the stuff we have, and then complain that it wasn’t used in a certain case.

    Assault rifles. Let’s take a look at that one.. If YOU, we going to get into a fight, wouldn’t u prefer a knife? If we going to get into a knife fight, wouldn’t u prefer a gun? If you were going to get into a gun battle, wouldn’t u prefer a rifle??

    We have all these toys because of what HAS happened in the past. How many of you constantly touch a hot stove?? None I’m guessing because you learned long ago that it burns. We’ll when we see X happening somewhere, and X happening somewhere else, we learn from those mistakes. We didn’t create a nationwide “active shooter response” plan until AFTER we had all these active shooters and understood what was going on. Patrol rifles were unheard of until the North Hollywood shootout. We all learned a valuable lession and how valuable that rifle can be.

    Oh and jackboots…work alot better in inclimate weather than flip-flops.

  • t.

    Sounds like I better put a couple more layers of tinfoil on my hat. “Jackboots”. What foolishness.

  • John Q Public

    Still blaming Bush on top of all the other crap posted. Bush hasn’t been president for four years. Get over it already. And, haven’t you idiots actually read the 2012 NDAA? Obviosly not.

    SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILITARY FORCE.

    (a) IN GENERAL.-Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

    (b) COVERED PERSONS.-A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.
    (b) COVERED PERSONS.-A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

    (1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

    (2) A person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

    (c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.-The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

    (1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111-84)).

    (3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.

    (4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.
    (d) CONSTRUCTION.-Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

    (e) AUTHORITIES.-Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

    (f) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.-The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organizations, entities, and individuals considered to be “covered persons” for purposes of subsection (b)(2). H. R. 1540-266

    Since we do have American citizens that go to Afghanistan and Yemen to join Al Queda, the Taliban, or other terrorists groups, this bill was made so they can be dealt with.

    But, anyways, pass the tinfoil T. It seems there’s not enough on my hat either.

  • Common Sense

    stop confusing the hippies with facts and proof…

  • Jean

    The point all you cop-lovers seem to forget is from the old Arabic saying: “If the camel once gets his nose in the tent, his body will soon follow.”

    Mission creep?
    Diffusion of efforts?
    Overcriminalization?

    Ring ANY bells? Or do we “civilians” need to start a friggin’ shooting war? (Which, of course to YOU, simply means we’re overstepping our place, we should be HAPPY living on our knees…)

    Freedom does NOT mean I get to choose which brand of cereal to eat in the morning and which brand of jeans I wear. It means I get to make decisions in my life, which have consequences, and I take the GAIN OR LOSS of those decisions. If I win $4 mil in the lottery, I don’t have to worry the police will break into my home that night and kill me because I’m suddenly suspect of violating RICO statutes. (And I am from NJ, I know of cases where these statutes are being mis-used – but you could also look into family court where people are routinely raped of their lives by you and yours.)

    At what point are we “civilians” allowed to say, “ENOUGH?” Or are we supposed to just bend over infinitely, even as you come at us with a reciprocating saw…?

    I’d rather respond when you’re still knocking on the door, before the camel’s nose is up my ass. And if you had any sense, you’d want it that way, too – because otherwise, it’s a question of WHEN we end up shooting each other instead of IF.

    Again, what’s the limit? Backscatter x-rays of our homes and selves (NJ; any airport)? “Stop and search” just because we’re walking down the street (NY, NY)? Drone surveillance (Seattle, WA)? Gun prohibition (D.C.; Chicago; Detroit; Baltimore)? Warrantless wiretaps (Federal level on that one)? Abuse of RICO statutes (NJ for sure, maybe others)? Denial of a lawyer because you can afford to pay for one, even though your assets are frozen under RICO – so you can’t pay for anything? Fining three-year-olds for “Public Urination” IN THEIR OWN YARD – thus PROVING that Mens Rea is meaningless? No-Knock warrants? Arresting KINDERGARTNERS for whatever is deemed “inappropriate”? (Kissing another student, for example).
    Let’s talk sentencing, or post-sentence capacity to get work. Sentencing: Whites and Asians and Blacks are all treated differently, violating the original concept of equal protection. Same for men vs. women, as we all know, women are always innocent, men are always evil…
    And post-sentence? Someone who ran a drug ring bringing in $10K/week is supposed to integrate back into society by asking, “Do you want fries with that?” – assuming they can even get THAT, as working the register may be too much of a risk of TRUST. Recidivism rates, anyone?

    When do we say “enough” and peacefully lodge complaints? And when do we decide that it’s BEYOND enough, and we need to thin your ranks a bit? Before or after the UN small arms treaty is signed into law by our dictator in chief?

    If it degenerates to shooting again….? there won’t be much left. Civil wars aren’t civil…

    Solution: IF you find evidence of corruption, you kill the b@st@rd, leave the body as carrion, and move on.
    You’d be surprised how many people are OK with that, provided it means they get protection from the law. Right now, those shields you’re so proud of say, “Insert bullet here,” to people like me – AND THE MOST I’VE HAD IS SPEEDING TICKETS. How much more hostile must be people who are wrongly convicted? Or even rightly convicted, but have no recourse other than more crime?

  • Jean

    NDAA & PATRIOT allow revocation of citizenship and permanent detention of US citizens – it’s basically a capacity for police / military to “remove” unwanted individuals from society, permanently, without feelign any remorse: like the Nazis in WW2, they were all, “Just following orders.”
    (Bear in mind, we’ve been under a state of war for longer than any of us have been alive, according to law. whenver needed, Martial law can be declared. Comme Potus (spelling? google can’t find it…) is suspended. Habeas Corpus has been suspended multiple times – Lincoln and Bush, apparrently. How long before War on Terror or War on Drugs or War on Iraq/Iran/Afghanistan/Some other shithole no American can find with a map or even a google search allows for more “special cases” until the special case is De Rigeur, or a daily, normal occurrence? AGAIN, where is the line? Do we wait until we’re in front of the firing squad to say, “Something’s wrong here?”)

    Our system of government was designed to rule moral people. We are not moral any more. (and as a lapsed Catholic, I don’t have much pull with religious types, nor any devotion.) But until those who ARE moral, or at least intellectually support EXTERNAL morality, DO SOMETHING – we are just going to end up ruled by thieves, crooks, and thugs. Whether they wear uniforms or not is irrelevant.

    [Extrnal morality = morality enforced via religion. This is chosen because Internal morality can be easily corrupted by the individual - External has absolute values, absolute sins / crimes, and the knowledge that SOMEONE (-THING) will hold you accountable, even if NO ONE finds out you were evil. Remove that external force, and evil people have no reason to fear being evil, and even the moral will fudge their internal rules a litte... Then a little mor... etc until they're no longer marl in any way. When the people are thus ruled by passions and have no fear of consequences, the police - as external punishment - MUST be tyrants, and Granny could be sitting on a bomb, so there's no such thing as "excessive force". Those police are just as self-interested (selfish, in a sense) as anyone else, and have the added "edge" of state sanction of their violence. Shooting Granny is OK, because while 99% of Grannies don't mule bombs, 1% does - and we can't let that 1% get away. Ipso Facto Tyranny. And the police ALSO answer to no one, so they sleep quite well at night - even though they are reduced to "bag men." Think about it.]

  • whut-thuh

    “following orders” got 10 fuggin pieces of shit hanged at Nuremburg. why did we stop there?

  • whut-thuh

    posse comitatus; 18 U.S.C. § 1385

  • shawn

    @PSOSGT

    The problem isn’t the tools, it is how they are used. Stun guns were called an alternitive choice to a gun. They were not supposed to be a device for torturing compliance or for fun. They weren’t meant for shooting handcuffed teen girls in the back so the can fall head first onto concrete, all because the officer was to lardassed to catch her and grab her arm.

    SWAT was a tool comissioned for emergency situations. Now they raid houses because a cop claims they can smell pot from the sidewalk. When the raid, nothing. Now they burn little girls with military toys they know aren’t as safe as they claim, all for a meth lab thatdidn’t exist.

    Military tools, tactics, and attitudes have no place in civilian society. If you want to be a soldier, go join up.

  • shawn

    @JQP

    How do you show that NDAA doesn’t apply to you, if theperson making that decision is also the one ordering your arrest. If they didn’t intend to use it against citizens, it would have excluded citizens.
    It is pretty easy to call someone a terrorist if they have no chance to challenge that. I’m no fan of granting noncitizens such rights, but a citizen is another issue all together. Or do you believe a government as corrupt as ours can be would NEVER missuse a power?

  • shawn

    I’ve come to believe two thing.

    1. Politicians show spend only a few years in office, then back to the real world. If they had to live under the laws they create, they might be a little more careful what they cram down our throats.

    2. I’m starting to believe the same of cops. If after a few years, they had to go back to living under the policies they created, like say enter every house with swat and treat all as criminals, they had to live under the ruthless policies they create. It is always easier to dish out abuse than to take it.

  • deepelemblues

    Endless wars? We left Iraq 3 years ago… we’re leaving Afghanistan year after next. Military bases in Germany are not a war… possessing the navy that maintains free passage globally for ships of all nations in international waters is not a lie to keep the “military-industrial complex” fat…

    Martial law? What martial law? What unraveled constitution?

    That’s my problem with you wild-eyed types, you can’t help yourselves but degenerate into the man on the corner with the sign proclaiming the end of the world. You elevate political disputes to the level of a moral crusade. There can be no honest disagreement because the clock is already halfway through striking midnight…

  • Jean

    Whut-Thuh: Thanks for pointing to correct Posse comitatus. At almost 40, I should KNOW that. :-P

    @Shawn:
    Originally, “politicians” were the best of the best of their towns and states. They DID live under the same laws we do. they did pay their taxes, they had limited time “in office” (meaning, physically there), and limited sessions – otherwise there would have been a problem in their personal lives, they would’ve been unable to ahve personal lives.
    Now, the beltway is the thin line that divides the Governed from the Governees.

    As for the police – They DO end up living under the law, eventually – just too late for it to matter, and they STILL have friends on the force and are still accorded special privileges. But could easily be “wrong addressed” and shot, too. They just don’t REALIZE.

    This also happened to a Senator, IIRC, who served his term, then went home to make a business… And couldn’t make the business work. He had to comply with so many laws, he went bankrupt, IIRC. He said he never knew how much there was to do, and if he HAD known, he would never have passed the laws he did. (I think it was CT? But might talking out my @$$, memory is a bit fuzzy at this point.)

    Had he stayed in the Cuntry Club, though, he’d still be blissfully ignorant of the hurt he inflicted on so many Americans, and still be exempt from either doing REAL work, or getting his hands dirty. This is Oligarchy… Which devolves to Aristocracy. Only reason we really dodged that is we’re a Democracy on the road to Mobocracy. The cure is worse than the disease. But leads back to Monarchy… Anyone ELSE want to bet on fixed elections or federal emergencies imposing martial law? (I know, tinfoil hat shit, but Truth is stranger than Fiction… As Sherlock Holmes put it, “… when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” We’ll either get there with Obama sinking Democracy, or the next rat or three sinking it – HOW is the difference: via martial law & suspension of elections, or via outright civil war & secession? )

  • Jean

    @ deepelemblues:
    What you say is actually correct: “the clock is already halfway through striking midnight…”
    Yes, it is – but MOST PEOPLE are ASLEEP at midnight.
    Wars: We don’t need no seenking declaratino of WAR no more! (Actually, we ARE in a STATE of war; this is different from having a DECLARED WAR, as Iraq was. War on Poverty, War on Drugs, War on trerrorism – these aren’t just words. They have meaning under the law. Not to mention there are acts going WELL before that…)
    As to your comments about the Navy (and indirectly the army via their foreign bases) being used as “global police” (Direct quote from you: “Military bases in Germany are not a war… possessing the navy that maintains free passage globally for ships of all nations in international waters is not a lie to keep the “military-industrial complex” fat…”)
    Actually, that is factually incorrect, as those ships ARE from the Military-Industrial complex, and ARE from contracts awarded as Political Pork. California shipyards are the worst, NY still has some, IIRC. The military bases in Germany were placed there so we’d have forward operational bases in event of war. WW3 was supposed to be against the Soviets, remember? But now they server other purposes (terrorizing the populace in Okinawa, for example – we not popular there, too many rapes. :-( ) Not so sure about Germany – don’t hear as much screaming, but then, Germany is rather progressive anyway… Why rape the cow when she sprays the milk all over the street? :-P
    How about the “need” for supercarriers now? China’s Sunburst missles would sink them. Lovely, right? But we can still project force by sending a carrier force… Instead of sending a Stratofortress (Decommissioned now IIRC) or ICBM or Cruise missile, we endanger a city’s worth of men, billions of dollars in equipment, all to show WE have THE BIGGEST Dick. (And so we’re clear, I wanted to enlist but can’t because of my eyes. Sucks, I would’ve done well.)
    the Tarawa-class LHS, I think it was? Meant as a floating operations island for marines and landing craft? Normandy’s DONE as of 1945… We’re NOT doing it again. And with Fourth Generation warfare isntead of huge, state-backed standing armies? Whole different ballgame. We won’t have another Nazi Germany. It’s not cost-effective. But 30 guys with a handful of weapons could run a state or five ragged… that’s not difficult. Targets of opportunity, the mayor here, a cop there, power station or transformer, wave a laser around near an airport, there’s no single target, no state to attack, no land to capture – just people to kill. Hence, SEAL team 6, ready in 24 hours, on site probably within 36, and they ALSO blend into the populace and try to figure out WTF is happening. (But hope they don’t get nailed by the other elements working on the same case.) (And I looked up Posse Comitatus, it does not apply to Navy or Marines, though they have military doctrine similar. Of note, it does NOT state bluntly that the military can’t be used on US soil, only limits the powers and situations where it may be used, and how. For instance, if the locals have things under control, military force is not needed or allowed. If it’s lawless, military can be sent in to restore order, as in LA riots. But please, define “lawless”, as Chicago has been all but lawless for decades and yet no one talks about using troops there.)

    Martial law has been imposed several times. Suspension of habeas corpus as well – Lincoln at time of the civil war, and NDAA, which allows detention of people ACCUSED of aiding and abettting or harboring those associated with 9/11. That IS suspension of Habeas Corpus. De Facto AND de jure, and yes, it can happen to YOU, or ME, or ANYONE – because even an honest mistake doesn’t HAVE to be reviewed. The individual ceases to exist, no one can find them; missing persons cases will be told to go F*ck themselves or else. How is this sort of power REASONABLE EVER? I support torture for information, make no mistake – but there IS a point (probably early on) where the person says whatever the torturers want to hear JUST TO MAKE IT STOP. Someone native-born, never-left-home, pulled off the street in Chicago will swear before God they were Lieutenants in Al Qaeda if it means they get to breath, or the torch goes out… It’s survival instinct.
    AND THOSE SAME TECHNIQUES ARE USED BY LAW ENFORCEMENT, believe it or not: Sensory deprivation, “cold rooms”, “holding tank” where you can disappear or die… Uncommon, sure, but impossible? No. And leaving a person in a brightly-lit, 40-degree room for 24 hours without human contact? Sounds like nothing, right? A normal day, in Antarctica… (possible 24 hours of sunlight plus sub-zero, forget 40 degrees).

    The point I’m trying to drive home is, you can either do this the easy way – when it’s still done by a few fringe wingnuts – or you can wait until the whole system is militarized and sees you as the enemy. Guess which one is LESS painful to you, your loved ones, and the country as a whole?

    The whole “Get Tough on [fill in blank]” is a lie. My daughter was being bullied. She reported it to the school. And again, and reported it to school. And again, and again, and again, with witnesses and evidence. And when we went to the school? Oh, we’re building a case against the bully. Until after 6 months, my daughter lost her cool, and beat the bully to a pulp – and got suspended (almost expelled).
    We ALL have a breaking point. And if we play by the rules, and do everything right, we can all expect… to get shit on. So when we stand up to those bullies, the cops (or equivalent) show up, because now WE did something wrong.

    “F*ck it, I’m gonna make things right” becomes the attitude – because if you do that, you’re acting instead of reacting. either way, you’re gonna lose, might as well inflict casualties along the way.

    Make sense now?

  • Jean

    @deepelemblues:
    Hopefully still skimming at least.
    The man on the corner isnt AUTOMATICALLY wrong.

    John the Baptist was a lunatic in the wilderness, remember?
    George Washington was a lunatic leading rag-tag soldiers and militia.
    Christ was a madman who gave his life for his vision – and has followers TODAY who will do the same.
    Ghandi was a lunatic who starved himself to death.
    Nelson Mandela was a political ideologue who spent decades in prison for a worthless dream.

    These, and coutless more lunatics, were standing on the corner holding a sign. you don’t need to stand on the corner with a sign, you just need to read the signs as you pass by. ;-) They just MIGHT be right.

  • deepelemblues

    Jean,

    None of those people were generally considered lunatics in their time.

    None of those wars you mention have any legal weight placed on the word “war.” That is a vernacular term for those government efforts employed in a ham-handed effort to gin up public support for them. You are quite possibly crazy.

    You have only the smallest idea what you are talking about re: Okinawa (the base doesn’t exist there to terrorize Japan, that’s stupid). You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about re: Germany. Find a metaphor that isn’t completely retarded.

    Ignorant as you are, I believe your hilarious rantings about China being able to sink US carriers with Sunburst missiles. Sorry, China is still vastly militarily inferior to the US, even with these super missiles that are unstoppable perfect weapons of war with no countermeasures. Get a grip, Jean.

    Yeah, it’s all a dick-measuring contest. The sixty years of no world war has been just a big useless dick-measuring contest.

    Martial law during the CIVIL WAR has no relevancy here, nice try though. And the NDAA does not restrict habeas corpus, anyone who believes that should be classified as too dumb to vote honestly. Guess what, Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, Boumediene v. Bush, and the 2006 MCA Act all guarantee habeas corpus. The NDAA does not take it away and even if it did, Supreme Court precedent and other law contradicts it. Of course, you’re too ignorant to know these things. You’re a moron on a mission.

  • deepelemblues

    I believe you believe your hilarious rantings about super missiles*

  • Jean

    @deepelemblues:
    1. China is modernizing ASAP – they’re testing their secodn stealth fighter now – just can’t make engine parts (stators) for it yet.
    2. Habeas Corpus is a legal concept which has been suspended several times, was my point. NDAA and Patriot make it unnecessary to even suspend HC. You simply disappear. End of story. Or to put it simply, Habeas Corpus literally means, “You have the body.” To which the Feds reply is, “What body?” (“We have so many…” or “No such person exists…”)
    3. Of COURSE the base isn’t there to terrorize Okinawa; that’s the side effect of military personal trained to shoot other people being penned in with nothing to do. Got to blow off steam somehow, and some people do stupid things when drunk. if it’s 1%, that’s still too many. the base is there to make sure we have troops around when Japan decides to break it’s peace treaty, or China decides to attack Japan, or USSR moves against US interests, etc, etc, etc. State-based wars – not really relevant any more.
    And same with Germany – meant to keep the Soviets in line in WW3. WW4 (we skipped 3 as an open conflict – bear with the extended metaphor) is going on NOW. Syria, Bosnia, South Africa, Congo (Still called that? Geography was a long time ago), Iraq, Afghanistan, soon Iran (WTF?), the EU is falling apart (though not down to warfare yet), Germany, France are rotten with riots; How many “police actions” and “conflicts” will it take to admit there’s a massive world-wide battlefield? US bases were supposed to place forward observers into the battlefield, that’s all. And it doesn’t work that way any more, didn’t in Vietnam. You’d think we’d learn, but… :-P

    The US is absorbing military costs from all of NATO, effecgively, and dealing with Somali Pirates (granted, not alone), among other routes of “keeping the seas safe” is COSTLY – but only to US. Frace doesn’t pay us protection money, nor Greece, nor Turkey, nor (name of country here). We are in fact subsidising others’ military costs, instead of allowing civilian ships to bear arms and defend themselves. (They wouldn’t take a hit on profits to avoid the pirates in those areas, it costs too much. Especially when there’s someone ELSE – like the US – around to swing that big dick and make everyone run away…)

    You have a great deal of faith in the system, I think. that is unwise. If we ran our lives the way the government runs their “business,” we would all be broke. At a minimum. since we don’t get to print money, or dictate that others need to support us – we’re on our own. Yet we are feeding the beast, and it doesn’t care how many of us are consumed. Soldiers die? Just keep it off TV. Unless there’s a Republican in office. Welfare goes to support women’s FERTILITY treatments (NYC, NY – was in the papers, though not recent.) WTF? Octomom gets on the news. Honey Boo Boo gets a reality show. Kiddie porn is alive and well, watch Toddlers and Tiaras. Want real NEWS? Good luck, EVERYONE has an axe to grind… Leftists moan they’re running out of other people’s money, they might not be able to buy that Lamborghini Diablo this year… (Seriously, WTF? Spoiled brat much? Too wealthy for your own good? Keeping up with the Kardassians? World’s smallest fiddle playing JUST for you!) Meantime, the Union side has been an organized Democrat bloc for HOW long? US car companies pay out most of their costs to WHOM? (Worker’s pensions and insurance, BTW, predicated on endless growth.)

    You have completely omitted the “dark” side of the coin – any government capable of giving you everything you want is also capable of taking it all away. Little johnny is a Marine – and he could find his next post New Orleans after Katrina, “handling” the “darkies”. (We’re assuming Johnny is white here; could just as easily be black and now in NJ or Long Island NY, for the same reason.)
    the law only applies IF YOU CAN GET TO IT. If you are vanished, Habeas Corpus is not applicable. If you’re in Guantanamo, you no longer exist. Your faith in the law is a weakness there, the law is subject to failure – just like power, cell phone service, cable TV, telephones, gas piplines, garbage disposals, et al.

    As for sunburst missiles? Russian made, skims the water line, very fast; take a look. http://www.defencetalk.com/forums/navy-maritime/sunburst-invincible-5621/
    Oh, AEGIS can’t hit it, supposedly. (Of course, I don’t have access to classified documents, just what’s in public record, which may well be wrong.)

    Don’t miss the forest for the trees. Obama wouldn’t NDAA his thrid cousin, probably (to make it a tenuous connection at best). But he doesn’t know you from Adam, you’re just a name. We all are. We are expendable… We’re the “little people”, the “hoi polloi”, “clinging bitterly to our guns and religion” (I have neither.)
    And it’s the same with the mayor, make no mistake. If he does it often, someone will notice people are just “going to the cornfield”, but… In New York City? D.C.? Baltimore, Detroit, etc, etc, etc. Take it to the other extreme: Michigan or Idaho, nearest neighbor is 5 miles away. Does anyone notice?

    Dude – it’s not paranoia if they ARE out to get you. ;-)

    (Didn’t have the time to look up your cases cited, I’ll see if I can do that as homework. should be interesting; still subject to actually getting a case heard, though.)

  • John Q Public

    Wow. You guys obviously have not read the 2012 NDAA. It does NOT say anyone’s citizenship will be stripped. Have you heard of Adam Gadahn, Omar Hammami, or Samir Khan? They are American citizens who are also in Al Queda in Afghanistan and Yemen. Of course Posse Comitatus is in effect. It’s been in effect since 1897. The issue is dealing with American citizens who travel to Afghanistan or Iraq to fight U. S. forces, not arresting citizens in the U. S. So, quit making up things that just ain’t there. You conspiracy theorists are nuts. And Jean, better keep a lookout. There’s going to be black helicopters flying over you house in short order. I think I need to by stock in Reynolds Wrap. That is going to be selling out real quick with the amount of tin foil hats that are going to be needed.