By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: December 17, 2012
OKLAHOMA CITY – “There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne,” says Selina Kyle to Bruce Wayne/Batman in the grim motion picture The Dark Knight Rises. And indeed a storm did come – a tempest – in the form of an actual “storm” as well as mass shootings allegedly conducted by deranged killers.
And the key? It would appear to be “Sandy.”
The day of the release of The Dark Knight Rises – July 20, 2012 – was the day of the mass shooting at the Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. James Eagan Holmes was said to be the man behind the mask – the Bane of good society. He gunned those people down, wild Joker hair and a crazed, crooked smile to match.
Gotham City is Batman’s hometown. Where is it? New York? Chicago? Does it matter? Maps of Gotham City show place names like “Sandy Hook,” “Newtown” and “Newtown Point.” When the Aurora shooting took place, those place names in the fictional world of Gotham meant little.
But a storm was coming. A Red Dawn. A Tempest. The theme of 2012 was that of swirling chaos and confusion, as we would see a few months later when Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy formed and proceeded to wreak havoc on the Atlantic Coast, particularly in the states of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. A Sandy benefit concert on 12/12/12 was weird. Particularly “Paul McCartney” performing the dark and menacing Manson White Album trigger song “Helter Skelter” at what should be a positive event. As Charles Manson told the court in 1970, “Helter skelter means ‘confusion.’ Confusion is coming down fast.” Manson said he should not be blamed for what McCartney and the Beatles put into the “social consciousness.” Confusion. How true that is, even today.
In Jay-Z’s 1998 track “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” the “in-the-know” rap star samples the musical Annie and the catchy “It’s A Hard Knock Life” and shares on one line: “From the dope spot, with the smoke Glock / fleein’ the murder scene, you know me well / from nightmares of a lonely cell, my only hell.”
Of course the 1982 film adaptation of the musical Annie (based on Harold Gray’s Little Orphan Annie comic strip that ran from 1924 to 2010) featured a plucky orphan girl with bright red Joker-like hair named Annie. Her constant companion was her dog Sandy. And Annie’s benefactor is ruthless capitalist Daddy Warbucks – an example of the so-called 1 percent if there ever was. And cartoonist Gray was criticized for his “Hooverism” and attacks on “organized labor, the New Deal and communism,” according to Wikipedia.
Well, interestingly, a new generation is expected to be introduced to Annie, Sandy and Daddy Warbucks thanks to Jay-Z and collaborator and film star Emma Thompson. They are beginning filming of the Annie remake this coming spring, starring Will Smith’s daughter Willow Smith.
And just as Hurricane/Superstorm Sandy was barreling down on the East Coast, NBC was promoting their special Annie’s Search for Sandy. About finding just the right shelter dog to play the role of “Sandy” on Broadway.
Anyway, back to the storm – or was it “tempest”?
A storm came. A storm of hatred and insanity and a rain of bullets. The community of Newtown, Connecticut will never be the same after what took place at Sandy Hook Elementary. We are learning more about the alleged shooter (now dead) Adam Lanza – who used a Glock, a Sig Sauer and Bushmaster semi-automatic rifle. Like Jay-Z: “Fleein’ the murder scene,” having used that Glock. Curiously, Jay-Z would later be called a “Sandy guardian angel” for his alleged role in providing power to those in need in the wake of Sandy. That’s off the “hook.”
And the alleged role his mother Nancy Lanza – said to be a gun nut and “prepper” – had in Adam Lanza’s “hard knock” life. There are also many unanswered questions related to this horrific tragedy in Newtown that others have been aggressively addressing, so much so that “the authorities” are threatening to prosecute indie media types who dare not follow the provided script. Regardless, the thought of all those dead innocents brings on waves of revulsion. Who could do this?
Which takes us to Bob Dylan’s latest disc Tempest, with its menacing murder ballads and (for this writer) special emphasis on the songs “Scarlet Town” and “Pay In Blood.” Yes, this album is dark. It examines the human condition in a way only Dylan is able.
“Night after night, day after day / They strip your useless hopes away / The more I take the more I give / The more I die the more I live.”
Could Newtown be the “Scarlet Town” where “the streets have name that you can’t pronounce …” Mother and son reportedly lived in Newtown’s Sandy Hook neighborhood on Yogananda Street. “Yogananda” is a name that might baffle someone unfamiliar with beloved Indian yogi Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, one of my favorite books.
As Yogananda once said: “Anger gives birth to jealousy, hatred, spite, revengefulness, destructive instinct, wild ideas, brain paralysis, and temporary insanity – any of which may lead to terrible crimes.”
Back to Dylan, croaking ominously on “Scarlet Town”: “In Scarlet Town, the end is near.” Steada gettin’ treated, we get tricked.
So, the storm (tempest) is coming (or is here) and the end is near. Pieces of the puzzle are rapidly coming together. Do you see them?
Copyright 2012 Red Dirt Report
Has Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman -a man who once used to smuggle cocaine for the CIA- outlived his usefulness?
An inside source in the Mexican government has told DeadlineLive.info that both the Obama and Calderon administrations are making preparations to either ‘capture or kill’ the most wanted drug lord in the world: Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman.
The information coincides with the recent Office of Bilateral Intelligence or ‘OBI’ meeting between Homeland Security Janet Napolitano and Mexican Cabinet Secretary Alejandro Poiré. After the ‘private’ meeting that took place in Mexico City, Poiré and Napolitano answered questions to reporters.
At the press conference, Napolitano said: “It took us 10 years to find Osama Bin Laden and we found him, and you know what happened there; I’m not suggesting the same thing would happen with Guzman but I am suggesting that we are persistent when it comes to wrongdoers and those who do harm in both of our countries.”
The cabinet level source in the Mexican government told DeadlineLive.info that if ‘El Chapo’ Guzman is found, captured, or killed, it may help boost the popularity of Felipe Calderon’s war against the cartels. The (staged) event would also help elect Calderon’s protégé Josefina Vázquez Mota, who’s running for the Mexican presidency in the National Action Party’s primaries, and the war against the cartels as well as the billions of Dollars in funding will continue to flow.
The source also stated that U.S. special operations teams (whether military or law enforcement) may participate or collaborate with Mexican forces in the capture or killing of Guzman. “Obama and Holder are desperate for a victory in the war against the cartels because of the Fast and Furious gun running scandal. Politically, they also need Guzman to be captured,” he said.
Joaquin Guzman is the alleged leader of the Sinaloa Drug Cartel –the most powerful criminal organization in Mexico, and some say in the world. “El Chapo” recently made Forbes’ list of most powerful and wealthy people in the world. He single-handedly controls the crystal meth market, which he pioneered in the 80’s and 90’s. He also controls most of the cocaine smuggled into the U.S… He’s married to Emma Coronel, niece of the notorious CIA cocaine smuggler Nacho Coronel.
Update: Mexican government goes after the CIA good ol’ boys
Since his escape from prison in 2001, ‘El Chapo’ and most members of his inner circle have been elusive (if not protected by corrupt high ranking government officials). However, in recent days, the Mexican government moved in and seized $4 Billion in crystal meth from Guzman’s Guadalajara, Jalisco cartel. This was arguably the biggest drug seizure in world history. Never before had the Mexican government hit the Sinaloa-Jalisco alliance this hard.
The Jalisco Cartel is made mostly of Nacho Coronel’s former operatives. Some of these operatives have worked for the CIA since the Iran-Contra days, when they supplied weapons to the contras and loaded narcotics onboard CIA aircraft in Central America. In exchange for their work, they were allowed (by both U.S. and Mexican governments) to control the Sinaola cartel faction in Guadalajara, Jalisco, according to the Rafael Barajas book Drug Trafficking for the Naive. They were also the same people that smuggled El Chapo’s cocaine for the CIA onboard rendition flights from Yucatan and Central America into the United States. The Jalisco Cartel is also the same organization that created the death squad known as ‘Los Matazetas’ (killers of Zetas), which used military-style tactics to wipe out Los Zetas (Sinaloa’s competitors) from the state of Veracruz late last year.
Shortly after the $4 Billion drug seizure in Jalisco, the Mexican government captured Jaime Herrera, who was one of El Chapo’s biggest distributors of crystal meth since the 1990’s. Many of Herrera’s people have been captured since last January in Jalisco. No one had ever touched these men before. Is this another sign that El Chapo’s empire is about to collapse?
To be continued…
Mexican cartoonist, writer, and commentator Rafael Barajas says the war on drugs cannot be won because the world itself is addicted to drug money. In an interview with Chilean newspaper El Clarín, Barajas details the role and involvement of the CIA, international banking interests, and governments in drug trafficking and money laundering.
By Mario Casasús
El Clarín, Chile
Translated by Mario Andrade
Oaxaca, Mexico – In an interview with Clarin.cl, Rafael Barajas (1956) talks about his new books Drug trafficking for the naive, and Drug trafficking in Mexico and who USA’s it (‘uses it’ in Spanish –ed). He states that in the same way people become addicted to drugs, the global economy is addicted to drug money. “Mexico is suffering from a deep addiction to drug money. Here, $45 billion are laundered annually, which is the equivalent of 12.5% of the world’s total drug-related profits. Felipe Calderon’s war has not failed; it has accomplished its objectives, which are to consolidate the drug smuggling routes to the United States, and the containment of a social unrest by means of militarizing the country. I don’t believe that Mexico is a failed state; it is however, a state that colludes with organized crime, and it has been infiltrated by drug traffickers,” he said.
Barajas is the author of many books like How to survive neoliberalism* and still be Mexican (1996), History of a cartoon nation (2000), The dirty tricks of impeachment for beginners (2005), The Land of the Ahuizote** (FCE, 2005), The Independence Crowd (2007), The land of the Icamole wailer*** (2008), I only laugh when it hurts (2008), Sweet Revenge (2009), How Pemex does it (2010), Little Felipe de Jesús (2010), Drug trafficking for the naive (2010), Drug trafficking in Mexico and who USA’s it, among other political humor books. In 2010, he was awarded the literature award known as La Catrina at the International Book Fair of Guadalajara, and since 2006 he co-directs the magazine El Chamuco.
He jokingly told el Clarin: “If I had named my book ‘Drug Trafficking for beginners,’ many people would’ve been interested in buying it so they could start their own business, like the other books for beginners. But really, organized crime has not been seriously pursued because the economic resources continue to flow. Organized crime will always have money to buy drugs, guns, to corrupt politicians and officials or to buy assassins. The militarization allows for the control the population. Here, it was predicted that a powerful social unrest was going to take place in response to neoliberal* reforms, resulting in the election fraud of 2006. However, the militarization neutralized the social movement. Militarization prevents any social rebellion. It is an extreme measure used by governments,” he said.
Casasús .- Why did you publish Drug Trafficking for the naive with El Chamuco Publishing? Were you trying to avoid censorship?
Barajas .- We launched El Chamuco Publishing because it is always better to have total control of your projects from start to finish, and to be able to track the production and sale of your books. We believe that the publishing world has changed. We have a direct relationship with our readers, and with El Chamuco, we can write or draw whatever we want.
Casasús .- What is your hypothesis behind your cartoons and documentation in the book Drug trafficking for the naive?
Barajas .- My book seeks to explain, from raw data, the logic behind the drug war and Calderon. The hypothesis is based on of Galileo’s ideas: “Everything is easy to understand, you just have to know what are the mechanisms that move these things.” In my book, I discuss what strings are pulled behind the trafficking of drugs. It is a book of great revelations; I will not tell you that Chapo Guzman is actually Batman, but what the book does is gather information scattered from public domains. I ask the fundamental questions: Who is behind the drug war? Who benefits? And what about the drug money being laundered in Mexico? These are fundamental questions that are answered somehow in the press, but with information that is still unorganized. Most of the information is obtained from academic research, some classic books like The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia by Alfred McCoy, the U.S. Congressional reports and highly accredited journalistic work, like Anabel Hernández’s book The drug lords – I attempt to put the pieces of the puzzle together because they are scattered.
Casasús .- Rius, the cartoonist launched the humoristic self-improvement book series For Beginners, so is your book Drug trafficking for the naive, or for beginners?
Barajas .- If I had titled my book Drug Trafficking for Beginners, surely there would’ve been many people interested in buying it to start their own business. They would’ve thought it was an entrepreneurship manual (laughs). That is not the intention of the book. Obviously, I named it Drug Trafficking for the naive. Just like Drug trafficking in Mexico and who USA’s it, these are books for people like us, who are not in the drug dealing business.
Casasús .- What are the benchmarks used in Felipe Calderon’s war?
Barajas .- The first record dates back to the Opium War between China and England (1839-1842), and the latest information coming from the Internet via WikiLeaks is that we now have confirmation of how it operates out of the U.S. Embassy. One of the WikiLeaks cables (folio: 06México4937) states that in September 1, 2006, Calderon went to the U.S. Embassy to seek help because he was in a precarious situation, from the political standpoint. According to the cable, Ambassador Carlos Pascual assessed that Calderon was indeed in a state of vulnerability and the U.S. decided to shore it up, creating a mission for the Embassy personnel to work with Calderon in issues that were a priority for the U.S. (WikiLeaks cable published by La Jornada 21/02/2011). We don’t really know who put this team together or how it worked in detail, but the priority for the United States is the “drug war.” In my book, I explain the U.S. role in drug wars throughout history.
Casasús .- Let’s go over this. How did the United States participate in the opium war?
Barajas .- In the war of England against China, involving American businesses, the great promoter of the war was William Jardine, owner of the U.S.-based Jardine-Matheson company and its operator was Warren Delano, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandfather. If you do a thorough research of the drug wars, you will notice that in all those wars, the United States was a participant: in China, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Thailand, and Indochina. Also, there was the “French Connection” between Corsican and the Sicilian Mafia, and of course in South America with Plan Colombia, Central America with the Nicaraguan Contras and the Guatemalan Kaibiles. The question is: Are we going to think that Mexico is the only exception? History confirms that Mexico is no exception to the rule.
Casasús .- How did the U.S. intervene? What is their modus operandi?
Barajas .- The U.S. Congress and scholars have documented that U.S. intelligence agencies organized many of the networks and drug trafficking routes for past 60 years. This is nothing new as we all know now. In Mexico, the Americans are involved at all levels, from Washington to the CIA and the Pentagon. The Fast and Furious program was no accident. It was not just about weapons that slipped out of their control; it is the norm, and it is a well organized and deliberate effort. The biggest operator in the networks responsible for the sale of cocaine between Mexico and the United States was a gentleman named Alfredo Sicilia Falcone and when they arrested him, he said: “I am a CIA informant and they are aware of my activities. The CIA helped me establish the business in order to help the Nicaraguan Contras.” When reviewing the U.S. Congressional documents on the Iran-Contra case, you can find ample evidence of how Colombia’s drug cartels, like the Medellin Cartel and the Mexican Guadalajara (Jalisco) Drug Cartel, were backed by the CIA in exchange for control of the territory, with weapons and funding to support the Nicaraguan Contras. The list of American interventionism is endless.
Casasús .- What is the role of the United States in laundering Mexican drug money?
Barajas .- Just like people become addicted to drugs, the global economy is addicted to drug money. Mexico suffers from a profound addiction to drug money. When analyzing the data, here in this country, they launder over $40 billion per year, which is 12.5% of the global drug money. But where is that money handled? A bi-national U.S.-Mexico customs and border protection study indicates that 90% of the drug money comes from the U.S. and 50% reaches the Mexican financial system. In 2001, a Florida judge fined Wachovia Bank with $110 million for laundering $378 million of drug money from the Sinaloa Cartel between 2004 and 2007. Ed Woods, the investigator in charge of the Wachovia case, quoted by Ed Vuillamy, said, “the money laundering contacts are Citigroup and Wall Street,” (The Observer 3/4/2011). So how do these criminals get away with moving all these amounts of cash? The bottom line is: if they were to suddenly withdraw all the drug money in the Mexican financial system, the macro-economy would suffer a total collapse. That explains why they don’t really go after money laundering crimes; it is all a joke because they never arrest the white collar criminals. Here, the intelligence services only arrest women who carry a purse full of Dollar bills. The truth is that drug money is one the single and most significant factors that provides stability for the financial system.
Casasús .- Is the “war on drugs” an excuse to militarize the country?
Barajas .- What I am telling you about money laundering forces me to think that they are not seriously pursuing organized crime, because the economic resources continue to flow. Organized crime will always have money to buy drugs, guns, to corrupt politicians, or to hire gunmen. The militarization to control the population here created a powerful social unrest in response to neoliberal* reforms and the election fraud of 2006. However, the militarization put a stop to that social movement. Militarization prevents any social rebellion. It is an extreme measure used by the government.
Casasús .- Felipe Calderon’s regime criminalizes human rights advocates. You are one of the biggest promoters to have Calderon prosecuted before the International Criminal Court in The Hague. Have you been persecuted for your research and your political opinion in your cartoons?
Barajas .- Society itself is criminalized in general. Cartoonists are not particularly singled out. It is true that the cartoonists do not enjoy the affections of the government; I have no doubt about that. However, when the authorities criminalize society, when young people are arrested for using Twitter (warning other citizens about possible drug cartel shootings) in Veracruz, there is a systematic persecution against people who are dissidents. I recall the case of the Reyes Salazar family, the murders of Nepomuceno Moreno, Marisela Escobedo, and Josefina Reyes who were documenting abuses by the army, as well as the investigations that indicated the involvement of the military. Marisela Escobedo was shot in front of the Government Palace of Chihuahua. These crimes went unpunished, and that’s how they inhibit social dissent. The Moreno Nepomuceno case was astounding because the first public official line of defense was to smear him, inventing alleged links with drug traffickers in Sonora. It’s the oldest trick in the book used by governments, which is to criminalize the victims.
Casasús .- Finally, are we survivors in the midst of a failed state?
Barajas .- Felipe Calderon’s war has not failed; it has accomplished its objectives, which are to consolidate the drug smuggling routes to the United States, and the containment of a social unrest by means of militarizing the country. I don’t believe that Mexico is a failed state; it is however, a state that colludes with organized crime, and it has been infiltrated by drug traffickers.
* Neoliberalism – In Latin American politics, the word liberalism is associated with globalism and internationalism.
** Ahuizote – In Aztec mythology, an Ahuizote was a devil-like water dog creature similar to an otter, but with bat-like wings. This devil-like creature ruled the Aztec empire for a period of time. During its rule, many disasters, plagues, tragedies and calamities took place.
*** Icamole wailer – Reference made to the battle of Icamole, state of Nuevo Leon, where Mexican military factions tried to start a revolution against the federal government in 1876. After the bloody battle, a soldier sat down and watched the destruction and cried. He was then known as the Icamole wailer.
By Alexander Cockburn
Too bad Kim Jong-il kicked the bucket last weekend. If the divine hand that laid low the North Korean leader had held off for a week or so, Kim would have been sustained by the news that President Obama had signed into law a bill that puts the United States not immeasurably far from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea in contempt of constitutional protections for its citizens or constitutional restraints upon criminal behavior sanctioned by the state.
At least the DPRK doesn’t trumpet its status as the least-best sanctuary of liberty. American politicians, starting with the president, do little else.
A couple of months ago, came a mile-marker in America’s steady slide downhill towards the status of a Banana Republic with Obama’s assertion that he has the right as president to secretly order the assassination, without trial, of a U.S. citizen he deems to be working with terrorists. This followed his 2009 betrayal of his pledge to end the indefinite imprisonment without charges or trial of prisoners in Guantanamo.
After months of declaring that he would veto such legislation, Obama has now crumbled and will soon sign a monstrosity called the Levin/McCain detention bill, named for its two senatorial sponsors, Carl Levin and John McCain. It’s snuggled into the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act.
The detention bill mandates — don’t glide too easily past that word — that all accused terrorists be indefinitely imprisoned by the military rather than in the civilian court system; this includes U.S. citizens within the borders of the United States.
All onslaughts on potential sedition like to cast as wide a net as possible, so the detention act authorizes use of military force against anyone who “substantially supports” al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces.” Of course, “associated forces” can mean anything. The bill’s language mentions, “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 who has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.” That’s language that can be bent, at will, by any prosecutor. Protest too vigorously the assassination of U.S. citizen Anwar al Awlaki by American forces in Yemen in October and one day it’s not fanciful to expect the thump of the military jackboot on your front step, or on that of any anti-war organizer, or any journalist whom some zealous military intelligence officer deems to be giving objective support to the forces of evil and darkness. Since 1878, here in the U.S., the Posse Comitatus Act has limited the powers of local governments and law enforcement agencies from using federal military personnel to enforce the laws of the land. The detention bill renders the Posse Comitatus Act a dead letter.
Governments, particularly those engaged in a Great War on Terror, like to make long lists of troublesome people to be sent to internment camps or dungeons in case of national emergency. Back in Reagan’s time, in the 1980s, Lt. Col. Oliver North, working out of the White House, was caught preparing just such a list. Reagan speedily distanced himself from North. Obama, the former lecturer on the U.S. Constitution, is brazenly signing this authorization for military internment camps.
There’s been quite a commotion over the detention bill.
Civil liberties groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union have raised a stink. The New York Times denounced it editorially as “a complete political cave-in.” Mindful that the votes of liberals can be useful, even vital in presidential elections, pro-Obama supporters of the bill claim that it doesn’t codify “indefinite detention.” But indeed it does. The bill explicitly authorizes “detention under the law of war until the end of hostilities.”
Will the bill hurt Obama? Probably not too much, if at all. Contrary to widespread belief, liberals are never very energetic in protecting constitutional rights. That’s more the province of libertarians and other wackos actually prepared to draw lines in the sand for matters of principle.
Simultaneous to the looming shadow of indefinite internment by the military for naysayers, we have what appears to be immunity from prosecution for private military contractors retained by the U.S. government, another extremely sinister development.
The U.S. military has been outsourcing war at a staggering rate. Even as the U.S. military quits Iraq, thousands of private military contractors remain. Suppose they are accused of torture and other abuses including murder?
The Centre for Constitutional Rights — a U.S. non-profit organization — is currently representing Iraqi civilians tortured in Abu Ghraib and other detention centers in Iraq. They seek to hold accountable two private contractors for their violations of international, federal and state law. In the words of Laura Raymond of the CCR, “By the military’s own internal investigations, private military contractors from the U.S.-based corporations L-3 Services and CACI International were involved in the war crimes and acts of torture that took place, which included rape, being forced to watch family members and others be raped, severe beatings, being hung in stress positions, being pulled across the floor by genitals, mock executions and other incidents, many of which were documented by photographs. The cases — Al Shimari v. CACI and Al-Quraishi v. Nakhla and L-3 — aim to secure a day in court for the plaintiffs, none of whom were ever charged with any crimes.”
But the corporations involved are now arguing in court that they should be exempt from any investigation into the allegations against them because, among other reasons, the U.S. government’s interests in executing wars would be at stake if corporate contractors can be sued. And Raymond reports, “They are also invoking a new, sweeping defense. The new rule is termed ‘battlefield preemption’ and aims to eliminate any civil lawsuits against contractors that take place on any ‘battlefield.’”
You’ve guessed it. As with “associated forces”, an elastic concept discussed above, in the Great War on Terror the entire world is a “battlefield.” So unless the CCRs suit prevails, and a ruling of a Fourth Circuit federal court panel stands, private military contractors could be immune from any type of civil liability, even for war crimes, as long as it takes place on a “battlefield.”
Suppose now we take the new powers of the military in domestic law enforcement, as defined in the detention act, and anticipate the inevitable, that the military delegates these powers to private military contractors. A company owned by, say Goldman Sachs, could enjoy delegated powers to arrest any U.S. citizen here within the borders of the USA, “who has committed a belligerent act or who has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces,” torture them to death and then claim “battlefield preemption.”
Alexander Cockburn is co-editor with Jeffrey St. Clair of the muckraking newsletter CounterPunch. He is also co-author of the new book “Dime’s Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils,” available through www.counterpunch.com. To find out more about Alexander Cockburn and read features by other columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Some people are predicting that there will be a major economic collapse, caused by unsustainable debts and other government intrusions into private economic matters, and by central banks’ excessive money-printing.
In America, the Federal Reserve’s continued irresponsible and reckless actions will result in further devaluing the currency and huge increases in price inflation, especially in food and energy prices. Some are predicting that there will be food shortages, looting, rioting, and civil unrest and violence in America.
There are some people who believe that such events will be followed by President Obama imposing a nationwide martial law. Recent terrorism drills, such as the major drill last week in Denver, are believed to be part of the U.S. government’s preparation for either terrorism or false flag events, or part of preparation for planned martial law. Obama was recently in Denver. One hopes that what former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura has documented, a possible huge underground government or military facility at the Denver airport, and other similar places, are not true.
But the subject of martial law needs to be discussed, because it’s important that the people of the U.S. states have an understanding of this before Obama imposes martial law, which is essentially a presidential-military-rule dictatorship.
Obviously, any imposition of martial law by the U.S. government would be not only a gross violation of state sovereignty, thus making the states even further subservient to the authoritarian rule of the federal government, but martial law goes against the Founders’ ideas of inalienable rights and liberty.
Martial law includes the suspension of civil liberties, such as freedom of speech and dissent, the right to bear arms and self-defense, the right to freedom of movement, and the right to presumption of innocence. The Declaration of Independence recognizes the right of each and every human being to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” These are inalienable, pre-existing rights, meaning that they are natural and inherent rights, not given to us by any government. That means that no one, including government officials, police or military, may violate these rights or remove them – otherwise, they could not be considered inalienable.
Specifically, the right of the individual to life and liberty includes the right to own and control one’s life, and the right to be free from the aggressions of others, including police and military. The right of the individual to one’s life and liberty includes the “right to be secure” in one’s person, property and effects. In America, there are supposed to be no intrusions into the person or property of the individual without actual suspicion that a specific individual has committed a specific crime against someone else’s person or property. Even in those cases, the people were advised by the Founders to nevertheless question the official judgments of government agents.
Any suspension of these rights and civil liberties such as under a martial law would thus be an act of criminality by government officials, including the president, military and police, against the people. There have been many aspects of the post-9/11 “War on Terror,” including the Patriot Act and new warrantless surveillance intrusions, and due-process-free policies of apprehension and detention of Americans by federal agents, that some people believe to have been a back-door means for military rule in America.
As I wrote in my article, Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon, the rights to presumption of innocence (and thus the right to be left alone without suspicion) and due process have greatly diminished in America since the Bush Administration exploited 9/11 to expand the federal government’s intrusive police powers over Americans. Putting such policies as the Patriot Act into place, and allowing for the apprehension, detention and assassination of Americans as well as foreigners, policies that remove presumption of innocence and due process, has made the U.S. government a much bigger threat to our liberty than terrorists ever could be.
Given Obama’s assassination of American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki without any due process, without having been convicted or even charged with terrorism, but by merely having been labeled a “terrorist” by government officials, and given the preponderance of historical evidence as to why we should not trust the judgment of government officials, Americans need to be vigilant. Why? Just one example is how current administration officials’ continuously label government protesters and Tea Party activists, antiwar protesters and even anti-ObamaCare activists as threats and “terrorists.” The crackdowns on peaceful protesters show more clearly how America is quickly turning into the Soviet Union.
Now, if you are a governor, and President Obama imposes martial law and orders you as governor of your state to enforce such an order, you are obligated by law to disobey that order, because it would be an unlawful order. Government officials recite an oath as they take their office, as do police and military personnel. Part of the oath for governor of a state – and local police officers for that matter – includes “support” of the U.S. Constitution and respective state constitutions. In some cases, the oath states that they will “obey and defend” the Constitution.
Some police officers’ oaths state that they will “obey the orders of superior officers” on the force. And the oath for enlistment in the U.S. Armed Forces does include mention of obeying the orders of the President of the United States. However, when a superior officer or president gives an unlawful order, such as one that violates an individual’s right to due process or right to free speech or dissent, then the soldier or officer is obligated to disobey that order.
Oath Keepers is a non-partisan association of currently serving military, reserves, National Guard, peace officers, fire-fighters, and veterans who swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic … and meant it. We won’t “just follow orders.”
Here is the Oath Keepers’ list of orders they would not obey, particularly because, as the Oath Keepers themselves note, such orders are “unconstitutional (and thus unlawful) and immoral violations of the natural rights of the people. Such orders would be acts of war against the American people by their own government, and thus acts of treason. We will not make war against our own people. We will not commit treason.”
- We will NOT obey any order to disarm the American people
- We will NOT obey any order to conduct warrantless searches of the American people, their homes, vehicles, papers, or effects – such as warrantless house-to house searches for weapons or persons.
- We will NOT obey any order to detain American citizens as “unlawful enemy combatants” or to subject them to trial by military tribunal.
- We will NOT obey orders to impose martial law or a “state of emergency” on a state, or to enter with force into a state, without the express consent and invitation of that state’s legislature and governor.
- We will NOT obey orders to invade and subjugate any state that asserts its sovereignty and declares the national government to be in violation of the compact by which that state entered the Union.
- We will NOT obey any order to blockade American cities, thus turning them into giant concentration camps.
- We will NOT obey any order to force American citizens into any form of detention camps under any pretext.
- We will NOT obey orders to assist or support the use of any foreign troops on U.S. soil against the American people to “keep the peace” or to “maintain control” during any emergency, or under any other pretext. We will consider such use of foreign troops against our people to be an invasion and an act of war.
- We will NOT obey any orders to confiscate the property of the American people, including food and other essential supplies, under any emergency pretext whatsoever.
- We will NOT obey any orders which infringe on the right of the people to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition their government for a redress of grievances.
I never thought that in my lifetime I would see such a strong possibility of economic collapse, food shortages, civil unrest and martial law in America. But all of this is completely avoidable.
How are economic collapse, food shortages, civil unrest and martial law avoidable? First, get rid of the causes of food price inflation. That means ending the Federal Reserve, ending central planning in money and banking, and allowing for free, competitive banking and competing currencies. Encourage the people to use gold, silver or something else of value as their medium of exchange, or a currency that is at least backed by something of value. Get the government out of money and banking, period.
Second, end the federal government’s intrusions into, restrictions on and subsidization of food production and distribution. Decentralize the entire food industry, and make the federal government stop infringing on the rights of local farmers and food producers, food distributors, retailers and grocers. Those local producers and traders – not government central planners – are the ones who know best how to handle their businesses, and what the consumers want and how much food should cost. No more police S.W.A.T raids on raw milk producers and other food producers.
We just can’t allow America to descend into the third world police state dictatorship that it seems to be becoming (and that is being reinforced in the schools). One step in the right direction would be to end all restrictions on civilians’ right to self-defense, and protect their right to own, conceal or openly carry weapons. That is what really prevents crime.
And communities need to consider de-monopolizing local policing and security. There’s no good reason for government to monopolize those functions. Let voluntary groups and private, competitive firms handle those things – that is what will end the current police-thug phenomenon.
Finally, besides invoking the 10th Amendment and nullifying federal food, monetary and banking restrictions, and nullifying federal gun laws, if Obama orders martial law, then U.S. state governors must also nullify that, too. If Obama and federal agents and military insist on forcing martial law in the states against the authority of the states’ leaders, then the states’ governors may have to order state and local officials to arrest federal agents acting in violation of the states’ sovereignty and the people’s rights.
No, the way to deal with economic collapse, civil unrest and looting is not with a federal martial law presidential-military dictatorship. The way to deal with or prevent such a crisis is by going the other way: through decentralization and de-monopolization, and undoing all the governmental interventions that will have caused the crisis in the first place.
October 3, 2011
When this taxpayer-supported lifer flits into your town to declare that he will slash public benefits, he means in your life, not his.
(Also see… “Who Owns the World“)
By Jim Hightower
Presidential wannabe Rick Perry is flitting all around the country — hither, thither and yon — spreading little “Perry Tales” about himself and the many wonders he has worked as governor of Texas.
His top Perry Tale is a creationist story about what he has modestly branded “The Texas Miracle.” While the rest of the country is mired in joblessness, says the miracle worker, his state has added 1.2 million jobs during his 10-year tenure.
I’ve built “a job-creating machine,” the governor gushed during one of his recent flits across Iowa, and a Perry PR aide smugly added, “The governor’s job creation record speaks for itself.”
Actually, it doesn’t. Far from having the best unemployment rate in the nation, the Lone Star State ranks a middling 26th, behind New York, Massachusetts and other states whose “liberal” governments he routinely mocks.
Even more damning, Perry’s Texas is not creating nearly enough jobs to keep up with its fast-growing population. Those 1.2 million new positions are 629,000 short of the jobs needed just to bring the state’s employment level back up to where it was in 2007. Some miracle.
Worse, probe even a millimeter into the million-jobs number that he is sprinkling around like fairy dust, and you’ll learn that Perry’s jobs are mostly “jobettes” that can’t sustain a family. They come with very low pay, no health care or pension, and no employment security, labor rights or upward mobility — many are only part-time and/or temporary positions.
Here’s a particularly revealing stat that the Perry pixies don’t want us to see: On his watch as governor, Texas added more minimum wage jobs than all the other 49 states combined. More than half a million Texans now work for $7.25 an hour or less. He can brag that he’s brought Texans down into a tie with Mississippi for the highest percentage of workers reduced to poverty pay.
Spreading even more fairy dust, Perry claims that his Texas Miracle is the result of him keeping the government out of the private sector’s way. But peek behind that ideological curtain, and you’ll find this startling fact: During Perry’s decade, the greatest job growth by far has come from the public sector, which has more than doubled the number of new jobs created by the private sector.
One out of six employed Texans are now teachers, police officers, highway engineers, military personnel or other government workers — and many of these jobs were created with the federal money that Perry-the-candidate now loudly denounces. Indeed, he’s running around ranting about President Obama’s stimulus program, but he gladly accepted the third highest amount of stimulus funds taken by the 50 states. There’s his miracle.
Interestingly, even his tea-partyish hatred — nay, loathing! — of big government’s intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens turns out to be just another Perry Tale. In fact, there would be no Rick Perry without the steady “intrusion” of government into his life.
Local taxpayers in Haskell County put him through their public school system — for free. He and his family were dry-land cotton farmers, and federal taxpayers helped support them with thousands of dollars in crop subsidies — Perry personally took $80,000 in farm payments.
State and federal taxpayers financed his college education at Texas A&M, even giving him the extracurricular opportunity to be a cheerleader. Upon graduation, he spent four years on the federal payroll as an Air Force transport pilot who never did any combat duty.
Then, in 1984, Perry hit the mother lode of government pay by moving into elected office — squatting there for 27 years and counting. In addition to getting regular paychecks from taxpayers for nearly three decades as a state representative, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor, he also receives platinum-level health care coverage and a generous pension from the state, plus $10,000 a month for renting a luxury suburban home, a covey of political and personal aides and even a publicly paid subscription to Food & Wine magazine.
So when this taxpayer-supported lifer flits into your town to declare that he will slash public benefits and make government “as inconsequential as possible,” he means in your life, not his.
Perry literally puts the “hype” in hypocrisy. Forget his tall tales and political B.S. — look at what he actually does.
To find out more about Jim Hightower, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate web page at www.creators.com.