Saturday, January 21, 2012
The past year has been a bad one for democracy, and the Republic that once was the United States seems to live in name only. Because of the extreme abuses of power the Federal government has exercised just in the past year, the people of the Nation have been broken, discouraged and must now only be controlled.
A recent report in the state-run Russia Today cites an instructional military book,Non-Lethal Weapons Reference Book(leaked by PublicIntelligence.net) to outline the coming “high-tech crackdown” that may soon befall citizens of the United States deemed unruly.
If you have ever seen a farmer persuade his livestock to bend to his will with less-than-lethal methods such as cattle prods, whips and electric fences, you know how incredibly persuasive they can be to the animals. The U.S. government also knows a thing or two about controlling groups; unfortunately, the target isn’t unruly livestock, but U.S. citizens.
The report references one device that has already made a military debut in Afghanistan and that will likely become commonplace for domestic crowd control as law enforcement agencies throughout the country become increasingly militarized. The Active Denial System, which is described as a “long range, directed energy, vehicle mounted system that projects an invisible electromagnetic millimeter-wave energy beam beyond small arms range,” can be used as a non-lethal way to create extreme discomfort and quell group dissent.
Other military implements that may soon see use within U.S. borders include Acoustic Hailing Devices that provide “scalable, directional warning tones” causing “auditory damage” and the Distributed Sound and Light Array which “uses a combined laser, non-coherent light, and acoustics to produce a synergistic engagement system.” Other systems can completely disable motor vehicles and emit acoustic waves that make it impossible for crowds to shout without discomfort and nausea.
While many Americans deny that the U.S. government will ever use such weapons on a widespread basis against dissenters, recent developments in the country appear to indicate otherwise. The crackdowns on OWS camps carried out by police in riot/military gear, armed with tear gas canisters and rubber bullets, indicate that when large masses of people cry out, no matter what the political agenda, they will be quieted by local, State and/or Federal officials.
Before the crackdowns on the OWS camps, the Federal government demonstrated its willingness to bypass the judiciary system anytime an individual poses a threat to its agenda. In September, the Administration of Barack Obama executed U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki in the mountains of Yemen with a drone strike. Though he often spoke on behalf of al-Qaida, it could be reasonably assumed that al-Awlaki’s citizenship status gave him the right to trial before execution. The Administration disagrees: Pentagon lawyer Jeh Johnson said of the execution that only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.
Johnson’s statement would be less alarming if the Administration — with the help of hawkish neoconservatives like Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) — had not recently passed a military spending bill with provisions that effectively designate American soil a battlefield and every American a possible enemy. The bill gives the President the ability to indefinitely detain terror suspects, but this comes at a time when the lines of what constitutes “terror” are becoming increasingly blurry. The Federal government is currently in active negotiations with members of the Taliban, and Obama has made it clear that anyone who rejects his agenda is considered a “right-wing domestic terrorist.”
How long will it take for Federal government to decide it necessary to carry out al-Awlaki style executions on those deemed “domestic terrorists” as they sit in their homes in the United States? With the increasing use of military drones in U.S. airspace, the idea is not so far-fetched. The same Federal agencies that carried out fatally-flawed operations like those in Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, in the 1990s now have aerial drones and a license to kill in the name of Homeland Security. Some people may think that the agencies have refined their methods since those days; others have been following news about Operation Fast and Furious, the most recent endeavor by the Department of Justice, and know better.
Those people who do not believe the Federal government is out to harm them by breaking their will, dehumanizing them and bending them to be the subservient masses that will keep it afloat should simply take a flight. If being prodded, poked and virtually stripped naked by poorly trained agents of the Transportation Security Administration is not bad enough, how about having very personal belongings fondled, food stolen and grandmothers groped by the TSA? All are tactics of dehumanization to create subservient masses, and all are things that happened to American travelers last year.
Aside from quashing unruly masses and making problems disappear, the Federal government wants to keep tabs on the information being put out by journalists and bloggers throughout the Nation with a new Homeland Security initiative. According to Russia Today, in a new report, the Department reserves the right to collect personal information from news anchors, journalists, reporters or anyone who may use “traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed.”
And while Homeland Security is busy putting together a plan to rid the country of any bad press, Congress has been working to sanitize the Internet. Pending legislation like SOPA and the Protect IP Act will effectively give American citizens about as much online freedom as citizens of China.
Some Americans may think that if they are not in the public eye, don’t regularly protest and are not members of al-Qaida, they are not subject to government intrusion. But a recent decision by Magistrate Judge David Noce in United States v. Robinson says that as long as you park your vehicle in public parking lots or use public roadways, law enforcement has the ability to install a GPS tracking device with no warrant to log where you travel if they believe you “may be involved in criminal activities.”
When the First Congress enacted the original Crimes Act in 1790, with only 17 recognized Federal crimes, it may have been reasonable to assume that as long as a person was a law-abiding citizen, he was not at risk of intrusion. Today, though, there are more than 4,500 Federal crimes — and many are so obscure that they are nearly indecipherable. In addition to the 4,500 Federal crimes, there are tens of thousands of Federal regulations. Many people commit criminal acts daily without even knowing they are doing so.
Last year was a very busy one for all of those interested in ending American life as it is and has been known. The United States that was a Republic has already collapsed and has very quietly become a totalitarian regime, complete with a dictator named Obama and a Congress that bends to his will and continually legislates in such a way that would make any totalitarian regime proud. Together they have done everything in their power to undermine the Constitution and name themselves as the all-powerful ruling class. And with the undoing of the ideas of the Founders and the ruination of but a few more checks and balances, they will effectively claim their supremacy.
So what have Americans lost and why does the ruling class have to do away with the Constitution and the rights it gives to every American citizen? It is explained by James Madison, who contended that there was no way American lawmakers could declare themselves a ruling class under the provisions of the Constitution, in the 57th volume of the Federalist Papers:
If it be asked, what is to restrain the House of Representatives from making legal discriminations in favor of themselves and a particular class of the society? I answer: the genius of the whole system; the nature of just and constitutional laws; and above all, the vigilant and manly spirit which actuates the people of America — a spirit which nourishes freedom, and in return is nourished by it.
Those who are working so hard to claim themselves a ruling class know that their goal cannot be achieved if there is such a thing as a population that holds dear its “vigilant and manly spirit.” And they know how to slowly break that spirit without alarm by dehumanizing populations — luring people into accepting tyrannical rule in the guise of laws claimed to exist for public safety, homeland security or the better good of humanity. Unlike Madison, they always leave out words like freedom and never discuss the great threats government poses to the people, but contrarily advise vigilance to combat the people’s threat to the government.
Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul has been warning the public of many of these frightening developments for more than 35 years. Now, as he vies for the Nation’s highest office, many of his predictions have come true. Maybe it is time Americans listened to the “kook,” because those things he said would happen — predictions Americans once considered to be crazy and far-fetched — are now reality. He may be the Nation’s last hope to a path back to some semblance of the Constitutional Republic created by the Founders.
Editor’s note: It’s time to make your submissions for this month’s You Sound Off! feature, which will run Jan. 25. Get your submission in by Jan. 23. It should be no more than 750 words (if they are longer, we probably won’t read them). We will select the one or two we think are the best of the week to publish. We reserve the right to edit for grammar and style but will try not to alter the meaning.
Personal Liberty Digest
Chief Scientists of the Air Force usually spend their time trying to figure out how to build better satellites or make jets go insanely fast. Which makes Dr. Mark Maybury, today’s chief scientist, a bit of an outlier. He’d like to build a set of sensors that peer into people’s souls — and forecast wars before they erupt.
Maybury calls his vision “Social Radar.” And the comparison to traditional sensors is no accident, he tells Danger Room. “The Air Force and the Navy in this and other countries have a history of developing Sonar to see through the water, Radar to see through the air, and IR [infrared] to see through the night. Well, we also want to see into the hearts and the minds of people,” says Maybury, who serves as the top science advisor to the Air Force’s top brass.
But Social Radar won’t be a single sensor to discover your secret yearnings. It’ll be more of a virtual sensor, combining a vast array of technologies and disciplines, all employed to take a society’s pulse and assess its future health. It’s part of a broader Pentagon effort to master the societal and cultural elements of war — and effort that even many in the Defense Department believe is deeply flawed. First step: mine Twitter feeds for indications of upset.
“We’re supposed to provide ISR,” says Maybury, using the military acronym for intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. “But our constituents [say], ‘Don’t just give me a weather forecast, Air Force, give me an enemy movement forecast.’ What’s that about? That’s human behavior. And so [we need to] understand what motivates individuals, how they behave.”
Maybury, dressed in his preferred outfit — a double-breasted black blazer and silver, rectangular glasses — discussed his Social Radar notion as part of a 90-minute interview in his Pentagon office, his native Massachusetts accent growing thicker as the discussion drew on. An artificial intelligence and language processing specialist, he’s been working for the military, on and off, since the mid-1980s. But as the counterinsurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan wore on, he found himself drawn further and further into what he calls the “human domain” of combat.
In the last few weeks, the Pentagon may have downgraded counterinsurgency in its strategy revamp. But the need to spot potential troublespots early — and to understand how American actions might impact those restive populations — clearly isn’t going away. U.S. special forces are still training foreign armies (and impacting the people of those countries). The Shadow Wars continue — from Yemen to Pakistan to Mexico. And the geopolitical chess match with China will require deep knowledge of all of the pieces on the board.
Using biometrics, Social Radar will identify individuals, Maybury noted in his original 2010 paper on the topic for the government-funded MITRE Corporation. Using sociometrics, it will pinpoint groups. Facebook timelines, political polls, spy drone feeds, relief workers’ reports, and infectious disease alerts should all pour into the Social Radar, Maybury writes, helping the system keep tabs on everything from carbon monoxide levels to literacy rates to consumer prices. And “just as radar needs to overcome interference, camouflage, spoofing and other occlusion, so too Social Radar needs to overcome denied access, censorship, and deception,” he writes.