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Thursday, August 22, 2013
Has Washington, D.C., Become A Criminal Entity?
Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013
I recently read a column by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts that was so good I wish I had written it. First, a little bit about Roberts. This is from his official web site: “Dr. Roberts has held academic appointments at Virginia Tech, Tulane University, University of New Mexico, Stanford University where he was Senior Research Fellow in the Hoover Institution, George Mason University where he had a joint appointment as professor of economics and professor of business administration, and Georgetown University where he held the William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy in the Center for Strategic and International Studies.”
His bio continues: “Dr. Roberts was associate editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal and columnist for Business Week and the Scripps Howard News Service. He was a nationally syndicated columnist for Creators Syndicate in Los Angeles. In 1992 he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993 the Forbes Media Guide ranked him as one of the top seven journalists in the United States.”
And one more paragraph about Paul Craig Roberts: “President Reagan appointed Dr. Roberts Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and he was confirmed in office by the U.S. Senate. From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy. After leaving the Treasury, he served as a consultant to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Commerce.”
I realize that anyone who dares to contradict accepted politically correct dogma is demonized as being “radical,” “extremist,” or racist,” and some people have tried to characterize Dr. Roberts in that vein. But it should be obvious to any honest and objective person that Paul Craig Roberts has one of the most distinguished resumes of anyone in America today.
Paul recently wrote a column entitled, “Humanity Is Drowning In Washington’s Criminality.” I realize it is difficult for most Americans to conceive the idea that their federal government could actually be criminal, but the case Roberts makes in his column cannot be tossed aside as the ranting of some right-wing nut (as if there are no left-wing nuts).
Roberts writes, “Americans will soon be locked into an unaccountable police state unless US Representatives and Senators find the courage to ask questions and to sanction the executive branch officials who break the law, violate the Constitution, withhold information from Congress, and give false information about their crimes against law, the Constitution, the American people and those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Guantanamo, and elsewhere. Congress needs to use the impeachment power that the Constitution provides and cease being subservient to the lawless executive branch. The US faces no threat that justifies the lawlessness and abuse of police powers that characterize the executive branch in the 21st century.
“Impeachment is the most important power of Congress. Impeachment is what protects the citizens, the Constitution, and the other branches of government from abuse by the executive branch. If the power to remove abusive executive branch officials is not used, the power ceases to exist. An unused power is like a dead letter law. Its authority disappears. By acquiescing to executive branch lawlessness, Congress has allowed the executive branch to place itself above law and to escape accountability for its violations of law and the Constitution.
“National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper blatantly lied to Congress and remains in office. Keith B. Alexander, Director of the National Security Agency, has also misled Congress, and he remains in office. Attorney General Holder avoids telling Congress the truth on just about every subject, and he also remains in office. The same can be said for President Obama, one of the great deceivers of our time, who is so adverse to truth that truth seldom finds its way out of his mouth.
“If an American citizen lies to a federal investigator, even if not under oath, the citizen can be arrested, prosecuted, and sent to prison. Yet, these same federal personnel can lie to Congress and to citizens with impunity. Whatever the American political system is, it has nothing whatsoever to do with accountable government. In Amerika [Roberts’ spelling] no one is accountable but citizens, who are accountable not only to law but also to unaccountable charges for which no evidence is required.”
Roberts is one hundred percent right. While everyone seems to be caught up in debating all kinds of remedies to Washington’s ills, hardly anyone seems to notice that the power to put a stop to all of this unconstitutional (not to mention criminal) conduct on behalf of the executive branch of the federal government rests squarely in the laps of the 535 men and women who comprise the US House of Representatives and US Senate. Granted, impeachment has been seldom used by the legislative branches in Washington, but what was that again about desperate times calling for desperate measures? Besides, impeachment is not a desperate measure; it is a constitutionally-required measure. When the executive branch of the federal government is run amuck in foul play, it is the duty of Congress to protect both the American citizenry and the US Constitution.
Roberts rightly asks, “The question demanding to be asked is: What is the purpose of the domestic surveillance of all Americans? This is surveillance out of all proportion to the alleged terrorist threat. The US Constitution is being ignored and domestic law violated. Why? Does the US government have an undeclared agenda for which the ‘terrorist threat’ is a cover?
“What is this agenda? Whose agenda is more important than the US Constitution and the accountability of government to law? No citizen is secure unless government is accountable to the Constitution and to law. It is an absurd idea that any American is more threatened by terrorism than by unaccountable government that can execute them, torture them, and throw them in prison for life without due process or any accountability whatsoever. Under Bush/Obama, the US has returned to the unaccountable power of caesars, czars, and autocrats.”
Roberts is exactly right. The modern-day burgeoning police state, under the rubric of “national security,” is the biggest threat to our liberties since the British marched on Lexington and Concord in 1775. And, unfortunately, when it comes to the destruction of civil liberties, Republicans are as culpable as Democrats.
Roberts writes, “American conservatives regard civil liberties as mere excuses for liberal judges to coddle criminals and terrorists. Never expect a conservative Republican, or more than two or three of them, to defend your civil liberty. Republicans simply do not believe in civil liberty. Democrats cannot conceive that Obama--the first black president in office, a member of an oppressed minority--would not defend civil liberty. This combination of disinterest and denial is why the US has become a police state.
“Civil liberty has few friends in government, the political parties, law schools, bar associations, or the federal judiciary. Consequently, no citizen is secure. Recently, a housewife researched online for pressure cookers looking for the best deal. Her husband was searching for a backpack. The result was that a fully armed SWAT team appeared at the door demanding to search the premises and to have questions answered.”
When it comes to creating the modern-day police state, the left-right paradigm that most people are consumed with means absolutely nothing. NOTHING! As Roberts notes, for the most part, both Democrats and Republicans, liberals and conservatives, Christians and heathens seem to see nothing wrong with the dismantlement of the Bill of Rights if the stated reason is to keep us “secure.”
Beyond that, so many Americans seem to have the attitude, “I don’t care if the government is spying on me; I haven’t done anything wrong.” To this, Roberts writes, “I am always amazed when someone says: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong. I have nothing to fear.’ If you have nothing to fear from the government, why did the Founding Fathers put the protections in the Constitution that Bush and Obama have stripped out? Unlike the Founding Fathers who designed our government to protect the citizens, the American sheeple [Roberts’ word] trust the government to their own demise.”
And exactly who are the real terrorists, anyway? Roberts answers:
“Terrorism seldom comes from outside. The source almost always is the government in power. The Czarist secret police set off bombs in order to blame and arrest labor agitators. The Nazis burned down the Reichstag in order to decimate the communists and assume unaccountable power in the name of ‘public safety.’ An alleged terrorist threat is a way of using fear to block popular objection to the exercise of arbitrary government power.
“In order to be ‘safe from terrorists,’ the US population, with few objections, has accepted the demise of their civil liberties, such as habeas corpus, which reaches back centuries to Magna Carta as a constraint on government power. How, then, are they safe from their government? Americans today are in the same position as the English prior to the Great Charter of 1215. Americans are no longer protected by law and the Constitution from government tyranny.
“The reason the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution was to make citizens safe from their government. If citizens allow the government to take away the Constitution, they might be safe from foreign terrorists, but they are no longer safe from their government.
“Who do you think has more power over you, foreign terrorists or ‘your’ government?”
“The constitutional principle of freedom of speech is being redefined as treason, as aiding an undefined enemy, and as seeking to overthrow the government by casting aspersions on its motives and revealing its secret misdeeds. The power-mad inhabitants of Washington have brought the US so close to Gestapo Germany and Stalinist Russia that it is no longer funny. Indeed, it is sometimes difficult to see the difference.
“The neoconservatives have declared that Americans are the ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable people.’ Yet, the civil liberties of Americans have declined the more ‘exceptional’ and ‘indispensable’ that Americans become. We are now so exceptional and indispensable that we no longer have any rights.
“And neither does the rest of the world. Neoconservatism has created a new dangerous American nationalism. Neoconservatives have given Washington a monopoly on right and endowed its military aggressions with a morality that supersedes the Geneva Conventions and human rights. Washington, justified by its ‘exceptionalism,’ has the right to attack populations in countries with which Washington is not at war, such as Pakistan and Yemen. Washington is using the cover of its ‘exceptionalism’ to murder people in many countries.”
Roberts also rightly observes, “Washington is always morally right, whatever it does, and those who report its crimes are traitors who, stripped of their coddling by civil liberties, are locked away and abused until they confess to their crimes against the state. Anyone who tells the truth, such as Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Edward Snowden, are branded enemies of the state and are ruthlessly persecuted.”
Sadly, everything Dr. Roberts stated above is absolutely true.
Many previous administrations most certainly pushed the envelope of federal usurpation of power from time to time, but the administrations of G.W. Bush and Barack Obama have (and are) literally taken America to the very precipice of a police state. With the advent of the Patriot Act, the Department of Homeland Security, the Military Commissions Act, the NDAA, USNORTHCOM, etc., all of the laws and military apparatus which would be necessary to enact a police state within the continental United States are in place.
Plus, grassroots Americans throughout the country are abuzz with both rumors and truthful eyewitness testimony to the strange movement of military supplies and personnel and the construction of large, unmarked and undeclared facilities. All over America, large containment-looking facilities are being built. Most of these structures are large, fenced (with the fences designed to keep people IN not OUT), in rural areas, near train tracks, and are completely unmarked and inaccessible.
Granted, for every substantiated fact there seems to be a dozen meritless rumors out there. I will absolutely give you that. But, there are simply too many reports by extremely credible eyewitnesses (including military and police personnel) to simply ignore as mere conspiracy theories. Concerned federal agents (yes, MANY federal agents love freedom and the Constitution just as much as we do) continue to leak information regarding unusual training, equipment purchases, procedural instructions, etc., to their fellow citizens.
Could some of this strange and unconfirmed information be government propaganda and disinformation designed to embarrass and marginalize patriot-minded citizens? Absolutely. But the old adage is still true, “Where there is smoke, there is fire.” And right now, this is a HUGE amount of smoke.
Paul Craig Roberts has spent a lifetime in the upper echelons of economics, journalism, and politics. His assertion that Washington, D.C., is awash in “criminality” cannot be taken lightly.