Friendly Fascism - or Full Strength?
sneaky steps toward the final solution against liberties
say it in German: Fuehrer
"The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it's profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, pull back the curtains, and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater."
-- Frank Zappa
Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a few hours before the Supreme Court's 2001-2002 session, said that Americans are "likely to experience more restrictions on our personal freedom than has ever been the case in our country."
"I did not like fascists when I fought them as a diplomat for 23 years and I don't like them now in my own country."
retired American diplomat Joe Wilson (smeared by the Bush gang)
see interview at www.dailykos.com/story/2005/2/9/94615/61143
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither"
-- Benjamin Franklin
|Fasces in the US House of Representatives|
-- close up -->
Roman "Fasces" on the wall behind the
US House of Representatives chamber, United States Capitol
The "Fasces" was a symbol of imperial power
in ancient Rome.
A bundle of sticks bound together, it represented the "many bound together as one."
"Fasces" is the root where the term "fascism" comes from.
"Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most
to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other.
War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes. And armies,
and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under
the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the
Executive is extended. Its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and
emoluments is multiplied; and all the means of seducing the minds, are
added to those of subduing the force of the people. The same malignant
aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and
the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war...and in the
degeneracy of manners and morals, engendered by both. No nation
could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare."
-- James Madison, April 20, 1795
"A clique of U.S. industrialists is hell-bent to bring a fascist
state to supplant our democratic government and is working closely with
the fascist regime in Germany and Italy. I have had plenty of opportunity
in my post in Berlin to witness how close some of our American
ruling families are to the Nazi regime. They extended aid to help
Fascism occupy the seat of power, and they are helping to keep it there."
-- William E. Dodd, U.S. Ambassador to Germany, 1937
No one knows the Bush extremists better than Ray McGovern, a former senior CIA officer and personal friend of George Bush senior, the President's father. In Breaking The Silence, he tells me: "They were referred to in the circles in which I moved when I was briefing at the top policy levels as 'the crazies'."
"Who referred to them as 'the crazies'?" I asked.
"All of us... in policy circles as well as intelligence circles... There is plenty of documented evidence that they have been planning these attacks for a long time and that 9/11 accelerated their plan. (The weapons of mass destruction issue) was all contrived, so was the connection of Iraq with al Qaeda. It was all PR... Josef Goebbels had this dictum: If you say something often enough, the people will believe it." He added: "I think we ought to be all worried about fascism (in the United States).
Creeping Fascism: History's Lessons
By Ray McGovern, 2007-12-28
"There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater. ... Perhaps the only comparably odd thing is the way that now, years later...."
CLUES THAT YOUR COUNTRY MAY BE TURNING INTO A FASCIST STATE
also archived at www.oilempire.us/reichstag-fire.html
Jim Garrison, New Orleans District Attorney (subject of Oliver Stone's film JFK)
"fascism will come to America in the name of national security."
"Fascism should more properly
be called corporatism,
since it is the merger of state and corporate power."
- attributed to Benito Mussolini
(researcher Chip Berlet claims Mussolini never said this
but it is accurate whether the dictator said this or not)
Published on Monday, August 28, 2006 by CommonDreams.org
Reclaiming The Issues: Islamic Or Republican Fascism?
by Thom Hartmann
In the years since George W. Bush first used 9/11 as his own "Reichstag fire" to gut the Constitution and enhance the power and wealth of his corporate cronies, many across the political spectrum have accused him and his Republican support group of being fascists. ....
It was actually Italian philosopher Giovanni Gentile who wrote the entry in the Encyclopedia Italiana that said: "Fascism should more appropriately be called corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." Mussolini, however, affixed his name to the entry, and claimed credit for it.
The 14 Defining Characteristics Of Fascism
By Dr. Lawrence Britt
Free Inquiry Magazine / Spring 2003
Laurence W. Britt
The following article is from Free Inquiry magazine, Volume 23, Number 2.
Free Inquiry readers may pause to read the “Affirmations of Humanism: A Statement of Principles” on the inside cover of the magazine. To a secular humanist, these principles seem so logical, so right, so crucial. Yet, there is one archetypal political philosophy that is anathema to almost all of these principles. It is fascism. And fascism’s principles are wafting in the air today, surreptitiously masquerading as something else, challenging everything we stand for. The cliché that people and nations learn from history is not only overused, but also overestimated; often we fail to learn from history, or draw the wrong conclusions. Sadly, historical amnesia is the norm.
We are two-and-a-half generations removed from the horrors of Nazi Germany, although constant reminders jog the consciousness. German and Italian fascism form the historical models that define this twisted political worldview. Although they no longer exist, this worldview and the characteristics of these models have been imitated by protofascist1 regimes at various times in the twentieth century. Both the original German and Italian models and the later protofascist regimes show remarkably similar characteristics. Although many scholars question any direct connection among these regimes, few can dispute their visual similarities.
Beyond the visual, even a cursory study of these fascist and protofascist regimes reveals the absolutely striking convergence of their modus operandi. This, of course, is not a revelation to the informed political observer, but it is sometimes useful in the interests of perspective to restate obvious facts and in so doing shed needed light on current circumstances.
For the purpose of this perspective, I will consider the following regimes: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy, Franco’s Spain, Salazar’s Portugal, Papadopoulos’s Greece, Pinochet’s Chile, and Suharto’s Indonesia. To be sure, they constitute a mixed bag of national identities, cultures, developmental levels, and history. But they all followed the fascist or protofascist model in obtaining, expanding, and maintaining power. Further, all these regimes have been overthrown, so a more or less complete picture of their basic characteristics and abuses is possible.
Analysis of these seven regimes reveals fourteen common threads that link them in recognizable patterns of national behavior and abuse of power. These basic characteristics are more prevalent and intense in some regimes than in others, but they all share at least some level of similarity.
1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.
2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice—relentless propaganda and disinformation—were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.
4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.
5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.
6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and protofascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.
9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.
10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.
13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.
14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite.
Does any of this ring alarm bells? Of course not. After all, this is America, officially a democracy with the rule of law, a constitution, a free press, honest elections, and a well-informed public constantly being put on guard against evils. Historical comparisons like these are just exercises in verbal gymnastics. Maybe, maybe not.
1. Defined as a “political movement or regime tending toward or imitating Fascism”—Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary.
Andrews, Kevin. Greece in the Dark. Amsterdam: Hakkert, 1980.
Chabod, Frederico. A History of Italian Fascism. London: Weidenfeld, 1963.
Cooper, Marc. Pinochet and Me. New York: Verso, 2001.
Cornwell, John. Hitler as Pope. New York: Viking, 1999.
de Figuerio, Antonio. Portugal—Fifty Years of Dictatorship. New York: Holmes & Meier, 1976.
Eatwell, Roger. Fascism, A History. New York: Penguin, 1995.
Fest, Joachim C. The Face of the Third Reich. New York: Pantheon, 1970.
Gallo, Max. Mussolini’s Italy. New York: MacMillan, 1973.
Kershaw, Ian. Hitler (two volumes). New York: Norton, 1999.
Laqueur, Walter. Fascism, Past, Present, and Future. New York: Oxford, 1996.
Papandreau, Andreas. Democracy at Gunpoint. New York: Penguin Books, 1971.
Phillips, Peter. Censored 2001: 25 Years of Censored News. New York: Seven Stories. 2001.
Sharp, M.E. Indonesia Beyond Suharto. Armonk, 1999.
Verdugo, Patricia. Chile, Pinochet, and the Caravan of Death. Coral Gables, Florida: North-South Center Press, 2001.
Yglesias, Jose. The Franco Years. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1977.
Laurence Britt’s novel, June, 2004, depicts a future America dominated by right-wing extremists.
On the road to Fascism
United States is taking on all the defining characteristics
Durango Herald -October 5, 2003
We believe that the United States of America is drifting towards its own version of fascism.
Fascism, whatever its particular national characteristics, is inherently a destruction of the "old order" of a country its laws, its culture, its internal politics and its international relations. Fascists govern within existing systems until parallel systems are in place. Once those systems are in position, the evolution from national populism to fascism is unstoppable. Fascist states are internally destructive. When they become externally destructive, they are destroyed from outside.
Characteristics of fascist states include:
Fascist countries project that they are in a permanent or long-term state of war. (Example: We are in an endless war on terrorism.) Fascist countries invade other countries without provocation. (Example: pre-emptive war against Iraq.) We tried the Germans at Nuremberg for exactly this offense.
As Supreme Court Justice Robert L. Jackson, the chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg Tribunal, said on Aug. 12, 1945: "We must make clear to the Germans that the wrong for which their fallen leaders are on trial is not that they lost the war, but that they started it. ... Our position is that no grievances or policies will justify resort to aggressive war. It is utterly renounced and condemned as an instrument of policy."
Fascist countries violate their own treaties and international law. (Example: violation of the United Nations Charter by waging war against Iraq without UN approval.) Fascist countries lie to the general population, instilling fear and hysteria against mythological enemies, so they can go to war at will. (Examples: The 9-11 tragedy was used to generate hysteria through a massive government propaganda campaign based upon lies about Iraq; intimidation by color-coded terror warnings and provisions of the USA Patriot Act.)
Fascism is characterized by single-party rule, the destruction or transformation of the two-party system. (Examples: Colorado Gov. Bill Owens abolished the Colorado 2004 primary election; illegal attempts at redistricting driven by the White House; monetary corruption of the system resulting in voter apathy.)
Fascist governments demand unquestioning support otherwise you are a traitor. (Example: President Bush's statement, "You are either with us or against us.")
Fascist governments project an ideology that they are "right." (Example: President Bush, "I am right and I know I am right and history will prove me right.")
Fascist countries consolidate media control for propaganda purposes. (Example: Federal Communications Commission and corporate attempts at consolidation of the media.)
Fascism is characterized by legal parallelism. Fascist states create shadow agencies, shadow courts, separate prisons, thus destroying guaranteed constitutional rights. (Examples: Destruction of the guarantee of right to trial by jury; holding U.S. citizens without charge, without access to legal counsel and without the right to court appearance; intimidation of the judiciary by threats of blacklisting; intimidation of lawyers; degrading attorney-client privileges.)
Fascism is characterized by using torture, concentration camps and having major prison populations. (Examples: Guantanamo concentration camp; the FBI's description of how it "breaks" suspects with heat, cold, sound and sleep deprivation. The United States has the highest percentage of citizenry in prisons of any country in the world.)
Fascism is characterized by parallelism between the state and corporations. (Examples: Government and corporate overlap in certain industries oil, energy, military contractors and the media; massive corporate donations to both parties to assure connivance.)
Fascism, U.S. version, is characterized by the privatization of public services and the sell-off of public entities and resources for the benefit of the party faithful rather than the public at large. (Examples: Private profiteering on public services such as prisons, water, sewer, forest use, oil and gas; current order for appraisal of all post office buildings for contemplated sale.)
Fascism incorporates racism and attacks on the nondominant religion. (Examples: Imprisoning disproportionately one race for using a drug of choice other than that used by the dominant majority; Muslim profiling and harassment; denial of franchise to blacks under false pretenses in the Florida election.)
Fascism promotes conservative views of arts, literature, family culture, family planning and morals. (Examples: attacks on and decreased funding for National Public Radio, the Public Broadcasting System, the National Endowment for the Arts, any institution promoting family planning; school vouchers as the beginning of class-based private education and the destruction of the public education system; passing financial responsibility for Head Start to states that are near bankruptcy.)
Fascism takes religious symbolism and transfers the emotional and moral appeal to state symbols. (Examples: Aggressive and ostentatious God Bless America signs; the attempt to make the Pledge of Allegiance mandatory in Colorado schools; ostentatious flag waving and display; destruction of constitutional separation of church and state.)
We believe that the American tradition is in great peril.
Christine Eleanor Anderson, of Vallecito, is a businesswoman and a former law professor. Ross A. Worley is retired from Fort Lewis College. He lives in Durango. This was also signed by Jennifer Gehrman and Mark Seis, of Bayfield, and Greg Rossell, Charles Swift and Mary Lou Swift, of Durango.
|the appearance of legality|
Remarks by Senator Byrd
Delivered on March 1, 2005
Stopping a Strike at the Heart of the Senate
witness how men with motives and a majority can manipulate law to cruel and unjust ends. Historian Alan Bullock writes that Hitler's dictatorship rested on the constitutional foundation of a single law, the Enabling Law. Hitler needed a two-thirds vote to pass that law, and he cajoled his opposition in the Reichstag to support it. Bullock writes that "Hitler was prepared to promise anything to get his bill through, with the appearances of legality preserved intact." And he succeeded.
Hitler's originality lay in his realization that effective revolutions, in modern conditions, are carried out with, and not against, the power of the State: the correct order of events was first to secure access to that power and then begin his revolution. Hitler never abandoned the cloak of legality; he recognized the enormous psychological value of having the law on his side. Instead, he turned the law inside out and made illegality legal.
March 7, 2005
Columbus Free Press / Ohio
Senator Byrd is Correct to Equate Bush With Hitler
by Harvey Wasserman
The U.S. Senate's senior Constitutional scholar has correctly equated Bush with Hitler, and the usual attack dogs are howling. But they are wrong, and Americans must now face the harsh realities of an increasingly fascist and totalitarian GOP.
Octogenarian Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia made the equation in the context of Bush's attack on Senate procedures which might slow or halt his on-going attempt to pack the courts with extreme right-wing fanatics. Byrd said Bush's moves to destroy time-honored Senate rules parallel Hitler's ramming fascist legislation through his gutted Reichstag. ....
While Bush advocates for "democracy" overseas, the GOP is crushing it at home. These judicial nominees mean to further solidify Republican control of the court system, which they have added to their grip on the Executive, both houses of Congress and the media. The GOP is also gutting safeguards within the FBI and CIA, turning them into a personal police force that could parallel Hitler's Gestapo.
Because the regime wraps itself in the rhetoric of our democratic roots, it's emotionally difficult for Americans to equate Bush with Hitler. He is not, after all, running death camps like the ones Hitler used to exterminate millions of Jews, Gypsies, gays, unionists, Jehovah Witnesses, the elderly and infirm, birth defected and handicapped. But the distinction may be lost on the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died in the wholesale slaughter there, and whose land has been carpeted with radioactive depleted uranium which will kill for centuries.
Bush is now operating a classic concentration camp in Guantanamo. This infamous holding center operates entirely outside the rule of law, with prisoners held without charge, without evidence, without access to attorneys, family or the outside world. ....
Both Mussolini's Fascist's and Hitler's Nazis used acts of terror and alleged terror to grab absolute power. Ranting at Bolshevism as the GOP now does against Islam, the Nazis used the burning of the Reichstag much as the GOP has capitalized on the terror attacks of September 11. ....
Like Hitler, Bush believes he talks to and for God. He has said at least twice in public that he does not oppose dictatorship as long as he can be the dictator. His family has long, well-documented financial and political ties to the Nazi regime, as well as to Osama bin Laden and a long list of oil-rich Islamic fundamentalists.
Senator Byrd's invocation of the Nazis to describe the Bush regime may be considered impolitic. But it's folly to avoid the important parallels.
By all accounts American democracy is hanging by a thin thread which Bush/Rove is laboring mightily to cut.
Sen. Robert Byrd is a conservative, uniquely learned man. When he equates Bush with Hitler, he speaks with great sadness and scholarship -- and must be heeded.
"What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believe that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security.
"The crises and reforms (real reforms too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.
"To live in the process is absolutely not to notice it -- please try to believe me -- unless one has a much greater degree of political awareness, acuity, than most of us ever had occasion to develop. Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, 'regretted.'
"Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next, and the next. You wait for one shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join you in resisting somehow.
"Suddenly it all comes down, all at once. You see what you are, what you have done, or, more accurately, what you haven't done (for that was all that was required of most of us: that we did nothing) ... You remember everything now, and your heart breaks. Too late. You are compromised beyond repair."
[An anonymous German college professor describing the coming of fascism. From 'They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1939-1945', by Milton Mayer, a stunning and chilling account of ordinary people in extraordinary times.]
"No truly sophisticated proponent of repression would be stupid enough to shatter the facade of democratic institutions.":
Murray B. Levin, Political Hysteria in America, 1971
The Unveiling of the National Security State (7/14/2004)
The Unveiling of the National Security State
by Richard M. Dolan
copyright ©2004 by Richard M. Dolan. All rights reserved.
All things change, including our time-honored system of government. We have entered into a new era, marked by the existence of an omnipresent state, controlled by the very few, bound by no law but its own. Welcome to the New World Order. A new American order is in place. Better get used to it. Or else.
Five centuries ago, Niccolo Machiavelli explained how to undertake a revolution from above without most people even noticing. In his Discourses on Livy, he wrote that one "must at least retain the semblance of the old forms; so that it may seem to the people that there has been no change in the institutions, even though in fact they are entirely different from the old ones."
That is, keep the old government structures, even while you make profound changes to the actual system, because the appearances are all that most people will notice.
So today, instead of seeing the corpse of a republic in which we live, we see merely the dead man’s clothing. Those clothes look the same as ever, albeit increasingly worn. We have had a quiet revolution that has not eliminated our Congressional representatives – it’s simply made them largely irrelevant.
It’s been a long journey to our current state of affairs. Not surprisingly, wars have been a major catalyst. Most wars fought by the United States have added power to the executive branch, while whittling power away from the legislature. This includes wars fought for high-minded purposes such as the Civil War and World War Two, mindless bloodbaths like World War One, and the dozens of undeclared wars over the past half-century.
I would select World War Two -- and its immediate aftermath -- as the real turning point when the American Dream went awry. This is ironic, since it was at that moment when America first sat atop the world at the pinnacle of power.
And therein lies the problem. For this was when the American republic began its transformation into a national security state. Or, to put it another way, into an Empire. ...
Slaying The Beast Before The Election Is Canceled, February
From the Streets of Little Beirut By Glen Yeadon http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/02/279760.shtml
There are three unmistakable characteristics of a police state. The federal or state police serve the interest of the government rather than the interest of the people. The police enforce the policies of the government instead of the responding primarily to criminal behavior. Finally, the police spy on private citizens. All these conditions exist today in the United States.
Lies and the Twilight Zone
Submitted by bob fertik on Tue, 2005-12-20 23:42.
Impeachment in the News
Dick Bell, Democracy Cell Project
Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas was one of the greatest defenders of freedom in America in the 20th century. Douglas is the author of a beautiful but frightening metaphor about the subtleness with which our freedoms can slip away:
“As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances there is a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such a twilight that we must be aware of the change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”
President Bush long ago took us into the twilight. But too many of us were blind to the dying of the light. We did not rage when the President asserted in the Padillo case that as commander in chief, he was not bound to observe the Constitution. In the deepening twilight, unconstitutional abuses of someone like Padillo remain in the shadows, of concern only to a few who can still see where such assertions of unbridled power inevitably lead.
But now the President has stuck his sticky fingers into the lives of every single American with access to a phone or email. The revelation of the NSA’s secret spying has created more than a slight “change in the air.”
Far more people now see the darkness that lies at the end of Bush’s tunnel, and they are afraid. Oppression is no longer far away in some secret CIA torture chamber; oppression is at our ear, every time we pick up a phone; oppression is at our fingertips, every time we launch an email into the now NSA-surveilled void.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the conclusion that conservatives, subtly but unmistakably, are fomenting violence against liberals for the 2004 election. And if they succeed in doing so, America will be facing what has always been considered unthinkable here: a serious manifestation of fascism.
... I concluded previously that it seemed likely that any manifestation of fascism was some ways off, perhaps as long as a generation, if these trends were left unchecked. Now it appears that the timetable is moving much faster than that -- and countervailing forces are so far slow in coalescing, in no small part because of the utter, Stalinist ruthlessness of their opponents.
Rush, Newspeak and Fascism: An exegesis
by David Neiwert
POSTED AUGUST 30, 2003 --
(note - that website has bits of true material but it is NOT reliable for accuracy)
Juan Bosch: His Prophecy of a Fascist America
A long time ago, I remember reading a disturbing magazine article that was written by Juan Bosch. He was the former president of the Dominican Republic ...
Bosch, like any true son of a nation, stood with his people against the grasping Oligarchs. He favored modest land reform in his poverty-stricken country. That proved a little too much for the fat cat sugar plantation owners and the ambitious army generals. He was ousted after only seven months in office, in 1963, in a CIA-assisted military coup. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson sent in 20,000 Marines, on the pretext that the Dominican Republic might go communist. He feared it was another Cuba in the making. Sure, LBJ! Bosch died in 2001.
Anyway, getting back to Bosch's commentary. He had predicted that America would one day look like a U.S. occupied Dominican Republic! His point was, and I'm sorry I can't remember his exact words, that America would be corrupted by its underhanded role in replacing his and other governments around the globe. He saw a time when the U.S. would have its soldiers patrolling its own cities, airports, railroad stations, ports, public buildings and its capital. And, also that its citizens' liberties would be unduly restricted by the federal government that had lost its moral compass. Sadly, that time is coming fast!
GUNS, DRUGS, AND OIL: 9-11 AND US-LED GLOBAL FASCISM
By Ed Rippy
Wake Up and Smell the Swastikas!
By Ed Rippy
[Note: most of the historical background is documented on my “9-11 and US-led Global Neofascism” (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RIP308A.html) and “War Is Still A Racket” (http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/RIP308B.html). To save space, I have omitted those footnotes here.]
According to the best information I have been able to find, we are in much more trouble than most of us realize. The biological, ideological, and corporate descendants of the people who ran Hitler & Mussolini are now running much of this country, much of South America, much of the Middle East, and parts of Central Asia. We are in serious danger of a neofascist police state that will make Nazi Germany look like a picnic, and we need to take this as seriously as if our lives and our children’s lived depended on it – because they do. We are as expendable to these people as the Jews, the Poles, the Gypsies, and the homosexuals were to the Third Reich. Today we face unemployment, homelessness, the prison-industrial complex, a drug war which is really a war on us, and biological warfare attacks from our own government. The terrorist attacks of 9/11/01 serve the same function as the Reichstag fire which enabled the Nazis to take over Germany.
Prescott Bush, our President’s grandfather, handled banking arrangements for a host of US industrialists who supplied Hitler with money, war materiel, and political cover. Bush owned part of the Silesian-American Steel company, which used slave labor in Poland to make steel for the tanks and airplanes which killed and wounded many of our fathers, grandfathers, and uncles. He also had a piece of the Hamburg-Amerika Steamship line, which gave Nazi propagandists free passage to the US and had supervisors from the Nazi Labor Front on all its ships. Henry Ford, Standard Oil of New Jersey, and ITT built up Hitler’s war machine, some of them racking up huge profits from slave labor, and often supplying both sides. The list goes on. Some of these fascists, seeing Roosevelt as a Communist, plotted a coup against him – he found out and it fizzled – but they were so powerful that he couldn’t have a single one of them arrested, even though a Congressional report found that the plot was real. The report was hushed up.
After the war, using the military and intelligence services, US fascists rescued many of the Nazi leaders and their industrial assets (of course other countries got some too), using the Morgan Bank among others. The Dulles brothers, who became head of the CIA and Secretary of State, managed much of this while the Justice Department stood by helpless.
Hitler’s entire eastern spy network went to work for the US after the war. Klaus Barbie, a brutal Gestapo chief, set up the School of the Americas in the Panama Canal Zone (now the Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Co-operation at Fort Benning, GA) as a co-ordinating center for the recycled Nazis of South America. In 1980 his troops, wearing Swastika armbands, carried out a bloody coup in Bolivia. Otto Skorzeny, “Hitler’s favorite commando,” went to the Middle East, where he built up a network of over 100 former SS officers. Dr. Kurt Blome, a Nazi biological warfare scientist who experimented on concentration camp prisoners, went to the US Army Chemical Corps. Walter Dornberger, a general who worked concentration camp slaves literally to death in the Reich’s rocket program, became a senior vice-president of the Bell Aerospace Division of Textron Corporation.
The South American Neonazi network has killed, tortured, and disappeared tens of thousands of people, and US clients around the globe are little different. Argentinean death squads tortured victims under pictures of Adolf Hitler. In the ‘60s and ‘70s military intelligence gave money, tear-gas bombs, Mace, and electronic surveillance equipment to thugs in Chicago for use against local anti-war groups.
Sixteen states have passed laws allowing forced vaccination or quarantine in case of biological emergency. Eleven allow confiscation of buildings and property. Seventeen grant immunity from prosecution to state and private actors for these deeds. Remember, the anthrax in the mailings after 9-11 was processed in US Government labs, and a former biowarfare director said the attacks were a good thing since they got more money for the budget.
Police in Oakland routinely beat up and even kill poor people, usually of color, with impunity. At last report, there is still no evidence that protesters at the Oakland docks on April 7 threw anything at police, but the police shot them with “less-than-lethal” weapons and ran into them with motorcycles. They targeted dockworkers as well as protesters, dragged an ILWU business agent from his car, roughed him up, and held him for eighteen hours. Witnesses report that police had covered or removed their badges. Port management and Stevedoring Services of America, which has contracts in the Persian Gulf, met with police three days before the protests.
The “PATRIOT” Act —written long before 9-11 — allows the government to lock non-citizens up forever with no hearing or evidence if the Secretary of State “suspects” them of terrorists links. A new law in the works will allow the government to strip people of their citizenship for joining or providing “material support” to a group which the Attorney General has designated “terrorist.” The FBI, with the aid of local police departments, is collecting intelligence on antiwar groups as part of its “counterterrorism” program. Gen. Tommy Franks, retired “liberator” of Iraq, says that another terrorist attack on the US would probably lead to a military government. The Department of Homeland Security said in late November 2003 that it expects al-Qaeda to attack soon.
At the FTAA protests in Miami, police shot, gassed, beat, and arrested protesters without provocation, injuring over 100 and sending at least 12 to the hospital. Although the police knew the charges wouldn’t stick, they arrested over 250 in order to beat and torture them for daring to voice disagreement with government policy. One eyewitness relates, “[O]ver at the jail vigil a few blocks away the police declare an illegal assembly. They tell people to get on the sidewalk and they'll be safe. Then they surround the group on the sidewalk, beat people to the ground, kneel on their spines and arrest them…. [A] friend comes up and tells me that Abby and her friends have been badly beaten up, jumped by cops on their way home to their hotel, her sweet, lovely face pushed into the pavement. ‘We could kill you here,’ the cops tell them.”
The Soldiers At My Front Door
by John Dear
Saturday, November 29, 2003 CommonDreams.org
I live in a tiny, remote, impoverished, three block long town in the desert of northeastern New Mexico. Everyone in town--and the whole state--knows that I am against the occupation of Iraq, that I have called for the closing of Los Alamos, and that as a priest, I have been preaching, like the Pope, against the bombing of Baghdad.
Last week, it was announced that the local National Guard unit for northeastern New Mexico, based in the nearby Armory, was being deployed to Iraq early next year. I was not surprised when yellow ribbons immediately sprang up after the press conference.
But I was surprised the following morning to hear 75 soldiers singing, shouting and screaming as they jogged down Main Street, passed our St. Joseph's church, back and forth around town for an hour. It was 6 a.m., and they woke me up with their war slogans, chants like "Kill! Kill! Kill!" and "Swing your guns from left to right; we can kill those guys all night."
Their chants were disturbing, but this is war. They have to psyche themselves up for the kill. They have to believe that flying off to some tiny, remote desert town in Iraq where they will march in front of someone's house and kill poor young Iraqis has some greater meaning besides cold-blooded murder. Most of these young reservists have never left our town, and they need our support for the "unpleasant" task before them. I have been to Iraq, and led a delegation of Nobel Peace Prize winners to Baghdad in 1999, and I know that the people there are no different than the people here.
The screaming and chanting went on for one hour. They would march passed the church, down Main Street, back around the post office, and down Main Street again. It was clear they wanted to be seen and heard. In fact, it was quite scary because the desert is normally a place of perfect peace and silence.
Suddenly, at 7 a.m., the shouting got dramatically louder. I looked out the front window of the house where I live, next door to the church, and there they were--all 75 of them, standing yards away from my front door, in the street right in front of my house and our church, shouting and screaming to the top of their lungs, "Kill! Kill! Kill!" Their commanders had planted them there and were egging them on.
I was astonished and appalled. I suddenly realized that I do not need to go to Iraq; the war had come to my front door. Later, I heard that they had deliberately decided to do their exercises in front of my house and our church because of my outspoken opposition to the war. They wanted to put me in my place.
This, I think, is a new tactic. Over the years, I have been arrested some 75 times in demonstrations, been imprisoned for a "Plowshares" disarmament action, been bugged, tapped, and harassed, searched at airports, and monitored by police. But this time, the soldiers who will soon march through Baghdad and attack desert homes in Iraq, practiced on me. They confronted me personally, just as the death squad militaries did in Guatemala and El Salvador in the 1980s, which I witnessed there on several occasions.
I decided I had to do something. I put on my winter coat and walked out the front door right into the middle of the street. They stopped shouting and looked at me, so I said loudly, publicly for all to hear, "In the name of God, I order all of you to stop this nonsense, and not to go to Iraq. I want all of you to quit the military, disobey your orders to kill, and not to kill anyone. I do not want you to get killed. I want you to practice the love and nonviolence of Jesus. God does not bless war. God does not want you to kill so Bush and Cheney can get more oil. God does not support war. Stop all this and go home. God bless you."
Their jaws dropped, their eyeballs popped and they stood in shock and silence, looking steadily at me. Then they burst out laughing. Finally, the commander dismissed them and they left.
Later, military officials spread lies around town that I had disrupted their military exercises at the Armory, so they decided to come to my house and to the church in retaliation. Others appealed to the archbishop to have me kicked out of New Mexico for denouncing their warmaking. Then, a general called the mayor and asked him to mediate "negotiations" with me, saying he did not want the military "in confrontation" with the church. Really, the mayor told me, they fear that I will disrupt the gala send-off next month, just before Christmas, when the soldiers go to Iraq.
This dramatic episode is only the latest in a series of confrontations since I came to the desert of New Mexico in the summer of 2002 to serve as pastor of several poor, desert churches. I have spoken out extensively against the U.S. war on Iraq, and been denounced by people, including church people, across the state. I have organized small Christian peace groups throughout the state. We planned a prayer vigil for nuclear disarmament at Los Alamos on the anniversary of Hiroshima this past August, but when the devout people of Los Alamos, most of them Catholic, heard about it, they appealed to the archbishop to have me expelled if I appeared publicly in their town. In the end, I did not attend the vigil, but the publicity gave me further opportunities to call for the closing of Los Alamos. I receive hate mail, negative phone calls and at least one death threat for daring to criticize our country. But New Mexico is the poorest state in the U.S. It is also number one in military spending and number one in nuclear weapons. It is the most militarized, the most in need of disarmament, the most in need of nonviolence. It is the first place the Pentagon goes to recruit poor youth into the empire's army.
If we are to change the direction of our country, and turn people against Bush's occupation of Iraq, we are going to have to face the ire and persecution of our local communities. If peace people in every local community insisted that our troops be brought home immediately, that the U.N. be sent in to restore Iraq, that all U.S. military aid to the Middle East be cut, and that our arsenal of weapons of mass destruction be dismantled, then we might all find soldiers marching at our front doors, trying to intimidate us. If we can face our soldiers, call them to quit the military and urge them to disobey orders to kill, then perhaps some of them will refuse to fight, become conscientious objectors and take up the wisdom of nonviolence. If we can look them in the eye and engage them in personal Satyagraha as Gandhi demonstrated, then we know that the transformation has begun.
In the end, the episode for me was an experience of hope. We must be making a difference if the soldiers have to march at our front doors. That they failed to convert me or intimidate me, that they had to listen to my side of the story, may haunt their consciences as they travel to Iraq. No matter what happens, they have heard loud and clear the good news that God does not want them to kill anyone. I hope we can all learn the lesson.
John Dear is a Catholic priest, peace activist, lecturer, and former executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation. His latest books include "Mohandas Gandhi" (Orbis) and "Mary of Nazareth, Prophet of Peace" (Ave Maria Press). For info, see http://www.johndear.org
Civics class: 2003
Teaching kids to live in a police state
Unknown News, Nov. 21, 2003
Cops plan mock commando games for school lockdown drills
by Mike Conway, Modesto [CA] Bee
Nov. 19, 2003
LIVINGSTON, Ca. — Lockdown drills come three or four times a year at Livingston High School.The one set for Thursday will be more real than any other.
Officials said someone will open fire and try to break into classrooms as police close in. The guns will be real — and loaded with blanks.
Thursday morning, students and faculty again will be reminded that the exercise is only a drill.
But Police Chief Bill Eldridge said he has a few surprises that he will not disclose.
School administrators and police said their intent is not to cause undue alarm. Officials mailed notices to all students' homes, and alerted nearby residents and other schools.
"We do lockdown drills regularly," Principal Robert Wendel said. "We feel the need to take it one step further, so the police can see how things work on campus and how to move about." There's not enough hours in the school year for our children to learn about the relationship between their needs & desires and those of the authorities. I wonder who in the Senior Class will be voted "Most Likely to Be the 1st One Killed in Any Hostage Situation"?
Kathleen Luxon has a daughter, Julie, who is a senior at Livingston High. "I think it's a good thing," Luxon said of the drill. "I think the kids always need to be prepared on how to handle a situation if it happens."
She said having the lockdown is no different than a fire drill or "duck and cover" exercises meant to show children how to protect themselves in earthquakes and nuclear attacks.Police "I feel that Livingston is a very safe school," Luxon said. "We would hate for something like this to happen and not be prepared for it."
Chief Bill Eldridge said: "We're not doing this out of fear or paranoia. After Columbine, we can no longer say, it won't happen to us."
In April 1999, at Columbine High in Littleton, Colo., two students killed 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves. While the killing went on, police waited outside the school for Special Weapons and Tactics officers.
"We're changing our whole mode of thinking about how we would get on the school grounds," Eldridge said.
"The old philosophy was to respond and contain, and call in the tactical units," he said. "We can no longer stand back and wait. We, as street officers, have to get on the school grounds very quickly to prevent other students and staff from being injured."
In a real-life situation, a mutual aid call would be placed and sheriff's deputies and other available law enforcement personnel would be called to the scene. But Livingston police would still be the first responders.
"I don't think we do enough hands-on training of these scenarios to make our personnel and the school personnel feel comfortable," he said.
Eventually, Eldridge said, he wants to have a full-scale drill with firefighters, paramedics and neighboring law enforcement.
"That one would include a controlled evacuation of the school," he said.
Since 1999, the school has had a response plan and practices it regularly, Livingston High's Wendel said. A critique follows each drill.
Thursday morning, students and faculty again will be reminded that the exercise is only a drill.
But Eldridge said he has a few surprises that he will not disclose.
"We're going to add to the realism as closely as we can," he said. "There's always that percentage of staff members and students who think these training scenarios are a joke. But they're not. We learned it's not a matter of if, it's when."
Modesto [CA] Bee
Police raid middle school in Vermont
Principal eyes 12-year-old who wears baggy pants
by Peter Freyne, Seven Days [Burlington, VT]
Nov. 19, 2003
Television brings countless frightening images into the living room, but none was more chilling than that of cops with police dogs and guns drawn, terrifying kids in the hallway of a South Carolina High School on November 5.
Students that didn’t line up against the wall fast enough were thrown to the floor and handcuffed.
The principal had called the cops after getting reports of illegal drug activity, specifically marijuana. The massive police drug raid failed, however, to turn up any pot. Not a single seed.
A few days later, when a caller to a Vermont talk show mentioned the Gestapo-style high school drug raid, the host was quick to point out it happened in South Carolina, not Vermont!
But guess what, folks? It has happened here.
Seven Days has learned that school officials and police conducted a drug raid at the Colchester Middle Schoolon November 6, the day after the controversial raid in South Carolina. Lockers were searched, as were individual students. And a German Shepherd sniffed the joint searching for a whiff of illegal marijuana.
According to Principal John Barone, about two ounces of marijuana were found behind a tile in the ceiling of the boys’ bathroom. Three boys were suspended. They were scheduled to appear in executive session before the Colchester School Board Monday night.
After finding the pot, Barone said a sniffer dog named Kilo was brought in to sniff lockers. No additional pot was discovered, said Barone.
The matter was brought to our attention last week by a hard-hat construction laborer on Hospital Hill. The 31-year-old single mom was upset because she believed school officials were picking on her 12-year-old son, a seventh-grader. We’re withholding her identity to protect the privacy of her child, who’s getting quite the education in what it means to have no constitutional rights. Let’s just call her Rosie the Riveter.
According to Rosie, her son was taken to the principal’s office the Monday after the raid and suspended for alleged insubordination. In the process his clothing was thoroughly searched. Then the school nurse, Melissa Goldberg, examined the boy in a locked room, said Rosie. She shined a flashlight in his eyes, nose and mouth and asked if he had “shot, snorted or smoked anything.” When he asked to call his mom, he was told by Assistant Principal Karen Gockley they just wanted “a quick check.”
The boy told Seven Days that he was “frightened” and “didn’t know what was going on.” He also told us the nurse asked if he could pass a urinalysis drug test. He told her he could.
The assistant principal, he said, also told him he ought to stop wearing those baggy clothes. “Ms. Gockley always tells us how it’s not a ghetto school and stuff. She told us, like, to change how we dress.”
In fact, when his mother later called Gockley, she was told she should change the way her son dressed because, “when drugs were found they were often on kids with the baggy-style clothes.”
When she asked what “reasonable suspicion” they had to search her son, Rosie said she was told the boy had been seen with another child who looked to be under the influence of drugs. It turned out, said Rosie, that kid was on prescription drugs for an ear problem.
“I feel he was violated,” said Rosie. “It’s not right to do that to a 12-year-old, especially when he wants his mother. I’d be scared if I was 12.”
No evidence of drugs or drug use was found, but the boy’s two-day suspension stood.
Welcome to middle school in Vermont, folks — the new front line in the totally failed War on Drugs. And you thought kids had constitutional rights? Civil liberties? Think again.
One veteran criminal lawyer put it this way: “In America today there are three places where you have no rights. One is at the border. One is in prison. And the other one is in school.”
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1985 that school officials, not police, may search students without a warrant if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect the search will turn up evidence of a crime or violation of school rules.
Principal Barone told Seven Days he received a “tip” that morning “that there was marijuana being distributed in school.” Based on that intelligence, he searched student lockers and individual students. No pot was found in those searches, he reported.
Mr. Barone then received another tip that led to the discovery of two bags of grass in the boys’ bathroom ceiling.
More students came forward, said Barone. They told him there were more drugs in the school but “they couldn’t elaborate.” At that point, the decision was made to bring in the Colchester Police and Kilo.
Barone said that when Kilo “hit” on a possible drug location, Officer Jeff Fontaine would stand back and let Barone or Gockley conduct the search. No drugs, however, were found as a result of the K-9 unit’s help.
Colchester Middle School has 605 students. It is the largest middle school in Chittenden County. Both Barone and Gockley are in their first year at the school. Previously they worked in Essex Junction.
“When we were hired,” said Barone, “it was made clear to us that student management had been lax.” He said the school board wanted us “to tighten things up.”
Sounds like the kids in Colchester are getting quite a lesson in citizenship, eh?
Published by Seven Days [Burlington, VT]
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