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One Day We’ll All Be Terrorists

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Posted on Dec 28, 2009
AP / Mary Altaffer

The image of Uncle Sam is seen behind shattered glass at the military recruitment center in New York’s Times Square.

By Chris Hedges

Syed Fahad Hashmi can tell you about the dark heart of America. He knows that our First Amendment rights have become a joke, that habeas corpus no longer exists and that we torture, not only in black sites such as those at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan or at Guantánamo Bay, but also at the federal Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in Lower Manhattan. Hashmi is a U.S. citizen of Muslim descent imprisoned on two counts of providing and conspiring to provide material support and two counts of making and conspiring to make a contribution of goods or services to al-Qaida. As his case prepares for trial, his plight illustrates that the gravest threat we face is not from Islamic extremists, but the codification of draconian procedures that deny Americans basic civil liberties and due process. Hashmi would be a better person to tell you this, but he is not allowed to speak.

This corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans. In the coming turmoil and economic collapse, it will be used to silence all who are branded as disruptive or subversive. Hashmi endures what many others, who are not Muslim, will endure later. Radical activists in the environmental, globalization, anti-nuclear, sustainable agriculture and anarchist movements—who are already being placed by the state in special detention facilities with Muslims charged with terrorism—have discovered that his fate is their fate. Courageous groups have organized protests, including vigils outside the Manhattan detention facility. They can be found at www.educatorsforcivilliberties.org or www.freefahad.com. On Martin Luther King Day,  this Jan. 18 at 6 p.m. EST, protesters will hold a large vigil in front of the MCC on 150 Park Row in Lower Manhattan to call for a return of our constitutional rights. Join them if you can.

The case against Hashmi, like most of the terrorist cases launched by the Bush administration, is appallingly weak and built on flimsy circumstantial evidence. This may be the reason the state has set up parallel legal and penal codes to railroad those it charges with links to terrorism. If it were a matter of evidence, activists like Hashmi, who is accused of facilitating the delivery of socks to al-Qaida, would probably never be brought to trial.

Hashmi, who if convicted could face up to 70 years in prison, has been held in solitary confinement for more than 2½ years. Special administrative measures, known as SAMs, have been imposed by the attorney general to prevent or severely restrict communication with other prisoners, attorneys, family, the media and people outside the jail. He also is denied access to the news and other reading material. Hashmi is not allowed to attend group prayer. He is subject to 24-hour electronic monitoring and 23-hour lockdown. He must shower and go to the bathroom on camera. He can write one letter a week to a single member of his family, but he cannot use more than three pieces of paper. He has no access to fresh air and must take his one hour of daily recreation in a cage. His “proclivity for violence” is cited as the reason for these measures although he has never been charged or convicted with committing an act of violence.

“My brother was an activist,” Hashmi’s brother, Faisal, told me by phone from his home in Queens. “He spoke out on Muslim issues, especially those dealing with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. His arrest and torture have nothing to do with providing ponchos and socks to al-Qaida, as has been charged, but the manipulation of the law to suppress activists and scare the Muslim American community. My brother is an example. His treatment is meant to show Muslims what will happen to them if they speak about the plight of Muslims. We have lost every single motion to preserve my brother’s humanity and remove the special administrative measures. These measures are designed solely to break the psyche of prisoners and terrorize the Muslim community. These measures exemplify the malice towards Muslims at home and the malice towards the millions of Muslims who are considered as non-humans in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

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The extreme sensory deprivation used on Hashmi is a form of psychological torture, far more effective in breaking and disorienting detainees. It is torture as science. In Germany, the Gestapo broke bones while its successor, the communist East German Stasi, broke souls. We are like the Stasi. We have refined the art of psychological disintegration and drag bewildered suspects into secretive courts when they no longer have the mental and psychological capability to defend themselves.

“Hashmi’s right to a fair trial has been abridged,” said Michael Ratner, the president of the Center for Constitutional Rights. “Much of the evidence in the case has been classified under CIPA, and thus Hashmi has not been allowed to review it. The prosecution only recently turned over a significant portion of evidence to the defense. Hashmi may not communicate with the news media, either directly or through his attorneys. The conditions of his detention have impacted his mental state and ability to participate in his own defense.

“The prosecution’s case against Hashmi, an outspoken activist within the Muslim community, abridges his First Amendment rights and threatens the First Amendment rights of others,” Ratner added. “While Hashmi’s political and religious beliefs, speech and associations are constitutionally protected, the government has been given wide latitude by the court to use them as evidence of his frame of mind and, by extension, intent. The material support charges against him depend on criminalization of association. This could have a chilling effect on the First Amendment rights of others, particularly in activist and Muslim communities.”


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By Dawn Reel, July 10, 2010 at 4:17 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Great column, Chris Hedges, thank you.  It is so true that Syed Fahad Hashmi is a political prisoner and being held for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech.

Also, America has a long history of using solitary confinement to torture political prisoners—and to get them to renounce their principals. Susan Rosenberg, a former political prisoner for 16 years, talks about how she and other political prisoners were constantly told they could be moved out of solitary, and even released altogether, if they would renounce their political beliefs.

Also, another former political prisoner, Laura Whitehorn, was in pre-trial confinement for two years, and this was 15 years ago! These uses of solitary confinement were also to get political prisoners to renounce their beliefs—or go mentally insane from this torture.

This type of imprisonment began in the first prison specifically designed for political prisoners, an underground unit of Lexington Prison (Lexington, Kentucky) called the “High Security Unit.” This was the first experiment of “small group isolation” by the Bureau of Prisons. Fortunately activists, with the help of Amnesty International, were able to shut it down. Unfortunately the Bush administration (and Obama is continuing this legacy) built many more to replace it. Susan Rosenberg’s memoir about Lexington’s High Security Unit comes out in January 2011—learn more at http://www.AnAmericanRadical.com.

p.s. To the anti-Semitic commentators, both Susan, Laura, Alan Rosenberg and a disproportionately high amount of political prisoners were/are Jewish—and faced significant anti-Semitism in prison; there are struggles and segments inside of ALL communities, but so many Jews have suffered this ultimate penalty (short of death) for dissent. Their stories are belittled by your comments.

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By LocalHero, July 1, 2010 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

After reviewing and weighing the dozens of comments that this article generated, the most ignorant comment, by a narrow margin, goes to mandinka. But rollzone wanted it really badly.

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By Night-Gaunt, June 15, 2010 at 9:31 am Link to this comment

We could have a Constitutional convention. A narrow one not a free-for-all, could be done but it would take years. Another is done by the Supreme Court. It depends on if you interpret it as a “living” or a static document. [Remember too that the Constitution was Federalist & would not have passed if it weren’t for the anti-Federalist Bill of Rights.]

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By Henry Pelifian, January 13, 2010 at 11:14 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A very powerful column which clearly shows and proves that for our democracy to be strong must be applied not only when the weather is fair but in the fiercest storms.  Obviously, our elected leaders in our two party monopoly are not strong enough to perpetuate and strengthen our democracy.

As country we have had too many of the wrong people elected to national office, people that the two political parties provided for us to vote for.  This not to say that two or three more political parties with elected representatives would have done better, but the fact is when those elected to office repeatedly fail the country time and again it is truly time for real change.

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By veracity, January 6, 2010 at 7:49 am Link to this comment

In response to DarthMiffy (previous post)
“Will we all be Jews in the end?”

  ...that is an interesting comment - because SO MUCH of the US national security & war-machine apparatus,  which is to say the Dept. of Defense and GESTAPO TORTURE GULAG - are being RUN BY American Jews, and SUPPORTED BY American Jews in Big Business, academia, and in the “Major Media.”
Names like WOLFOWITZ, PERLE, FEITH, WURMSER, Peter Rodman, DOV ZAKHEIM, I. Lewis “Scooter” LIBby, Josh BOLTEN, John BOLTON, Michael MUKASEY, Michael CHERTOFF -
  are ALL PROPONENTS OF, or whitewashers & apologists for, TORTURE,  which is to say America’s EXPANDING and BEYOND CRITICISM GESTAPO TORTURE GULAG.  All the above men are from THE HIGHEST LEVELS of the Bush-Cheney administration & Dept. of Justice or Department of Defense, and their imprint and policies CONTINUE UNABATED under the Robert Rubin/Rahm Emanuel dominated Obama administration.
 
  Scooter Libby alone was VP Cheney’s CHIEF OF STAFF (and concurrently a Senior Advisor to President Bush), which is to say “head ENABLER of Cheney’s CRUSHING of the US Constitution.” 
  Josh Bolten followed Andy Card to be President Bush’s 2nd and final Chief of Staff. 
  Since Don Rumsfeld was already as nutty as a fruitcake when he became Secretary of Defense in 2001,  it was Deputy Secretary of Defense PAUL WOLFOWITZ who was (along with VP Cheney)  RUNNING THE US WARS in Iraq & Afghanistan, including the US Abu Ghraib and Bagram AFB torture gulags.
  Heck, Paul Wolfowitz PERSONALLY INSPECTED the “secret” Military Intel wing of the US run Abu Ghraib prison - the wing from where the cries of tortured victims rang out throughout the rest of the prison - shortly before the infamous Abu Ghraib torture photos were released.
  After building his entire career (as a defense attorney and Harvard Law professor) advocating for DEFENDANT’S RIGHT,  ALAN DERSHOWITZ flip-flopped and became a staunch “war on terra” adovcate of TORTURE, and the “right” of the state to SEIZE ANYONE, at ANY time, from ANYWHERE, with NO judicial or legal oversight!
  The above TORTURE &  DICTATORSHIP “state of emergency” in the “War on terror” supporters, orchestraters, and aplogists (except for Dershowitz) WERE IN THE HIGHEST LEVELS of the Bush Administration & US government! 
  Their like minded “TORTURE & EMERGENCY RULE” supporters in the press & media include former Nixon speechwriter and NY Times columnist WILLIAM SAFIRE (now deceased), and dozens of other Times & Post torture, lies-to-war, and war-on-terror supporters, including Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer, Arthur Sulzberger, Donald Kagan, Judith Miller, Howard Kurtz, and David Brooks.

Even so-called Jewish “moderate” writers such as the Post’s Richard Cohen and the Times Tom Friedman NEVER criticize the US TORTURE APPARATUS. 
  (Dan Froomkin, the rare genuinel “liberal” exception at the Times or Post, was FIRED from the Post in 2009 precisely for criticizing the OBAMA administration’s very Right-Wing, Bush/Cheney-esque TORTURE & WAR-on-TERROR policies.) 
http://www.politico.com/blogs/michaelcalderone/0609/Froomkin_out_at_Washington_Post.html

  THE DIRTY SECRET about America’s vast, ever expanding WAR ON TERROR and DICTATORIAL WAR-POWERS RULES in America, is that they WOULD NOT BE POSSIBLE without the RELENTLESS SUPPORT of the “ISRAEL FIRST” Likudniks and Neo-Cons,  many of whom (Chertoff, Wolfowitz, Emanuel) have DUAL CITIZENSHIP in Israel & US. 
  The Neo-Cons & Likudniks SUPPORTED the THEFT of elections 2000 & 2004,  they WHITEWASHED Cheney’s CRIMINAL DERELICTION OF DUTY leading to 9-11 (treason, actually),  they SUPPORTED, AMPLIFIED, and broadcast LIES-to-WAR, they all support TAX-CUTS FOR RICH in TIME OF WAR,  and they all support the EXPANDING US OF US ARMIES in extended wars of colonial occupation, and an EXPANDING US version of the GESTAPO/kgb TORTURE GULAGS.

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By j r, January 5, 2010 at 1:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Stopping terrorism isn’t all that hard since most terror acts are done by the US and Israeli governments.  Arrest 99% of our ‘elected officials’ and charge them with treason and war crimes, impeach the entire Supreme Court and replace them, tell the Israeli’s that one more terror attack by them will result in Israel being turned into a piece of green glass and bring the American Empire occupation forces home.

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By Retep, January 5, 2010 at 12:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The USA has lost its sovereignty since the FED was created. Harold W. Rosenthal,the Administrative Assistant of Senator Javits of New York, in 1976, explained it best in a public interview, that the US government has been in the hands of Talmudic financiers “Every president since Roosevelt has been our man…”.
Your judicial, economic system has been totally subverted in secrecy without your knowledge, since they control your schools, the Media and the Entertainment industries. You have been totally manipulated and you failed to interpret the hidden agenda of the Committee of 300 of which Zbigniew Brzezinski is a member.

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By gritona, December 30, 2009 at 11:59 pm Link to this comment

Because I hate the gulag,and holding people in prison forever with no charges, I have been watching what they have been doing. I read Andy Worthington’s blog and cageprisoners and also clive smith’s book about gitmo and its prisoners. And this case stinks out loud just like all the other ones. they been locking people up without charges since 2001, people turned in for the 25,000 bounty, or just to settle a score. once in prison they will get tortured until they “confess”- sign a paper some goon hands them while they are barely conscious. then they’ll still get tortured because, see, they’re guilty right?

i urge everyone who thinks Hedges is too excited to do the same. I will not have room here to tell any stories so please go look for them.

smith’s book is called “8 o’clock ferry t the windward side” and it alone will tell you all you should need.

also bear in mind the military commissions act gives the president or anyone he names the right to call anyone an enemy combatant, and throw her in solitary. And obomber likes that m.c.a.

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By Ouroborus, December 30, 2009 at 8:48 pm Link to this comment

TAO Walker, December 30 at 2:17 pm

I post and occasionally publish on another site; I’ve
mentioned you to the owner and he asked me to extend an
invitation to you to do some writing there. I do hope
you’ll consider it; it’s an excellent, intelligent
blog. Here’s a link;

http://agonist.org/

Look forward to reading you.

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By DieDaily, December 30, 2009 at 7:41 pm Link to this comment

prosefights, holy impressive, Batman! You love America enough to peacefully but forcefully fight for us and I gotta commend you. I’m listening to those mp3s now, very very interesting how they stonewall and pass the buck, and sadly typical. It’s perhaps not entirely clear what people can do to help, and what insurance criteria (any?) is the basis for a person getting involved in this? Is there a petition? Can we just help promote it somehow?

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By mandinka, December 30, 2009 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Lets see the guy is providing support to a terrorist and is in a jail and Hedrow thinks that this is draconian?? I have a better solution let him loose as hedrow contends but brand a big T on his forehead so that in the future folks know what to expect. Maybe that will mollify him

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By prosefights, December 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm Link to this comment

We are trying to recover $22,036 stolen from our Sandia Laboratory Federal Credit Union retirement-protected savings accounts using a bogus [not FILED stamped by clerk of court] order.

We filed a official [FILED stamp by clerk of court] criminal complaint affidavit against Zbigniew Brzezinki for his alleged role in inciting Saddam Hussein to attack Iran in 1980.

Google ‘nojeh nsa lawsuit’ for details.

Ambassador Ryan Crocker, 1971 Whitman College English major grad, we believe knows about the details.

We are mounting an effort to get Crocker to write what happened.

We are trying a new avenue to get our money back.  The Insurance industry.

We are using Internet, mp3 recordings, and other high tech tools.

Let’s see if this works.

http://www.prosefights.org/nmlegal/marquis/marquis.htm

Without our high tech tools, we would be victims of our system like, perhaps, thousands before.

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By Arouete, December 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“First Amendment rights have become a joke”?  Yes, Hedges is correct but toss in the 14th amendment too.  I am only surprised ANYONE is surprised at Obama.  Few have any right to complain.  I am less concerned about the First Amendment rights of accused terrorists than I am about the violations of constitutional rights of an entire class of Americans accused of no crime at all.  After all, when a Harvard-educated ‘civil rights lawyer’ (so called) stands there and tells you, again and again and again, that his ONLY reason for denying one class of Americans the ‘fundamental’ Right to Marry is religion that is not one but TWO violations of the U.S. Constitution.  It is a violation of the First Amendment for the explicit purpose of denying rights guaranteed under the Fourteenth Amendment.

While Hedges is entirely correct in his concerns for Free Speech, in light of the fact that no one (not even Hedges) called out such an outlandish pettifogger and everyone applauded this as trashing of the Bill of Rights as both liberal and progressive then we know that our educational system has dumbed stupid down. 

And now that it’s their ox that’s being gored the liberals and progressives squawk and shout foul.  Sorry.  Complaint dismissed and Appeal denied.

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By DAW13, December 30, 2009 at 12:10 pm Link to this comment

And many feel this is okay

Recently, some my community college sociology students queried peers asking whom they felt was responsible for nine-eleven. About half said foreign agents. The other half said our own powers that be.  Few found it unlikely that the latter were at least partially responsible.  Following some class discussion my students queried again, asking how people viewed
the liklihood that their government had if not caused, allowed nine-eleven to happen. About half of those who felt this to be likely also found it acceptable.  In their view, whatever it takes to get the public to allow the best and the toughest of our leaders to get the job done, was okay.

Probing, my students also found that most of their subjects believed the world to be divided up into nation gangs.  Given free rein to assert itself, the U.S. was far and away the toughest.  Many expressing this belief, however,  felt that the U.S. should be constrained—but not because un-constraint posed serious risk to its citizens.

Among students in these and other classes, hardheaded analysis of the assumption of U.S. impunity in the face of its epredations seems to erode student apathy far more than their increasing horror at these depradations.

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By TAO Walker, December 30, 2009 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Even while correctly noting the chronic immaturity exhibited by “civilized individuals” everywhere, rollzone neglects even to mention the CONtext in which it is occurring, so is unable to take that most critical factor into account in the analysis offered here.  The Humans s/he refers to are without exception domesticated.  It is a design function of the CONtrived captivity into which they’ve been born to retard their reaching adulthood in anything except the physical dimension.  Even there, the combination of induced emotional infanticization and engineered perpetual pre-adolescence in the mental sphere guarantee the presence of debilitating feed-back loops, with increasingly serious CONsequences to Human bodies as seen in “global” epidemics of cancer, obesity, and diabetes (for some obvious examples) and all manner of rampant insanity.

These same characteristics have been observed in other species raised in crowded CONfinement, with similarly degenerative effects necessitating ever higher inputs of expensive medical intervention to maintain a semblance of “marketability.”  Of course, even those “individuals” in the system who are aware of these features of its operations are loathe to discuss them outside of professional circles, and most often fail to recognize the very same manifestations in their own half-lives, or to attribute these to the processes of their adored “civilization” itself when, rarely, they do make the CONnection between the “global” Human feedlot and its for-profit subsystems inflicted ruthlessly on various of our Relatives here.

(R)ollzone is not mistaken in suggesting the great need for the domesticated peoples to grow-up.  S/he is perhaps much too optimistic, however, in apparently believing there remains a multi-generational “time-frame” in which to achieve that.  The devastating CONsequences to their habitat, and to their own Native Vitality as well, wrought by five or six hundred generations of forced CONsumption driven by an industrial-strength assault on all the rest of our Mother Earth’s Living Arrangement, has left homo domesticus no more “wiggle room” at all.  The next two or three ‘reps’ of Her spinning Dance around SunFather are about all the “time” left for our tame Sisters and Brothers to reach a level of organic maturity sufficient to the requirements of their survival in what will by then be drastically different Living conditions.

The good news is there is in Nature a cure for every disease.  The Medicine that will address specifically the “alien” CONdition killing the domesticated peoples holesale here in these latter days, is The Tiyoshpaye Way of us surviving free wild Human Beings here and there all over the world.  Within the CONtraption itself, though, only an array of ever less-and-less effective “painkillers” is available to its inmates.

So what’ll it be?

HokaHey!

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By M Henri Day, December 30, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Kommunist.
Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten, habe ich geschwiegen; ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.
Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten, habe ich geschwiegen, ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.
Als sie mich holten, gab es keinen mehr, der protestieren konnte.

The most beautiful word in the English language is «solidarity». Alas, we seem to have forgotten it….

Henri

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By Gerald Lagadec, December 30, 2009 at 8:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t understand why more people don’t “get it”; you can argue about geo-political strategy, philosophical nuance,ethical questions, etc until you gag; but the fact is this: we are a dying empire and the ” corporate bubble”  filters out any dangerous thought, outside the box speculation,  contrary factual information, dissident positions. All are eliminated from the general public’s scrutiny and are consequently…of little consequence. Oh, books are allowed to be published that contain alternatives to the present mind-cramp, but judging from the level of dumbing down that I have experienced over my life as an educator,few have the mental equanimity and discipline, the time,much less the desire to read…outside of the box [read computer screen]. So you don’t need to be particularly prescient to see what’s coming:the continued impotence of the power structure to eradicate “the Great Evil” will demonstrate their flab and they will need to flex their atrophying muscles by turning on “We the People” and then there will be more home grown “terrorism” and apologists for the propagandists.As the Chinese curse goes, we will have some “interesting times”.

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By Jon, December 30, 2009 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris, You have pointed out what has been happening for over three centuries. America is moving, irrevocably, towards a failed state. The political and economic system is clearly broken beyond repair. As a nation we have been steeped in violence and aggression against (mostly) the non-white-non-christian peoples of the world. That violence has always been directed internally as well. Consider the crusade against the American Indian, the Afro-American, all Hispanics(legal or not legal), the Japanese Americans, the Muslim, the Jews and on and on. It is who we are - it defines us as a people. It appears that the (genetically pure?) white male christian believes the he alone owns and operates America for his sole pleasure and profit and that the rest of us are merely uninvited and unwanted guests , except to extract our hard-earned money and our bodies for his purposes of war. The events of September 11 provided the tipping point. With that event the greedy, old, ugly, mostly white males that run the Theocratic Party have taken full license to destroy the legal system and the financial system and bend it towards their insatiable needs. Yes, we are seeing the decline and fall of a once promising human experiment. What is also quite sad is that many of the people in this country who support this act of violence and terrorism are going to eventually be targets of it - but will never see the cause and effects relationship between what they support and how it affects them - a fatal delusion. The violence will stop eventually when we have gone through all our bombs, bullets, drones and lastly rocks and people.

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By oldog, December 30, 2009 at 6:47 am Link to this comment

Every day we (since I continue to vote for the
politicians who go along with these policies) prove
to the world that terrorism works.

We have sacrificed our rule of law where it
interferes with the desire to take decisive action.
Action against bin Ladin or al Zawahiri who planned
and carried out an actual terrorist attack against
the USA that killed thousands of our citizens? No, of
course not. We are destroying our honor, integrity
and reputation as a nation of laws that apply to
everyone, in order to persecute illegally our own
citizens (irregardless of whether they deserve it or
not.)

Big strong federal agents are acting like terrified
bullies, striking out at every suspicious person in
reach. They tell themselves they are taking strong
action to protect the nation.

If we want to take strong action, let’s go get bin
Ladin or al Zawahiri.

Why not? Do we actually believe this week’s lame
excuse from our government that we can’t find them,
or we don’t want to insult a neutral country they
might be hiding in?

Think about what the REAL reason we haven’t captured
them might be. Why we are willing to destroy our own
democracy rather than reveal secrets of national
security. It isn’t National security at stake, it’s
the security of powerful individuals who hide their
secrets at the expense of our liberty.

But then, maybe I’m just paranoid. Maybe there really
are WMD’s hidden in Syed Fahad Hashmi’s shoes and I
should be proud to give up my (and everyone else’s)
liberties just to feel safe.

The problem is that I don’t feel safe letting big
strong government agents (who gave up looking for our
real enemies) decide who is safe and who is not. No
doubt, those agents will be looking for me (or you)
next time they can’t find the real terrorists.

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By ofersince72, December 30, 2009 at 5:40 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

HEY greedygus, your are damn crazy not to believe
in governmental conspirousies. such as denying this,

melting H2O + rising temperature = evaporation
evaporation = clouds
clouds = albedo

in twenty years there won’t be much melting water
at the poles,  a grade school geology course could
see it.  Evaporation will be man’s biggest threat
to survival not melting ice.THE CONSPIROUSY MAN

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By truedigger3, December 30, 2009 at 4:09 am Link to this comment

Kitty Antonik wrote:
“Individual self-order without rule by others is the social system whose members are fully adult (particularly meaning self-responsible) humans. Just as people can become physical adults, so can they become psychological and social adults - if only they are allowed (and even required in the sense that they will not achieve their desires unless they do) to socially mature sufficiently.”
_____________________________________________________

Unfortunately many people when they become physical adults they don’t become spychological and social adults.!!  You are dreaming and searching for a pie in the sky.
The solution is not anarchy but for the society to have an honest and fair government as possible as the human nature can allow. It has been done before.

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By rollzone, December 30, 2009 at 2:59 am Link to this comment

hello again. this article solidly implied government
is trampling the rights of good citizens into the
dust, and although money has used legal precedent to
buy favorable judiciary, (contrary to the spirit of
our Constitution), the rights of the good citizens
are still etched in stone. whereby Ms. Kitty does
present an Utopian lifestyle for a land of educated
and socially sophisticated populations, comments here
obviate the distance we must travel before people
whom are denied success, stop maliciously retaliating
against society in general. we humanly need a justly
balanced ordering of our social lives, until we are
all as well developed as yourself. it is our
responsibility to share in the balancing of justice,
and with compassion we can improve everyones’ lives.
we must guard our system, with consensual
improvements, for the benefit of future participants;
until we are all evolved into your adulthood. human
nature creates childish adults: whom bear responsible
children. we have to work, to improve what centuries
of practice has determined, is the best system in the
world; the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of
the United States of America. articles alike this
one, making social criminals into victims,
demonstrate many levels of social injustice: from the
perspective of the criminal. only an immature
journalist would write such incestuous propaganda, so
even the author could not be entrusted to rule
himself.

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By greedygus, December 30, 2009 at 12:57 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s kind of a bummer that a solid, out of the mainstream article like this brings so many random conspiracy theorist & crazies out of the woodwork in the comment section, while far worse articles syndicated from WaPo writers have sharp, dissenting comments that are the best part, giving me hope for humanity.

Also have to say I only found truthdig after mr. hedges plugged it when guesting on mediamatters w/ bob mcchesney, where his are some of the most interesting interviews.

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By DieDaily, December 29, 2009 at 10:46 pm Link to this comment

Kitty, great points, and I love your anarchical, heretical point of view! However “we” really are the problem. “We” can either protest and stop our government from engaging in all this evil at home and abroad, or “we” can leave, or “we” really are the problem. Whatever “our” political viewpoint, “we” cannot pass the buck and thereby hope to have magically escaped personal responsibility for all of this via some gymnastic of “state of mind”.

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By Kitty Antonik Wakfer, December 29, 2009 at 9:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A subject definitely worth examining, Chris. First, though, I take exception to your use of first person plurals, the last paragraph as an example: “Our descent is the familiar disease of decaying empires. The tyranny we impose on others we finally impose on ourselves. ...” I am not - nor I conclude are you either - a part of nor a supporter of the US government in the tyranny it is imposing within and outside this country’s boundaries. And I expect that there are a growing number of USers who question, if only to themselves, the acts of tyranny by the US government. I would rather have seen something like: “This country’s descent is the familiar disease of decaying empires. Tyranny imposed by the US government on others, or even some of its own citizens, will finally be imposed on many and then most citizens. ...” However, the situation you describe as the “dismantling of the rule of law” is deeper than you present and the beginning of the solution requires understanding some very fundamental points.

The State will do whatever those who are in control and supporting them decide will preserve its power. The greater the amount of power it has amassed - often granted or approved by the majority of voters - the greater the measures government will take to retain and even increase that power level, including fomenting wars. Those who publicly condemn the State are objects of public mockery or vilification by government spokespersons and/or their supporters (often with the cooperation of the news media), or even are subjected to the use of “legal measures” via government enforcers - the method utilized mainly depending on the individual’s position in society. Those with little public support or influence will often be the first ones at the receiving end of physical force by government agents.

While the specific verbal/written phrases and/or physical measures used vary from one government to another, there is always the attempt by those who make up the State to convince the ruled masses that government saves them from a fate far worse - often described as invasion and oppression or destruction by “them”, some other group that has been identified as a “threat”. The government declares itself as the keeper of order, the protector of its citizens from chaos, destruction and death by those who would cause all of these. For the State, the threat of harm by others (“terrorists”) is an opportunity to use and increase its power structure against outsiders and its own orderly citizens - claimed to be for the latter’s own good, to keep them safe.

However, the nature of human beings does not automatically lead to the conclusion that individuals must be ruled by others in order that there be orderly interactions between them. Society, just like any other natural system can be naturally self-regulating by means of interactions between its members, if only humans seek to discover and are allowed to implement the methods by which such self-regulation can be effective, rather than continuing to embrace social systems that need to be constantly held in an unnatural (and very unoptimal) state of balance by the operations of their rulers and other influencers. Individual self-order without rule by others is the social system whose members are fully adult (particularly meaning self-responsible) humans. Just as people can become physical adults, so can they become psychological and social adults - if only they are allowed (and even required in the sense that they will not achieve their desires unless they do) to socially mature sufficiently.

Without understanding and agreeing with these points (as a start), those who denounce government tyranny in this or any part of the world are crying out to their fellows in the dark.

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By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, December 29, 2009 at 6:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It takes but a moment to espy that individual, cell, cellular, organizational terrorism, etc., even when perped against a small country never succeds.

Since US wanted to expand [at some acceptable costs], there was an easy way to do it: establish a terror org with the order to terrorize people of the countries it wanted to posses via occupation, puppetization, and de facto dismemberments, and thus provoke some violent act by individual warriors.

And finally it happened: US get’s attacked and US mission had succeeded. So, everything is going on as planned!
Does anyone think that US wld ex- or implicitly tell u this? No, huh!

My devil! Eureka! What a discovery: No terrrorist act or acts represent any existential threat to the empire!
And another ‘fantastic dscovery’;again thanks my devil: no US pol, collumnist, priest knew that????
And no priest, mullah, rabbi, adviser to prez, general, fbi/cia higher up ever thought of that either!
Well, well anything is possible. It is even possible for santa claus to visit every igloo, tent, cardboard box, shanty, and palace! tnx

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By samosamo, December 29, 2009 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment

By gerard, December 28 at 10:43 pm

You’re right, as I have for the last several days gotten
notifications from other articles that someone had commented
but not one of those past my comment would show up; appears truthdig was broken or staggered under some sort of troll hacker’s attack because I those names I was alerted to have not shown up at all until today or just now as a matter of fact, and bobby scheer did not even alert people to the malfunction.

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By Philochorus, December 29, 2009 at 2:41 pm Link to this comment

I recommend watching Michael Badnarik’s class on the constitution in order to understand precisely how the U.S. federal government has overgrown the bill of rights and the constitution. You may not agree with every opinion expressed by Mr. Badnarik, but he is very informative and engaging.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nOMbfsgZ9s&feature=PlayList&p=8A1521C99D6ED8CE&index=0&playnext=1

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By gerard, December 29, 2009 at 1:29 pm Link to this comment

What needs to happen?  An Organized Campaign:

Public statements from professionals in legal/judiciary work, personal as well as organizational, arguing for the Constitutional rights of freedom of speech and of assembly, pointing up these values as fundamental to justice and the rule of law.

Ads in newspapers and on television from such organizations, and special reports broadcast—historical and current stories of situations where these rights won out in legal challenges.

Efforts spearheaded by all levels of the legal profession to get habeas corpus reinstituted and the repressive legislation (passed by Bush by presidential edict or by Congress) revoked and former freedoms reinstituted, with all possible speed. Broad publicity on why this is necessary to preserve what we know as America, which is being challenged by fearful repressive factions both at home and abroad. “The only thing we have to fear is…etc.”

The Supreme Court issue a Special Letter on American Freedoms sanctified through good times and bad, war and peace. Reasons for their original adoption, and why maintaining them is essential.

PBS to run a series of “personal stories of heroes for Civil Liberties” in prime time and on the History Channel, as “Reconstituting the Evening News”, “Freedom Hour” “Heroes of Freedom” or some such promotion nationwide. 

Organization of local grassroots Civil Rights Communities to study the local conditions of “freedom of expression” in speech and in print. Sponsorship of local lectures, adult classes, etc. for educatioin.  Sponsored by local city councils, town councils, county or state judiciary, churches, educational institions, etc. etc.

If this kind of positive response can be instituted locally now,  (even if it only succeeded on a limited scale) would help to decrease the negative, repressive effects of “scare propaganda” regarding fear of “getting on an FBI list” and decrease fear of expression of differences.

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By Night-Gaunt, December 29, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

This site is broken! I am registered, but not to it!

A concerted effort by the white elites here have been made to bring down our Republic. They are very close if my analysis is correct. If not blind greed will just destroy the USA into fiefdoms. Once the other shoe drops us into a Greater Depression our fate will be sealed in a cross emblozend coffin.

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By Hugh Sansom, December 29, 2009 at 10:24 am Link to this comment

The Bush-Obama bailout of Wall Street, costing US (that’s you and me), trillions proved that the United States is an Oligarchy. The coddling of health insurers further supports that conclusion.

The Bush-Obama assault on the rights of all people, including especially Citizens of the United States, is proof that the US is fast exiting its time as a democracy.

The question I return to again and again: Is Obama doing this intentionally? Some in the US are dogmatic true believers in the divine right of the few over the many. Others are craven, self-serving opportunists. My sense is that Obama is one of the latter—one who knows he is acting against the common good, acting against the Constitution, but is determined to carry on because it serves his own vile self-interest.

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By melpol, December 29, 2009 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

First class flights should be limited only to those that agree to fly in the nude.
Second class flight passengers would be scanned. Third class flights should be
open to all and without security checks. But their fares will be greatly reduced.
Most passengers would take a chance and fly third class.

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By Sparky11, December 29, 2009 at 8:50 am Link to this comment

“One day we will all be terrorists” with a little help from our friends: http://infowarboulder.wordpress.com/2009/12/27/dangerous-rightwing-extremists/

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By Georgann Marks, December 29, 2009 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America is Sobibor West - we are prisoners of Israel’s occupation and hegemony over the Middle East.

Nothing else matters.

AND there are enough operatives for that foreign government in our media and Washington - that we are helpless to fight back.

Comments like mine don’t see the light of day, because we aren’t even free to resist the occupation.

Our words are monitored, censored and shaped to make Americans believe that ‘everybody else’ sides with Israel…

NO ONE SIDES WITH ISRAEL - they are a worldwide pariah.

Yet these phony baloney attacks keep coming - to keep us fearful, and make us believe that Islam is the enemy… and Israel [god help us]

is our friend??

We are doomed if we do not identify the enemy within, and charge him/her/it with treason.

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By D.R. Zing, December 29, 2009 at 8:39 am Link to this comment

Yep, and soon enough there will be the McCarthys, the JFKs, the Lyndon Johnsons, the Nixons, the Reagans, the Bushes who bank their political fortunes on the war on terror. 

As Marguerite Henry wrote in her subversive political manifesto Brighty of the Grand Canyon:  “Oh, Sheriff, he ain’t a-gonna like it.”

We ain’t gonna either.

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By Free in Tahiti, December 28, 2009 at 10:09 pm Link to this comment

Excellent piece!  (and most comments)

I pledge allegiance to the Constitution and the sacred ideals it embodies…

but, the Constitution is now but a piece of paper,

Amerika love it or leave it,

That’s why my American born family and I left it 8 years ago and have not regretted it a day since and have not set foot on it since (blacklisted).  OK, living in paradise helps but really, if all the Liberty lovers left in droves…  I know, for most it’s not that easy.

Yet it’s not as hard as you may think.  It’s just a decision to make.

And I won’t talk to you about the great and practically free health care, free university for the kids, vacations galore, and more…

obama is but a neocon trojan lure.

there is absolutely no future in ‘merika.

war on Iran, venezuela, Yemen, pak, etc…  is coming..  total war.

If you lived in Germany in 1933 and knew all that you know today, would you stay?

why whould anyone with an once of sanity remain in uSSa?

Leave.

Leave now…  while you still can.

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By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, December 28, 2009 at 9:29 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Best-by-far way to fight a war is by figthing it with a war- any war. Best way to guard against an invasion is an ability to invade the invader.

This simplicity cannot be further elucidated; it is at rock bottom and needs no further deeper digging or verbiage.
And the funni uncle knew that each of its minor and major invasions cld not be countered with the same or similar measure.

This is sole reason why US had to date perped over 160 invasions/incursions/skirmishes, etc.
And there was only one cause [cosa nostra] for each of american invasions: gain control of other peoples wealth or wealth-land.

And best way to fight terrorism is by waging terrorism. The best way to fight [wldbe-cldbe, also] terrorists wld be to let own terrorists fight theirs. However, from facts we can observe with just our eyes and ears, a fight of terrorists against terrorrists is the last thing uncle wanted.
Anything but that was always preferred.

And the best way to engender [cause]  terrorism by people uncle hates is to do first some of your own.
Once obtains etern terrorism against US, uncle’s mission had been successful.
In short, everything is going as planned. And how can uncle go wrong when he has so much money and a terrorist org like cia numbering some 200k best trained terrorists ever.

In a way we cld state that the three ‘wars’ against afgh’n, iraq, and pak’n cannot ever end because they have not been launched to start with. US had not waged nor is now waging wars anywhere on the planet.
Yes, yes, defensive wars- and only defensive and sacrosant-benevolent.

When troops entered afgh’n and iraq, 99.99% of amers them slept like a baby. Most still do.
Had it been a real war, believe me, they wldn’t have been interested in watching their fave inane shows. tnx

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By GoyToy, December 28, 2009 at 8:11 pm Link to this comment

Going from memory, aren’t the opening words of Kafka’s novel, “The Trial:”

“Someone must have traduced Joseph K?”

Welcome to the penal colony.

And if Hashmi described the U.S. as “the biggest terrorist in the world,” then Noam Chomsky could be next for saying more or less the same thing.

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By gerard, December 28, 2009 at 6:43 pm Link to this comment

What has happened?  I thought I was already registered under “Gerard” but somehow my comment on Chris’ article has not come up. 

Last week I was coming in on another computer, but now I’m back home and commented yesterday or the day before under my old registration.  Is something wrong?

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By omygodnotagain, December 28, 2009 at 5:34 pm Link to this comment

At the FDR memorial in DC is carved these words the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…

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By Healy, December 28, 2009 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment

Chris Hedges is a fantastic, thought provoking writer, and I sincerely doubt anyone would disagree. I certainly agree with his assertions here, though I may not always necessarily agree with everything he posits in his books. I say this: Help encourage critical thinking. Write letters and columns to your newspapers, not just on blogs. My column is published in the High Point Enterprise (High Point, NC), commentary section. One aspect leading to solutions we are all seeking begin here: we will start making a real difference when we get others to come back to a place of reason and begin to think critically (as Hedges does). See my column, “Robert Healy: Now, we really could use a season of reason”

http://www.hpe.com

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By rollzone, December 28, 2009 at 5:07 pm Link to this comment

hello. this idiotic alarmist article supporting a terrorist group that regularly commits violent acts against the state, heavily slants towards supporting terrorism. oh boo, i am not scared by cowardly, hiding, lonely, mental hoodlums; needing a cause. i live comfortably, in a well heated home, because nutjobs alike this have been locked up. and because i believe in the American Constitution i do not fear it. i know if i get mental, and act contrarily to social behavior: i pray i am shot dead on sight, and not have to suffer through legal etiquette.

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By omop, December 28, 2009 at 4:31 pm Link to this comment

The following is a headline from a commentary by Professor James Petras on a
european website.

“Bended Knees: Zionist Power in American Politics
by James Petras*

This is probably the most well-rounded and complete article by James Petras on
the configuration of Zionist power - at all levels of the US political system and
society - that far outweighs its numerical strength.

More than a lobby, the ZPC has acted over the past fifty years as an agent in the
interest of a foreign military power. Its influence is already deeply entrenched in
many other regions of the world, denoting a trend that Petras describes as the
globalization of Zionist power. However, support may be falterning, as divisions
among the US policy elite over Zionist control have started to emerge. But,
despite the dissenting voices,

Obama continues to take his marching orders from Tel Aviv on all major issues
promoted by the ZPC.”

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By gerard, December 28, 2009 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Good to have the information out there, Chris—but again, better without the fear—or with as little fear as possible, because the situation is fearsome. Yet fear inhibits effective action.
  Action?  A call for statements against repression and in favor of rescinding the Draconian and unconstitutional laws passed by Bush et al. under the “Homeland Security” mantra.  Statement from whom? All lawyers/judges/ government agency officials and workers interested in maintaining civil liberties—Center for Constitutional Rights, American Civil Liberties Union—but beyond these, reaching into bar and governmental associations (including retirees) for individuals willing to commit themselves and perhaps their firms and some time, money, effort to the above requirements.  Calls for publis statements in support of a return to Constitutional freedoms of speech etc., from editors, reporters, commentators, journaistic organizations, etc.  Calls for humanizing prison reform from all organizations concerned with jurisdiction and penalization—individuals or professional organizations. 
  A coming together, a “circling of the wagons” is overdue.  Guantanamo etc. were allowed to “slip by” under the guise of fear and war psychology. Abuses have not been righted due to recalcitrance and/or avoidance. 
  But if we are to hold onto traditional American values, we must clear the murky, foul air of abuse with a breath from the winds of our national history.  True patriotism demands it and the times are crying for a rededication to the principles that at one time made us not only great, but loved and respected.  “I pledge alletiance….”  “I raise my lamp ....”

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By Anselm Sequeira, December 28, 2009 at 3:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have read books by Noam Chomsky. He has written that the US has all the characteristics of a terrorist state.

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By TAO Walker, December 28, 2009 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment

None of the officially-sanctioned-and-CONducted repressive abuses chronicled here week-after-week by Chris Hedges, and consistently seconded by many posters, would even be possible were it not for the half-witless complicity of your allamerican “....huddled masses” in the industrial-strength rape of our Mother Earth which is the only real purpose of their adored “civilization.”  Given that complicity, however, these and the even more terrible depredations predicted are, rather, inevitable.

The late un-lamented (at-least here in Indian Country) U.S. “republic” began collapsing into the toxic cesspool of imperialism almost immediately upon its establishment.  It did so because it was already “rotten” in the driving CONceits of its foundation.  The fatal flaws in theallamericancharacter that have become obvious these days even to some among theamericanpeople (the acknowledged scholar Chalmers Johnson, for instance) were present from the beginning….and long before that.  Today, intensified in their degenerative effects by all the ideological/institutional/electro-mechanical apparatus of the “global” command-and-CONtrol regime, the natural CONsequences of all these prideful and foolhardy misCONceptions are steadily and rapidly eating-away at what little is left of the allamerican herd of homo domesticus’ “footing” on the Living Ground of Turtle Island….making them even easier pickings for their tormentors’ CONs-piracy, at-work here since even before the first of their drunken ancestors washed-up on our Sunrise Coast.

The CONtraption our tame Sisters and Brothers CONtinue to worship so slap-happily, and to which they are everyday more-and-more ruthlessly subject, has brought them to this CONdition by no accident.  The damned thing’s “owner”/operators got it up-and-running with just exactly today’s virtual world-o’-hurt in-view.  They also CONtemplated the here/now abject helplessness of the inmates to do anything to extricate their artificial “selfs” from their at-least partly self-inflicted predicament.     

There remains, however, within the Living Arrangement of our Mother Earth, an “EXIT strategy” available to her domesticated Human Children.  There is for them a Way to BE here not susceptible to the manipulation and exploitation of the tormentors and their two-legged tools.  By shucking-off the suffocating illusion of “individual”-ity, and getting together in Genuine Living Human Communities where they live-and-breath to take care not of their(just-pretend anyhow)ownselfs, but of one another and their immediate ‘habitat,’ our captive Relatives can get beyond the death-grip of those wannabe “masters(and their mistresses)-of-the-universe,” and leave those damned fools to the lethal fruits of their idiotic folly.

Looks like it’s The Tiyoshpaye Way or no-way.

Hokahey!

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By DaveZx3, December 28, 2009 at 2:29 pm Link to this comment

Freedom is not for the faint-hearted. Americans will not retain their freedoms, because they do not have the will to fight for them. 

Americans are generally, a well-fed, slightly lazy, self-indulgent bunch, more interested in electronic toys, pornography, drugs, alcohol, sports and reality TV, among other entertainments. 

They argue with each other from the comforts of their living rooms and pretend to be engaged.  They watch the version of the News which delivers their preferred message.  They all complain about their government, completely ignoring the fact that it is they themselves who are given the constitutional obligation to elect and police that government. 

I suspect it will go down in history that the great American Constitution lasted about 250 years, and it was then overun by those who Americans insisted were not its enemy. 

Regarding Hedges absurd article:  In the past, citizens who aided and comforted the enemy were guilty of treason.  But now, in the words of Chris Hedges:

“His (Hashmi’s) case has no more substance than the one against the seven men arrested on suspicion of plotting to blow up the Sears Tower, a case where, even though there were five convictions after two mistrials, an FBI deputy director acknowledged that the plan was more “aspirational rather than operational.”

AS THOUGH WHAT, MR HEDGES?  WE SHOULD ALLOW SUSPECTS WITH THE ASPIRATION TO BLOW UP THE SEARS TOWER ENOUGH TIME TO DO SO BEFORE WE LOCK THEM UP?

Aspirations acted on in the slightest way by any person claiming or suspected to be at war with America is an act of war.  If an American citizen does it, it is treason. 

These are considered combatants, not criminals.  Criminals commit crime for their personal gain.  Combatants commit acts of war, not for their own benefit, but for the benefit of their cause.  Americans are afraid to say combatant and war.  It makes them nervous. Crime is an easier concept to accept. 

The reason you cannot let combatants be released is there is no reason to believe they will give up their aspirations.  The reason they cannot be tried until the end of armed hostilities is because you can’t jeopardize the identities, sources and tactics of the agents which tracked them down.  So combatants who attempt to take part in armed conflict ie: War on Terror, become subject to different rules by necessity.

Two administrations have upheld this war, declared by Al Qaeda, and congress has continously funded it, rightly or wrongly.  That is all that is required to invoke Geneva Convention rules and hold prisoners until the end of hostilities. 

How about this latest guy, the rich Nigerian, who had aspirations, though apparently not quite fully operational, to take down an American airliner.  I hope they use a closed military tribunal, because it will cost a lot less.  I am already sick of paying for criminal trials of combatants. 

One last thing.  Regarding the War on Terror.  There is no such thing as a War on Terror. Terror is a tactic used in war.  Many enemies of this country used it against us in both world wars and latter wars. Some were particularly adept at it.  One I remember well was slipping silently at night among a group of sleeping soldiers and slitting the throats of every tenth man.  It was a devastating tactic. 

America is not at war with a tactic.  They try to be politically correct, and not say they are at war with a people, but with a tactic.  This confuses the already confusing issue.  If you don’t have the will to even admit that there is a human enemy, go home and cower in your basement.   

I am not a war hawk.  I hate war.  It is a last resort only.  But I would prefer to have a free country also.  So if anyone knows how to deal with these issues, call the White House.  I am sure they need some good input as attacks on our soil become more commonplace.

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By Blackspeare, December 28, 2009 at 1:54 pm Link to this comment

The decade began with terroristic act and ends with a terroristic act and the perpetrators appear to be the same fundamental group.  For a rag tag outfit to last 10 years is a testament to their tenacity.  Looks like the USA is gonna need more drones!

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By NZDoug, December 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm Link to this comment

This is a great victory for Islam which will continue until there is justice for
Palestine.
Thats what Osama said
.Happy anniversay of “Operation Cast Lead”.

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By Mary Ann McNeely, December 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm Link to this comment

What little democracy remains in the United States must be found with a very large magnifying glass.  Temporarily, the sky is slightly overcast.  When the sun comes again, its beam will be focused through the glass and burn that little bit of democracy to a crisp unless, somehow, the glass can be taken out of the hands of people like Obama.

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By prole, December 28, 2009 at 12:58 pm Link to this comment

“This may be the reason the state has set up parallel legal and penal codes to railroad those it charges with links to terrorism”…very similar to another Jewish state with parallel legal and penal codes. It’s a continuation and intensification of the accelerating process of the Israelization of Amerika. It did not commence with the neo-fascist Bush regime, the seeds were planted long before 9/11, in the mid-90’s when zionist lackeys Clinton and Gingrich pushed through the Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (ATEPD) legislation that was the forerunner and model for the draconic and sweeping USA PATRIOT Act concocted later by the Bush gang. This onrushing assault on civil liberties has continued unabated under the onerous Obama oligarchy. The Center for Constitutional Rights(CCR) and affiliated plaintiffs had appealed the provisions of the ATEPD over several years in lower courts and appeals courts had finally ruled that several aspects of the definitions of “material support” for ‘terrorism’ in the statute were unconstitutionally vague. But in June of this year that great civil libertarian Eric Holder and his like-minded president appealed the Circuit Court’s decision to the U.S. supreme court and in late Feb. oral arguments will begin before the top court in the case of Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project. In addition, a related case by the CCR has also been on-going in the appeals courts over the statues of the ’03 International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”), which has enabled the president to prohibit any contributions of services to hundreds of “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”. The appeals courts have held that the criminal prohibition on providing “services” to designated organizations was not unconstitutionally vague here but this is still pending further appeal after the Supreme Court eventually decides Holder v. HLP.
  The “corruption of our legal system, if history is any guide, will not be reserved by the state for suspected terrorists, or even Muslim Americans”...nor is it reserved to the auspices of the unlamented Bush brigands but has enjoyed bipartisan support before and after them, never more so than now under the current multi-cultural clampdown crew in the White House. “Hashmi was, like so many of those arrested during the Bush years, briefly a poster child in the “war on terror.”…but, strangely enough, he is not a “poster child” for a new era of justice and civil liberties in the Obama regime-change. With one stroke of his pen, the great champion of the downtrodden Obama could pardon Bush’s political prisoner, Hashmi. And that great advocate of civil rights Holder could drop the government’s appeals seeking to uphold Bush’s “corruption of our legal system” and suppression of political dissent; and could close the Communication Management Unit, at the federal prison in Terre Haute, among other things. “Our descent is the familiar disease of decaying empires. The tyranny we impose on others we finally impose on ourselves”…and the tyranny imposed by redneck Bush will be intensified by urbane Obama. The “continued dismantling of the rule of law, the widening of a system where prisoners are psychologically broken by sensory deprivation, extreme isolation and secretive kangaroo courts where suspects are sentenced on rumors and innuendo and denied the right to view the evidence against them”...has been carried on in the Jewish State (the one in the Middle East) for decades and now at last has reached the shores of its bipartisanly-zionist Amerikan client state. What goes around, comes around.

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By Angel Gabriel, December 28, 2009 at 12:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“where suspects are sentenced on rumors and innuendo and denied the right to view the evidence against them. Dissent is no longer the duty of the engaged citizen but is becoming an act of terrorism. “

This is nothing new in the US legal system - it is merely a case of population growth, and population control.
The State (tm) has always monitored activists who stood out against their Corporatist/Elitist-funded Government control method.
US Law is designed to protect the wealthy against aggressions by those less fortunate - Muslims are just the new enemies of the State, expanding the list…

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By samosamo, December 28, 2009 at 12:00 pm Link to this comment

What one must consider is that the turmoil is all being done to
create the situations so that the people can begin to be rounded
up and imprisoned now.

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By Jeffersonian-Socialist, December 28, 2009 at 10:41 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

USA is a hardcore nazi fascist system, only a bloody revolution Bolshevik-French style could solve this.

Those in control of America also use conditioning and teaching to keep the lower classes in their place. The ruling elite send their children to exclusive private schools, grooming them for Harvard, Yale and Stanford. This guarantees they will be given the high level positions in business and government

After decades of pumping billions of tax dollars into public schools while instituting politically correct diversity programs to dumb down the curriculum, the ruling elite have conditioned a vast swath of Americans to care more about Tiger Woods’ driving and night putting skills than about the National Debt or the insidiousness of Federal Reserve induced inflation.

The US troops are fascist buttlickers who gladly serve the capitalist wealthy corporations to exploit and murder vulnerable civilian populations overseas. The Iraqi and Afghani Freedom Fighters are doing the world a HUGE FAVOR by killing them.

You will never change the fascist US government with peaceful demonstrations or the electoral process. The harder you try, the more violent the government response will be. Remember Kent State. The peaceniks who didn’t experience the sixties need to learn some hard lessons in the form of their own personal Kent State-type events.

Then perhaps the current generation of peaceniks will wake up to the fact that the only way to overcome US fascism and weed it out of the US government and US society is with an all-out, Bolshevik-style, violent and bloody Revolution, complete with many thousands of public executions on the Washington Mall.

You cannot use democracy to restore democracy in a nation that is no longer a democracy

The USA has killed 20 million people throughout the world during the past 60 years. The USA armed and supported the murderous Khmer Rouge.

US foreign policy is profoundly fascist, and as the likes of Panmearbig, Deep Red, and Kcuck have repeatedly pointed out to us, our US taxes go directly to fund genocide and fascism throughout the world.

It’s way past time for us to put a stop to it.

The real heroes are the Iraqi, Afghani, and Palestinian Freedom Fighters. The US, British, and Israeli troops are fascist butt-kissers.

The only US military vets I respect are the ones who have thoroughly renounced the uniform, the service, and the government of the USA.

We do not need or want help from loyalist veterans during the next American Revolution. Since they gladly served the cause of fascism, they cannot be trusted.

A new Chevy Malibu is priced around $23,000.00. Add to this 8 percent sales tax, insurance, and another $1,000 in the city for plates and you have yourself one luxury automobile. The problem is that 50 percent of the people in the USA do not make $9.50/hour.

The median income is $18,000. A decent home is $130,000. If your weekly pay should be your house payment, then a single-income family would be living in a $40,000 home. Houses are not $40,000 or even $80,000 in most cities in America.

Without a resurgence of union wages and union membership and union power americans will have decades of poverty ahead. Perhaps a long, hard, cold winter will get the american people out in the streets to overthrow the capitalist system. Something has to give.

.

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By pundaint, December 28, 2009 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

You don’t get it, our founding fathers were wrong, that freedom stuff
never worked.

Note to the stupid - the above was sarcasm.

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By johannes, December 28, 2009 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

In Europe some small groups of revolutionair people had a try ad it, to bring down the hound of hell, the Baader- meinhoff group, dit kill some hell hounds, but the media with the governement did change the opinion of the public, you know money, small famelies, holiday, the churches, well they see their small world stagger, and maby change, no they do not want any change, Et hop an other spinner for the change now an almost black one, and the show keeps going, and the hell hounds govern on.

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By Jim Yell, December 28, 2009 at 9:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

For a fair system and assured and honest justice there can be no exemptions to the process and rights of those accused. We have already seen the government use their extra-ordinary powers ( which are not legal) to intimidate opposition to the high handedness of supposed national security. We have also seen that these sacrifices of our basic rights do not provide greater safety, just greater power for the bullies in our midst to use our government against us. It is as simple as that.

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By FRTothus, December 28, 2009 at 9:06 am Link to this comment

“How far have we gone where people don’t want to air their views for fear of ending up on some kind of terrorist watch list?”
(David Rowell, editor of The Travel Insider magazine about air travel watchlists and dissent)

“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter, and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”
(Abraham Lincoln)

“We live in a nation hated abroad and frightened at home. A place in which we can reasonably refer to the American Republic in the past tense. A country that has moved into a post-constitutional era, no longer a nation of laws but an autotocracy run by law breakers, law evaders and law ignorers. A nation governed by a culture of impunity ... a culture in which corruption is no longer a form of deviance but the norm. We all live in a Mafia neighborhood now.”
(Sam Smith)

“There is no doubt that if we lived in a police state, it would be easier to catch terrorists. If we lived in a country where the police were allowed to search your home at any time for any reason; if we lived in a country where the government is entitled to open your mail, eavesdrop on your phone conversations, or intercept your e-mail communications; if we lived in a country where people could be held indefinitely based ... on mere suspicion that they are up to no good, the government would probably discover and arrest more terrorists, or would-be terrorists…. But that wouldn’t be a country in which we would want to live.”
(Senator Russ Feingold)

“What happened was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to be governed by surprise, to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing 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 ...
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.”
(German professor after World War II describing the rise of Nazism to a journalist)

“Political freedom has given way to guilt by association. Due process has given way to detention on the Attorney General’s say-so. Public scrutiny has given way to secret detentions and secret trials. Equal protection under law has given way to ethnic profiling.”
(The Nation magazine - about how Sept.11 attack has allowed the government to take away Americans’ civil liberties)

“Just as the United States trained Latin American military and police in methods of fighting against “populism” in their countries, by this means helping to produce a “favorable climate of investment” by bringing into power National Security States, so a large, well-trained, and ruthless police is needed in the home country as it pushes a right-wing agenda that is contrary to the interests of a vast majority.”
(Edward S. Herman)

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By mike112769, December 28, 2009 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

Montana Wildhack—-LOLOLOL! Nice try, but too late! smile

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By omop, December 28, 2009 at 8:53 am Link to this comment

The inevitable ending to Western/colonial aggression according to Gandhi.

  ” First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you
win. “

    Mohandas Gandhi

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By Raymond R, December 28, 2009 at 8:36 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Check out what is happening in Vancouver in preparation for the Winter Olympic Games.  Police (City and RCMP) are detaining critics of the games - mostly social activists complaining about the obscene cost of the games - as if they were terrorists or worse: violators of the Games’ sacred copyright privledges.  In addtion to detention of local activists, visitors from the USA have been prevented from entering Canada because they were publicly critical of the games.  This is one of those under-reported stories most people haven’t heard of.

Love your column Chris - keep up the good work.

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By the tshirt doctor, December 28, 2009 at 8:05 am Link to this comment

we are already criminals.

Making Criminals out of All Americans

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By Thrashertm, December 28, 2009 at 7:52 am Link to this comment

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak out for me.

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By Socrates, December 28, 2009 at 7:30 am Link to this comment

God does not exist.  This could be considered the statement of a terrorist.  What about the nine one one truth?  To speak it is to become an enemy of the state.  Do you believe your own eyes when President Kennedy suffers a bullet wound to his forehead?  Be careful, this is not the official story.  The incompetent pretenders to power that have risen to the top ranks of authority smash little bugs who dare oppose their hateful incompetence.  All one has to do is voice an opinion, perhaps the truth, and bring down the dogs of hell.

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By wilfro, December 28, 2009 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Well I hope the TERRORIST ATTACK in Detroit has woken you wobblies up to how to fight TERRORISM!  Civil liberties, indeed!!  It could have been your plane attacked by a mentally ill individual and/or moron with a CONDOM BOMB!  Geez, you’d almost think this was a gubmint psycho-op to scare the sheeple.  Can’t they find a credible patsy anymore?

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By KISS, December 28, 2009 at 7:10 am Link to this comment

Let me tell you a true story. In Portland Oregon the EPA is putting in swales and plants and rocks to prevent run-off of streets into Fanno creek. The neighbors are complaining over the cost and the ruination of their street, such as no parking and narrowing of the street. EPA has no intention but to do it their way. This is the kicker…all but two or three would not be interviewed by the paper because of the fear of reprisals from both the city and the EPA.
If citizens can be so worried over reprisals and be obsequious over something so inconsequential what in hell will they do when our Fascist government and corporate soldiers march these good citizens off to prison.
Fine journalism Mr. Hedges, much on the order of Alex Jones, with out the hype.

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By montanawildhack, December 28, 2009 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

To whom it may concern,,,,,    Dec 28, 2009

I would like to take this opportunity to apologize to our Benevolent and Almightly Rulers for calling America “the biggest terrorist in the world” more times than I can remember…. I was wrong….
America is really a super place and always has been..

Also I apologize to the Jewish community as I’ve written many posts that could be interpreted as libelous against Israel and our Hebrew friends…. I was wrong….

I also promise from now on to report all posts on this site that could be considered seditious of this, the greatest country in the world, to the proper authorities….

Rest assured that I now have My Mind Right and will be forever your humble servant in the New World Order….

With Deepest Respect,

Montana Wildhack

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By ardee, December 28, 2009 at 4:17 am Link to this comment

It is important, but not crucial , to remember that this is an American citizen we are reading about.Important as it could easily be anyone of us who spoke out against the horrid violations of common sense, legality, justice and civil rights. Not crucial because, regardless of citizenship, no one should be denied due process of Law in this fashion.

Further, our “progressive” President is continuing to support such methodologies as these.

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By johannes, December 28, 2009 at 4:15 am Link to this comment

They do not want to be ordinairy citizen, they are no ordinary citizen, they are Moslims, as their are other very alien religions.

That their is a different between citizen and their treatment is normal, but torture no?

But their is an enormous problem, if they know something, that if you have this knowledge, you can safe people from be killed, its a dilemma and very debatable.

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By Dan, December 28, 2009 at 3:06 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Since the U.S. government has placed People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals on its terrorist organization list, I guess that means my daughter, an employee of PETA, is on a terrorist watch list.  I congratulated my daughter, sent her a card and she passed it around the office, me explaining that I could only aspire to that achievement.  The only thing that ticks me off is that it would have made more sense for the Bush years to put PETA on its terrorism list, but not the Obama years.  Go figure.

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By DieDaily, December 28, 2009 at 2:34 am Link to this comment

This is a solid, accurate article. Many will cry “alarmist”. No way. Truthdig is really coming along. I’m with Noam Chomsky when he says that before we have the slightest right to ‘fight evil abroad’ we have to clean up our own act. We are the terrorists. We are the criminals. We have so much new work to do and old evil to undo. Thanks Mr. Hedges. More, please!

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By DarthMiffy, December 28, 2009 at 1:46 am Link to this comment

Is there no hope? Mr. Hedges has again pin pointed disturbing aspects most would
chose to ignore. Will we all be Jews in the end? Contemplation…

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