Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Reloaded: This Is How The End Of Democracy Is Hastened

First, the mainstream/corporate media largely abdicates its raison d'être, i.e. reporting facts, the truth and keeping checks on the Powers-That-Be.

Second, corporations collude with politicians not only to make policy, but to facilitate increased surveillance of citizens (typically without warrants), in addition to being accomplices in stifling free speech (including on the internet).

And third, now we have not only proposed legislation by elected officials to kill whatever remains of free journalism out there, including on the internet, but also outright calls from some of said officials for mass censorship of media (emphasis added):

The government should censor news agencies that report on US documents leaked by websites like WikiLeaks, according to a tea party-backed Republican who will soon represent the 22th district congressional of Florida.

Speaking with an online radio station, Rep.-elect Allen West said that attacks on the US were not limited to "a bomb or an airplane flying into a building," but could occur "through cyber attacks" or "through leaking of very sensitive classified information."

"Regardless of whether you think it causes any harm, the fact that here is an individual that is not an American citizen first and foremost, for whatever reason gotten his hands on classified American material and put it out there in the public domain," West continued. "And I think that we also should be censoring the American news agencies which enabled him to do this and also supported him and applauding him for the efforts. So that's kind of aiding and abetting of a serious crime."

Rep.-elect West is not the first to compare the release of confidential US documents by WikiLeaks to a terrorist attack. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and Rep. Peter King (R-NY) have made similar comparisons. Even CNN bought into the analogy, wondering if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a "journalist or terrorist" during its coverage of the secrets outlet.

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said the person who gave WikiLeaks 250,000 secret diplomatic cables deserves the death penalty.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said the New York Times, who published documents released by WikiLeaks, "committed at least an act of bad citizenship" and said the news agency deserves "very intensive inquiry by the Justice Department."

So, taking all of the above (and notice the CNN instance mentioned here as a typical example of a mainstream/corporate media outlet playing the subservient peon), we also have:
The president is empowered to target American citizens off the battlefield for assassination abroad who have not engaged in hostilities against the United States on his say-so alone.

Citizens and non-citizens may be detained indefinitely without accusation or trial at Bagram prison in Afghanistan or in undisclosed locations abroad on the president's say-so alone.

Predator drones kill civilians off the battlefield in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen. The protocols for targeting decisions are secret.

Military commissions are established for the trial of alleged war crimes that may be equally prosecuted in civilian courts, for example, material assistance to a foreign terrorist organization. Military commissions combine judge, jury, and prosecutor in a single branch.

State secrets are invoked by the president to prevent victims of constitutional wrongdoing, including torture or kidnapping, from judicial redress for their injuries.

Telephone calls and emails are intercepted by the government without probable cause to believe the target is connected to international terrorism.

Lawyers who defend alleged international terrorist organizations are vulnerable to prosecution under the material assistance law.

The Patriot Act authorizes the FBI to obtain business, bank, or other records by unilateral issuance of national security letters alleging a relationship to a terrorist investigation.

Extraordinary rendition is employed to dispatch detainees to countries notorious for torture.

Individuals or organizations are designated as "terrorists" and quarantined from human intercourse based on secret evidence.

Government crimes -- including torture, illegal surveillance, obstruction of justice, and war crimes -- go unprosecuted.
Ergo: Security - Hallowed Be Thy Name.

Thus I must state yet again Q.E.D.:
The fearmongering, fear-stricken madhaters keep on barking and yelping about "Gobal struggle against radical Islamism", "Islamofascism", "Global struggle against terrorism", "protecting our freedoms", "clash of civilizations", "defending Christianity" or even the childish "fighting evil", all the while boasting their cowardly, faux patriotism and exposing their penchant for religious/governmental authoritarianism (...)

What we have are increased chants for more war (e.g. Iran, even Syria).

What we have is the lingering confusion between "supporting our troops" with "supporting the mission".

What we have are thunderous applause and barks of approval in support of aberrations like the Patriot Act and the Military Commissions Act.

What we have are intractable supporters of illegal domestic spying, denial of habeas corpus, indefinite detentions, torture and secret military tribunals.

What we have are fear-stricken politicians and citizens who not only caved in to the gutting of FISA, but likewise fear-stricken people and politicos who are clamoring, and seeking, for more.

What we have is the worship, however direct or indirect, of a new God whom we now implore in our daily supplications: the Sacrosanct and All-Mighty Security.

And what a powerful Deity it is, this Security.

Indeed - why else are we quite willing to put aside our fundamental rights and our simple human decency, if not our humanity, in Its Name?

Why else do we turn a blind eye to injustice done in Its Name?

Why else do we embrace any and all unconstitutional means to be probed, surveyed and monitored any time and everywhere, day in and day out?

Why else do we accept that the rule of Law be bent, twisted or ignored?

Why else do we remain silent in acceptance while our governments wage war indiscriminately in other countries, against a technique of fighting?

Why else have we slowly surrendered the very principles of our democracies to increasing authoritarianism?

Why else, in the end, have we allowed reason and competence to give way to fear and hate-driven incompetence?
And I would add: why else do so many of us now blandly accept reflexive calls for the prosecution/incarceration - if not actually the assassination - of those who only seek to expose us to the truth of things, to keep us free and as far away from authoritarian corporatocratic secret security and surveillance states as moths should be from a burning pyre?

Because these altogether are the symptoms of the deadly disease that is consuming our democracies:
The increasing erosion of our constitutions, civil rights and democracies as they are being gradually subjugated by Authoritarian Security Surveillance States. The bloating no-fly lists and terrorist watch-lists. The continuing inhumane and barbaric renditions, "enhanced interrogations" and indefinite detentions - of children, teenagers and adults alike. The continuing standing of Military Commissions, which are nothing more than politically-driven, rigged, kangaroo courts. The seemingly unending wars of choice and occupation in Afghanistan and Iraq - both based on lies to justify a vengeance operation for 9/11 and the securing of foreign oil resources. The ever mounting toll of civilian deaths, displaced refugees and soldier casualties.

This is the overall state of things today with regards to our so-called "Western civilization" - especially concerning the U.S.A., the U.K. and Canada.

(...)

We have been losing ourselves since the day after 9/11.

Looks like we have crossed the threshold of ever being able to find ourselves again.

So we keep on riding fast and hard onto that road to perdition ... well beyond redemption.
And therefore I now conclude again:
How the following words read hollow and empty on this dark, hopeless and foreboding day:
Let it be known ad nauseam: living in a democracy is a right and a responsibility.

Granted, this responsibility requires effort. But which is better: having your back bent by the effort required to keep on living in a democratic society, or letting leave for complacency and find yourself one day with a back bent under a totalitarian regime (however benevolent it may be)?

It is high time to remember that it is indeed we who guard all the doors and hold all the keys of our democratic values and institutions.

It is, in the end, up to us to act as the Guardians and Caretakers of our constitutions, our civil rights and our civil liberties.

It has always been up to us.
And so we have only ourselves to blame.

And so the terrorists have won.

And so we have met the enemy - only in order to realize too late that it was ourselves, all along.

So - goodbye democracy, constitution and civil rights ... know that I will hold you in my heart until the day I die.

Despite the fear-driven flakes that is the majority of my fellow citizens.

Or perhaps - in spite of them, rather.
In other words: I still do give a fuck, regardless of the Allen Wests, Mitch McConnells, Newt Gingriches, Sarah Palins, Peter Kings and all similar primitive-minded faux patriots of the world.

I still do give a fuck, regardless of the CNNs, Faux News and similar authoritarian mainstream/corporate media stenographers and mouth-pieces.

And I will still give a fuck, even if you don't.

Because I live in North America, damn it - not fucking China!

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