Greed, Murder and Cowardice: The Pillars of Democracy?
(Cross posted at The National Gadfly)
“The true strength of rulers and empires lies not in armies or emotions, but in the belief of men that they are inflexibly open and truthful and legal. As soon as a government departs from that standard, it ceases to be anything more than “the gang in possession,” and its days are numbered.” (H. G. Wells, as quoted in the Gravel Edition of the Pentagon Papers.)
The enemies of democracy are the enemies of the rule of law.
“enemies both foreign & domestic...”
Our Presidents and our armed forces swear to protect the Constitution from this threat – with good reason. The Constitution is the rule of law and it is the one thing that can prevent tyrants, thieves and murderers from the ruinous world of their unchecked greed and brutality. President Eisenhower warned us all in his farewell address. He knew from personal experience that our country (and indeed the world) were under attack from the unchecked influence of war profiteers, oil barons and the bankers that enabled them to conduct business. These greedy murderers and thieves (for that is exactly what they are) have devised a system that allows them to rake in billions year after year at the measured costs of our very humanity: our lives, dignity, prosperity, safety, health, education and future.
This is not an American invention, for the record. The slaughter of the defenseless for the profit of weapons makers, resource hoarders (farming, oil, tobacco, sugar, tea, gold, coal, water, etc.) is as old as humanity itself. The British Crown in partnership with private companies implemented the American Slavery model into India in order to establish a wildly profitable Tea Plantation system. The also arranged the Opium wars to manage the currency imbalance with China. This is important to note because the same mechanism that drove the Opium wars, Tea Plantations in Britain are driving our current situation here in the US. It is the consumer. We spend money in large numbers (oil from civil strife, toxic goods from China, conflict diamonds from Africa, gold from slave labor, meat from hormone injected factory farms, wood from rainforests, etc.) It is called the exploitation of the defenseless for the greed of the merciless.
We, the civilian consumer population of the United States are being used to fund the murder, rape, abuse, suffering and enslavement of people, countries and natural resources across the entire globe – solely for the obscene profits of war profiteers, oil companies and their servant industries. So, perhaps the 20th century was defined by the various attempts at tyranny (fascism, imperialism, socialism, communism) until a winner emerged (consumer capitalism disguised as democracy).
What sets America apart and gives us a chance to endure is our Constitution – our laws, set down by the force of agreement that all people are created equal. The idea of equality guaranteed by the rule of law is completely central to our identity as Americans. It is the true flame that burns in the Statue of Liberty. It is this beacon that draws millions to our shores. It is this light that has sustained us despite our failures. It is also the one thing that can stop those that seek to suck the life out of the defenseless for their own obscene greed. The tyrants.
The tyrants of our country have had many forms: slaveholders, plantation owners, railroad builders, anyone that killed a native American for land, defense contractors, oil tyrants. They have hidden inside the legal definitions of the rule of law, calling themselves corporations and businessmen. This is because of our Constitution and the way we cherish it. If the American public were to be told that the rule of law does not apply to gun makers, oil executives, private security firms or their spies ; then we would rise up against them demanding justice.
Psssst....THE RULE OF LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO RAYTHEON, EXXON, BLACKWATER & LOBBYISTS.
They have successfully waged a campaign to take complete control of the US Federal Government.
The proof is in the pudding:
- The history of the VietNam conflict exposed in stunning detail. The US government was hijacked by war profiteers and megalomaniacs in order to justify the insatiable greed of defense contractors, megalomaniac politicians and complicit corporations.
- Mike Gravel stood up, under the protection of the rule of law provided by the US Constitution and made the information public, opening the door for accountability.
- These forces were defeated by the Press in the ensuing battle over the publication of this document. Nixon was ousted, we withdrew from VietNam and our country went into a recession because our economy was built upon the murder of people in poor countries.
- We could have learned a lesson about sustainable economies then and retooled our economy for the future. Instead our country was exhausted from the cost of the war financially and morally. While we were weakened internationally and we were not dealing honestly and openly with the real issue of how we got into the mess in the first place; the tyrants regrouped.
- They took advantage of the lingering fear and hatred of racism exposed by the struggle for Civil Rights. They offered jingoism and called it American Pride. They coddled up to the religious right with their covert attempts to seize taxpayer money, wealth, influence and their unending desire to subvert the Government of the United States of America into a platform for the installation of their faith into the rule of law.
- John Stockwell is the highest-ranking CIA official ever to leave the agency and go public. He ran a CIA intelligence-gathering post in Vietnam, was the task-force commander of the CIA's secret war in Angola in 1975 and 1976, and was awarded the Medal of Merit before he resigned. He openly exposed the role of the United States (along with other nations) in the ongoing slaughter of defenseless people in impoverished nations. His lectures can be found here.
- Over 6 million people were killed as a direct result of secret CIA operations until 1988. How many more have died since then?
- Notable quotes from John Stockwell:
"It is the function of the CIA to keep the world unstable, and to propagandize and teach the American people to hate and fear, so we will let the Establishment spend any amount of money on arms."
"Short, successful military adventures are as effective as the Super Bowl in diverting people's attention from unpleasant truths."
- He had firsthand knowledge of the installation of the Golden Triangle drug trade in SE Asia by the CIA. Our government has become the world's biggest dealer of drugs and guns.
- More chillingly, he exposed the desire of government to dispense with the rights of privacy and due process for Americans here in America. FEMA requests for detention facilities. Attempts to suspend Habeas Corpus. Domestic spying operations.
- He also points out that the CIA has fueled conflicts in countries that were too poor, small, impoverished etc. to retaliate. In other words, we have killed people that could not fight back.
Kevin Phillips has detailed the influence and domination of corporate tyrants, their corruption and the cost to us all in the following must-read books:
- American Dynasty: Aristocracy, Fortune and the Politics of Deceit in the House of Bush
- American Theocracy: The Perils and Politics of Radical Religion, Oil, and Borrowed Money
- Bad Money: Reckless Finance, Failed Politics, and the Global Crisis of American Capitalism
- These books spell out in great detail how our government has been stolen by two oil men and we've all been made to pay.
The watchdog is now a lapdog: (The Fourth Estate is Dick Cheney's bitch!)
- The Fourth Estate has been largely transformed into a propaganda tool for the war profiteers. During the Vietnam conflict; the scandal around The Pentagon Papers themselves and also Watergate - the Press roamed free. It was perhaps the swan song of the Fourth Estate. Nightly news sent home photos, film, sound and live broadcasts directly from the horror of war. Innocent civilians burned, murdered, raped and mutilated. American soldiers wounded, disfigured and dead on the bloody battleground. We the consumer cows back home demanded the justice we thought we and the world were due as a right.
Lesson learned by our government?
Stop the Press from telling the truth about the war. With Ronald Reagan's help to lead the way in a comprehensive assault on Congress and Presidents, regulations were removed in order to pave the way for giant corporations to buy up all the news outlets. Equal time and balanced reporting regulations were removed. Propaganda is what we are now given instead of news.
We have been in Afghanistan for 7 years and Iraq for 5 and all that time, the Press has been "embedded" which I take to mean "screwed like a whore in a bed". The military has complete control over what is published and what is not. If any reporter or media outlet releases a story that is not approved by the military, then their privileges are revoked. That sure sounds like blackmail to me, but 'hey' what do I know?
If they absolutely, positively have to publish a story that points a negative light on the US Government, it is dismissed in trivial or light hearted fashion, buried on back pages or attributed to 'liberals'.
Privatized government: What the fuck is that????
Blackwater, Halliburton, privately owned prisons (and you can throw 'faith-based initiatives in here, too). Simply put, these institutions provide our government and its war profiteer backers with two things:
- More programs with which to siphon off taxpayer money. - Loopholes to evade the law, accountability, transparency, responsibility and ultimately...punishment for their foul deeds.
Conclusion: The US Government is the hired hand for Oil & Defense industries. They are spying on you right now. They kill people for a profit. Millions of people. They have drawn up plans to imprison American Citizens who threaten their bloody monopoly. They are like that creepy girl in “The Ring” - 'they never sleep'. Unless we do something, it is all over but the crying. Our only defense is to defend the rule of law.
Is this what America is about? Killing people that cannot fight back both foreign and domestic? Not with my money. Not with my permission.
So, where is the good news? You are it and...you are looking at it. The 'blogosphere' is the one tool they have no control over...yet. Net neutrality is about shutting down dissent on the Internet. Accountability, transparency and responsibility are our most important weapons.
- Support Net Neutrality - Demand accountability and transparency from US Government agencies, individuals and programs. - Demand an end to 'privatized' government - Support Wikileaks and encourage 'whistle blowers' to step forward. Where are the Pentagon Papers from Iraq? Katrina? Blackwater? Halliburton? - Use the netroots! Blog, post, comment, reply, email, forward, call, discuss, demand. - Say something. Do something. Be someone that will not accept the murder of unarmed children as part of 'the cost of doing business' for getting a new car or a pair of basketball shoes.
Silence is complicity. I will finish with this sad reminder of the real cost to society when good people stand by when others are killed.
"In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."