Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Unclear on the Concept: The Highly Treasonous “Warfighters” of the U.S.’s Ongoing Covert War Against Legitimate American Dissidents

I didn’t post a New Year’s blog this year because a new year is the time when we traditionally reflect on the year past and look forward to opportunities to change the things we’d like to in the coming year.  People who are targeted by the U.S. government’s many public/private(1) military forces in its perpetual covert war – even today, after the second Iraq invasion declaration of cessation of hostilities – aren’t allowed to change anything about our lives – not our jobless status, not our marital status, not our homeless status – because we are political prisoners.  We are as civilly dead as America’s conventionally incarcerated political prisoners, or the committed, and we have been made that way by the efforts of many average – some might say, ‘common’ - Americans trained in and engaged to perform not merely their regular jobs and social roles but also COINTELPRO, or counterintelligence, for our U.S. military dictatorship by the public/private organizations to which they belong, such as InfraGard, or The National Defense Industrial AssociationCelebrating a new year in the ongoing virtual prison these “warfighters” create seems a waste of time.  Since last Saturday, the 14th of January, was the 271st anniversary of the birth of the quintessential American traitor – warfighter par excellence, Benedict Arnold(2) – it seemed the perfect opportunity to explore the work of those whom the U.S. government employs to terrorize and torture us decent, law-abiding Americans simply because we have the audacity to demand the civil rights it has long denied us.  Our warfighters are obviously unclear on the concept of the ideal, and, in particular, on the ideal historically most cherished by those American citizens who have routinely given their lives in defense of our country – that of freedom.  But defense is not what our new military dictatorship is about today, nor has it been for quite some time.

America has loads of political prisoners today that it persecutes continually.  If you don’t think it does, then you haven’t been paying close enough attention to the news lately.  Remember when our current Commander-in-Chief threatened to veto  the new National Defense Authorization Act (the “N.D.A.A.”) last month, that $660 billion monstrosity, if the Oval Office, instead of the head of the Defense Department, wasn’t afforded the right to say who gets to leave the U.S.’s secret prisons? The Commander-in-Chief is serious about keeping control over indefinite detainees in as few hands as humanly possible.  That way, the wars our military dictatorship wage covertly at times when it isn’t actually at war can remain secret endeavors of the Oval Office, just as George W. Bush pledged they would when he established the now-renamed Office of Global Communications in March of 2003. “He [Bush] told us that we were going to be at this for a long, long time,” . . . “that we were setting a template for future presidents, that we had to think big, strategic, historic thoughts.” All this, to combat what Bush called “anti-Americanism” – and through the use of “the media, the Internet, and a range of covert operations . . .”(3) (emph. added) Voila – COINTELPRO goes cyber.

Not a month after the N.D.A.A. was signed we heard from yet another Guantánamo detainee Omar Deghayes who had been tortured at the now 10 year-old GITMO for six years after he was picked up in Pakistan and transferred to the infamous detainee center in 2002.  It seems Mr. Deghayes has been patiently waiting for three-plus years to tell his story – until GITMO’s 10th anniversary provided the opportunity for certain of our covert warfighters to drag him out in order to make you believe he is the only type of detainee being persecuted by the U.S. military dictatorship.  He follows in the footsteps of a now lengthy queue of former detainees with tales of mistaken identity and secret rendition, which evinces one thing as clearly about the U.S. military dictatorship as the center’s torture facilities evince it as a human rights crime factory:  it is in no way secret.  While Guantánamo Bay may  be one type of U.S. military torture center it is still in no way a secret prison, obviously.  The U.S. military torture centers to which suspected Al Qaeda and Taliban supporters, such as Lebanese-German Khaled al-Masri, have been secretly renditioned are also torture centers – but also obviously not secret, any more than agents of the U.S.’s secret military, such as outted CIA operative Valerie Plame, represent some type of exceptional spy in your community. So if it’s not prisoners in GITMO that have been the subject of the recent infighting between the Oval Office and the Senate, you may ask, what type of indefinite detainee’s fate is now in the hands of the Commander-in-Chief? The answer is those of us targeted by our nation’s ubiquitous covert "warfighters."

When New York University Professor and civil rights attorney Brian Glick wrote War at Home: Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It in 1989 this is what he said about the widespread, then extra-judicial, state-sponsored terrorism that the U.S. government had been unremittingly and illegally waging against law-abiding American activists throughout the 20th century:

“Over the past 50 years, clandestine work has become an essential part of the Bureau’s mode of operation. Many of its senior agents are now specialists whose professional advancement requires that the government continue to rely on covert action.  . . . The combined experience of these veteran covert operatives has given rise to a growing literature and theory of counter-insurgency.  Their widely circulated texts and manuals restate the basic precepts of COINTELPRO and pound home the necessity for continuous operations.  The leading treatise, Low-Intensity Operations:  Subversion, Insurgency, and Peacekeeping, by Frank Kitson, British Commander in Kenya, Malaysia, Cyprus, and Northern Ireland, insists that infiltration and ‘psychological operations’ be mounted against dissident groups in ‘normal times,’ before any mass movement can develop.”(4)

 “Low-Intensity Operations.” It sounds so innocuous, doesn’t it? “Subversion, insurgency, and peacekeeping.” Sometimes, I wonder if there would be so many willing participants in our country’s covert army if their tactics were more accurately described to the public:  defamation of character, undermining of association and consciousness altering.  Surely, someone, somewhere, would have something to say about the ongoing work of this army, wouldn’t they - the church, or civil rights advocates?  What I find fascinating, too, is that the National Defense Industrial Association, which describes itself as “America’s leading Defense Industry association promoting national security,” is holding its 23rd annual Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict (the more accurate American colloquialism for Low-Intensity Operations) conference in Washington, D.C., on February 6th through 8th, 2012.  This is how they describe themselves: “Our members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training and support for our warfighters and first responders through our divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations and events.”  National security first responders who do COINTELPRO on a continual basis, here, in America, and which have been in business for a decade longer than The Patriot Act has existed?  And you thought it was George Bush who suspended your civil rights with The Patriot Act, didn’t you? You thought the covert war only began when he declared it – everywhere on the globe, in perpetuity – in February of 2002. (That means on you, forever.)

That’s right – untold millions of Americans – not merely those that are targets, but also those that do the targeting – know full well to what secret prison the afore-mentioned contested provision of The National Defense Authorization Act refers: the virtual ones created by your covert warfighters, whom every one of your Commanders-in-Chief since Ronald Reagan has endeavored to create and, in so doing, have made of every single American a potential enemy of every other American. They have made traitors of you all to the ideal of freedom upon which this country was founded. Here’s one way they do it: by using entrapment to create profiles of targets as perpetratorsn of illegal or antisocial behavior so the members of their cowardly, private organizations can persecute those targets.

Decent Americans were shocked when news reports began to surface about one of these many craven COINTELPRO tactics used by those given power by the neo-cons who’ve controlled our government these last 30 years to create chaos in the lives of ordinary Americans.  I, myself, have been targeted numerous times with just such a ruse – once, at my local grocery store.  Laying in the aisle one day at the front of the store, in line with the Sarah Palin look-alike store Operative’s surveillance podium, was a roll of coins.  It had been placed under the wheel of an aimless shopping cart at the end of the checkout line, the path of which I would have had to cross to exit the store.  Instead, I approached the vigilant Operative and asked her if she was going to retrieve it.  Looking right at the coins, she said, “Where is it?  I don’t see it?”  I patiently gave her three points of reference:  on the floor, next to that lone shopping carriage, at the end of the checkout aisle at which a customer in a green jacket was being helped.  With the skills of an academy award winner, she denied seeing it.  Finally, I turned and walked toward the exit.  When I reached the carriage, I pushed it aside, put my foot on top of the roll of coins, and flung my foot backwards, propelling the loot toward the Operative.  “That one,” I called out, as I continued walking.  Falsely arresting and corruptly prosecuting the innocent has been a strategy used by the U.S. military’s covert branches for a long time, and even though the civi rights putatively guaranteed to every citizen by the Constitution are routinely breeched in these covert operations, the United States Congress continues to fund the development and deployment of COINTELPRO – today, to the tune of $660 billion.  All of this surveillance, terrorism and torture takes a lot of money.

And $660 billion dollars is a lot of money going to warfighters. for the purpose of repressing dissent. Since targets lose all of their civil rights when they are drafted into this war – the freedom to associate (see, Why I Write This Blog, in the right sidebar), the freedom to private thought, the freedom of security of person and domicile – COINTELPRO and LIC have created a new class of wealthy Americans by creating this American police state. It takes a lot of surveillance and coordination  to track and interfere with people, but it’s no problem for our military because they have superior technology to aid their indecent warfighters.  They can know instantaneously the moment-to-moment plans of targets with this very real technology; they can make targets walk right into any of their traps;  they can manipulate targets’ perceptions in any number of ways – to deprive them of sleep, or even to make the target believe he or she is having everything from a vivid nightmare to ‘paranormal’ experiences.  There is little the target that is being manipulated to behave criminally or antisocially  can do, and little else he or she can think of other than this ongonig war - such as mounting important advocacy campaigns.  Wow.  Someone has been asleep at the wheel, if our country has been occupied by many private military forces whose main objective is to undermine the civil rights of American citizens using invasive, private-thought-depriving technology, stalking and slander to create political prisoners who have no civil rights or social status.  Creating this war technology – defense contracting – is one of the revenue streams that benefits from that $660 billion investment in warfighting.

The title of this article betrays the never-ending, total war, SS-and-Nazi-like aspirations of our military dictatorship: “Despite Bin Laden Coup, it’s Business as Usual for U.S. Special Operators.” Americans are free? Americans fight other countries to defend our freedom and to bring freedom to those other countries? Really? No one in America is free if private armies have been conducting covert war against us here, in our country, just like Hitler’s SS conducted pogroms across Eastern Europe before the September 1939 invasion of Poland – not when those armies brazenly admit to their ‘private’ alliances and to doing so with no fear of retaliation, and not when they continue to wage war when there is no legitimate reason for them to do so, or for their wars' further existence.

Incredibly, at the same time that all these public/private soldiers have enlisted to engage in this war against the decent people in this country, abductions, rapes, the sexual slavery trade, drug trafficking and murders continue to be headline news, giving the impression that our so-called law enforcement simply can’t keep up with the apparently natural occurrence of deviancy in our society. But how can that be true – with all of this privacy-denying technology deployed? Again, the answer is money. Crime does, indeed, pay. Entrapping people they’ve blacklisted from employment in civil and social persecution campaigns is merely one example of the ways these warfighters create targets to keep their war machine profitable – one way they keep corrupt prosecutors, judges and cops employed. The monkey must be fed, after all. But there are collateral revenue streams that are equally as profitable. Crime novelist and Travel Channel host of the series, Hidden City, Marcus Sakey said at the end of his feature on the city of Boston that he “loves crime” and “. . . loves criminals . . .” because they “allow [him] to make a great living.” I’m sure that’s comforting for the families of the victims of Whitey Bulger to know – that the lives of their loved ones mean nothing sacred and are instead simply a means to an end for his success, providing him something to write about, blog about, and produce a lucrative television series about. And that, my friends, is the chief aspiration of every fascist – wealth through the enslavement and deaths of others. It doesn’t really matter to Sakey that Bulger was on the government’s payroll, like so many other mobsters, when he killed all of his victims. They’re just incidental chum to him in this crime-equals-wealth generating machine, just as we targets of the covert war industry – guilty of nothing but the courage of our convictions – who make influential the improperly educated, indecent-minded, uncivilized, ultimately unpatriotic and duped warfighters that are engaged in Special Operations/Low-Intensity Conflict, are the slaves of their obscenely rich handlers. The Travel Channel has investors just like the member corporations of the National Defense Industrial Association does.

None of the Huffington Post, Democracy Now, Jon Stewart, or Stephen Colbert are going to tell you about the U.S.’s most secret of secret prisons, the virtual ones it places its dissidents in. They’re not in the business of exposing themselves as the complicit agents in the U.S. military dictatorship’s covert war that they are. The Colbert Report even promotes false treatises that deny this war exists despite Bush’s 2002 declaration of it – treatises such as Naomi Klein’s 2007, The End of America: Letter of Warning to a Young Patriot, in which the author patently denies all of the foregoing facts and merely warns that totalitarianism could happen here, if it looked like that of China. You won’t find shocking revelations about the U.S. military’s secret virtual prisons in any Wiki-Leaks document; no alleged former intelligence soldier is going to risk a stay in the brig and a court martial to tell you what untold millions of Americans already know – just as untold numbers of German citizens knew perfectly well that the Nazi’s had built and were using to kill so-called ‘undesirables’ their concentration camps all over Eastern Europe. Political theorist, philosopher and German expatriate Hannah Arendt remarked parenthetically in her essay, Truth and Politics, “Even in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia it was more dangerous to talk about concentration and extermination camps, whose existence was no secret, than to hold and to utter ‘heretical’ views on anti-Semitism, racism and Communism.”(5)

There is only one appropriate word for governments who do these things to masses of non-combatant individuals:  totalitarian.   And there is only one word to describe the actual beliefs of those who participate in this totalitarian government:  fascist.  A laissez-faire attitude adopted by the same law enforcement that has worked hand-in-hand with the Pentagon to persecute law-abiding citizens for decades is profitable.  “Permission for you to do whatever you want unless and until we tell you we don’t like it” is, like slavery, a hallmark of fascism because it represents the institution of a non-egalitarian society – a society in which classes are firmly entrenched and those in the upper exploit those in the lower with impunity; sex slavers  are permitted by American police to do as they wish, but someone else who merely reports on crimes against women is freely murdered for doing so.

Perhaps if those of us who’ve misunderstood the difference between ideals and values and misunderstood our role as American citizens (the vigilant protection of which we have been admonished by our forefathers to undertake) were given a lesson on the difference between the former, we wouldn’t be living in this fascist police state today.  Our forefathers believed our freedom came from the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the ammo box – in that order. War should be the last resort, not the first – and it has certainly never been condoned as a strategic offense. Perhaps if we had been educated to judge properly what it is we’ve been indoctrinated to believe is appropriate to do in a free society, some of us wouldn’t be involved in creating a society that has effectively eliminated all but the last type of box, and an essay like this one wouldn’t be necessary.

I like to think of ideals as being those elusive, superlative goals to which every individual person and collection of persons that exists on the planet today, has ever existed on it, or – G_d willing – will ever exist may aspire. They are much more encompassing than any other aspect of the human experience; they seem “transcendent” and firmly rooted in the spiritual world yet irremovably tethered to our psyches. Ideals are so powerful, they form the bases of the motifs of our collective subconscious. We only come close to understanding them when we, ourselves, either act to attain them, or create ways of exploring them vicariously through our art: heroic ballads such as Homer’s Odyssey, or fairytales of self-sacrifice such as Harry Potter and the seven what-have-yous. And we immortalize our most successful attempts at emulating our ideals in other ways than ballad and song; the chivalry of King Charlemagne’s Carolingian Renaissance informed Cervantes’ comic-tragic masterpiece, Don Quixote, nearly 800 years later, and, as epochs in which chivalry has come into vogue and passed out again, people familiar with this classic continue to debate the merits of the protagonist’s quest for a meaningful life as either admirable valor or naïve foolishness, with the former interpretations gaining favor among academics in times in which civil liberties expand and the latter interpretation gaining favor when those pesky narrow-minded conservatives rule.  And that debate will never end as long as those with courage enough to let their ideals guide their life’s work exist. But there must be some other reason for the persistent human capacity to recognize and act on the ideal than to sustain a debate about the most meaningful ways to live life through works of art.

That we all conceive of potential superlative states of being is the characteristic that links us all together – our similar, instinctive capacity to aspire to these universally acknowledged highest conceptualized experiences: the ideal of freedom, the ideal of truth, the ideal of justice, or the ideal of love, the ideal of compassion. When we talk about freedom, we are talking about an ideal – one just as elusive as any other. It’s so difficult to attain and maintain freedom that even the most lucid of philosophical minds among us has found the problem of simply defining it intractable. But the difficulty in defining the shape and character of American freedom didn’t deter the creators of our country’s system of governance from attempting to do so because they understood that ideals must be striven for with Sisyphean fortitude no matter how futile may appear the task of attaining them. Our forefathers (among lots of other people, especially, the philosophers whose work they assiduously studied) understood these two things: the ideal is that which is the right and proper objective for humans to strive to obtain, and when we American citizens come together in collective attempts to govern ourselves, that ideal which is rightly the most important for us to work together to attain and protect is that of freedom. A collection of people such as a family may prefer to work towards another ideal, that of love. A collection of people such as a jury, for the ideal of justice - hopefully. An individual may prefer to strive to attain the ideal of beauty – whatever it may be, in his or her particular culture. They are all expressions of universally prized human objectives. One example of such a thing that is not the proper goal to which we, as a putative governing force in an allegedly free society, should not collectively strive – because it is not an expression of a universally prized superlative human objective such as the ideal – is that of a “value.” Here’s why.

Values are always biased. They represent the particular beliefs and interests of particular groups of people. For example, there are groups of people who value education as the most laudable of human endeavors, and they include religious communities such as those comprised of people of the Jewish tradition as well as various ethnic Asian cultures (and, of course, many other groups of people, such as educators). There are groups of people who value physical athleticism as the most worthwhile of human engagements, and they include Olympians, marathon runners, tri-athletes and iron man contenders as well as yoga devotees and people who regularly work out. Hugh Heffner has said that he is a hedonist, which means he values more than any other human pursuit the pursuit of pleasure and sensual self-indulgence. Some people value squandering time by drinking beer in a lounge chair while watching a sporting event every single Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Others may value killing those people who do things with their own bodies their consciences and the law entitles them to do but which they, themselves, find offensive, perhaps because of some religious prejudice they’ve been given. They value denying freedom to those people as well as the power they feel when they take it upon themselves to persecute the people who wish to live according to their consciences and the law, especially when they are successful in their persecution campaigns. Personally, I embrace the multiplicity of human beings created by G_d, and I value using my time to make myself as informed about those among us who do not and the specious ways they behave which deny us all the chance to reach for our ideals – such as the way certain of our politicians have behaved by changing the discourse of American politics from debate about how to achieve and protect our common ideal of freedom to an indoctrinating patter that dictates to us that we should embrace them because their alleged values – always opaquely defined as ‘family,’ or ‘traditional’ but only so in the most narrow and often vulgar ways – are the same as ours. Every head of household has to be able to support his or her family, but targets of our military government are frequently blacklisted. If our government leaders really prized ‘family’ values they wouldn’t have created a multi-battalion, occupying force of minions in America that destroys families by entrapping people in seemingly criminal or antisocial behavior as a pretense for initiating legal and military persecution against those people, which often includes removing them from employment. When your politicians start dictating values, they clearly intend on depriving some of you of your freedom to hold values different than theirs.  That's the end of freedom, and in America, that happened over 30 years ago.

Neo-cons love to imply that members of the LGBT community are sinners and/or less than human and cannot, therefore, have family values. They value crafting anti-civil rights legislation such as the Defense of Marriage Act, something that could only be undertaken by irrational and pathological haters of G_d’s creation. In response, the LGBT community, quite appropriately, point out that “Hate is not a family value.” And, too, values are currency. If you carry the same hatred in your heart for members of the LGBT community that neo-cons openly demonstrate (despite whatever they may patronizingly say about loving the so-called sinner and hating the so-called sin), and the same contempt for freedom and civil rights they demonstrate, you, too, can have commerce with them. But you’d also have to value hypocrisy and rhetoric as they do – which is to say, above any other aspect of your humanity, such as your ability to conceive of and strive for manifestation of the ideal of freedom (which includes protecting the freedom of members of the LGBT community to live and love as they choose, obviously).

Though killing others because their behavior offends one’s personal beliefs (instead of simply acknowledging that one’s beliefs are precisely that; one tool by which one may govern one’s own behavior) may be a value held by some among us, it’s not a value America has legally condoned as a viable modus operandi - yet - of forcing one’s beliefs on others. Here, you see the problem that arises if we try to use values, instead of ideals, as the basis of our governance; values represent only the narrow interests of the politicos who espouse them and their supporters, and not necessarily the best interests of all humanity as exhibited in American society. Only ideals can do that. People who tell you your business is to concern yourself, as an American, with supporting their values – perhaps because those values appear to be the same as yours – are distracting you from your responsibility as an American citizen to elect and support lawmakers whose chief concern is with protecting freedom, which is the only proper context in which you and I have given them the privilege to address us. Their congressional and district offices are not pulpits, nor should they be, as history so often tries to teach us.(7)

And make no mistake - when we Americans have historically spoken about freedom, we have not been speaking about those government-licensed, amorphous entities we know as corporations, who do whatever they please in pursuit of profits for their owners and investors, such as poisoning people, giving them cancer, irradiating them, using paramilitary forces to crush the protests their workers who demand better working conditions. These behaviors comport in no way with the ideal of freedom, or with the traditional American ideal of it – however often in our history they’ve been practiced. They are the behaviors, as we’ve seen, of the sociopath.   “We hold these truths to be self-evident” is the expression of a certain knowledge in the existence of such things as ideals, just as “inalienable” is the expression of the natural rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness our forefathers deemed the object of American citizenry. After much debate they wisely chose not to include property as one protected right of citizenship because property included then, just as it includes today, people - slaves such I and countless millions have been turned into by the denial of the civil rights enumerated in the First Amendment. We are captives of their covert war, and we are not the only slaves around.

If the people from whom you take your moral cues are politicians, you can be sure that their posing as so-called moral leaders is for one purpose only: to distract you from what it is they’re doing (which, in the last 30 years, has not been governing the country towards its highest ideal, quite obviously). Moral instruction is not – and ought not be – their job. Hannah Arendt's sober analysis, "Truth and Politics," of the way in which all contemporary politicians lie about facts is even more relevant today than it was when she wrote it in about 1963, a decade before the facts about our government's widespread use of COINTELPRO against American citizens became known.  If those same people tell you that the market will solve all of society’s problems, not only are they revealing themselves as completely unfit for the role of moral leader, but they are also espousing a fealty to some other thing than freedom – even if they call themselves “free” market proponents. Markets don’t solve human-made problems; human responsibility solves human-made problems. That’s why the buying of all African-American slaves by abolitionists could never end slavery. People determined to enslave others will always find a way to do so, and so, in the American police state, they have. Anyone who conflates a business objective with the ideal of freedom is manipulating your opinions you so that you will go along with his scheme to make money; that’s what business is for. And that is the only thing business is for – to make money. If you participate in this revenue stream anywhere, you’re making slaves of your fellow Americans – and yourselves.

Business is not going to ‘provide’ both bread and roses, the  symbol of sustenance gained through honest work and the symbol of luxury that an excess of sustenance makes possible when people have the leisure time to gather them and better their situations, if it can get away with only providing bread.  Honest people doing honest work to better themselves and their lives is what, collectively, we Americans have supported because it has supported the manifestation of our chief ideal:  freedom.  That’s not the type of work our home-turf warfighters are engaged in.  Our home-turf warfighters are engaged in the maintenance and perpetuation of those secret prisons our new $660 billion so-called Defense Act bill pays them to maintain and perpetuate.  Secret – in other words, unfair – conflict is their business.  Freedom means nothing to them other than the freedom they’ve been given to persecute others.  They have apparently lost the ability (if their higher cognitive functions were ever trained to think about ideas) to conceptualize ideals and plan behaviors aimed at accomplishing them.  That they may be superiorly armed with functional strategies and technologies designed to be undetectable is clearly the case, but that does not mean they are capable of thinking for themselves.  On the contrary, skill-building and doctrinaire obeisance take very little cognitive ability, which is easily undermined by things such as our mass culture, which has been so programmed to make us believe that a strictly utilitarian approach to life in which we see others only as opportunities for exploitation is a somehow preferable approach to life that there are those of us who unquestioningly go along with whatever our paymasters expect of us.  And nothing is as certain as the rising and setting of the sun as the slavery-creep of fascists.  Today, you may be a warfighter; tomorrow, a target.

Brave new world? I think not. War is the organizing principle of no civilized society – and it hasn’t been since the bronze age (that’s the age in which lived the Jewish sage many of the leaders who’ve subverted the national discourse away from discussions of freedom and to discussions of their specious values worship as their co-deity). This is the world of the cowardly and crass – the world where humanity, in its true, philosophical sense, has been made impossible because the people in charge of our society like slavery, war and crime and the money they can make from these endeavors above any other thing, including working collectively toward the ideal of freedom. They don’t care about waging their wars with honor; the fact that covert warfare is their chief means of warfighting, one which they have never given up the use of despite their perjury to Congress in 1974, when the Defense Department assured it they had discontinued COINTELPRO. They see in others merely the opportunity for exploitation, not a sympathetic appreciation for the wondrous nature of G_d-given life. They live only by the philosophy that there is no such thing as good or evil (unless they can point their fingers at themselves as examples of the former and at others as examples of the latter). They only believe in power (getting and exerting their own and denying it from others), just as those who created the last great fascist government of the 20th century, the Nazi government, believed. They are the type of cowards that shoot people in the back,(8) and they are traitors to America. Not very chivalrous. Not very “let-your-yea-be-yea-and-your-nay-be-nay” Christian.

If you are incapable of judging for yourselves the evidence of fascism that is around you, you are not capable of responsible citizenship in American society today.  Being capable of judging responsibly what is taking place in America requires appreciation of other ideals – namely, truth and courage.  You have to have the courage to look at your leaders honestly and to look at your willingness to do so in the same way. That takes understanding deeply and sympathetically that all people have the same subjective sense of life and are, therefore, not merely objects by which we may acquire things such as social prestige, influence, or money. If you, yourself, wish to be an indoctrinated drone in this fascist society, preferring to go along to get along, then understand that you are sacrificing much more than merely your autonomy to your handlers. Being a patriotic American today takes realizing that one is not simply a weapon for the powerful, a mindless and parasitic amoeba whose only need is for the material artifacts such employment can provide. Being a patriotic American requires you to realize that you are first a human being whose genuine and peaceful engagement with others such as the type envisioned by, for example, Jesus of Nazareth, is not only possible but actually preferable. It is that type of association that you are sacrificing when you go along with whatever war with which the fascists in control of our society decide to plague us. If you don’t believe me, take a look at the words of our last Commander-in-Chief who was willing to directly resist the fascist militarization of our government and society:

“We are confronted primarily with a moral issue. It is as old as the scriptures and as clear as the American Constitution. The heart of the question is whether all Americans are to be afforded equal rights and equal opportunities, whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans as we want to be treated.”

President John F. Kennedy
June 11, 1963

President Kennedy was speaking, of course, to the American people and imploring them to support desegregation and new civil rights laws that effectively overturned those countless state and local codes which had created de facto slavery in the form of Jim Crow – separate facilities for eating, drinking and using the bathroom for African-Americans, poll taxes and vote registration tests and many others. That "whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans" refers, obviously, to the Golden Rule, which, in Jesus's teachings, is memorialized in the second half of what we call the Agape doctrine, found in the Sermon on the Mount.  We, the targets of the U.S. military’s covert war, are no different than those African-Americans who lived in Jim Crow America, and the so-called soldiers whose work it is to keep us in these virtual prisons are traitors to our nation’s constitution and most cherished ideal.  JFK would be appalled at today’s perpetual covert war against Americans, by Americans.

You are so much more than the mere prejudices embodied in what your hypocritical leaders have wrongly persuaded you to believe comprise your ultimate human nature, your “values.” Your fealty should be only to that which has made you human and those who support your being fully human. You can derisively call those of us who do idealists, or you can become like our founding fathers and be an idealist, too. If you believe striving for our highest human ideals is a preferable way to live than wallowing in the brutality of the hate-fueled, fascist (and anti-Christian) police state the U.S. government has created here, in America, welcome aboard. If you have no sense of integrity and believe the most important thing you can do is to join the fascists by participating in their police state, if aspiring to have a community in which you can live by your most base, mammalian instincts as though millions of years of evolution never happened – that only this degrading type of community is the only one possible or preferable – I hope you’ll ask yourself why so many others throughout history have patently disagreed with you and managed to create great societies, if only for brief periods of time.

My otherwise taciturn uncle married the daughter of the wealthiest man in the county after abandoning his infant daughter (whose existence he denied for the first 40+ years of her life) and her mother and became mayor of his two-stoplight, multi-corporation-controlled Mississippi town. When I was but 6 years-old he made certain to say within earshot of me, “You can say anything you want in America – as long as you’re willing to pay for it.” That was nearly 44 years ago, when I first demonstrated that I was as exuberantly engaged with the world around me as I am today. In the intervening decades, I’ve certainly learned that our military dictatorship has taken to heart Frank Kitson’s advice in its mission to make pay, for the free expression of their discontent with it, those of us who act on our first amendment rights to dissent. I’ve also learned that George H.W. Bush’s 1991 re-declaration of “novus ordo seclorum” didn’t actually refer to any new age, or epoch of world history (as a restatement of the founding fathers’ original declaration, how could it be?). What George H.W. Bush’s further elucidation of the then-new law-and-order government – as opposed to governance of, by and for the people – was the same, old, slavery-loving, freedom-quashing, humanity-destroying, ‘the-[military industrial] market-will-provide-solutions-to-all-our-problems’ world order coveted by totalitarians throughout the ages, no matter what the name of their political philosophy, which today, for America’s leaders, is exactly the same as it was a century ago in Germany: fascism. That’s what our government leaders have been doing to our country while they’ve been mouthing the rhetoric of values to you: creating a fascist military dictatorship – because they have all been traitors to the American ideal of freedom.

End their secret war.  Call the fascists out.  Start talking about American fascism. Start confronting the fascists.  This is a putative election year.  Every town hall and campaign speech is an opportunity to ask candidates about the U.S. military’s ongoing secret war – how much of that $660 billion goes to perpetuating it, and what they will do to end it. NDIA’s conference is in Washington, D.C., February 6th-8th. There’s no better time or place for civil disobedience that confronts these, our leading fascists – even if (or perhaps especially because) the Occupiers’ leaders have disappeared back into the shadows from which they came.

(1) “Fascism:  A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”  The American Heritage Dictionary, 2nd College Paperback Edition, Houghton-Mifflin Company, 1983.  Let’s say, for example, you live in a building that has been purchased by both your city government and a group of investors who wish to turn it into so-called affordable housing.  Because of city regulations, neither party can evict you, but, as partners with our federal military dictatorship, they can use any number of military tactics such as COINTELPRO and MKULTRA to try to force you to leave, and when that doesn’t work, they can simply have one of their employees repeatedly trigger the building’s fire alarm system – and rely on the Fire Department not to intervene in their campaign by responding to the alarm, or turning it off, as law provides only they can do.  This is actually what I live with.

(2) Benedict Arnold was born on January 14, 1741, in Norwich, Connecticut, and was once one of the most highly admired of American Revolutionary War generals – a Major General of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1780.  During this period, he was involved in nine other missions:  seven battles (including those at Saratoga, during which he was injured so badly he was decommissioned for several years), a relief mission as well as an expedition to Quebec.  It is to his leadership that war historians attribute the defeat of the British at Ft. Ticonderoga, the pivotal battle that turned the Revolutionary War from a certain disaster for American revolutionaries into its still greatest triumph (because, excepting the wars of 1812 and the world wars, all the wars in which it has engaged since then have been unprovoked, unconstitutional, empire-building excursions).  Petty jealousy among his peers led to Arnold being charged with corruption and other malfeasance on a number of occasions – all of which were dropped after formal inquiries.  Yet, after one such investigation – during which it was revealed that Arnold had spent much of his own personal wealth in aid of the war effort – Congress nevertheless deemed him indebted to it.  In 1779, Arnold decided to hire himself out to a more appreciative employer – the British army.  He sought and obtained in 1780 the command of West Point, and when his plans to turn it over to the British were discovered, he fled up the Hudson River to the awaiting British war sloop, The Vulture.  When he next appeared in uniform in America, it was as a British Brigadier General, where he was as effective in leading raids against the Continental army in Virginia, New London and Groton, Connecticut, as he had been against his former enemy combatants.  After the war, he lived for a time in London before starting a merchantile with his two sons in New Brunswick, Canada.  He retired to London in 1791 and died there ten years later.  Torries in England hailed him a hero, but he has been regarded as the most duplicitous traitor in American history for more than two centuries. 

(3) Becker, Elizabeth and Dao, James: “A Nation Challenged: Hearts and Minds,” The New York Times, February 20, 2002.
(4) War at Home:  Covert Action Against U.S. Activists and What We Can Do About It, South End Press, 1989, p. 37, quoting Kitson (Stackpole Books, 1971), p. 71; see also, Evelegh, Robin:  Peace-Keeping in a Democratic Society (C. Hurst & Co., 1978); Lawrence, Ken:  “The New State Repression,” Covert Action Information Bulletin, summer, 1985; Klare, Michael and Kornbluth, Peter, eds., Low-Intensity Warfare (Pantheon, 1988); Miles, Sara:  “The Real War:  Low-Intensity Conflict in Central America,” NACLA Report on the Americas, April/May, 1986.

(5)  Day, Susie and Whitehorn, Laura:  "Human Rights in the United States:  The Unfinished Story of Political Prisoners and COINTELPRO," Commentary, New Political Science, Vol. 23, November 2, 2001.

(6)  Arend, Hannah:  "Truth and Politics," Between Past and Future, Penguin Books, 2006 p. 232.

(7)  The first time in Euro-American history they were one and the same it led to the wholesale slaughter of (as usual) the best among the Bay colonists that had settled Salem Village (now, Danvers, Massachusetts) in its "witch hysteria."  Another moralist-promoted political war against the traditional American, the liberty-loving liberal, was repeated again in the 20th century by agents of the U.S. military's covert department, led by the head of the so-called Justice Department, J. Edgar Hoover, during which they hunted down and ruined those people they falsely claimed had undermined American nationalism, as George W. Bush declared he would, simply for participating in political partices they felt would best accomplish the egalitarian state envisioned by our founding fathers.  That was the goal of McCarthy's Red Scare, not the protection of freedom, and it seems to have worked.

(8)  This is not to say that they don't openly assault their targets.  They do.  I've been assaulted on the MBTA and in my bank, in front of a city police officer and a bank guard.  In every case of assault, when I've sought the help of the police, I've been refused - told to go to another police force, or city agency, and denied the right to make a police report.  One day, I was assaulted in Dunkin Donuts.  A menacing kid several patrons ahead of me in the line waited at the counter until I had placed my order, slurping his iced coffee.  I had never seen him before - had no idea who he was - but he obviously knew me (or thought he did).  When the store manager and I were completing my transaction, he interrupted our repartee to call me "rude," and when I replied that it was he who, having waited after his transaction had been completed for no other apparent reason than to harass me, was the rude person, he loudly threatened, "Why don't you just get out here and die," not moving from his post.  Naturally, I left as soon as I received my change.  A month later, I called on the ACLU - again - and reported this incident to a very bored civil rights attorney, who couldn't even tell me that lying in wait - stalking - was a felony (that, I had to find out on the internet).  Our military's warfighters obviously have no fear of retaliation, and why should they - when law enforcement no longer serves and protects (if it ever did).