“Corporate America is using police forces as their mercenaries.”—Ray Lewis, Retired Philadelphia Police Captain
It’s one thing to know and exercise your rights when a police officer pulls you over, but what rights do you have when a private cop—entrusted with all of the powers of a government cop but not held to the same legal standards—pulls you over and subjects you to a stop-and-frisk or, worse, causes you to “disappear” into a Gitmo-esque detention center not unlike the one employed by Chicago police at Homan Square?
For that matter, how do you even begin to know who you’re dealing with, given that these private cops often wear police uniforms, carry police-grade weapons, and perform many of the same duties as public cops, including carrying out SWAT team raids, issuing tickets and firing their weapons.
This is the growing dilemma we now face as private police officers outnumber public officers (more than two to one), and the corporate elite transforms the face of policing in America into a privatized affair that operates beyond the reach of the Fourth Amendment.
Mind you, it’s not as if we had many rights to speak of, anyhow.
Owing to the general complacency of the courts and legislatures, the Fourth Amendment has already been so watered down, battered and bruised as to provide little practical protection against police abuses. Indeed, as I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we’re already operating in a police state in which police have carte blanche authority to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance. Expanding on these police powers, the U.S. Supreme Court recently gave law enforcement officials tacit approval to collect DNA from any person, at any time.
However, whatever scant protection the weakened Fourth Amendment provides us dissipates in the face of privatized police, who are paid by corporations working in partnership with the government. Talk about a diabolical end run around the Constitution.
We’ve been so busy worrying about militarized police, police who shoot citizens first and ask questions later, police who shoot unarmed people, etc., that we failed to take notice of the corporate army that was being assembled under our very noses. Looks like we’ve been outfoxed, outmaneuvered and we’re about to be out of luck.
Indeed, if militarized police have become the government’s standing army, privatized police are its private army—guns for hire, if you will. This phenomenon can be seen from California to New York, and in almost every state in between. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the private security industry is undergoing a boom right now, with most of the growth coming about due to private police doing the jobs once held by public police. For instance, Foley, Minnesota, population 2600, replaced its police force with private guards
Technically, a private police force is one that is owned or controlled by a non-governmental body such as a corporation. Those who advocate for privatized services and limited government hail the shift towards private police as a step in the right direction by getting the government out of the business of policing and allow market principles to dictate an officer’s success, i.e., if an officer abuses his authority, he can easily be fired.
Read the fine print, however, and you’ll find that these private police aka guns-for-hire a.k.a. private armies a.k.a. company police officers a.k.a. secret police a.k.a. conservators of the police a.k.a. rent-a-cops don’t exactly remove the government from the equation. Instead, they merely allow them to work behind the scenes, conveniently insulated from any accusations of wrongdoing or demands for transparency. Indeed, most private police officers are either working for private security firms that are contracted by the government or are government workers moonlighting on their time off.
What began as a job detail for wealthy communities and businesses looking to discourage burglaries has snowballed into a lucrative enterprise for private corporations. Today these private police can be found wherever extra security is “needed”: at hospitals, universities, banks, shopping malls, gated communities, you name it.
As historian Heather Ann Thompson notes, “private security firms have come substantially to supplement, if not completely to replace, the publicly-funded public safety presence of troubled inner cities ranging from Oakland, to New Orleans, to small towns in states such Minnesota, to entire neighborhoods—sometimes extremely rich, sometimes desperately poor—in urban centers such as Atlanta and Baltimore.”
For example, in New Orleans, a 50-person private police squad funded by a “voluntary” hotel tax is being charged with enforcing traffic, zoning and other non-emergency laws in the French Quarter.
In Seattle, off-duty Seattle Police officers moonlighting as a private security force patrol wealthy neighborhoods “approximately six nights/days a week for five hours each shift. Officers are in uniform, carry police radios and their police firearms and drive unmarked personal vehicles.”
In California, private mercenaries—many of them ex-U.S. Special Forces, Army Rangers and other combat veterans—equipped with AR-15 rifles use unmarked helicopters to police cannabis farms and cut down private gardens without a warrant.
Yet while these private police firms enjoy the trappings of government agencies—the weaponry, the arrest and shoot authority, even the ability to ticket and frisk— they’re often poorly trained, inadequately screened, poorly regulated and heavily armed. Now if that sounds a lot like public police officers, you wouldn’t be far wrong.
First off, the label of “private” is dubious at best. Mind you, this is a far cry from a privatization of police. These are guns for hire, answerable to corporations who are already in bed with the government. They are extensions of the government without even the pretense of public accountability. One security consultant likened the relationship between public and private police to public healthcare: “It’s basically, the government provides a certain base level. If you want more than that, you pay for it yourself.”
The University of Chicago’s police department (UCPD) is a prime example of how private security firms are being entrusted with the legal status of private police forces (which sets them beyond the reach of the rule of law) and the powers of public ones. With a jurisdiction that covers a six-square-mile area and is home to 65,000 individuals, the majority of whom are not students, UCPD is one of the largest private security forces in America.
The private police agency, modeled after the tactics of NYPD chief William Bratton, criminalizes nonviolent activities such as loitering, vandalism, smoking marijuana, and dancing “recklessly” and punishes minor infractions severely in order to “discourage” violent crime. To this end, the UCPD can search, ticket, arrest, and detain anyone they choose without being required to disclose to the public its reasons for doing so. Not surprisingly, the UCPD has been accused of using racial profiling to target individuals for stop-and-frisks.
Second, these private contractors are operating beyond the reach of the law. For example, although private police in Ohio are “authorized by the state to carry handguns, use deadly force and detain, search and arrest people,” they are permitted to keep their arrest and incident reports under wraps. Moreover, the public is not permitted to “check the officers’ background or conduct records, including their use-of-force and discipline histories.” As attorney Fred Gittes remarked, “There is no accountability. They have the greatest power that society can invest in people — the power to use deadly force and make arrests. Yet, the public and public entities have no practical access to information about their behavior, eluding the ability to hold anyone accountable.”
So what happens when the government hires out its dirty deeds to contractors who aren’t quite so discriminating about abiding by constitutional safeguards, especially as they relate to searches and heavy-handed tactics? If you think police abuses are worrisome, security expert Bruce Schneier warns that “abuses of power, brutality, and illegal behavior are much more common among private security guards than real police.”
As Schneier points out, “Many of the laws that protect us from police abuse do not apply to the private sector. Constitutional safeguards that regulate police conduct, interrogation and evidence collection do not apply to private individuals. Information that is illegal for the government to collect about you can be collected by commercial data brokers, then purchased by the police. We’ve all seen policemen ‘reading people their rights’ on television cop shows. If you’re detained by a private security guard, you don’t have nearly as many rights.”
Third, more often than not, the same individuals are serving in both capacities, first on the government payroll, then moonlighting for the corporations. Not surprisingly, given the demand for private police, you’ll find that police in most cities work privately while they are off-duty. Some private officers started off as public officers, then made the switch once they saw how lucrative the field could be.
This gives rise to another interesting phenomenon, a schism, if you will, between what is permissible in the private sector versus and what is allowed in the public sector, and how it affects those who travel between both worlds. We saw this played out in St. Louis, Missouri, when an off-duty police officer, working a secondary shift for a private security firm, shot and killed a teenager.
Fourth, what few realize is that these private police agencies are actually given their police powers by state courts and legislatures, which do not require them to act in accordance with the Constitution’s strictures or be accountable to “we the people.” As legal analyst Timothy Geigner observes, “They’re hiding from public scrutiny behind the veil of incorporation, which may rank right up there among the most cynical things a government organization has ever done. It’s a move one might find in the corporate republic of some dystopian novel. I say that because it’s truly not as though the police departments in question are attempting to claim some kind of exemption within public records law. They’re just putting up a stone wall.”
It’s not as if we have much in the way of local, publicly accountable police forces now; they all answer to the militarized agencies that provide their equipment and training. These private cops simply swell the government’s ranks and serve as the private arm of the law.
In fact, the Department of Justice has been one of the most vocal advocates for the benefits that private security—which has twice the budget and manpower as their government counterparts—can provide in partnership with public police. These so-called “benefits” are outlined in the DOJ’s guidebook entitled “Operation Partnership: Practices and Trends in Law Enforcement and Private Security Collaborations,” which focuses on how both sectors can share cutting-edge technology, information, and personnel resources. Sounds cozy, doesn’t it?
As history shows, we’re not forging a new path with these private police agencies, either. In fact, we’re simply following a model established long ago, not only by Hitler and Mussolini, who relied on private guards to do their bidding, but also by the likes of Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, who relied on their own private police force, the Pinkertons, who had broad authority to “harass or hurt anyone their employers deemed a threat—be they a worker trying to get a fair wage or a poor person begging near the doorstep of a mansion.”
Nevertheless as historian Heather Ann Thompson points out, “despite countless historical accounts of why private policing of public spaces is a bad idea in a democracy, ordinary Americans have raised little ruckus today when, once again, only those Americans with money are assured access to security and protection.” Thompson continues:
Worse, astonishing faith has been expressed in the much-touted proposition that private police forces, in fact, act in the best interests of the public. Where is the concern, if not the outrage, that there is virtually no regulation when it comes to private policing in America’s inner cities? Not only can individuals with little if any training police public spaces, but in various locales they are even authorized to make arrests and wield firearms. What is more, unlike public police, private security officers are not required by law to read a suspect his or her Miranda Rights and, more incredibly, they are allowed to use force, in some circumstances even deadly force, if they deem it necessary to do so.
What we’re finding ourselves faced with is a government of mercenaries, bought and paid for with our tax dollars, all the while claiming to be beyond the reach of the Constitution’s dictates.
When all is said and done, privatization in the American police state amounts to little more than the corporate elite providing cover for government wrong-doing.
Either way, the American citizen loses.
Foreign Policy Journal
by John Chuckman
(Photo: katesheets/Flickr )
In the years since 9/11, American police alone have killed at least twice as many Americans as died in that single large event, the annual toll of police killings being somewhere between 500 and 1,000, the variation owing to many such events going inaccurately reported by police.
Each year, somewhere between 30 and 40 thousand Americans are killed in automobiles, the level having declined in recent years. Each year about 15,000 Americans are murdered, down from about 25,000 not too many years ago. Each year about 100,000 Americans are killed by medical malpractice. About 40,000 Americans commit suicide annually. These are just a few causes of death in America, not the largest ones but some of the more interesting.
Let’s get a rough total estimate of what has happened to Americans from these causes in the time since 9/11. Just using the low number in each case for fourteen years, 7,000 Americans were killed by their own police, 420,000 were killed by something parked in their garage, 210,000 were murdered by fellow citizens, 1,400,000 were killed by friendly family doctors, and there were 560,000 who just decided to pack it in for one reason or another. The total of these various causes of death rounds to 2, 600,000 deaths, nearly 867 times the number of Americans killed in 9/11, 867 collapsed sets of twin towers, nearly 62 collapsed sets of towers per year.
So why are we spending countless billions of dollars fighting terror, an almost insignificant threat to our well-being? We spend a total by various estimates of between 1 and 5 trillion dollars (yes, that’s trillion with a “t”), although such totals can never accurately be given owing to secrecy, false accounting, and the immense waste that is an inherent part of all military and intelligence operations. Even in the crudest military terms of “bang for the buck,” ignoring all the death and destruction and ethical issues, just as the military routinely does in its grim work, the War on Terror has to be the greatest misdirection of resources in all of human history.
Or is it? Perhaps there are other reasons for the War on Terror, reasons never discussed in newspapers or on news broadcasts, reasons which make the expenditure of such colossal amounts against such an insignificant risk acceptable to those doing the spending? Unless American leaders are all lunatics, I think there must be.
Most people are aware that the War on Drugs has been a stupendous flop, with a great deal of resources having bought nothing except a general diminishment of personal freedoms, construction of new prisons, and make-work employment for many unnecessary police and prison guards. But each year the War on Terror spends many, many times the amount spent on the War on Drugs, and what has it bought us? A far greater debasement of freedoms, almost wiping clean parts of the Bill of Rights, raising to a high status in our society such dark and anti-democratic forces as security agents of every kind and the military, increasing exponentially the secrecy of government and thus giving voters no hope for an informed ballot, making countless future enemies in the world, and causing Americans willy-nilly to support filthy acts identical to the hateful work of military juntas who made tens of thousands of civilians disappear.
I think there are only a couple of explanations for this waste of resources which otherwise employed could have made the world an immeasurably better place. They are assisted greatly by what I’ll call the “crime in the news” effect, although I might just as well call it the “advertising effect,” because advertising works on people’s minds through its seeming omnipresence and repetition planting suggestions, suggestions not entirely different to those planted by the stage-performer hypnotist in the minds of his volunteers from the audience.
It has been demonstrated many times that daily reports of violent crime, even when the crimes occur outside a listening community, cause people to become apprehensive about many ordinary activities such as letting kids walk to school or go to the park to play. And no advertising campaign in history could begin to compare to the complete audience saturation of “terror this or that” in our newspapers, magazines, and on-air. Surely, no totalitarian government ever more completely blanketed its people with fearful suggestions than does America’s “free press” today. You literally cannot hear a news broadcast or read a newspaper with the word terror missing, a fact which keeps most people in an unquestioning frame of mind about what properly should be regarded as sinfully immense expenditures to no useful purpose, at the same time conditioning them to surrender precious freedoms. For most people, the fact is that fear overcomes both logic and courage.
Americans, along with people in other lands heavily under American influence, have voluntarily given up claims to what we believed were well-established rights. Yes, there is some controversy over the high-tech equivalent of Big Brother’s telescreens, over the construction of immense new or expanded agencies such as the TSA and NSA, and even some over a seemingly-endless set or wars, but much less than you might have expected. There has been relatively little controversy over America’s smashing its adherence to everything from the Geneva Conventions to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the complete disregard for established basic principles of common law in America’s international behavior goes largely unremarked, at least in America.
In a very real sense, America’s establishment, its government within the government consisting of leaders in security and the military and of its great corporations, has been given license to create a kind of Frankenstein monster which now stands ready with terrible powers to do its bidding. It certainly isn’t just terrorists who need fear, it is every person with the impulse in his or her breast for justice, fairness, and human decency, and it is every country which has an impulse for independence from America’s imperious declarations of how they should carry on their affairs. I don’t like the expression New World Order, but it does in fact communicate something of what has been pursued relentlessly by America’s establishment since 9/11 with an unbounded sense of its entitlement and privilege. The awesome creature it has brought to life – which already runs secret prisons, tortures, conducts non-judicial killings, and supports horrible governments in many places – is no respecter of principles or human rights or even basic decency. We all know from history and common experience that over time any well-funded, established, and privileged institution grows, altering the terms of its charter and spreading its influence always farther, just as today American intelligence, bound by charter not to spy on Americans, spies on them all the time through various technical arrangements effectively going around its charter.
This monster serves ambitions abroad – crush democracy anywhere it proves inconvenient or a barrier to the interests of America’s establishment, as in Ukraine and in Egypt and as attempted in Venezuela, but also crush old arrangements which have produced advancing societies in other lands, even though they are not yet democratic, as in Syria, Iraq, or Libya.
In a relatively short time the monster has made a chaotic wasteland of such previously prosperous lands as Iraq and Libya, and it is now hard at work doing the same to the lovely, ancient land of Syria where it is allied in its efforts with some of the ugliest violent fanatics you could hope to find anywhere. Its acts have resulted in many hundreds of thousands of deaths in these places, countless refugees and injuries, the destruction of much precious infrastructure, and left people to wallow in chaos for years to come.
It created a coup, and thereby a civil war, in Ukraine, reducing that impoverished land still further, and it allied itself for the effort with the kind of stormfront militia trash that even the pathetic FBI surely would infiltrate and investigate were they active in the United States. It did all this just to gain temporary psychological advantages over Russia, a country whose leadership today far better represents principles of international peace and good order – not without some distant echo of irony for those of us raised on a steady diet of Cold War propaganda – than those in Washington who never stop mouthing slogans about rights and democracy which they routinely ignore. We all have an immense investment in America’s reckless game of “playing chicken” with Russia, the only country on the planet capable of obliterating most of Western civilization. I’ve never liked frat-boy pranks and humor, but in this case the overgrown frat-boys at the CIA are guffawing over stupidities which risk most of what we hold precious.
But the monster serves also to intimidate America’s own population. Don’t hold big or noisy demonstrations against injustice, don’t complain too much about authorities and truly abusive police, don’t communicate with others who may be viewed as undesirables for whatever reasons by the government, and don’t describe any group which has been arbitrarily-declared terrorist as being merely freedom fighters – any of these acts or many others risks arbitrary powers that never formally existed before.
Homeland Security has stocked huge amounts of crowd-control equipment and weapons, and it was a military general who quietly announced a few years back that the Pentagon was prepared should martial law became necessary in America. America’s local police forces, long ago having earned an international reputation for violent, militaristic behavior, have been given surplus military-grade crowd-control equipment. The FBI seeks new authorities and capabilities regularly, the same FBI with such a sorry record, going back to its origins, of abusing authority.
In my mind, and I think in the minds of many, America’s posture towards the world resembles a pug-ugly bully confronting you on the street, someone who just will not let you pass until you give him what he demands. The bully is the country’s immensely wealthy and influential privileged establishment, having the country’s general population now completely in tow, fearful and intimidated, quite apart from being in large part underemployed or unemployed. The bully naturally pays no attention to international organizations and agreements, believing himself above the rules and constraints to which others hold. The organizations are either simply ignored or, as in the case of the UN, coerced into behaving along acceptable lines, America having spent some years recently refusing to pay its legally-required dues just to prove a point as well as having been involved in more than one cabal to unseat a disliked Secretary General.
And I fear this gives us just a hint of what is likely to come because, as we should never stop reminding ourselves, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
The world’s hope for relief from a form of international tyranny comes from the growth of countries like Russia, China, India, and Brazil. I wish I could add the EU to the list, but it seems almost as supine and voiceless as America’s own general population or Canada’s present government. Only forces capable of saying “no” to America’s establishment and building interest blocs to oppose its excesses offer redress and relief in future, and it is only through political contention that new international organizations are likely to emerge, ones with some power and effect. Americans all give lip service to competition in economics, but the concept applies no less to the spheres of politics and world affairs. And Americans all give lip service to democracy, not realizing that its governing elites represent the tiniest fraction of the world’s population and resemble in their acts abroad about as aristocratic a government as ever existed.
The Common Sense Show
by Dave Hodges
As I was investigating the FEMA camp run and maintained by the Chicago PD, I kept running into the topic of privatized prisons. I first wrote about privatized prisons almost seven years ago. Subsequently, I decided to take a fresh look and what I found was shocking. The privatized prison industry owns and controls nearly every elected official. State officials are literally “stealing” money from education and putting that money into the privatized prison system. Most states have guaranteed privatized prisons 100% occupancy rates and the conditions of these prisons are increasingly barbaric and clearly fit the definition of slave labor.
The United States Has the Highest Incarceration Rate In the World
There are over two million inmates in American prisons, or one in 743 people. Communist China, which has five times the population of the United States, has 500,000 less inmates. The United States has only 5% of the world’s population, but has 25% of the world’s prison population.
In 1972, the U.S. had less than 300,000 inmates. By 1990, the incarceration rate had skyrocketed to one million and by today, the rate has more than doubled again. Again, I ask why? Because there is very big monied interests behind the growth industry of privatized prisons.
According to Charles Campbell, author of The Intolerable Hulks (2001), the privatization of the prisons movement has its origins in the Revolutionary War period. England began to put undesirables and prisoners in prison ships. The U.S. fully embraced the use of private prisons during the Reconstruction Period (1865-1876) in the South, following the Civil War. Plantation owners and business owners needed “free” replacements to compensate for the loss of their previous slave laborers. In 1868, convict leases were awarded to private business interests in order to bolster their labor workforce and the practice continued until the early 20th century.
Today, this practice has been taken over by private corporate interests who are increasingly taking over our prison system and this unholy practice is no less exploitative than the slave labor abuses of the past and as in all forms of slavery, it is being fueled by profit.
In California, state government spends more on prisons than on colleges. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities shows that the growth of state spending on prisons in recent years has far outpaced the growth of spending on education. After adjusting for inflation, state general fund spending on prison-related expenses increased over 140 percent between 1986 and 2013. During the same period, state spending on K-12 education increased only 69 percent, while higher education saw an increase of less than six percent. Last year, the NAACP decried the trend towards spending more money on privatized prisons than on education!
Rates of violent crime and property crime have actually fallen over the years, even while incarceration rates have risen. Therefore, it appears that states’ more aggressive incarceration policies are behind the higher prison rates. Private prison companies have been accused of supporting and even sponsoring legislation such as “three-strikes,” “truth in sentencing” and harsh immigration enforcement laws, which drive up incarceration rates. From the beginnings of the privatized prison system, in the early 1980s, both CCA and GEO, the two largest private prison corporations, were politically-connected. CCA co-founder Tom Beasley was a former chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party and had served on a committee that selected the head of Tennessee’s prison system.
“These policies which have led to longer prison sentences and more people being incarcerated, through their Political Action Committees (PACs) and contributions by their executives and employees, private prison companies have given over $6 million to state politicians and more than $835,000 to federal lawmakers since 2000, according to the JPI report”. The privatized prison corporations are buying off the politicians to put more people in prison for longer periods of time and they are doing so with our money.
More prisoners equates to more profit for private prison companies, and the greatest success of the CCA and the GEO has been in the federal system where the number of prisoners held in privately-operated facilities has grown at an average annual rate of 10%.
Meet America’s Slave Masters
According to the Pew Center in their study The Long Reach of American Corrections (March 2009), it costs nearly $79 per day to house an inmate which is 20 times the cost of putting someone on probation. Wouldn’t it make sense to sentence nonviolent offenders to probation and save the taxpayers’ money? Of course it would, unless you are Vanguard Investments, the largest owner of privatized citizens in the form of the Correctional Corporation of America (CCA), GEO (2nd largest private prison company), Wackenhut, Viacom, AOL Time Warner and they are all controlled by the Vanguard Family of Funds. You remember Vanguard don’t you?
The problem of prison slave labor, goes right to the top of this government and these corporations have a powerful political ally.
This is the same Vanguard that moved money prior to the Gulf Oil Explosion in a manner which made massive sums of money for key investors in the same manner as did Transocean, Goldman Sachs and Halliburton. And one of those insiders that benefited from the Gulf Oil Explosion was President Obama as he was vested in Vanguard I and Vanguard II. The late Bob Chapman reported on this Obama conflict of interest as did I in an earlier article. Obama’s corruption is not limited to his investors having and acting on foreknowledge of the Gulf Oil Explosion, he is an active investor in the slave labor motivated Prison Industrial Complex.
President Obama benefits and profits from prison slave labor.
Overt Slave Labor
Many of Wall Street’s giants have been invited to the party and are reaping huge profits. The following is a list of the corporations that contract with CCA and GEO to produce American slave labor goods. They include Intel, Northern Telecom, TWA, Nordstrom’s Boeing, Motorola, Microsoft, AT&T, Wireless, 3Com, Revlon, Macy’s, Pierre Cardin. Texas Instrument, Dell, Compaq, Honeywell, Hewlett-Packard, Nortel, Lucent Technologies, Target, and countless more. All of these businesses are excited about the economic boom created by prison slave labor and most actively lobby for mandatory sentencing.
Generally, prison inmates in state run penitentiaries generally receive minimum wage for their work. In Agenda 21 controlled Colorado, they only receive about $2 per hour, well under the minimum for state run prisons. However, Colorado inmates are rich compared to inmates in privately-run prisons where they can receive as little as 17 cents per hour. This is worse than Walmart slave labor in China! The highest-paying private prison run by the CCA pays 50 cents per hour for “highly skilled positions.” I am not sure how this is even legal as I do not remember reading anything about the 13th Amendment being repealed.
Prison Slave Labor Has Become One of the Mainstays of the American Economy
If there is a silver lining as America has found an antidote to the loss of manufacturing through the various free trade agreements (i.e. NAFTA, CAFTA). Unfortunately, prison slave labor is the solution. The Left Business Observer identifies private corporate interests benefiting from prison slave labor which includes the manufacturing of “93% of all paints and paintbrushes; 92% of stove assembly; 46% of body armor; 36% of home appliances; 30% of headphones/microphones/speakers; and 21% of office furniture. This is a kind of Walmart for prisons and your State Legislatures are promoting this as a kind of cost savings, but they guarantee 90-100% prison bed occupancy rates. And we wonder why mandatory sentencing has replaced judicial discretion when deciding the disposition of a criminal case. Sadly, this is only the tip of the iceberg.
Time Off for Good Behavior
In these normally overcrowded prisons, inmates may get their sentences reduced for “good behavior,” but for any violation of prison rules, they get 30 days tacked on to their sentences. I thought only a judge, under the Fifth Amendment due process provisions of the Constitution, can impose a prison sentence. This translates into more profits for CCA. According to a study of New Mexico prisons, it was found that CCA inmates lost their “time off for good behavior” at an 800% higher rate than inmates in state run prisons. CCA’s prisons are notoriously understaffed and this under-staffing leads to more acting out by the inmates which in turn leads to longer sentences resulting in more profit.
Therefore, one of the profit motivators for CCA is administration by neglect. In other words, they make more money if the prisons are poorly run and decidedly more dangerous.
Rockefeller Scams the System in Search of Profits
In New York, Nelson Rockefeller’s heralded anti-drug law, initiated in 1973, provided for a mandatory prison sentences of 15 years to life for possession of four ounces of any illegal drug. Fifteen years to life for possessing four ounces of marijuana? Mr. Rockefeller, what could possibly be the motive for such strict drug laws? Answer, the same motive on why Obama has his money in Vanguard.
Besides Nelson Rockefeller, the privatized prison system has enjoyed having low friends in high places for a very long time beginning with Nancy Reagan’s “Just say no” and her husband’s War on Drugs program. Ironically under Reagan, his CIA traded guns for drugs in the Air America Iran-Contra Affair. Enter former president, George H. W. Bush, and an ex CIA director, and things only got worse. Bush helped fuel the growth of the industry during his presidency. And upon leaving office, he became a player in privatized prisons.
Under Reagan and Bush, Federal drug laws became more draconian. Presently, Federal law mandates five years imprisonment with no hope of parole for possession of five grams of crack or 3.5 ounces of heroin. Further, Federal law provides for 10 years imprisonment for possession of less than two ounces of crack. A sentence of five years for cocaine powder requires possession of 500 grams. This puts the United States on a par with nations like Turkey with regard to excessive sentences handed out for simply drug possession. There can only be one outcome from this trend curve, more slave labor and a lot more smiling faces on Wall Street.
A Problem That Is Growing Exponentially
Let’s take my state, Arizona, and let it serve as a case in point with regard to this troublesome issue. Critical services, such as road repair and education funding, are being obliterated in the name of supporting the growing cancer of privatized prisons. New Arizona Governor, Doug Ducey, has begun his push for lawmakers to spend an additional $70 million a year to house more inmates in private prisons. Ducey wants to build another private prison in Arizona. This is coming at a time when the State of Arizona owes the public schools $1.3 billion in voter mandated fees. The courts have upheld the state’s debt to the schools but the Governor refuses to release the funds. The Arizona Governor and the State Legislature are stealing money from the classroom and handing it over to the privatized prison system. Of course, Ducey could use the universal excuse of all children, “that everyone else is doing it”, and he would be correct as this is a nationwide phenomenon.
I would encourage all readers to look into your state’s practices in this area. You will find that the majority of the legislation that results in locking people up for minor offenses and for longer periods of time, originates out of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and this is why “Truth in Sentencing” is the same in New York as it is in California. These laws are being written by the CCA lobbyists at ALEC functions, in which 2,400 State Legislators attend and they are handed “model legislation” to take back home and subsequently mandatory sentencing becomes the law of the land.
Ducey is so bought and paid for that even a fellow Arizona Republican, State Senator, Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, wants to know why the prison population, after leveling off for several years, has taken a sudden jump. She asked about the state’s 1994 “Truth in Sentencing” law that requires inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence before being released. I am certain that if Allen wants to return for another term, she will quietly fade away as she will be chastised by the Republican party and will be defeated with PAC money from CCA and GEO.
The present privatized prison system operates on the same principle and it is quite effective. The average person is sentenced from 5-7 years in prison. There is no rehabilitation, only the prison life which produces a more hardened criminal. When the convict is released, they find it virtually impossible to get a job because of their ex-con label. Within three years of release from prison, 90% of all prisoners return. Can you imagine if every restaurant had a 90% return rate from its customers? The private prison business may have the best return on investment in America.
Should we really be concerned about the “FEMA camp” in Chicago? Apparently not, please consider the following quote as it leaves one concluding that what is going on in Chicago is the status quo with regard to incarceration practices within the United States.
“The private contracting of prisoners for work fosters incentives to lock people up. Prisons depend on this income. Corporate stockholders who make money off prisoners’ work lobby for longer sentences, in order to expand their workforce. The system feeds itself,” says a study by the Progressive Labor Party, which accuses the prison industry of being “an imitation of Nazi Germany with respect to forced slave labor and concentration camps.”
We are witnessing a convergence of incarceration practices under one philosophy. Soon, every lock up facility will be run like the Chicago FEMA camp.
Since the advent of privatized prisons in 1984, America has witnessed the passage of laws that require minimum sentencing, without regard for any extenuating circumstances. Our prison system is experiencing a much larger percentage of work by prisoners, thus creating profits for Wall Street which in turn motivate the incarceration of more people for longer periods of time. And privatized prison corporate investors make happy campaign contributors. Therefore, you can bet that the proverbial poop rolls down hill to the cops and the push is on to incarcerate more and more. Some argue that is fine, but when one of the fastest growing segments of our prison population are children, we all need to sit up take notice and take action.
Again, this system is very effective and efficient. With only five percent of the world’s population, the United States has over 25% of the world’s prison population. As a people, we are very ingenious as our corporations have learned to make money from virtually any life circumstance. Do your kids have a “get out of jail card”? What do I mean? Part two will look at how the system is designed to funnel children directly into prison and the problem is growing at an exponential rate. Are you willing to allow your child to become a slave to your state’s private prison system? If not, part two of this series is required reading.
Totalitarian Rule in America: False Flags, Secret Prisons, Extrajudicial Assassinations, Media Censorship, The Rounding Up of Alleged “Terrorists” …
By Joachim Hagopian
Every day signs are looming larger than life as we know it in the wealthiest nation on earth that it’s about to crash and burn, forever changing not for the better. The latest wake-up call arrived in a Guardian article earlier this week. The story features a secret prison not unlike the CIA torture detention centers all over the world whereby the Chicago police hold rounded up US citizens for hours or days at a time for interrogation. The same internationally illegal roundups of suspected “potential terrorists” (which by latest Gestapo America standards can easily be you or me) that the CIA and military black ops deploy globally, are being covertly conducted not only in Obama’s hometown where his thug buddy Rahm rules, but likely every US city and soon coming to a neighborhood near you.
The complete loss of constitutional civil liberties where we can be taken in without warrant, locked up and shackled for indefinite periods of time, where to all our friends and family we simply disappear, those totalitarian Orwellian tactics are here today in secret CIA-like “black site” locations throughout the nation. Lawyers are summarily turned away. Those imprisoned are not booked nor entered in any record-keeping system, only to typically be beaten and shackled. It was determined that one man at the Chicago site already died while in custody. If this inhumane brutality hidden from public view is operating in one major US metropolis, it means that these secret police detention centers are no doubt also up and running in secret locations throughout America. This worst case scenario of police state USA is just one more nightmare come true. And this comes after it’s been determined that Americans are at least 100 times more likely to die at the hands of murdering police than in all other industrialized nations.
For numerous decades the United States has engaged in both high intensive and low intensive counterinsurgency and counterterrorism wars around the globe. But now in the twenty-first century all those same black ops wars have come home to roost right here in the land of the not-so-free. To police state USA all American citizens are the potential enemy. It’s also fair to say that the police in countless jails and prisons have unlawfully beaten and killed thousands of US citizens while in police custody over the years. Sadly, this form of murder in covert black sites where inmates are literally tortured to death takes police state brutality and slaughter to a whole new unprecedented level. And of course those of color and poor are most often the victims. Two years ago it was reported that a black man is killed by police every 28 hours. And with the deaths spiking last year, it’s more apt to be closer to every 24 hours now.
On a far less shocking and dramatic note, the latest FCC 3 to 2 vote on Thursday to “maintain net neutrality” has been treated in the press as a triumph for the people. Yet before we internet users celebrate, several keys factors still need to be pondered. We already know the overriding history in North America where giant transnational corporations enjoy more individual rights than us individuals in this age of globalism. The people may have averted a disastrous lost battle but the war of corporate greed winning out over the rights of people goes on. The FCC’s ruling declared that the internet falls under the rules and regulations of the telecommunications industry and we know what’s been happening there. Six corporate entities virtually control all the world’s major media outlets.
Secondly, the 300-page details of the FCC decision has yet to be released. Literally armies of telecom lawyers will be analyzing every line of 300 pages with a fine-tooth comb just searching for the myriad of potential loopholes by which the large corporate internet providers can find ways to squeeze additional money for the giants at our expense. Finally, the FCC has a special new rule called the “general conduct rule” whereby as in FCC Chairman Wheeler’s words, “it wants to referee” in getting to decide what it deems unfair or “hurts consumers, competition or innovation.” With such a vague and wide open birth, the FCC wields enormous power to interpret its 300 pages of new rules in what it considers running afoul of “proper conduct” and it may not be in favor of us internet consumers. Meanwhile, the telecom lawyers have unlimited time and money to finagle, lobby and court FCC’s favor, not unlike Big Business rules over the EPA in getting away with all kinds of unregulated pollution and Big Pharma literally owns the FDA.
Big Gov operates in deviously sneaky ways. It knows ruling against net neutrality now would cause a storm of fury in America that temporarily Washington is choosing at this moment to avoid. But as mentioned, the mountains of fine print perfectly suited for loopholes contained in 300 pages of rules can easily turn this ephemeral victory into another staggering long term defeat for the people. It’s simply akin to the hard kill being deferred to the soft kill strategy, quietly sneaking through little changes that in their totality will eventually peck away at net neutrality and ultimately kill it. We need to always remember that in recent years gov.corps is one entity that historically favors corporate greed and profit over the well-being of a bunch of humans. The power elite’s agenda remains to offer less internet services, less access to not only the internet but to particular websites that will come at higher prices to access in the future.
Indeed the growing threat of our tyrannical fascist government cutting off access to independent alternative news sites falling victim to state censorship is still very real and extremely foreboding. Increasingly the elite’s agenda is to disempower the global masses by keeping them ignorant, dumbed down and in the dark without any access to the truth. Taking away much of the World Wide Web is their sinister strategy that’s still operating at all times despite this recent decision.
The totalitarian government in Washington has realized that their propagandizing mainstream media machine has been rapidly losing its credibility and audience. Upwards of 4 out of 5 Americans today aren’t even tuning in to the likes of NBC’s Brian Williams’ fake show for MSM’s inaccurate reporting of the latest unfolding events in the globalized censored world. And that trend arrived long before we learned Williams turned out to be another mainstream liar.
The totalitarian government’s fusion into corporate fascism has long recognized that supplying the world with free internet allows the masses access to alternative independent news sites for far more accurate reporting of world news and developments. At increasing risk of censorship black outs and persecution, independent news strives to tell the truth to the rest of the world, exposing the official narrative of pure lies and evildoing perpetrated by the criminal syndicate acting as the rogue government. A continued free and independent internet news outlet making suppression of the truth difficult poses a real threat to fascism. That’s why free internet is still under attack.
The other reason the internet poses a threat to New World Order is its enormous capacity to provide instant global communication between billions of humans around the globe that together possess a potentially powerful resistance movement opposing the oppressive tactics being implemented by globalized multinational governments. Ultimately an awakened, informed and empowered citizenry of the world united in solidarity poses the biggest threat to global fascism and its New World Order. That’s why through Executive Order Obama has given himself supreme dictatorial authority to shut down the internet in America under the pretense of a national emergency.
As another in-our face, over-the-top, draconian measure that reveals how today’s totalitarian police state is fast closing in on us is the feds’ agenda to impose its latest sinister plan to impose mandatory vaccine immunizations on every American adult as well as child. Since 9/11 the feds have been systematically stripping away all our liberties. But when forcing potentially lethal injections on us citizens against our will, the tyrants in Washington will likely have a real fight on their hands. With overwhelming evidence piling up indicating vaccines pose a deadly danger to millions of humans, the feds forcing injections on all US adults may be the catalyst that sparks a genuine grassroots revolt not unlike what the Boston Tea Party was to the American Revolution. With an increasing segment of the US population becoming sick and tired of their government’s rampant oppression, their battle cry may be “enough is enough with your abusive totalitarian bullshit.” The US government has long overstepped both its legal and ethical boundaries that the people may now be reaching the tipping point toward active rebellion.
Of course everything gov.corps does has an intended purpose. With this latest Big Brother violation – the National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIC), it appears the feds are actually intending to create a national confrontational backlash. Ever since 9/11 they’ve been preparing for the civil unrest that they’ve been insidiously provoking and escalating. With the US police state fully militarized, mechanized and mobilized, apparently Washington’s nearing ready to unleash its absolute brutality full force against its own people.
In the same way the US lies and propaganda are attempting to demonize Putin as the bad guy excuse to start WWIII, baiting him to react to relentless over-the-top Empire transgressions, the feds are using the same demented strategy now on us too. They want Americans to react and oppose them so they can bring out their big guns and initiate those long awaited FEMA camp roundups we’ve been hearing about for years – all for the sake of quelling the unrest they themselves incite as their excuse to “restore civil order”. It’s downright demonic but unfortunately that’s where our nation and world appear to be heading, led by an elitist handful of sub-human psychopaths that within a short period of time are bent on killing off at least 90% of us currently inhabiting this planet.
The neocon 9/11 inside job shows more about the treasonous, demonic elements controlling the US government (along with Saudi-Israeli assistance) that executed nearly 3000 innocent Americans to justify waging permanent war around the world than it does 19 box-cutting Moslem terrorist-stooges borrowed from the Saudi government accomplice. Yet the evildoers responsible for 9/11 have targeted Islamic religion as their scapegoat and polarized the entire world with dozens of false flags purposely designed to demonize Moslems worldwide. By waging false flag terrorism events like January’s Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, between Bush and the Obama regime they have maintained the US and the world in a constant state of emergency, using that designated status as their carte blanche false flag policy to get away with anything and everything evil.
As an example, with the total dismantling of the US Constitution since 9/11 that for more than two centuries guaranteed Americans their civil liberties, now the criminal syndicate of our shadow rogue de facto government currently in power is waging undeclared war against the American people. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Americans at grave risk to themselves are growing boldly courageous enough to vocally object to the tyranny and criminality of the treasonous feds who’ve systematically violated both their oath to uphold and protect the Constitution and the Constitution itself as our nation’s no longer recognized rule of law. This criminal element inside our own government is not only killing innocent people around the world but is now beginning to brazenly murder innocent American citizens on US soil with increasing regularity. Recall Obama a couple years ago envisioning out loud his use of drones to kill citizens here in the US in the not too distant future. And now he’s selling killer drones to US allies that inevitably will fall into ISIS/al Qaeda hands as the rogue government’s fake enemy and true ally that will join the Empire in the slaughter of Americans.
For years the federal government has been arming and militarizing its robotic henchmen in preparation for waging all-out war against the mounting anger and civil unrest coming from the American people. The exponential growth of the Homeland Security Department and FEMA, the pathological surveillance state, the militarization of US police state, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes military force to break into our homes and arrest law-abiding US citizens without warrant, without charges and imprison Americans without due process or legal representation for an indefinite period of time, all of these highly disturbing developments act as hardcore evidence of the government’s not-so-hidden war against the American people.
For some time now Obama has been both secretly and not so secretively negotiating a full frontal assault on America with implementation of the nightmarish UN Agenda 21whereby under the rationale of sustainability the UN will work in conspired unison with DHS to relocate much of the US population away from rural and suburban areas into denser populated urban zones. According to their plan, the US has already been broken down into various regional sections most of which will end up unpopulated. Similar to the method of how “national security” has been used to cram down our throats in order to justify stripping us of all our rights and freedom, Agenda 21 uses the transparent façade of “sustainability” as its oppressive criminal excuse to confiscate and steal our homes and force people into federal urban housing. Counties throughout the States and beyond have been busily enacting Agenda 21 laws using eminent domain to illegally force people off their own land and property.
Those who object are labeled noncompliant dissidents joining the activists and journalists who’ve been protesting and exposing the federal crimes against humanity. They are the designated enemy to be rounded up and placed in the more than 1000 FEMA concentration camps that have been waiting to be filled. In the last decade Halliburton has contracted with gov.corps to refurbish and build hundreds of prisons throughout America. To justify mass murder and imprisonment, the feds are now openly calling those of us who object to their lethal madness homegrown terrorists. Yet it is they who are the true terrorist-traitors reigning terror, theft and destruction down on this entire planet. We law abiding citizens are determined patriots willing to stand up for our rights, indeed standing up for humanity and the very survival of our human species. Members of the ruling elite are the perverse, insane psychopathic criminal mass murderers.
The US government since 9/11 has turned the United States of America into a military-security-prison complex with multiple state and city information analysis fusion centersworking 24/7 around the clock in cahoots with militarized law enforcement and NSA surveillance creating dossiers on every single person in America. Those of us who object, resist and/or oppose the insanity of what’s happening will either be imprisoned or killed.
Obama has been secretly signing a host of Executive Orders (EO’s) without Congressional approval, many of which violate existing laws rendering his orders illegal. But the crime syndicate behind the current de facto government operates above all law. The criminals in power do not answer to anyone but the ruling elite. And though they’re all bona fide, soulless psychopaths, they’re utilizing their brute force to subjugate innocent, good people in bondage or worse yet, simply murdering them.
Perhaps the most graphically telling EO of all illustrating their sinister nature is Executive Order 13603, which grants Obama authorization to seize possession of every possible resource, from our property to “all food storage facilities” (meaning all food and water belonging to every person inside our homes). This extremist, maniacal edict is designed to enforce our submission, rendering us totally dependent on Big Brother government or face the obvious – starvation and extermination.
President Obama has quietly transferred his intelligence gathering apparatus from the superseded NSA now under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. The reason is simple, NSA can only collect data but is not authorized to act on it. Now DHS does have federal authorization to act against all the dissident voices who’ve become outraged over how our government has betrayed the United States and our people. If not already, very soon DHS will be moving to lock up those observed and classified by NSA as targeted security threats who’ve been placed on growing watch lists. Among this list, a dissident’s gradient status as a security threat target is measured on how large a conduit disseminating the lowdown truth to the public that automatically places him or her at the top of the list to be silenced.
Neocon puppet Bush summed it up when he smugly pronounced, “You’re either with us or against us.” Ever since he uttered those words, the US population has become polarized into two growing divided camps. The one camp consists of the totalitarian enforcers that are members of the criminal government agencies having drawn the line in the sand with their massive bulk data collection separating themselves from their opposing camp – those of us citizens who disagree with their Orwellian nightmare-come-true. A third group of Americans are sitting on the fence, though leaning toward the oppressors as in the Stockholm syndrome, either employed in the Fortune 500 transnational corporations unwilling to bite the immoral hand that feeds them or part of the larger flock of sheeple representing Americans either too ignorant, weak or fearful who remain in denial or have stuck their head in the sand pretending or hoping that what’s happening above ground really isn’t happening at all. They are in for very a rude awakening.
Everyone part of this demonic system simply plays their part in doing what they’re told, not unlike the Nazi guards at the Jewish concentration camps during WWII. So now you can see why the psychiatric field has been co-opted and taken over by our Gestapo totalitarian government that represents the oppressive crime syndicate. Mental health clinicians are being mandated to brand anyone with a label in order to declare them certifiably ill with a mental disorder diagnosis that can be applied conveniently to anyone regardless of how stable, well-adjusted or strong their mental and emotional health may actually be. This labeling for control purposes will come in handy as to deciding who goes where under martial law.
Now you know why oppressive draconian laws have been springing up all over the country as well as globally usurping homeowners’ rights to even grow their own vegetable gardens in their own backyard. Harassing and shutting down community food co-ops that undermine local citizens’ resources and independence has been part of the feds’ agenda. In fact, anyone who is preparing to live off grid as a resourceful survivalist/prepper is also in their crosshairs. It’s even become unlawful in many municipalities to be a caring humanitarian these days. Serving food to the homeless in parks is now considered a crime across America.
For a long time Obama and the feds have been attempting to confiscate citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms with the passing of stricter gun control legislation to such an extreme of using Sandy Hook as yet one more horrendous false flag. For that singular purpose, Obama has signed twenty-three Executive Orders on gun safety alone. Already early in 2015 Obama is at it again with his plan to take guns away from gun owners. His latest unilateral move is to ban a bullet commonly sold in local sporting goods stores that’s been among the most popular ammunition in America for generations, used in multiple rifles as well as a new kind of revolver. The catch here is the .223 caliber “green tipped” bullet is known to pierce bullet proof vests typically worn by police state nation. By outlawing and collecting all the most popular ammo and making it strictly for the feds’ use, when his government goes to war against Americans, it’ll obviously give his murdering death squads a distinct, unparalleled advantage.
During the global spread of the Ebola virus last August, Obama signed executive orders authorizing authorities to begin involuntarily rounding up and housing against their will the homeless and mentally ill to even include persons with known respiratory ailments (EO13295). All of these draconian measures demand total dependence and docility from its citizenry – or else. While Americans are now trapped in a domestic police state, cops are killing innocent people in the US every single day at an unprecedented, alarming rate. If you resist, you risk dying. And even if you don’t resist, you still risk dying.
The constant attack on citizens struggling to maintain their modest yet eroding standard of living desperately trying to stretch less money to cover the steadily rising costs of survival spells a very uncertain and even doubtful future for both Americans and people throughout the world. The ever-shrinking middle class in both North America and Europe is the inevitable, by designed outcome of globalization, privatization, destabilization, rising war and massive human impoverishment. The unstable future of the world feeds the emerging New World Order along with its demonically Orwellian control of the entire global population.
Ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union nearly a quarter century ago, the US as the sole global superpower has aggressively been surrounding the entire Russian border placing missiles on its doorstep aimed directly into Russia while the US Empire-NATO-European Union has co-opted as geopolitical puppets the entire former Soviet bloc nations of Eastern Europe including a number of Central Asian countries on the globalized chessboard hemming in Russia and China into checkmate position.
Despite this prodding, walled in aggression used as bait to manipulate Putin into reacting and fighting back, he has repeatedly outsmarted the US and its puppets by showing remarkable restraint. But the US has pushed him to the very limit. Understandably he has strengthened ties with neighboring China and formed an economic union with other emerging powers Brazil, India and South Africa (BRICS) in formidable economic self-defense. Just this week India’s cabinet approved of a BRICS development bank. Meanwhile, increasing financial reports have predicted that the US dollar and petrodollar as the standard international currency will be dropped. And that may spell economic disaster for the United States.
In response to the threat that the West poses, a coalition of nations in the East – Russia, China and India – have all been forced to prepare for the impending war the US Empire has been instigating. Clearly it is America and Europe that are the wrongful aggressors that have been deliberately setting the stage for World War III against nuclear-powered Russia and China. Also clearly in the court of world opinion, Putin is winning and once again Obama and his neocon aggressors are losing. The real problem though is all of us on earth might lose because of Obama and his puppet masters’ deadly games.
Everything in this world now is reversed from the way it once was and should be. It is painful to realize that we Americans were always brainwashed and taught that we were the good guys and the Russian and Chinese Communists were always the bad guy oppressors. However, now roles seem very much reversed whereas the relentless, instigating aggressor pushing for what could easily become nuclear war and the end of the world, American Empire has become the most dangerous rogue state on earth flailing in its final destructive acts before it collapses. The tragic irony and pathetic hypocrisy is that the United States always in its holier than thou self-righteousness criticized the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union and China. Yet it now appears that the darkest shadows of the gulag are operating as “black holes” right here in America, the land of the no longer free but the enslaved and the walking dead who haven’t awakened from their slumber of what used to be to find the once greatest nation on earth the most destructive predator spiraling into oblivion but seemingly determined to take the entire planet down with it.
In reality the US government is simply acting on orders from the ruling Western elite that has ordered destruction of the United States. The ruling elite has taken the entire human species hostage and like their Islamic State stooges, the psychopathic oligarchs are busily beheading the entire human civilization in a relentless combination of both soft and hard kill tactics designed to exterminate 90% of the global population. This is the first known human genocide – the earth’s sixth mass extinction and first caused by a handful of demonically possessed sub-human species that has been in control of planet earth for many centuries. We owe it to all life on planet earth to fight back.
Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed. blogspot. com/.
The Common Sense Show
by Dave Hodges
Countless of brave and selfless reporters risk their lives on a daily basis to bring the public the news on how we are systematically losing our freedoms as we rush headlong into a police state unlike what the world has ever seen. This is a dangerous profession, just ask the families of Hastings, Breitbart and Clancy. And what are we all risking our lives for? Are we are risking our lives trying to save people who would rather watch the NFL than stand up to the tyranny that is destroying their country and ultimately their family?
If the reporters from the Guardian and Infowars who uncovered the following information were not risking their lives to bring the public this information, then who would stand at the gate? And what did these brave reporters risk their lives for?
I Do Not Recognize America
America has lost her soul because it has lost Jesus. As a result, America has lost her sense of morality. Our nation has but a few who possess true courage! As a people. we stand for nothing. We accept tyranny as if it is normal and that is the way that it is supposed to be. When CIA rendition camps are exposed in the news, the public does not pay attention as they fast forward the DVR to the weather and the sports. And now that these same camps have come to roost on American soil and are run by local law enforcement, Americans collectively turn the page and pretend it does not matter. Only this time, it is Americans that are being tortured, not foreign terrorists.
What did we Americans think was going to happen when we allowed DHS to militarize the police under Program 1033? If we allow the Federal government, in the name of the CIA, to torture suspects, how long did we think it is going to be until the militarization of the police would lead to the same thing at the local level? That day has arrived as we have the Gestapo, in the form of local police running concentration camps inside of our cities.
Police Torture Center In Chicago
With regard to law enforcement in Chicago, we are acquiescing in the face of tyranny. We are accepting thuggery and the existence of torture programs which are supported and funded by our locally elected leaders. For those of you that do not think that FEMA camps are real, you may want to pay close attention to the rest of the contents of this article. To those who are blinded by cognitive dissonance, rest assured that we have operational FEMA camps torturing and killing Americans today. The proof resides in the following paragraphs.
In an investigative report, The Guardian boldly alleges that rogue units of the Chicago Police Department maintains a secret interrogation compound in Homan Square. Citizens have accused the Chicago police of having subjected Americans to rendition. Victims are unable to be found by family or attorneys while undergoing enhanced interrogation similar to the CIA.
Take the case of Brian Church. He was not processed and he was shackled to a bench for a day. Nobody knew where he was at and he was not allowed to speak with anyone. However, Brian was luckier than many, he came out alive.
Of course, the police deny all claims. However, if the Chicago police are innocent of the charges, then why did they harass Infowars reporter, Joe Biggs, for attempting to investigate the alleged scene of illegal detention and torture?
In the following two videos, Infowars reporter Joe Biggs, describes how he was harassed by Chicago undercover police and kicked off of a public sidewalk outside of a secret black torture site in Chicago. If the police have nothing to hide, then they should have opened the doors of this alleged “black site” and allowed Mr. Biggs the right to investigate the allegations with the full cooperation of the police. Secondly, Biggs summarizes his findings with regard to this facility. A tip of the hat to Mr. Biggs and the Infowars team for some very “gutsy” reporting. I just cannot help wondering if this kind of quality reporting isn’t wasted on a soulless nation of sheep who will likely deny the content of the reports because it is easier to stay in denial than it is to actually do something.
Stunning Revelations by Alex Jones
If you fit the definition of a sheep, you may not want to watch this stunning and informative report prepared by Alex Jones and Infowars because the following 13 minute video clip contains court documents which shows that the Chicago PD denies due process, tortures subjects and suspects and prisoners have died while inside of the Homan FEMA camp facility. Alex’s report is not for the faint of heart. Do you realize that, like so many other people in the Independent Media, that Alex Jones and Joe Biggs are risking their lives to bring you this information. America owes them the respect of watching every minute of their report. Then you need to ask yourself why you are not doing anything about this?
The fact that this is out in the open with irrefutable proof, makes it impossible to deny the truth. Gone are the days when the brave colonists at Lexington and Concord would oppose a superior military force. Gone are the days when the defenders of the Alamo fought to the last man in defense of their liberty. Gone are the days when young college students would be dragged off to jail as they were protesting an illegal war in Vietnam. If Americans do nothing, then they are accomplices to this tyranny. If you are unwilling to stand up to the Chicago PD and all like them, then you may as well as don Swastika armbands because you are a thug through acquiescence. For those of you who are reading these words, have watched the evidence be presented and you continue to do nothing, you are a willing accomplice to torture and murder.
It has always been my policy to not be drawn into posture of advocating violence. But that does not mean that we should not act. And like the Nazis, the KGB and the Stasi, if they start coming to our homes to drag us to these facilities, then the prohibition to violence will be lifted.
The Public Has Options
One does not have to be a man’s man to confront the beginning of the use of the NDAA. Even a sissy can become an activist. Even the 98 pound weakling has viable alternatives. First, they can unelect all incumbents and subsequently fire the Chicago Police Chief. Secondly. Chicago activists can keep this site under surveillance and videotape all who enter and leave. But if we do not have the guts to stand up to this tyranny, then we can at least protest passively and in a manner that will exact a cost against the thugs running the city of Chicago.
Nationally, the public can boycott Chicago. Yes, that’s right. If you are planning a trip to Chicago cancel your trip. Even a sissy can do that. Even a sissy can write a letter and not travel to Chicago.
I am not proposing that that boycotting Chicago is the final answer to their police department operating a FEMA camp. However, I am pointing out that even the weak in body and mind can do something to oppose this tyranny. Please allow me to provide you with an example.
The public can be outraged all day long. Until the Chicago officials are made to feel the heat, they have no motivation to change. The opportunity to have an impact on Chicago tourism is great. If the traveling public stayed away and made their reasons known, the merchants would be screaming at city government to do something. The public holds all the cards.
Chicago Tourism: 2013 VISITOR VOLUME
The Chicago tourism industry is flourishing and is a mainstay source of support for the people and businesses of Chicago.
Total visitation in 2013 was 48.48 million, an increase of 4.2% over the previous record of 46.51 million, achieved in 2012.
Domestic visitation in 2013 was a record 46.96 million, an increase of 4.4% over 2012 levels.
Overseas visitation for 2013 achieved a record 1.378 million, a gain of 0.7% over 2012 levels.
A plan so simple and risk free that even a sissy can do it. And when someone does something like this, they are no longer a sissy because they have done something.
There is one more thing to consider. We have a civic duty to report criminal behavior. To report these despotic actions on the part of the Chicago Police Department, we can all report this gang activity to the following phone number: Gang Hotline Telephone: 312.746.GANG (312.746.4264) ; TTY: 312.746.4276. In other words, you can even put their tyranny back in their face.
This is activism for sissies, yet it could be effective if we made it our mission to punish Chicago for this thuggery. Write one letter, make one phone call and encourage others to boycott Chicago. How hard is that? One doesn’t have to have much courage to do that!
The Price of Apathy
Alex Jones mentioned a quote from Solzhenitsyn that I have used many times to point out the cost of not acting.
“And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family?
Edmund Burke accurately said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”.
By Andre Damon
In April 2004, the world was shocked and horrified by the release of photographs of sadistic torture carried out by US military personnel at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Detainees at the prison, most of them locked up for opposing the US military occupation, were beaten, tortured, sexually assaulted and killed.
At the time, the World Socialist Web Site explained that the crimes revealed in the photos and the psychology underlying them could be understood only in relation to the brutality of social relations in the United States, together with the dirty colonial aims of the war itself.
The WSWS further warned that
“such a military, accompanied by a growing army of professional ‘civilian’ mercenaries, represents a danger not only to oppressed peoples in the Middle East, Central Asia and elsewhere, but to the democratic rights of the population in the US.”
A decade later, this assessment has been fully borne out. On Tuesday, the Guardian newspaper revealed the existence of what it describes as a “black site” on the West Side of Chicago, where police detain, beat and torture prisoners, while keeping their whereabouts secret from their families and attorneys.
The newspaper writes:
“The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.”
Among those detained at the facility was Brian Jacob Church, one of the “NATO 3” who were entrapped by Chicago police in 2012 in connection with protests against the US-led military alliance, which was meeting in Chicago.
Church was taken to the secret facility and handcuffed to a bench for 17 hours. Along with two other protestors, he was set up by police on terrorism charges and subsequently sentenced to five years in prison.
Vic Suter, another participant in the protests, said that she was taken to the facility and interrogated while shackled to a bench for eighteen hours before she was allowed to see a lawyer.
The Guardian writes that detainees taken to the facility report having been beaten and otherwise tortured by police. In 2013, one detainee was found unconscious in an interview room at the facility. He later died.
On Thursday, the Intercept corroborated the Guardian’s account, interviewing another torture victim at the facility who was handcuffed across a bench and hit in the face and groin until he agreed to provide false testimony to police.
The revelations follow the report last week by the Guardian that Richard Zuley, one of the lead torturers at the Guantanamo detention center, used similar techniques to secure false confessions from murder suspects when he was a detective with the Chicago Police Department.
Chicago has a long history of police violence. It is also the political home of Barack Obama and has been run since 2011 by Rahm Emanuel, Obama’s former White House chief of staff.
The Obama administration, far from repudiating the horrific and criminal actions of its predecessor, has deployed the apparatus of police violence ever more directly against the American people. A series of events has marked the increasingly open application within the borders of the United States of the murderous methods of the “war on terror” tested out and perfected in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen.
· In September 2010, the Obama administration ordered raids on the homes of leaders of the Anti-War Committee and the Freedom Road Socialist Organization in Minneapolis and Chicago on charges of “providing material support to terrorism.”
· In May 2012, Chicago police arrested the “NATO 3,” charging them with conspiracy to commit terrorism.
· In March 2013, US Attorney General Eric Holder declared that the president had the right to kill American citizens without a trial or any legal due process, including within the borders of the United States.
· Just one month later, in April 2013, the city of Boston was placed under de facto martial law following the Boston Marathon bombings, with residents told to “shelter in place” while armored vehicles and helicopters patrolled the streets and police carried out warrantless house-to-house searches.
· In June 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union released a report entitled “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing.” The ACLU reported that the Defense Department had transferred $4.3 billion in military hardware, including armored vehicles, helicopters, and belt-fed machine guns, to local police departments.
· In August 2014, the authorities responded to protests against the police murder of unarmed teenager Michael Brown with a military/police crackdown. Hundreds of peaceful protesters were arrested, shot with rubber bullets or exposed to tear gas, and over a dozen members of the press were detained.
The Obama administration is presently seeking a new Authorization for Use of Military Force, nominally to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), but with no geographical boundaries defined. On Wednesday, three Brooklyn residents were arrested in connection with this new war on ISIS, clearly raising the potential for this second “war on terror” to become an occasion for police-military operations within the US “homeland.”
These developments express the growing convergence of militarism abroad with the attack on democratic rights within the US. What ties these two processes together are the class interests of the financial aristocracy and the criminal methods it employs in the defense of its wealth and power.
In pursuit of these aims, the ruling class seeks to mobilize the most backward and reactionary sections of the population, including sadistic prison guards and fascist-minded police detectives. But the ultimate responsibility for these crimes rests with forces at the highest levels of the state.
It is worth recalling that late last year the Senate released a report implicating the Bush administration in a brutal torture regime carried out at Guantanamo and CIA “black site” torture centers throughout the world. Far from anyone being held accountable for these crimes, those who ordered and carried them out have defended their actions, while the Obama administration has sought to block any prosecution of those responsible.
The actions of the ruling class express the character of American capitalism, which is based on parasitism, fraud, criminality and an economic order in deep decline. The American ruling class has no response to the crisis of its system and the inevitable growth of social opposition other than violence and repression.
Shock Report: Domestic Black Sites Now Operational: “When You Go In, No One Knows What’s Happened To You”
by Mac Slavo
For nearly two decades alternative media has warned of government internment camps where citizens would be disappeared, detained and tortured with no regard for their rights. For nearly two decades the notion has been dismissed by the general population as just another conspiracy theory.
But a new report out of Chicago suggests that not only are such facilities real, they have now been actively integrated into the nation’s law enforcement apparatus.
The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.
“Homan Square is definitely an unusual place,” Church told the Guardian on Friday. “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.”
Source: The Guardian
According to those who have been detained at the site against their will and absent their natural and constitutional rights, the Chicago facility is exactly what you might expect from a government run internment and detention center.
- Family members and attorneys are unable to locate a detainee because those arrested and sent to the black site are never entered into booking databases. They are simply “disappeared.”
- Detainees are beaten by police in what can only be described as torture.
- Access to phone calls and judges are restricted so once you are in there is no way to call for help to let anyone know you are there
- Attorneys are denied access because the site has been deemed a high security facility
- People are regular shackled for extended periods of time
Keep in mind that the people in these facilities, because they are never sent through proper booking channels, are being held without charge or trial, a gross violation of the U.S. Constitution.
We’ve previously warned that these are exactly the kind of scenarios that would result from anti-terrorism legislation like The Patriot Act and the National Defense Authorization Act.
On December 5th , ahead of Congressional voting, Senator Rand Paul warned that the new legislation would allow the government to detain American citizens under terrorism laws without evidence, charge or trial. Specifically, Paul cited the government’s own broad definitions and characterizations for domestic terrorism or suspicious activity as involving those who, among other things, own guns, ammunition or store food.
The very fact that this bill was ever penned and allowed to get as far as it has gotten in our Constitutional Republic is cause for concern. A glimmer of hope existed for a few weeks when the President claimed he would veto it if it came to his desk. As has been the case throughout this administration’s term, however, our hope was for naught. Someone, somewhere needs this legislation to pass. To what end we can only speculate.
In the following video Senator Rand Paul sounded an eerie warning. As has been proven with the Chicago black site, his warnings have now come to pass:
Know good and well that someday there could be a government in power that is shipping its citizens off for disagreements.
Do you want to have your government have the ability to send you to Guantanamo Bay for indefinite detention?
…As a suspect. We’re not talking about someone who has been tried and found guilty. We’re talking about someone suspected of activities.
Rand Paul, Ron Paul and scores of Americans who repeatedly warned about this were designated as having gone off the reservation.
It’s not so far out of the sphere of possibility now, is it?
Given the recent activities of government with regards to stockpiling weapons of war, ammunition, body armor, riot gear, and armored vehicles, one can’t but help to think that they are planning on something serious taking place in America.
Evidence for the existence of black sites, known up until this point as government run internment camps, or FEMA camps, has been presented to the public for years with little interest. And chances are that the majority of the public will likely brush this report off as a non-issue, just as they have done before.
But make no mistake. This site and others like it are real. And one day, should the government be allowed to continue with such operations, it may well be you or your family members that get detained and disappeared.
And when we say disappeared, we mean disappeared:
“It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.
This is America, 2015.
by Cassius Methyl
Between 2015 and 2017, the Pentagon will have the ability to decipher human voices in surveillance audio even if background noise makes the covertly recorded conversations inaudible.
This may bring to mind the surveillance audio secretly recorded through our smartphones when they are in our pockets. On or off, we know now that our conversations are being recorded by a wide array of electronic devices, and our conversations we used to consider private are actually being stored in data collection facilities like the one in Utah aptly titled the ‘Utah Data Center’.
With this multimillion dollar technology, our seemingly private conversations can be stored and analyzed by government officials even if the background noise is too much for a normal audio recording.
Newly released documents from DARPA show that they are in the third phase of their ‘RATS’ program (Robust Automatic Transcription of Speech). This information indicates that they are going to great lengths to make sure that secretly recorded conversations can be analyzed by the government.
According to the documents, “the research division of a government agency will be testing the speech activity detection algorithm to incorporate into their platform.”
The ‘platform’ is an insidious word for massive, incomprehensible surveillance grid with an unspecified endgame. This ‘platform’ opens doors up to the powers that be, infinite doors to be utilized with what we have every reason to believe is nothing but malicious intent.
According to a USA Today article “DARPA has spent $13 million on RATS. It now wants to spend another $2.4 million, contract records show, to make the final push to make the system operational by the Air Force as early as this year but by 2017. Other agencies, particularly those in the intelligence community, will also use the system once it’s operational.”
The program also seeks to recognize different languages, and filter surveillance audio by recognizing keywords. This may also imply that people in other countries will be targeted.
The US government was also caught hacking into billions of SIM cards recently.
An important question to ask would be, how will they actually put this to use?
Will the government try to start prosecuting people in legal cases with the data collected with the surveillance grid being covertly imposed around us? Perhaps it should be phrased, when will they start using this surveillance data to incarcerate people?
We are surely all aware of the fact that smartphones, certain TV’s, and a wide variety of other devices are actually functioning microphones in a surveillance grid being set up that is apparently a high enough priority to the powers that be to be worth millions of dollars in funding.
So we all know this is happening, but why? Where is this going, how far will they go in analyzing this data and how will they utilize is to prosecute and target people who oppose the interests of the US government and their allies?
The actual plethora of potential malicious uses of this data is essential to speculate on. As activists and people concerned about the state of our society and the unchecked power of the US government and other organizations, we must think long and hard about these things. I highly recommend you do research on DARPA, and try your best to fully comprehend how this technology could be utilized against political opponents, dissidents, activists and innocent Americans.
Please share this with everyone. This info is relevant to every single person around you.
Located in a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side is where, according to the Guardian, one can find the domestic equivalent of a CIA “black site” - an illegal, off-the-books interrogation compound used by Chicago special police units, one which renders “Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside”; a place whose former occupants say is where you end up when you are “disappeared”; a place which confirms that when it comes to the eternal “who is better – us or them” debate, there really is no difference: “It brings to mind the interrogation facilities they use in the Middle East. The CIA calls them black sites. It’s a domestic black site. When you go in, no one knows what’s happened to you.” It’s a Guantánamo and Abu Ghraib rolled into one. In short: it is a place where the US constitution and basic human rights have absolutely no access.
And it may be located in a building just down your street.
According to an exclusive piece by the Guardian that is sure to send not only shivers down the spine of those who are still paying attention, but ripples across the “land of the free”, not least because if there is one dark site on US soil, there are countless more – places where every single constitutional right of US citizens is trampled on – the secretive warehouse known as Homan Square is the latest example of Chicago police practices that echo the much-criticized detention abuses of the US war on terrorism. However, there is one huge difference: while those abuses impacted people overseas, Homan Square – said to house military-style vehicles, interrogation cells and even a cage – trains its focus on Americans, most often poor, black and brown.
Every former communist block country had them: hidden, dark places where the secret police could have their way with you, and even kill you if it so desired, and nobody would have any clue or recourse of action; something for which the “evil empire” was mocked by the “free western world.” As it turns out, the “evil empire” can now be found in at least one of the most populated American cities:
Unlike a precinct, no one taken to Homan Square is said to be booked. Witnesses, suspects or other Chicagoans who end up inside do not appear to have a public, searchable record entered into a database indicating where they are, as happens when someone is booked at a precinct. Lawyers and relatives insist there is no way of finding their whereabouts. Those lawyers who have attempted to gain access to Homan Square are most often turned away, even as their clients remain in custody inside.
What exactly takes place at Homan square? Well, if it prohibited by the constitution, changes are you can find it in this red-bricked warehouse in west Chicago. Among the alleged police practices at Homan Square, according to those familiar with the facility who spoke out to the Guardian after its investigation into Chicago police abuse, include:
- Keeping arrestees out of official booking databases.
- Beating by police, resulting in head wounds.
- Shackling for prolonged periods.
- Denying attorneys access to the “secure” facility.
- Holding people without legal counsel for between 12 and 24 hours, including people as young as 15.
- At least one man was found unresponsive in a Homan Square “interview room” and later pronounced dead.
The place had been largely shrouded in secrecy until the Guardian managed to find some people who were willing to talk:
It’s sort of an open secret among attorneys that regularly make police station visits, this place – if you can’t find a client in the system, odds are they’re there,” said Chicago lawyer Julia Bartmes.
Chicago civil-rights attorney Flint Taylor said Homan Square represented a routinization of a notorious practice in local police work that violates the fifth and sixth amendments of the constitution. “This Homan Square revelation seems to me to be an institutionalization of the practice that dates back more than 40 years,” Taylor said, “of violating a suspect or witness’ rights to a lawyer and not to be physically or otherwise coerced into giving a statement.”
Actually, based on the revelations about how the open and democratic US state deals with opposing voices, the practice continues to this date and at a level that would make George Orwell blush. it is, however, hidden for the most part, and usually takes place in the shadows, although increasingly those among the population who are not too stoned, too transfixed by their iApps and sitcoms, or too depressed to care, are starting to notice. That is not to say that the superstate won’t deny it is, at times, the moral and ethical equivalent of the basest of middle-eastern “barbarians” it is waging an ideological war against (if only on behalf of the military-industrial complex).
Much remains hidden about Homan Square. The Chicago police department did not respond to the Guardian’s questions about the facility. But after the Guardian published this story, the department provided a statement insisting, without specifics, that there is nothing untoward taking place at what it called the “sensitive” location, home to undercover units.
“CPD [Chicago police department] abides by all laws, rules and guidelines pertaining to any interviews of suspects or witnesses, at Homan Square or any other CPD facility. If lawyers have a client detained at Homan Square, just like any other facility, they are allowed to speak to and visit them. It also houses CPD’s Evidence Recovered Property Section, where the public is able to claim inventoried property,” the statement said, something numerous attorneys and one Homan Square arrestee have denied.
And yet, when a Guardian reporter arrived at the warehouse on Friday, a man at the gatehouse outside refused any entrance and would not answer questions. “This is a secure facility. You’re not even supposed to be standing here,” said the man, who refused to give his name. A former Chicago police superintendent and a more recently retired detective, both of whom have been inside Homan Square in the last few years in a post-police capacity, said the police department did not operate out of the warehouse until the late 1990s.
So it’s a “new thing” – but don’t worry, it’s all about being “patriotic.” Like the NSA, or the Department of Homeland Security. Because one never knows just which US mall the next “terrorist” will blow up.
Which is probably why in detailing episodes involving their clients over the past several years, lawyers described mad scrambles that led to the closed doors of Homan Square, a place most had never heard of previously. The facility was even unknown to Rob Warden, the founder of Northwestern University Law School’s Center on Wrongful Convictions, until the Guardian informed him of the allegations of clients who vanish into inherently coercive police custody.
“They just disappear,” said Anthony Hill, a criminal defense attorney, “until they show up at a district for charging or are just released back out on the street.”
And while the ubiquitous “terrorism” excuse for any and every extra-constitutional action could apply here as well, the reality is that Homan Square is hardly concerned exclusively with terrorism. Several special units operate outside of it, including the anti-gang and anti-drug forces. If police “want money, guns, drugs”, or information on the flow of any of them onto Chicago’s streets, “they bring them there and use it as a place of interrogation off the books,” Hill said.
Guantanamo In West Chicago
While America was distracted, focusing its attention on the water cooler scandal of the day, America raised at least one and likely countless more “Guantanamo centers”, places where the detained have absolutely no human rights. Only it wasn’t in Cuba: it was among America’s own suburbia.
On a smaller scale, Homan Square is “analogous to the CIA’s black sites,” said Andrea Lyon, a former Chicago public defender and current dean of Valparaiso University Law School. When she practiced law in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s, she said, “police used the term ‘shadow site’” to refer to the quasi-disappearances now in place at Homan Square.
“Back when I first started working on torture cases and started representing criminal defendants in the early 1970s, my clients often told me they’d been taken from one police station to another before ending up at Area 2 where they were tortured,” said Taylor, the civil-rights lawyer most associated with pursuing the notoriously abusive Area 2 police commander Jon Burge. “And in that way the police prevent their family and lawyers from seeing them until they could coerce, through torture or other means, confessions from them.”
Stalin, or any other banana republic dictator would be proud.
Police often have off-site facilities to have private conversations with their informants. But a retired Washington DC homicide detective, James Trainum, could not think of another circumstance nationwide where police held people incommunicado for extended periods. “I’ve never known any kind of organized, secret place where they go and just hold somebody before booking for hours and hours and hours. That scares the hell out of me that that even exists or might exist,” said Trainum, who now studies national policing issues, to include interrogations, for the Innocence Project and the Constitution Project.
Regardless of departmental regulations, police frequently deny or elide access to lawyers even at regular police precincts, said Solowiej of First Defense Legal Aid. But she said the outright denial was exacerbated at Chicago’s secretive interrogation and holding facility: “It’s very, very rare for anyone to experience their constitutional rights in Chicago police custody, and even more so at Homan Square,” Solowiej said.
Church said that one of his more striking memories of Homan Square was the “big, big vehicles” police had inside the complex that “look like very large MRAPs that they use in the Middle East.”
And as if by seamless transition, all of the above ties in to another very critical topic in recent years – the SWATiziation of America’s police forces:
Cook County, home of Chicago, has received some 1,700 pieces of military equipment from a much-criticized Pentagon program transferring military gear to local police. It includes a Humvee, according to a local ABC News report.
Tracy Siska, a criminologist and civil-rights activist with the Chicago Justice Project, said that Homan Square, as well as the unrelated case of ex-Guantánamo interrogator and retired Chicago detective Richard Zuley, showed the lines blurring between domestic law enforcement and overseas military operations.
“The real danger in allowing practices like Guantánamo or Abu Ghraib is the fact that they always creep into other aspects,” Siska said. “They creep into domestic law enforcement, either with weaponry like with the militarization of police, or interrogation practices. That’s how we ended up with a black site in Chicago.”
Too late: they already have. And they are everywhere…
… just waiting for the right moment to spring on the “land of the free” and show everyone just how quickly the myth of freedom can be crushed under the reinforced wheels of 432 (and now many more) Police-controlled MRAPs now spread evenly across the bastion of democracy and human rights and personal liberties.
By John Whitehead
“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation
Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.
Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases—these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over what happens to our bodies during an encounter with government officials.
Worse, on a daily basis, Americans are being made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States: we are all guilty until proven innocent.
Thus far, the courts have done little to preserve our Fourth Amendment rights, let alone what shreds of bodily integrity remain to us.
For example, David Eckert was forced to undergo an anal cavity search, three enemas, and a colonoscopy after allegedly failing to yield to a stop sign at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Cops justified the searches on the grounds that they suspected Eckert was carrying drugs because his “posture [was] erect” and “he kept his legs together.” No drugs were found. During a routine traffic stop, Leila Tarantino was subjected to two roadside strip searches in plain view of passing traffic, during which a female officer “forcibly removed” a tampon from Tarantino. Nothing illegal was found. Nevertheless, such searches have been sanctioned by the courts, especially if accompanied by a search warrant (which is easily procured), as justified in the government’s pursuit of drugs and weapons.
Close to 600 motorists leaving Penn State University one Friday night were stopped by police and, without their knowledge or consent, subjected to a breathalyzer test using flashlights that can detect the presence of alcohol on a person’s breath. These passive alcohol sensors are being hailed as a new weapon in the fight against DUIs. However, because they cannot be used as the basis for arrest, breathalyzer tests are still required. And for those who refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, there are forced blood draws. One such person is Michael Chorosky, who was surrounded by police, strapped to a gurney and then had his blood forcibly drawn after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test. “What country is this? What country is this?” cried Chorosky during the forced blood draw. Thirty states presently allow police to do forced blood draws on drivers as part of a nationwide “No Refusal” initiative funded by the federal government.
Not even court rulings declaring such practices to be unconstitutional in the absence of a warrant have slowed down the process. Now the police simply keep a magistrate on call to rubber stamp the procedure over the phone. That’s what is called an end-run around the law, and we’re seeing more and more of these take place under the rubric of “safety.”
The National Highway Safety Administration, the same government agency that funds the “No Refusal” DUI checkpoints and forcible blood draws, is also funding nationwide roadblocks aimed at getting drivers to “voluntarily” provide police with DNA derived from saliva and blood samples, reportedly to study inebriation patterns. When faced with a request for a DNA sample by police during a mandatory roadblock, most participants understandably fail to appreciate the “voluntary” nature of such a request. Unfortunately, in at least 28 states, there’s nothing voluntary about having one’s DNA collected by police in instances where you’ve been arrested, whether or not you’re actually convicted of a crime. The remaining states collect DNA on conviction. All of this DNA data is being fed to the federal government. Indeed, the United States has the largest DNA database in the world, CODIS, which is managed by the FBI and is growing at an alarming rate.
Airline passengers, already subjected to virtual strip searches, are now being scrutinized even more closely, with the Customs and Border Protection agency tasking airport officials with monitoring the bowel movements of passengers suspected of ingesting drugs. They even have a special hi-tech toilet designed to filter through a person’s fecal waste.
Iris scans, an essential part of the U.S. military’s boots-on-the-ground approach to keeping track of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan, are becoming a de facto method of building the government’s already mammoth biometrics database. Funded by the Dept. of Justice, along with other federal agencies, the iris scan technology is being incorporated into police precincts, jails, immigration checkpoints, airports and even schools. School officials—from elementary to college—have begun using iris scans in place of traditional ID cards. As for parents wanting to pick their kids up from school, they have to first submit to an iris scan.
As for those endless pictures everyone so cheerfully uploads to Facebook (which has the largest facial recognition database in the world) or anywhere else on the internet, they’re all being accessed by the police, filtered with facial recognition software, uploaded into the government’s mammoth biometrics database and cross-checked against its criminal files. With good reason, civil libertarians fear these databases could “someday be used for monitoring political rallies, sporting events or even busy downtown areas.”
As these police practices and data collections become more widespread and routine, there will be no one who is spared from the indignity of DNA sampling, blood draws, and roadside strip and/or rectal or vaginal searches, whether or not they’ve done anything wrong. We’re little more than economic units, branded like cattle, marked for easy identification, and then assured that it’s all for our “benefit,” to weed us out from the “real” criminals, and help the police keep our communities “safe” and secure.
What a bunch of hokum. As I point out in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, these databases, forced extractions and searches are not for our benefit. They will not keep us safe. What they will do is keep us mapped, trapped, targeted and controlled.
Moreover, what if you don’t want to be forced to trust the government with your most intimate information? What if you don’t trust the government to look out for your best interests in the first place? How do you protect yourself against having your blood forcibly drawn, your DNA extracted, your biometrics scanned and the most intimate details of who you are—your biological footprint—uploaded into a government database?
What recourse do you have when that information, taken against your will, is shared, stolen, sold or compromised, as it inevitably will be in this age of hackers? We know that databases can be compromised. We’ve seen it happen to databases kept by health care companies, motor vehicle agencies, financial institutions, retailers and intelligence agencies such as the NSA. In fact, 2014 was dubbed the Year of the Hack in light of the fact that over a billion personal data records were breached, leaving those unlucky enough to have their data stolen vulnerable to identity theft, credit card fraud and all manner of criminal activities carried out in their names.
Banks now offer services —for a fee—to help you in the event that your credit card information is compromised and stolen. You can also pay for services to protect against identity theft in the likely event that your social security information is compromised and misused. But what happens when your DNA profile is compromised? And how do you defend yourself against charges of criminal wrongdoing in the face of erroneous technological evidence—DNA, biometrics, etc., are not infallible—that place you at the scene of a crime you didn’t commit?
“Identity theft could lead to the opening of new fraudulent credit accounts, creating false identities for criminal enterprises, or a host of other serious crimes,” said Jason Hart, vice president of cloud services, identity and data protection at the digital security company Gemalto. “As data breaches become more personal, we’re starting to see that the universe of risk exposure for the average person is expanding.”
It’s not just yourself you have to worry about, either. It’s also anyone related to you—who can be connected by DNA. These genetic fingerprints, as they’re called, do more than just single out a person. They also show who you’re related to and how. As the Associated Press reports, “DNA samples that can help solve robberies and murders could also, in theory, be used to track down our relatives, scan us for susceptibility to disease, or monitor our movements.”
Capitalizing on this, police in California, Colorado, Virginia and Texas use DNA found at crime scenes to identify and target family members for possible clues to a suspect’s whereabouts. Who will protect your family from being singled out for “special treatment” simply because they’re related to you? As biomedical researcher Yaniv Erlich warns, “If it’s not regulated and the police can do whatever they want … they can use your DNA to infer things about your health, your ancestry, whether your kids are your kids.”
These are just a few of the questions we should be asking before these technologies and programs become too entrenched and irreversible.
While the Fourth Amendment was created to prevent government officials from searching an individual’s person or property without a warrant and probable cause—evidence that some kind of criminal activity was afoot—the founders could scarcely have imagined a world in which we needed protection against widespread government breaches of our privacy on a cellular level. Yet that’s exactly what we are lacking.
Once again, technology has outdistanced both our understanding of it and our ability to adequately manage the consequences of unleashing it on an unsuspecting populace. As for all of those databases being sold to you for your safety and benefit, whether or not they’re actually effective in catching criminals, you can be assured that they will definitely be snatching up innocent citizens, as well.
In the end, what all of this amounts to is a carefully crafted campaign designed to give the government access to and control over what it really wants: you.
by PAUL JOSEPH WATSON
Activist Jonathan Corbett has lifted the lid on a chilling and hitherto secret TSA program which mandates that airlines operating outside of the U.S. conduct invasive security interviews of travelers before allowing them to return to America.
Corbett uncovered the program after he was asked a number of personal questions before being allowed to board an American Airlines flight from London Heathrow to New York in December, including why he was traveling and how long he had been away. Corbett initially refused to answer before a second agent made it clear that he would be stranded if he didn’t comply. After Corbett answered the questions, a security sticker was placed on his passport indicating he had completed the interview.
The procedure is very similar to the TSA’s domestic SPOT program, which was slammed as a $900 million dollar waste of money by a Government Accountability Office investigation in 2013 after it failed to identify a single terrorist.
Corbett wrote to American Airlines, who told him that the program was under the control of the DHS/TSA and that details were unavailable due to being under a “Sensitive Security Information” (SSI) designation.
When Corbett asked the TSA what would happen if a traveler declined to take part in the interview, the TSA’s Office of Global Strategies Communications Desk responded, “If a passenger declines the security interview, American Airlines will deny the passenger boarding.”
“The airline and government is admitting here that there is a program to interview travelers as a condition of flying. I had never heard of such a thing before,” writes Corbett, noting that an extensive Google search turns up no public statements from the TSA about the program’s existence.
“U.S. citizens have the right to re-enter their home country. We also have the right to remain silent when interacting with government officials. The TSA has secretly tried to trick us into picking only one of those two rights,” states Corbett, asserting that the program is “an unconstitutional violation of our Fifth Amendment rights.”
Another question to arise is how airport authorities decide who to interview as part of this program. Does every single traveler have to submit to the interrogation or only those deemed a heightened security risk? If so, did Corbett’s prior legal battles with the TSA lead to him being singled out, in the same way that journalists who filed reports that were critical of the agency also faced extra harassment?
Corbett has filed two simultaneous lawsuits to ascertain why the TSA is forcing airlines to hire interrogators to operate outside international gates and is demanding a jury trial, asserting that the program is a violation of 5th amendment rights because it coerces travelers to comply.
NSA Spying Worse than Stasi or Nazi Germany, J. Edgar Hoover … Or Orwell’s 1984
We noted in 2012 that Americans are the most spied upon people in world history.
Spying by the NSA is also worse than in Nazi German:
The tyrants in Nazi Germany, Stalinist Russia and Stasi Eastern Europe would have liked to easedrop on every communication and every transaction of every citizen. But in the world before the internet, smart phones, electronic medical records and digital credit card transactions, much of what happened behind closed doors remained private.
Indeed, a former lieutenant colonel for the East German Stasi said the NSA’s spy capabilities would have been “a dream come true” for the Stasi.
NSA contractor Edward Snowden said in 2013 that NSA spying was worse than in Orwell’s book 1984. (See update below).
We noted at the time that the NSA is spying on us through our computers, phones, cars, buses, streetlights, at airports and on the street, via mobile scanners and drones, through our smart meters, and in many other ways.
A security expert said the same year:
We have to assume that the NSA has EVERYONE who uses electronic communications under CONSTANT surveillance.
Update: Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information. A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees.
Binney tells Washington’s Blog:
While the spying programs that we have heard about so far deal with the “who and what” and on occasion the “why” of what people on the planet are doing, Treasuremap is the NSA/GCHQ/etc. program to acquire and follow the movements of people (objective is to follow 4 billion folks) simultaneously in near real time. So, Treasuremap gives them the “when and where” aspects of individual lives.
All in all, this gives the participating governments (primarily the Five Eyes countries) unrestricted knowledge of individual lives.
Current surveillance is far beyond an Orwellian state.
Although on a much smaller scale, we need to remember that these type of activities were some of the primary “articles of impeachment” of president Nixon.
By John Whitehead, constitutional and human rights attorney, and founder of the Rutherford Institute.
“You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.”—George Orwell, 1984
None of us are perfect. All of us bend the rules occasionally. Even before the age of overcriminalization, when the most upstanding citizen could be counted on to break at least three laws a day without knowing it, most of us have knowingly flouted the law from time to time.
Indeed, there was a time when most Americans thought nothing of driving a few miles over the speed limit, pausing (rather than coming to a full stop) at a red light when making a right-hand turn if no one was around, jaywalking across the street, and letting their kid play hookie from school once in a while. Of course, that was before the era of speed cameras that ticket you for going even a mile over the posted limit, red light cameras that fine you for making safe “rolling stop” right-hand turns on red, surveillance cameras equipped with facial recognition software mounted on street corners, and school truancy laws that fine parents for “unexcused” absences.
My, how times have changed.
Today, there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home. That’s because technology—specifically the technology employed by the government against the American citizenry—has upped the stakes dramatically so that there’s little we do that is not known by the government.
In such an environment, you’re either a paragon of virtue, or you’re a criminal.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, we’re all criminals. This is the creepy, calculating yet diabolical genius of the American police state: the very technology we hailed as revolutionary and liberating has become our prison, jailer, probation officer, Big Brother and Father Knows Best all rolled into one.
Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears. A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. As I point out in my book, A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, this doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.
For example, police have been using Stingray devices mounted on their cruisers to intercept cell phone calls and text messages without court-issued search warrants. Thwarting efforts to learn how and when these devices are being used against an unsuspecting populace, the FBI is insisting that any inquiries about the use of the technology be routed to the agency “in order to allow sufficient time for the FBI to intervene to protect the equipment/technology and information from disclosure and potential compromise.”
Doppler radar devices, which can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, are already being employed by the police to deliver arrest warrants and are being challenged in court. One case in particular, United States v Denson, examines how the Fourth Amendment interacts with the government’s use of radar technology to peer inside a suspect’s home. As Judge Neil Gorsuch recognizes in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeal’s ruling in the case, “New technologies bring with them not only new opportunities for law enforcement to catch criminals but also new risks for abuse and new ways to invade constitutional rights.”
License plate readers, yet another law enforcement spying device made possible through funding by the Department of Homeland Security, can record up to 1800 license plates per minute. However, it seems these surveillance cameras can also photograph those inside a moving car. Recent reports indicate that the Drug Enforcement Administration has been using the cameras in conjunction with facial recognition software to build a “vehicle surveillance database” of the nation’s cars, drivers and passengers.
Sidewalk and “public space” cameras, sold to gullible communities as a sure-fire means of fighting crime, is yet another DHS program that is blanketing small and large towns alike with government-funded and monitored surveillance cameras. It’s all part of a public-private partnership that gives government officials access to all manner of surveillance cameras, on sidewalks, on buildings, on buses, even those installed on private property.
Couple these surveillance cameras with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology and you have the makings of “pre-crime” cameras, which scan your mannerisms, compare you to pre-set parameters for “normal” behavior, and alert the police if you trigger any computerized alarms as being “suspicious.”
Capitalizing on a series of notorious abductions of college-aged students, several states are pushing to expand their biometric and DNA databases by requiring that anyone accused of a misdemeanor have their DNA collected and catalogued. However, technology is already available that allows the government to collect biometrics such as fingerprints from a distance, without a person’s cooperation or knowledge. One system can actually scan and identify a fingerprint from nearly 20 feet away.
Radar guns have long been the speed cop’s best friend, allowing him to hide out by the side of the road, identify speeding cars, and then radio ahead to a police car, which does the dirty work of pulling the driver over and issuing a ticket. Never mind that what this cop is really doing is using an electronic device to search your car without a search warrant, violating the Fourth Amendment and probable cause. Yet because it’s a cash cow for police and the governments they report to, it’s a practice that is not only allowed but encouraged. Indeed, developers are hard at work on a radar gun that can actually show if you or someone in your car is texting. No word yet on whether the technology will also be able to detect the contents of that text message.
It’s a sure bet that anything the government welcomes (and funds) too enthusiastically is bound to be a Trojan horse full of nasty surprises. Case in point: police body cameras. Hailed as the easy fix solution to police abuses, these body cameras—made possible by funding from the Department of Justice—will turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras. Of course, if you try to request access to that footage, you’ll find yourself being led a merry and costly chase through miles of red tape, bureaucratic footmen and unhelpful courts.
The “internet of things” refers to the growing number of “smart” appliances and electronic devices now connected to the internet and capable of interacting with each other and being controlled remotely. These range from thermostats and coffee makers to cars and TVs. Of course, there’s a price to pay for such easy control and access. That price amounts to relinquishing ultimate control of and access to your home to the government and its corporate partners. For example, while Samsung’s Smart TVs are capable of “listening” to what you say, thereby allow users to control the TV using voice commands, it also records everything you say and relays it to a third party.
Then again, the government doesn’t really need to spy on you using your smart TV when the FBI can remotely activate the microphone on your cellphone and record your conversations. The FBI can also do the same thing to laptop computers without the owner knowing any better.
Government surveillance of social media such as Twitter and Facebook is on the rise. Americans have become so accustomed to the government overstepping its limits that most don’t even seem all that bothered anymore about the fact that the government is spying on our emails and listening in on our phone calls.
Drones, which will begin to take to the skies en masse this year, will be the converging point for all of the weapons and technology already available to law enforcement agencies. This means drones that can listen in on your phone calls, see through the walls of your home, scan your biometrics, photograph you and track your movements, and even corral you with sophisticated weaponry.
And then there’s the Internet and cell phone kill switch, which enables the government to shut down Internet and cell phone communications without Americans being given any warning. It’s a practice that has been used before in the U.S., albeit in a limited fashion. In 2005, cell service was disabled in four major New York tunnels (reportedly to avert potential bomb detonations via cell phone). In 2009, those attending President Obama’s inauguration had their cell signals blocked (again, same rationale). And in 2011, San Francisco commuters had their cell phone signals shut down (this time, to thwart any possible protests over a police shooting of a homeless man).
It’s a given that the government’s tactics are always more advanced than we know, so there’s no knowing what new technologies are already being deployed against without our knowledge. Certainly, by the time we learn about a particular method of surveillance or new technological gadget, it’s a sure bet that the government has been using it covertly for years already. And if other governments are using a particular technology, you can bet that our government used it first. For instance, back in 2011, it was reported that the government of Tunisia was not only monitoring the emails of its citizens but was actually altering the contents of those emails in order to thwart dissidents. How much do you want to bet that government agents have already employed such tactics in the U.S.?
Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government officials deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.
When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.
However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.
Unfortunately, privacy as we once knew it is dead.
We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed and controlled by our technology, which answers not to us but to our government and corporate rulers. This is the fact-is-stranger-than-fiction lesson that is being pounded into us on a daily basis.
Thus, to be an individual today, to not conform, to have even a shred of privacy, and to live beyond the reach of the government’s roaming eyes and technological spies, one must not only be a rebel but rebel.
Even when you rebel and take your stand, there is rarely a happy ending awaiting you. You are rendered an outlaw. This is the message in almost every dystopian work of fiction, from classic writers such as George Orwell, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick and Ray Bradbury to more contemporary voices such as Margaret Atwood, Lois Lowry and Suzanne Collins.
How do you survive in the American police state?
We’re running out of options. As Philip K. Dick, the visionary who gave us Minority Report and Blade Runner, advised:
“If, as it seems, we are in the process of becoming a totalitarian society in which the state apparatus is all-powerful, the ethics most important for the survival of the true, free, human individual would be: cheat, lie, evade, fake it, be elsewhere, forge documents, build improved electronic gadgets in your garage that’ll outwit the gadgets used by the authorities.”
The Common Sense Show
by Dave Hodges
The plot to destroy America is decades old. When I have recently spoken of the removal of dissident journalists in programs such Boa and Operation Lightening Strike, and we witness the unfolding of the NDAA and EO 13603 in order to control the masses through food and enforce civilian conscription without compensation, we are merely witnessing the manifestation of a plot introduced generations ago during the Woodrow Wilson administration. All of these efforts are designed to mobilize an unwilling nation to fight World War III. Some are reacting to these revelations as if America has been caught off guard. The fact remains that Americans were not paying attention, and in large part, still are not aware of what is happening to their country. Key Russian defectors have been warning us for decades that we were being infiltrated by communists.
George W. Bush
“America, the most free nation on earth? Terrorists hate us because of our freedom”? Do you remember these words that were uttered by George W. Bush after 9/11? Today, I can barely type these words without laughing hysterically. America has descended rapidly down the path of being a police state and we have been in political free fall since September 11, 2001. Do you also remember when Bush said, “You are either with us, or you are with the terrorists”? The latter statement is not so funny.
I am not going to lie to you America, our country and its values, its economy and the forces that control our country are not what the average American wanta to see. Liberty has taken a backseat to tyranny. However, I believe that freedom is often the result of the space between the prison bars that we create for ourselves on an individual level. Yet, there are five variables that a super globalist elite must control in order to subjugate a nation and its people. The five variables are the media, the rules governing economics, social standards, the political system and the military. This article briefly analyzes the control the super elite have over each of these five areas.
Six corporations control 98% of the media. These same six corporations virtually control everything that most people see, hear and subsequently believe. The CNN’s and FOX networks have successfully turned the majority of our people into sheep who are willing to accept any form of dictatorship so long as it is endorsed and glorified by the news media.
There is, however, a steadily growing group of Americans who have taken off their blinders and who are slowly but surely waking up to the growing tyranny which is dominating our country.
Amazingly, only two percent of the media broadcasts the message of freedom. The growth of the independent media movement is largely due to just two percent of the media which is not corporate owned by such entities as Gannett Broadcasting and Clear Channel Communications. The chances are that you are reading this article on one of the venues which are free to tell you the truth which subsequently states that every aspect of your society is controlled by the Rockefeller/Rothschild banking empire.
If the super elite controls 98% of the media outlets, they control the narrative. However, David is beginning to fight back against Goliath. The 98% majority is beginning to lose the battle with the two percent. Because of the threat to the establishment, don’t look for the alternative media to be around much longer.
Even if the mainstream media absorbs the alternative media, we are still free to interact with like-minded people, at least for the time being. The encroachment of NSA spying, now under the control of the DHS, into our daily lives, which monitors our every communication, is very troublesome. Yet, even the absolute control over the mainstream media may not be cracking as much as we had hoped when we consider the fate of the following journalists:
Ned Colt w/NBC (Top Left) – Bob Simon w/CBS (Bottom Left) died in a car crash – David Carr w/NY Times (Bottom Right) died just hours after interviewing NSA Russian defector, Ed Snowden – Bob Hager w/NBC (Top Right). Photo courtesy of: J. Schuyler Montague. All but Hager are dead as Hager survived a head on collision in his neighborhood. Add to these events, the matter grows more complicated when Brian Williams was deposed in the same time frame. Unless one is an ardent coincidence theorist, one has to consider the unlikely odds that these events are due to chance and ask, what did these reporters know that someone did not want released? These factors all occurred within 24 hours of each other as the coincidence odds continue to escalate. The photo was obtained here.
The second factor leading to control over a society is the control over important social factors. The majority of Americans still believe in hard work, their religion and traditional family values which honors the sanctity of marriage as defined in the Bible. Through the control of the media and an increasing control of the government, Americans are being forced into glorifying every form of behavior, previously considered to be perverse and the traditional values of the American family are under attack by the media, Child Protective Services and the education system.
Because I am a white, Christian, heterosexual male who is the leader of my family and I teach Christian values to my son, I am attacked as an intolerant bigot, where only a few years ago, I was considered to be a social liberal by those who knew me because I have never supported the persecution of people making lifestyle choices that I know are wrong according to my beliefs. As a result, my most sacred beliefs are subject to criticism. We now live in a society that is being ruled by the extreme minority and we are being forced to comply with the intolerant dictates of the social elite. And I, who never advocated for discrimination against anyone, am experiencing discrimination from those who used to beg for acceptance and equality. Welcome to a fundamentally transformed America. At this rate, the new America will drive all Christians into the closet formerly occupied by those with alternative lifestyles such as Bruce Jenner, and various religions.
I truly believe that the renewal of the persecution of the Christians is just around the corner. In fact when it comes to the government’s disaster preparedness programming, one could argue that Jesus and the Bible have already been legislated out of any DHS or FEMA program, just ask Pastor Walt Mansfield. According to Pastor Mansfield, “Jesus” will never be uttered inside of a FEMA camp.
I would remind everyone, that at the end of the day, nobody can control how we raise our children. Nobody can ever control the values that a family holds dear, while respecting each person to make their own choices. This freedom is due to the fact that nobody controls what you think, at least not yet and that could change as well.
The third factor which must be controlled before a nation can be subjugated is through the control of the economic system. From the period of 1800-1913, a dollar was still worth a dollar. After the inception of the Federal Reserve, the relative wealth of the dollar has been eroded by 97%. What a dollar could buy 100 years ago, can buy three cents worth today.
One unelected entity controls the nation’s banks, The Federal Reserve. The same people control all governmental legislation for all economic policies including the Stock Market. When the super elite get caught with their proverbial hand in the cookie jar and suffer major economic losses, they simply steal from the people and call it a bail-out. As a result, we have had the bail-out, the son of bail-out and the grandson of the bail-outs.
This same super elite outlaws all competing forms of economic exchange except for the very one that they control, the soon-to-be fiat currency called the dollar. Those who go against the system can meet an untimely end, just ask friends of JFK with regard to his C-notes. Also, consider the case of Autumn Radtke, the 28 year old, who ran the First Meta bitcoin exchange, who was found suicided in her Singapore apartment last year. Originally, police investigated the “unnatural death” as a homicide.
Yes, the dollar will soon be a fiat currency as Russia, China and India are purchasing Iranian oil in gold and bypassing the dollar as the only medium of exchange (i.e. the Petrodollar). This will lead to war that will be started by a false flag provocation and the Syrians and the Iranians will be blamed. The war will follow the imposition of martial law at home following a series of domestic false flag attacks designed to eliminate all citizen opposition to the coming conflict.
Americans do still have the power to collapse the globalist system of economics by refusing to participate in the system. I have repeatedly called for not shopping at multinational chain stores such as Walmart, which now employs a new security force, Securitas (i.e. the SS) who harasses nonthreatening shoppers. We could grow our own food, shop locally and trade and barter and there would not be a darn thing the super elite could do about it. Most Americans, because of the corporate controlled media are unaware of their options in this area. One caveat, if we ever let the FDA get control over all food as they are trying to presently accomplish, it will be game over. If this ever happens you will be living in the Ukraine, under Stalin, as he starved to death millions of Ukrainians who wanted freedom. I covered this eventuality in a recent article.
If the super elite have made serious miscalculations on the path towards establishing a New World Order, the handling of the American military is a prime example. Why do you think it was previously announced that America’s military was being downsized to a pre-World War II level at a time when World War III is a real possibility? This is, no doubt, because the military cannot be trusted to do the bidding of the super elite and “take care” of uncooperative American citizens.
For decades, our brave men and women in uniform have been used to fight banker wars of occupation. The exploitation of the service people is growing daily. An average of 22 veterans are committing suicide on a daily basis. The government is trying to disarm the veterans in anticipation of what is coming. Obama is trying to unseat the command structure of the military through the firing of over 260 senior command military officers. Obama is trying to gain total and absolute control over the nuclear arsenal, but has been unable to do so, to date. Obama will never get total control over the military because they know what he stands for. A detailed synopsis of Obama’s attack upon American military leadership can be found here and here.
At the end of the day, I remain hopeful that our military will prove to be the shining beacon of freedom against the total imposition of tyranny on our soil spearheaded by foreign United Nations mercenaries. However, without the popular support of the people, any military insurgency is doomed to fail. If we fail to wakeup more American people, the military will prove to be an asset as worthless as the dollar will soon be. All mediums of value must have backing and the military is no different.
The NDAA, Executive Order 13603, the Patriot Act, NSA spying, the use of the election fixing electronic voting machines, force feeding us GMO’s, the completely controlled Democrats and Republicans by the forces of the Rockefeller/Rothschild banking cartel as well as the revealed existence of the new martial law Internment/Resettlement policies are all shining examples of the absolute police state that is being imposed in this country against the will of the people.
Obamacare is destroying small business in this country. It has turned religious liberty on its ear, just ask Hobby Lobby or the Catholic church. Coverage rates for Obamacare have exploded. The Wall Street criminality which led to the bail-outs was caused by a series of illegal Ponzi schemes. Nobody went to jail. And what do we do when a rogue bank, HSBC, is a proven criminal enterprise and nobody goes to jail? How about when the IRS is allowed to harass political enemies? Or a senior diplomatic official is killed less than two months prior to the 2012 election in order to conceal gun running to terrorists. And this is only the tip of the iceberg and NOBODY ever goes to jail! We have lost control of our government.
The revelation that America will have martial law used against them to force compliance in the coming world war is not new. These plots were merely the manifestations of this plot to bring down America. The communist subversion designed to erode America on five different fronts is not new, it is just coming to fruition.
By Wendy McElroy
Precedents exist for requiring citizens to produce special ID for domestic travel; they include Nazi Germany, apartheid South Africa and Russia (both Imperial and Soviet).
Over the Christmas season, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) quietly announced that America was walking down that path. By 2016, all domestic air travel will require either a traditional passport or a federally-compliant ID card called “Real ID.” State driver’s licenses will no longer allow Americans access to domestic flights, as they do now. Real ID will constitute an internal passport. (The drop-date date is commonly reported as January.)
An internal passport refers to an identity document that people must produce to move from place to place within national borders. It allows a government to monitor the movement of its own people and to control that movement by granting or denying ID. In the past, governments have used internal passports to isolate ‘undesirables’, to regulate economic opportunities, to reap personal data, to intimidate and command obedience, and to segregate categories of people (like Jews) for political purposes. It allows a government to bind anyone it chooses to his or her place of birth.
The upcoming Real ID requirement targets only air travel. But that’s how it begins – with airports.
After people became numb to years of ID demands, questioning and searches at airports, those tactics spread to train stations and subways. Then highway check-points were established in areas that lay within 100 miles from an “external boundary,” including coasts. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents now have the authority to stop a traveller if they have “reasonable suspicion” of an immigration violation or other crime. Although the agents do not currently have authority to demand ID from American citizens, they often do so.
The ACLU has repeatedly cautioned that “[i]n practice, Border Patrol agents routinely ignore or misunderstand the limits of their legal authority in the course of individual stops, resulting in violations of the constitutional rights of innocent people….These problems are compounded by…the consistent failure of CBP to hold agents accountable for abuse. Thus, although the 100-mile border zone is not literally ‘Constitution free’, the U.S. government frequently acts like it is.”
Recently, highway checkpoints have occurred well outside the 100-mile “exemption” range, with agents demanding to
The total control of movement always begins with airports. Real ID will be reality in the US by the end of the decade and, perhaps, long before. And it is not likely to be limited to air travel.
Real ID Walks In Through A Back Door
Under the Real ID Act of 2005, state driver’s licenses and other ID needed to conform to federal standards. The IDs were to be used for “official purposes” as were defined by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Examples of explicitly defined “purposes” include for entry into federal buildings and for boarding commercial air flights. But the law also provided the DHS with the authority to require Real ID for other undefined purposes, apparently at its discretion.
To be compliant, the state IDs must incorporate specific personal details about each bearer and link that information to a unique identifying number. The minimum information required consists of a front-facing photo that is compatible with facial recognition technology, a full legal name, signature, birth date, gender, and main address. (RFID chips were not mandated but the Act left the future possibility open.)
The issuing state must verify the information and encode it in a machine readable manner such as bar codes. Then, the data must be linked to every other state’s motor vehicle databases. The networking would permit an easy data-merge with federal databases such as the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system. The latter is a national facial recognition system, which serves other functions as well.
The Real ID Act experienced a huge backlash from privacy and fourth amendment advocates, as well as from states’ rights ones. The states themselves rebelled because the federal government hoisted the cost of implementing the program onto their shoulders. Some states – for example, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Maine – flatly refused to comply. DHS estimates that somewhere between 20-30% of Americans live in non-compliant areas. This means the states have to scramble to abide by federal standards by 2016. The Real ID will have a white star inside a gold circle in the upper right corner to indicate that the data has been verified.
The verification process is not a simple one for the state or for the individual. The Marietta Daily Journal (Oct. 23,2012) reported, “[M]any drivers in Georgia were surprised when they attempted to renew their driver’s licenses. What was a quick point and click online is no longer. Federal requirements for the Real ID Act, now require drivers to visit a Department of Driver Services office if they don’t already have DDS secure license marked by a white star in a field of gold in the upper right corner of the license.
“Many Georgians haven’t renewed their licenses in many years, so naturally, they were caught by surprise when they had to produce, in person, proof of identity, Social Security card and proof of residence. But there is more. You have to prove your citizenship as well. How? According to the DDS, either with a ‘valid, unexpired U.S. passport’, an original or certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate/amended birth certificate filed with the State Office of Vital Statistics. Birth certificates issued by hospitals ‘are not acceptable’.”
This is nothing less than the federalization and standardization of all identifying documents throughout the United States. Those who are unable to document such niceties as their existence (that is, their birth) will become second class citizens. They will be unable to fly and excluded from entering into federal buildings, which may be necessary for them to obtain government permissions or fulfil legal requirements. Joining the ranks of the second-class will be the holders non-compliant licenses; these lack a white star and are stamped “Not for Federal Official Use” instead. “Not for Federal Official Use” holders will need a traditional passport or to apply for alternate DHS documentation if they wish to fly.
What To Expect
Many states and, so, many individuals will not make TSA’s January 2016 deadline for Real ID. Some hope the humanitarian TSA will push back the deadline as it did last year. And a delay may happen…for logistical reasons. If it does, those who wish to escape a nation with internal passports may have another year to do so.
But the main hope of delaying Real ID is a confrontation between the federal and state governments. In 2012, the governor of Montana declared,
“Montana will not agree to share its citizens’ personal and private information through a national database, nor bear the exorbitant cost [of] building such a database. Furthermore, the Act tramples on our state’s right to determine our own licensing procedures and protocols, and would interfere with our state’s work to improve drivers’ license security. Montana is in no mood at all for another heavy-handed play by the federal government, such as what transpired in 2008 when the homeland security director threatened to prevent Montanans from boarding an airplane unless we complied with the REAL ID act. We refused, and will refuse again.”
Brave words. But Real ID is coming. When it arrives with both feet, Real ID will make it much more difficult for freedom-loving people to avoid the federal behemoth. Of course, that is its purpose. FATCA and related global measures gave the feds access to every cent that any American possessed in the world. Now Real ID wants to ensure that no American can avoid federal detection within domestic borders.
by MIKAEL THALEN
A church hosting a law enforcement appreciation sermon asked its followers to pledge their allegiance to government this weekend, arguing that all state authorities throughout history have been ordained by God.
According to an anonymous visitor of the Gold Creek Community Church in Mill Creek, Washington, who provided exclusive photos to Infowars, attendees were ordered to submit to the state without question.
“They had police worship today and last week was military worship where they played clips of American Sniper…” the source said. “They were telling people to basically worship government and worship police no matter what. No mention of police brutality, no mention of the stingray systems grabbing our data here in the Seattle area.”
The church’s pastor, Dan Kellog, who is also reportedly a police chaplain, used the Romans 13 bible verse to justify his position. As noted by Infowars Paul Joseph Watson, Romans 13 has long been used by authoritarian regimes to force compliance.
“Romans 13 has routinely been cited by tyrants throughout history in an attempt to prevent Christians from opposing their rule, indeed, it was Hitler’s favorite bible verse,” Watson wrote. “Religious groups such as the Catholics in 1930’s Germany also used the verse as an excuse not to rise up against the Nazis when they were still a minority political party.”
Near the end of the sermon, members of the congregation were asked to raise their right hands and make a pledge, which included the promise to call 911 on “suspicious” neighbors.
“I pledge to call 911 if I see someone suspicious in my neighborhood,” the pledge stated.
While working with law enforcement to create a safer community is a noble cause, the sermon made no mention of the duty of Americans to oppose and protest unconstitutional legislation and dictates.
The sermon’s content is eerily similar to a 2009 document passed out to churchgoers in Ohio that told Christians to support President Obama due to his status as “God’s minister.”
Since at least 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has used Romans 13 under a FEMA program to train pastors to become literal secret police. Pastors are tasked with teaching their congregations to submit to every government action including forced relocation under martial law.
During the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, pastors were used to quell dissent as police and military carried out unconstitutional gun confiscation.
By John Whitehead, constitutional and human rights attorney, and founder of the Rutherford Institute.
“Plays, farces, spectacles, gladiators, strange beasts, medals, pictures, and other such opiates, these were for ancient peoples the bait toward slavery, the price of their liberty, the instruments of tyranny. By these practices and enticements the ancient dictators so successfully lulled their subjects under the yoke, that the stupefied peoples, fascinated by the pastimes and vain pleasures flashed before their eyes, learned subservience as naively, but not so creditably, as little children learn to read by looking at bright picture books.”—Etienne de La Boétie, “The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude: How Do Tyrants Secure Cooperation?” (1548)
Americans love their reality TV shows—the drama, the insults, the bullying, the callousness, the damaged relationships delivered through the lens of a surveillance camera—and there’s no shortage of such dehumanizing spectacles to be found on or off screen, whether it’s Cops, Real Housewives or the heavy-handed tactics of police officers who break down doors first and ask questions later.
Where things get tricky is when we start to lose our grasp on what is real vs. unreal and what is an entertainment spectacle that distracts us vs. a real-life drama that impacts us.
For example, do we tune into Bruce Jenner’s gender transformation as it unfolds on reality TV, follow the sniping over Navy sharpshooter Chris Kyle’s approach to war and killing, or chart the progress of the Keystone oil pipeline as it makes it work through Congress? Do we debate the merits of Katy Perry’s Superbowl XLIX halftime performance, or speculate on which politicians will face off in the 2016 presidential election?
Here’s a hint: it’s all spectacle.
Studies suggest that the more reality TV people watch—and I would posit that it’s all reality TV—the more difficult it becomes to distinguish between what is real and what is carefully crafted farce. Unfortunately, Americans have a voracious appetite for TV entertainment. On average, Americans spend five hours a day watching television. By the time we reach age 65, we’re watching more than 50 hours of television a week, and that number increases as we get older. And reality TV programming consistently captures the largest percentage of TV watchers every season by an almost 2-1 ratio.
As journalist Scott Collins notes, “reality is a cheap way to fill prime time.”
Yet it’s more than just economics at play. As I make clear in my book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State, we’re being subjected to a masterful sociological experiment in how to dumb down and desensitize a population.
This doesn’t bode well for a citizenry able to sift through masterfully-produced propaganda in order to think critically about the issues of the day. Then again, it can be hard to distinguish between the two. As cognitive scientist Steven Pinker points out, the hallmark of well-told fiction is that the audience can’t tell the difference.
Concerning reality TV, journalist Chris Weller explains:
Producers have become so good at their job of constructing a cohesive narrative, one that imitates life – albeit, dramatically so – that the narrative ends up compelling life to imitate it. This is an important distinction…. drama doesn’t emerge accidentally. It’s intentional. But not everyone knows that.
“Reality TV is fiction sold as nonfiction, to an audience that likes to believe both are possible simultaneously in life,” continues Weller. “It’s entertainment, in the same way Cirque du Soleil enchants and The Hunger Games enthralls. But what are we to make of unreal realness? And what does it make of its viewers? Do they…mimic the medium? Do they become shallow, volatile, mean?”
The answer is yes, they do mimic the medium.
Studies suggest that those who watch reality shows tend to view what they see as the “norm.” Thus, those who watch shows characterized by lying, aggression and meanness not only come to see such behavior as acceptable but find it entertaining.
It’s a phenomenon called “humilitainment,” a term coined by media scholars Brad Waite and Sara Booker to refer to the tendency for viewers to take pleasure in someone else’s humiliation, suffering and pain. It largely explains not only why American TV watchers are so fixated on reality TV programming but how American citizens, largely insulated from what is really happening in the world around them by layers of technology, entertainment, and other distractions, are being programmed to accept the brutality, surveillance and dehumanizing treatment of the American police state as things happening to other people.
This is what happens when an entire nation, unable to distinguish between what is real and unreal and increasingly inclined to accept as normal the tactics being played out before them in hi-def, not only ceases to be outraged by the treatment being meted out to their fellow citizens but takes joy in it.
Unfortunately, for the majority of Americans who spend their waking, leisure hours transfixed in front of the television or watching programming on their digital devices, the American police state itself has become reality TV programming—a form of programming that keeps us distracted, entertained, occasionally a little bit outraged but overall largely uninvolved, content to remain in the viewer’s seat.
In fact, we don’t even have to change the channel when the subject matter becomes too monotonous. That’s taken care of for us by the programmers (the corporate media and the police state). Before we got too worked up over government surveillance, they changed the channels on us and switched us over to militarized police. Before our outrage could be transformed into action, they changed the channel once again. Next up: ISIS beheadings, plane crashes, terrorist shootings and politicians lip-synching to a teleprompter.
In this way, televised events of recent years—the Ferguson shooting and riots, the choke-hold of Eric Garner, the Boston Marathon manhunt and city-wide lockdown, etc.—became reality TV programming choices on a different channel.
The more that is beamed at us, the more inclined we are to settle back in our comfy recliners and become passive viewers rather than active participants as unsettling, frightening events unfold. Reality and fiction merge as everything around us becomes entertainment fodder. This holds true whether we’re watching American Idol, American Sniper or America’s Newsroom.
With every SWAT team raid, police shooting and terrorist attack—real or staged, we’re being systematically desensitized and acclimated to the trappings of the police state. This is borne out by numerous studies indicating that the more violence we watch on television—whether real or fictional—the less outraged we will be by similar acts of real-life aggression.
For instance, tasers were sold to the American public as a way to decrease the use of deadly force by police, reduce the overall number of use-of-force incidents, and limit the number of people seriously injured. Instead, we’ve witnessed an increase in the use of force by police and a desensitizing of the public to police violence. As Professor Victor E. Kappeler points out, “no one riots because the police stunned-gunned a drunk for non-compliance or because a cop pepper-sprayed a group of protesters.”
Indeed, notes Kappeler:
Police officers possessing less-than-lethal weapons are often more inclined to use these weapons in situations where they would not have been legally justified in using traditional weapons, or for that matter any level of force at whatsoever. This phenomenon is known as net widening. As use of force technologies improve, police become more likely to apply force in a greater number of situations, in less serious situations, to more vulnerable people and resort to force in cases where people simply do not immediately comply with their directives.
What we’re witnessing is net widening of the police state and, incredibly, it’s taking place while the citizenry watches.
Viewed through the lens of “reality” TV programming, the NSA and other government surveillance has become a done deal. Militarized police are growing more militant by the day. And you can rest assured that police-worn body cameras, being hailed by police and activists alike as a sure-fire fix for police abuses, will only add to this net widening.
Ironically, whether we like it or not, these cameras—directed at us—will turn “we the people” into the stars of our own reality shows. As Kelefa Sanneh, writing for the New Yorker, points out, “Cops,” the longest-running reality show of all which has “viewers ride with police officers as they drive around, in search of perpetrators… makes it easy to think of a video camera as a weapon, there to keep the peace and to discipline violators.”
Ultimately, that’s what this is all about: the reality shows, the drama, the entertainment spectacles, the surveillance are all intended to keep us in line, using all the weapons available to the powers-that-be. It’s the modern-day equivalent of bread and circuses.
As for the sleepwalking masses convinced that all of the bad things happening in the police state—the police shootings, the police beatings, the raids, the roadside strip searches—are happening to other people, eventually, the things happening to other people will start happening to us and our loved ones.
When that painful reality sinks in, it will hit with the force of a SWAT team crashing through your door, a taser being aimed at your stomach, and a gun pointed at your head. And there will be no channel to change, no reality to alter, no manufactured farce to hide behind.
By that time, however, it will be too late to do anything more than submit.
Professor Neil Postman saw this eventuality coming. “There are two ways by which the spirit of a culture may be shriveled,” he predicted. “In the first—the Orwellian—culture becomes a prison. In the second—the Huxleyan—culture becomes a burlesque.” Postman concludes:
No one needs to be reminded that our world is now marred by many prison-cultures…. it makes little difference if our wardens are inspired by right- or left-wing ideologies. The gates of the prison are equally impenetrable, surveillance equally rigorous, icon-worship pervasive…. Big Brother does not watch us, by his choice. We watch him, by ours…. When a population becomes distracted by trivia, when cultural life is redefined as a perpetual round of entertainments, when serious public conversation becomes a form of baby-talk, when, in short, a people become an audience, and their public business a vaudeville act, then a nation finds itself at risk; culture-death is a clear possibility.
The American Dream
by Michael Snyder
Is it okay for Barack Obama to spy on reporters? Is it okay for government spooks to record their calls, monitor their online activity and collect their emails whenever they want? Well, according to a shocking new poll conducted by Pew Research, 64 percent of investigative journalists believe that the government is already collecting data from them right now. Sadly, very few of them are publicly voicing objections. We are rapidly becoming the type of “Big Brother” society that George Orwell once wrote about, and most Americans are just going along for the ride. One journalist that is making waves is former CBS News reporter Sharyl Attkisson. In her new book entitled Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington, she claims that she has evidence that the government remotely activated her computer numerous times, monitored her keystrokes and even buried incriminating documents very deeply on her hard drive. She has filed a lawsuit, and hopefully this will result in the public shaming of those involved in this spying. With each passing day, we are becoming a little bit more like Nazi Germany, and if we continue down this road America will eventually be completely transformed into a totalitarian hellhole.
Have we really gotten to the point where virtually everyone knows that the government is spying on them but we just accept it as a fact of life?
How in the world can we have “freedom of the press” if the government is constantly looking over the shoulders of journalists?
When I first learned about this shocking new survey of journalists that I mentioned above, I was absolutely stunned…
In a survey of investigative reporters that makes Richard Nixon’s enemies list look like child’s play, nearly seven in 10 said they believe that the Obama administration has spied on their phone calls, emails and online searches.
According to a Pew Research Center survey of 454 media figures, 64 percent “believe that the U.S. government has probably collected data” from their calls and email and eight in 10 believe just being a journalist jumps the chance Uncle Sam is spying on them.
The survey follows multiple reports of actual spying by federal officials on reporters, and the White House’s effort to track down those who leak information to reporters despite long-forgotten promises to be the most transparent administration ever.
As a nation, are we going to put up with this kind of thing?
Or could it be that we are already so whipped into submission that we are incapable of even objecting to Big Brother?
Our control freak politicians wish to monitor and control every area of our lives. One of the latest areas where there is a renewed push for control is vaccines. A recent outbreak of measles has lawmakers all over the nation in a rush to make vaccinations mandatory.
In the state of California, for example, new legislation would eliminate all exemptions from vaccination…
Responding to an outbreak of measles that has infected more than 100 people, two California lawmakers said on Wednesday they would introduce legislation to end the right of parents in the state to exempt their children from school vaccinations based on personal beliefs.
This is being done even though it is indisputable that far more children die from the MMR vaccine than die from the measles. The following numbers come from a recent article by Dr. Lee Hieb…
1. Since 2005 (and even before that), there have been no deaths in the U.S. from measles, but there have been 86 deaths from MMR vaccine – 68 of them in children under 3 years old. And there were nearly 2,000 disabled.
2. In countries which use BCG vaccinations against tuberculosis, the incidence of Type I diabetes in children under 14 is nearly double. (“Infectious Disease in Clinical Practice” no. 6 pages 449-454, 1997)
3. As reported in Lancet in 1995, inflammatory bowel disease (i.e. Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis) is 13 times more prevalent in persons vaccinated for measles.
4. In a nested case-control study within the General Practice Research Database (GPRD) in the United Kingdom, patients who had a first MS (Multiple Sclerosis) diagnosis recorded were compared with controls. The authors concluded that immunization with the recombinant hepatitis B vaccine is associated with a threefold increased risk of developing MS (Hernan et al., 2004). No increased risk of MS was associated with other vaccines, which included tetanus and influenza vaccinations.
5. In 1982 William Torch, a prolific researcher and publisher on Neurologic topics, presented a paper (later published) at the American Academy of Neurology reviewing SIDS deaths. He reported that in 100 consecutive cases, 70 percent of SIDS deaths occurred within three weeks of pertussis vaccination.
Over the years, countless numbers of children have been killed or permanently disabled by vaccines. At this point, more than 3 billion dollars has been paid out to the victims.
But you never hear about any of this on CNN or MSNBC, do you?
And once they force everyone to receive their vaccines, Dr. Hieb wonders what is next…
If you think the government has the right to forcibly vaccinate people – for the good of society – what is to prevent them from forcibly sterilizing people, or forcibly euthanizing people, or forcibly implanting a tracking device – for the good of society?
If you think that forcible sterilization would never happen, you are wrong.
In fact, it is already happening in the UK…
A mother of six with an IQ of 70 should be sterilised for her own safety, the Court of Protection has ruled.
The Court heard that a further pregnancy would be a “significantly life-threatening event” for both the mother and child.
Mr Justice Cobb said the woman had the “same human rights” as everyone else and this was not a case of “eugenics”.
He has authorised health and council services to intervene and perform the sterilisation.
This is where our society is heading.
We are becoming a society where the government is god, and where all of our life decisions are made for us by control freaks that believe that they know better than everyone else.
Unfortunately, we are so addicted to the things that are entertaining us that most of us never even bother to notice what is happening to our society. I found the following news story earlier today, and I thought that it was a great metaphor for what is happening to us as a nation.
The mother of three young children found abandoned and locked inside a Washington home has admitted to using meth and told the court she is pregnant with a fifth child.
Amanda Foley and Mark Dorson, both 33, were arrested this week after their children were found on Saturday alone locked in a filthy run-down Lake Stevens house, starving and shivering in 40-degree temperatures.
The children, aged seven, three, and 11 months, were living ‘among animal feces and human excrement’, according to court documents.
Just like that young mother, we are so addicted to entertainment that we can’t even see what is happening to the future of this country.
Most of us would live in our own filth until it piled up to the ceiling as long as we were being entertained.
Meanwhile, everything that this country is supposed to stand for is being destroyed.
Wake up America.
by STEVE WATSON & DAVID KNIGHT
In a recent speech, former head of the NSA and the CIA Michael Hayden suggested that following the 9/11 attacks, he reinterpreted the US Constitution and “started to do different things,” without the authorization of Congress or the President.
Speaking at Washington and Lee University last week Hayden effectively said that he was able to rewrite the Constitution based on his own “mature judgment” of what is right and wrong.
He specifically noted that, in his own mind at least, Fourth Amendment protections are now open to interpretation.
The Atlantic has the story, noting:
In a speech at Washington and Lee University, Michael Hayden, a former head of both the CIA and NSA, opined on signals intelligence under the Constitution, arguing that what the 4th Amendment forbids changed after September 11, 2001. He noted that “unreasonable search and seizure,” is prohibited under the Constitution, but cast it as a living document, with “reasonableness” determined by “the totality of circumstances in which we find ourselves in history.”
He explained that as the NSA’s leader, tactics he found unreasonable on September 10, 2001 struck him as reasonable the next day, after roughly 3,000 were killed. “I actually started to do different things,” he said. “And I didn’t need to ask ‘mother, may I’ from the Congress or the president or anyone else. It was within my charter, but in terms of the mature judgment about what’s reasonable and what’s not reasonable, the death of 3,000 countrymen kind of took me in a direction over here, perfectly within my authority, but a different place than the one in which I was located before the attacks took place. So if we’re going to draw this line I think we have to understand that it’s kind of a movable feast here.”
Perhaps terrorists should take note. If you keep attacking the US, the people in charge, like Hayden, will keep systematically breaking down what were previously considered unalienable freedoms until they are completely gone – thus you, the terrorists, win.
Within the same twisted speech, Hayden also casually noted that since 9/11 the NSA has not only been spying on and monitoring bad guys, but also anyone it considers to be “interesting”.
“I am not a law enforcement officer. I don’t suspect anybody.” Hayden said, adding “I am simply going out there to retrieve information that helps keep my countrymen free and safe. This is not about guilt. In fact, let me be really clear. NSA doesn’t just listen to bad people. NSA listens to interesting people. People who are communicating information.”
So much for the age old justification of ‘if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear’.
General Hayden. of course, has a track record of trashing the Constitution – it’s what brought him to the NSA gig in the first place.
He was the man who seriously argued, a decade ago, that there was no mention of “probable cause” in the Fourth Amendment, insisting that only ‘reasonable search and seizure’ was required in violating the privacy of Americans.
Hayden also contends that government secrecy is akin to an individual’s private privacy, and so the American public should not be privy to the actions of the NSA.
Hayden has also dubbed Edward Snowden worse than any American “traitor” ever, including Benedict Arnold, for blowing the whistle on government spying, and described Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the Snowden story, as a “co-conspirator”. Hayden intimated that he would like to see both added to a government ‘kill list’.
by Barry Donegan
Starting in 2016, the Transportation Security Administration will require all airline passengers to present a REAL ID compliant identification card or a passport in order to board a flight. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 20-30% of Americans live in jurisdictions that are not REAL ID compliant, meaning their driver’s licenses will no longer be accepted during security checks at the airport.
Most Americans use a state-issued driver’s license as their primary identification card. However, federal-level politicians have pushed throughout history for the implementation of a national ID card, which privacy and states’ rights advocates have argued against as a threat to citizens’ private information or an affront to state authority. Reports of a move towards a national ID card were often dismissed by skeptics as conspiracy theories until 2005, when the REAL ID Act passed into law. However, the REAL ID has experienced significant pushback from many non-compliant states, forcing federal officials to delay its implementation.
Fast forward nearly a decade, and the REAL ID is set to launch in airports across the United States starting in January of 2016. According to KTVN-2, the Transportation Security Administration will no longer accept state-issued driver’s licenses that lack REAL ID compliant features as an accepted form of ID for boarding aircraft after the beginning of next year.
However, the adoption of the REAL ID by citizens is being portrayed as voluntary. Said Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles Public Information Officer David Fierro in comments to KTVN-2, “It is a choice. It’s not mandatory. It’s a choice for secured identification. If you use a passport when you’re traveling you don’t have any problems. If you use your driver’s license as identification, you’ll need to either apply for the REAL ID card or get a passport.” While adoption of the federal REAL ID card by citizens may not be mandatory, those who choose not to get a passport or REAL ID will effectively be barred from airline travel.
REAL ID compliant cards must capture specific identifying details about each person and associate the data with a unique number. Privacy advocates worry that the REAL ID’s information database will eventually merge with other federal data sweeps such as the FBI’s Next Generation Identification system, which stores biometric data on Americans (many of whom have never been suspected of committing a crime), and the National Security Agency’s trove of stolen private online and mobile communications. The cards must also contain an electronic swipe feature allowing machines to read and write to them, raising fears that the REAL ID may be vulnerable to tampering by hackers and identity thieves. Though early versions of the regulations on REAL IDs required that the cards feature an RFID chip, that specific type of technology is no longer explicitly required.
However, some US states, such as Maine, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Idaho, have passed laws against participating in the REAL ID program, meaning state-issued ID cards from those states may not be compliant in time for 2016. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 20-30% of Americans live in jurisdictions that are not compliant with the program, meaning citizens in those areas may no longer be able to use their state-issued driver’s licenses to board aircraft after January 2016. KIVI-TV notes that Idaho legislators are currently scrambling to find a solution to this problem.
The REAL ID’s implementation process is designed to come in four stages, two of which are already complete. The first two phases require the use of compliant cards to get into nuclear power plants and restricted federal facilities. The third phase of implementation, coming in October, mandates the presentation of REAL ID cards in order to enter semi-restricted federal facilities such as courthouses and military bases that require identification for admittance, with a waiver granted for individuals seeking entry to apply for federal benefits. The last phase of implementation, set to begin in January of 2016, will take place during security checks at airports.