By Stephen Lendman
Crises are opportunities for ruling authorities to institute policies not easily introduced during normal times.
Post-9/11 and at other extraordinary times, the public is willfully deceived to believe that by sacrificing personal freedoms, greater security is possible — not realizing that both will be lost.
The price of liberty is eternal vigilance. The cost of its loss is tyranny — the US and West far advanced toward it’s becoming full-blown.
Protecting public health to prevent COVID-19 from spreading by stay-at-home orders, state and community lockdowns, and social distancing reflect common sense policymaking.
Overstepping occurs if martial law is declared and constitutional rights are suspended — what tyrannical police state rule is all about.
Post-9/11, US hardline rule became reality by presidential executive orders, national and homeland security presidential directives, and enactment of police state laws — along with actions against designated domestic and foreign adversaries, dissent, civil liberties, human rights, and other democratic freedoms.
State-sponsored indefinite detentions, assassinations, extraordinary renditions, military commission trials, torture, mass surveillance, and other extrajudicial actions were instituted and remain in place on the phony pretext of protecting national security at a time when America’s only enemies are invented.
For nearly two decades, the US has been waging war OF terrorism, not on it, at home and abroad — a bipartisan coup d’etat on world peace, equity, justice and the rule of law.
Police state measures were prepared in advance and on the shelf for rolling out in the aftermath of the 9/11 mother of all state-sponsored false flags.
The mother of all establishment media promoted Big Lies left most people unaware that what happened on that fateful day was all about advancing Washington’s imperium, along with cracking down on homeland freedoms.
Will spreading COVID-19 outbreaks in the US be used as a pretext for further hardening of hardline police state rule, including suspension of vital habeas rights?
According to Politico on Saturday, the Trump regime’s Justice Department “quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies,” adding:
Documents seen by Politico “detail the (DOJ’s) requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted.”
The Trump regime already closed the nation’s borders (except for commerce), imposed restrictions on international and domestic air travel, barred foreign nationals from entering the US who’ve been in China, Iran, and European countries recently, and suspended visa services at US embassies and consulates worldwide.
About a fourth of the US population is locked down following orders by individual state governors, others highly likely to follow, perhaps the entire nation in the days and weeks ahead as COVID-19 outbreaks will likely continue to increase before abating.
Some measures are justified to enhance public safety, others not.
Clearly no justification exists to order indefinite detentions arbitrarily under any circumstances.
If permitted or not, will martial law and suspension of the constitution follow?
According to Politico, one of the documents it saw calls for Congress to empower the attorney general to circumvent judicial proceedings “whenever (a) district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”
The authority would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings.”
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers executive director Norman Reimer said if indefinite detentions without trial become the law of the land, habeas rights no longer will exist as long as the practice continues.
Anyone for any reason, real or invented, “could be arrested and never brought before a judge until they decide that the emergency or the civil disobedience is over.”
“I find it absolutely terrifying. Especially in a time of emergency, we should be very careful about granting new powers to the government.”
“This is something that should never happen” anywhere!
The DOJ document also asked Congress to suspend “statute of limitations or criminal investigations and civil proceedings during national emergencies,” said Politico, adding:
The DOJ wants Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure “change(d) to expand the use of videoconference hearings, and to let some of those hearings happen without defendants’ consent, according to the draft legislative text.”
According to Reimer, forced video hearing (without consent of the accused) would violate their civil liberties — “a terrible road to go down.”
“We have a right to public trials. People have a right to be present in court” represented by counsel.
Tahirih Justice Center head Layli Miller-Munro said the DOJ request, if implemented, would block refugees and asylum seekers from entering the US — a way to keep unwanted people of the wrong race, creed, color, or nationality out of the country.
Make no mistake. The DOJ document was likely prepared before or straightaway after the onset of COVID-19 outbreaks.
The 300-plus page USA Patriot Act was written before 9/11, readied to be considered by Congress, passed, and signed into law six weeks after the state-sponsored false flag.
The Trump regime will likely take full advantage of spreading COVID-19 outbreaks for hardened police state rule — instead of prioritizing public health and economic justice actions for ordinary Americans.
The greatest risk to remaining personal freedoms for ordinary Americans will be if martial law and suspension of the Constitution become the law of the land by executive order.
Perhaps it’s coming if Congress and/or the courts don’t intervene to block it.
While extraordinary times call for extraordinary actions, it’s vital to institute them lawfully to protect public health and welfare as top priority.
Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)