Spy on Me, I’m Innocent! by David Swanson

Stop and Frisk Police State

Image by Dandelion Salad via Flickr

by David Swanson
Writer, Dandelion Salad
warisacrime.org
August 16, 2013

You’ve heard people say they want to be spied on, as long as it means that other people will be spied on too.  I know you’ve heard people say this, and which people it was, and how your face looked when you heard it, and what your next telephone call was.  Or, rather, I could know all of that if I were one of the thousands and thousands of low-level snoops it will take for our government to accomplish its surveillance goals.

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The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets

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Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!
http://www.democracynow.org
July 30, 2009

The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets

A startling two-part series published in the Gazette newspaper of Colorado Springs titled “Casualties of War” examines a part of war seldom discussed by the media or government officials: the difficulty of returning to civilian life after being trained to be a killer. The story focuses on a single battalion based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment. Soldiers from the brigade have have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, drunk driving, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides. The Army unit’s murder rate is 114 times the rate for Colorado Springs. We speak with the reporter who broke the story and get the Army’s response.

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video The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets

Guests:

Dave Philipps, reporter with the Colorado Springs Gazette. He wrote the two-part series “Casualties of War.”

Col. Jimmie Keenan, Commander of the Evans Army Community Hospital in Colorado Springs. She is the former chief of staff for the Army’s Warrior Care and Transition Office in Arlington, Va.

Military Hotline: 1-800-342-9647
Website: Militaryonesource.com

Transcript

AMY GOODMAN: We turn now to a startling two-part series that has just been published in the Gazette newspaper of Colorado Springs called “Casualties of War.” It examines a part of war seldom discussed by the media or government officials: the difficulty of returning to civilian life after being trained to be a killer.

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Cops Do Not Care That Tasers Kill!

Dandelion Salad

Warning

This video may contain images depicting the reality and horror of war/violence and should only be viewed by a mature audience.

VOTERSTHINKdotORG

http://earth2obama.org/

March 25, 2009 CBC The National

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Cops Do Not Care That Tasers Kill! pt.1“, posted with vodpod

***

Pt 2 Continue reading

Coroner rules taser death homicide

Dandelion Salad

KOMU.com
November 13, 2008

MOBERLY – Randolph County Coroner ruled the death of Stanley Harlan a homicide.

On Aug. 28, 23-year-old Harlan was making his way home when police claim they caught him driving while intoxicated. Police said Harlan resisted arrest and so they used a taser, or an electroshock device, to apprehend him.

[…]

There has been controversy involving police use of taser devices, which helped Harlan’s family gather more than 1,400 signatures to outlaw tasers permanently.

[…]

via KOMU.com – Coroner Rules in Moberly Man’s Death – Coverage You Can Count On plus short video report

h/t: Dan

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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Man dead after shock from Taser + Columbia police expect backlash

Police State

Tasers

Police Brutality

Is Posse Comitatus Dead? US Troops on US Streets

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

Oct. 7, 2008

Is Posse Comitatus Dead? US Troops on US Streets

In a barely noticed development, a US Army unit is now training for domestic operations under the control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. An initial news report in the Army Times newspaper last month noted that in addition to emergency response the force “may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control.” The military has since claimed the force will not be used for civil unrest, but questions remain. We speak to Army Col. Michael Boatner, future operations division chief of USNORTHCOM, and Matthew Rothschild, editor of The Progressive magazine. [includes rush transcript]

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Are Forced Injections the New Taser?

Dandelion Salad

By Gerri L. Elder
CLG
Total Criminal Defense

While most people are aware of police use of Taser weapons, many may be fairly shocked to learn of an alternate method used by police in Nashville, Tennessee to subdue “unruly” people. The city has a policy allowing police to inject unruly people that they encounter on the street with a strong sedative.

One of the doctors responsible for this bright idea claims that it is the safest option available and that it is being used all over the country. However, a top medical ethicist says that it is troubling.

The drug used by police is Midazolam, which is better known as Versed. This drug is commonly used with patients undergoing a colonoscopy. It has an amnesia side effect, according to biomedical ethics and law enforcement expert Dr. Steven Miles.

While the use of the drug is safe for patients who have been screened and had their medical histories reviewed, its use on the street is a bit alarming.

Are Forced Injections the New Taser? .

see

Police State

Tasers

Police Brutality

Man dead after shock from Taser + Columbia police expect backlash

Dandelion Salad

My heartfelt condolences to Stan’s family and friends, including Tim (a friend of mine).  In my opinion the action taken by these police officers amounts to murder.  Taser use is supposed to be instead of using guns and when the suspect is a danger to the officers or others.   Stan posed no threat to the police yet they tasered him to death.  Suspects can be annoying, obnoxious, etc, however, they do not deserve death.  ~ Lo

Updated: added a story with a video link and another story, see below

By T.J. GREANEY of the Tribune’s staff
The Columbia Daily Tribune
Thursday, August 28, 2008

Moberly police say DWI suspect resisted.

A 23-year-old Moberly man died today after police used a Taser to subdue him during a traffic stop.

The incident began at 12:30 a.m. when police pulled over Stanley James William Harlan for driving his vehicle erratically in the 500 block of South Williams Street, said Commander Kevin Palmatory of the Moberly Police Department.

While trying to arrest Harlan on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, Harlan used physical force to resist, and the arresting officer was able to get only one handcuff on him, police said. Palmatory could not say whether officers conducted a field sobriety test.

[…]

Man dead after shock from Taser.

h/t: Dan via an email

***

Updated

KOMU

Man Dies After Police Taser

Video link

MOBERLY – Stanley Harlan died after an early morning altercation with Moberly Police.

Moberly Police tasered the 23 year-old twice.

Police said Harlan was resisting arrest for suspicion of drunk driving when an officer tased him.

Police also said Harlan soon became unresponsive and died at Moberly Regional Medical Center around 2 a.m.

[…]

continued plus video

Updated

Columbia police expect backlash from Moberly Taser incident

August 28, 2008 | 9:08 p.m. CDT

BY CAROLINE EVANS and TRAM WHITEHURST

COLUMBIA – Interim Police Chief Tom Dresner said the department was saddened by the news of a Moberly man’s death after being Tasered early Thursday, calling it a “tragedy all around.” He also said he fully expected a wider backlash against the use of Tasers in Columbia as a result of the incident.

The death comes less than two months after a Columbia man was critically injured after he was Tasered by a Columbia police officer and fell from an interstate overpass. Earlier in July, the City Council had approved the purchase of 40 more Tasers, so the majority of the department’s patrol officers would be equipped with Tasers.

[…]

Columbia police expect backlash from Moberly Taser incident – Columbia Missourian.

see

Persecution in the Pacific Northwest + Tasered (video)

Tased Until Dead: The Epidemic of Taser Crazy Cops + MO police taser injured boy! (updated)

Death by Taser: Police Accused of Cover-Up in Death of African American Man Shocked Nine Times While in Handcuffs

Teenager Dies After Police In Charlotte Use Taser

Police State

Tasers

Police Brutality

Persecution in the Pacific Northwest + Tasered (video)

Dandelion Salad

Evan Kornfeldt reports on a police attack on nonviolent environmental protesters in Eugene, Ore.
http://socialistworker.org/
July 30, 2008

THE U.S. government is continuing its campaign against the environmental movement in the Pacific Northwest, with the latest attack in Eugene, Ore., on nonviolent protesters demonstrating against pesticide spraying.

About 40 people turned out for a protest in Ken Kesey Square in downtown Eugene on May 30 to speak out against the spraying of pesticides along roadways. Organized by a campus group at the University of Oregon (UO) called Crazy People for Wild Places, the event included protesters wearing Hazmat suits to symbolize the toxic effects of pesticides.

Ian Van Ornum, an 18-year-old UO student, had a sprayer filled with water and a big skull-and-bones drawn on it. He was spraying along the side of the street as an illustration of the dangers of pesticides, when, according to Carly Barnicle, an event organizer, a white van pulled up, and the driver motioned for him to approach.

It was later learned that the driver was an undercover police officer. Van Ornum, who couldn’t have know who the driver was, went up to him and asked an obviously rhetorical question, “Do you want poison sprayed in your face?”

Later, when the demonstration had wound down to 20 people, Sgt. Bill Solesbee of the Eugene Police approached Van Ornum, who was listening to a speaker. According to a criminal complaint filed later, the officer grabbed Van Ornum by the hair, dragged him across the street and then threw him against the ground.

Then, another officer, Jud Warden, tasered Van Ornum three times. When protesters saw what was happening, they approached the officers and demanded they let Van Ornum go. The police told them to move away. “They just kept pushing me back,” Carly Barnicle recalled. “They almost pushed me over on the concrete.”

In the confrontation that followed, two other people, David “Day” Owen and Anthony Farley, were arrested. Van Ornum was charged with resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Owen was charged with interfering with a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Farley was charged with assault, interfering with a police officer and disorderly conduct.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

AFTER HIS release, Van Ornum filed a complaint with the office of the police auditor, alleging that the officers used excessive force. There were a number of complaints filed by people at the protest. An investigation by the Eugene Citizens Review Board was announced. The Eugene Police Department announced they were carrying out an internal investigation, with their report due on August 29.

However, on June 2, a full two months before the investigation was supposed to arrive at its conclusions, Chief Robert Lehner sent an e-mail to Mayor Kitty Piercy and the city council that claimed Van Ornum had resisted arrest and wriggled free from one of his handcuffs and fought with officers, “swinging the other cuff wildly.”

Van Ornum, Owen and Farley have been ordered to appear before a grand jury and face possible felony criminal charges. Many eyewitnesses to the arrests have been subpoenaed to testify.

Local activist Amanda Garty observed, “The Lane County DA, Doug Harcleroad, is trying hard to search for something. Strategically, I’m sure, as punishment for the approximately 12 witness complaints of police misconduct and the media attention that ensued from the May 30 rally. Basically, what was an investigation of police brutality following the witness complaints at the Kesey Square rally has somehow been reversed on the lawfully abiding activists and morphed into a ridiculous criminal investigation bearing potential felony charges.”

Lauren Regan of the Civil Liberties Defense Center said, “It’s almost like a retaliatory slap that they’re going to be roped into a grand jury.” She added, “It’s a real usurpation of what the citizens thought they were doing by coming forward.”

According to the Eugene Weekly:

[A]s a result of Harcleroad’s investigation, the Eugene Citizens Review Board’s inquiry into allegations of police brutality will now be delayed. The internal police review of the case has also been postponed. Sgt. Scott McKee of Internal Affairs, which conducts internal reviews of cases like this that allege misconduct by EPD officers, originally led the police misconduct investigation. He is now leading the county’s investigation into potential felony charges against the protesters.

Several people who were involved in the rally and received e-mails from McKee requesting interviews about the allegations of police misconduct are troubled by McKee’s switching the topic of their interviews to the criminal case involving the grand jury.

Dave Owen has since learned from federal police reports acquired by his attorney that a federal agent was observing the May 30 demonstration. Tom Keedy, a Federal Protective Service (FPS) agent–FPS agents work for the Department of Homeland Security–watched the demonstration from an unmarked vehicle.

According to the Eugene Register-Guard, Keedy notified the Eugene Police that Van Ornum was blocking traffic. Keedy was there “because federal officials worried that the demonstrators might march five blocks to the federal courthouse on East Eighth Avenue.” This begs the question of why they would have done that, since the spraying of pesticides is a county issue. According the Register-Guard, there was another FPS agent at the event, William Turner, who took Owen into custody.

Turner was “cleared” to go to the demonstration by the “Denver Mega-Center,” which is “a dispatch center that monitors federal government facilities across the Western United States.” Lorie Dankers, a spokeswoman for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (which sometimes employs FPS agents), told the Register-Guard that it is “routine” for FPS agents to monitor public demonstrations. “It’s not uncommon,” she said. “Not only in Eugene, but elsewhere as well.”

It also turns out the federal agents mistakenly believed the demonstration was organized by an anti-pesticides group called the Pitchfork Rebellion. This group was organized by David Owen, who says that his family and neighbors were sickened by aerial spraying of pesticides on private timberlands. Owen told the Register-Guard that this organization “is basically me and my wife.” He added, “We aren’t eco-terrorists, and we do not advocate property damage or anything like that. We are totally nonviolent.”

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

ON JULY 9, three witnesses to the event announced that they had filed a criminal complaint against two police officers, Solesbee and Warden, claiming that they assaulted Van Ornum and caused a concussion, which has resulted in a “possibly protracted impairment of health.”

The people filing the complaint–Samantha Chirillo, Josh Sclossberg and Amy Pincus Merwin–are asking that the investigation “be conducted by someone other than the Eugene Police and the Lane County District Attorney’s Office, given that their statements and actions in this matter, to date, reveal their bias toward the officers and reflect an inability to be fair and impartial.”

Chirillo explained to the University of Oregon’s campus newspaper, the Daily Emerald, that the purpose of the complaint is to protect the rights of protesters. “The danger now is that people want to speak out and are having second thoughts about it,” she said.

Among those who have been subpoenaed by the grand jury is Tim Lewis, who videotaped the police officers holding Van Ornum to the ground. Lewis, a local activist and videographer who has a series of online videos called “Picture Eugene,” was ordered to turn over his tapes to the court.

Lewis told the Register-Guard on July 10 that there is “no way” he will hand over the tapes. “I don’t have a whole bunch [on the tape] that would interest them,” he said. “But I can’t set a precedent by giving it to them.”

On July 15, it was announced that prosecutors had withdrawn the subpoena for Lewis’ video. No doubt this was due to the fact that Oregon has a shield law that protects journalists from having to turn over their tapes or notes to the courts.

Activists in Eugene are currently discussing possible actions to show their support for the three accused individuals. All this is happening a little over a year after the sentencing of eco-saboteurs here in Eugene, who set fire to SUV dealerships and to ranger stations. They were given enhanced sentences, because the judge decided that their actions amounted to “terrorism.”

Now, three nonviolent protesters are being persecuted by the criminal justice system. There seems to a deliberate effort by the government to suppress radical environmentalists. The very fact that federal agents were observing a small, nonviolent demonstration shows how determined they are to do this. We must do whatever we can to resist this.

***

Picture Eugene – Tasered

PictureEugene

Students hold a peaceful rally in downtown Eugene at Ken Kesey plaza. Eugene police arrive and taser one of the organizers and arrest two others.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

see

Tased Until Dead: The Epidemic of Taser Crazy Cops + MO police taser injured boy! (updated)

Tased Until Dead: The Epidemic of Taser Crazy Cops + MO police taser injured boy! (updated)

Dandelion Salad

Updated: July 28, 2008 added another video

Updated: added video report

http://existentialistcowboy.blogspot.com
Friday, July 25, 2008

Since ‘Taser’ use has become widespread more than 290 people have been killed, possibly murdered, by taser crazy cops. In response to this epidemic of violence, Amnesty International released a statement damning the use of “… tasers to subdue non-compliant or disturbed individuals who do not pose a serious danger to themselves or others.” That –I daresay –describes most of the incidents.

Various police departments have said ‘tasers save lives’, an assertion unprovable on its face. Secondly, as tasers have proven popular with rogue cops who like to use them, it may be more accurate to conclude that as gun deaths have gone down, deaths by taser have increased.

…continued

h/t: Speaking Truth to Power

***

Police review Taser use
Captain says device escalated situation.

By JOE MEYER of the Tribune’s staff
Saturday, July 26, 2008

A man injured in a Taser-related fall from the Providence Road pedestrian bridge over Interstate 70 remained in critical condition last night at University Hospital as Columbia police sought to defend their use of force in the incident that began with a man threatening to jump from the overpass.

…continued

***

Updated

Missouri Police taser injured boy 19 times

Added: Jul 27 2008   In: News

By: smigg2 (P:38.04, S:11)

Vodpod videos no longer available.

h/t:  Will To Power and Juan

***

Updated

Hospital tasers 66-year-old minister over joke

SubmitMeToDiggDotCom

A reverend claims his behavior at a hospital did not warrant staff removing him, beating him and using a taser to subdue him. Harry Smith talks to Rev. Al Poisson and his lawyer.

This video is from CBS Early Show, broadcast July 25, 2008.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

h/t: http://existentialistcowboy.blogspot.com

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

see

Death by Taser: Police Accused of Cover-Up in Death of African American Man Shocked Nine Times While in Handcuffs

Teenager Dies After Police In Charlotte Use Taser

Police State

Tasers

Police Brutality

Death by Taser: Police Accused of Cover-Up in Death of African American Man Shocked Nine Times While in Handcuffs

Dandelion Salad

Democracy Now!

July 24, 2008

Death by Taser: Police Accused of Cover-Up in Death of African American Man Shocked Nine Times While in Handcuffs

Police in the city of Winnfield, Louisiana are being accused of covering up the death of twenty-one-year-old Baron Pikes. He died in police custody on January 21 after being shot nine times with a taser gun while in handcuffs. The city police chief initially claimed that Pikes was high on crack cocaine and PCP at the time of his death. But the coroner recently ruled Pikes’ death to be a homicide, after an autopsy determined there were no drugs in his system. The coroner also determined that the police shot Pikes twice after he lost consciousness. We speak with Chicago Tribune reporter Howard Witt, who broke the story nationally; Kayshon Collins, Baron Pikes’ stepmother; and Winnfield Police Lieutenant Charles Curry.

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transcript

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Police State

Tasers

Police Brutality

Want some torture with your peanuts? (video link)

Dandelion Salad

By Jeffrey Denning
http://www.washingtontimes.com
July 7, 2008

Just when you thought you’ve heard it all…

A senior government official with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has expressed great interest in a so-called safety bracelet that would serve as a stun device, similar to that of a police Taser®. According to this promotional video found at the Lamperd Less Lethal website, the bracelet would be worn by all airline passengers.

…continued

h/t: CLG

see

The people who make the scanners used by TSA employees at U.S. airports to look at your bottom

Bush Executive Order Expands Data Collection – Will Share Data with “Foreign Partners”

“Big Brother” Presidential Directive: “Biometrics for Identification & Screening to Enhance National Security”

Bush pushes biometrics for national security + NSPD-59 & HSPD-24

Conditioning for the Police State – the American War At Home

Teenager Dies After Police In Charlotte Use Taser

Dandelion Salad

wsoctv.com
POSTED: 12:21 am EDT March 21, 2008
UPDATED: 11:43 am EDT March 21, 2008

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A teenager died after police used a Taser on him inside a grocery store in northeast Charlotte.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police homicide detectives said they will investigate why police used the Taser on 17-year-old Darryl Turner Thursday afternoon.

…continued

h/t:  Raw Story

FAIR USE NOTICE: This blog may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes, to advance understanding of human rights, democracy, scientific, moral, ethical, and social justice issues, etc. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Future of North America by Andrew G. Marshall

Digg It

by Andrew G. Marshall
featured writer
Dandelion Salad
March 15, 2008

Vancouver 2010, Coronation of the North American “Community”

Introduction:

The year 2010 will mark a very important date for all people living within Canada, the United States and Mexico. The often-cited Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) document, in conjunction with the Mexican Council on Foreign Relations and the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE), titled “Building a North America Community,” serves as the blueprint for the objectives of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). The three above-mentioned “interest” groups make up the Independent Task Force on the Future of North America, who produced the report, in which they state, “The Task Force’s central recommendation is establishment by 2010 of a North American economic and security community, the boundaries of which would be defined by a common external tariff and an outer security perimeter.”1

Vancouver, British Columbia, will be hosting the 2010 Olympics. A 2006 “Report to Leaders” regarding the SPP states as one of its “Security Initiatives”, to “Develop and implement joint plans for cooperation on incident response, and conduct joint training and exercises in emergency response.” As a “Key Milestone”, they recommend to “Initiate planning within 6 months (December 2005) for a preparedness exercise to be conducted in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver/Whistler.”2 A Vancouver daily newspaper reported on March 5, 2008, that “Canada, U.S. and Mexico are planning a massive joint military exercise in April 2009 “to focus on terrorist events that could affect [the] 2010 Olympics,” according to Public Safety Canada documents released to 2010 Watch via access to information.”3

As the march towards 2010 accelerates along with the march towards the “North American Community,” Vancouver will be subject to the establishment of a police state to provide “security” for the Olympics. In essence, Vancouver 2010 will mark the coronation of a “new” form of governance for North America, anointing a crown upon a regional bureaucracy and its corporate controllers, removing power from the people of each of the three nations.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympics are being overseen by the Minister of International Trade, David Emerson. Previously, David Emerson was former Prime Minister Paul Martin’s Minister of Industry, and when he signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership in 2005, Emerson became an official SPP Minister. He was also the CEO of Canfor Corporation, Canada’s largest softwood lumber producer.4

On November 5, 2003, before Paul Martin became Prime Minister, the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) issued a letter which stated, “Making the case that North American economic integration is irreversible and that continental security is indivisible, the President and Chief Executive of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives (CCCE) has urged Paul Martin to take the lead in forging a new vision for North America.” They further outlined their “North American Security and Prosperity Initiative,” outlining what was to become the SPP. Among those who attached their names to this document include the Executive Committee of the CCCE, of which David Emerson was a member at the time.5

Clearly, the CCCE is very much involved with the Olympics, and just happen to be the driving force in Canada behind the SPP, in conjunction with the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) in the US.

Police State Vancouver:

In 2005, an article in the Georgia Straight began by presenting a hypothetical situation to the reader, “If a group like al-Qaeda wanted to make a really sensational splash, it might try to disrupt the 2010 Winter Olympics opening ceremonies at BC Place Stadium. Crashing that event would guarantee a global audience, especially if Queen Elizabeth or Prince Charles were in the building at the time.” The article continued, “Sound ridiculous? Not according to Peter St. John, a security expert and academic who gives confidential briefings on terrorism to police forces,” saying Vancouver is a top “candidate” for a terror attack, and “that back in 1991, St. John predicted in a U.S. television interview that terrorists would one day crash airliners into two high-rise office buildings in New York City.”6

In 2006, Vancouver’s Police Chief Jamie Graham said, “public cameras would help in the Vancouver Police Department’s contribution to the War on Terror, before he went on to dismiss critics warning of privacy invasions with the usual corker, ‘If you’re doing nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide’.” The article continued in stating, “The new police-installed anti-terrorism-juiced cameras won’t be your garden-variety, convenience-store set-up, but instead will be a centralized web of digital recorders linked to sophisticated computers running facial recognition software.”7 The Province reported that, “Vancouver cops want surveillance cameras installed along Granville Mall to help them round up the rowdies.”8 It was further reported in 2006 that, “Vancouver police say the city’s downtown entertainment district is turning into a battle zone and are asking for surveillance cameras to help deter rowdy behaviour.”9

Also in 2006, Vancouver began to test “a new police car-mounted device that automatically scans licence plates,” and that, “The new device uses a series of tiny cameras mounted on the squad car to automatically scan every licence plate it passes — up to 3,000 plates an hour — and checks the number against the police database.”10 It was again reported that, “At the May 17, 2006 meeting of the Vancouver Police Board, Former Chief Jamie Graham was given the green light by Board members to develop a business plan for the installation of surveillance cameras in a number of downtown neighbourhoods. The cameras cost a minimum $20,000 each and can be as more than five times that figure depending on the specific technology used.”11

In July 2007, the Georgia Straight reported that BC’s transit system, TransLink, “has approved a budget of almost $4 million to install “security cameras and video recording equipment” on the region’s bus fleet,” and has “estimated the annual cost for the CCTV system at $470,000.”12 Another police state program was put on hold for a while, as the Georgia Straight reported in 2007, “Plans for a state-of-the-art security system that would link bars and nightclubs throughout Vancouver’s downtown area have been put on hold.” The “new system would link individual security systems digitally so that information on unruly patrons could be shared from one establishment to another,” and that already, “Many bars on and around Granville scan patrons’ IDs and take their picture upon entrance.” Further, “According to a City of Vancouver administrative report, the mandate for ID scanners in bars originated in a May 2003 agreement between BarWatch and the Vancouver Police Department.”13

In 2007, it was reported that, “IndigoVision has won a prestigious contract for TransLink in Vancouver, Canada to upgrade the 880 camera CCTV system on SkyTrain, the world’s largest automated light rapid transit system.”14 An area adjacent to the metropolitan Vancouver area, Langley, was reported to be considering installing CCTV [Closed Circuit Television] at a bus loop.15 Another article reported that, “A San Diego company is meeting with TransLink officials in Vancouver today to present new anti-terrorist technology, including bomb-sniffing ticket machines,” and that the company, Cubic, “developed a system that detects traces of explosives on the hands of transit users.” Further, Cubic’s Vice President stated, “there is enough time to install the anti-terrorist system on the Canada Line before the Vancouver 2010 Olympics,” and that, “He said Cubic developed the explosives-detecting machines in 2004 and tested them in Baltimore the following summer with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”16

Another Province article began by asking, “Will video surveillance cameras outnumber TV cameras at the 2010 Olympic Games?” Some of the “pervasive” and “sophisticated” technology that can be expected to be seen at the Olympics include, “Computers [that] can be used to hook up videos with facial recognition software, information from social networking sites and even data gleaned from hotel bookings,” and the article quoted a University of Victoria professor as stating, “mega-events like the 2010 Olympics attract extensive security measures that remain in place afterwards.”17

In preparation for the Olympics, the RCMP has created the Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit (ISU), which is responsible for security during the Olympics and “is led by the RCMP and consists of members of the RCMP, Vancouver Police Department, West Vancouver Police Department and the Canadian Forces.”18

In 2005, CBC reported that during the run-up to the Canadian elections, “Conservative Leader Stephen Harper was back on the campaign trail this week, promising to beef up military presence in major cities to respond to emergencies,” and that, “If he’s elected Jan. 23, Harper said, territorial battalions made up of 100 regular troops and 400 or more reservists would be stationed in Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, the Toronto area and other major metropolitan areas.” Further, Harper also “said Canada currently does not have the capacity to respond to crises in its own back yard, especially in British Columbia.”19

The Province reported in 2008 that, “Some 267 people have died in police custody or in police-involved deaths in B.C. from 1992 to 2007, with 53 involving Vancouver police,” and that, “Of the 267 deaths, 28 are listed as “First Nations,” which Ward points out is more than 10 per cent of the total, although aboriginals form less than four per cent of the B.C. population.”20

The Vancouver Sun reported on internal documents which revealed that, “Vancouver police regularly use Tasers to subdue people who are unarmed and non-violent, according to internal reports released by the force,” and the “VPD [Vancouver Police Department] published on its website details of the about 150 times officers drew their Tasers from 2002 to early 2007.” The internal documents further revealed that, “in a number of cases, police used the Taser as soon as someone displayed a ‘fighting stance’ or simply to get a non-violent suspect to do what they were told.”21

There is the now-infamous case of Robert Dziekanski, a Polish immigrant, who was “Dazed and confused after more than 15 hours of travel, unable to communicate in English and scared because he couldn’t find his mother,” and then was subsequently “jolted by a taser just 24 seconds after being confronted by police in Vancouver International Airport,” then he was tasered again, and ultimately he was killed.22

North American Homeland Security Integration:

After September 11, 2001, the Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security in 2003, and in December of 2003, “Prime Minister Paul Martin announced the creation of the Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Portfolio under the purview of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada (PSEPC).” This department includes “the RCMP, CSIS [Canadian Security Intelligence Services], National Parole Board, Canada Firearms Centre, Correctional Service of Canada, and the Canada Border Services Agency. It also comprises three review Agencies: the RCMP External Review Committee; the Office of Correctional Investigator; and the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP.”23 In effect, it is centralizing control over a wide range of departments. Also interesting to note is that the RCMP will report to the same individual as the Commission for Public Complaints against the RCMP. But I’m sure that’s not a conflict of interest.

In January of 2005, the CBC reported that, “A Vancouver man has won an out-of-court settlement from the RCMP after an incident in which he says he was illegally searched by an American police officer.” The incident occurred when “David Laing was driving on a highway near Hope, B.C., when he was pulled over by a man with a heavy Texas accent,” who then told Laing that “it was a British Columbia road check. And he asked [Laing] for [his] driver’s licence and [his] vehicle registration.” The article quoted Laing as saying, “I’m being pulled over and given directions by an American who won’t identify himself.” It just so happened that Laing was also a police officer in Vancouver, and so he “refused to let the officers search his car. Under Canadian law, police officers don’t have the right to perform that kind of search.” The CBC further reported that, “The American was a Texas state trooper working with a member of the Hope detachment of the RCMP.” After giving Laing a ticket for having two different addresses for his insurance and registration, “a different RCMP officer and Texas trooper stopped his car, decided he was driving under the influence of marijuana, and searched his vehicle and two-year-old son,” and “The police found no drugs and despite saying he was impaired just moments earlier, let him go.”24

The report then went on to explain that “The Texas state troopers were in B.C. as part of an exchange program with the RCMP to spot and stop drug traffickers. Called Pipeline Convoy, the program involves training officers to detect people who are lying or trying to hide things from police.” Further, “The RCMP settled with Laing out of court when he threatened to sue for unlawful detention. But the Mounties defend the search, saying Laing looked suspicious because his eyelashes were fluttering and his eyes were flashing.” The BC Civil Liberties Association stated that, “Laing’s case presents a series of concerns – from using unreliable profiling techniques to a wrongful vehicle search, not to mention using an American police officer to pull over Canadians.”

On October 5, 2006, the CBC reported that, “Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day acknowledged Thursday that U.S. agents conduct investigations in Canada but said all are done according to Canadian law.” Elaborating, “Day was responding to a report regarding an internal FBI audit that shows U.S. agents are carrying out investigations without the approval of the Canadian government.” The internal FBI audit “says the FBI has given agents in its Buffalo field office clearance to conduct “routine investigations” up to 50 miles into Canadian territory.” Further, “The most recent audit by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s inspector general, done in 2004, documents the growth of FBI operations in Canada since 2001.” The article continued, “As well as the reference to “routine investigations” inside Canadian territory it also says that about 30 per cent of FBI agents crossing the border to work in Canada failed to get ‘country clearance.’ In other words, they didn’t get Canada’s approval,” and “The inspector general’s report documents 135 unapproved FBI crossings and says there is no sign the crossings will stop.”25 It’s especially interesting to note that the FBI is a domestic agency, meaning that it is to operate within the US, not outside. Unless, of course, the FBI now sees Canada as within its domestic mandate. But not to worry, after all, Stockwell Day said it was legal. Although, he failed to identify what law is being obeyed by having foreign agents sneak across our border, without government approval (or knowledge) on unspecified and largely unknown missions. If that’s considered legal, Stockwell Day can be considered a Canadian patriot, upholding the rule of law and preserving and protecting the freedoms and rights of all Canadian citizens. Neither seem very plausible to me.

An RCMP press release in 2006 reported that, “To effectively combat cross-border criminal activity, Canadian and American law enforcement are taking an international and integrated approach to their investigations.” This culminates in what they call, “Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs),” which comprise “the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), the United States Customs and Border Protection/ Office of the Border Patrol (CBP/OBP), the United States Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the United States Coast Guard (USCG).” Further, “IBET agencies share information and work together daily with other local, state and provincial law enforcement agencies on issues relating to national security, organized crime and other criminality transiting the Canada/US border between the official Ports of Entry.”26

North American Military Integration:

As the civil “security” departments were being formed at the same time in Canada and the US, to allow for a smooth process of centralization and integration, the military aspects of Canada and the US were being formed, as “on 17 April 2002, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld announced that the American Unified Command Plan (UCP) was being updated to include a new regional command – Northern Command (NorthCom).” NorthCom “was given responsibility for the continental United States, Canada, Mexico, portions of the Caribbean and the contiguous waters in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans up to 500 miles off the North American coastline.” Though Mexico did not sign on to NorthCom, Donald Rumsfeld boasted that it has “all of North America as its geographic command.”27

On May 6, 2002, a speech was delivered to senior military officials in Canada’s Department of National Defence titled, “Canada-U.S. Defence Relations, Asymmetric Threats And The U.S. Unified Command Plan,” in which it was stated that after 9/11, “both countries decided to create a Great-Lakes/Saint Lawrence Seaway Cross Border Task Force. The aim of this Task Force is to target illicit traffic of people and goods across the maritime sector of the Northern Border. Agencies involved in this Task Force are numerous (DoD, USCG, FBI, Justice State, US Customs, the Canadian Coast Guard, RCMP, the Ontario and Quebec Provincial Police, CF Navy, DFAIT, etc.).” It was further stated that, “NORTHCOM’s area of interest will be North America, including Mexico, the Continental US and Canada, with a 500 nautical mile air and maritime zone of responsibility.”28

In 2006, the Bi-National Planning Group (BPG) released its final report, in which they states, “The Bi-National Planning Group (BPG) was established in December 2002 through an exchange of Diplomatic Notes on enhanced military cooperation between the Governments of Canada and the United States.” The Bi-National Planning Group’s “mandate covered a critical period in the evolving defense and security relationship of the United States and Canada, a time during which both countries responded to the new threat environment after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.” It further states that, “It conducted reviews of existing Canada-U.S. defense plans and military assistance protocols; drafted new bi-national contingency plans to respond to threats, attacks and other major emergencies in Canada or the U.S.; analyzed information sharing practices; designed and participated in exercises and joint training; and established coordination mechanisms with relevant Canadian and U.S. Federal departments and agencies.”29

The report states that, “The goal should be to achieve the level (although not necessarily the form) of cooperation that now exists in NORAD in all other domains. [Emphasis added]” It calls for a Canada-US “Comprehensive Defense and Security Agreement” which would include, among other things, “Development of deliberate plans for the joint and combined defense and security of North America as well as bi-national civil support; Conduct of seamless bi-national information sharing; Conduct of joint and combined training and exercises; [and] Development of coordination mechanisms, including agreements among the military stakeholders and the homeland security and foreign policy communities.”30

It later states as a recommendation, “With respect to the movement of Canadian and US military personnel across the border for military operations, including military-to-military support to civil authorities, Foreign Affairs Canada, US Department of State, Canada Command, US Northern Command, border agencies and other appropriate military and civil entities should work together to ensure processes are in place to fully address cross-border movement legal issues prior to deployment.”31

It was reported by The Vancouver Sun on February 23, 2008, that, “Canada and the U.S. have signed an agreement that paves the way for the militaries from either nation to send troops across each other’s borders during an emergency, but some are questioning why the Harper government has kept silent on the deal.” Further, “Neither the Canadian government nor the Canadian Forces announced the new agreement, which was signed Feb. 14 in Texas,” but, “The U.S. military’s Northern Command, however, publicized the agreement with a statement outlining how its top officer, Gen. Gene Renuart, and Canadian Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, head of Canada Command, signed the plan, which allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation in a civil emergency.” The article then quoted Canada Command spokesman, David Scanlon, as stating, “If U.S. forces were to come into Canada they would be under tactical control of the Canadian Forces but still under the command of the U.S. military.”32

This is a really amazing exercise in Orwellian double-speak, as he is saying that US forces in Canada would be under the tactical control of Canadian Forces, meaning under a degree of direction. Yet, at the same time, in the same sentence, he states that they will still be under the command of the US military. However, since the integration of Canada’s military structure with that of the US is so far advanced, with NORAD, NORTHCOM, the Bi-National Planning Group, etc., indeed there will be Canadian officials giving directions, as they are placed within the “integrated” military structures. But the structure itself is under command of the United States.

The Canadian Department of National Defence issued a press release regarding the Civil Assistance Plan mentioned above, which permits the use of Canadian and US militaries in each country, in which they quoted US Air Force General Gene Renuart as saying “This document is a unique, bilateral military plan to align our respective national military plans to respond quickly to the other nation’s requests for military support of civil authorities.” Canadian Air Force Lieutenant-General Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, was quoted as saying, “The signing of this plan is an important symbol of the already strong working relationship between Canada Command and US Northern Command.”33

Further, the same press release went on to report that, “The [Civil Assistance] plan recognizes the role of each nation’s lead federal agency for emergency preparedness, which in the US is the Department of Homeland Security and in Canada is Public Safety Canada. The plan facilitates the military-to-military support of civil authorities once government authorities have agreed on an appropriate response.” In other words, in the event of an emergency in Canada or the US, Homeland Security and Public Safety Canada would give directions of which the respective militaries would then enforce. In the event of an “incident” in Canada or the US, a North American Military-Security State will be firmly enshrined over our countries. But I guess that’s what George Bush means by “spreading Democracy”.

The press release went on, “US Northern Command was established on October 1, 2002, to anticipate and conduct homeland defence and civil support operations within the assigned area of responsibility [i.e., North America] to defend, protect, and secure the US and its interests [i.e., North America].” It is especially telling that NORTHCOM refers to all of North America as the US’ “interests”, whereas, as a Canadian, I was under the impression that Canada was the “interest” of Canadians. Further, “Canada Command was established on February 1, 2006, to focus on domestic operations and to offer a single point of contact for all domestic and continental defence and security partners.” The end of the press release notes that, “The two domestic commands established strong bilateral ties well before the signing of the Civil Assistance Plan. The two commanders and their staffs meet regularly, collaborate on contingency planning and participate in related annual exercises.”

North American Terror Drills:

A recent report on plans to practice a terrorist-response drill in Vancouver to be conducted by Mexico, Canada and the US in April of 2009, revealed that the drill will be “led by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, [and] is code-named TOPOFF 5. Canadian troops were among the 15,000 participants involved in last October’s TOPOFF 4 in Portland, Ore., Phoenix, Ariz. and Guam.” Stockwell Day was quoted as saying, “Exercises provide unique training opportunities to strengthen our ability to deal with potential emergencies.” The article then went on to report, “An undated Public Safety Canada report said up to $22.8 million was needed to fund emergency management, counter-terrorism, cyber security and critical infrastructure protection exercises, ‘leading to a trilateral full-scale exercise prior to the Vancouver Olympic Games in 2010, as outlined under the Security and Prosperity Partnership’.” Chris Shaw of 2010 Watch was quoted as asking, “Does it mean that if the American forces are training with Canadian forces that they are going to be positioned here in Canada during the period of the Olympic Games?”34

According to Homeland Security’s website, “Top Officials (TOPOFF) is the nation’s premier terrorism preparedness exercise, involving top officials at every level of government, as well as representatives from the international community and private sector. Thousands of federal, state, territorial, and local officials engage in various activities as part of a robust, full-scale simulated response to a multi-faceted threat.” The first TOPOFF exercise was conducted in May of 2000, and since Homeland Security did not exist then, it was conducted by “the Department of Justice, the Department of State, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),” and “The primary goal of the exercise was to improve the capability of government officials and agencies, both within the United States and abroad to provide an effective, coordinated, and strategic response to a terrorist attack.” TOPOFF 2, conducted in May of 2003, was led by Homeland Security, in which “Participants in Seattle faced a simulated radiological dispersal device (RDD) attack, while those in the Chicago faced a biological attack.” Further, “The exercise engaged 8,500 responders and top officials from the United States and Canada – the first international partner to participate.”35

TOPOFF 3, conducted in April of 2005, continued to evolve and included an increased focus on bolstering international and private sector participation, terrorism prevention activities, risk communication and public information functions, and long-term recovery and remediation issues.” This exercise included “Over 10,000 participants, including responders and officials from Canada and the United Kingdom, [who] responded to a simulated chemical attack in New London, Conn., and a biological attack in the state of New Jersey.” TOPOFF 4, conducted in October of 2007, in Portland, Oregon, Phoenix, Arizona and the US territory in Guam, as well as with individuals in Washington D.C., “built on past lessons learned while adding new goals, including: an increased level of coordination with U.S. Department of Defense exercises to combat global terrorism, closer cooperation with the private sector, an expanded emphasis on prevention, a deeper focus on mass decontamination and long-term recovery and remediation issues.” It included the participation of “the governments of Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom.”

TOPOFF 4 was the “biggest terrorism exercise ever staged nationally,” which started with “a fictional “bang” from an imaginary “dirty bomb” to test the emergency response of local, state and federal agencies.” A local Portland news outlet reported that, “The scenario also features simulated dirty bomb attacks in Arizona and Guam to evaluate the ability of federal agencies to manage multiple sites and will involve officials from the top levels of government, including the Defense and Homeland Security departments.”36

Terror Drills in a “War on Terror” Context:

Why are drills and war games so important to discuss? The answer lies in the precedent of the events that have occurred in conjunction with drills and war games in the past. According to Cooperative Research, at 6:30 in the morning on September 11, 2001, NORAD began conducting a drill called Vigilant Guardian, which was “an exercise that would pose an imaginary crisis to North American Air Defense outposts nationwide.” An emergency drill was scheduled at 8:00 am in the WTC South Tower on the 97th floor. Another exercise called Global Guardian, was being conducted by the US military and was based around the premise of a nuclear war. Before 9:00 am, New York’s Office of Emergency Management, whose offices were in WTC Building 7, the third building that collapsed into its own footprint on 9/11 (and wasn’t hit by a plane). The exercise was to be conducted with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), and the exercise was based around a biological terror attack in New York City. The National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), whose personnel were drawn from the CIA, had scheduled an emergency exercise for 9 am in which a plane was crashed into a government building. There were many other exercises and dozens leading up to 9/11, which revolved around events eerily like those that occurred on 9/11. The war games and drills also served to confuse all the honest government employees who reportedly thought that the events they were seeing take place were actually part of the exercises.37 Because of all of these drills and war games, the United States defenses weren’t able to respond to the attacks with normal procedures, and therefore helped facilitate the attacks.

On July 7, 2005, during the 7/7 London bombings of three subway trains and a double-decker bus, Peter Power, a director of Visor Consultants reported to BBC that, “At half past nine this morning we were actually running an exercise for a company of over a thousand people in London based on simultaneous bombs going off precisely at the railway stations where it happened this morning, so I still have the hairs on the back of my neck standing up right now.”38

It is important to monitor military drills and war games because they can often be used as a cover for the actual events taking place. In this context, the TOPOFF exercise that will take place in Vancouver in April of 2009 must be subjected to closer scrutiny and the government must reveal more details of their “exercise”.

Terror, “Deep Integration” and Martial Law:

Terrorism and the process of “deep integration” of Canada, the US and Mexico are not unrelated and separate concepts. In fact, there is a very close relationship between the two. On February 12, 2008, the Financial Post ran an op-ed in which the author stated, “The crisis of Sept. 11, 2001, provided a perfect opportunity to seize the moment to re-imagine the border,” and pursue a process of deeper integration between Canada and the United States.39

Robert Pastor, an American academic who was one of the lead authors of the “Building a North American Community” report, and one of the principal individuals driving the process towards further integration, told a Spanish-language magazine that, “The 9/11 crisis made Canada and the United States redefine the protection of their borders,” and that, “What I’m saying is that a crisis is an event which can force democratic governments to make difficult decisions like those that will be required to create a North American Community.” Elaborating, he stated, “It’s not that I want another 9/11 crisis, but having a crisis would force decisions that otherwise might not get made.”40

On December 1, 2002, the Washington Post reported that, “The Bush administration is developing a parallel legal system in which terrorism suspects — U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike — may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system.” The article explained that this “parallel” legal system would include, “indefinite military detention for those designated “enemy combatants,” liberal use of “material witness” warrants, counterintelligence-style wiretaps and searches led by law enforcement officials and, for noncitizens, trial by military commissions or deportation after strictly closed hearings.”41

In 2003, the Washington Post reported that, “A federal appeals court today ruled that the government has properly detained an American-born man captured with Taliban forces in Afghanistan without an attorney and has legally declared him an enemy combatant.”42 The Post then reported in 2005 that, “A federal appeals court yesterday backed the president’s power to indefinitely detain a U.S. citizen captured on U.S. soil without any criminal charges,” and that, “such power is essential to preventing terrorist strikes.”43

Commenting on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Yale law and political science professor Bruce Ackerman wrote in the Los Angeles Times that the legislation “authorizes the president to seize American citizens as enemy combatants, even if they have never left the United States. And once thrown into military prison, they cannot expect a trial by their peers or any other of the normal protections of the Bill of Rights.” Further, it states that the legislation “grants the president enormous power over citizens and legal residents. They can be designated as enemy combatants if they have contributed money to a Middle Eastern charity, and they can be held indefinitely in a military prison.” Not only that, but, “ordinary Americans would be required to defend themselves before a military tribunal without the constitutional guarantees provided in criminal trials.” Startlingly, “Legal residents who aren’t citizens are treated even more harshly. The bill entirely cuts off their access to federal habeas corpus, leaving them at the mercy of the president’s suspicions.”44

Senator Patrick Leahey made a statement on February 2007 in which he discussed the John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, saying:

Last year, Congress quietly made it easier for this President or any President to declare martial law. That’s right: In legislation added at the Administration’s request to last year’s massive Defense Authorization Bill, it has now become easier to bypass longtime posse comitatus restrictions that prevent the federal government’s use of the military, including a federalized National Guard, to perform domestic law enforcement duties.

He added that, “posse comitatus [is] the legal doctrine that bars the use of the military for law enforcement directed at the American people here at home.” The Bill is an amendment to the Insurrection Act, of which Leahey further commented, “When the Insurrection Act is invoked, the President can — without the consent of the respective governors — federalize the National Guard and use it, along with the entire military, to carry out law enforcement duties,” and that, “this is a sweeping grant of authority to the President.” Also, “In addition to the cases of insurrection, the Act can now be invoked to restore public order after a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, a disease outbreak, or — and this is extremely broad — ‘other condition’.”45

Given that the press release for the Orwellian-titled “Civil Assistance Plan” stated that the commanders of NORTHCOM and Canada Command, the two signatories to the “Assistance” Plan, both “collaborate on contingency planning” on a “regular” basis, it is necessary to take a closer look at such “contingency” plans. On May 9, 2007, the White House issued a press release about the National Security Presidential Directive (NSPD) 51, also known as the “National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive.” This directive:

[P]rescribes continuity requirements for all executive departments and agencies, and provides guidance for State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector organizations in order to ensure a comprehensive and integrated national continuity program that will enhance the credibility of our national security posture and enable a more rapid and effective response to and recovery from a national emergency.

The document defines “catastrophic emergency” as, “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions.” It explains “Continuity of Government” (COG), as “a coordinated effort within the Federal Government’s executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency.” Further, this directive states that, “The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator.”46 So essentially, in time of a “catastrophic emergency”, the President, whomever that may be, takes over total control of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government in order to secure “continuity”. In essence, the Presidency would become an “Executive Dictatorship”.

The Oregonian reported in 2007 that Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio, as a member of the Homeland Security Committee, asked the White House to see secret documents related to NSPD 51 that were not released in the press statement, and he was denied “the right of reviewing how [the White House] plan to conduct the government of the United States after a significant terrorist attack.”47

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on February 4, 2008, that, “Beginning in 1999, the government has entered into a series of single-bid contracts with Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg, Brown and Root (KBR) to build detention camps at undisclosed locations within the United States. The government has also contracted with several companies to build thousands of railcars, some reportedly equipped with shackles, ostensibly to transport detainees.” Further, “the KBR contract is part of a Homeland Security plan titled ENDGAME, which sets as its goal the removal of ‘all removable aliens’ and ‘potential terrorists’.”48

KBR, once a subsidiary of Dick Cheney’s former company, Halliburton, has been involved with and related to many very nefarious events in recent history, including the Rwandan genocide, Congo civil war, NATO wars on Bosnia and Kosovo, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and even getting the contract to build attachments to the Guantanamo prison camp. KBR’s contract from Homeland Security was revealed in a press release which stated the contract, “provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs,” and that, “The contract may also provide migrant detention support to other U.S. Government organizations in the event of an immigration emergency, as well as the development of a plan to react to a national emergency, such as a natural disaster.”49

Given the close relationship between the events of 9/11 and the speeding up of North American integration, it is very significant that much of the integration is focused around military responses to “catastrophic emergencies”, which would undoubtedly further accelerate the process of integration. However, given the laws, contracts and directives put in place by the US, in the event of a “catastrophic emergency”, any vestige of democratic institutions in North America would cease to exist.

Concluding Remarks

Vancouver in 2010 will be a very interesting time. Terror drills will be conducted in Vancouver in April of 2009 in preparation for the Olympics, as Vancouver turns itself into a police state while the military and security structures of Canada and the United States are merged together to form a North American Military-Security State, all under the auspices of the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America (SPP). Laws such as the Military Commissions Act and Defense Authorization Act are reason enough for Canada to not merge with the United States on this level, but when taking into account NSPD 51 (National Security Presidential Directive 51) for “Continuity of Government” and the contracts for KBR to build “detention camps”, it is, in fact, in Canada’s national security interests to immediately cease and undo what integration has already been undertaken.

Much like how China’s emergence into the modern world community is to be marked by their 2008 Olympics, the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver will not mark Canada’s show of pride in the world, but will mark the coronation of the North American “Community”, eventually to become a Union. I use the word “coronation” deliberately, as a coronation is a ceremony upon where a monarch is given regal powers and the crown is placed on their head. Given the structure that is being set up for the North American “Community”, the amount of power being taken away from the people of North America and into the hands of a few out-of-control elites makes the comparison apt to placing the crown upon a monarch.

It’s a sad state of affairs when one loses their freedoms and rights, not through a valiant fight to keep them, but through secret agreements, quiet discussions, deceitful laws and worst of all, mass apathy on the part of the public. It’s time to speak up, speak loud, and take our countries back while we still have what remains of them, and most importantly, while we still have the freedom to speak.

NOTES

1 CFR, Building a North American Community. Independent Task Force on the Future of North America: May 2005, page 17: http://www.cfr.org/publication/8102/

2
SPP, Security Priorities. Report to Leaders: August 2006, page 27:

http://www.spp-psp.gc.ca/progress/reports-en.aspx

3 Bob Mackin, Three Amigos at 2010 Winter Olympics? 24 Hours: March 5, 2008: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/2008/03/05/4909016-sun.html

4 Office of the Prime Minister, The Honourable David Emerson. August 14, 2007: http://pm.gc.ca/eng/bio.asp?id=4

5 CCCE, Paul Martin Urged to Take the Lead in Forging a New Vision for North American Cooperation. North American Security and Prosperity: November 5, 2003: http://www.ceocouncil.ca/en/view/?document_id=38

6 Charlie Smith, 2010: It’s the terror, stupid. The Georgia Straight: August 11, 2005:

http://www.straight.com/article/2010-its-the-terror-stupid

7 Kevin Potvin, Police state looms as Vancouver engages in the War on Terror. The Republic of East Vancouver: May 25 to June 7, 2006, Issue 139: http://www.republic-news.org/archive/139-repub/139_kevin_potvin_police.htm

8 John Colebourn, Cops pushing for Granville Mall cameras. The Province: November 8, 2006:
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/

9 Todd Battis, Vancouver eyes surveillance cams to deter drunks. CTV News: November 12, 2006: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/

10 Chad Skelton, 1 in 50 drivers ‘commits crime’ on roads. The Vancouver Sun: November 9, 2006:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/

11 VPSN, Surveillance. Vancouver Public Space Network:
http://vancouverpublicspace.ca/index.php/campaigns/surveillance

12
Carlito Pablo, CCTV coming to a bus in your neighbourhood. The Georgia Straight: July 26, 2007:
http://www.straight.com/article-102933/cctv-coming-to-a-bus-in-your-neighbourhood

13 Travis Lupick, Big Brother Bar Hops. The Georgia Straight: July 19, 2007: http://www.straight.com/article-102067/big-brother-bar-hops

14 IndigoVision, Vancouver’s SkyTrain to Use IndigoVision’s Surveillance Technology. SecurityInfoWatch.com: January 24, 2007: http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/article.jsp?id=10376&siteSection=385

15 Matthew Claxton, Bus loop camera pondered. Langley Advance: January 29, 2008:
http://www.canada.com/langleyadvance/

16 Damian Inwood, Bomb-detecting technology knocks on TransLink’s door. The Province: February 8, 2008:
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/

17 Kent Spencer, 2010 Winter Olympics’ security cameras to be studied. The Province: February 26, 2008:
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/

18 RCMP, Vancouver 2010 Integrated Security Unit. RCMP in BC:

http://bc.rcmp.ca/ViewPage.action?contentId=235&siteNodeId=51

19 CBC, Harper pledges to boost military presence in cities. CBC News: December 28, 2005:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/story/2005/12/28/harper-military051228.html

20 Suzanne Fournier, 267 cop-related deaths in B.C. over past 15 years. The Province: January 25, 2008:
http://www.canada.com/theprovince/

21 Chad Skelton, Police say they use Tasers on non-violent people. The Vancouver Sun: March 8, 2008:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/westcoastnews/
story.html?id=35f7b04b-953f-44dd-8001-29708d1c59c3&k=84373

22 Mark Hume and Sunny Dhillon, Questions hang over taser death. The Globe and Mail: October 26, 2007: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/

23 Public Safety Canada, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness Canada: Year One. Archive: December 13, 2004:
http://ww2.ps-sp.gc.ca/publications/news/2004/20041213_e.asp

24 CBC News, Cop wins RCMP settlement after highway search. CBC: January 28, 2005: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2005/01/28/texas-bc050128.html

25 CBC News, U.S. investigations on Canadian soil done within the law: Day. CBC: October 5, 2006:
http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2006/10/05/fbi-border.html

26 RCMP, Integrated Border Enforcement Teams (IBETs) 2006 Joint Cross-Border Operations. RCMP: August 23, 2006:

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/security/ibets_success_e.htm

27 Philippe Lagassé, NORAD, NorthCom, and the Binational Planning Group: The Evolution of Canada–US Defence Relations – Part 1. CASR: July 2003:

http://www.sfu.ca/casr/ft-lagasse1.htm

28 DND, Canada-U.S. Defence Relations, Asymmetric Threats And The U.S. Unified Command Plan. Speeches: May 6, 2002: http://www.forces.gc.ca/site/newsroom/view_news_e.asp?id=1004

29 BPG, The Final Report on Canada and the United States (CANUS) Enhanced Military Cooperation. Bi-National Planning Group: March 13, 2006, page 3:

www.hsdec.org/downloads/BPG%20Final%20Report%20signed%2006-03-13+.pdf

30 BPG, The Final Report on Canada and the United States (CANUS) Enhanced Military Cooperation. Bi-National Planning Group: March 13, 2006, page 5:

www.hsdec.org/downloads/BPG%20Final%20Report%20signed%2006-03-13+.pdf

31 BPG, The Final Report on Canada and the United States (CANUS) Enhanced Military Cooperation. Bi-National Planning Group: March 13, 2006, page 39:

www.hsdec.org/downloads/BPG%20Final%20Report%20signed%200603-13+.pdf

32 David Pugliese, Canada-U.S. pact allows cross-border military activity. The Vancouver Sun: February 23, 2008:
http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/

33 National Defence, New Bilateral Civil Assistance Plan established. Canadian Department of National Defense: February 26, 2008:

http://www.dnd.ca/site/community/mapleleaf/article_e.asp?id=4175

34
Bob Mackin, Three Amigos at 2010 Winter Olympics? 24 Hours: March 5, 2008: http://vancouver.24hrs.ca/News/2008/03/05/4909016-sun.html

35 Homeland Security, TOPOFF: Exercising National Preparedness. TOPOFF: February 21, 2008: http://www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/training/gc_1179350946764.shtm

36 Eileen Sullivan, ‘Dirty bomb’ terror exercise set for Portland. KGW: October 4, 2007: http://www.kgw.com/news-local/

37 Cooperative Research, Military Exercises Up to 9/11. Complete 9/11 Timeline:
http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/

38 Michel Chossudovsky, 7/7 Mock Terror Drill: What Relationship to the Real Time Terror Attacks? Global Research: August 8, 2005:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=viewArticle&code=20050808&articleId=821

39 Michael Hart, Canada Blew It. The Financial Post: February 12, 2008:

http://www.nationalpost.com/opinion/story.html?id=302151

40 WND, North American Union leader says merger just crisis away. World Net Daily: December 15, 2006:
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=53378

41 Charles Lane, In Terror War, 2nd Track for Suspects. Washington Post: December 1, 2002:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/

42 Tom Jackman, Court: U.S. Can Hold Citizens as Enemy Combatants. Washington Post: January 8, 2003:
http://www.prisonplanet.com/court_us_can_hold_citizens_as_enemy_combatants.html

43 Jerry Markon, U.S. Can Confine Citizens Without Charges, Court Rules Washington Post: September 10, 2005:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/09/09/AR2005090900772.html

44 Bruce Ackerman, The White House Warden. Los Angeles Times: September 28, 2006:
http://www.law.yale.edu/news/3531.htm

45
Patrick Leahy, Statement Of Sen. Patrick Leahy On Legislation To Repeal Changes To The Insurrection Act. February 7, 2007:
http://leahy.senate.gov/press/200702/020707.html

46
The White House, National Security and Homeland Security Presidential Directive. Office of the Press Secretary: May 9, 2007:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/05/20070509-12.html

47
Jeff Kosseff, DeFazio Asks, But He’s Denied Access. The Oregonian: July 21, 2007:

http://www.commondreams.org/archive/2007/07/21/2678/

48 Lewis Seiler and Dan Hamburg, Rule by Fear or Rule by Law? The San Francisco Chronicle: February 8, 2008:

Rule by fear or rule by law? By Lewis Seiler & Dan Hamburg

49 KBR, KBR Awarded U.S. Department of Homeland Security Contingency Support Project for Emergency Support Services. Press Releases: 2006 Archive, January 24, 2006: http://www.kbr.com/news/2006/govnews_060124.aspx

see

SPP: Security & prosperity for whom? by Andrew Marshall

The Deployment of US Troops inside Canada by Michel Chossudovsky

Martial Law, Inc. – KBR: A Halliburton Subsidiary by Andrew G. Marshall

The North American Union Farce

Agenda for the North American Summit by Andrew G. Marshall

9/11: The “Perfect Opportunity” for North American Integration by Andrew G. Marshall

Rule by fear or rule by law? By Lewis Seiler & Dan Hamburg

Dangerous Crossroads: US Sponsored War Games by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky

The Military Drills of September 11th: Why a New Investigation is Needed by Elizabeth Woodworth

Bush Declares Himself Dictator – Presidential Directive 51 (May 2007; video link)

Bush Directive for a “Catastrophic Emergency” in America by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky (Iran)

Bush Pens Dictatorship Directive, Few Notice by Kurt Nimmo

National Security & Homeland Security Presidential Directive 51 (2007)

Bush To Be Dictator In A Catastrophic Emergency by Lee Rogers (Martial Law; Police State)

NAU North America Union

Marshall-Andrew G.

.

.

Crusade of Surge & Siege: Homeland Born & Bred By Manuel Valenzuela

Dandelion Salad

By Manuel Valenzuela
02/19/08 “ICH

Part One of Three

Sojourn into the outer recesses of a nation bordering on madness, into a land deeply disturbed and emotionally bewildered, a world of anti-intellectualism and anti-rationalism, of fanaticism and fundamentalism, entering a case study into fantasyland and escapism, taking a pilgrimage into realms both of purposeful ignorance and blindness, of electing lifelong incompetents based on wanting to have a beer with them, walking through the dark valley of indifference, climbing the monolithic mountain of hubris, finally reaching the hallowed halls of smoke and mirrors, a place where only the blind lead the blind and where the deafening roars of death and destruction are easily suppressed in delusion and denial. Journey, if you will, into a nation that lost its moral compass inside the dungeons of fear and hatred.

Enter what fascists call the Homeland, what patriots used to call the United States of America, now named, simply, and appropriately, Amerika, a place where corporations enjoy more rights and protections than the People, where corporations – through their products and policies – help kill hundreds of thousands of human beings every year in the name of profit over people, making them mass murderers on a scale reserved only for humanity’s worst; a land controlled by the military-energy-industrial complex, with war the engine for unimaginable profits; a nation now without a Constitution, nor a moral standing; a country that has developed a thirst for human blood and an appetite for destruction; a land of Manifest Destiny leaving death, suffering and destruction in its wake; a sadist entity that develops and refines its crimes against humanity it inflicts upon the people of the world by first practicing them on its own citizenry.It is inside the bowels of the Homeland that the malignant cancer that afflicts the country can be seen. The inner tumor inflicting constant pain can be seen through the eyes of a people so psychologically damaged by the never-before seen pressures on the human mind caused by capitalism run amok— conditioned to live to work and not work to live, thinking that work will set them free – that no nation on Earth has more citizens taking anti-depression and mind-numbing drugs in order to bandage an otherwise perpetually open gash. It can be seen through a people so internally despondent that only escapism through hours of fantasy-television watching or ceaseless consumption of materialistic goods, a modern version of bread and circus, can alleviate the stress and the pressures and the fatigue and the frustration and the anger developed in the pursuit of empty promises, of fictional dreams, in a world of the unreal.

Crisscross the land of the free and the home of the brave to see those who serve and protect abuse the people they serve. Tour Taser Nation, a land where authorities routinely inflict electroshock torture on the People, pulling the trigger first, asking questions later, as always enjoying inflicting pain and suffering on both innocent and guilty. Students, suspects, the infirm, the handicapped, pregnant women, motorists, the elderly, those asking questions, those protecting their rights and yes, now even children, all can be electroshocked into submission in a legalized form of torture that seems to grow by the day.

Taser Nation has become Torture Nation, zapping one unsuspecting citizen at a time, conditioning the population towards the new normal of police brutality and state-sanctioned intimidation. Welcome to the Land of the Brownshirts, a place where respect for human rights and loving your neighbor as yourself is now frowned upon, a place where bullying, intimidation, harassment and a budding police state are the new normal.

Take an excursion into the vast hinterlands of the Empire’s prison system, a network of concentration camps holding over two million human beings, most imprisoned for petty drug violations, most black or Latino or working class white, many suffering serious mental health problems, many trapped in a vicious circle of indigence, unemployment, incarceration and oppression at the hands of the state. Ostensibly designed to rehabilitate, these jails do the opposite, exacerbating mental anguish, frustration and anger, easing the transformation of human beings into rotting manifestations of lives lost and altered. It is here where Guantanamo and Bagram and Abu Ghraib find their genesis.

These prisons, these cages of solitude and loneliness and madness and survival and violence, are where American society discards itself of the unwanted, the undesirable, those not comporting to the mores of Puritanical code. America’s vast prison system is where those fated from birth to the lower echelons of society’s caste system end up, those millions tattooed with the shackles of American society’s perpetual enslavement, destined to forever live in ghettos, inner city reservations and Bantustans, devoid of opportunity and a future, forced to dwell upon the realities of metaphysical imprisonment, desperate to survive either by illegality or escapism, oppressed and subjugated by authorities, marginalized by society, discriminated against by the state.

It is here, in these rotting machinations of rusted iron, metal bars and decrepit institutionalization, of fetid squalor and sadistic reality, where America’s brigade of automatons makes its problems disappear, creating an entire state and privatized prison-industrial complex dependent on crime, guilt, sentencing and prisoners. It is inside these penal institutions that America’s sadists and authoritarian personalities work, brutalizing and torturing inmates, oppressing and exploiting individuals, fomenting racism and hatred.

It is here where America trains her torturers and her malevolent warriors, her “bad apples” and her fascist enablers, exporting lessons learned abroad, infecting the innocent of occupied lands with the cruel and inhuman punishment that is as American as apple pie. It is here, in these creations of human hell, that crimes against humanity are perfected. It is inside the gates of hell that experimentation becomes indoctrination and where brutality becomes legalized torture.

Rise of a New Crusade

Enter the periphery of the Empire, where fear and hatred together form silent acquiescence to myriad crimes against humanity, where indifference and unconcern leads to war crimes going unpunished, where ignorance of the outside world leads to ignorance of forgotten occupations, where ballots cast help ease into power corruption and criminality and mass murder, where the two headed hydra of the Corporatist Party colludes to condemn millions in Muslim lands to premature death and wretched suffering, where critical thinking is shunned and backwardness embraced, and where progressive, humanist ideals find castration by the knives owned by those living inside the bubble of primitive and extinct days long since passed.

Traverse a nation conditioned to hate the Arab and Muslim world – a land of a billion strong – with its corresponding depravity of jingoism and xenophobia boiling beneath the surface, ready at a moment’s notice, or upon the happenstance of new Pearl Harbor events, to explode in searing anger, for a populace injected with the venom of fear and ignorance easily unleashes its wrath on the chosen dark-skinned scapegoats of the undeveloped world. Programmed fear and molded hatred born of inside jobs and false flag events have unlocked the flames of bigotry from the inner demons of the Empire, creating sub-human scapegoats whose only crime is inhabiting lands the vampire of hegemony needs in order to satiate its ceaseless craving for power and control. Thus, in the lands where black blood flows and the devil’s excrement spills you will find the Empire’s dripping, black stained fangs.

Enter, if you will, the land of Christian soldiers and born-again leaders, a terrain belonging to the army of Jesus and to the vengeful, disastrous deity of Old Testament belief, marching off to victory with a cross in one-hand and an M-16 in the other; a nation of bible camps, bible conventions, bible thumpers and Bible Belts; of mega-churches, mega- proselytizers and mega-hypocrisy; of fanaticism and fundamentalism; of illogical – and damaging – belief in the myth of creationism and the delusions of abstinence; of agents of intolerance, thirst for conversions and theocratic fantasy; of protection and respect of life only if life is that of a zygote, not an actual human being caught in war, terminal disease or endemic suffering; a place where belief in myth and fable and of the never seen is given prominence over reality and reason and modernity’s treatises; of blind faith trumping sound science; of a nation self-professing and monopolizing blessings by humankind’s archaic and historically grossly incompetent divinity; of extremist theism, evangelical psychosis and reactionary emotion; and of evangelical sheep being led to pasture by wolves dressed in shepherd’s clothing.

Indeed, enter the eye of the Middle East storm, the creator of hatred and blowback, the father and mother of the fictional war on terror, the epicenter of the crusade of surge and siege, the fulcrum of Christian extremism, the home of the American Taliban, the disseminator of the self-fulfilling prophesy of a so-called clash of civilizations. From the Cathedrals of Consumerism to the Enormous Edifices of Evangelism, from the Hubris of Imperialism to the Arrogance of Righteousness, it is the Empire itself, holding debauched neoliberal capitalism in one hand, the mutated, distorted principles of the Cross on the other, that has birthed this latest of Crusades into the lands of ancient history.

For it is America, through military might and the power of its weapons, though financial intimidation and market colonialism, that has proclaimed itself heir to the throne of Western imperialism, arrogantly declaring itself the next in line, of humankind’s great historical powers, to reach the apex of Empire. And so, as the maker of mankind’s new reality, as the molder of human destiny, the Pax Americana, through its legions of neoliberal capitalists, religious extremists, corporatist stooges and delusional neocons, has created a collision all its own making, a vicious cycle of hatred born and vengeance sought, of cause and effect, of boomeranging blowback, of making an enemy where none existed, of declaring war on an entire region of the planet.

Thus the fictional war on terror builds the momentum for it to invariably become real, for one billion Muslims – the vast majority peaceful and moderate – to see, and firmly believe, that a Crusade of Surge and Siege has thus been thrust upon them by Christian and uber-capitalist Amerika. By this method the fictional war on terror feeds itself, growing from an invention of fascist Amerika in search of enemies into a mature manifestation of anger and hatred, a true, and artificially engendered clash of civilizations gorging on the boiling animosity of East versus West.

Through momentum that has been building since September 2001, the architects of creative chaos, the designers of bogeymen, the fathers of shock capitalism, and the makers of artificial fear have coalesced into an amalgam of malevolence, planting the seed they hope will sprout a perpetual battle between Muslim and Christian, America and Middle Easterners. In the desert landscape of Muslim lands they have found an oasis from which to plant and grow a modern day crusade, not to reclaim the Holy Land, but to simply claim the vast fields of the Devil’s Excrement; not to rain freedom and democracy on uncivilized people, but to firmly plant permanence in strategic lands; not to bring Christianity to barbarians, but to violently force neoliberal capitalism down the throats of the Muslim world. Such is the method to the madness of the Crusade of Surge and Siege.

First they came for the Muslims…

Navigate from coast to coast, witnessing the persecution of Arab and Muslim groups, most set up by the same government that later concocts charges and smears against them in the usually unsuccessful attempt at maintaining the illusion of insecurity within the greater population. The state propagandists realize that in order to maintain the chimera of an enemy, that in order for the idea of terror to coagulate in the minds of the people, the illusion must be maintained that indeed an enemy exists. It must be made to look as though the enemy lives among us, that it is domestic as well as foreign, that it is planning to attack our way of life. This, of course, also creates the fantasy that the state is our protector, and that in order to protect us, we must sacrifice even more rights and freedoms for security.

The use of scapegoats, in this case the use of naïve, oftentimes incompetent, illiterate, indigent and sometimes even mentally deficient groups of Arab or Muslim men, usually with no political power and no financial resources, is part of a formula of fear designed inside the rubble of the Twin Towers that has been used to terrorize the American people into submitting to a fascist, despotic state. With every persecution of Arab and Muslim groups, charged with planning terrorist activity, usually with little or no proof, usually later found innocent by a court of law, the state further cements the fiction of fear and the illusion of perpetual insecurity in the citizenry. Propaganda makes bogeymen of scapegoats and scapegoats make obedient cowards of us all.

Of course every new persecution is met by a thunderous manifestation of corporate media coverage, bombarding the airwaves with the fictions and illusions of the charade that is the war on terror. There are enemies in our midst, we are told, dreaded bogeymen intent on killing us, trying to shoot up a mall, or blow up a building, or murder our children. Yet, as usually happens, when the alleged plot is discovered for the lie that it is, when the state is forced to drop charges, when a court of law throws out the case, when the innocent’s voice is validated and the condemned are once again free, there is not one camera or reporter or journalist ready or willing to bombard us with the truth. The blitzkrieg of guilt is suddenly replaced with the utter silence of innocence.

The damage, however, has already been done, for in the eyes of tens of millions the parade of fictions and the presumption of guilt that has so readily been beamed by the corporate media have already established the fear and insecurity that America is under siege by the barbarian horde and its evil religion. The illusion has thus been established, the excuse to erode yet more liberties has been successful, and the scapegoat has again been made the object of growing hatred. The people have again been manipulated, conditioned to hate the very idea of a Muslim or an Arab. The enemy has again been vilified, dehumanized and ostracized, the very term “Muslim” becoming denigrated, its practitioners and believers made to wear an invisible crescent moon on their breasts, becoming in many eyes unwelcome pariahs in the land of immigrants and the home of freedom.

Every new so-called uncovered plot, every new so-called uncovered threat, every new depiction of evil incarnate is, of course, used by the Ministry of Truth to validate the belief that the state is protecting us, that our sacrifice of freedoms and rights, that our submission to a police state has been of great service, that it is indeed working and must therefore continue, no matter how intrusive it becomes, no matter how much it destroys the Constitution and no matter how large Big Brother continues to grow. In the end, the formula of illusion, of imaginary enemies, of chosen scapegoats, works to create a harmonious narrative of terror abroad and terror at home, of a war on terror that must be perpetual and ceaseless, of a state working diligently to secure our freedom, our way of life, the American way.

The formula creates a submissive, compliant and acquiescent citizenry, one that does not blink at the mass murder of millions in the Middle East, at innumerable war crimes, at the use of torture and the creation of gulags. The scapegoating of Arab and Muslims by the state and the corporatist media has succeeded in fomenting a xenophobic hatred and anger against those people emanating from and residing in the Middle East. The mission has been accomplished, for the masses, thinking that the shredding of the Constitution has not affected them because they are not terrorists and have done nothing wrong, have voluntarily eviscerated their own rights and freedoms, for eventually, the crimes and horrors and human rights violations and erosion of liberties committed against the scapegoat class inevitably is imputed onto the majority. In a proto-fascist nation such as America, it is only a matter of time.

First the state comes for the chosen scapegoats, using them as the key to unlocking the rights and freedoms of the masses. The scapegoat is the excuse, the mirage to eviscerate the Constitution in the shadows, with the masses blinded to reality, and creating a new normal of fascism and tyranny. Thinking they are safe from the claws of the state, the masses eagerly give up more power and freedom and liberty in the belief that only the enemy is being targeted. Eventually, before the blink of a collective eye, the masses themselves are being eavesdropped, spied on, surveilled upon, interrogated, harassed, controlled, tortured and disappeared. Eventually, it is their rights and freedoms and liberties that no longer exist.

Told today’s eavesdropping and illegal wiretapping by the state is to spy on the few Muslim terrorists, and that immunity for state and corporations is needed for our vital security, we later learn that all Americans have been illegally spied on, that Big Brother is watching and listening and monitoring us all and that we have no recourse to halt or file suit or seek accountability against the same companies doing the spying. Thus yesterday’s malfeasance and criminality become the present’s new normal, and the closer we approach the precipice of despotism.

The formula works every time authoritarian entities are determined to destroy the fabric of a free and democratic people. It is written in humankind’s history books, yet it remains ignored and unlearned by those who refuse to know the history of man. It is in our history that our tendencies are deciphered. It is in our past that our patterns can be anticipated. In the end, compliant Americans become good Americans, freedom is replaced by tyranny, rights and liberties are usurped by a police and surveillance state and a constitutional past becomes a new normal of authoritarianism and corporatism.

This is what happens when the majority ignores the plight of a scapegoated minority that is powerless to fight the claws of a despotic state. This is what happens when the first signs of smoke over the horizon are seen and ignored, only later realizing, much too late to escape its wrath, that a raging inferno enveloping everything in its path has arrived. First they come for Muslims, then they come for us all.

Part Two of Three, “Cages of Conquest,” will be posted on 20th February, 2008

Manuel Valenzuela is a social critic, commentator, Internet essayist and author of Echoes in the Wind, a novel now published by Authorhouse.com . His essays appear regularly at various alternative news websites from around the globe. Mr. Valenzuela welcomes comments and can be reached at manuel@valenzuelas.net . He encourages readers to surf the collection of over 100 essays he has written which can be found visiting his archives and by searching the Internet. His next book, Beyond the Smoking Mirror: Reflections on America and Humanity, a collection of his essays, will be published in early 2007.


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see

The Year of Living Dangerously Part 1 By Manuel Valenzuela

The Year of Living Dangerously Part 2 By Manuel Valenzuela

What Do We Stand For? By Paul Craig Roberts

New Bill To Allow Police Misconduct Be Hidden From Public + videos

Repress U – How to Build a Homeland Security Campus in 7 Steps By Michael Gould-Wartofsky

‘Why Talk When You Can Shock,’ says Taser Opponent by Robyn Doolittle

Valenzuela-Manuel

Manuel Valenzuela

Valenzuela’s Veritas

New Bill To Allow Police Misconduct Be Hidden From Public + videos (updated)

Dandelion Salad

Bill is SB260. Cops are out of control.

Updated: Feb. 20, 2008 another tasering to a teenager; video added

by Jonny Glines
KUTV
Last Update: 2/12/08 10:50 pm

A new bill proposed at the legislature would allow for police to withhold misconduct reports from the public. Supporters of the bill believe that police misconduct should be kept secret from the public so to not discredit police testimony. Others say that a forthright police unit is essential to the community.

In September, Jared Massey was zapped with a taser by Trooper John Gardner. A video of the incident was recorded from Gardner’s patrol car. Gardner can be seen shocking Massey until he hits the ground while Massey’s wife screams from the side of their SUV.

…continued and video (no longer available)

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