I have been reminded the last few days that the American Empire is sliding toward tyranny daily. The year started out pretty bad:
Pay close attention. This is how it happens…
President Obama found a moment of reduced visibility, in an unwatched hour on New Year’s Eve, to sign the latest assault on the Fifth Amendment. In signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 on New Year’s Eve, Obama knew the nation’s attention would be elsewhere, diverted by revelry, football, New Year’s Day, and a Monday national holiday.
In case you haven’t heard, the National Defense Authorization Act allows the government to detain people indefinitely – yes, it includes American citizens who can be taken even on our native soil and imprisoned – merely on the basis of accusations.
The measure is “so radical,” says Human Rights Watch, “that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration.” And although Obama appended a signing statement as he put his name to the act, solemnly assuring the nation that the power he insisted on having won’t be used recklessly, it is a political gesture that has no more force of a law than attaching a little yellow sticky note to the bill. If the clear language of the Constitution itself cannot bind the governing classes, it is hard to imagine a post-it note having much effect on the current or future presidents now that the indefinite detention of Americans without trial has been legislatively countenanced.
There you have it in a nutshell, the new American way: Guilty until proven innocent.
This is how once-free people slip into state tyranny and slide into martial law.
Political figures are always careful to paper over their power grabs with spurious legalities and midnight measures, granting themselves the rights they are appropriating. No matter how flimsy the pretext, no matter how forbidden the act, everything must be formalized and enabled. Overturned rights and the pretext of legality.
That is how the Fourth Amendment was trashed… marginalized by a document called the Patriot Act.
And now the Fifth Amendment is under attack.
But you shouldn’t be surprised. If the president of the United States can have you, an American citizen, assassinated on his own say so, how much of a shock is it to find that he can have you arrested and held without any of that pesky Fifth Amendment due process business?
After this horrible start, the news has just gotten worse daily. The blogger Glenn Greenwald has been documenting the lawlessness and immorality of the Empire for over six years now. His latest as I write this is Excuses for assassination secrecy which details the Obama administration’s claims that blatant lying to the public about murders committed by drones is necessary for our safety and security. The archives of Mr. Greenwald at Salon is a veritable history of tyranny by the US government. An even more important source of news is antiwar.com were the American Empire’s latest aggressions, frauds, lies, and brutalities are covered by many articles and essays every day.
On the domestic front, I follow many different bloggers but the daily articles at Lew Rockwell’s site is an indispensable resource for both domestic as well as overseas news and commentary. One in particular, Will Grigg, is an invaluable resource into the domestic tyranny that is overtaking us. I also follow many liberty minded folks on Twitter who post links to many different outrages committed by the Empire. I follow enough liberty minded people that it sometimes seems like I see an outrage a minute on Twitter!
These mentioned resources are in no way a full list, or even a start. I am just citing a few examples. What do all the writers and news organizations that I read tell me? They tell me that I am an anarchist trapped in an Evil Empire and it is getting worse every day.
What is one to do? We can mostly try to educate the citizens of the US about liberty and freedom. I spent a few hours yesterday arguing (no one was debating!) on twitter with fellow anarchists over the meanings of a few common words. That did not move anyone closer to liberty I’ll tell you. No, we must talk to the “average” citizen and try to restore, as a start, the early Classic Liberal beliefs that were common in the 18th century as this country was founded. We will have to follow Ron Paul’s lead and try to influence the young to value freedom and liberty while questioning everything their government says.
Other than educating the young, we fight the government of the US at every turn we can. It is well worth reading Dr. Gary North’s essay on “How To Gum Up Any Institution” as we fight the State.
But, please, let us not try to use words in weird and archaic ways or in personally re-defined ways which only add to confusion and obfuscate the message we are trying to get across. Let us not attack the small state people who don’t realize that the State can never be kept small and needs to be eradicated root and branch. Let us fight the State in every way we can.
Let us not be the “splitters” of Monty Python in “The Life of Brian”. Short youtube clip here. Let us fight the real enemy: the American Empire and its government.
We do this for ourselves, but we also do it for the generations to come.