The police state

I saw this great quote someplace and it got me thinking about the police state called the USA.

‘A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it’s going to get.’  — Ian Williams Goddard

Well, what is a police state? A Wikipedia article says:

The term police state describes a state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic and political life of the population. A police state typically exhibits elements of totalitarianism and social control, and there is usually little or no distinction between the law and the exercise of political power by the executive.

When U.S. mainstream media minions use the term “police state,” they invariably are referring to some other country and not the USA, that is a given. Even when the supposed “liberal” media uses “police state” and the US in the same sentence it is to say that it looks like the US is “becoming” a police state or that it “acts like” a police state at times when “bad apples” misuse government powers. But even if the present condition of America does not yet meet your definition of a “police state” consider this:

Tempting as it is, to paint in black-and-white is nearly always a mistake.  That is particularly true when it comes to police states.  For one thing police states do not spring upon the world fully formed.  They evolve from other forms of government.  Pre-Nazi Germany was not altogether dissimilar from the United States of America.

It was a constitutionally-based democracy with clearly-delineated, constitutionally-protected rights such as freedom of the press and requirements of habeas corpus.  Hitler eventually did away with these rights — legally — “for national security purposes” and special courts were created outside the normal system for the treatment of the nation’s enemies, some of whom were citizens of the United States.  Only government-approved attorneys were allowed and the hearings were secret, again, for reasons of “national security.”  Sound familiar yet? ~ Rick Horowitz

To me the clearest indication that America is well down the road to police state status is the practice of preventive detention. The US has simply accused people of a crime related to “terrorism” and at that point no longer needs to prove anything or even make a criminal charge in court. The poor sod never gets a trial and he can not defend himself against the mere suspicion that he is a “bad guy”. There is no charge to defend against and you don’t get to go to court even if you had a specific charge. We sometimes even send the accused to some other country to be tortured for us. What barbarism this “extraordinary rendition” is.

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We also see extensive use of “signing statements” by the executive which means we are operating outside of the law. Bush the lesser had the theory of the “unitary executive” that allowed him to use “signing statements” and “executive orders” to give the president dictatorial powers.

Just considering the sheer size and social penetration of the America police and imprisonment apparatus, the militarization of the police, the rise of the “security state”, and the extensive gathering of data on the population, we can see that the USA is well down that road to a totalitarian dystopia. The United States has the most people imprisoned in the world, by percentage of population or by numerical count. The U.S. simply incarcerates more people than any country in the world; 25 percent of prison inmates in the world are locked up in the USA.

The American mainstream media always says that China is a police state but according to United Nations figures, China is 87th in the world in the proportion of its people who are imprisoned. China has at least a Billion more people that the USA but it is China that only has 70 percent as many prisoners as the United States. How can a country with a one-party ruled government like China and four times as many people only have about 2/3rds as many prisoners? That is unbelievable.

Solitary confinement is a form of torture and the UN’s Juan Mendez reports that solitary confinement beyond 15 days at a stretch crosses the line of torture. Al Jazeera recently reported that it is standard operating procedure for thousands upon thousands of US prisoners to spend 30 or 60 days in solitary at a stretch. We have 20,000 prisoners held in continual isolation in our many Supermax prisons. It boggles the mind to find out that studies now show that  80,000 U.S. prisoners are locked up in solitary on any given day in the USA. A civilized nation would never torture its people this way.

In my opinion, the United States has become a police state and the majority of the people just don’t know it yet. I wager it was just the same in Germany in the 30’s. Those of us who love freedom and liberty need to work hard to convince our neighbors that we have a government that is out of control.

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One thought on “The police state

  1. Pingback: The Classic Liberals and their mistake | On the Mark

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