Tag Archives: Patriot Act

The Media Has Conveniently Forgotten George W. Bush’s Many Atrocities, by James Bovard

When George W. Bush was president, the mainstream media hated him. However, to the mainstream anyone looks like a saint compared to President Trump. From James Bovard at mises.org:

Former president George W. Bush has returned to the spotlight to give moral guidance to America in these troubled times. In a statement released on Tuesday, Bush announced that he was “anguished” by the “brutal suffocation” of George Floyd and declared that “lasting peace in our communities requires truly equal justice. The rule of law ultimately depends on the fairness and legitimacy of the legal system. And achieving justice for all is the duty of all.”

Bush’s declaration was greeted with thunderous applause by the usual suspects who portray him as the virtuous Republican in contrast to Trump. While the media portrays Bush’s pious piffle as a visionary triumph of principle, Americans need to vividly recall the lies and atrocities that permeated his eight years as president.

In an October 2017 speech in a “national forum on liberty” at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City, Bush bemoaned that “Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.” Coming from Bush, this had as much credibility as former president Bill Clinton bewailing the decline of chastity.

Most media coverage of Bush nowadays either ignores the falsehoods he used to take America to war in Iraq or portrays him as a good man who received incorrect information. But Bush was lying from the get-go on Iraq and was determined to drag the nation into another Middle East war. From January 2003 onwards, Bush constantly portrayed the US as an innocent victim of Saddam Hussein’s imminent aggression and repeatedly claimed that war was being “forced upon us.” That was never the case. As the Center for Public Integrity reported, Bush made “232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda.” As the lies by which he sold the Iraq War unraveled, Bush resorted to vilifying critics as traitors in a 2006 speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

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The Propaganda of Terror and Fear: A Lesson from Recent History, by Dr. Piers Robinson

We’ve been here before. Remember 9/11? Remember the Patriot Act? From Dr. Piers Robinson at off-guardian.org:

The ongoing and unfolding reactions to the Corona Virus look set to have wide-ranging and long-lasting effect on politics, society and economics. The drive to close down all activities is extraordinary as are the measures being promoted to isolate people from each other.

The deep-rooted fear of contagious disease, hardwired into the collective consciousness by historical events such as the ‘Black/Bubonic Plague’ and maintained through popular culture (e.g. the Hollywood movies Outbreak and Contagion), means that people are without question highly susceptible to accepting extreme emergency measures whether or not such measures are rational or justified. The New York Times called for America to be put on a war footing in order to deal with Corona whilst former Army General Stanley McChrystal has been invoking his 9/11 experience in order to prescribe lessons for today’s leaders.

At the same time, political actors are fully aware that these conditions of fear and panic provide a critical opportunity that can be exploited in order to pursue political, economic and societal objectives. It is very likely, however, that the dangers posed by the potential exploitation of Corona for broader political, economic and societal objectives latter far outweigh the immediate threat to life and health from the virus. A lesson from recent history is instructive here.

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Repeal the Patriot Act, by Andrew P. Napolitano

By any reading of the plain words of the Constitution, which is not how contemporary jurists read the Constitution, the Patriot Act is unconstitutional and should be repealed. From Andrew P. Napolitano at lewrockwell.com:

I have been writing for years about the dangers to human freedom that come from government mass surveillance. The United States was born in a defiant reaction to government surveillance. In the decade preceding the signing of the Declaration of Independence, the villains were the Stamp Act and the Writs of Assistance Act. Today, the villain is the Patriot Act.

Here is the backstory.

In 1765, when the British government was looking for creative ways to tax the colonists, Parliament enacted the Stamp Act. That law required all persons in the colonies to purchase stamps from a British government vendor and to affix them to all documents in one’s possession. These were not stamps as we use today, rather they bore the seal of the British government. The vendor would apply ink to the seal and for a fee — a tax — impress an image of the seal onto documents.

All documents in one’s possession — financial, legal, letters, books, newspapers, pamphlets, even posters destined to be nailed to trees — required the government stamps.

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Betraying the Constitution: Who Will Protect Us from an Unpatriotic Patriot Act? by John W. Whitehead

The Patriot Act and its subsequent extensions have shredded a good portion of the Bill of Rights. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org

“It is the responsibility of the patriot to protect his country from its government.”—Thomas Paine

While Congress subjects the nation to its impeachment-flavored brand of bread-and-circus politics, our civil liberties continue to die a slow, painful death by a thousand cuts.

Case in point: while Americans have been fixated on the carefully orchestrated impeachment drama that continues to monopolize headlines, Congress passed and President Trump signed into law legislation extending three key provisions of the USA Patriot Act, which had been set to expire on December 15, 2019.

Once again, to no one’s surprise, the bureaucrats on both sides of the aisle—Democrats and Republicans alike—prioritized political grandstanding over principle and their oath of office to protect and defend the Constitution.

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Republicans and Democrats Agree: Give Vast Snooping Powers to The U.S. Government, by Mac Slavo

A renewal of the Patriot Act is slipping through while the nation and the media is preoccupied with the impeachment circus. From Mac Slavo at shtfplan.com:

Even in our polarized and right vs. left political paradigm, there is one thing both republicans and democrats can agree on: The federal government should have vast snooping powers and conduct mass surveillance on everyone. They simply disagree over who should be in charge of abusing those excessive powers.

The impeachment circus did one thing successfully. It took attention from the government’s mass surveillance programs that are constantly expanded. As Reasonproposed: If Democrats really feared Donald Trump’s exercise of the powers of the presidency, why would they propose extending the surveillance powers of the controversial Patriot Act?

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Why I Don’t Speak of the Fake News of “9/11” Anymore, by Edward Curtin

How sophisticated psychological techniques were used to condition Americans into accepting the police state that sprung from 9/11. From Edward Curtin at lewrockwell.com:

This article was posted last year but is still pertinent, so I am re-posting it.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was a non-teaching day for me.  I was home when the phone rang at 9 A.M.  It was my daughter, who was on a week’s vacation with her future husband.  “Turn on the TV,” she said.  “Why?” I asked.  “Haven’t you heard?  A plane hit the World Trade Tower.”

I turned the TV on and watched a plane crash into the Tower.  I said, “They just showed a replay.”  She quickly corrected me, “No, that’s another plane.”  And we talked as we watched in horror, learning that it was the South Tower this time.  Sitting next to my daughter was my future son-in-law; he had not had a day off from work in a year.  He had finally taken a week’s vacation so they could go to Cape Cod.  He worked on the 100th floor of the South Tower.  By chance, he had escaped the death that claimed 176 of his co-workers.

That was my introduction to the attacks.  Seventeen years have disappeared behind us, yet it seems like yesterday.  And yet again, it seems like long, long ago.

Over the next few days, as the government and the media accused Osama bin Laden and 19 Arabs of being responsible for the attacks, I told a friend that what I was hearing wasn’t believable; the official story was full of holes. I am a born and bred New Yorker with a long family history rooted in the NYC Fire and Police Departments, one grandfather having been the Deputy Chief of the Fire Department, the highest ranking uniformed firefighter, and the other a NYPD cop; a niece and her husband were NYPD detectives deeply involved in the response to that day’s attacks. Hearing the absurd official explanations and the deaths of so many innocent people, including many hundreds of firefighters, cops, and emergency workers, I felt a suspicious rage. It was a reaction that I couldn’t fully explain, but it set me on a search for the truth.  I proceeded in fits and starts, but by the fall of 2004, with the help of the extraordinary work of David Ray Griffin, Michael Ruppert, and other early skeptics, I could articulate the reasons for my initial intuition.  I set about creating and teaching a college course on what had come to be called 9/11.

But I no longer refer to the events of that day by those numbers.  Let me explain why.

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9/11 Eighteen Years Later, by Donald Jeffries

9/11 remains the pivotal event of the still-young 21st century. From Donald Jeffries at lewrockwell.com:

Eighteen years ago today, nearly 3,000 Americans lost their lives when both the Pentagon and the World Trade Center were attacked by terrorists. The official narrative is that the terrorists were a group of nineteen Arabs armed with box cutters and plastic knives. The prevailing view in the anti- establishment world is that the terrorists were associated with the U.S. government.

While our leaders did absolutely nothing on the day in question, in response to hijacked planes being crashed into buildings, for some hour and a half, after it was over they reacted quite aggressively. The consensus was that 9/11 had “changed the world forever,” and that we were now battling an unclear, unidentifiable enemy, referred to conveniently as the “war on terror.”

According to the ACLU, some 762 “suspects” were arrested in the wake of 9/11, and none of them were found to have any ties to “terrorism.” Anyone named Mohammad became suspect in the public’s eye. An Arabic fellow I worked with at the time was absolutely terrified, and seriously considered changing his name to something that sounded less “terrorist.”

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9/11 Solidified the Destruction of Our Freedom, by Jacob G. Hornberger

After 9/11, most of the freedoms generations of Americans, back to the Founding Fathers, had fought to defend and protect were in the rear view mirror. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:

The 9/11 attacks not only killed thousands of Americans, they also led to America’s forever wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Iran, and elsewhere, which have brought about the deaths of thousands of other Americans and millions of foreigners. But the 9/11 attacks did more than that. They also fortified the U.S. government as a national-security state, which solidified the destruction of the freedom of the American people.

What is a national-security state? It is a type of governmental structure that has an enormous, permanent military-intelligence establishment. In the case of the United States, that means the Pentagon, the vast military-industrial complex, foreign military bases, the CIA, and the NSA. It also means power — enormous power, not only for the overall government, but also within the governmental structure itself. To place things in a general context, Egypt is a national-security state. So are China, Cuba, and Russia. And the United States.

It wasn’t always that way. America was founded as a limited-government republic, which is the opposite of a national-security state. No Pentagon, no vast military-industrial complex, no foreign military bases, no CIA, and NSA. Just a relatively small army.

That’s the way the Framers and our American ancestors wanted it. The last thing they wanted was the type of governmental structure under which we Americans live today. In fact, if the proponents of the Constitution had said to the American people after the Constitutional Convention that the Constitution was going to bring into existence a national-security state, they would have died laughing, thinking it was a big joke. Once they had realized that it wasn’t a joke, they would have summarily rejected the deal and continued operating under the Articles of Confederation, a third type of governmental system under which the federal government’s powers were so few and weak that the federal government hadn’t even been given the power to tax.

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Is the U.S. Government the Enemy of the People? America’s Lost Liberties, Post-9/11, by John W. Whitehead

The answer to the title question is self-evident. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

These are the times that try men’s souls.” ― Thomas Paine, The American Crisis

Take heed, America.

Our losses are mounting with every passing day.

What began with the post-9/11 passage of the USA Patriot Act  has snowballed into the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.

The citizenry’s unquestioning acquiescence to anything the government wants to do in exchange for the phantom promise of safety and security has resulted in a society where the nation is being locked down into a militarized, mechanized, hypersensitive, legalistic, self-righteous, goose-stepping antithesis of every principle upon which this nation was founded.

Set against a backdrop of government surveillance, militarized police, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, eminent domain, overcriminalization, armed surveillance drones, whole body scanners, stop and frisk searches, police violence and the like—all of which have been sanctioned by Congress, the White House and the courts—our constitutional freedoms have been steadily chipped away at, undermined, eroded, whittled down, and generally discarded.

The rights embodied in the Constitution, if not already eviscerated, are on life support.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown more pronounced since 9/11.

Indeed, since the towers fell on 9/11, the U.S. government has posed a greater threat to our freedoms than any terrorist, extremist or foreign entity ever could.

While nearly 3,000 people died in the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government and its agents have easily killed at least ten times that number of civilians in the U.S. and abroad since 9/11 through its police shootings, SWAT team raids, drone strikes and profit-driven efforts to police the globe, sell weapons to foreign nations (which too often fall into the hands of terrorists), and foment civil unrest in order to keep the military industrial complex gainfully employed.

The American people have been treated like enemy combatants, to be spied on, tracked, scanned, frisked, searched, subjected to all manner of intrusions, intimidated, invaded, raided, manhandled, censored, silenced, shot at, locked up, denied due process, and killed.

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2002 Landmarks on the Road to “1984” Orwellian Hell, by James Bovard

In the aftermath of 9/11, the US made its greatest pivot towards becoming a police state. From James Bovard at lewrockwell.com:

Next month will be the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Politicians and bureaucrats wasted no time after that carnage to unleash the Surveillance State on average Americans, treating every person like a terrorist suspect. Since the government failed to protect the public, Americans somehow forfeited their constitutional right to privacy. Despite heroic efforts by former NSA staffer Edward Snowden and a host of
activists and freedom fighters, the government continues ravaging American privacy.

Two of the largest leaps the largest leaps towards “1984” began in 2002. Though neither the Justice Department’s Operation TIPS nor the Pentagon’s Total Information Awareness program was brought to completion, parcels and precedents from each program have profoundly influenced subsequent federal policies.

In July 2002, the Justice Department unveiled plans for Operation TIPS — the Terrorism Information and Prevention System. According to the Justice Department website, TIPS would be “a nationwide program giving millions of American truckers, letter carriers, train conductors, ship captains, utility employees, and others a formal way to report suspicious terrorist activity.” TIPSters would be people who, “in the daily course of their work, are in a unique position to serve as extra eyes and ears for law enforcement.” The feds aimed to recruit people in jobs that “make them uniquely well positioned to understand the ordinary course of business in the area they serve, and to identify things that are out of the ordinary.” Homeland Security director Tom Ridge said that observers in certain occupations “might pick up a break in the certain rhythm or pattern of a community.” The feds planned to enlist as many as 10 million people to watch other people’s “rhythms.”

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