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What’s Next for the Bundys?

27 Apr

The federal response will definitely come. It will likely be in three areas; two of which don’t involve the Bundys specifically. First, a multi-faceted attack will be made on the Bundys; second, a broad-front regulatory response against other land users will be made for the purpose of retaliation against the whole group and as a deterrent; and third, new provocateur deployments will probably be made across the West into similar situations.

The attack on the Bundys will be planned to be large enough so as to not fail since precedents are being considered by the feds. To give an historical example, the precedent of voluntary militias forming in the nineties as a constitutional concept in lieu of standing armies was effectively derailed for twenty years when the whole movement was painted as obscene by multiple federal law enforcement agencies intensely targeting them, or anything that looked like them, while prosecuting a P.R. campaign in conjunction with the sycophant mass media in the wake of the provocateured Oklahoma City fiasco.

There is the possibility that doors will be smashed down in the darkness of early morning raids for all the Bundy family members, supporters, and ranch hands. There is the possibility that plants are feigning inside knowledge at this very moment and are seated with prosecutors scrolling through video and pointing out participants and ascribing statements or actions to them. Such violent raids on houses and places of business targeting these designated domestic terrorists represent one possibility. If that happens, it probably won’t be immediate. The following factors all affect the time-line for the response which I estimate to be in about three weeks, give or take a week or two.

The most likely first step for the violent option involves the impaneling of a grand jury that will be brought along slowly with presentations by government “experts” giving sensational overviews of generic un-American activities, terrorist groups, and right wing extremists. All of the activity involving the grand jury will be officially in “secret.” Power-point presentations will be made to the grand jury showing pipe bombs, smoking buildings, and nazi symbolism. It will be blatantly prejudicial to the eventual case presented for indictment but, there is no “other side” in this process to object. There is just a prosecutor, government agents, and the grand jury eating doughnuts in a little room. Period. The massaging of the jury’s mindset is done long before they are shown case-specific information. This process can go on for a week. It is not adversarial. It is a one-sided show. There is no defense. It is designed to paint a picture of a general evil class of people. It’s kind of like the process used to get police cadets ready to shoot people. There is no danger that the grand jurors will ever be identified by the Bundys or feel any guilt from having to face those they bravely accuse.

Next, with the extent of the balderdashing that needs to be done to the grand jury to obfuscate the truth in this case, the prosecutor will need another week of ominous head-nodding alongside the agent witnesses’ general summarizing of the evil network masterminded by the Bundys. That puts us at two weeks. Then, the grand jury would be asked to give a “true bill,” an indictment. The grand jury ALWAYS indicts if asked to do so. Always, always, always. Because if they don’t, they are dismissed and another one is impaneled until the indictment is handed down. The warrants on the indictment will then be issued by the federal magistrate by the following week.

And finally, the law enforcement agencies need a few days to draw up plans, print out Google Earth photos of all the target locations, bring in TDY support from other federal agencies, assemble for briefings, give out team assignments, and pick a date to execute search warrants and arrest warrants. So, all of that puts us at three weeks. The three weeks also gives a period of apparent peace and quiet. It will be hoped that this quiet period will cause any supporters to give up and go home. Agents from other agencies will be enticed, probably with notices going out right now, to volunteer for an all-expense paid week living on the Las Vegas strip at taxpayer expense enjoying wine, women, and song at a premier hotel. This is one of the possible approaches against the Bundys.

Another possibility will be considered by agency heads that are reviewing the news coverage, the iconic images of cowboys waving flags displaying historic “American” individualism, and the favorable reaction by much of the public to the visible stand taken by Bundy supporters. This possibility would probably begin to slowly go into effect along the same three-week time-line as the smash-and-grab scenario above. This one may involve the grand jury also but, as an “investigative tool.” While a grand jury is “investigating” a suspect or a “criminal organization,” unlimited secret subpoenas may be issued for anything. No other reason for the subpoena is needed other than the fact that the grand jury is investigating something. Anything and everything will be scarfed up. The feds will get financial information, phone information, and witnesses that will be compelled to testify or be incarcerated if they refuse to testify. There is no, “I stand on the fifth” when the grand jury asks you about something. You will be held in contempt merely for refusing to testify when in front of a grand jury. No day in court. No due process. No good time. No parole. No probation. You are locked up as a grand jury witness until you change your mind and decide to go along with the government.

Ex-parte orders would be obtained to obtain IRS records for all involved. Asset forfeiture orders for substitute assets could be obtained that would identify Bundy or supporter assets and forfeit those assets to the government in lieu of supposed specific losses sustained by the government from unpaid grazing fees or other claimed damages or from an estimated value of the illegal proceeds of the criminal activity (ranching). These designated substitute assets may have no identifiable connection to the asset classes designated as losses or as illegal income by the government. Money laundering charges could be filed for “conversion” of “illegally obtained” assets or income.

Archived call data or live “pen registers” may be obtained to make conspiracy connections within the “criminal organization.” Wiretaps may be initiated although this would be more time consuming and would lead to jury- sympathetic recorded conversations with fewer co-conspirator and criminal hierarchy connections than those which could be manufactured by experts analyzing the call data with link charts to be shown to a jury.

This alternate slower attack against the Bundys would be the nickel-and-dime approach that would result in service of seizure orders to banks and persons. Seizure notices would be posted on residential or business property accompanied by lis pendens filings recorded at the county courthouse against those properties. Notices would be mailed out. Administrative or judicial forfeiture action would commence against personal assets depending on value thresholds. Bank accounts would be frozen and then drained. Persons would be detained individually when they went shopping away from their homes to avoid video clips of militarized feds attacking the houses of ordinary Americans in military operations. Businesses and vehicles would be seized over time. Cars would be grabbed when driven away from home when the owners were alone in their vehicles so as to not precipitate a defensive response from supporters.

Both of these types of attacks on the Bundys would likely involve the task force concept where multiple agencies would be brought in to confer and participate in either the slow or fast take-down of the Bundys and their livelihood. The other three-letter agencies would likely be tapped to lend equipment, manpower, administrative authority, or proprietary investigative techniques to wage the good fight against the hard-working American cowboys and their loyal families.

The most likely response will involve the above techniques in a hybrid operation with the Sheriff’s Office or Nevada State authorities. Up to half of current federal agency prosecutions are done through county prosecutor offices or state attorney generals’ offices. The federal prosecutors don’t object since their resources haven’t always kept up with the expansion of federal law enforcement agencies. They are all too happy to see a federal law enforcement agency prosecute a case, or parts of a case, through state and county channels when similar laws exist on the federal and state side. Charging the core case via the county or state would be somewhat complex in this situation, however, since the base charges are primarily federal in nature regarding lands that the feds have proclaimed off-limits to various citizen and resident uses. That wouldn’t be a stopper though.

Cliven Bundy has indicated that he would surrender or submit to justice if the Sheriff was the one making the request on behalf of the county or state. It is likely that the feds will approach the Sheriff and suggest that he be part of the face of leviathan when Bundy is approached with a combination of charges. The feds will pressure the county and state authorities to come up with a few token charges that could be dovetailed with the federal charges so that a county warrant, summons, writ, or subpoena could be presented by a local officer tacitly or overtly working with the feds. Local officers are quite often deputized with federal authority for the duration of a certain case or longer. Once the Bundy case is in the state system, criminally or civilly, the state charges could then be dropped or held in abeyance while county authorities defer to federal prosecutors awaiting the outcome of the federal case.

Aside from the Bundy family, all other ranchers will likely be punished by the feds via enhanced regulatory interventions in response to the actions on display in Nevada. This is common fare as a mechanism to teach the public to not mimic others who are standing up for themselves. USFS and BLM staff will be told at the headquarters level to crack down on ranchers in general and to give no quarter when dealing with “grazing permits” and “grazing fees.” The continual downward trend for the number of cattle allowed on historical grazing lands, i.e. “federal allotments,” will be announced to ranchers during their recurring annual grazing permit meetings with the feds. The continually reduced allotments will be enforced with vigor to teach the rancher scum a lesson. My family has had to deal for generations with perpetually reduced livestock “allowances” on grazing lands in Arizona along with the more recent “endangered species” excuse to stomp on the land and water rights of ranchers who willingly maintain infrastructure that benefits both livestock and wildlife at no taxpayer expense. This happens, and will continue to happen, on both private deeded ranching land and on historical grazing “permit” lands used by ranchers for generations that were beyond the acreage amounts permitted for official deeded homesteading claims. [By the way, these grazing “permits” on specific land parcels with their documented historical homestead linkages convey and are bought and sold just like other real estate.]

The final likely type of general response by the feds will be a chaotic, unpredictable deployment of provocateurs throughout the West trying to simulate the crisis presented in this trendy new visible law enforcement category. More visible crises are needed to allow Fox News and CNN to delineate between the good guys (the police state) and the bad guys (ranchers). Attempts will be made to catch evil ranchers operating their ranches while scheming, in recorded conversations, to keep operating their ranches despite growing opposition by the feds to the presence of ranchers. That won’t work since cowboys are wary and hard to trap, so provocateurs will try to find a bozo in a cowboy hat and suggest to him, after he consumes a 12-pack purchased by the provocateur, that the drunk pretend cowboy and his new found friend should have some fun and smash some turtles out in the desert. The feds would then save us from that fate just on the cusp of it occurring with federal planning, financing, and taxpayer purchased plastic turtle props. It would be made clear in press releases that no real turtles were harmed, lest we worry. The federal press releases for this activity would be glorious and be seen by most being read verbatim by a horrified network newsreader tossing her hair incredulously while sports scores scroll underneath the screen. A hammer over a turtle outline could be the graphic floating next to the newsreader’s head.

Or, attempts may be made to paint a rancher as evil by trying to compile statistics of drug loads arriving in the interior of the U.S. that federal experts would suggest must have traversed the rancher’s land; proving unequivocally, that the rancher can’t manage the grazing land as effectively as armed federal bureaucrats who will keep us safe from beef cattle on that land and other productive uses. These actions will all increase to prove that the feds will not be dictated to.

Although I cheer for the Bundys and applaud the courage of their sweet family, my heart would much rather see them running now and hiding out in a freer country like Mexico as opposed to becoming a decimated family of martyrs ravaged by the state.

 

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Our Oligarchs Can Thank James Madison

27 Apr

According to authors Martin Gilens and Benjamin Page:

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.

Fortunately for The Average Joe, however, his stated policy preferences happen to coincide with the desires of the wealthy elites much of the time, (according to the study) so even though his views and desires don’t matter in Congress, he nonetheless sometimes gets what he wants, simply by coincidence.[1]

It’s only when the desires of middle-income Americans are in conflict with the goals of interest groups and the wealthy elites that he is likely to lose most of the time:

Not only do ordinary citizens not have uniquely substantial power over policy decisions; they have little or no independent influence on policy at all.

Are interest groups and wealthy elites more powerful than the average American? Certainly evidence of that is all around us, with perhaps the most obvious and dramatic example in recent years being the passage of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) engineered by the Bush administration in 2008 to bail out wealthy hedge fund managers and bankers who had run their companies into the ground. Prior to the passage of TARP, members of Congress admitted that calls from their constituents were 95 percent or more against the passage of TARP. Congress passed the legislation anyway, handing about a trillion dollars of taxpayer money to wealthy corporations, bankers, and other interests.

James Madison and Federalist #10

According to the propagandists for the centralization of the American national government in 1787, known euphemistically today as “Federalists,” the size, scope, and diversity of the United States is supposed to make such looting impossible. The claim that a larger and more expansive government produces more freedom may seem counterintuitive to some, but such is the proposition taught to American school children year after year.

We have James Madison, and specifically his Federalist Paper No. 10, to thank for the popularity of this rather dubious theory.

In the essay, Madison’s position is that large expansive republics are superior to small limited republics because they balance a variety of “factions” (by which he meant interest groups and voting blocs) against each other and prevent any single group from unduly influencing the government. In a small republic, Madison argued, small factions are able to easily take control of the state’s resources or the state itself. Included among these factions is any large voting bloc with similar interests. The majority and its alleged penchant for the oppression of the minority can be controlled by cancelling out the interests of local majorities at the national level with majorities from other states, thus leading to a balanced population in which no particular faction can gain an upper hand.

Madison’s purpose was to demonstrate that if the American states were allowed to remain largely independent, as they indeed were in 1787, they would degenerate into despotism, but if the states were all consolidated into one federal system, the different factions within the many states would be balanced out and no group or alliance could ever take control of the new government.

Like today’s elites in D.C. and Brussels, Madison’s greatest fear was political decentralization and disintegration, and upon reading No. 10 and other Federalist writings, it quickly becomes clear that many of them were obsessed with the idea of the United States being torn apart by separatist and rebellious factions. This preoccupation is easy to understand if we remember that the convention of 1787 was born out of hysteria over domestic terrorism. That’s not the terminology they used at the time, of course, but the catalyst for the convention was Shays’ Rebellion. The response of the wealthy elites at the time — people like George Washington and James Madison — was to call for a massive expansion of government power to ensure that any future resistance movement could be easily crushed.

The Anti-Federalist Response

Many of the anti-Federalists, including “Cato” disputed the assertions of Madison (who offered precious few real-world examples to support his theory).

Specifically, Cato’s letters argue that smaller states are superior to larger ones because they control less wealth and fewer resources, and therefore offer fewer benefits to factions seeking power, while at the same time limiting the scope and complexity of state matters to a scale at which “average” citizens can hope to understand and witness the dangers posed by those seeking to extract government favors. Cato quotes Montesquieu:

[T]here are too great deposits to intrust in the hands of a single subject, an ambitious person soon becomes sensible that he may be happy, great, and glorious by oppressing his fellow citizens, and that he might raise himself to grandeur, on the ruins of his country. In large republics, the public good is sacrificed to a thousand views; in a small one the interest of the public is easily perceived, better understood, and more within the reach of every citizen; abuses have a less extent, and of course are less protected.

In other words, small republics prevent any one interest from seizing the sort of super-sized power that would most easily be attained through a more expansive state. Moreover, in a large republic, the overall population consists of many competing factions that pave the way for factions to seize power by encouraging division among the population.

In these arguments we see some early precursors of arguments we find later in Rothbard and Hoppe.[2] Hoppe offers the anti-Madisonian view:

Political integration involves the territorial expansion of a state’s powers of taxation and property regulation. … In general, the smaller a country and its internal markets the more likely it is that it will opt for free trade.

I think that a world consisting of tens of thousands of distinct countries, regions and cantons, and hundreds of thousands of independent free cities such as the present-day “oddities” of Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, Liechtenstein, Hong Kong, and Singapore, would be a world of unprecedented prosperity, economic growth, and cultural advancement.

Conclusion

The anti-Federalists lost and Madison won, so we can now witness the true extent to which a large republic has failed to prevent the rise of exploitive and powerful factions in the United States. The U.S. government now controls more than 2.5 trillion dollars that flow to the treasury every year, inviting every faction, large and small, that hopes to capture even a tiny fraction of this enormous pile of wealth for itself. Never in the history of the world has any single state spent so much and owed so much, while maintaining military bases in every corner of the world while spying, cataloging, taxing, regulating, and imprisoning so many.

At one time, it was thought that those who paid for such “amenities” would rise up and object, but thanks to the vastness of the republic, taxing and spending need never be challenged. This huge, federal republic, so naively assumed by Madison to be balanced against spending and expansion, has instead facilitated a way to allow endless spending by simply spreading out the benefits. Many districts, states, counties, and regions may theoretically be at odds, but their primary concern is getting their share. Whether it’s military spending in the South, subsidies for industry in the North, cheap lands and water for farmers and ranchers in the West, farm bills for the farmers, pensions and pills for the elderly, schools for families, and roads for everyone else, there’s no one left to protest. Meanwhile, the sheer vastness and uniformity of the state’s power nationwide ensures few options for voting with one’s feet to the millions within its enormous frontiers.

The system of oligarchy identified by Gilens and Page is familiar territory to economic historians. Today’s oligarchs are little more than modern versions of the mercantilists of old. It’s unfortunate the American Revolution, a war fought against mercantilist privilege, ended as a Federalist counter-revolution that paved the way for the triumph of similar interests in later decades.

Notes


[1] The study is written by political scientists performing quantatitive analysis, so it’s best to not get bogged down in the numerical details of the study. Nevertheless, while we might critically dissect the assumptions and data behind the report, one is still struck by how very plausible the report’s research and conclusion are.

[2] Rothbard is said to have suggested the name of the Cato Institute due to his affinity for the letters of the Anti-Federalist Cato.

 

Attacking Bundy Won’t Solve Larger Problem of Fedgov Perception

27 Apr

Published by The Daily Bell – April 24 2014

Bundy Standoff Is A Fox News Costume Drama … One thing about that mangy posse of anti-government crackpots camped out at Cliven Bundy’s place in the Nevada desert: Most don’t know a thing about cattle ranching. See, it’s calving season across most of the country … While the BLM was wise not to confront the mob, the current triumphalism among far-right zealots can’t be seen as anything but ominous. One wonders, however, how the armies of April will react to a Las Vegas TV station’s revelation that much of Bundy’s personal saga is make-believe. – The National Memo

Dominant Social Theme: This Bundy fellow is a crackpot.

Free-Market Analysis: There’s been a lot of pushback regarding Cliven Bundy and most recently in the article above, Bundy comes in for direct criticism as a serial liar.

Yet it is not difficult to understand the disapproval people feel when confronted with what seems to be another heavy-handed action by US authorities.

We keep in mind the following when it comes to US government actions in the 20th and 21st century:

  • Both the federal income tax and Federal Reserve were implemented under false pretenses. Voters were assured that the income tax would affect only a tiny percentage of the very wealthy. And Congress was assured that the Fed would be bound by a stringent gold-to-bill ratio. Neither of these assurances remains in force today.
  • The management of the US economy by appointed government and quasi-government officials has left the US with a national debt of US$200 TRILLION as well as a much reduced middle class, 50 million on food stamps and cities and infrastructure in virtual ruin due to invasive regulations and treaties that have pushed employment off shore.
  • The US serially has been involved with ever-increasing frequency in overt and covert wars that benefit an extremely small power elite while reducing prosperity for hundreds of millions and ruining the lives caught up in the combat.
  • The military-industrial complex has been joined by an Intel-industrial complex (of some 16 separate security agencies) and a penal-industrial complex that when observed in aggregate terrorizes tens of millions, incarcerates millions at a time and spies literally on billions through the use of modern communications technology.
  • As has been pointed out recently, the US more resembles an oligarchy in its current configuration than the Jeffersonian republic of its beginnings.
  • Over time, in various instances, fedgov has revealed its authoritarian impulses more nakedly. Operation Gladio reportedly saw US Intel determinedly whip-up violent anti-government sentiment in Europe in order to increase tensions between Europe and Moscow. Operation Paperclip saw the US import, wholesale, Hitler’s Nazi brain trust to staff NASA. Today, US civil policing is awash with incidents of brutality and corruption, and the trend seems to be toward an expansion of aggression rather than a diminution.
  • Fedgov reportedly owed Native Americans hundreds of billions in compensation for lands and resources. But a recently settled court case will only provide the tribes with a pittance of what they likely were due. At the same time, fedgov land administration has grown more onerous – with endangered species providing a rationale for Draconian confiscations and regulatory abuses.

These are just a few points and more could surely be enumerated. One does not have to oppose the federal system itself to disapprove of its ruinous actions.

There are “good” people in federal government and surely there are elements within the political system generally that mean well. But fedgov is awash with depreciating paper assets and increased tax revenue. The result has been an ever more aggressive expansion of federal power.

Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. US fedgov today is in many ways a corrupted institution. This is obvious and much commented on.

It is also the reason that many people instinctively support Bundy in his confrontation with BMS. It probably has less to do with the specifics of the case than with a general sentiment that fedgov is out of control and that many of its actions benefit an “oligarchical” few at the expense of the many.

The article excerpted above is only one of many now appearing that attack Bundy and point out that his actions are “unlawful” whereas the actions of his peers in cooperating with BLM eschew unlawfulness. Here’s more:

No rancher worthy of the name is going to run off leaving his cows to fend for themselves while he fights somebody else’s battles. Particularly not some deadbeat who refuses to pay his grazing fees, and who claims that the same laws that apply to every other rancher in the United States don’t apply to him.

… See, it’s partly a costume drama Fox News is helping this con-man stage. Although my own little operation is more of a hobby than a business, I do try not to lose money. However, many of my Perry County, Arkansas friends and neighbors are cattle ranchers for real.

It’s damned hard making money on cows, but nobody around here imagines they can graze cattle in the Ouachita National Forest for nothing. Every single one pays for his own land, pays property taxes, pays the water bill and pays for any pasture he rents—all things Cliven Bundy takes for free from the U.S. government while styling himself a rugged individualist.

… No way could Bundy or anybody like him afford to buy the vast acreage he’s grazing for free. Many westerners only think they’d like to see the feds sell off their extensive properties in states like Nevada, where the U.S. government owns fully 87 percent of the land. But they might feel differently after the likes of Ted Turner, the Koch brothers and various international corporations bought up the range, cross-fenced it, and posted “No Trespassing” signs everywhere.

See, it’s a form of welfare the BLM oversees, but it helps sustain a way of life Americans are nostalgic about. The various “Sovereign Citizen” groups and armed militia types playing soldier in the desert, however, are something else.

Again, we’re not sure of the reason for the upsurge of anti-Bundy articles, though we have our suspicions. But what we are sure of is that pro-Bundy sentiment has more to do with anti-Fed sentiment than Bundy’s own story.

It is perhaps the endless and increasingly bold dissemination of dominant social themes that rubs people the wrong way. The Internet itself has increasingly revealed the lies authority tells to defend itself and to mislead. It is one reason we cover the memes of the elite, those globalists who stand behind the US government and its propaganda.

Whether it is the phony war on terror, “climate change,” or the continued Wall Street Party that the power elite is determined to keep throwing, it is important to understand the mechanisms of control and the rationale behind them.

In the case of the Wall Street Party, one may have expected the stock market to have moved down long ago, and yet it still continues to defy gravity and may do so for months or even years.

One can make a good deal of money by understanding elite memes; one can also educate oneself in order to better protect one’s wealth, family security and even community prosperity.

Those who wish to defend the BLM and to damn Bundy are probably faced with a difficult task. It is the history of the US fedgov that people are reacting to when they feel sympathy for Bundy – Bundy’s actions and history may have little to do with it.


Conclusion

Bundy is merely a metaphor in this case – a convenient vessel for larger, problematic actions.

Published by The Daily Bell – www.thedailybell.com – All Rights Reserved.

Ron Paul warns that Bundy ranch standoff isn’t over just yet

20 Apr

Edited time: April 16, 2014 12:27

Ron Paul (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

Ron Paul (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

A heated land dispute between the federal government and a Nevada cattle rancher subsided over the weekend, but longtime lawmaker and former presidential hopeful Ron Paul says tensions might soon worsen once again.

An armed standoff between Cliven Bundy and the United States Bureau of Land Management ended on Saturday with the federal agency agreeing to release around 400 head of cattle it had seized from the Clark County, Nevada rancher. The bureau said Bundy owed roughly $1 million to the government because for the last two decades he failed to pay a fee for letting his cattle graze on federal land, but the rancher insisted that he owed the agency nothing. Supporters soon took up arms and flocked to the Bunch ranch to stand by in support as feds began to seize nearly 1,000 head of cattle, but over the weekend the BLM aborted their attempt to confiscate the animals in order avoid any violent showdown that might have emerged.

Paul — the former Republican congressman for Texas and a three-time contender for the office of US president — said on Monday that things aren’t necessarily over on the Bundy ranch, even though the feds have for now relinquished their war with the rancher.

“They may come back with a lot more force like they did at Waco with the Davidians,” Paul told Fox News host Neil Cavuto on Friday, adding that he wished for a non-violent resolution.

Only days earlier, the rancher’s wife told the Huffington Post that the mobilization of heavily armed federal agents around her land was all too similar to the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidians’ Waco, Texas compound that ended with the deaths of 87 civilians.

“If you saw the artillery and their presence — the intimidation they are trying to put on us — it could turn into that,” Carol Bundy said she feared.

Speaking to Paul, Cavuto claimed that the potential for violence to erupt at the Bundy ranch on par with what occurred 20 years ago in Texas was on a “very slight trigger,” to which the former congressman responded, “That’s the great fear….especially if the financial crisis gets much worse which I anticipate.”

According to Paul, the entire incident in Clark County could have emerged differently if the government reconsidered the way it claimed land rights. Bundy said that the disputed property had been in his family for nearly 150 years, but the BLM insisted that his animals were trespassing on federal land since he stopped paying the government a grazing fee back in the early 1990s.

“I don’t believe I owe one penny to the United States government,” Bundy told Nevada’s Desert News last week. “I don’t have a contract with the United States government.”

On Friday, Paul told Cavuto that the Bundy family “had virtual ownership of that land because they had been using it,” yet the law is “not clean enough.

“I think land should be in the states and I think the states should sell it to the people,” he continued, adding that “it’s worked out quite well in big states.”

“You need the government out of it and I think that’s the important point, if you don’t look at that you can expect more of these problems, especially when our economy gets into more trouble,” the former congressman said.

In the meantime, tensions have lessened to a degree in Clark County, where hundreds of seized cattle were handed back to the Bundy family on Saturday, as RT reported earlier. Nevertheless, BLM spokesman Craig Leff told the AP that his agency will work to resolve the matter “administratively and judicially.” Neither the BLM nor the US Department of Justice responded on Monday to requests for comment made by the newswire, but Cliven Bundy himself said he was going to have to inspect his returned cattle to assess their post-confiscation condition.

“It’s going to take a lot to revive the calves that were nearly dead when they were returned to the Bundy Ranch because they had been separated from their mothers during the roundup, and a few most likely won’t make it,” Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R-Las Vegas) told the AP. “It’s time for Nevada to stand up to the federal government and demand the return of the BLM lands to the people of Nevada.”

For his part, Bundy said at a news conference on Monday that “Every sheriff across the United States of America, take away the guns from the United States bureaucrats,” according to the AP.

“Understand it is because of each and every one of you standing here and each and every one of our Americans watching us and protecting us with our firearms why this did not turn into Waco massacre or a Ruby Ridge,” added Fiore.

When an Accusation Becomes Proof: America’s Legal Revolution

20 Apr

 

In the spring of 2006, three white lacrosse players from Duke University were charged with raping a black stripper who briefly had performed at a team party. It was the proverbial “Perfect Storm” of race, class, and sex, and united many of the usual political pressure groups that infect our body politic today.

The so-called Duke Lacrosse Rape Case (or better put, Non-Rape case) received media and political mileage because of who was involved, and the story had an ending that was somewhat more unusual than what is seen when accusations of rape and sexual assault occur. That was because the prosecutor that pursued the lacrosse players, the infamous Michael B. Nifong, went from hero to villain when defense attorneys successfully exposed that Nifong and his “star” witnesses had fabricated inculpatory evidence and Nifong had hidden evidence that was exculpatory.

His once-adoring media sycophants turned into inquisitors after Nifong’s lies became public and his name became synonymous with prosecutorial misconduct, and he ultimately lost his job as Durham County District Attorney and the State of North Carolina revoked his law license. Unfortunately, people believe that Nifong’s lies and willful misconduct were the real story of injustice, but they are not. In fact, they only are a sideshow of the legal terror that literally thousands of people have faced in the past 30 years, and the actual story is much worse than anything Nifong did because misconduct and wrongful convictions (or open invitations to misconduct) are built into the law itself.

Those of us that are intimately familiar with this case know how close these young men came to being put on trial in Durham and being convicted of “crimes” that never happened. The sad irony is that thanks to federal law and federal policies, Nifong did not have to present any real evidence in order to gain a conviction. All he needed was an accusation from Crystal Mangum, the accuser, and jurors would have had all of the “proof” they needed to vote “guilty.” Given the political and racial climate in Durham, it almost is certain that jurors would have convicted the three simply because the powers that be in that city would have demanded nothing less.

That Mangum’s story was not credible from the beginning was irrelevant to how the “justice” system worked in the Duke case – and in many cases involving accusations of sexual assault or molestation, not to mention the carrying out of drug laws. As a result, I will make an astonishing claim: I believe that thousands – yes, thousands – of people are or have been incarcerated in prison for “crimes” that never happened because of America’s legal revolution during the past century.

This state of injustice has not come about accidentally. Instead, it is the result of a politicized age in which intellectuals, politicians, and policymakers who deem themselves to be “Progressives” have fashioned the law into a set of rules and policies that even tyrants like Nero and Caligula would have considered to be unjust.

It Always Starts With Progressivism

American criminal law today does not reflect what the USA inherited from common law England, complete with the “Rights of Englishmen” that Americans also assumed for themselves. From the founding of the republic until the Progressive Era of the early 1900s, criminal law in this country mostly reflected the principle of malum in se, a legal doctrine that has holds that certain acts are bad in themselves.

For example, almost every society that has existed in history has had prohibitions against murder, theft, and robbery. From Hammurabi’s Code to the Ten Commandments to modern law, certain actions have been criminalized because they involved things everyone recognized as being wrong. This does not mean that such laws cannot be abused, but they do tend to reflect universal principles.

Unfortunately, legal systems also have reflected the legal doctrine of malum prohibitum which says certain acts are bad and worthy of punishment because they violate certain rules that government agents have created. For example, at the turn of the 20th Century, it was legal for Americans to ingest drugs like marijuana and cocaine, and alcohol was readily available. In a couple of decades, however, the law prohibited consumption of drugs and possession of alcoholic beverages because the powers that be had decreed as such. Furthermore, violation of those laws could mean a spell in prison, something that previously had been reserved for those who ran afoul of malum in se laws.

American Progressives, who had Grand Visions for how to organize life for Americans – including those Americans who had no desire to take part in the Grand Visions, tended to favor a legal system based upon malum prohibitum because they believed that individuals in society needed to conform to a set of social and political ideals created by the Great Superior Minds of Progressives. The idea that governments should not interfere with the routines of daily life – and especially those routines that involved mutually-consensual acts and the actions of the marketplace – was scorned by Progressives, who believed that individuals should not be permitted to act outside of boundaries set by political authorities who supposedly knew what was best for everyone else.

Progressives relentlessly attacked social institutions that did not easily fit under the umbrella of state-based control, and over time those institutions – entities like religious groups, voluntary societies, and local education – succumbed to statist pressure. All of these actions took place under the guise of “reforms” in which society was to be centralized under federal power with Progressive intellectuals and “reformers” being the ones to determine the boundaries of conduct of individuals.

The so-called Progressive reforms transformed American law in two ways. First, its insistence upon the expansion of state power and state-enforced regulation over the lives of individuals meant the inevitable growth of criminal law under malum prohibitum. The “duty” of Americans was to “obey” state directives, and those who did not obey were to be punished via imprisonment. Thus, in 1919, it was legal to possess alcoholic beverages and it was legal for business firms to brew and distill them. A year later, such things were crimes, accomplished by the mere stroke of a pen.

Second, by demanding the centralization of political, legal, and economic power via Washington, Progressives helped to create a federal legal system which permits prosecutors to take almost any individual action and find ways to criminalize it. No longer was the legal emphasis upon the protection of life, liberty, and property, but rather it was on subjected people following sets of rules created by intellectuals and politicians.

The legal system that came from the Progressive Era and has metastasized unabated for more than a century is hostile to the venerable “Rights of Englishmen” that undergirded American criminal law for many years and nowhere is this better reflected than in the evisceration of the important but now little-known legal doctrine of mens rea. To understand the contempt that modern Progressives have for individuals and to understand the utter tyranny of modern American criminal law, one first must understand why mens rea is vital to protecting individual rights.

The term mens rea essentially means “a guilty mind.” That is, in order for one’s action to be determined as criminal or not, the mindset of the person engaging in a particular action was paramount. For example, say I am driving cautiously in a neighborhood when suddenly a child chasing a ball comes out of nowhere and appears in front of my car, and I hit him. I did not intend to hit the child, nor was I acting in a reckless manner; the result was an unavoidable accident, not a criminal act on my part.

However, say that I see a child in the street and speed up my car in order to hit him. The action was deliberate and, thus, criminal under a doctrine of mens rea. In other words, intent matters under criminal law, or at least it is supposed to matter.

The growth of the regulatory and bureaucratic state with its emphasis upon malum prohibitum, however, is incompatible with mens rea and over the years, American courts have slowly but surely eliminated it from this nation’s de facto body of law. Every year, local, state, and federal agencies churn out thousands of new regulations, most of which have the power of law, with many carrying criminal penalties for people who violate them. Furthermore, the American courts have ruled time and again that “ignorance of the law is no excuse” for disobeying them.

In other words – and I am not exaggerating here – every American is responsible for knowing every regulation and every law that is passed and, more important, must obey each one or face a penalty and even prison for failure to do so. For ordinary people, there is no exception unless a judge or administrator decides not to punish someone for violating a rule of which the person had no knowledge.

There are classes of people that are exempt from having to know all of the laws and regulations, however: those charged with enforcing the laws, from administrators to police to prosecutors to judges. I am not kidding, nor do I exaggerate. The very people who are supposed to be the most intimate with laws and regulations because their very livelihoods rest upon their enforcement also are the very people who are legally permitted to be ignorant of such laws and regulations.

It gets worse. People in those enforcement lines of work who are caught violating the law or policies pertaining to enforcement are exempt from having people whom the law enforcers have victimized from seeking legal redress in the courts. Thus, when the three falsely-accused defendants in the Duke Lacrosse Case filed lawsuits against the City of Durham and prosecutor Michael Nifong, the federal courts dismissed most of the claims because of the legal doctrines of immunity that the courts and legislatures have imposed.

The effect is that wrongdoers, should they be employed by government, are pretty much exempted from having to face consequences of their wrongdoing. This is not an oversight; it is the result of the political goals that perpetrators of modern regimes have imposed. I call it a corollary of what economists call “Capture Theory.” The government employees in the law enforcement lines of work have “captured” the system and have rewritten the rules in order to protect themselves at the expense of the people these government agents victimize every day.

And even in the very rare events when perpetrators are charged with wrongdoing, they often are acquitted by the system. For example, the infamous “not guilty” verdict in a recent trial of two former police officers from Fullerton, California, for beating a homeless man to death despite the overwhelming evidence of their guilt (evidence caught on videotape) reflect the modern political reality that government agents truly are shielded from consequences of their own actions, even when they break the law. William Norman Grigg also has documented numerous times when U.S. police officers essentially engaged in summary executions of unarmed and unthreatening people, yet have faced no legal or even personal consequences for their actions.

Accusations and Political Goals

All of this brings us back not only to the Duke case but also to the thousands of cases in which people are charged with sexual assault and/or child molestation. At this point, I will make a very provocative statement: U.S. prisons are full of thousands of wrongfully-convicted people and thousands more outside of prison live under the weight of being convicted felons. American law has become so tyrannical that many wrongfully-charged people cannot defend themselves from false charges because the law is stacked against them.

In 1974, Congress passed the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act or CAPTA, better known as the Mondale Act for its vocal sponsor, Sen. Walter Mondale of Minnesota. The law had all of the hallmarks of the Progressive outlook for which Mondale was famous, including the offering of federal money to the states to encourage the prosecution of more people for child abuse and child molestation. (Congress passed new editions of CAPTA over the years and it remains on the books today.)

Congress later passed the Violence Against Women Act which encouraged states and localities to prosecute rape and sexual assault against women, promising federal money to those governmental entities for doing so. The laws also helped to create and fund governmental and government-connected agencies such as Child Protective Services to investigate claims of abuse and molestation and to aid law enforcement agencies in bringing charges against alleged perpetrators of abuse.

Understand that the offenses listed in these laws are not imaginary constructs. Children are abused and, yes, many are molested and the damage done to those children is incalculable. If the law had resulted in the actual prosecution and punishment of real perpetrators, that would have been one thing – and I would not have written this article. Rape and sexual assault are terrible things and no one denies that fact.

Instead, the laws led to what I believe are thousands of false charges and convictions because they changed the fundamental rules of evidence. Before CAPTA and the VAWA, most states required corroborating evidence besides the mere accusation of abuse and the like because authorities recognized that it is too easy for people to make false charges due to ulterior motives.

For example, it is not unusual for warring spouses in divorce litigation to make accusations of abuse or worse against one another to aid their own claim for child custody. Before CAPTA, such accusations would have required evidence other than the spouse’s claim. After CAPTA and after VAWA, the accusation itself became absolute proof of criminal wrongdoing.

These new standards of evidence, while guaranteeing false accusations and wrongful convictions, were not written to satisfy justice but rather to satisfy pressure groups with political goals. The modern child protection industry, with parents having to worry about a government agency falsely accusing them of abuse or worse and having their children removed from their own care, could not exist without CAPTA. Likewise, it now is much too easy for someone to be accused falsely of rape, something that feminists and their political allies have demanded for years.

What makes things worse is that prosecutors, both state and federal, are permitted to pile up charges upon charges on people and then hold the very real prospect over their heads of draconian punishments should they be convicted on even one of those charges. The result is that 95 percent of all U.S. criminal cases result in guilty pleas, and lawyers of people who demonstrably are innocent often will encourage their clients to plead to “something” just to give prosecutors their little victories and to prevent even worse punishments.

Many other writers and I have written about how a false accusation industry sprang up, and how innocent people were railroaded into prison. Absurd prosecutions now have become the norm, as the lure of federal money and political benefits to crusading prosecutors have overcome any whit of interest in justice.

In the LRC piece, “Nifonged in Narragansett,” I wrote nearly seven years ago, the attorney general of Rhode Island charged a man with rape for actions he allegedly committed 32 years before. The accuser had been undergoing the infamous (and discredited) “recovered memories” therapy and suddenly “remembered” this man having raped her.

Now, she could not remember when or where it happened. Instead, she just “remembered” that it was some time in a six month span and somewhere in the neighborhood where she lived. In other words, the whole thing reeked of absurdity, but it was perfectly logical under the terms of the VAWA. (Shortly after the LRC piece was published, the AG dropped the charges. However, that did not change the fact that he still could have won a conviction with just the woman’s claims, should the jurors have chosen to believe her.)

Likewise, we saw a spate of child molestation investigations that would have made the weirdest episodes of “The Twilight Zone” seem to be logical by comparison. I have written about many of them and have seen how some of the worst offenders – like Janet Reno – have been rewarded for gaining wrongful convictions. For that matter, Nifong himself was the darling of the U.S. mainstream media for many months (and especially the New York Times) until it became abundantly clear that he was lying. And even then, a number of media and legal writers, including Lester Munson of ESPN, still tried to cover for him.

Many of these wrongful convictions came right from the playbook pages of Progressivism. First, federal laws changed the legal incentives to financially and politically-reward prosecutors who got wrongful convictions – and then ensured that even if those same prosecutors later were found to be lying, that they would escape meaningful punishment. Centralization of political and judicial power has been a main priority for Progressives for more than a century.

Second, by helping to create scores of new agencies staffed by “experts” who then plied their “expertise” in courts and convinced jurors that the charges – however absurd they seemed to be – really were true, the government ensured an increase in the prison population, thus strengthening the Prison-Industrial Complex that exists in this country. Third, the federal government was able to eviscerate the precious “Rights of the Accused” that Americans supposedly enjoyed, thus further empowering government agents. All of these things have come from the playbooks of Progressive writers and politicians such as Herbert Croly and Woodrow Wilson.

American criminal law, be it at the state or federal level, is a mere shadow of what it used to be. The vast growth of federal crimes and the evisceration of the rules of evidence at all levels have turned what the famed English jurist William Blackstone once termed as a “shield for the innocent” into a system of governmental tyranny.

This is no accident. The tyrannical criminal law regime that grips America is what the Progressives wanted all along. They wanted Americans to have to live in fear of a powerful state that could and should tell them how to live, what to believe, and what to do. And the police state is what we have.

 

Washington Is Humanity’s Worst Enemy

20 Apr

 

How does Washington get away with the claim that the country it rules is a democracy and has freedom? This absurd claim ranks as one of the most unsubstantiated claims in history.

There is no democracy whatsoever. Voting is a mask for rule by a few powerful interest groups. In two 21st century rulings (Citizens United and McCutcheon), the US Supreme Court has ruled that the purchase of the US government by private interest groups is merely the exercise of free speech. These rulings allow powerful corporate and financial interests to use their money-power to elect a government that serves their interests at the expense of the general welfare.

The control private interests exercise over the government is so complete that private interests have immunity to prosecution for crimes. At his retirement party on March 27, Securities and Exchange Commission prosecutor James Kidney stated that his prosecutions of Goldman Sachs and other “banks too big to fail” were blocked by superiors who “were focused on getting high-paying jobs after their government service.” The SEC’s top brass, Kidney said, did not “believe in afflicting the comfortable and powerful.” In his report on Kidney’s retirement speech, Eric Zuesse points out that the Obama regime released false statistics in order to claim prosecutions that did not take place in order to convince a gullible public that Wall Street crooks were being punished.http://www.counterpunch.org/2014/04/09/65578/

Democracy and freedom require an independent and aggressive media, an independent and aggressive judiciary, and an independent and aggressive Congress. The United States has none of the above.

The US media consistently lies for the government. Reuters continues to report, falsely, that Russia invaded and annexed Crimea. The Washington Post ran an obviously false story planted on the paper by the Obama regime that the massive protests in former Russian territories of Ukraine are “rent-a-mobs” instigated by the Russian government.

Not even Washington’s stooges in Kiev believe that. Officials of the Washington-imposed government in Kiev acknowledged the need for some autonomy for the Russian-speaking regions and for a law permitting referendums, but this realistic response to widespread concerns among Ukrainians has apparently been squelched by Washington and its presstitute media. US Secretary of State John Kerry continues to turn a deaf ear to the Russian Foreign Minister and continues to demand that “Russia must remove its people from the South-East.”

What is happening is very dangerous. Washington misjudged its ability to grab theUkraine. Opposition to the US grab is almost total in the Russian-speaking areas.Local police and security forces have gone over to the protesters. The corrupt Obama regime and the presstitute media lie through their teeth that the protests are insincere and mere orchestrations by “Putin who wants to restore the Soviet empire.” The Russian government keeps trying to end the conflict and unrest that Washington’s reckless coup in Kiev has caused short of having to reabsorb the former Russian territories as it was forced to do in Crimea. But Washington continues ignoring the Russian government and blaming the unrest on Russia’s not Washington’s, interference. http://rt.com/news/lavrov-kerry-ukraine-talks-200/ See also: http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38196.htm

The Russian government knows that Washington does not believe what Washington is saying and that Washington is systematically provoking a continuation and worseningof the problem. The Russian government wonders what agenda Washington is pursuing. Is Washington in its arrogant stupidity and superpower hubris unable to acknowledge that its takeover of the Ukraine has come amiss and to back off? Does Washington not realize that the Russian government is no more able to accept the application of violence against Russian populations in Ukraine than it could accept violence against Russians in South Ossetia? If Washington doesn’t come to its senses, the Russian government will have to send in troops as it had to do in Georgia. nal-288/ ” target=”_blank”>http://rt.com/news/ukraine-russia-operation-criminal-288/

As this is clear even to a fool, is it Washington’s goal to start a war? Is that why Washington is massing NATO forces on Russia’s borders and sending missile shipsinto the Black Sea? Washington is putting the entire world at risk. If Russia concludes that Washington intends to drive the Ukraine crisis to war rather than to resolve the crisis, will Russia sit and wait, or will Russia strike first?

One would think that the Chancellor of Germany, the British Prime Minister, and the President of France would see the danger in the situation. Perhaps they do. However, there is a large difference between the aid that Russia gives countries and the aid given by Washington. Russia provides financial support to governments; Washington gives bagfuls of money to individuals in the government with the knowledge that individuals are more likely to act in their own interest than in the interest of their country. Therefore, European politicians are silent as Washington pushes a crisis toward war. If we don’t get to war, the only reason will be that Putin comes up with a solution that Washington cannot refuse, as Putin did in Syria and Iran.

It is a paradox that Putin is portrayed as the heavy while Washington pretends to be the champion of “freedom and democracy.” In the 21st century Washington has established as its hallmarks every manifestation of tyranny: illegal and unconstitutional execution of citizens without due process of law, illegal and unconstitutional indefinite detention of citizens without due process of law, illegal and unconstitutional torture, illegal and unconstitutional rendition, illegal and unconstitutional surveillance, and illegal and unconstitutional wars. The executive branch has established that it is unaccountable to law or to the Constitution. An unaccountable government is a tyranny.

Tired of being spied upon and lied to, the Senate Intelligence Committee has produced a thorough investigation of the CIA’s torture programs. The investigation took four years to complete. The Committee found, unequivocally, that the CIA lied about the extent of the torture and kidnappings, that detainees did not undergo some mild form of “enhanced interrogation” but were subjected to brutal and inhumane torture, that the CIA, contrary to its claims, did not get even one piece of useful information from its grave crimes against humanity. The American presstitutes assisted the CIA in inaccurately portraying the effectiveness and mildness of the CIA’s Gestapo practices. During the entirety of the investigation, the CIA illegally spied on the Senate staff conducting the investigation.

Is the public ever to see this report beyond the parts that have been leaked? Not if the CIA and Obama can prevent it. President “change” Obama has decided that it is up to the CIA to decide how much of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation will be made public. In other words, unless someone leaks the entire report, the American public will never know. Yet, “we have freedom and democracy.”

The Senate Intelligence Committee itself has the power to vole to declassify the entire report and to release it. The committee should do so immediately before the members of the committee are browbeat, threatened, and propagandized into believing that they are endangering “national security” and providing those mistreated with grounds for a lawsuit.

The US government is the most corrupt government on earth. There is no independent judiciary or media, and Congress has acquiesced to executive branch encroachments on its powers. Consider the judiciary. Michael Ratner of the Center for Constitutional Rights represented the father of the American citizen, who Obama said would be murdered by the US government on suspicion that he was associated with terrorism. When Ratner asked the federal courts to block an illegal and unconstitutional execution of an American citizen without due process, the federal judge who heard the case ruled that the father of a son about to be murdered did not have standing to bring a case in behalf of his son.

After several lives were snuffed out by President “I’m good at killing people” Obama, Ratner represented relatives of Obama’s murdered victims in a damage suit. Under US law it was clear as day that damages were due. But the federal judge ruled that “the government must be trusted.”http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article38202.htm

Whether or not anyone has standing is entirely up to the government. The IRS takes a completely different position on the matter. Children have standing to have their tax refunds confiscated by the IRS if the IRS thinks the IRS may have overpaid the parents’ Social Security benefits.http://www.cnbc.com/id/101576080

So in “freedom and democracy” Amerika, children are responsible if the IRS “thinks”–no proof required–that it wrote parents too large of a Social Security check, but a father has no legal standing to bring a lawsuit to prevent the US government from the extra-legal murder of his son.

Thanks to the Republican Federalist Society and to the Republican judges the Federalist Society has managed to have appointed to the federal bench, the federal judiciary functions as a protector of executive branch tyranny. Whatever the executive branch asserts and does is permissible, especially if the executive branch invokes “national security.”

In America today, the executive branch claims that “national security” is impaired unless the executive branch can operate illegally and unconstitutionally and unless citizens are willing to give up every constitutional right in order to be made safe in a total police state that spies on and documents every aspect of their lives.

Even the Government Accountability Office has been neutered. In 2013 the Government Accountability Office told the TSA to eliminate its behavior screening program as it is a waste of money and does not work. So what did the TSA do. Why, of course, it expanded the useless intrusion into the privacy of travelers.

This is Amerika today. Yet Washington prances around chanting “freedom and democracy” even as it displaces the greatest tyrannies in human history with its own.

Only gullible Americans expect leaders and elites or voting to do anything about the institutionalization of tyranny. Elites are only interested in money. As long as thesystem produces more income and wealth for elites, elites don’t give a hoot about tyranny or what happens to the rest of us.

 

Washington Drives the World Toward War

20 Apr

Posted By pcr3 On December 14, 2013

Dear Readers, you have kept your end of the bargain, and I will keep mine.

Washington Drives the World Toward War

Paul Craig Roberts

Washington has had the US at war for 12 years: Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Pakistan, Yemen, and almost Syria, which could still happen, with Iran waiting in the wings. These wars have been expensive in terms of money, prestige, and deaths and injuries of both US soldiers and the attacked civilian populations. None of these wars appears to have any compelling reason or justifiable explanation. The wars have been important to the profits of the military/security complex. The wars have provided cover for the construction of a Stasi police state in America, and the wars have served Israel’s interest by removing obstacles to Israel’s annexation of the entire West Bank and southern Lebanon.

As costly and destructive as these wars have been, they are far below the level of a world war, much less a world war against nuclear armed opponents.

The fatal war for humanity is the war with Russia and China toward which Washington is driving the US and Washington’s NATO and Asian puppet states. There are a number of factors contributing to Washington’s drive toward the final war, but the overarching one is the doctrine of American exceptionalism.

According to this self-righteous doctrine, America is the indispensable country. What this means is that the US has been chosen by history to establish the hegemony of secular “democratic capitalism” over the world. The primacy of this goal places the US government above traditional morality and above all law, both its own and international.

Thus, no one in the US government has been held accountable for unprovoked aggression against other countries and for attacking civilian populations, unambiguous war crimes under international law and the Nuremberg standard. Neither has anyone in the US government been held accountable for torture, a prohibited crime under US law and the Geneva Conventions. Neither has anyone been held accountable for numerous violations of constitutional rights–spying without warrants, warrantless searches, violations of habeas corpus, murder of citizens without due process, denial of legal representation, conviction on secret evidence. The list is long.

A person might wonder what is exceptional and indispensable about a government that is a reincarnation of Nazi Germany in every respect. People propagandized into the belief that they are the world’s special people inevitably lose their humanity. Thus, as the US military video released by Bradley Manning reveals, US troops get their jollies by mowing down innocent people as they walk along a city street.

With the exception of the ACLU, constitutional rights groups and independent Internet voices, the American people including the Christian churches have accepted their government’s criminality and immorality with scant protest.

The absence of moral denunciation emboldens Washington which is now pushing hard against Russia and China, the current governments of which stand in the way of Washington’s world hegemony.

Washington has been working against Russia for 22 years ever since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. In violation of the Reagan-Gorbachev agreement, Washington expanded NATO into Eastern Europe and the Baltic states and established military bases on Russia’s borders. Washington is also seeking to extend NATO into former constituent parts of Russia itself such as Georgia and Ukraine.

The only reason for Washington to establish military and missile bases on Russia’s frontiers is to negate Russia’s ability to resist Washington’s hegemony. Russia has made no threatening gestures toward its neighbors, and with the sole exception of Russia’s response to Georgia’s invasion of South Ossetia, has been extremely passive in the face of US provocations.

This is now changing. Faced with the George W. Bush regime’s alteration of US war doctrine, which elevated nuclear weapons from a defensive, retaliatory use to pre-emptive first strike, together with the construction on Russia’s borders of US anti-ballistic missile bases and Washington’s weaponization of new technologies, has made it clear to the Russian government that Washington is setting up Russia for a decapitating first strike.

In his presidential address to the Russian National Assembly (both chambers of parliament) on December 12, Vladimir Putin addressed the offensive military threat that Washington poses to Russia. Putin said that Washington calls its anti-ballistic missile system defensive, but “in fact it is a signifiant part of the strategic offensive potential” and designed to tip the balance of power in Washington’s favor. Having acknowledged the threat, Putin replied to the threat: “Let no one have illusions that he can achieve military superiority over Russia. We will never allow it.”

Faced with the Obama regime’s murder of the nuclear weapons reduction treaty, Putin said: “We realize all this and know what we need to do.”

If anyone remains to write a history, the Obama regime will be known as the regime that resurrected the cold war, which President Reagan worked so hard to end, and drove it into a hot war.

Not content to make Russia an enemy, the Obama regime has also made an enemy of China. The Obama regime declared the South China Sea to be an area of “US national security interest.” This is akin to China declaring the Gulf of Mexico to be an area of Chinese national security interest.

To make clear that the claim to the South China Sea was not rhetorical, the Obama regime announced its “Pivot to Asia,” which calls for the redeployment of 60% of the US fleet to China’s zone of influence. Washington is busy at work securing naval and air bases from the Philippines, South Korea, Vietnam, Australia, and Thailand. Washington has increased the provocation by aligning itself with China’s neighbors who are disputing China’s claims to various islands and an expanded air space.

China has not been intimidated. China has called for “de-americanizing the world.” Last month the Chinese government announced that it now possesses sufficient nuclear weapons and delivery systems to wipe the US off of the face of the earth. A couple of days ago, China aggressively harassed a US missile cruiser in the South China Sea.

The militarily aggressive stance that Washington has taken toward Russia and China is indicative of the extreme self-assuredness that usually ends in war. Washington is told that US technological prowess can prevent or intercept the launch of Russian and Chinese missiles, thus elevating a US pre-emptive attack to slam-dunk status. Yet the potential danger from Iran acquiring nuclear weapons is said to be so great that a pre-emptive war is necessary right now, and a massive Department of Homeland Security is justified on the grounds that the US remains vulnerable to a few stateless Muslims who might acquire a nuclear weapon. It is an anomalous situation that the Russian and Chinese retaliatory response to US attack is considered to be inconsequential, but not nuclear threats from Iran and stateless Muslims.

Not content with sending war signals to Russia and China, Washington has apparently also decided to torpedo the Iranian settlement by announcing new sanctions against companies doing business with Iran. The Iranians understood Washington’s monkey wrench as Washington probably intended, as a lack of Washington’s commitment to the agreement, left Geneva and returned to Iran. It remains to be seen whether the agreement can be resurrected or whether the Israel Lobby has succeeded in derailing the agreement that promised to end the threat of war with Iran.

American citizens seem to have little, if any, influence on their government or even awareness of its intentions. Moreover, there is no organized opposition behind which Americans could rally to stop Washington’s drive toward world war. Hope, if there is any, would seem to lie with Washington’s European and Asian puppets. What interests do these governments have in putting the existence of their countries at risk for no other purpose than to help Washington acquire hegemony over the world? Cannot they realize that Washington’s game is a death-dealing one for them?

Germany alone could save the world from war while simultaneously serving its own interests. All Germany has to do is to exit the EU and NATO. The alliance would collapse, and its fall would terminate Washington’s hegemonic ambition.


Article printed from PaulCraigRoberts.org: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org

URL to article: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2013/12/14/washington-drives-world-toward-war-paul-craig-roberts/