Who Are We at War With? Sorry, That’s “Classified”

You’d think that a nation that has allowed the shredding of the civil liberties enshrined in its founding document might deserve to know who the dastardly enemy is to justify such a dramatic transgression, right? Wrong. Amazingly, Carl Levin (D-Michigan) asked the Pentagon to define who exactly the “Al-Qaeda affiliates” we are at war with are. While Mr. Levin received and answer, guess what he told the public? Yep, you guessed it. It’s classified.

From ProPublica:

In a major national security speech this spring, President Obama said again and again that the U.S. is at war with “Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and their associated forces.”

So who exactly are those associated forces? It’s a secret.

At a hearing in May, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., asked the Defense Department to provide him with a current list of Al Qaeda affiliates.

The Pentagon responded – but Levin’s office told ProPublica they aren’t allowed to share it. Kathleen Long, a spokeswoman for Levin, would say only that the department’s “answer included the information requested.”

A Pentagon spokesman told ProPublica that revealing such a list could cause “serious damage to national security.”

There’s that “national security” line again.

“Because elements that might be considered ‘associated forces’ can build credibility by being listed as such by the United States, we have classified the list,” said the spokesman, Lt. Col. Jim Gregory. “We cannot afford to inflate these organizations that rely on violent extremist ideology to strengthen their ranks.”

Continue reading

The Military is Now Preparing to Take Over for the Police Across the United States

There are several things one would want to accomplish ahead of the formation of a totalitarian state.  One of these is to fill the minds of the citizenry with mindless propaganda and make them terrified to death of an outside enemy.  Check.  Another is to disarm the population.  Working on it.  Yet another would be to militarize the police, or even better have the military itself take responsibility for law and order in communities across the nation.  The reason that this is so important is that a military force “policing” a random area has no connection to the community itself.  This makes them by definition much less accountable to the people they are supposedly protecting.  Plus, they are trained to kill.  Sadly, it appears that the Department of Defense is looking to use the military across the streets of America.  From The Long Island Press:

The lines blurred even further Monday as a new dynamic was introduced to the militarization of domestic law enforcement. By making a few subtle changes to a regulation in the U.S. Code titled“Defense Support of Civilian Law Enforcement Agencies” the military has quietly granted itself the ability to police the streets without obtaining prior local or state consent, upending a precedent that has been in place for more than two centuries.

The most objectionable aspect of the regulatory change is the inclusion of vague language that permits military intervention in the event of “civil disturbances.” According to the rule:

“Federal military commanders have the authority, in extraordinary emergency circumstances where prior authorization by the President is impossible and duly constituted local authorities are unable to control the situation, to engage temporarily in activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances.”

Bruce Afran, a civil liberties attorney and constitutional law professor at Rutgers University, calls the rule, “a wanton power grab by the military,” and says, “It’s quite shocking actually because it violates the long-standing presumption that the military is under civilian control.”

As it is written, this “commander” has the same power to authorize military force as the president in the event the president is somehow unable to access a telephone. (The rule doesn’t address the statutory chain of authority that already exists in the event a sitting president is unavailable.) In doing so, this commander must exercise judgment in determining what constitutes, “wanton destruction of property,” “adequate protection for Federal property,” “domestic violence,” or “conspiracy that hinders the execution of State or Federal law,” as these are the circumstances that might be considered an “emergency.”

“These phrases don’t have any legal meaning,” says Afran. “It’s no different than the emergency powers clause in the Weimar constitution [of the German Reich]. It’s a grant of emergency power to the military to rule over parts of the country at their own discretion.”

Continue reading

Another Bait and Switch: Congress Defeats E-Mail Privacy Legislation…Again

This is how the corporate state rolls.  They remove all the important stuff at the last minute, you know, like provisions that might actually protect constitutional rights.  This is exactly what they just did with the NDAA, which I outlined in my post The Section Preventing Indefinite Detention of Americans without Trial Removed from Final NDAA Bill.  Now we find out from Wired that:

The Senate late Thursday forwarded legislation to President Barack Obama granting the public the right to automatically display on their Facebook feeds what they’re watching on Netflix. While lawmakers were caving to special interests, however, they cut from the legislative package language requiring the authorities to get a warrant to read your e-mail or other data stored in the cloud.

But another part of the same Senate package — sweeping digital privacy protections requiring the government, for the first time, to get a probable-cause warrant to obtain e-mail and other content stored in the cloud — was removed at the last minute.

Continue reading

Project Censored: The Top 10 Stories Under-Reported by the Mainstream Media

Published as the cover story in my local paper the Boulder Weekly, Project Censored offers the Top 10 Stories Under-Reported by the Mainstream Media.  I love the cover.

Now here is the list with some brief highlights:

1. Signs of an emerging police state
President George W. Bush is remembered largely for his role in curbing civil liberties in the name of his “war on terror.” But it’s President Obama who signed the 2012 NDAA, including its clause allowing for indefinite detention without trial for terrorism suspects.

2. Oceans in peril

3. U.S. deaths from Fukushima
On March 24, 2011, the task of collecting nuclear data had been handed off from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to the Nuclear Energy Institute, a nuclear industry lobbying group. And in one study that got little attention, scientists Joseph Mangano and Jeanette Sherman found that in the period following the Fukushima meltdowns, 14,000 more deaths than average were reported in the U.S., mostly among infants. Later, Mangono and Sherman updated the number to 22,000.

4. FBI agents responsible for terrorist plots
In 243 of these cases, an informant was involved; in 49 cases, an informant actually led the plot. And “with three exceptions, all of the high-profile domestic terror plots of the last decade were actually FBI stings.”

5. Federal Reserve loaned trillions to major banks
These loans had significantly less interest and fewer conditions than the high-profile TARP bailouts, and were rife with conflicts of interest. Some examples: the CEO of JP Morgan Chase served as a board member of the New York Federal Reserve at the same time that his bank received more than $390 billion in financial assistance from the Fed. William Dudley, who is now the New York Federal Reserve president, was granted a conflict of interest waiver to let him keep investments in AIG and General Electric at the same time the companies were given bailout funds.

6. Small network of corporations run the global economy
They found that, of 43,060 transnational companies, 147 control 40 percent of total global wealth. The researchers also built a model visually demonstrating how the connections between companies — what it calls the “super entity.”

7. The International Year of Cooperative

8. NATO war crimes in Libya
“Background knowledge and historical context confirming Al-Qaeda and Western involvement in the destabilization of the Gadaffi regime are also essential for making sense of corporate news narratives depicting the Libyan operation as a popular ‘uprising.’”

9. Prison slavery in the U.S.

10. H.R. 347 criminalizes protest
Officially called the Federal Restricted Grounds Improvement Act, the law makes it a felony to “knowingly” enter a zone restricted under the law, or engage in “disorderly or disruptive” conduct in or near the zones. The restricted zones include anywhere the Secret Service may be — places such as the White House, areas hosting events deemed “National Special Security Events,” or anywhere visited by the president, vice president and their immediate families; former presidents, vice presidents and certain family members; certain foreign dignitaries; major presidential and vice presidential candidates (within 120 days of an election); and other individuals as designated by a presidential executive order.

The entire article is great.  Read it here.

In Liberty,
Mike

Meet Gary Johnson: The Libertarian for President Polling at 7% in Colorado

I haven’t endorsed anyone for President yet, but the guy that catches my eye more than any other at the moment is Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson.  While people will say a vote for Gary Johnson is a “wasted vote” or a “vote for Obama,” neither of these claims are accurate.  First of all, a “wasted vote” is to play the system’s rigged game and vote for the “lesser of two evils” between two awful candidates that fundamentally disagree with me on every single issue of importance.  To the second point, there is a lot of evidence that suggests Johnson pulls from both parties, and in fact mostly from Independent voters (who probably wouldn’t vote anyway), with him pulling more away from Obama in my home state of Colorado where he is polling at 7% as of late!

I don’t like labels and I prefer not to attach myself to any.  While I agree more with the Libertarian platform than the other options, no political philosophy is perfect.  The point is that the Democrats and Republicans are two big party elite shams that pit the populace purposely against one another on emotional social issues so as to never debate what really matters.  Gary Johnson is virulently opposed to Gestapo type legislation like the NDAA, which Obama is fighting aggressively in court to keep, he is against the Federal Reserve system, in favor or real capitalism where there are no massive bank bailouts or institutionalized socialism for the rich and austerity for the middle class.  He is the only commonsense guy running for President that sees the nation’s future in a similar vein to so many of my generation and younger if we would just wake up.

Gary Johnson has recently polled around 5% nationally.  While this is impressive for a guy with zero media coverage, he needs 15% to get in the debates.  If nothing else, it would be amazing to see him up there with the other two puppets.  If we spread his message perhaps he can get there.

Below is a interview my friend Dan Ameduri recorded with Mr. Johnson at the Freedom Fest in Vegas.  His candor is refreshing and without a doubt you will know where this man stands on the issues.  Please take the time.  Our nation’s future is at stake.

In Liberty,
Mike

NDAA Update: Chris Hedges Speaks About His Day in Court

First of all, I want to thank all of the readers of my blog, my followers on twitter and everyone that shared my most recent piece.  The response to my NDAA article from Friday evening has exceeded my wildest expectations and is a very encouraging sign for the future.  More than 20,000 people have read this in the last two days and weekends are always a slow period.  Liberty is in a bull market.  This proves to me without a shadow of a doubt that people are finally ready for the truth.  Both political parties and the power elite that controls them (financial oligarchs and the military/industrial complex) are engaged in a concerted war against freedom and liberty through a legal destruction of The Bill of Rights.  Chris Hedges penned a piece today regarding his thoughts on the government’s appeal of his lawsuit against the NDAA.  Here are some excerpts from this powerful piece.

First take a look at how pathetic and tyrannical the government lawyers are:

Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Torrance argued in court that the government already has the authority to strip citizens of their constitutional rights. He cited the execution of Nazi saboteur Richard Quirin during World War II, saying the case was “completely within the Constitution.” He then drew a connection between that case and the AUMF, which the Obama White House argues permits the government to detain and assassinate U.S. citizens they deem to be terrorists. Torrance told the court that judicial interpretation of the AUMF made it identical to the NDAA, which led the judge to ask him why it was necessary for the government to defend the NDAA if that was indeed the case. Torrance, who fumbled for answers before the judge’s questioning, added that the United States does not differentiate under which law it holds military detainees. Judge Forrest, looking incredulous, said that if this was actually true the government could be found in contempt of court for violating orders prohibiting any detention under the NDAA.

Here is how Hedges passionately and eloquently ends his Op Ed:

Contrast this crucial debate in a federal court with the empty campaign rhetoric and chatter that saturate the airwaves. The cant of our political theater, the ridiculous obsessions over vice presidential picks or celebrity gossip that dominate the news industry, effectively masks the march toward corporate totalitarianism. The corporate state has convinced the masses, in essence, to clamor for their own enslavement. There is, in reality, no daylight between Mitt Romney and Obama about the inner workings of the corporate state. They each support this section within the NDAA and the widespread extinguishing of civil liberties. They each will continue to funnel hundreds of billions of wasted dollars to defense contractors, intelligence agencies and the military. They each intend to let Wall Street loot the U.S. Treasury with impunity…The charade of junk politics is there not to offer a choice but to divert the crowd while our corporate masters move relentlessly forward, unimpeded by either party, to turn all dissent into a crime.

Thank you Mr. Hedges; and how is this Op Ed not in every newspaper in America today?

Full Op Ed can be found here.

NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About

Despite a mainstream media blackout on the topic, the alternative media is abuzz with this week’s hearing on the constitutionality of the clearly unconstitutional NDAA.  In case you don’t remember, section 1021 of the NDAA, which Obama signed into law on December 31 of last year, allows the government to lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial.  At the time of signing, Obama penned a pathetic letter to many of his outraged supporters where he basically said he signed it but he won’t use it.  Thanks pal!

In any event, the Administration is showing its true colors by appealing an injunction that judge Katherine Forrest issued against it in May.  The injunction was in response to the lawsuit filed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and others.  While the NDAA clearly vaporizes the 5th and 6th Amendments of the Constitution, I believe the real target is the 1st Amendment.  By having a law on the books that allows the government to arbitrarily lock anyone up and throw away the key, the government is actually trying to instill enough fear in people that they self-censor speech and become too afraid to criticize the criminal elite political and economic oligarchy.

Tangerine Bolen is one the lead plaintiffs in the suit against the government and she penned a powerful piece for the UK’s Guardian.  Here are some key quotes:

I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial.

In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported.

Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. At that time, twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law.

This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction.

Full article here.

I would also take the time to watch this short video from one of the co-counsels on the case as to exactly what the government is arguing in court.  Not a word from the mainstream media on the most important court case in American history.  One that will decide the fate of a law that will effectively dismantle at least a third of The Bill of Rights.

Please share this with everyone that cares about Liberty and The Republic.
Mike

FYI, I recently joined twitter and find it extremely effective at spreading the word.  My handle is  @libertyblitz

Anonymous Letter to Senator Shelby…Gotta Read This One

So I received the following email from a reader in Alabama and he gave me the go ahead to post it anonymously.  This is what we are dealing with.  We need to start getting much more involved and active and hold these people’s feet to the fire. Every second of every minute of every day.  See below.

I recently sent an e mail to senator Shelby. I told him I was disappointed that he had voted yes on senate bill 1813. I asked for him to explain why he was voting to take away our liberties and that he was put there to protect the people of Alabama and our freedoms. The bill is about transportation but in that bill is a section that gives the IRS the right to revoke your passport if you owe unpaid taxes. The IRS could now take away your right to travel freely if this passes the house.

Well Friday afternoon I got a call from someone in Shelby’s office. THEY HAD NO IDEA IT WAS EVEN IN THE BILL!!!!!!!!!!! He asked me what section it was in. Me a redneck from Alabama had to explain to the office of UNITED STATES SENATOR RICHARD SHELBY where in the hell to find it.

It is no wonder that our liberties are slowly being eroded. Our law makers in Washington have no idea what they are voting for (or so they say). So the other night while the rest of the Sheeple were watching American Idol I wrote my U.S. senators (no word yet from Sessions) about their YES vote on S.1813. Turn off the TV Sheeple and get involved while we still have a Constitution and Bill Of Rights because little by little and bill by bill they are being taken from us while we sleep.

Virginia Nullifies the NDAA
On the positive front, Virginia just became the first state to nullify the Constitution shredding NDAA that our puppet president Obama signed late last year when everyone was drunk on eggnog for the holidays.  Take that Feds!

On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

Read more here