Here are three very stark examples of where government that has politicians and their minions who don’t feel responsible to the people abuse their power and deny citizens their rights to liberty. You’ve probably seen snippets of these news stories before, but I want to condense them to show how insulting power can become in the hands of the non approachable.
The internet, for now the only place where one can find a myriad of opinions, as well as a place of disinformation, has always been a sore spot for government, which can only monitor but not control it. Well guess again.
In a 2008 academic paper, President Barack Obama’s appointee to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs advocated “cognitive infiltration” of groups that advocate “conspiracy theories” like the ones surrounding 9/11.Cass Sunstein, a Harvard law professor, co-wrote an academic article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures,” in which he argued that the government should stealthily infiltrate groups that pose alternative theories on historical events via “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups and attempt to undermine” those groups.
Sunstein’s article, published in the Journal of Political Philosphy in 2008, states that “our primary claim is that conspiracy theories typically stem not from irrationality or mental illness of any kind but from a ‘crippled epistemology,’ in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources.”
By “crippled epistemology” Sunstein means that people who believe in conspiracy theories have a limited number of sources of information that they trust. Therefore, Sunstein argued in the article, it would not work to simply refute the conspiracy theories in public — the very sources that conspiracy theorists believe would have to be infiltrated.
One can only guess what government’s idea of “conspiracy theories” is or what Mr. Sunstein has in mind when he uses that term. I doubt he wants to expand the number of sources available on the internet even though according to him there are a limited number which has caused this crippled epistemology, but instead he proposes infiltrating places where people talk about their limited sources. Mind control comes to mind. I hope Mr. Sunstein puts at the top of the conspiracy list the official/government’s version of what happened on September 11, 2001, but I seriously doubt it.
We covered the story of the “suicides” of three Gitmo detainees, prisoners, who were blamed by the Bush administration for their own murder, even though that murder was done by the hands of people within the Bush government. (Talk about blaming the victim) Now there is more information about this story reported in great detail by Scott Horton of Harper’s Magazine with some very scary detail that is blood curdling, including the idea that Gitmo had horror/torture chambers that even surpassed what was done at Gitmo itself.
According to the NCIS, each prisoner had fashioned a noose from torn sheets and T-shirts and tied it to the top of his cell’s eight-foot-high steel-mesh wall. Each prisoner was able somehow to bind his own hands, and, in at least one case, his own feet, then stuff more rags deep down into his own throat. We are then asked to believe that each prisoner, even as he was choking on those rags, climbed up on his washbasin, slipped his head through the noose, tightened it, and leapt from the washbasin to hang until he asphyxiated. The NCIS report also proposes that the three prisoners, who were held in non-adjoining cells, carried out each of these actions almost simultaneously.
The fact that at least two of the prisoners also had cloth masks affixed to their faces, presumably to prevent the expulsion of the rags from their mouths, went unremarked by the NCIS, as did the fact that standard operating procedure at Camp Delta required the Navy guards on duty after midnight to “conduct a visual search” of each cell and detainee every ten minutes. The report claimed that the prisoners had hung sheets or blankets to hide their activities and shaped more sheets and pillows to look like bodies sleeping in their beds, but it did not explain where they were able to acquire so much fabric beyond their tightly controlled allotment, or why the Navy guards would allow such an obvious and immediately observable deviation from permitted behavior. Nor did the report explain how the dead men managed to hang undetected for more than two hours or why the Navy guards on duty, having for whatever reason so grievously failed in their duties, were never disciplined.
……returned to Saudi Arabia was the body of Mani Al-Utaybi. Orphaned in youth, Mani grew up in his uncle’s home in the small town of Dawadmi. I spoke to one of the many cousins who shared that home, Faris Al-Utaybi. Mani, said Faris, had gone to Baluchistan—a rural, tribal area that straddles Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan—to do humanitarian work, and someone there had sold him to the Americans for $5,000. He said that Mani was a peaceful man who would harm no one. Indeed, U.S. authorities had decided to release Al-Utaybi and return him to Saudi Arabia. When he died, he was just a few weeks shy of his transfer.
The difference in the account found on the pages of Harper’s and others we’ve covered is that there are now names, people who were in Gitmo at the time of the deaths who have come forward to describe in detail what they saw and participated in during the fateful night of the deaths of the three prisoners. What’s particularly disturbing is the new government of Obama, packed full of career government bureaucrats is continuing the legacy of Bush’s assault on the US constitution and the rule of law, covering up the testimony of those soldiers of conscience….not just one, or two or three, but more who have gone on record to say what they witnessed. At a time when we are asked to honor the troops, it is more than hypocritical to discount the recollections of those troops who allege government malfeasance….but we do and with a straight face. Again, our government at work for you; all of this is done in the name of the United States of America.
Finally, comes word that despite all the shortcuts given to members of the government to carry out legal surveillance against citizens and others, it simply wasn’t enough to satisfy a government run amok with an unquenchable thirst for invasion of the privacy too many of us were willing to give up. In the mother of all understatement, an admission that the government lied in order to surveil people should come as no surprise after living through a decade that was full of deception, lies and deception.
The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions.
FBI general counsel Valerie Caproni said in an interview Monday that the FBI technically violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act when agents invoked nonexistent emergencies to collect records.
“We should have stopped those requests from being made that way,” she said. The after-the-fact approvals were a “good-hearted but not well-thought-out” solution to put phone carriers at ease, she said. In true emergencies, Caproni said, agents always had the legal right to get phone records, and lawyers have now concluded there was no need for the after-the-fact approval process. “What this turned out to be was a self-inflicted wound,” she said.
Until the citizens of the republic of the United States make it clear that government’s role is to protect the rights guaranteed under the Constitution and not abrogate them with phony wars and lies, one can expect government will continue its spiral into fascism, and this country called America will cease to exist.