The Collaborator's Song

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The scene is one familiar to many, if not most, American males of a certain age.

Colonel Ernesto Bella, the Cuban military ruler of Soviet-occupied Calumet, Colorado, is patiently interrogating Mayor Bates, who — since he poses no threat — is permitted the continued use of his official title (even though Bella has appropriated the Mayor’s limousine).

The subject is the whereabouts of Bates’ son, Daryl, and several other local teenagers suspected of staging guerrilla attacks on the occupation troops. “Daryl, he wouldn’t hurt a fly,” Bates insists in a voice heavily flavored with the bogus bonhomie that comes naturally to politicians. “I know my son, Colonel. He’s not the guerrilla type.”

Col. Bella is not convinced. “According to records, Mayor, your son is a prominent student leader,” the Cuban points out. “Yes, well, he’s a leader, but not in a violent or physical way,” Bates stammers. “He’s more of a politician, like his father. He’s not a troublemaker — “

“Then who is?” interjects Col. Bella, who, weary of Bates’s piscine floundering, skewers him with a barbed look.

After taking a moment to catch his breath and collect his scattered wits, Bates offers an answer he knows will please his masters, and probably lead to the death of some former friends.

“Well, let’s just say — it runs in some of the families,” he replies as he contorts his face into a caricature of a politician’s confident smile.

Bella, not even attempting to hide his disgust, responds with a derisive chuckle.

“This community is indeed fortunate to have a shepherd like him,” Bella comments to his aide-de-camp, scorn oozing from every syllable.

Deflated yet determined to play out his chosen role, Bates tries to clothe his naked collaboration in the robes of respectable “moderation”: “Well, I just want to see this thing through, Colonel.”

Shortly thereafter we see Bella presiding over the execution of a large group of “troublemakers,” who are gunned down in a ditch at the outskirts of town. They remain defiant to their last mortal breath, which they use to hurl the strains of “America the Beautiful” into the face of their murderers.

Standing, appropriately enough, at Bella’s side — or, more exactly, at his heel — is Mayor Bates, who had been dragged along to see his handiwork primarily as an object lesson regarding his fate should be somehow manage to overcome his canine servility.

The premise of the movie from which those scenes are drawn, the 1984 jingo-fest Red Dawn, is the conquest of the Midwestern United States by a Soviet/Cuban/Nicaraguan invasion force. Wildly implausible at the time, that storyline has not gained credibility over the past quarter-century. However, the movie’s depiction of young, athletic mountain boys harrying and wearing down a vastly superior military force through guerrilla tactics in some ways foretold the eventual defeat of Soviet forces in Afghanistan, and Washington’s impending defeat there as well.

In addition to presenting a creditable dramatization of fourth generation warfare, the movie also offers some valid insights regarding the tactics employed by totalitarian rulers and those who oppose them.

While it’s profoundly doubtful that Americans will be ground beneath the heel of a Russian-led occupation force, there’s a growing likelihood that the government ruling us — a quasi-socialist kleptocracy supported by a militarized proto-police state — will metastasize into undisguised totalitarianism.

Every totalitarian system, whether imposed through military conquest or internal subversion, requires the services of people like the gelatinous Mayor Bates — those who have spent their lives seeking power and the favor of those who exercise it, and are willing to betray anybody and everybody in order to remain personally secure once power is in the hands of those who are utterly ruthless.

The common refrain of such people — the Collaborator’s Song, as it were — is always some variation on the theme of “I just want to see this thing through.”

A different take on that treacherous tune was performed by the character of Max Detweiler in The Sound of Music, a melodramatic adaptation of the true story of Austria’s Trapp Family.

Since that film is tragically disfigured by song and dance numbers (guys prefer battlefield choreography set to the music of gunfire, punctuated by occasional explosions) its surprisingly strong message about resistance to totalitarian subversion is largely unknown to the male film audience.

The story is set in Austria just prior to the Anschluss, an event anticipated with dread by Austrian patriots — such as Capt. von Trapp — and eagerness — by the loathsome likes of Herr Zeller, an arrogant little functionary who would become gauleiter once the Nazis were in power. Caught in between were many like the wealthy Herr Detweiler, the self-appointed promoter of the von Trapp Family Singers.

Max was frustrated by Capt. von Trapp’s reluctance to permit his children to sing in public, but terrified by his refusal to accommodate the Nazis in any way once the betrayal of his country was consummated.

When the Nazis sent the Captain a conscription notice, Max took aside Maria, the family’s once-time governess who became the Captain’s wife, and urged her to use her influence to moderate the Captain’s views.

“He’s got to at least pretend to work with these people,” Max admonished Maria. “You must convince him.”

“I can’t ask him to be less than he is,” replied Maria with quiet pride.

To his credit, Max did aid the Captain and their large family in their escape from their Nazi-dominated homeland. To his shame, Max — like many thousands of his countrymen — helped make the betrayal of their homeland possible by “pretending” to work with the enemy, rather than refusing to cooperate.

Unabashed collaborators like Mayor Bates — or their real-life versions, like the much-debated Malinche — are relatively few in number. Those of the Max Detweiler type are quite common, and many of them — despite their best efforts at maintaining the pretense of support for the ruling power — find their names written down on the lists compiled, and dutifully turned in, by those whose collaboration is more overt, and whose desire is to “see this thing through” at whatever cost to other people.

What do such unpleasant matters have to do with life in contemporary America? The tragic answer to that question is: A great deal.

Many people were shocked just a few weeks ago when we were given a reminder that the government ruling us compiles a roster of official enemies, and that the enforcement arm of Leviathan’s state-level affiliates is being trained to recognize “danger signs” of political “extremism.”

This reminder came courtesy of the Missouri Information Analysis Center (MIAC), which issued a “strategic report” last February entitled “The Modern Militia Movement. MIAC is one of more than fifty counter-terrorism “fusion centers” that pockmark the American landscape like syphilitic sores.

These entities are jointly operated by state, local, and federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies, with involvement by some branches of the military and even a select few nominally private sector entities.

Fusion centers are more appropriately referred to as domestic intelligence soviets — policy making “councils” designed to create and impose a ruling “consensus” regarding the nature of the internal “threat.” They tend to be highly secretive, and operate on the assumption that their activities are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act or its state-level equivalents.

The “report” itself is a product of the same congeries of left-wing “watchdog” groups who have been laboring for decades to criminalize everything but “progressive” opinion and activism. I would write that MIAC simply “regurgitated” what it was fed by those people, but the olfactory signature of the report in question suggests that it exited the bureaucratic apparatus by way of a bodily orifice other than the mouth.

As with all such efforts at broad-brush civic excommunication, “The Modern Militia Movement” was written by people of bad faith whose net gathers of every kind but their own.

Where else could we find militant white power agitators (a group whose ranks are routinely replenished with an endless supply of federal provocateurs) forced into unnatural association with the supporters of the late Ron Paul presidential campaign, a multi-ethnic movement whose motto was “Liberty, prosperity, and peace”?

It should be understood that this document was written for the guidance of law enforcement personnel, who are instructed that those displaying the traits and attitudes described in the report consider law enforcement to be “the Enemy…. They view the military, National Guard, and law enforcement as a force that will confiscate their firearms and place them in FEMA concentration camps.”

Leaving aside the matter of which agency would run detention centers in the increasingly likely event of full-scale martial law, we’re left with a perfectly reasonable question: Why shouldn’t we view the State’s armed enforcers as “the Enemy”?

The typical conduct of police during confrontations with civilians bears eloquent testimony of the fact that they are indoctrinated to treat us as the enemy, and to be prepared to disarm us when given the opportunity — for their own safety, of course. Why else would police ask motorists if they were armed, or confiscate video and audio recording equipment from witnesses whenever police are involved in potentially controversial episodes of official violence?

The import of the Missouri MIAC report was to prime state law enforcement agents to perceive as potential terrorists anybody who displayed any of the political sentiments listed therein. Thus bumper stickers announcing support for Ron Paul or Chuck Baldwin would be regarded as warning signs, as would the advertisement of hostility toward the FBI, ATF, IRS, UN, or Federal Reserve. None of this is new.

The Missouri document reads almost exactly like a police checklist created in 1995 and presented in Oklahoma City when the federally-facilitated bombing of the Murrah Building by disgruntled former federal employee Timothy McVeigh (and “others [conveniently still] unknown”) was still a raw and bloody memory.

During a presentation on “Criminal Justice and Right-Wing Extremism in America,” John J. Nutter of the Ohio-based Conflict Analysis Group described that political persuasion as a “lightning rod for the mentally disturbed” and warned the 500 law enforcement personnel in attendance to be wary of those displaying the symptoms of such alleged derangement.

Those symptoms included, but were not limited to, opposition to the UN and the above-mentioned federal alphabet agencies; “excessive” anger over, or familiarity with, the federal atrocities at Waco and Ruby Ridge; opposition to the Federal Reserve; a strong commitment to the right of armed self-defense; unusual knowledge about the Constitution and its history; a tendency to buy gold and silver; and possession of various forms of “extremist” literature. I was particularly intrigued by that last category, since it included the magazine for which I was then employed, as well as the book I had just recently published.

The document assumed that law enforcement agencies would have pretty detailed intelligence on the political opinions, literature collections, and personal habits of the people described as potential terrorist threats. Like the more recent MIAC document, furthermore, Nutter’s little report was intended to fortify the assumption that such people, rather than being active citizens in the tradition of Samuel Adams and Thomas Paine, were a direct threat to the physical well-being of law enforcement personnel.

Nutter’s profile was just one of many versions of the same official libel that was reproduced in Missouri’s MIAC report. The post-OKC bombing “Counter-terrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act” appropriated several million dollars to the federal Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) by way of the Institute for Intergovernmental Research (IIR) for use in creating the State and Local Anti-Terrorist Training program (SLATT). SLATT was a conduit linking the Justice Department and state police agencies directly into the demimonde of hard-left “watchdog” groups.

The program’s official literature (circa 1999) described its mission as providing “pre-incident awareness … preparation, prevention, and interdiction training and information to state and local law enforcement personnel in the areas of domestic anti-terrorism and extremist criminal activity…. The SLATT law enforcement training program focuses on the detection, investigation and prosecution of extremist-based crimes, criminals, and criminal activity.”

Although SLATT’s emphasis changed to reflect a pre-occupation with Middle Eastern terrorism following the 9-11 attacks, it still presents training about “The Psychopathology of Hate Groups” (“hate” groups are always right-wing, of course — and note the call-back here to Nutter’s Soviet-flavored idea that “right-wing” politics attract the “mentally disturbed”) and “Recognizing Terrorist Indicators and Warning Signs.”

SLATT could be considered the progenitor of today’s “fusion centers.” Indeed, despite repeated disavowals of the fact, it can be demonstrated that SLATT played a key role in creating the FBI’s tendentious 1999 Project Megiddo “strategic report” on domestic “extremism” and potential terrorist threats. That document, widely circulated among state and local police nation-wide identified “religious motivation and the NWO [new world order] conspiracy theory” as the “two driving forces behind the potential for millennial violence.”

Both SLATT and the archipelago of “fusion centers” are subsidiaries of the FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center (TSC), which collects and disseminates information about “listed threats” to state and local police. The defamatory “intelligence product” distributed by Missouri’s fusion center — the “strategic report” that listed supporters of Ron Paul or the Constitution Party among potential terrorist threats — is not only of a piece with previous efforts by the likes of Nutter and SLATT, it is all but certainly representative of the kind of material being distributed to police nation-wide.

None of this is the result of carelessness or ignorance. The effort to shoehorn right-leaning activists into the role of “domestic terrorist threat” has been going on for nearly a decade and a half, and the people responsible for it certainly dispose of adequate resources to know exactly what they are doing.

They taxonomize us as terrorists and enemies of the state not because they have misinterpreted our values and objectives, but because they honestly regard us to be such, irrespective of our efforts to pursue the vindication of our ideals through lawful and peaceful means. They consider us to be the domestic enemy. We should be thankful for their candor, and earnestly reciprocate that designation.

This means, at the very least, that in our dealings with the State’s agents, particularly those employed by what the Russians call the “Organs of State Security,” we should follow Solzhenitsyn’s advice: “Don’t believe them, don’t fear them, don’t ask anything of them.” We certainly should not support them, respect them, or seek to cultivate a relationship with them. Doing so will inevitably lead to compromise and collaboration.

And this brings up a sad and unpleasant element of this subject I’m duty-bound to address.

A few days ago, just before the efforts of others led to the official retraction of the Missouri MIAC report, the upper management of a “constitutionalist” organization for which I was once employed has instructed its members, and whatever elements of the general public with which it has influence, to cultivate a good “relationship” with their local Homeland Security “fusion center”: “The John Birch Society is urging members and all constitutionalists to work on bettering relationships with local police as well as the DHS Fusion Centers.”(Emphasis added.)

I reiterate that this was the voice of that organization’s upper management. I would assume that many within the rank-and-file membership have a much sounder take on the issue.

Why should constitutionalists seek to have a “relationship” of any kind with a governmental entity that exists without constitutional warrant? Fusion centers are designed to amalgamate law enforcement under federal control, which would be entirely impermissible, from a constitutional perspective, even if they were generating reliable intelligence regarding legitimate terrorist threats.

Why should any organization that advertises its supposed expertise regarding Communist subversion embrace a course of action that could be summarized in the slogan: “Support your local Homeland Security Soviet“?

Is the intention here to do what is necessary to “see this thing through,” in the style of the invertebrate Mayor Bates, or merely to “pretend to work” with those who are building the New Order, as the duplicitous Max Detweiler would put it?

The only principled approach to dealing with the fusion centers, and the entire Soviet-style “Homeland Security” apparatus, is to agitate for its abolition, rather than helping to consolidate the power of that apparatus by treating it as legitimate in any sense.

As bad as things presently are, we’re experiencing merely the overture to what may become a bloody and violent historic tragedy. Opposing the Organs of State Security now costs relatively little — much less than it will eventually cost when they have been “strengthen[ed] … in exercise,” and their roles become “entangle[d] in precedents,” to adapt Madison’s timeless language.

Yet we see that even in these circumstances, some supposed defenders of “Freedom and Family” are choosing collaboration rather than timely confrontation. Rather than hacking at the roots of police state tyranny, or even pruning some of the more conspicuous branches, they are helping to water and fertilize the monstrosity in the name of maintaining a good “relationship” with the enemy.

And all the while the people who dictate that course of action can be expected to sing — in counterpoint to whichever version of the Collaborator’s Song they select — the occasional hymn to their own sensible moderation.

As I said, things will get much uglier than they are at present. Those who choose to collaborate when the alternative is relatively painless will either have to make some painful course corrections right now, or they’ll eventually find themselves standing metaphorically at the elbow of Colonel Bella as his troops gun down the people whose names were so thoughtfully provided to the Enemy — in the cause of maintaining that valued “relationship” and “seeing this thing through,” of course.

William Norman Grigg [send him mail] writes the Pro Libertate blog.

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