Some people believe that Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster to delay the vote to confirm the barbaric John Brennan as CIA Director was effective. However, there are skeptics, and I am one of them. We still seem to be ruled by government officials who are clueless about how to maintain a civilized society and are clueless about human rights.
And Americans seem to depend on a mainstream media for information but are getting government propaganda instead.
For instance, during a PBS discussion about Sen. Paul’s filibuster and the drone program controversy, New York Times national security correspondent Scott Shane incorrectly asserted that U.S. officials “have in one case, in September of 2011, killed one American overseas. And that was Anwar al-Awlaki, who had joined the al-Qaida branch in Yemen and was actively plotting terrorism against the United States.”
Now, either Shane really believes what he is saying – in which case he is not a very good reporter – or he knows these items of information are not true and is merely “parroting the party line,” as the old saying goes.
First, U.S. government drones bombed and murdered at least three Americans, including Anwar al-Awlaki and his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, who was not even accused of any crimes or of terrorism.
And secondly, Shane also stated – falsely – that Anwar al-Awlaki was “actively plotting terrorism against the United States.” The Obama Administration never presented any evidence against al-Awlaki. And, as analysts have demonstrated, any evidence against al-Awlaki that may have existed was weak and its use in an actual trial probably couldn’t have convicted him.
This case was very similar to the Osama bin Laden case, in which neither the Bush nor Obama Administrations had any evidence to prove bin Laden’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks. As George W. Bush stated regarding the Taliban’s requiring the Bush Administration to present evidence against bin Laden, “There’s no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he’s guilty.”
Obama’s technique was similar, in that his refusal to present evidence against al-Awlaki was based on secrecy, an important part of totalitarian regimes. But “We know he’s guilty, and we don’t have to prove it to you” is basically what the Obama Regime implied in its refusal to disclose its alleged evidence.
The main problem that the U.S. government had with Anwar al-Awlaki, however, was with his criticisms of U.S. foreign policy which he included in his religious sermons, speech entirely protected by the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
As Glenn Greenwald pointed out in this very important article on this subject, the First Amendment protects the advocating of violence as a means of defending oneself against violent and tyrannical governments. Greenwald pointed to a 1969 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, its reversal of Brandenburg v. Ohio, which separated the difference between forms of speech which “‘advocate or teach the duty, necessity, or propriety’ of violence ‘as a means of accomplishing industrial or political reform’” and forms of speech which are an “incitement to imminent lawless action.”
You see, from the point of view of the millions of Iraqis, Afghans, Yemenis and other foreigners who have been the victims of the U.S. government’s wanton socialist violence and destruction not just since 9/11 but especially since the first U.S. government war on Iraq in 1991, they actually view the U.S. government as a tyrannical foreign invader and occupier (which it has been).
But especially since 9/11 many in the mainstream news media have been obediently and subserviently repeating what government bureaucrats and their spokesflunkies have been dictating to them, rather than actually engaging in real investigating or research. They certainly do not seem to have beenquestioning the assertions of government officials, that’s for sure.
And we also have some of the most ignorant and short-sighted congressmen and senators in Washington as well. In response to Sen. Paul’s example of Vietnam and the possibility of drone murdering Jane Fonda in her cavorting with the North Vietnamese in Hanoi, rather than arresting her and charging and trying her for treason, Sen. John McCain replied, “To somehow allege or infer that the president of the United States is going to kill somebody like Jane Fonda or somebody who disagrees with the policies is a stretch of imagination which is, frankly, ridiculous.” Yet, that is exactly what Obama did to Anwar al-Awlaki and why he did it.
Sadly, most of the American people do not know these important facts, as the mainstream news media seem to have been merely copying and pasting the latest White House press releases, and passing them off as “news,” especially since 9/11.
In fact, part of our problem, and which is why some true patriots are concerned for Americans’ future as a free society and not just another banana republic dictatorship, is that we have actual powerful U.S. senators who do not understand the uniquely American ideas of due process and presumption of innocence.
In my article, Senators Who Love the Government But Hate America, I referred to Sen. Lindsey Graham’s outburst, “If you’re an American citizen and you betray your country, you’re not going to be given a lawyer.” And my reply was: Who will determine whether or not one has “betrayed” one’s country?
Graham and others seem to want the President or military generals to make such a determination. But those who actually know their history know how empowering the President to be judge, jury and executioner ends up. (Not good.)
However, it seems to me that these rulers are more concerned with whether someone has betrayed the government, not the country.
In betrayal of certain bureaucrats’ policies, not in betrayal of their fellow people. Graham even suggested that political speech could be curtailed during times of “war.”
And as more information has come out about Army Private Bradley Manning’s release of overly-classified documents and videos to WikiLeaks, andwhy he would do that, we have seen that Manning’s motivations were out of a duty not to government bureaucrats but out of a duty to the American people. (We cannot say the same about George W. Bush and Barack Obama, however.)
Manning saw that crimes were being committed against foreign people, and in America’s name, and he believed that the American people had a right to know about them.
So there are now many examples of government censorship of political speech since 9/11. But these senators who want to label someone as an “enemy combatant” merely for questioning or criticizing short-sighted, counter-productive and dangerous government policies, such as the “war on terror” itself and its legitimacy, are really acting to protect the government and its minions.
And thanks to the propagandists, the Orwellian story of 9/11 suggests that these conflicts all began on 9/11. To this day, the propagandists still refuse to acknowledge that the U.S. government’s disastrous foreign interventions, and especially its 1991 first war of aggression on Iraq and subsequent sanctions were major provocations against the people of that region of the world. But, true to their diehard socialist agenda, the rulers went ahead after 9/11 to increase the interventions, wars, and crimes of renditions, indefinite detentions of innocents, tortures and murders of foreigners.
But all this war stuff is a crock, as I mentioned here. War is really an artificial concept used by collectivists, statists, racists and power-grabbers to rationalize the commission of criminal acts of aggression against others and get away with it. This is the whole point of American Exceptionalism, by the way.
Perhaps some of the people will finally see the illegitimacy of these wars when the Washington regime begins to target the American people more directly (after disarming them and making them totally defenseless, of course), which is where we seem to be heading, as I noted in my 2010 article,Tea Partiers May Need the ACLU Soon.
And, as Future of Freedom Foundation President Jacob Hornberger pointed out recently, the early Americans and Revolutionaries also warned us over 200 years ago against an armed federal government run amok.
I think our government has run amok.