Martial law: (def.) The law imposed upon citizens by a national military force when civil authority has broken down or during military operations.
"The loss of civil liberties by the American people is probably the biggest thing that's happened in this decade. Now, we no longer have habeas corpus. Any president can decide that you're an enemy combatant and put you in a military prison without trial, without lawyers, without access to your family...indefinitely. Whether you're a citizen of the United States or not. They now have active military battalions on duty - under the North American Command - ready to go and act as police in any city of the United States.
They have built detention centers throughout the country, $350 million that went to Halliburton, to expand detention centers and be prepared for martial law" - Peter Phillips, Former Director Of Project Censored, and now Direction of Media Freedom Foundation.
In the previous post I examined Chris Hedges' exposure of Ivy League institutions as seed beds for elite control of the country, spanning the areas of business, economics and politics. At the end I also referenced Thomas Frank's quote of Obama to the effect that he was the "only thing" standing between investment bankers and "the pitchforks". The latter is the metaphor used for public or populist outrage at any given shenanigan or even national policy. At its extreme, if investment bankers or any other elites really had anything to fear, it would be mass insurrection or revolution - with the Right and Left finally coming together to oust all of them and who knows what else. Think of the Ukraine- Kiev uprising back in March but magnified one million times.
The U.S. Neocons and their allies cheered while the "pitchforks" came out in the Ukraine and ousted the democratically elected leader, Viktor Yanukyovich , but don't think for a second they or the national security state would tolerate the same thing here. Say if millions across the nation got violently disaffected with economic conditions and acted out. In this sense there's always been a measure of hypocrisy but Official Washington used to at least pretend to stand for “democracy,” rather than taking such obvious pleasure in destabilizing elected governments, encouraging riots, overturning constitutional systems and then praising violent putsches - while removing all possibility for such at home - including elimination of habeas corpus (via the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and setting up the COG and Main Core programs as well as expanding corporate -constructed detention camps.
Of course, mass popular insurrection directed at the elite corporate power structure is the corporate security state's worst nightmare. (As Chris Hedges notes, op. cit., p. 177: "The emergence of the corporate state always means the emergence of the security state.") And they have also harbored incessant fears of its realization since the 1960s, especially with probabilities increasing as economic conditions and inequality worsen. But mostly they've been able to keep the anger at bay via the use of the media - to create umpteen diversions to titillate the masses and anesthetize them, or ply them with so many choices they can't decide whether to shit or go blind, far less grab a pitchfork to take out an elite. See e.g.
For a long time I admit that I dismissed the crazies on the Right - who endlessly yapped about "FEMA concentration camps" - as whackos, nuts and loony tunes. Their conspiracy theories - including of UN black helicopters, gave all conspiracies (even legitimate ones like Watergate and the Kennedy assassination) a bad rap and rendered them easier to lampoon by the media cynics. However, after seeing the film "Project Censored the Movie" and extracting further documents based on it, including from the Project Censored archives i.e.
I became convinced the Righties were basically on to something. They just got the time line a bit wrong. As researcher Peter Dale Scott points out in an update to the Project Censored article (in the above link), it was actually under Reagan that: FEMA’s former plans ‘for the detention of at least 21 million American Negroes in assembly centers or relocation camps’ had arisen. The basis was to obviously prevent mass riots such as occurred in the 1960s in hundreds of American cities. The reasoning is that Reagan's planned "Reagonomics" supply side impositions would so badly extirpate the social support programs for many African-Americans that it would be intolerable.
But the Righties failed to go to the next level, which was the construction or expansion of existing detention facilities by KBR - an offshoot of Halliburton, soon after Bush Jr., Cheney and that lot revamped the COG (continuity of government) program to include a wide swatch of "domestic terrorists" and malcontents. Indeed, in the movie, a map is shown of all the detention facilities expanded by KBR, stretching from California to New England. Clearly, the elites hatched out of the Ivies (see previous post) and controlling our nation's destiny aren't about to go quietly into that good night.
As I noted in a previous blog post:
According to the 9/11 Commission Report (p. 326; cf. p. 38), "Contingency plans for the continuity of government" were implemented on September 11, 2001. But what measures were invoked remains unclear, though Giuffrida’s template was believed to be integrated into it and former Reaganites were in the WH at the time, who had shared earlier in the architecture (Rumsfeld, Cheney etc.)
Those suspicious of what COG means today have pointed to a number of post 9/11 steps to facilitate the implementation of martial law, including the creation of a new military command (NORTHCOM) for the continental United States. They note also Homeland Security’s strategic plan “Endgame”, whose stated goal is the creation of detention camps designed to "remove all removable aliens," including "potential terrorists."
- Even worse, later mutations of COG under the Bushites equated political dissent with treason. (Now we know why the security state was so hot to trot to squelch all OWS protests, including beating the living shit out of them when they tried to approach Wall Street and the Stock Exchange!)
In regard to the last, the definition of "terrorist" was expanded to "domestic terrorist" by congress in 2001, to include:
"…activities that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State; appear to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States"
According to the ACLU, “this definition is broad enough to encompass the activities of…prominent activists, campaigns and organizations.” That includes Occupy Wall Streeters and anyone who protests the Keystone XL pipeline!
Most concern has been expressed at the Main Core program which one knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.”
Those who think this is a joke or conspiracy theory nonsense are not paying attention, especially on how the hammer of the security state was brought down on Occupy Wall Street protestors two years ago. See e.g. http://www.thiscantbehappening.net/node/1494
All of this, of course, facilitated by the NSA's mass surveillance programs - XKeyscore, MUSCULAR, PRISM etc.
The Elite power structure also knows these mass warrant, 4th amendment violating programs are essential, not for "terrorists" or to prevent terror attacks, but to get a handle on who all the potential domestic trouble makers are if a mass eruption does break out. As Chris Hedges observes (p. 177):
"As the pressure mounts, as this despair and impoverishment reach larger and larger segments of the populace, the mechanisms of corporate and government control are being bolstered to prevent civil unrest and instability. ...This is why the Bush White House pushed through the Patriot Act (and its renewal) , the suspension of habeas corpus, the practice of 'extraordinary rendition', the practice of warrantless wiretapping on American citizens, and the refusal to ensure free and fair elections...
It's all part of a package, It comes together. The motive behind these measures is not to fight terrorism or to bolster national security. It is to seize and maintain internal control."
Hedges notes that the real purpose for these programs leaked out in the course of a Senate Intelligence meeting in February and March, 2009. That was when then Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified that the "deepening economic crisis posed the gravest threat to stability and national security". It could "trigger" he said, "a return to the violent extremism of the 1920s and 1930s." The implication was that the immediate means and infrastructure needed to be brought up to speed to identify and detain those who might adversely affect corporate state security. The widespread NSA programs, as exposed by Snowden, followed almost immediately in the wake.
Were Blair's worries justified? Of course! Because no normal human or mass aggregation is prepared to be shat on their heads forever, exploited and ground under like so much dirt while the elites enjoy their weekend golf jaunts to St. Kitts, as their wives get costly rose wine wraps, e.g.
Oh we also wouldn't want to deprive them of their special gold -lined bath tubs, and $25,000 apiece Frrrozen Haute Chocolate delicacies now (see below), would we?
Oh wait, I mustn't do that! No, no and no! That's waging "class warfare" on the little turds!
But you get my point! Just presenting these class warfare images could easily entice the next President - god forbid Ted Cruz or Paul Ryan or that porker Chris Christie, to declare me an "enemy (of the rich) combatant" and have me dragged away to one of those KBR made detention centers.
But the sad fact is one guy raising hell on his blog is mostly going to elicit a big yawn from the elites. The truth is that most Americans are so hypnotized by their little consumer toys, Ipads, smart phones and Facebook that they're nowhere near to being discontented on a level to inspire a Kiev-like insurrection against the corporatists. And a large part of this is the zombie media saturation as well as the false statistics, such as the consumer price index, that Chris Hedges notes the power structure uses to keep people baffled with bullshit.
Want to know the sad truth in all this? The people most likely to get riled up and take it out on all our hides, whether in domestic bombings (like Oklahoma City) or para-military standoffs (like Waco incident on Clinton's watch) will be the radical Right. As Hedges grimly observes (p. 183):
"As the public begins to grasp the depth of the betrayal and abuse by our ruling class; as the Democratic and Republican parties expose themselves as craven tools of our corporate state; as savings accounts, college funds, and retirement plans become worthless, as unemployment skyrockets and home values go up in smoke, we must prepare for the political re-emergence of the reinvigorated Right wing radicals."
In other words, we may well be put on a track analogous to that in 1932-33 leading Germans to the nightmare of the Third Reich. Only our version will be much worse, since a Right wing controlled NSA- say with a Ted Cruz at the helm as President- would be vastly more powerful than the Nazi Gestapo.