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Martial Law Threat is Real: Lucky that the Military is Breaking Down

Martial Law Threat is Real: Lucky that the Military is Breaking Down

After Downing Street

July 27, 2007

Fbiiraqisbein_mn

The looming collapse of the US military in Iraq, of which a number of generals and former generals, including former Chief of Staff Colin Powell, have warned, is happening none too soon, as it may be the best hope for preventing military rule here at home.

From the looks of things, the Bush/Cheney regime has been working assiduously to pave the way for a declaration of military rule, such that at this point it really lacks only the pretext to trigger a suspension of Constitutional government. They have done this with the active support of Democrats in Congress, though most of the heavy lifting was done by the last, Republican-led Congress.

The first step, or course, was the first Authorization for Use of Military Force, passed in September 2001, which the president has subsequently used to claim—improperly, but so what? —that the whole world, including the US, is a battlefield in a so-called “War” on Terror, and that he has extra-Constitutional unitary executive powers to ignore laws passed by Congress. As constitutional scholar and former Reagan-era associate deputy attorney general Bruce Fein observes, that one claim, that the US is itself a battlefield, is enough to allow this or some future president to declare martial law, “since you can always declare martial law on a battlefield. All he’d need would be a pretext, like another terrorist attack inside the U.S.”

The 2001 AUMF was followed by the PATRIOT Act, passed in October 2001, which undermined much of the Bill of Rights. Around the same time, the president began a campaign of massive spying on Americans by the National Security Agency, conducted without any warrants or other judicial review. It was and remains a program that is clearly aimed at American dissidents and at the administration’s political opponents, since the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court would never have raised no objections to spying on potential terrorists. (And it, and other government spying programs, have resulted in the government’s having a list now of some 325,000 “suspected terrorists”!)

The other thing we saw early on was the establishment of an underground government-within-a-government, though the activation, following 9-11, of the so-called “Continuity of Government” protocol, which saw heads of federal agencies moved secretly to an underground bunker where, working under the direction of Vice President Dick Cheney, the “government” functioned out of sight of Congress and the public for critical months.

It was also during the first year following 9-11 that the Bush/Cheney regime began its programs of arrest and detention without charge—mostly of resident aliens, but also of American citizens—and of kidnapping and torture in a chain of gulag prisons overseas and at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay.

The following year, Attorney General John Ashcroft began his program to develop a mass network of tens of millions of citizen spies—Operation TIPS. That program, which had considerable support from key Democrats (notably Sen. Joe Lieberman), was curtailed by Congress when key conservatives got wind of the scale of the thing, but the concept survives without a name, and is reportedly being expanded today.

Meanwhile, last October Bush and Cheney, with the help of a compliant Congress, put in place some key elements needed for a military putsch. There was the overturning of the venerable Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which barred the use of active duty military inside the United States for police-type functions, and the revision of the Insurrection Act, so as to empower the president to take control of National Guard units in the 50 states even over the objections of the governors of those states.

Put this together with the wholly secret construction now under way–courtesy of a $385-million grant by the US Army Corps of Engineers to Halliburton subsidiary KBR Inc–of detention camps reportedly capable of confining as many as 400,000 people, and a recent report that the Pentagon has a document, dated June 1, 2007, classified Top Secret, which declares there to be a developing “insurgency” within the U.S, and which lays out a whole martial law counterinsurgency campaign against legal dissent, and you have all the ingredients for a military takeover of the United States.

As we go about our daily lives–our shopping, our escapist movie watching, and even our protesting and political organizing—we need to be aware that there is a real risk that it could all blow up, and that we could find ourselves facing armed, uniformed troops at our doors.

Bruce Fein isn’t an alarmist. He says he doesn’t see martial law coming tomorrow. But he is also realistic. He says, “This is all sitting around like a loaded gun waiting to go off. I think the risk of martial law is trivial right now, but the minute there is a terrorist attack, then it is real. And it stays with us after Bush and Cheney are gone, because terrorism stays with us forever.” (It may be significant that Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic candidate for president, has called for the revocation of the 2002 Authorization for Use of Military Force against Iraq, but not of the earlier 2001 AUMF which Bush claims makes him commander in chief of a borderless, endless war on terror.)

Indeed, the revised Insurrection Act (10. USC 331-335) approved by Congress and signed into law by Bush last October, specifically says that the president can federalize the National Guard to “suppress public disorder” in the event of “national disorder, epidemic, other serious public health emergency, terrorist attack or incident.” That determination, the act states, is solely the president’s to make. Congress is not involved.

Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has added an amendment to the upcoming Defense bill, restoring the Insurrection Act to its former version—a move that has the endorsement of all 50 governors–but Fein argues that would not solve the problem, since Bush still claims that the U.S. is a battlefield. Besides, a Leahy aide concedes that Bush could sign the next Defense Appropriations bill and then use a signing statement to invalidate the Insurrection Act rider.

Fein argues that the only real defense against the looming disaster of a martial law declaration would be for Congress to vote for a resolution determining that there is no “War” on terror. “But they are such cowards they will never do that,” he says.

That leaves us with the military.

If ordered to turn their guns and bayonets on their fellow Americans, would our “heroes” in uniform follow their consciences, and their oaths to “uphold and defend” the Constitution of the United States? Or would they follow the orders of their Commander in Chief?

It has to be a plus that National Guard and Reserve units are on their third and sometimes fourth deployments to Iraq, and are fuming at the abuse. It has to be a plus that active duty troops are refusing to re-enlist in droves—especially mid-level officers.

If we are headed for martial law, better that it be with a broken military. Maybe if it’s broken badly enough, the administration will be afraid to test the idea.

Related News:

Homeland General: Attack ‘Could Happen Any Day’
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/c….av=rss_nation/special

CIA Bin Laden Chief: Next Attack ‘Bigger Than 9/11’
http://www.newsmax.com/sc….12905.shtml?s=lh

Bush Insists Al-Qaeda In Iraq Threatens U.S.
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/24/wa….DsnJGXc9wBRegw

Airports warned about terror dry runs
Neocons Press Pakistan Endgame
U.S. threatens action in Pakistan
US academics admit aiding Iran “Democracy Drive”
Christians United for Israel call on US to attack Iran immediately
Sam Brownback: I’m Ready To Strike Iran
Cheney Pushes Bush to Act on Iran
Neocon Bill Kristol expects Bush to attack Pakistan
White House Gets Defensive Over Accusation Bin Laden is Dead
Senior Qaeda figure in Iraq a myth: U.S. military
Old-line Republican Warns ‘Something’s in the Works’ to Trigger a Police State
White House Preparing to Stage New 9/11 – Reagan Official
Former Reagan Official: Bush May Stage False Flag Events To Reinstate Draft
My wake-up call: Watch for another 9/11-WMD experience
Proof Bin Laden Tape Is 5-Year-Old, Re-Released Footage
“New” Osama video released; Update: Mystery solved — new video matches video shot in 2001
Tonkin Gulf II and the Guns of August?
Absurd Terrorism Theories Invade The Homeland
Bin Laden Uncovers Secret Formula to Halt Ageing Process
Another Dubious Osama Tape Appears When The Neo-Cons Need It Most
London Times: Al-CIAda Terrorist Given Sanctuary By MI5
U.S. Intel Officer: Al Qaeda Leadership Allowed To Operate Freely
AOL Attacks Ron Paul For Tonkin Warning
Terror Commander: New Attack Will Dwarf Failed Bomb Plot
Ron Paul: U.S. In “Great Danger” Of Staged Terror
The Politico Covers Ron Paul’s Staged Terror Warning
Sheehan: Distinct Chance Of Staged Attack, Martial Law
Bush Administration Prays For More Dead Americans
Signal to Attack? Worries Over Latest al Qaeda Tape
Bill Kristol Expects Bush To Attack Pakistan
Bush: Insurgents in Iraq same as 9/11 attackers
Military Analyst: West Needs More Terror To Save Doomed Foreign Policy
White House Claims No Specific Terror Threat
Al-CIAda Has Rebuilt Strength U.S. Says
Iraq’s Al-Qaeda Threatens To Attack Iran
Al-CIAda Cell In The U.S. Or On Its Way
Bush denies al Qaeda as strong today as pre-Sept 11
Olberman Rips Into Chertoff on “Countdown”
Al-CIAda Warns of Fresh Terror Attacks
On Cue, “al-Qaeda” Threatens Iran
U.S. Government Uses Al-Qaeda to Attack Iran
Rick Santorum predicts “some unfortunate events” will give Americans a “very different view of this war”
Officials worry of summer terror attack
NBC: ‘Dirty bomb’ danger at home?
Secret ..: U.S. Fears Terror ‘Spectacular’ Planned
BREAKING: A Potential Attack on Chicago in the Works?
GOP memo touts new terror attack as way to reverse party’s decline
Basra Bizarre: SAS Commandos Arrested and Sprung

 



FBI Wants Its Own Stasi

FBI Wants Its Own Stasi

Steve Watson
Infowars.net
July 26, 2007

In a move startlingly similar to that of the East German government during the Cold war, the FBI wants to recruit thousands of covert informants in the US and work with the CIA to train them in an effort to expand and adopt more aggressive intelligence capabilities.

ABC’s The Blotter reports that according to a recent unclassified report to Congress, the FBI, driven by a 2004 directive from President Bush, wants to recruit more than 15,000 informants in the US, entailing a complete overhaul of its database systems at a cost of around $22 million.

The FBI expects its informants to provide secrets about possible terrorists and foreign spies, although some may also be expected to aid with criminal investigations, in the tradition of law enforcement confidential informants. The FBI did not respond to requests for comment on this story.

The move comes in addition to other proposals to expand the collection and analysis of data on U.S. persons , retain years’ worth of Americans’ phone records and even increase so-called “black bag” secret entry operations, the Blotter reports.

Though the FBI has decided not to completely adopt CIA training methods on recruiting informants, which include bribery, extortion, and other patently illegal acts, the two are to work closely together on the program.

Though the reasoning is, as ever, to target terror cells in the US, the report also states that “some may also be expected to aid with criminal investigations, in the tradition of law enforcement confidential informants”.

Within the last two years it has come to light that the FBI, along with the Pentagon and the NSA has been spying on antiwar activists, rights groups and peace campaigners within the US, labeling some of them as “terrorists” and placing them within their databases.

It appears operations are now to be stepped up to include the Stasi like recruiting of informants within such groups to report what is deemed to be politically subversive behavior among American citizens.

In 2004 the ACLU revealed that after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 sparked the Bush administration’s “war on terrorism,” Attorney General John Ashcroft scrapped an FBI guideline—enacted after the agency infiltrated numerous groups during the 1960s and 1970s Civil Rights Movement—that blocked its agents from spying on groups and individuals unless they were investigating a crime.

By scrapping that policy, Gen. Ashcroft was, “essentially encouraging FBI agents to do fishing expeditions to spy in mosques, in anti-war meetings … without any reasonable suspicion that a crime was being committed,” ACLU attorney Ben Wizner said.

In late 2005 lawmakers expressed concern that the FBI was aggressively pushing the powers of the anti-terrorist USA Patriot Act to get access to private phone and financial records of ordinary people.

Around the same time it was revealed that the Bush administration had secretly authorized the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without [obtaining] court-approved warrants.

Though this was dubbed by the corporate mainstream media to be “a major shift in American intelligence-gathering practices”, eavesdropping on citizens is nothing new, the only shift that has occurred is that the government can now TELL us that they’re spying on us and it will slowly be accepted.

If the mainstream media is to be believed, the National Security Agency engages in “some eavesdropping inside the country,” There are hundreds of sources that prove however that the intelligence services have been operating similar programs for decades.

The FBI itself has been targeting domestic groups since its inception, the most notorious example being Hoover’s COINTELPRO (Counter-Intelligence Program) which covertly spied on all manner of organizations and individuals from Dr. Martin Luther King to the National Lawyers Guild .

Operation CHAOS under the CIA highlights another example of domestic spying:

“In June 1970 Nixon met with Hoover [FBI], Helms [CIA], NSA Director Admiral Noel Gaylor, and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) representative Lt. Gen. Donald V. Bennett and told them he wanted a coordinated and concentrated effort against domestic dissenters,” Verne Lyon – former CIA undercover operative .

For over fifteen years, the CIA, with assistance from numerous government agencies, conducted a massive illegal domestic covert operation called Operation CHAOS. It was one of the largest and most pervasive domestic surveillance programs in the history of this country. Throughout the duration of CHAOS, the CIA spied on thousands of U.S. citizens. The CIA went to great lengths to conceal this operation from the public while every president from Eisenhower to Nixon exploited CHAOS for his own political ends.”

There are also multiple Pentagon projects in operation that involve the collection of intelligence through domestic eavesdropping. One example is the Defense Department’s Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA)

Consider this from William M. Arkin of the Washington Post :

“CIFA already has these authorities, has its own agents, and collects information on common American citizens under the guise of “sabotage” and “force protection” threats to the military. Since 9/11, functions that were previously intended to protect U.S. forces overseas from terrorism and protect U.S. secrets from spies have been combined in one super-intelligence function that constitutes the greatest threat to U.S. civil liberties since the domestic spying days of the 1970’s.”

“On May 2, 2003, Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz signed a memorandum directing the military to collect and report “non-validated threat information” relating to U.S. military forces, installations or missions. His memorandum followed from the establishment of the Domestic Threat Working Group after 9/11, the intent of which was to create a mechanism to share low-level domestic “threat information” between the military and intelligence agencies.”

Then we have the ” Total Information Awareness ” program whereby every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend — all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defense Department describes as “a virtual, centralized grand database.”

Shortly after the announcement of TIA, the Pentagon backtracked and told us that TIA was shutting down, but on reading the second paragraph in this article , it becomes clear that the tools are there waiting to be used. The Pentagon has since started up multiple programs all bearing exact similarities to TIA.

The Tools of TIA include “LifeLog” which is described as “a multimedia, digital record of everywhere you go and everything you see, hear, read, say and touch”. Another tool is the MATRIX database , A federally funded crime database run by multiple states at once.

Operation TIPS and similar programs were geared towards turning citizens themselves into domestic spies.

Then of course there is the joint NSA / Government Communications Head Quarters of England (GCHQ) Project Echelon . This long running operation was first exposed in the mid nineties and then again most prominently by author James Bamford in his 1999 book Body of Secrets. Bamford comments, “The cooperation between the Echelon countries is worrying. For decades, these organizations have worked closely together, monitoring communications and sharing the information gathered. Now, through Echelon, they are pooling their resources and targets, maximizing the collection and analysis of intercepted information.”

In the greatest surveillance effort ever established, the NSA global spy system captures and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax, email and telex message sent anywhere in the world. Quite obviously they cannot listen to everyone anywhere ALL the time, but they have the capability to choose when to listen and who to listen to, wherever they may be.

James Bamford famously recalled how the NSA successfully intercepted satellite calls from Osama Bin Laden in the late nineties as he was talking to his mother.

“I don’t want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.” – Senator Frank Church, quoted in ECHELON: America’s Secret Global Surveillance Network

Under the Clinton Administration Echelon certainly turned its attention to citizens of countries everywhere and monitored millions of calls and other communications.

Echelon expert Mike Frost, who spent 20 years as a spy for the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that the agency was monitoring “everything from data transfers to cell phones to portable phones to baby monitors to ATMs.”

Domestic spying is nothing new, there has been at least half a century of such activity in America. However, the general public will believe that government spying on them is new, and secondly, they will just accept it because they are being told in a very unsophisticated fashion, that it is keeping them safe.

On Tuesday current Attorney General Alberto Gonzales once again gave testimony concerning the ongoing investigations into the legality of “terrorist surveillance program” and seemed to confirm that numerous domestic surveillance programs are in operation.

The fact that less than 0.01% of Homeland Security cases are related to terrorism in America begs the question why does America need an army of secret police to keep tabs on its own citizens?

Domestic government surveillance is becoming accepted as the norm. The fact remains however that you cannot have a free state that relies upon a covert network of government spies and recruited informants to maintain law and order within its own borders.