Ten Steps to Fascist America
This blog is based on an article I read on alternet but really wanted to put my own comments in. So if you want to read the whole article without my input, visit alternet.
1. Invoke a terrifying internal and external enemy
After 9/11, we were told that we were under attack by a terrible terrorist enemy bent on destroying civilization. It is the first step, but not a new one.
Hitler told of the coming dangerous communist infiltrators.
Stalin warned of Sleeper Cells of capitalist bent on over throwing the government.
Pinochet warned of the armed insurgents and hyped it up with fake documents showing the link between real insurgents and made up danger.
2. Create a gulag
Guantanamo Bay was created by President Bush whom was quoted as saying he wanted it to exist in "legal outer space". This is the second step, create a secret prison in which you can torture people, out side the law. It was already deemed that GB did not fall under the laws of the US.
At first, the public sees these secret sites and extra-legal sites as necessary for taking out the trash that is part of the threat.
But soon, these gulags get used for political dissidents and any number of other people who may speak out against the country. Torture is deemed necessary and the morality of torture is blurred as to allow it smooth transition into normal us. Torture is deemed necessary to protect its citizens. However it always eventually gets used on the people.
Here is a challenge question:
Name a single nation who used secret prisons and gulags, and/or a country that tortured people who didn't ultimately end up using it on its own people.
This moral acceptance of torture and gulags as necessary is a big step towards fascism without violence.
3. Develop a thug caste
Hitler had the Brown Shirts. Mussonlini had the Black Shirts. Stalin had the KGB.
currently, the paramilitary mercenary group Blackwater has a contract with our government and can be deployed during a national emergency like a natural disaster. AS well, they are not subject to US laws when serving the government. Even their grounds in the US is not subject to local law enforcement.
In florida, during the 2000 recount, groups of young men dressed exactly alike stormed into the recounting area on several events, past security, and caused a problem until the recount had to stop for the day.
As of four years ago, the president can now control the state national guard despite objections of the governor. Troops were deployed across this country right before the last presidential elections "just in case". Troops are not supposed to be deployed on US soil.
4. Set up an internal surveillance system
Cast in the mold of national security, the people are told that they are being spied on for their own good. Encourage neighbors to watch each other to keep us safe. Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, and China all employed a secret police.
The FBI and CIA have both been exposed as groups who have been spying on average citizens. They have secret watch lists in which you cannot be taken off of and they have the ability to search your place without warrant or ever telling you about it.
5. Harass citizens' groups
The ACLU reports thousands of environmental groups, anti-war groups, and other groups have been infiltrated by government agents from the CIA and FBI. They have successfully sued under the freedom of information act, the information on a database that holds data on hundreds of activist groups, and data collected on meetings and plans for the group. All being documented and watched by your government.
6. Engage in arbitrary detention and release
Thousands of activists have been subject to being detained and searched for being on supposed "terrorist watch lists" especially at airports. Professor at Princeton Walter F Murphy was one such detained persons. After being detained twice, he asked how he could get on that list. He was asked if he was an anti-war marcher. Well, not exactly, he has given a lecture on the unconstitutionality of the Iraq war. It was enough to get him on the list. He was told there is no way to get your name off the list. All for protesting the war.
Regularly detaining people for no real crime, you create fear.
7. Target key individuals
This is a direct attempt to silence dissidents. Take out the vocal opposition to stop the rally against the crimes of government. They are threatened and fired and made to regret speaking out. Both a military Lawyer and a CIA worker who spoke out that water boarding is torture were fired for their talk.
In the famous US Attorney scandal, all of the US Attorneys who were fired were fired for not being sufficiently politically loyal. Each of them worked in swing states, and each would not file charges against activists and liberals who the administration saw as a danger to them.
8. Control the press
All powerful dictatorships must control the press. They have all managed to control the news to keep it favorable about the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists says arrests of US Journalist are at an all time high. A blogger in San Francisco was put in jail over a year for not turning over an anti-war video. Journalist Greg Palast had a criminal complaint launched against him for "threatening critical infrastructure". This was after he wrote a best seller critical of the Bush administration.
When Joe Wilson broke the story in the NYTimes that the Bush administration knew that the Yellow cake uranium purchase in Niger by Saddam Hussien was completely false, they outed his wife as a CIA agent. She was home on sabbatical, but in a nasty twist of irony, was an undercover spy investigating and tracking underground nuclear materials.
Once the press can be contained, the rest is elementary.
9. Dissent equals treason
When Bill keller, publisher of the NYTimes ran the Lichtblau/Risen Stories, the republicans in congress called for him to be charged with treason. Commentator Conason noted that the penalty for treason was death. Amazingly, many people agree that this reporting that didn't back up what Bush was saying, deserved death! In closed societies, political dissidents are the enemy.
In 2006, the Military Commissions Act of 2006 gave the president to call any US citizen an enemy combatant. He even has the ability to define what an enemy combatant is, or even change the very terms used to define said enemy combatants. He may also delegate anyone he chooses to have the right to name enemy combatants.
We should remember that it has already been decided that enemy combatants do not have any rights. Even the right of habeus corpus. Courts already proved that enemy combatants do not have the right of habeus corpus. That was before 2006 and was a ground laying ruling. Once the courts deemed that "enemy combatants" don't have any rights, all they had to do is make sure they could call anyone an enemy combatant. By simply speaking out, the president can call you an enemy combatant, and you can now be held without charge in a secret prison, without any communication as to why or your family even knowing. You can be tortured and never released. All at the presidents whim.
10. Suspend the rule of law
The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007 gives the president power over the national guard instead of the states. He can take control over local militia's or mercenary groups to enforce law in the state of emergency. It gave the president the power to use military troops as a domestic police force in response to a natural disaster, disease outbreak, terrorist attack or "other conditions". This is a direct violation of the Posse Comitatus Act that prevents the use of our military on our soil. Yet, the law stands.
In this country, we have watched the rule of law and the foundation of our republic be eroded away in the name of patriotism and safety. This is the exact thing that our fore fathers feared. When Benjamin Franklin said that a nation that is willing to trade a little liberty for a little safety deserves neither liberty or safety, surely had something like this in mind. When Samuel Johnson said that patriotism is the last refuge of scoundrels, surely this is what he meant. The usage of patriotism so quickly becomes a tool to manipulate the public!