- Let me say at the very outset that I am not a
Clinton Democrat. Indeed, I am not a Democrat at all. The last time I
voted, I voted a straight Libertarian ticket. Let me also state for
the international legal, as well as the karmic record, that I value
the civil rights that are set forth in the Bill of Rights of the
American Constitution under the former American Republic. I owe no
allegiance to the hideously violent and legally repugnant American
Empire that George Bush, John Ashcroft and fellow travelers are
imposing on the world. I am no supporter of NAZIism under any of its
guises, whether it comes wrapped in a swastika or in
- But I must say that what I find so CURIOUS about the
George Bush & Co. coup d'etat and ensuing dictatorial power plays
and ploys is that so many of the Republican Right (this would include
many fundamentalist Christians and camo-dude militia-types) who spent
the 90s whining about how Clinton & Gore were going to use FEMA
and the Arkansas Mafia to seize power and declare a dictorship (or
something like that) have now gone weak in the knees and soft in the
brain over Bush.
- Bush has done EXACTLY what they warned Clinton would
do (and didn't), but because Bush is a Republican they say little, and
do even less, about America's swift plunge to the neo-FASCIST hard
right, proving themselves to be not American democrats (with a little
"d"), but simply highly dangerous, propagandized, party ideologues,
and nothing more. And that is serious. Because totalitarian political
"Parties" such as the NAZI Party and COMMUNIST Party were behind the
most vicious, murderous and ruthless political regimes in the past
- Might the REPUBLICAN Party be remembered in future
years by civilized people in the same dread terms that the NAZI and
COMMUNIST Parties are remembered today? So far over the last 18 months
we have seen a savage and rapid stripping away of civil liberties that
were formerly guaranteed to U.S. citizens by birth, for most of the
preceding two centuries. The Patriot Act is without precedent and
simply eviscerates the U.S. Constitution. And with nary a whimper from
the U.S. Congress which lamely rolled over like a docile lap dog, and,
without even reading the legislation' passed this hideously deformed
federal Act into grotesque, so-called "law".
- The unlawful, illegal, unconstitutional detention of
American citizens by the United States military is a travesty. Two men
are now held without charges, without access to the courts, without
recourse to legal due process, without hope of ever being free again.
And all on the word and whim of Herr Bush and his sluggardly
Attorney-Gauleiter OberStormTrooper Ashcroft.
- I say two men are held illegally, incommunicado,
indefinitely. In reality there could be 500 more. Or
- 1,000 more. The truth is that we simply DO NOT KNOW
how many people may have been secretly arrested and jailed by the
Pentagon or the FBI or the CIA or any of the rest of the Federal
alphabet-soup of agencies. In fact, we knew nothing at all about Jose
Padilla until Ashcroft blurted out that he had been secretly arrested
and jailed and was being held in a military prison.
- And you know what? The same thing could happen to
anyone else. Herr Bush and Attorney-Gauleiter Ashcroft are drunk on
power and they don't give a fig about "no steenkin' civil rights or
human rights." It's just that simple.
- Secret telephone wire-taps, covert break-ins and
searches of private homes, internet surveillance, secret arrest and
imprisonment, body searches to use public transport, surveillance
cameras sprouting up everywhere like mushrooms, police firing on
protestors with rubber bullets and pepper spray as happened in Oregon
this week, mass arrests of hundreds of people at a time as occurred
last week in a Houston K-Mart parking lot-- these are the symptoms of
a neo-FASCIST police state being born.
- There are more than 2 million people in America's
jails and prisons.
- George Orwell's nightmare vision of a totalitarian
police state that is at perpetual war with most of the rest of the
world is here now.
- It's name is-- are you ready?-- America.
- Yes, America has become a rogue state, a state that
unleashes unprovoked warfare on other peoples and other nations.
America has become a threat to the security of planet Earth and to the
life and liberty of a growing number of its own citizens.
- You know, when I was studying for my first Master's
degree in Latin American Studies, I read a lot of political and
sociological literature that dealt with repressive military regimes in
Central and South America. In most cases these brutal dictatorships
are set up and supported as client regimes by the United States,
acting through such agencies as the CIA, the Pentagon and the U.S.
State Department. One of the hallmarks of these regimes is the
systematic, massive violation of civil liberties and the phenomenon of
SECRET imprisonment and DISAPPEARANCES of people. That's right. The
cops and Army just pick people up off the street or out of their homes
and they just vanish. Sometimes they turn up later, after having been
jailed and/or tortured. Sometimes their body shows up in a ditch
somewhere. But in numerous cases, people who disappear under Latin
American dictatorships just vanish. Never to be seen again. The cops
or the military just physically annihilate them and no one ever sees
- This is the troubling thing that the cases of Jose
Padilla and the other illegal detainee, Mr. Hamdi represent, both of
whom are American citizens by birth. There are no formal, legal
charges against them. The government has presented no proof of the
sensational "illegal combatant" allegations that have been made
against them in the press. We know that they are a threat and menace
because, ... well, because Herr Bush and Attorney-Gauleiter Ashcroft
say so. That's all we know. There is no public evidence, no legally
regular indictment that specifies their alleged crimes.
- No one from the outside world can speak with or
contact them. They will remain in prison until those who put them
there deign to release them. That could be years or decades from now
- Now that the practice of illegal and secret
imprisonment of citizens is demonstrable FACT in today's America,
what's next? Secret executions? Torture chambers? Will mass arrest
become commonplace? In recent months there has been a great deal of
mention in the news media of the President's purported "right" to
empanel military tribunals to try and even potentially execute alleged
"terrorists" and "enemy combatants"; if need be, even on U.S. Navy
aircraft carriers on the high seas.
- What if this is happening now? What if there are
secret arrests and detention, secret military trials and secret
executions, with the unfortunate victims thrown to the sharks from
U.S. Navy warships in mid-ocean?
- How would you know? None of us knew about Jose
Padilla's secret arrest and imprisonment by the U.S. military until
Ashcroft blurted it out while visiting the Kremlin (how fitting - the
headquarters from which Stalin's Communist KGB terrorized Russia).
What else don't we know? How many unknown Jose Padillas are
- America has crossed the Rubicon into Imperial
- Copyright (2002) Richard Sauder, PhD
- All rights reserved. Contact author for permission
to reprint or repost.