The word soviet, used as a noun, means a council or assembly connected to a socialistic government system. We remember it from the USSR, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The USSR was a totalitarian state.
A totalitarian state has a centralized government that does not tolerate parties of differing opinions and that exercises dictatorial control over many aspects of life.
The United States is a country founded on the tenants of a free, self governing society. Here in NH our state motto is “Live Free or Die”. The motto comes from a quote by John Stark, possibly the most famous NH soldier in the Revolution. When health prevented him from attending a reunion of the Battle of Bennington, he wrote in his RSVP, “Live free or die: death is not the worst of evils.”
From childhood to my current aging state, I have always been filled with wonder at the bravery of the founders and with the power of freedom. Watching the television production of John Adams’ life, I was overwhelmed with the visualized courage exhibited by the signers of the Declaration of Independence. They became documented traitors to England subject to hanging the moment their pens touched the paper.
Because of this background and my strong attachment to the wonder that has been the founding and progression of our country, I have, sadly, only recently become aware of the insidious march in our country towards the USSS. I have felt it. I have listened to the talking heads warn of it.
My strong feelings of being part of what deTocqueville called the great American experiment always overcame, though. It can’t happen here, I felt.
Totalitarian systems disempower an unsuspecting population by gradually making legal what was once illegal. They incrementally corrupt and distort law to exclusively serve the goals of the inner sanctums of power and strip protection from the citizen. Law soon becomes the primary tool to advance the crimes of the elite and punish those who tell the truth. The state saturates the airwaves with official propaganda to replace news. Fear, and finally terror, creates an intellectual and moral void.
Chris Hedges, Truthdig, March 12, 2012
We all kinda knew that, but not here, not in the good old USA. Right?
So what’s been happening? One of the scariest things I ever heard a politician say was when the, at the time, White House Chief of Staff to President Obama, Rham Emanuel, said, “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste.” Normally, I would say OK, a crisis requires a response. When this Chicago politician said it and referenced “wasting the crisis”, it terrified me.
Was I right to be terrified?
There is something called the National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law on by President Obama on the last day on 2011. It is a regular funding bill for the military. This time around the act had some extra stuff in it. The stuff is promoted as helping us to defend against terrorists (the crisis). Now I have been reading that:
- It permits indefinite detention of an “accused” US Citizen without trial until the cessation of “hostilities”.
- The US Military can now carry out domestic anti terror operations on US soil.
- It may be possible for the definition of “supporter of terrorism” to include peaceful activists, authors, academics and even journalists interviewing members of radical groups.
As I struggled with the complete lack of outrage from the press on this one, I did some digging to see if it really contained the enumerated things. With so little coverage, I had little luck finding anything. I actually read the darn NDAA many times and completely choked on the twisted language and collection of references that represent the rule of law to which we are all suppose to toe the line.
The language is typically vague leaving the government lawyers lots of wiggle room. If the government is not happy with you for whatever reason, how difficult do you think it would be for you to become the “accused”? Since the war on terror will never be over, the cessation of hostilities will never happen. Say goodbye to daddy kids, he’s off to Guantanamo.
The Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) is one of the things the NDAA references. It was created along with the Department of Homeland Security right after the attacks on September 11, 2001 by George Bush. Thanks George. When all of your agencies fail, create another overarching one, brilliant.
The AUMF authorizes the government to use the US military against those responsible for the attacks on September 11th.
I can see where the AUMF was created to prevent downstream legal trouble but why would that be necessary? We had been attacked. I guess it was a bit icky in lawyer land because the enemy was not an easily identified state as was the historical case.
Imagine what linking the AUMF to the NDAA might bring…
In early July, 2008, in a campaign speech to a Colorado Springs audience, Obama said, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” When I heard this, I was astounded. What could this be? How would this be accomplished? Why isn’t the media up in arms and asking tons of questions? How can the grinning hope and change folks let this one by?
It seems that the Department of Homeland Security is providing grants for these kinds of things and Keene had “won” one of the grants.
The police chief dutifully crafted a case for a resource which he could no doubt use in emergencies like last years hurricane or the floods of 2005. He struggled a bit justifying it in tactical situations but indicated that hostage and bad guys holed up events would be safer to approach with this baby.
The city population rose up. Why on earth does a peaceful little New England city need such a thing? What kind of message does this send out? The US government is wasting our tax dollars again (Oh, wait, they don’t have enough of those, they are wasting borrowed money.) Why is our small city police force being militarized? Isn’t this just the government greasing a favored corporation?
The protestations fell on deaf ears and the Bearcat is on its way to Keene.
If you are a regular reader (a very exclusive club), you will remember my recounting of getting back into the shooting sports while a resident of New York City. I was astounded with the government intrusion into what I thought was clearly set out in the Bill of Rights and what had been such a part of my life growing up.
The continued attempts to oppress my ability to be a competitive shooter (yes, I mean you Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, etc., all of whom clearly know better than me how life should be lived) made me very aware of just how government oppression feels.
Don’t know about you but it seems we ought to be afraid, very afraid.