Amerika, A modern day East Germany
By Dark Politricks
The definition of a Police State is:
"A state in which the government exercises rigid and repressive controls over the social, economic, and political life of the people, especially by means of a secret police force."
History shows that mankind has been plagued by authoritarian governments since the dawn of collective governance. We have many instances of governments that fit the definition of a Police State from the East German Stasi, Soviet KGB to the current Chinese government who still utilise whole teams of agents to follow westerners of interest around when they visit the country.
However these countries have all been authoritarian one party states and it has always been presumed that within western democracies the idea of a police state only existed in the nightmares of those sections of society who mistrusted the government no matter what it did.
However with the recent Washington post investigation into the size of the intelligence community within the United States of America it may be successfully argued that the time for nightmares has arrived.
The Washington Post expose looked into the huge expansion of the security services and other intelligence agencies since the attacks of 9/11 and revealed some stunning facts such as:
Some 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies work on programs related to counter terrorism, homeland security and intelligence in about 10,000 locations across the United States.
An estimated 854,000 people, nearly 1.5 times as many people as live in Washington, D.C., hold top-secret security clearances.
In Washington and the surrounding area, 33 building complexes for top-secret intelligence work are under construction or have been built since September 2001. Together they occupy the equivalent of almost three Pentagons or 22 U.S. Capitol buildings - about 17 million square feet of space.
In case that second point escapes due attention it means that roughly 1 in every 150 adults within the USA has top secret security clearance and if that many people have the top level clearance how many more have one of the many lower levels?
It does seem from this study alone that the USA is awash with spooks and spies and as we know from the past ten years of abuse they are not all engaged in fighting the war on terror and looking for the supposed architect of 9/11 Usama bin-Laden.
Instead the government has directed this huge intelligence apparatus onto the people they are supposed to protect and one can only wonder whether this was the original aim in the first place. No democratic country would have ever accepted such a huge intrusion of privacy, destruction of civil liberties and total disregard to the rule of law had the threat of terrorism not existed and been used as the excuse of the century to implement such draconian measures.
Like many governments throughout the ages from Roman times with Julius Caesar, to Hitler and the Reichstag fire, the terrorist attacks of 9/11 were used by politicians to expand the power of the state at the expense of the citizenry using an outside enemy as the excuse. Whether you believe the attacks of 9/11 were staged or not is not the point as it is clear from succeeding events that they were used by the Bush government, and now the Obama administration to increase the power of the government to intrude into the lives of the public.
The main piece of legislation that started the ball rolling towards a Police State was the Patriot Act. This law was rushed through congress without proper consultation and debate and many senators later admitted that they didn't even read the bill. The very suspiciously timed Anthrax attacks on likely opponents of the bill ensured that the politicians passed through a truly anti-libertarian bill that had been sitting around for years just waiting for the right "event" to occur.
The law expanded the definition of terrorism to include many domestic activities and it enabled the federal government to increase it's surveillance of the public through a systematic warrant-less wire-tapping campaign that trawled through every conceivable piece of electronic information from phone calls, emails, Internet traffic and credit card transactions whilst it built up a huge database of real time events in which it hoped to find signs of terrorist connections in a huge game of connect the dots.
The loosening of the terms that define what is and not terrorism should be a chilling warning to anyone concerned with the war on terror. We have seen here in the UK how the numerous anti terrorism laws have been misused by Police officers to prevent photographers from recording police assaults on the streets and in preventing legitimate protest.
We have also seen our government abuse powers that were supposedly only there for exceptional purposes for non exceptional means such as when the UK froze the bank accounts of Iceland during the banking crisis.
The US government has now gone one step further in it's expansion of the war of terror against it's own citizens by enacting presidential powers that allow for the assassination of US born citizens throughout the world. The US government it seems is now perfectly willing to execute it's own citizens if they believe them to be linked to terrorism. No trial is required to contest any evidence that may or may not exist and the defendant is not allowed to answer any charges to a jury of his peers. If the government deems you to be a terrorist with it's newly relaxed definition of what constitutes terrorism then you may be assassinated.
Not only is the US government cranking up the war on terror by attacking those citizens it decides fall into the category of domestic or foreign terrorist it is also trying to crack down on the only forum in which free speech and dissent of government still exists e.g the internet.
In an age in which the dying print media is being deserted en mass and those that control it are scared of losing a major propaganda tool the attacks on the alternative media have increased tenfold. Claims that the old media is in the pocket of government and not doing it's job properly have increased since the 9/11 attacks and the war in Iraq. This was a war which was miss-sold to the public with the help of national newspapers prepared to look the other way as the government used them to drip feed false stories to a public who knew no better.
The only real voices of opposition are to be found in the blogosphere and the powers that be hate that they cannot control the news in the same way as they could buy off newspaper owners, editors and journalists. Instead of only worrying about a dozen or so national newspapers the government has to contend with millions of blogs and alternative news sites and the only tactic that would work is one that limits ownership of such a site or makes the available content illegal in some way or other. This is why there are now calls to regulate Internet bloggers such as the bill being brought forward by Bruce Patterson.
Obama's Information Czar, Cass Sunstein, has already wrote about his desire to crack down on blogs and sites that dare discuss topics that the government deems as conspiracy theory. This would include discussion of alternative theories surrounding the 9/11 attacks, or concluding that the JFK assassination involved more hit-men than Lee Harvey Oswald on his own. In fact it would cover anything that the government might deem beyond the limits of discussion by those who want to look beyond the official story immediately rolled out whenever a high crime is committed.
Then there are bills being introduced such as Senator Joe Lieberman’s 197-page Protecting Cyberspace as a National Asset Act, which aims to mimic China’s firewall and which would give the President powers to control IT networks and the flow of information in times of emergency such as a cyber attack.
Disabling the internet may be an extreme option to consider but deleting content that is deemed unsuitable is already a daily occurrence. With the merger of leading internet companies such as Google and the CIA it has become very easy for media deemed anti government to be pulled from sites such as YouTube or for search results to be tweaked to hide popular anti government search terms.
We already know how Google and the NSA are working together since the attack on Google by China earlier this year and there have also been claims that the CIA helped fund Google when it was starting up.
With all these links to the intelligence agencies it can safely be assumed that Google's massive database of user traffic, search terms, blogs, emails, videos and much more is seen as a prized asset by the intelligence community and who knows at what level they already co-operate when it comes to sharing data.
Whereas old school Police States were very obvious in their surveillance and monitoring techniques the modern day Amerika has no need to put half a dozen handlers onto someone they wish to monitor (not that they don't have the staff) as through their close links with Google and Microsoft and their new plans to access private information without a warrant they can literally let the information come to them.
We live in a semi virtual world where an online persona is just as important as your real one and due to the amount of social time people spend on social networking sites and the dependence of key infrastructure on the Internet means that control of the network literally can mean control over society.
We already know our governments monitor all our phone calls through the ECHELON system and there is no technical or it seems legal limitation preventing them from analysing every single packet of data transferred over the Internet if they so wished.
Therefore due to a political class that seems to be bought and paid for by those wanting to maintain the war on terror and the surveillance society it has sprung up at home there seems little hope of stopping the high tech police state we are now living in. The solutions are available to those with the means to implement them but in the end it comes down to a choice between a public uprising against the state or a change in the political class running it.
With elections in America due very soon it is a great opportunity to show the ruling elite that the public is not prepared to swap liberty and freedom for fear and the police state that enables it. Judge Napolitano always asks his guests the following question:
"which is more threatening to our way of live, terrorism or an ever increasing secretive and authoritarian state?"
The answer is clearly the latter and we need to elect officials that believe so too.
Only when the phony war on terror is seen for what it is can we start to rollback all the police state apparatus that has build up around us over the last decade. A large section of the population has fallen for the tricks played out by power hungry politicians throughout history and willingly handed over liberty in return for perceived security.
The time has come to realise this was a false trade and that Thomas Jefferson was correct when he said:
“Those who would trade safety for freedom deserve neither.”