Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Easy Solution To Occupiers? Are We Allowing Our Representatives To Vote for a Police State (OUT LOUD)? Wanna See Just One Example of Easy to Eliminate Military Waste (It Would Solve the SuperCommittee's Problem Instantly)?


Are you going to go peacefully into that dark night (of fascist control)?

I don't intend to, but I'm only speaking for myself.

After all, Cheney's plans to save Halliburton from bankruptcy with those no-bid contracts after 9/11 wasn't just an afterthought. And there's certainly a reason the assault on student demonstrators began in California (the righties" most hated state).

This could turn out to be the perfect solution to rid the "body politic" of the Occupy Wall Street and All Streets crowd.

It will take millions of organized citizens taking action in order to say "NO!"

If You Thought Police Brutality Was Bad . . . Wait Until You See What Congress Wants to Do


The police brutality against peaceful protesters in Berkeley, Davis, Oakland and elsewhere is bad enough.

But . . . Congress will vote on explicitly creating a police state.

The ACLU’s Washington legislative office explains:

The Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
***

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world.
***

The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself. The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday.
***

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?
***

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”
***

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown.

Part of an Ongoing Trend


While this is shocking, it is not occurring in a vacuum. Indeed, it is part of a 30 year-long process of militarization inside our borders and a destruction of the American concepts of limited government and separation of powers.

As I pointed out in May:

The ACLU noted yesterday [that] Congress is proposing handing permanent, world-wide war-making powers to the president – including the ability to make war within the United States:
***

As I noted in 2008:


An article in the Army Times reveals that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be redeployed from Iraq to domestic operations within
the United States.


The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with “civil unrest” and “crowd control”.

The soldiers are learning to use so-called “nonlethal weapons” designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.

This violates posse comitatus and the Constitution. But, hey, we’re in a “national emergency”, so who cares, right?
(We’re still in a declared state of national emergency).

I noted a couple of months later:

Everyone knows that deploying 20,000 troops on U.S. soil violates Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.

And everyone understands that staging troops within the U.S. to “help out with civil unrest and crowd control”
increases the danger of overt martial law.

But no one is asking an obvious question: Does the government’s own excuse for deploying the troops make any sense?
Other Encroachments On Civil Rights Under Obama

As bad as Bush was, the truth is that, in many ways, freedom and constitutional rights are under attack even more than during the Bush years.

For example:

Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history even more so than Nixon.
As Marjorie Cohen – professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past president of the National Lawyers Guild – writes at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy:

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing court-martial for leaking military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. He has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in The United States and Torture, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture.
Manning’s forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.
Nevertheless, President Barack Obama defended Manning’s treatment, saying, “I’ve actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures . . . are appropriate. They assured me they are.” Obama’s deference is reminiscent of President George W. Bush, who asked “the most senior legal officers in the U.S. government” to review the interrogation techniques. “They assured me they did not constitute torture,” Bush said.
***
After State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized Manning’s conditions of confinement, the White House forced him to resign. Crowley had said the restrictions were “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” It appears that Washington is more intent on sending a message to would-be whistleblowers than on upholding the laws that prohibit torture and abuse.
***
Torture is commonplace in countries strongly allied with the United States. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. A former CIA agent observed, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.”

In her chapter in The United States and Torture, New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer cites Egypt as the most common destination for suspects rendered by the United States.

As I pointed out in March:
Former constitutional law teacher Glenn Greenwald says that – in his defense of state secrecy, illegal spying, preventative detention, harassment of whistleblowers and other issues of civil liberties – Obama is even worse than Bush.

Indeed, Obama has authorized “targeted assassinations” against U.S. citizens. Even Bush didn’t openly do something so abhorrent to the rule of law.

Obama is trying to expand spying well beyond the Bush administration’s programs. Indeed, the Obama administration is arguing that citizens should never be able to sue the government for illegal spying.

Obama’s indefinite detention policy is an Orwellian nightmare, which will create more terrorists.Furthermore – as hard as it is for Democrats to believe – the disinformation and propaganda campaigns launched by Bush have only increased under Obama. See this and this.

And as I pointed out last year:

According to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is considered “low-level terrorism”. And see this and this. 

An FBI memo also labels peace protesters as “terrorists”.
***
A 2003 FBI memo describes protesters’ use of videotaping as an “intimidation” technique, even though – as the ACLU points out – “Most mainstream demonstrators often use videotape during protests to document law enforcement activity and, more importantly, deter police from acting outside the law.”
The FBI appears to be objecting to the use of cameras to document unlawful behavior by law enforcement itself.

The Internet has been labeled as a breeding ground for terrorists, with anyone who questions the government’s versions of history being especially equated with terrorists.

Government agencies such as FEMA are allegedly teaching that the Founding Fathers should be considered terrorists.

The government is also using anti-terrorism laws to keep people from learning what pollutants are in their own community. See this, this, this and this.

Claims of “national security” are also used to keep basic financial information such as who got bailout moneysecret. That might not bode for particularly warm and friendly treatment for someone persistently demanding the release of such information.

The state of Missouri tried to label as terrorists current Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters, former Congressman Bob Barr, libertarians in general, anyone who holds gold, and a host of other people.

And according to a law school professor and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, pursuant to the Military Commissions Act:

Anyone who … speaks out against the government’s policies could be declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens.

Obama has refused to reverse these practices.

There Is Still a Chance to Stop It


The ACLU notes that there is some hope:

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
***
The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.
***
Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

Scared yet?
They hope you are, cause what they've got up their sleeves for the next act (after they dispose ol the Rethug "clown show"), will bring you to your knees in fear,
I keep thinking of the German people before WW2 and the many lies they had swallowed from their "representatives" before they were told the ultimate lie about how fatally they were threatened from "forces" within their country and what they had to do to protect themselves.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Talk about cutting the projected expenses of the U.S. government goes nowhere due to the off-limits projects like the one below. You'd think we were going to firebomb the terrorists. (We're talking a trillion dollars wasted, folks!)

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter: A One Trillion Dollar Boondoggle That is "Too Big to Fail"

Media_httpldrlongdist_whqqs
THE F-35 JOINT STRIKE FIGHTER: A ONE TRILLION DOLLAR BOONDOGGLE THAT IS "TOO BIG TO FAIL"

Global Revolution 1: American Revolution 2: Day 66: IronBoltBruce's Kleptocracy Chronicles for 20 Nov 2011

How many examples of greed and corruption must you see before you act?

The constitutionality of "the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction" a.k.a. "the Supercommittee" created on August 2nd by the "Budget Control Act of 2011" is a question few of our corporate-controlled politicians or media pundits have the intestinal fortitude to debate. And we don't have the bandwidth to address the issue here, so we leave it for now to you, the reader, to pursue.

This fiction thus enables our politicians to make unpopular budget cuts without any personal accountability to their constituents or the American people as a whole.

Allegedly included in those automatic spending cuts is a $600 million reduction in defense spending - which may actually be a reduction in future increases only, and therefore not really a reduction at all. Real or not, if those "cuts" are triggered then CIA Director turned Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta says one of the first casualties will be the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program:

http://tinyurl.com/7g2hfta

That makes perfect sense from the perspective of those at the Pentagon and elsewhere who DON'T WANT THIS PLANE (*** watch the video series linked below ***). In the following article published by The Atlantic, author Dominic Tierney tells the rest of this shocking tale of unbridled corporate greed, political corruption and wanton Washington waste:

[Start of The Atlantic article]

THE F-35: A WEAPON THAT COSTS MORE THAN AUSTRALIA

The U.S. will ultimately spend $1 trillion for these fighter planes.

Where's the outrage over Washington's culture of waste?

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II is an impressive aircraft: a fifth generation multirole fighter plane with stealth technology. It's also a symbol of everything that's wrong with defense spending in America.

In a rational world, U.S. military expenditure would focus on the likely threats that the United States faces today and in the future. And at a time of mounting national debt, the Tea Party would be knocking down the Pentagon's door to cut waste. But the only tea party in sight is the one overseen by the Mad Hatter, as we head down the rabbit hole into the military industrial wonderland.

The F-35 is designed to be the core tactical fighter aircraft for the U.S.
military, with three versions for the Air Force, Navy, and the Marine Corps. Each plane clocks in at around $90 million. In a decade's time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia. So, how many F-35s do we need? 100? 500? Washington intends to buy 2,443, at a price tag of $382 billion. Add in the $650 billion that the Government Accountability Office estimates is needed to operate and maintain the aircraft, and the total cost reaches a staggering $1 trillion. In other words, we're spending more on this plane than Australia's entire GDP ($924 billion).
The F-35 is the most expensive defense program in history, and reveals massive cost overruns, a lack of clear strategic thought, and a culture in Washington that encourages incredible waste. Money is pouring into the F-35 vortex. In 2010, Pentagon officials found that the cost of each plane had soared by over 50 percent above the original projections.
The program has fallen years behind schedule, causing billions of dollars of additional expense, and won't be ready until 2016. An internal Pentagon report concluded that: "affordability is no longer embraced as a core pillar." In January 2011, even Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a champion of the aircraft, voiced his frustration: "The culture of endless money that has taken hold must be replaced by a culture of restraint."
The F-35 is meant to be the future of U.S. tactical airpower, but the
program harks back to the Cold War, when we faced an aggressive great power rival.
The world has changed. The odds of great power war have declined dramatically. We still need a deterrent capacity against China and Russia, but how much is enough? In a decade's time, the United States plans to have 15 times as many modern fighters as China, and 20 times as many as Russia.
Meanwhile, new challenges and threats have emerged. We should be focusing our military spending on the types of campaigns that we're actually likely to face: complex asymmetric wars against weaker opponents, where manpower and intelligence are critical.
And it's hard to square the military largesse with our rampant debt.
Republicans want to slash billions from programs like early education, in Representative Jeb Hensarling's words, to "save our children from bankruptcy." So where is the outrage at the F-35's outlandish cost?

Some just don't seem to care. When it comes to defense, Republicans are the champions of big government and massive expenditure. The F-35 is too big to fail.

At the same time, many Democrats keep quiet for fear of looking weak on defense - unless, like Senator Bernie Sanders, they're from Vermont. Other politicians are bought off with pork. Defense suppliers are spread throughout dozens of states, giving everyone a reason to look the other way.

Any serious effort to balance the federal budget will require significant cuts in defense spending. And the F-35 is a prime target. The 2010 bipartisan Bowles-Simpson Commission on deficit reduction suggested canceling the Marine Corps's version of the F-35, and halving the number of F-35s for the Air Force and Navy - replacing them with current generation F-16s, which cost one-third as much. This would save close to $30 billion from 2011 to 2015. The plan went nowhere.

We used to be content to outspend Australia on aircraft. Now we literally spend Australia on aircraft. [End of The Atlantic article]



And, yes, I spent over 10 years working in a B1-B group and over 13 years working on the many radar systems for the F16s as well as sonar systems for the anti-mine countermeasures used in the Persian Gulf conflicts. Even I wonder what they found to do with all this mooooolahhhh.

2 comments:

Steve said...

Some good links to the F35. A turkey in the air and a princess in the hanger.

Suzan said...

Whose dowry will be in the billions.

Thanks for the comment, Steve!

S