Timothy V. Gatto
The recent revelations about government intrusion into everyone’s privacy are alarming. More alarming however, are the justifications that the government uses for invading its citizens privacy. The entire argument that we must balance our liberty against our security is a pernicious falsehood based on lies and propaganda.
The constant propaganda about threats to national security is what every regime throughout history has used to keep the support of the people. External threats from the enemy are a scare tactic that was used by the Romans and continues to this day. The German Reich used the threat posed by Poland as an excuse to start World War II. The Germans used a “false flag” event to invade that nation. Things haven’t changed since then.
The threat of “weapons of mass destruction” was the pretext the United States used to invade Iraq. No such weapons were found. There was also no accountability for breaking international law either.
The entire “War on Terror” is based on lies and half-truths. The alleged hijackers were supposedly Sunni Wahhabi Saudi Arabian extremists bent on punishing the U.S. for stationing troops on holy land in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, the Bin Laden family, visiting the U.S. at time of the attack was allowed to fly out of the United States while all air traffic was grounded.
We responded to that attack by invading Afghanistan after the Taliban offered up Osama bin Laden if we would only offer proof that he was involved and charges of terrorism were written against him. We refused to do that, in fact; Osama Bin Laden was never formerly charged in the attack. Since we were advocating for a pipeline to bring oil across Afghanistan on the TAPI pipeline, we installed Hamid Karzai, who was a CIA asset during the Soviet Afghan War.
The United States passed The Patriot Act in response to the attacks on 9/11. In reality the Patriot Act, signed into law on October 26, 2001, a two thousand page law that the majority of our elected representatives admittedly never read. The Patriot Act allowed the government expanded surveillance capabilities. Title II established three very controversial provisions: “sneak and peek” warrants, roving wiretaps and the ability of the FBI to gain access to documents that reveal the patterns of U.S. citizens. The so-called “sneak and peek” law allowed for delayed notification of the execution of search warrants. The period before which the FBI must notify the recipients of the order was unspecified in the Act – the FBI field manual says that it is a “flexible standard”]- and it may be extended at the court’s discretion. These sneak and peek provisions were struck down by judge Ann Aiken on September 26, 2007 after a Portland attorney, Brandon Mayfield, was wrongly jailed because of the searches. The court found the searches to violate the provision that prohibits unreasonable searches in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
It is apparent that from the very beginning of this “War on Terror”, the government was hell bent on destroying the civil liberties of all Americans and institute a “security state” in the U.S. The government saturated the media with “Threat Levels” and propaganda to insure that Americans were sufficiently alarmed and fearful of another “terrorist attack”
This continues to this day. We are constantly informed about the intentions of al Qaida, a shadowy group of Sunni extremists hell-bent on the destruction of the United States. This group of extremists has led to an entire industry that supports and maintains the American Surveillance State. The CIA, NSA and the Defense Intelligence Agencies have grown in power and stature. The task of intercepting every phone call and electronic communications has become so large and onerous that they had to resort to private contractors to help with the collection of data.
President Barack Obama has used the threat of terrorism to reauthorize The Patriot Act which had a sunset provision to allow it to expire. The Patriot Act however, was not the only law passed to fight “terrorism”. The NDAA that has a provision that allows the military to arrest and detain American citizens without charges for the duration of this “War on Terror” was passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.
Now we are told that the NSA has a program called PRISM that collects meta-data on all communications in the U.S. by every person in America. We are told however that we may rest assured, that any data collected will not be viewed without a warrant from a secret FISA Court without any oversight. We are told that our government will respect out privacy.
Now we are supporting Sunni extremists in the Middle-East linked to al Qaida, the very same Wahhabi al-Nusra jihadists that are fighting against the predominantly Shia/Alawite government in Syria. It is interesting to note that Iraq, the nation that we invaded on false pretenses, has a predominantly Shia central government and seems to be falling into the Iranian sphere of influence.
Iran is another story. Americans are bombarded with the threat of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons. Even though Iran is a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty that allows enrichment of Uranium to 20%, we consistently attack them with economic sanctions that are crippling its economy for doing so. The U.S. Government threatens Iran on its nuclear program while turning a blind eye to Israel’s stockpile of 300-400 nuclear warheads while also allegedly maintaining a chemical and biological weapons program.
In essence, what I’m maintaining here is that this “War on Terror” is a propaganda tool used by the United States to provide justification for external and internal decisions by our government to achieve total subjugation of the American people while pursuing a policy of World Hegemony. The “Full Spectrum Dominance” is a military concept whereby a joint military structure achieves control over all elements of the battlespace using land, air, maritime, space, and even cyber based assets. The recent revelations about the PRISM program address those cyber based assets.
The United States has maintained its defense capabilities and the military industrial complex nonstop since World War II. We have used our intelligence agencies to overthrow governments that fell out of favor with our interests. It is worth noting that the United States was directly responsible for overthrowing the democratically elected government of Iran, and its head of government Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953. We replaced him with Mohammad-Rezā Shāh Pahlavi, who progressed from a constitutional monarch to an authoritarian one who relied heavily on United States support to hold on to power until his own overthrow in February 1979. The regime under the Shah was a repressive dictatorship that allowed no dissent. The secret police the CIA-trained SAVAK, was a repressive secret police force. Since 1979, there is widespread anti-American sentiment which is completely understandable. It is also worth noting that the Iranian people seem to accept Americans while distrusting our government.
We have a government that allows its trusted ally Israel to attack a US Navy ship The Liberty. The USS Liberty incident was an attack on a United States Navy technical research ship, USS Liberty, by Israeli Air Force jet fighter aircraft and Israeli Navy motor torpedo boats, on 8 June 1967, during the Six-Day War. The combined air and sea attack killed 34 crew members (naval officers, seamen, two Marines, and one civilian), wounded 171 crew members, and severely damaged the ship. This incident was concealed from the public when it happened. Israel has never acknowledged or apologized for killing Americans.
The United States supports tyrants abroad as long as they maintain the American worldview This is evidenced by our support of Bahrain, the home of the US Fifth Fleet. The Khalifa Monarchy is a Sunni dictatorship in a predominantly Shia nation. There, torture during the uprising has been described in many human rights reports as being widespread and systematic. The Gulf Cooperation Council made of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni States has maintained a military presence there to subjugate the people of Bahrain. This repressive police State seems to be fine with the US as long as they support US policy and do not interfere with our assets stationed there.
In essence, the United States turns a blind eye to human rights abuses as long as the government that commits them is aligned with the United States. We only act on “humanitarian grounds” when we are supporting regime change in order to achieve a government that will be amiable to US aims in the region. Hypocrisy and deceit are the mainstays of American foreign policy.
What the American public needs to understand is that the actions of our government in relation to other nations borders on and sometimes crosses the line of criminality. Drone strikes on American citizens and innocent civilians in contested regions is widespread, CIA interference in internal affairs of other nations is also commonplace. American foreign policy drives the Muslim fundamental movement. One must understand that our government relishes threats and attacks so as to justify the subjugation of the American people.
We are at war. This is a war for hearts and minds, this time it is American hearts and minds. We can either accept the actions of our government overseas and at home, or resist this American surveillance/security state. We can continue to accept the misinformation that comes from the mainstream media through our own government, or look at the reality of our situation. Exchanging our liberty for security under the guise of this scripted and government supported phony “War on Terror” is tantamount to turning over our liberty to a regime that has no clear view of right or wrong. Our government cares very little about freedom and democracy as long as tyrannical governments support US aims. Once a nation falls out of favor with American interests, politically or economically, freedom and democracy are catchwords for invasion, no-fly zones or proxy wars.
The choice is ours to make. No government can survive without the support of its people. One can only look to the situations in Brazil and Turkey, not to mention Egypt during the Arab Spring. Once the people are sufficiently informed about the real nature of their government, accepting the status quo is actually surrendering your freedom.
Tim Gatto is former Chairman of the Liberal Party of America, Tim is a retired Army Sergeant. He currently lives in South Carolina. He is the author of “Complicity to Contempt” and “Kimchee Days” available at Oliver Arts and Open Press.