The Shining City Goes Dark -- Forever
America Can Never Be Rebuilt
A Commentary by J. D. Longstreet
over North Korea. Move over China. Move over Soviet Socialist
Russia. Move over Cuba. Move over Nazi Germany. Room must be made for
a new entry on the list of police states on earth. Now we must add the
name of -- the United States of America.
No. It has been in the works for a very long time and the terrorist
attack that took out the World Trade Center on 9/11 simply created the
right condition for the powerful to extend their powers over a scared,
frightened, people who, like all humans since the beginning of time
(except for a few strong individualists), traded their freedom for
Welcome to "post constitution America." The Bill of Rights is DEAD. Freedom for US citizens is a mirage. It no longer exists.
is no longer a part of the so-called "free world." Come to think of it
-- I'm not sure if there is, indeed, a free world any longer!
Washington University law professor, Jonathan Turley, wrote a piece a
while back that spelled it out for anyone not yet convinced that America
has moved onto the police state list. You will find his article here:
I'm going to highlight it a bit here.
Turley says the list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since
9/11 puts us in rather troubling company. (See the incomplete list of
authoritarian states I mentioned above)
Professor Turley enumerates the "new" powers our government now holds over its citizens:
Assassination of U.S. citizens
Obama has claimed, as President George W. Bush did before him, the
right to order the killing of any citizen considered a terrorist or an
abettor of terrorism. Last month, administration officials affirmed
that power, stating that the president can order the assassination of
any citizen whom he considers allied with terrorists.
the law signed last month, terrorism suspects are to be held by the
military; the president also has the authority to indefinitely detain
citizens accused of terrorism. The Administration continues to claim
the right to strip citizens of legal protections based on its sole
president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the
federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been
ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections.
Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the
president may now order warrantless surveillance, including a new
capability to force companies and organizations to turn over information
on citizens’ finances, communications and associations. Bush acquired
this sweeping power under the Patriot Act in 2001, and in 2011, Obama
extended the power, including searches of everything from business
documents to library records. The government can use “national security
letters” to demand, without probable cause, that organizations turn over
information on citizens — and order them not to reveal the disclosure
to the affected party.
government now routinely uses secret evidence to detain individuals and
employs secret evidence in federal and military courts. It also forces
the dismissal of cases against the United States by simply filing
declarations that the cases would make the government reveal classified
information that would harm national security — a claim made in a
variety of privacy lawsuits and largely accepted by federal judges
without question. Even legal opinions, cited as the basis for the
government’s actions under the Bush and Obama administrations, have been
classified. This allows the government to claim secret legal arguments
to support secret proceedings using secret evidence. In addition, some
cases never make it to court at all. The federal courts routinely deny
constitutional challenges to policies and programs under a narrow
definition of standing to bring a case.
world clamored for prosecutions of those responsible for waterboarding
terrorism suspects during the Bush administration, but the Obama
administration said in 2009 that it would not allow CIA employees to be
investigated or prosecuted for such actions. This gutted not just treaty
obligations but the Nuremberg principles of international law. When
courts in countries such as Spain moved to investigate Bush officials
for war crimes, the Obama administration reportedly urged foreign
officials not to allow such cases to proceed, despite the fact that the
United States has long claimed the same authority with regard to alleged
war criminals in other countries.
government has increased its use of the secret Foreign Intelligence
Surveillance Court, which has expanded its secret warrants to include
individuals deemed to be aiding or abetting hostile foreign governments
or organizations. In 2011, Obama renewed these powers, including
allowing secret searches of individuals who are not part of an
identifiable terrorist group. The administration has asserted the right
to ignore congressional limits on such surveillance.
Immunity from judicial review
the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully
pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless
surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge
the violation of privacy.
Continual monitoring of citizens
Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can
use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without
securing any court order or review. It is not defending the power before
the Supreme Court — a power described by Justice Anthony Kennedy as
government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and
noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary
rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as
Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama
administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice
under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such
transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.
This, dear reader, is the description of an authoritarian government, a police state -- and THIS is America today.
lurches along today, struggling with every breath. Much like a wounded
animal instinctively knows something is wrong yet hasn't the reasoning
ability to understand that it is fatally wounded and will soon succumb
to its wounds, collapse, and die.
America, the wounded giant,
struggles against the infinity of self-inflicted wounds draining the
life from its once vibrant body.
The lifeblood of the great
constitutional republic, liberty and freedom, long since sacrificed on
the alter of security, are no longer the life force of the once great
titan that bestrode the earth. The lights are out in the once shining city on a hill and darkness shrouds the land.
The weight of the heavy hand of an authoritarian government smothers the citizenry and emasculates thoughts of revival.
late Americans remember the warning of one of America's original
Founding Fathers and our second President, John Adams. Freedom, once
lost, can never be regained. Adams said: "A constitution of government, once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever."
is done for. She cannot be rebuilt. redemption is impossible. The
hollowed-out husk that remains has joined the league of mediocre nations
destined to become the foundation of a global government on the planet.
At remarkable speed America "fundamentally transformed"
itself from a constitutional representative republic to a socialist
authoritarian (police) state to a "has been" nation. As John Adams
warned -- there is no going back.
© J. D. Longstreet