[Ppnews] It Is Now Official: The U.S. Is A Police State

Political Prisoner News ppnews at freedomarchives.org
Tue Feb 9 15:00:39 EST 2010

It Is Now Official: The U.S. Is A Police State

By Paul Craig Roberts

09 February, 2010

Americans have been losing the protection of law for years. In the 
21st century the loss of legal protections accelerated with the Bush 
administration's "war on terror," which continues under the Obama 
administration and is essentially a war on the Constitution and U.S. 
civil liberties.

The Bush regime was determined to vitiate habeas corpus in order to 
hold people indefinitely without bringing charges. The regime had 
acquired hundreds of prisoners by paying a bounty for terrorists. 
Afghan warlords and thugs responded to the financial incentive by 
grabbing unprotected people and selling them to the Americans.

The Bush regime needed to hold the prisoners without charges because 
it had no evidence against the people and did not want to admit that 
the U.S. government had stupidly paid warlords and thugs to kidnap 
innocent people. In addition, the Bush regime needed "terrorists" 
prisoners in order to prove that there was a terrorist threat.

As there was no evidence against the "detainees" (most have been 
released without charges after years of detention and abuse), the 
U.S. government needed a way around U.S. and international laws 
against torture in order that the government could produce evidence 
via self-incrimination. The Bush regime found inhumane and 
totalitarian-minded lawyers and put them to work at the U.S. 
Department of Justice (sic) to invent arguments that the Bush regime 
did not need to obey the law.

The Bush regime created a new classification for its detainees that 
it used to justify denying legal protection and due process to the 
detainees. As the detainees were not U.S. citizens and were demonized 
by the regime as "the 760 most dangerous men on earth," there was 
little public outcry over the regime's unconstitutional and inhumane actions.

As our Founding Fathers and a long list of scholars warned, once 
civil liberties are breached, they are breached for all. Soon U.S. 
citizens were being held indefinitely in violation of their habeas 
corpus rights. Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an American citizen of Pakistani 
origin, might have been the first.

Dr. Siddiqui, a scientist educated at MIT and Brandeis University, 
was seized in Pakistan for no known reason, sent to Afghanistan, and 
was held secretly for five years in the U.S. military's notorious 
Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Her three young children, one an 
8-month-old baby, were with her at the time she was abducted. She has 
no idea what has become of her two youngest children. Her oldest 
child, 7 years old, was also incarcerated in Bagram and subjected to 
similar abuse and horrors.

Siddiqui has never been charged with any terrorism-related offense. A 
British journalist, hearing her piercing screams as she was being 
tortured, disclosed her presence.. An embarrassed U.S. government 
responded to the disclosure by sending Siddiqui to the U.S. for trial 
on the trumped-up charge that while a captive, she grabbed a U.S. 
soldier's rifle and fired two shots attempting to shoot him. The 
charge apparently originated as a U.S. soldier's excuse for shooting 
Dr. Siddiqui twice in the stomach, resulting in her near death.

On Feb. 4, Dr. Siddiqui was convicted by a New York jury for 
attempted murder. The only evidence presented against her was the 
charge itself and an unsubstantiated claim that she had once taken a 
pistol-firing course at an American firing range. No evidence was 
presented of her fingerprints on the rifle that this frail and broken 
100-pound woman had allegedly seized from an American soldier. No 
evidence was presented that a weapon was fired, no bullets, no shell 
casings, no bullet holes. Just an accusation.

Wikipedia has this to say about the trial: "The trial took an unusual 
turn when an FBI official asserted that the fingerprints taken from 
the rifle, which was purportedly used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S. 
interrogators, did not match hers."

An ignorant and bigoted American jury convicted her for being a 
Muslim. This is the kind of "justice" that always results when the 
state hypes fear and demonizes a group.

The people who should have been on trial are the people who abducted 
her, disappeared her young children, shipped her across international 
borders, violated her civil liberties, tortured her apparently for 
the fun of it, raped her, and attempted to murder her with two 
gunshots to her stomach. Instead, the victim was put on trial and convicted.

This is the unmistakable hallmark of a police state. And this victim 
is an American citizen.

Anyone can be next. Indeed, on Feb. 3 Dennis Blair, director of 
National Intelligence told the House Intelligence Committee that it 
was now "defined policy" that the U.S. government can murder its own 
citizens on the sole basis of someone in the government's judgment 
that an American is a threat. No arrest, no trial, no conviction, 
just execution on suspicion of being a threat.

This shows how far the police state has advanced. A presidential 
appointee in the Obama administration tells an important committee of 
Congress that the executive branch has decided that it can murder 
American citizens abroad if it thinks they are a threat.

I can hear readers saying the government might as well kill Americans 
abroad as it kills them at home--Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Black Panthers.

Yes, the U.S. government has murdered its citizens, but Dennis 
Blair's "defined policy" is a bold new development. The government, 
of course, denies that it intended to kill the Branch Davidians, 
Randy Weaver's wife and child, or the Black Panthers. The government 
says that Waco was a terrible tragedy, an unintended result brought 
on by the Branch Davidians themselves. The government says that Ruby 
Ridge was Randy Weaver's fault for not appearing in court on a day 
that had been miscommunicated to him. The Black Panthers, the 
government says, were dangerous criminals who insisted on a shoot-out.

In no previous death of a U.S. citizen by the hands of the U.S. 
government has the government claimed the right to kill Americans 
without arrest, trial, and conviction of a capital crime.

In contrast, Dennis Blair has told the U.S. Congress that the 
executive branch has assumed the right to murder Americans who it 
deems a "threat."

What defines "threat"? Who will make the decision? What it means is 
that the government will murder whomever it chooses.

There is no more complete or compelling evidence of a police state 
than the government announcing that it will murder its own citizens 
if it views them as a "threat."

Ironic, isn't it, that "the war on terror" to make us safe ends in a 
police state with the government declaring the right to murder 
American citizens whom it regards as a threat.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during 
President Reagan's first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall 
Street Journal. paulcraigroberts at yahoo.com

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