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America is Rapidly Being Transformed into a "Controlled" State

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While many Americans don't seem to comprehend what's happening all around them, the U.S government is implementing more methods of surveillance over this society and many of its agencies are acquiring more powerful weaponry. And now we are also seeing state and local law enforcement agencies following this government's initiative of establishing greater and greater control over the American people. And that most certainly does not bode well for those who still value their privacy and rights under the Constitution.

It seems as if the U.S. government is waging two Wars on Terror; one in foreign lands against Al-Qaeda and one here within this country and society. So with that in mind let's examine some of the distinct similarities that are present in the U.S. government's foreign surveillance and methods of hunting down suspected terrorists around the world and those same strategies and tactics that it and various other law enforcement agencies are using here in America.

First let's talk about surveillance. It's no secret that, for many decades, the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies have been conducting comprehensive surveillance operations on various foreign governments and specific individuals in those countries. That's been going on for so long that few Americans even give it a second thought.

Now this comprehensive system of foreign surveillance, no doubt a result of the great trauma generated by the 9/11 tragedy, is being used to monitor all forms of communication within this country; when you use your cell phone, send an email, text, tweet or use some other electronic device, the NSA (National Security Agency) is using a huge electronic net to capture all these private communications and is resisting any and all efforts to scale back the process.

Next let's talk about surveillance from the air, such as the use of Predator and Reaper drones that the military uses to track down suspected terrorists in various countries. President Obama will go down in history as the president who introduced drone surveillance and eventual drone warfare to the world, not exactly a legacy of which to be proud; and while he has been heavily criticized for the deaths of hundreds of innocent people in foreign lands he shows no concern whatsoever.

And so is it any real surprise that going into the future that we here in America will be seeing various forms of drones in the skies over cities and towns everywhere. Here is one of the many articles that predicts how these drones will soon be used in large scale surveillance. While we are not at that point just yet, this article reports on the rapid expansion of surveillance technology in Los Angeles County, whereby the entire city of Compton, CA is being very closely monitored from the skies above. Perhaps as this monitoring spreads to areas in which we live, we will better appreciate the fear that innocent people in Somalia or Yemen feel when they look up at the skies.

Here's another example of how War on Terror technology has been introduced to local law enforcement in this country. The U.S. military has, for some time, been using MRAP's (mine resistant armored vehicles) in Iraq and Afghanistan in the attempt to prevent grave injuries due to IED's (improvised explosive devices) used by the those it considers to be enemies.

And now hand-me-down MRAP's and other similar military vehicles are being used in cities and towns in conjunction with swat teams; these swat teams that formerly were found only in some of this country's largest cities are now becoming common in towns across America.

What this should tell us is that this government no longer trusts and actually fears many of the people in this society and so they must be controlled. Yes, there are many threats to America's security in the world. There is Al-Qaeda, that primary enemy in the War on Terror. Then there are Russia, China, Iran and a few other countries that are considered to be potential future threats. There is no question that these various threats to America must be watched closely; that's a given and it's nothing new.

But here's something that is new to America and its people. Now the greatest threat that is looming on America's horizon is the potential confrontation between this government and the people of this country because of the massive fear and distrust that exists between them. It represents an existential threat to the future of our nation and our democracy.

Why is this happening? Are the American people, by their actions, actually contributing to the acceleration of this process? Is it because this country is experiencing continuous mass shootings in its grade schools, high schools, colleges, in malls or almost anywhere? This is becoming a gun-crazed society. I just read that, since the mass slaughter of 20 young children at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, there have been 74 shootings at schools within America; that's about one every single week. This is madness, this is pure insanity; but are the people of this country in an uproar, screaming and demanding that these murders be stopped? No, they remain in silence while the NRA is making sure that those in Congress keep their mouths shut and do nothing.

In this gun society we now have widespread Stand Your Ground and Concealed Carry laws that at some point will quite probably cause violence such as we have never experienced. In Texas brazen gun advocates have been openly brandishing their weapons in public places in what is called "open carry." It won't be much longer before we will be seeing swat teams confronting these gun nuts and then all hell may break loose. One could speculate that if a society in American history ever asked for the creation of a controlled or police state, it is the current society in which we live.

I think the case could be made that the increased violence, the proliferation of guns, the increased incidence of mass shootings, coupled with the rising anger and frustration of people who can't find work and are struggling to survive, is motivating this government to come up with more strategies and tactics to prevent a future societal eruption.

If anyone thinks I'm exaggerating about this increasing weaponry being acquired by various government agencies, check out this article entitled, "USDA and Submachine Guns: Latest Example of Mission Creep as Federal Policing Expands." I read this article and could not even believe that this is actually happening, especially the following paragraph which is absolutely astounding.

"And the Agriculture Department isn't the only federal agency seeking an increased amount of weapons and/or ammunition in recent months. Earlier this year, the US Postal Service listed a similar notice on its website, soliciting proposals for assorted small arms ammunition. And the Social Security Administration put in a request for 174,000 rounds of hollow-point bullets, shortly after the USDA requested 320,000 rounds about a year ago. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the National Weather Service, also requested 46,000 rounds."

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Michael Payne is an independent progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues; and especially with the great dangers involved with the proliferation of perpetual war, the associated defense (more...)

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What we have here is a massive vicious circle; as ... by michael payne on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 10:53:41 AM
Yes, and why in ten years I cannot see a way out. ... by Hosea McAdoo on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 2:14:43 PM
Michael, The most interesting thing abo... by Patrick Walker on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 7:39:08 AM
Patrick: You have really nailed it when you say "t... by michael payne on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 10:17:44 AM
The logic of unjust power, hijacking government fo... by Patrick Walker on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 10:27:22 AM
It's 1984+30 already, if my arithmetic is correct.... by Michael David Morrissey on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:12:07 AM
Absolutely correct! ... by michael payne on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 11:22:55 AM
MAX HEADROOM. ... by James Tennier on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 12:45:55 PM
Don't get it, please expand. ... by michael payne on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 6:48:30 PM
"Learn from yesterday, live for today, and hope fo... by Richmond Shreve on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 1:22:32 PM
Thanks for the comment but I have to strongly disa... by michael payne on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:33:04 PM
I don't disagree with the trend you are documentin... by Richmond Shreve on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 7:14:44 PM
The problem is, very few people have Snowden's l... by Patrick Walker on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 7:52:49 AM
Richmond, i gave you a thumbs up, as I also did fo... by Daniel Geery on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 1:02:50 PM
The key question, as you said, "Is how do we inspi... by michael payne on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 1:45:56 PM
That really is the problem. There are plenty of so... by Hosea McAdoo on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 11:52:43 PM
It hurts, but you are right. Pessimists and optimi... by Hosea McAdoo on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 7:57:07 PM
Good article, and I hope you are successful in get... by Hosea McAdoo on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 1:57:48 PM
Hosea: To me this situation is kind of like "we t... by michael payne on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 5:44:11 PM
You always find a way to say it best. Thank you. ... by Hosea McAdoo on Thursday, Jun 12, 2014 at 7:58:35 PM
Amen. ... by Richmond Shreve on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 9:03:09 AM
I had a discussion with some Republican coworkers ... by George C on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 7:34:09 AM
Cass Sunstein has been studying the dilemma of com... by Richmond Shreve on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 3:11:16 PM
I highly recommend David Griffin's Cognitive Infil... by Michael David Morrissey on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 2:33:19 AM
David,You have nothing to fear from ideas, or even... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 9:39:35 AM
Hmmm. David Griffin has sold 100,000 copies of boo... by Richmond Shreve on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 10:56:03 AM
The PEOPLE will have to learn to "think outta the ... by mrk * on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 8:59:56 AM
Here's the problem: General strikes requires vas... by Patrick Walker on Friday, Jun 13, 2014 at 9:18:25 AM
Still waiting for your article on Occupy with Bern... by Pal Palsimon on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 2:19:39 AM
Pal, Surprised and sorry you didn't se... by Patrick Walker on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 8:58:17 AM
I don't think the link above works; I got cut off ... by Patrick Walker on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 9:07:15 AM
I loved this article. Thanks, so much Michael. I... by Burl Hall on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 4:39:20 AM
I swear that Ron Paul was the right man for the jo... by Michael Dewey on Saturday, Jun 14, 2014 at 9:07:15 AM