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America's Most Anti-Democratic Institution: How the Imperial Presidency Threatens U.S. National Security

Message Fred Banfman
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June 9, 2013   |  

Editor's Note:  This is the first article of a four-part series by Fred Branfman on the U.S. Executive Branch's military, police and intelligence agencies which have aggregated far more power, committed far more evil by destroying the lives of countless innocents, and operated far more illegally, than any other governing institution in the world today.

The Executive Branch is also America's most undemocratic and thus unamerican institution. The U.S. Executive justifies its mass murder, incarceration of the innocent, authoritarianism, secrecy, deceit, lawlessness, spying, and prosecution of whistleblowers, the press and activists on the claim that it is protecting U.S. "National Security." As this article and chart below it entitled "Experts Say U.S. Executive Secret War Harming U.S. National Security" demonstrate, however, the Executive's present campaign in the Muslim World is only the greatest of its many strategic failures to protect U.S. national security. It is in fact today endangering American lives and democracy as never before. A U.S. Executive Branch which constantly deceives its own people, robbing them of the "informed consent" required by the Constitution, cannot legitimately claim to rule in their names. And its citizens are under no moral obligation to obey or support it with their tax dollars, sons or daughters until such time as public and Congressional action have made it subject to truly democratic rule.

If you aren't familiar with Branfman's work, here's some background from his long-time colleague and collaborator,  Noam Chomsky  [3]: Branfman "worked for years, with enormous courage and effort, to try to expose what were called the "secret wars' [against Laos and Cambodia during the Vietnam War]. The secret wars were perfectly public wars which the media were keeping secret, government. And Fred "  finally did succeed in breaking through, and [helped prompt] a tremendous exposure of huge wars that were going on."

Many have expressed surprise that under President Obama - a former Constitutional Law Senior Lecturer who promised  transparency  [4], protection for whisteblowers  [4] and respect for  international law  [5] when running for office - U.S. Executive Branch agencies have:

  • Built up a fleet of  7,000 drones  [6], operating from a growing number of secret  bases  [7] around the world, as they  train  [8] more drone than conventional pilots; waged automated war in an  ever-expanding  [9] number of nations, lawlessly  murdering thousands of human beings  [10]  without  [11] even knowing their names, while greatly strengthening America's foes (see chart below),  destabilizing  [12] allied governments and, in the case of Pakistan, greatly increasing the risk of  nuclear materials  [13] falling into anti-American hands;
  • Created the top-secret Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) consisting of  60,000  [14] persons operating in  75 nations  [15], the first unit of American assassins in U.S. history, who have illegally murdered many thousands more  [16] people and conducted night raids recalling World War II Gestapo movies which, according to Afghan President  Karzai  [17], have helped strengthen the Taliban and destabilize his government;
  • Prosecuted more  whistleblowers  [18] and  journalists  [19] than even Messrs. Cheney and Bush;
  • Collected records of millions of phone calls of Americans citizens from Verizon  [20],  Sprint  [21], ATT and other phone carriers, and  spied  [22] on millions more Americans' search histories, email content, file transfers and live chats while on the Internet;
  • Authorized  [23] the use of drones in the United States, which the Federal Aviation Administration estimates could lead to 30,000 drones in U.S. skies by 2020, leading privacy advocates to fear their massive use by police departments to spy on Americans;
  • Claimed the President's right to  kill or imprison without trial  [24] any American citizen;
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America's Most Anti-Democratic Institution: How the Imperial Presidency Threatens U.S. National Security

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