Now, instead, we have the infamous "Don't taze me bro," with pregnant women and even a twelve-year-old child being tasered. Last summer in Florida police tasered a homeowner who objected to the police pushing his wife so as to gain entrance to his back yard. The officers had been called because of a noise complaint, though home video clearly showed no excessive noise at their two-year-old's back yard christening party.
Please, please understand this point, it is a non-partisan apparatus. This isn't about liberals or conservatives, Republicans or Democrats. This is a mindset. These security organizations take on a life of their own. The SS and the Gestapo were begun as a police and security detail; Hitler had no care or concern as to their operation, provided they followed his orders. Then it grew into what its infamous name now says to the world that it was. And in the end it hung loyal Nazis from lampposts on mere suspicions of not being loyal enough.
"I never would have agreed to the formulation of the Central Intelligence Agency back in forty-seven, if I had known it would become the American Gestapo." (Harry S. Truman)
A young eager postal inspector who made his name as a crime buster looking for pornography and information on birth control in the mails of New York and rose to become the head of the Federal Bureau of investigation. J. Edgar Hoover became the master of a vast library of files on Americans who have never been arrested or even accused of a crime. Hoover's influence became legendary, as newly elected Presidents came to visit him rather than the other way around. The FBI kept records on anyone "The Agency" considered to be a threat.
"Invisible enemies?" With such a mandate, what is really off limits? How do you quantify invisible enemies? And you, comrade? Even more frightening is, "Today no one single government agency has homeland security as its primary mission." This is a consolidation of power. The FBI has its own structure and agenda. The CIA has its own culture, and as Dick Cheney discovered, it is not always amenable to pressure in a dependable sort of way.
As I stated earlier, this is non-partisan. These agencies work for whoever holds their chain, provided that they don't go against their internal interests. During the Bay of Pigs invasion, President Kennedy said that the CIA had deliberately tried to mislead him into a full-scale invasion of Cuba. During the Cuban missile crisis, the CIA favored the bombing of Cuba. But the CIA is an intelligence agency that has no official policy role to play in the government.
President Obama promised an era of new transparency; he was going to close down Guantanamo. Soon after he took office, he himself began to speak about his own plans for indefinite detention of men who had never been charged with a crime, not because they are guilty of a crime against us, but because we are guilty of crimes against them. The President has worked dutifully and in a steadfast manner to shut down the Guantanamo prison. This would be altogether honorable and praiseworthy if he were not opening an even larger and more permanent facility, farther away from the media and far from the peering gaze of the public, at the Bagram air base in Afghanistan.
Sixty million US taxpayer dollars have been spent on this 21st century, state-of-the-art gulag. It is what it is, detention facility, house of corrections, or concentration camp. "If you look at it, it's a barn; if you smell it, it's a stable." (Groucho Marx) So, if you think that Obama is dithering or has any intention of leaving Afghanistan, the hardening concrete says otherwise. A twenty-two million dollar terminal expansion, nine million dollar cargo yard, a new aircraft parking ramp and runway extension, I'd like to just look at it, but I can't help but smell it.
Journalists were taken on a tour and allowed in to see the new facilities, to see the cleanliness of the facility and kindliness of the jailers. No longer would prisoners be required to relieve themselves in slop buckets. Now they would have flush toilets, making indefinite detention without charge so much more bearable. It is an inspection of stone and concrete without the inspection of the ideas which they encapsulate, nay, they imprison.
Left off the tour was any contact with the prisoners themselves. Nor did they visit the meeting rooms where suspects would meet with their lawyers, because there are none. It was a propaganda tour, not unlike the tours the Red Cross were taken on of the Luftwaffe prison camps, with good food and clean blankets that disappeared as soon as the Red Cross inspectors did. Or the films once shown in German cinemas of Jews happily lounging in clean resettlement camps. The point is not the quality of the facilities, but the injustice of the confinement in the first place.
"People were beaten, dragged, tortured in it. There were high places where guards stood with guns. It was a hard, difficult place.
"Everybody who worked in Bagram - from the American side - will tell you that the things I'm describing did happen. People from the military intelligence people from the FBI have spoken about the barbaric treatment at this facility." (Omar Dighayes, former detainee)