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Drones Along the Fruited Plain

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Flag Barbed Wire by Andy Worthington

The all-seeing eye of the surveillance state took a couple of good pokes last week, a welcome development. It is long past time that someone took a stand and challenged the ongoing dismantling of what was at one time, at least theoretically, a free country. The aftermath of Rep. Justin Amash's amendment, the LIBERT-E Act to reign in Obama's NSA secret police, has the establishment desperately circling the wagons. In a show of bipartisanship unseen in recent history, the toadies of the war machine and the oligarchs that make billions from it are in a foaming-at-the-mouth frenzy to put down the insurrection before it spreads. The mere chance that the somnolent, television-lobotomized masses might be freed from their pods in the Matrix and roused from their apathy amid stories of royal babies, brides killed in boating mishaps, and a shameless wiener-wagging Big Apple mayoral candidate, scared the hell out of the power structure. If there is one thing that really pisses people off, it is having their privacy invaded, especially by an out-of-control, corrupt and contemptuous big government.

The reverberations of the too-close-for-comfort defeat of Amash's amendment, and the rage over having Senate newbie Rand Paul (who unlike popular house pet Marco Rubio does not know his place) speaking out cannot be tolerated. The House vote exposed a good number of self-proclaimed Republican enemies of big gubmint as the rank pack of opportunists, frauds and charlatans that they have always been. Fric and Frac, otherwise known as John Boehner and Eric Cantor, were always as suspect as they are historically unprincipled, but it was a shock to see Michelle Bachmann out herself as a full-blown protector of the state and fascism. It is now apparent that she has been playing her base for fools, schmucks and suckers for years with her bombastic demagoguery, and has always been in the bag for Leviathan. And there are many, many others. Despite their now obviously staged political dog and pony shows, these three in particular threw in with Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other so-called liberals in defending Obama's war on America. Now there is yet another outrageous revelation, that the Obama regime has been pressuring web firms for encrypted user password information.

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With 205 now-emboldened members of the House having voted to revoke the American Stasi's impunity, it is certain that more challenges are coming and coming soon. Already, New Jersey Representative Rush Holt has proposed a bill to repeal the USA Patriot Act, that insane enabling legislation that was rolled out by domestic enemies of the republic and crammed down the throats of shocked Americans while bodies were still being dug out of the World Trade Center rubble. The eradication of the USA Patriot Act would be a damned good place to start when considering how to take the country back. Organizing a national movement to burn copies of this gospel of fascism would certainly get the attention of the bastards, especially if it were to take place annually on September 10th. Such a demonstration would instantaneously shatter the left-right division exploited by the criminals running this country, which doomed the Tea Party and Occupy alike.

A broad-based coalition to roll back the usurpers of power and hold them accountable terrifies the establishment. This is why the savage pushback against Amash and Paul, and the ongoing vilification of Edward Snowden, have now been ratcheted up in intensity. In another challenge to the surveillance state, hearings will be held in Congress this week on NSA abuses. They will include an appearance by journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the stories on Snowden's revelations of the government's mass surveillance program. Greenwald's actions induced many, including the loathsome David Gregory, a loyal foot soldier in Obama's war on the free press, to suggest that he be arrested and tried.

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The latest salvo was spearheaded by state media favorite, and much ballyhooed lap-band surgery recipient, Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey. The obese loudmouth, who could have played Tony Soprano's long lost cousin Porky, threw his substantial bulk around like the proverbial bull in a China shop in launching a sleazy attack on the recent and growing libertarian, pro-civil-liberties, anti-interventionist cadre within the GOP. In his best channeling of Rudy "Mr. 9/11" Giuliani, he bellowed:

"Listen, you can name any number of people who have engaged in it, and he's one of them. These esoteric, intellectual debates--I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation. And they won't, because that's a much tougher conversation to have." So now we are back to exploiting 9/11 for political purposes, and even dragging the poor bereaved families of the victims into the slop. Nice job, Lardass!

The Neocons hate libertarians. They are their bĂȘtes noirs, for they exemplify all that the war freaks led by that smirking little shitball William Kristol and his propaganda machine detest. A libertarian-progressive alliance would be the worst nightmare for the preening imperialists who use the events of September 11, 2001 as a winning lottery ticket by which they can cash in and enrich themselves, justify their lunatic ideology, and hit the reset button on over two centuries of American democracy. Christie, with his eye on the 2016 GOP nomination--as though it were the buffet table at Golden Corral--is now demonstrating his chops as the chosen one to inherit the keys to Obama's fascist machine. With Christie and Hillary, it is a win-win scenario for the PNAC (Project for a New American Century) bunch and their wet dreams of Middle East conquest.

Joining in on the piling on of Paul was the deranged Congressman Peter King, who surfaced on CNN Sunday morning to launch another of his trademark attacks. "I thought it was absolutely disgraceful that so many Republicans voted to defund the NSA program, which has done so much to protect our country." With his jowls quivering like jello, King also vomited up a fine morsel of the Neocon Think Tank-provided tripe that has for so long poisoned our political discourse, as we've descended into wars on half the planet and tyranny at home:
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         "When you have Rand Paul actually comparing Snowden
         to Martin Luther King or Henry David Thoreau, this is madness,
         this is the anti-war Democrats in the 1960s that destroyed
         their party for almost 15 years."

King, of course, has zero moral authority, considering his support for the terrorist IRA and his McCarthyite anti-Muslim hearings. But he has always been a reliable go-to guy for the fascists. It is this pathological love of state-sanctioned murder, oppression, occupation and torture that is destroying the country. Guys like King and his ilk are corrupt reprobates, government gangsters and psychopaths with no qualms about gutting the last vestiges of the Constitution in this once great country. You can throw in Christie and King with the other GOP phonies for their praising of Obama's wars and domestic oppression programs.

It is notable that, for a change, neither Senators John McCain nor Lindsay Graham were on the tube this morning jacking off the likes of David Gregory and George Stephanopoulos. This is a welcome and refreshing respite. McCain and Graham have been the foremost spokesmen for Murder, Inc., or, as Ike referred to it, "the military industrial complex." The two are always descended upon by hordes of media bottom-feeders whenever an outrageous quote is needed to bolster the case for more war. McCain is, after all, McCain, a self-promoter who may be bi-polar or just plain batshit crazy. How else can you explain his erratic personality and ever-shifting stances? He is also at war with the libertarian wing of the party, like the grouchy old man and the kids on his block. A veteran tantrum thrower, McCain's act only serves to turn him into a parody.

Then there is Graham, a reliable hysteric and Pentagon congressional embed, who in his shrill but syrupy Gomer Pyle twang always manages to float the most screwball of trial balloons. Most recently, he's been stumping for an October war on Iran. There is never any money to fix anything in this sorry country, to address the looming economic collapse rather than speed it up, but there is always money for more war--for the arming of flesh-eating terrorists, torture centers and mass spying. I just wonder what the NSA has found over the years trolling through this guy's emails and phone records. Man, have our national priorities ever become terminally fucked up since the day those buildings fell.

Finally, in yet another sardonically humorous bit of news, the Obama administration on Friday sent a letter to Vladimir Putin stating that the United States would not torture Edward Snowden if the Russian leader would only collaborate with Obama's terrorist regime and send the heroic whistleblower off to his doom. Now, I may be getting up there in years ,but it used to be pretty much a given that the U.S. did not have to give a non-torture guarantee. But that was before Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and every other CIA torture black site was revealed to be present, although obscured by red, white and blue bunting. I look forward to hearing what Putin has to say, after he stops laughing over this latest self-inflicted national humiliation by the Nobel Peace Prize winner who draws up kill lists with his orange juice in the morning.

 

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Donn Marten is a free lance writer and consultant who resides in West Central Florida.

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