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America's Most Anti-Democratic Institution: How the Imperial Presidency Threatens U.S
06-11-2013, 04:40 PM, (This post was last modified: 06-11-2013, 04:42 PM by mexika.)
America's Most Anti-Democratic Institution: How the Imperial Presidency Threatens U.S
as Pentagon intelligence chief James Clapper admitted, visible only to God." (pp. 52, 86)

Many have expressed surprise that under President Obama - a former Constitutional Law Senior Lecturer who promised transparency [4], protection for whistleblowers [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;
Increased paramilitary [25] training and equipment, and created secret police spying operations in thousands of states and cities around the nation (see chapter 7, “Report Suspicious Activity”, Top Secret America, by Dana Priest and William Arkin);

Created “huge biometric databases – with fingerprints and iris scans – of nearly 100 million people” (Top Secret America, p. 53);

As Priest and Arkin have also revealed, the Executive Branch has created “a jaw-dropping 1,074 federal government organizations, and nearly two thousand private companies involved with programs related to counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence in at least 17,000 locations across the United States – all top secret. The biggest growth had come within the many agencies and large corporations that had existed before the attacks and had since inflated to historic proportions.” This has amounted to "a parallel top secret government whose parts had mushroomed in less than a decade into a gigantic, sprawling universe of its own, visible only to a carefully vetted cadre, and its entirety, as Pentagon intelligence chief James Clapper admitted, visible only to God." (pp. 52, 86).

America's Most Anti-Democratic Institution: How the Imperial Presidency Threatens U.S. National Security 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 whistle blowers, 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. Secret War Is Not Working" 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.”

Under Mr. Obama, America is still far from being a classic police-state of course. But no President has done more to create the infrastructure for a possible future police-state. This infrastructure will clearly pose a serious danger to democratic ideals should there be more 9/11s, and/or increased domestic unrest due to economic decline and growing inequality, and/or massive global disruption due to climate change, and/or a President with even less scruples than Mr. Obama.

What gives? How could a fellow who spoke so eloquently of the need for the rule of law when running for President now be presiding over a lawless "industrial-sized killing machine" [26] abroad and a massive threat to civil liberties at home? Why has Mr. Obama made the U.S. even more hated [27] in the Muslim world than when he took office - even though his stated goal [28] in 2009 was to reshape U.S. policy in the region? How is it that both he and Mitt Romney both ran on essentially the same foreign policy [29], despite significant differences between them on domestic policy?

Much of the answer to such questions lies in something that we rarely do in this nation - seeing the U.S. Executive Branch Mr. Obama nominally heads for what it really is: the most powerful institution in the history of the world, one that has killed, wounded or made homeless well over 20 million human beings ("Dollars and Deaths,"Cong. Record, 5-14-75, p. 14262), mostly civilians, since 1962 - far more than any other government in the world.

Nothing demonstrates this institution's power more than Mr. Obama himself. The fact that he has so violated his own values and belief system as Commander-in-Chief is not merely a matter of personal hypocrisy; it is a dramatic illustration of how the Executive's institutional violence, secrecy and deceit overwhelm even Presidents who begin their terms with relatively good intentions.

Just six days before Mr. Obama’s recent speech [30] stating that “perpetual war — through drones or Special Forces or troop deployments — will prove self-defeating”, Pentagon officials gave testimony [31] to Congress calling for just such perpetual war. If Mr. Obama is serious about actually changing present U.S. policy, he will find himself blocked at every turn by powerful Executive Branch officials whose salaries, promotions, agency budgets and future well-paying private sector jobs depend upon perpetual war, at home and abroad.

Americans have been conditioned to focus on the personality of the President, and to see the giant Executive Branch as a mere servant of its "Commander-in-Chief." Countless books and newspaper stories have been written about the differences between the "Reagan", "Carter" or "Clinton" foreign policies. There are of course significant differences between Administrations, though often due as much to differing objective conditions as Presidential desires. But the simple fact is that these differences have been far outweighed by a remarkable consistency in U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II. And a President is far more limited in his options than popular folklore suggests. It is only when one understands the Executive Branch as an institution that one can make sense, not only of Mr. Obama, but much of both America's postwar history and frightening future.

Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son

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