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The Day America Died

Some of us have watched this day approach and have warned of its coming, only to be greeted with boos and hisses from “patriots” who have come to regard the US Constitution as a device that coddles criminals and terrorists and gets in the way of the President who needs to act to keep us safe.
 
In our book, The Tyranny of Good Intentions, Lawrence Stratton and I showed that long before 9/11 US law had ceased to be a shield of the people and had been turned into a weapon in the hands of the government. The event known as 9/11 was used to raise the executive branch above the law. As long as the President sanctions an illegal act, executive branch employees are no longer accountable to the law that prohibits the illegal act. On the president’s authority, the executive branch can violate US laws against spying on Americans without warrants, indefinite detention, and torture and suffer no consequences.
 
Many expected President Obama to re-establish the accountability of government to law. Instead, he went further than Bush/Cheney and asserted the unconstitutional power not only to hold American citizens indefinitely in prison without bringing charges, but also to take their lives without convicting them in a court of law. Obama asserts that the US Constitution notwithstanding, he has the authority to assassinate US citizens, who he deems to be a “threat,” without due process of law.
 
In other words, any American citizen who is moved into the threat category has no rights and can be executed without trial or evidence.
 
On September 30 Obama used this asserted new power of the president and had two American citizens, Anwar Awlaki and Samir Khan murdered. Khan was a wacky character associated with Inspire Magazine and does not readily come to mind as a serious threat.
 
Awlaki was a moderate American Muslim cleric who served as an advisor to the US government after 9/11 on ways to counter Muslim extremism. Awlaki was gradually radicalized by Washington’s use of lies to justify military attacks on Muslim countries. He became a critic of the US government and told Muslims that they did not have to passively accept American aggression and had the right to resist and to fight back. As a result Awlaki was demonized and became a threat.
 
All we know that Awlaki did was to give sermons critical of Washington’s indiscriminate assaults on Muslim peoples. Washington’s argument is that his sermons might have had an influence on some who are accused of attempting terrorist acts, thus making Awlaki responsible for the attempts.
 
Obama’s assertion that Awlaki was some kind of high-level Al Qaeda operative is merely an assertion. Jason Ditz concluded that the reason Awlaki was murdered rather than brought to trial is that the US government had no real evidence that Awlaki was an Al Qaeda operative.
 
Having murdered its critic, the Obama Regime is working hard to posthumously promote Awlaki to a leadership position in Al Qaeda. The presstitutes and the worshippers of America’s First Black President have fallen in line and regurgitated the assertions that Awlaki was a high-level dangerous Al Qaeda terrorist. If Al Qaeda sees value in Awlaki as a martyr, the organization will give credence to these claims. However, so far no one has provided any evidence. Keep in mind that all we know about Awlaki is what Washington claims and that the US has been at war for a decade based on false claims.
 
But what Awlaki did or might have done is beside the point. The US Constitution requires that even the worst murderer cannot be punished until he is convicted in a court of law. When the American Civil Liberties Union challenged in federal court Obama’s assertion that he had the power to order assassinations of American citizens, the Obama Justice (sic) Department argued that Obama’s decision to have Americans murdered was an executive power beyond the reach of the judiciary.
 
In a decision that sealed America’s fate, federal district court judge John Bates ignored the Constitution’s requirement that no person shall be deprived of life without due process of law and dismissed the case, saying that it was up to Congress to decide. Obama acted before an appeal could be heard, thus using Judge Bates’ acquiescence to establish the power and advance the transformation of the president into a Caesar that began under George W. Bush.
 
Attorneys Glenn Greenwald and Jonathan Turley point out that Awlaki’s assassination terminated the Constitution’s restraint on the power of government. Now the US government not only can seize a US citizen and confine him in prison for the rest of his life without ever presenting evidence and obtaining a conviction, but also can have him shot down in the street or blown up by a drone.
 
Before some readers write to declare that Awlaki’s murder is no big deal because the US government has always had people murdered, keep in mind that CIA assassinations were of foreign opponents and were not publicly proclaimed events, much less a claim by the president to be above the law. Indeed, such assassinations were denied, not claimed as legitimate actions of the President of the United States.
 
The Ohio National Guardsmen who shot Kent State students as they protested the US invasion of Cambodia in 1970 made no claim to be carrying out an executive branch decision. Eight of the guardsmen were indicted by a grand jury. The guardsmen entered a self-defense plea. Most Americans were angry at war protestors and blamed the students. The judiciary got the message, and the criminal case was eventually dismissed. The civil case (wrongful death and injury) was settled for $675,000 and a statement of regret by the defendants.
 
The point isn’t that the government killed people. The point is that never prior to President Obama has a President asserted the power to murder citizens.
 
Over the last 20 years, the United States has had its own Mein Kampf transformation.
 
Terry Eastland’s book, Energy in the Executive: The Case for the Strong Presidency, presented ideas associated with the Federalist Society, an organization of Republican lawyers that works to reduce legislative and judicial restraints on executive power. Under the cover of wartime emergencies (the war on terror), the Bush/Cheney regime employed these arguments to free the president from accountability to law and to liberate Americans from their civil liberties. War and national security provided the opening for the asserted new powers, and a mixture of fear and desire for revenge for 9/11 led Congress, the judiciary, and the people to go along with the dangerous precedents.
 
As civilian and military leaders have been telling us for years, the war on terror is a 30-year project. After such time has passed, the presidency will have completed its transformation into Caesarism, and there will be no going back.
 
Indeed, as the neoconservative “Project For A New American Century” makes clear, the war on terror is only an opening for the neoconservative imperial ambition to establish US hegemony over the world.
 
As wars of aggression or imperial ambition are war crimes under international law, such wars require doctrines that elevate the leader above the law and the Geneva Conventions, as Bush was elevated by his Justice (sic) Department with minimal judicial and legislative interference.
 
Illegal and unconstitutional actions also require a silencing of critics and punishment of those who reveal government crimes. Thus Bradley Manning has been held for a year, mainly in solitary confinement under abusive conditions, without any charges being presented against him. A federal grand jury is at work concocting spy charges against Wikileaks’ founder Julian Assange. Another federal grand jury is at work concocting terrorists charges against antiwar activists.
 
“Terrorist” and “giving aid to terrorists” are increasingly elastic concepts. Homeland Security has declared that the vast federal police bureaucracy has shifted its focus from terrorists to “domestic extremists.”
It is possible that Awlaki was assassinated because he was an effective critic of the US government. Police states do not originate fully fledged. Initially, they justify their illegal acts by demonizing their targets and in this way create the precedents for unaccountable power. Once the government equates critics with giving “aid and comfort” to terrorists, as they are doing with antiwar activists and Assange, or with terrorism itself, as Obama did with Awlaki, it will only be a short step to bringing accusations against Glenn Greenwald and the ACLU.
 
The Obama Regime, like the Bush/Cheney Regime, is a regime that does not want to be constrained by law. And neither will its successor. Those fighting to uphold the rule of law, humanity’s greatest achievement, will find themselves lumped together with the regime’s opponents and be treated as such.
 
This great danger that hovers over America is unrecognized by the majority of the people. When Obama announced before a military gathering his success in assassinating an American citizen, cheers erupted. The Obama regime and the media played the event as a repeat of the (claimed) killing of Osama bin Laden. Two “enemies of the people” have been triumphantly dispatched. That the President of the United States was proudly proclaiming to a cheering audience sworn to defend the Constitution that he was a murderer and that he had also assassinated the US Constitution is extraordinary evidence that Americans are incapable of recognizing the threat to their liberty.
 
Emotionally, the people have accepted the new powers of the president. If the president can have American citizens assassinated, there is no big deal about torturing them. Amnesty International has sent out an alert that the US Senate is poised to pass legislation that would keep Guantanamo Prison open indefinitely and that Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) might introduce a provision that would legalize “enhanced interrogation techniques,” an euphemism for torture.
 
Instead of seeing the danger, most Americans will merely conclude that the government is getting tough on terrorists, and it will meet with their approval. Smiling with satisfaction over the demise of their enemies, Americans are being led down the garden path to rule by government unrestrained by law and armed with the weapons of the medieval dungeon.
 
Americans have overwhelming evidence from news reports and YouTube videos of US police brutally abusing women, children, and the elderly, of brutal treatment and murder of prisoners not only in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and secret CIA prisons abroad, but also in state and federal prisons in the US. Power over the defenseless attracts people of a brutal and evil disposition.
 
A brutal disposition now infects the US military. The leaked video of US soldiers delighting, as their words and actions reveal, in their murder from the air of civilians and news service camera men walking innocently along a city street shows soldiers and officers devoid of humanity and military discipline. Excited by the thrill of murder, our troops repeated their crime when a father with two small children stopped to give aid to the wounded and were machine-gunned.
 
So many instances: the rape of a young girl and murder of her entire family; innocent civilians murdered and AK-47s placed by their side as “evidence” of insurgency; the enjoyment experienced not only by high school dropouts from torturing they-knew-not- who in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo, but also by educated CIA operatives and Ph.D. psychologists. And no one held accountable for these crimes except two lowly soldiers prominently featured in some of the torture photographs.
 
What do Americans think will be their fate now that the “war on terror” has destroyed the protection once afforded them by the US Constitution? If Awlaki really needed to be assassinated, why did not President Obama protect American citizens from the precedent that their deaths can be ordered without due process of law by first stripping Awlaki of his US citizenship? If the government can strip Awlaki of his life, it certainly can strip him of citizenship. The implication is hard to avoid that the executive branch desires the power to terminate citizens without due process of law.
 
Governments escape the accountability of law in stages. Washington understands that its justifications for its wars are contrived and indefensible. President Obama even went so far as to declare that the military assault that he authorized on Libya without consulting Congress was not a war, and, therefore, he could ignore the War Powers Resolution of 1973, a federal law intended to check the power of the President to commit the US to an armed conflict without the consent of Congress.
 
Americans are beginning to unwrap themselves from the flag. Some are beginning to grasp that initially they were led into Afghanistan for revenge for 9/11. From there they were led into Iraq for reasons that turned out to be false. They see more and more US military interventions: Libya, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan and now calls for invasion of Pakistan and continued saber rattling for attacks on Syria, Lebanon, and Iran. The financial cost of a decade of the “war against terror” is starting to come home. Exploding annual federal budget deficits and national debt threaten Medicare and Social Security. Debt ceiling limits threaten government shut-downs.
 
War critics are beginning to have an audience. The government cannot begin its silencing of critics by bringing charges against US Representatives Ron Paul and Dennis Kucinich. It begins with antiwar protestors, who are elevated into “antiwar activists,” perhaps a step below “domestic extremists.” Washington begins with citizens who are demonized Muslim clerics radicalized by Washington’s wars on Muslims. In this way, Washington establishes the precedent that war protestors give encouragement and, thus, aid, to terrorists. It establishes the precedent that those <clip_image002.jpg>Americans deemed a threat are not protected by law. This is the slippery slope on which we now find ourselves.
 
Last year the Obama Regime tested the prospects of its strategy when Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence, announced that the government had a list of American citizens that it was going to assassinate abroad. This announcement, had it been made in earlier times by, for example, Richard Nixon or Ronald Reagan, would have produced a national uproar and calls for impeachment. However, Blair’s announcement caused hardly a ripple. All that remained for the regime to do was to establish the policy by exercising it.
 
Readers ask me what they can do. Americans not only feel powerless, they are powerless. They cannot do anything. The highly concentrated, corporate-owned, government-subservient print and TV media are useless and no longer capable of performing the historic role of protecting our rights and holding government accountable. Even many antiwar Internet sites shield the government from 9/11 skepticism, and most defend the government’s “righteous intent” in its war on terror. Acceptable criticism has to be couched in words such as “it doesn’t serve our interests.”
 
Voting has no effect. President “Change” is worse than Bush/Cheney. As Jonathan Turley suggests, Obama is “the most disastrous president in our history.” Ron Paul is the only presidential candidate who stands up for the Constitution, but the majority of Americans are too unconcerned with the Constitution to appreciate him.
 
To expect salvation from an election is delusional. All you can do, if you are young enough, is to leave the country. The only future for Americans is a nightmare. 

 

 


Islam21c requests all the readers of this article, and others, to share it on your facebook, twitter, and other platforms to further spread our efforts.

 

About Paul Craig Roberts

4 comments

  1. Re: Quran???
    After reading your comment. One thing comes to my mind:

    “Little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

    Have you ever read Quran? All this ludicrous statements you have made show how ignorant you are.

    http://www.godallah.com/
    The word “Allah” is the perfect description of the “One God” of monotheism for Jews, Christians and Muslims!

    Is “Allah” only for Islam and Muslims?
    [No! It is for All Three Abrahamic Faiths.]

    “Allah” is the same word used by Christian Arabs and Jewish Arabs in their Bible, centuries before Islam came.

    On page one [1] of Genesis in the Old Testament, we find the word “Allah” seventeen [17] times.

    Every hotel and motel has a Bible. Next time you see one look in the introduction, you will find samples of the different languages they have translated. For Arabic they have translated the verse in the New Testament in Arabic from the famous verse in the Gospel John 3:16 –

    “For God so loved the world…”
    – and the word the translators used in Arabic for “God” is the very same word used by Muslims around the planet, “Allah.”
    Where Does the word “Allah” Come From?

    “Allah” comes from the Arabic word “elah”a god’ or something worshiped. – (Arabic) means ‘

    This word (elah) can be made plural (gods), as in “aleha” and it can be male or female just as the word in English can be “goddess.”

    “Allah” comes from “elaha” but it brings more clarification and understanding.

    Allah = Has no gender (not male and not female)
    “He” is used only out of respect and dignity – not for gender
    Allah = Always singular – Never plural
    “We” is used only as the “Royal WE” just as in English for royalty
    Allah = Means “The Only One to be Worshipped”

    You are doing the same thing to Muhammad (SAWS) what the jews did to Esa (to you aka Jesus, peace be upon him), rejected his message from the Lord of Abraham. He is the same Lord of Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.

    Your bible which we called Injeel, a book given to Esa (peace be upon) by Allaah was translated to Greek then to Latin and then to English. Do you think that it is still in its original meaning? Any individual who knows more than two languages would know that the meaning and fluency is not the same when one thing is translated from one to another to another. In addition, the difference between Quran and bible is that Quran was even memorized by a layman cover to cover, word by word, article by article but even the priest or pope did not memorize the bible cover to cover and does not know and understand the bible. Did God ever declared in bible that it will protect this book? While in Quran The God have declared that this book will be protected till the end of times.
    “Verily, We, it is We Who have sent down the Dhikr (i.e. the Qur’aan) and surely, We will guard it (from corruption)”
    [al-Hijr 15:9]
    “And (it is) a Qur’aan which We have divided (into parts), in order that you might recite it to men at intervals. And We have revealed it by stages”
    [al-Isra’ 17:106]

    for more info about quran:
    http://islamqa.com/en/ref/10012

    You christians are not allowed to ask questions in christianity and just believe it blindly.

    “It is He Who sends down manifest Ayaat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) to His slave (Muhammad) that He may bring you out from darkness into light
    [al-Hadeed 57:9 – interpretation of the meaning]

    “And We have sent down to you the Book (the Qur’aan) as an exposition of everything, a guidance, a mercy, and glad tidings for those who have submitted themselves (to Allaah as Muslims)”
    [al-Nahl 16:89 – interpretation of the meaning]

    “The Messenger (Muhammad) believes in what has been sent down to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers. Each one believes in Allaah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers. (They say,) ‘We make no distinction between one another of His Messengers’ — and they say, ‘We hear, and we obey. (We seek) Your forgiveness, our Lord, and to You is the return (of all)’”
    [al-Baqarah 2:285 – interpretation of the meaning]

    The Qur’aan calls us to examine and ponder the signs of Allaah in the universe and the verses of the Qur’aan:
    “Say: ‘Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth’”
    [Yoonus 10:101 – interpretation of the meaning]
    “Do they not then think deeply in the Qur’aan, or are their hearts locked up (from understanding it)?”
    [Muhammad 47:24 – interpretation of the meaning]

  2. Muhammad Allah

    Quran true???
    More than 15,000 sheets of the Yemeni Qur’ans have been flattened, cleaned, treated, sorted, and assembled. They await further examination in Yemen’s House of Manuscripts. however, in 1997 shot 35,000 microfilm pictures of the fragments, and has brought the pictures back to Germany. The texts will soon be scrutinized and the findings published freely. Puin wrote: “So many Muslims have this belief that everything between the two covers of the Qur’an is Allah’s unaltered word. They like to quote the textual work that shows that the Bible has a history and did not fall straight out of the sky, but until now the Qur’an has been out of this discussion. The only way to break through this wall is to prove that the Qur’an has a history too.The Qur’an has Alleged scientific, theological errors, and historical errors, as well as the Qur’an’s moral values, and even claims of contradictions within the Qur’an itself.The Qur’an “does not interfere in the business of science nor does it infringe on the realm of science.The Quran is a kind of cocktail of texts that were not all understood even at the time of Muhammad. Many of them may even be a hundred years older than Islam itself. Even within the Islamic traditions there is a huge body of contradictory information, including a significant Christian substrate; one can derive a whole Islamic anti-history from them if one wants.The Qur’an claims for itself will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn’t make sense. The fact is that a fifth of the Qur’anic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Qur’an is not comprehensible, if it can’t even be understood in Arabic, then it’s not translatable into any language???

  3. Muhammad Allah

    Quran???
    The Sana’a manuscripts, found in Yemen in 1972, are considered by some to be the oldest existent version of the Qur’an.Although the text has been dated to the first two decades of the eighth century (i.e. 70 or so years after the death of Prophet Muhammad), carbon-14 tests indicate that some of the parchments in this collection date back to the 7th and 8th centuries. Restoration of the manuscript has been organized and overseen by Arabic calligraphy and Koranic paleography specialist Gerd R. Puin of Saarland University, in Saarbrücken, Germany. The Quran is a kind of cocktail of texts that were not all understood even at the time of Muhammad. Many of them may even be a hundred years older than Islam itself. Even within the Islamic traditions there is a huge body of contradictory information, including a significant Christian substrate; one can derive a whole Islamic anti-history from them if one wants. The Qur’an claims for itself will notice that every fifth sentence or so simply doesn’t make sense. The fact is that a fifth of the Qur’anic text is just incomprehensible. This is what has caused the traditional anxiety regarding translation. If the Qur’an is not comprehensible, if it can’t even be understood in Arabic, then it’s not translatable into any language. That is why Muslims are “afraid”. Since the Qur’an claimed repeatedly —there is an obvious and serious contradiction. Something else must be going wrong on between older Arabic history/the oldest Quran version and existing Quran revised version?
     Muhammad was reciting Sūra Al-Najm (Q.53), as revealed to him by the angel Gabriel, Satan tempted him to utter the following lines after verses 19 and 20: Allah was thought to have had sons and that the local deities of al-Uzzā, Manāt and Al-Lāt were His daughters.”Have you thought of Allāt and Al-‘Uzzā and Manāt the third, the other? These are the exalted Gharaniq, whose intercession is hoped for.” The Allāt, al-‘Uzzā and Manāt were three Idols goddesses worshiped by the Meccans.
    At first, Muhammad used to pray in the direction of Jerusalem, in order to seek the sympathy and support of the Jews in the Peninsula, who carried great economic and social weight. Then he traded the Jews’ direction of prayer for that of the pagans, in order to rally the Arab tribes to his preaching. For this reason he later took revenge on the Jews by expelling them, slaughtering them, robbing them, and taking their women as wives. After, Muslims are praying to the direction of the Kaabah Building as Allah commanded that we shall have a common direction and unite together in our prayers. A Kaabah Building is also an Idol “with Black Stone”. The black stone is only a stone from the heaven? Muslims praying mean “bow down” toward Kaabah Building or worship to the direction of the Kaabah Building/Black stone. Almighty God is not a Direction limited?
    “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of “anything” in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not “bow down” to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your CREATOR God, am a jealous CREATOR God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments. Bible Exodus 20:4-6”
    Quran recounts stories of many of the people and events recounted in Jewish and Christian sacred books (Tanakh, Bible)
    and devotional literature(Apocrypha, Midrash), although it differs in
    many details. Adam, Enoch, Noah, Eber, Shelah, Abraham, Lot, Ishmael,
    Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Job, Jethro, David, Solomon, Elijah, Elisha,
    Jonah, Aaron, Moses, Zechariah, in Bible , and Jesus are mentioned in the Quran as prophets of God(see Prophets of Islam). In fact, Jesus is mentioned more often in the Quran than Muhammad. At the same time, Mary is also mentioned in the Quran more than the New Testament. Muslims believe the
    common elements or resemblances between the Bible and other Jewish and
    Christian writings and Islamic dispensations is due to their common divine
    source, and that the original Christian or Jewish texts were authentic
    divine revelations given to prophets. All Prophets of Living Truth God
    was Jewish (Judaism) ONLY with beyond any super natural earth power and
    human capabilities such as Moses had been crossed “Red sea” with ~3 millions Jewish from Egypt to Saudi Arabia evidence etc http://www.arkdiscovery.com/red_sea_crossing.htm and Jesus Christ have been risen from the dead after third day and healed the dead men/girls and healed many blind/deaf peoples, all kinds of sickness peoples etc until today but Muhammad was a Arabic and he did nothing beyond any natural power or normal human like you.

  4. The birth of the new world order
    As’Salaamou Alaykum Wa Rahamatu ALLAH Wa Barakatuhu.
    Reading this article, made it plane to me that we are at the dawn of the new world order of Pax Judehica rule of the world. Passation of power will soon take place when they declare the dollar useless. As much as we say ” The Americans” ; We all know that America is not rule by Americans for the longest while now. Waking up now will serve no purpose even so we have to be awake. The hadeeth of our nabi (salla allahu allahi wa salaam) ” woe unto the arabs” has began. a terrible man slaughter and the grounds had and has well been prepaired so far left only Pakistan; As soon as the nucleaire will be destroyed , we will see blood as never before in history. THE PROPHECY HAS BEEN FULLFILLED Wa Al Hamduillah Rabbil Alamine.
    Jazaka ALLAH Khairn
    Fee Amane ALLAH
    Wa Salaam wa Rahamatu ALLAH wa Barakatuhu.

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