It Is Now Official: The U.S. Is A Police State
Americans have been losing the
protection of law for years. In the 21st century the
loss of legal protections accelerated with the Bush
"war on terror," which continues under the Obama
administration and is essentially a war on the
Constitution and U.S. civil liberties.
The Bush regime was determined to
vitiate habeas corpus in order to hold people
indefinitely without bringing charges. The regime had
acquired hundreds of prisoners by paying a bounty for
terrorists. Afghan warlords and thugs responded to the
financial incentive by grabbing unprotected people and
selling them to the Americans.
The Bush regime needed to hold the
prisoners without charges because it had no evidence
against the people and did not want to admit that the
U.S. government had stupidly paid warlords and thugs to
kidnap innocent people. In addition, the Bush regime
needed "terrorists" prisoners in order to prove that there was a terrorist
As there was no evidence against
the "detainees" (most have been released without charges after years of
detention and abuse), the U.S. government needed a way
around U.S. and international laws against torture in
order that the government could produce evidence via
self-incrimination. The Bush regime found inhumane and
totalitarian-minded lawyers and put them to work at the
U.S. Department of Justice (sic) to invent arguments
that the Bush regime did not need to obey the law.
The Bush regime created a new
classification for its detainees that it used to justify
denying legal protection and due process to the
detainees. As the detainees were not U.S. citizens and
were demonized by the regime as
"the 760 most
dangerous men on earth," there was little public
outcry over the regime`s unconstitutional and inhumane
As our Founding Fathers and a long
list of scholars warned, once civil liberties are
breached, they are breached for all. Soon U.S. citizens
were being held indefinitely in violation of their
habeas corpus rights.
Dr. Aafia Siddiqui, an American citizen of Pakistani
origin, might have been the first.
Dr. Siddiqui, a scientist educated
at MIT and Brandeis University, was seized in Pakistan
for no known reason, sent to Afghanistan, and was held
secretly for five years in the U.S. military`s notorious
Bagram prison in Afghanistan. Her three young children,
one an 8-month-old baby, were with her at the time she
was abducted. She has no idea what has become of her two
youngest children. Her oldest child, 7 years old, was
also incarcerated in Bagram and subjected to similar
abuse and horrors.
Siddiqui has never been charged
with any terrorism-related offense. A British
journalist, hearing her piercing screams as she was
disclosed her presence.. An embarrassed U.S.
government responded to the disclosure by sending
Siddiqui to the U.S. for trial on the trumped-up charge
that while a captive, she grabbed a U.S. soldier`s rifle
and fired two shots attempting to shoot him. The charge
apparently originated as a U.S. soldier`s excuse for
shooting Dr. Siddiqui twice in the stomach, resulting in
her near death.
On Feb. 4, Dr. Siddiqui was
convicted by a New York jury for attempted murder. The
only evidence presented against her was the charge
itself and an unsubstantiated claim that she had once
taken a pistol-firing course at an American firing
range. No evidence was presented of her fingerprints on
the rifle that this frail and broken 100-pound woman had
allegedly seized from an American soldier. No evidence
was presented that a weapon was fired, no bullets, no
shell casings, no bullet holes. Just an accusation.
this to say about the trial:
"The trial took
an unusual turn when an FBI official asserted that the
fingerprints taken from the rifle, which was purportedly
used by Aafia to shoot at the U.S. interrogators, did
not match hers."
An ignorant and bigoted American
jury convicted her for being a Muslim. This is the kind
that always results when the state hypes fear and
demonizes a group.
The people who should have been on
trial are the people who abducted her, disappeared her
young children, shipped her across international
borders, violated her civil liberties, tortured her
apparently for the fun of it, raped her, and attempted
to murder her with two gunshots to her stomach. Instead,
the victim was put on trial and convicted.
This is the unmistakable hallmark
of a police state. And this victim is an American
Anyone can be next. Indeed, on Feb.
3 Dennis Blair, director of National Intelligence told
the House Intelligence Committee that it was now
that the U.S. government can murder its own citizens on
the sole basis of someone in the government`s judgment
that an American is a threat. No arrest, no trial, no
conviction, just execution on suspicion of being a
This shows how far the police state
has advanced. A presidential appointee in the Obama
administration tells an important committee of Congress
that the executive branch has decided that it can murder
American citizens abroad if it thinks they are a threat.
I can hear readers saying the
government might as well kill Americans abroad as it
kills them at home–Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Black
Yes, the U.S. government has
murdered its citizens, but Dennis Blair`s
is a bold new development. The government, of course,
denies that it intended to kill the Branch Davidians,
Randy Weaver`s wife and child, or the Black Panthers.
The government says that Waco was a terrible tragedy, an
unintended result brought on by the Branch Davidians
themselves. The government says that Ruby Ridge was
Randy Weaver`s fault for not appearing in court on a day
that had been miscommunicated to him. The Black
Panthers, the government says, were dangerous criminals
who insisted on a shoot-out.
In no previous death of a U.S.
citizen by the hands of the U.S. government has the
government claimed the right to kill Americans without
arrest, trial, and conviction of a capital crime.
In contrast, Dennis Blair has told
the U.S. Congress that the executive branch has assumed
the right to murder Americans who it deems a
will make the decision? What it means is that the
government will murder whomever it chooses.
There is no more complete or
compelling evidence of a police state than the
government announcing that it will murder its own
citizens if it views them as a
Ironic, isn`t it, that
"the war on
terror" to make us safe ends in a police state with
the government declaring the right to murder American
citizens whom it regards as a threat.
Paul Craig Roberts [email
him] was Assistant
Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan`s
first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall
Street Journal. He has held numerous academic
appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair,
Center for Strategic and International Studies,
Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow,
Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He was awarded
the Legion of Honor by French President Francois
Mitterrand. He is the author of
Supply-Side Revolution : An Insider`s Account of
Policymaking in Washington;
and the Soviet Economy and
Meltdown: Inside the Soviet Economy,
and is the co-author
with Lawrence M. Stratton of
The Tyranny of Good Intentions : How Prosecutors and
Bureaucrats Are Trampling the Constitution in the Name
of Justice. Click
here for Peter
Brimelow`s Forbes Magazine interview with Roberts
about the epidemic of prosecutorial misconduct.
His latest book, How The Economy Was Lost,
has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press.