The movie J. Edgar [Hoover] starring Leonardo DiCaprio opens with a scene of a bombing at the house of then Attorney General Mitchell Palmer. Historically, this bombing was part of a terror (some would say resistance) campaign in 1919 by anarchists.
Then on Thursday, September 16, 1920, Wall Street was bombed, killing 38 people and seriously injuring 143.
The bombing was never solved, although investigators and historians think it likely the Wall Street bombing was carried out by Galleanists (Italian anarchists), a group responsible for a series of bombings the previous year. The attack was related to postwar social unrest, labor struggles and anti-capitalist agitation in the United States.During that time there was a mighty struggle between those who advocated for workers' rights and social justice, and a powerful business elite that controlled much of the government. The radicals' left behind the following statement after each bombing:
War, Class war, and you were the first to wage it under the cover of the powerful institutions you call order, in the darkness of your laws. There will have to be bloodshed; we will not dodge; there will have to be murder: we will kill, because it is necessary; there will have to be destruction; we will destroy to rid the world of your tyrannical institutions.That Wall Street bombing in 1920 would be considered the worst terrorist attack in the United States for the next 75 years.
One can only imagine the fear an event like this, coupled with the rash of bombings in 1919, would have generated in the population at large, not to mention the awful price paid by those who died, and their families. Aside from the radicals who resorted to violence, I imagine that much of the population would have demanded a crackdown on these violent terrorists; it's only normal.
The most extremist power any political leader can assert is the power to target his own citizens for execution without any charges or due process, far from any battlefield. The Obama administration has not only asserted exactly that power in theory, but has exercised it in practice. In September 2011, it killed US citizen Anwar Awlaki in a drone strike in Yemen, along with US citizen Samir Khan, and then, in circumstances that are still unexplained, two weeks later killed Awlaki's 16-year-old American son Abdulrahman with a separate drone strike in Yemen.I'm not going to focus here on the actual contents of the memo, but on seemingly ever-expanding rationale for justifying extra-judicial assassinations of U.S. citizens.
Because this subject is so sensitive, and because I believe a large segment of the population has been indoctrinated into a state of irrational fear (as Michael Moore has brilliantly shown in his work), I'd like to make a couple of clarifications: First, my intention for writing this diary is not to incite anyone to commit violent acts. I believe in peaceful social justice activism, and in some occasions that may include civil disobedience tactics, but never violence.
Second, and this is my most important point, I'm not necessarily opposed to the concept of a lawful government having as many tools as possible at its disposal to maintain the peace and protect the country, as long as it is done by adherence and respect for the United States Constitution, and on behalf of the people (citizens).
What I'm vehemently opposed to is for the government to be under the control of an undemocratic, self-serving, and increasingly oppressive and tyrannical cabal of transnational corporate interests, and then giving such an entity the capability to not only establish a universal total-information-awareness police state, but also to assassinate people (including U.S. citizens) extra-judicially. I argue that that is the situation today.
And especially, I'm oppose to the two-tiered justice system, as Bill Moyers and Matt Taibbi dicuss below:
All these facts put together lead me to conclude that now that we the people have voluntarily surrendered our constitutional rights to a government that has shed any attempt at pretending it serves the people, and instead blatantly confirms that it is at the service of a malevolent, exploitative and tyrannical cabal, we will eventually learn of these types of kill-list memos, expanding the definition of who is a terrorist, and who qualifies to be extra-judicially assassinated, or picked up and put away without charges.
What our Founders Fathers warned us against has already happened. There is no need to imagine what would it be like to live in a country where king-like presidents have the absolute power not to only set up a total-information-awareness police state, like we have today in the United States, but to detain people indefinitely, without charge, and to order the assassination of individuals, in total violation of habeas corpus and the U.S. Constitution.
We are here folks. It happened. Now, get ready for the obvious consequences...
I can't stress enough about the damage to the entire fabric of society, and the concept of equal justice under the law, in the fact that the United States government is actually participating in the protection of Wall Street criminals, blatantly telling the people of the country to go fuck themselves, mocking us, and laughing at the suffering of millions of people as the result of the pillaging, looting, and state-imposed intimidation (or terror).
The criminals who own the government, having seen their total success in usurping the last remnants of democracy, and having gotten away with massive and unprecedented crimes, will only get more emboldened. And the level of oppression and injustice will increase.
As this happens, and as people of good will continue to protest, and rise in peaceful opposition to this nascent fascistic system, it is inevitable (if one looks at history), that some groups may become radicalized and resort to violence--in the face of an unbending and increasingly brutal police state.
It is in this murky situation, where such groups may be considered legitimate resistance by some, and violent terrorist groups by most, that the stage may be set for a more Justice Department memos justifying the targeted extra-judicial assassination of U.S. citizens.
And from there, the harassment may expand and target people the government may consider dangerous because of their ability to influence people into becoming social activists, etc.
Case in point, as I write this, I'm trying to keep a balance between my desire to bluntly and clearly expose the danger we face as as society at the hands of a corrupt system, while being careful to avoid being seen as promoting unlawful action, which I'm not.
As more and more oppressive and nefarious laws are introduced, the government will have at their disposal all kinds of excuses to target activists, intellectuals, radicals, for prosecution using an ever-expanding and nebulous set of laws with scary-sounding names. This will eventually help spread a chilling effect on speech, and social justice advocacy, and activism against a criminal government.
And so I'm sure that back in 1919, if the sick and twisted homophobic, but secretely cross-dresser and paranoid J. Edgar Hoover had had the legal framework for justifying the extra-judicial killings of U.S. citizens, and drone-like technology, and if he knew that the Galleanists anarchists were having a meeting at a remote farm in upstate New York, that there is a big possibility that a very quiet, high-flying drone armed with a powerful and lethal missile, would have taken care of the situation, without having to worry about bothersome issues related to constitutional protections, habeas corpus, and the legal system.
Because they were terrorists...