Monday, October 13, 2008

What is taking place today was planned long in the past

Aldous Huxley’s Mind Control and Depopulation Interview

October 12, 2008

Guest: Aldous Huxley

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

WALLACE: This is Aldous Huxley, a man haunted by a vision of hell on earth. A searing social critic, Mr. Huxley 27 years ago, wrote Brave New World, a novel that predicted that some day the entire world would live under a frightful dictatorship. Today Mr. Huxley says that his fictional world of horror is probably just around the corner for all of us. We’ll find out why, in a moment.


WALLACE: Good evening, I’m Mike Wallace. Tonight’s guest, Aldous Huxley, is a man of letters, as disturbing as he is distinguished. Born in England, now a resident of California, Mr. Huxley has written some of the most electric novels and social criticism of this century.

He’s just finished a series of essays called “Enemies of Freedom,” in which he outlines and defines some of the threats to our freedom in the United States; and Mr. Huxley, right of the bat, let me ask you this: as you see it, who and what are the enemies of freedom here in the United States?

HUXLEY: Well, I don’t think you can say who in the United States, I don’t think there are any sinister persons deliberately trying to rob people of their freedom, but I do think, first of all, that there are a number of impersonal forces which are pushing in the direction of less and less freedom, and I also think that there are a number of technological devices which anybody who wishes to use can use to accelerate this process of going away from freedom, of imposing control.

WALLACE: Well, what are these forces and these devices, Mr. Huxley?

HUXLEY: I should say that there are two main impersonal forces, er… the first of them is not exceedingly important in the United States at the present time, though very important in other countries. This is the force which in general terms can be called overpopulation, the mounting pressure of population pressing upon existing resources.

WALLACE: Uh-huh.

HUXLEY: Uh… this, of course, is an extraordinary thing; something is happening which has never happened in the world’s history before, I mean, let’s just take a simple fact that between the time of birth of Christ and the landing of the May Flower, the population of the earth doubled. It rose from two hundred and fifty million to probably five hundred million. Today, the population of the earth is rising at such a rate that it will double in half a century.

WALLACE: Well, why should overpopulation work to diminish our freedoms?

HUXLEY: Well, in a number of ways. I mean, the… the experts in the field like Harrison Brown, for example, pointed out that in the underdeveloped countries actually the standard of living is at present falling. The people have less to eat and less goods per capita than they had fifty years ago;

and as the position of these countries, the economic position, becomes more and more precarious, obviously the central government has to take over more and more responsibility for keeping the ship-of-state on an even keel, and then of course you are likely to get social unrest under such conditions, with again an intervention of the central government.

So that, I think that one sees here a pattern which seems to be pushing very strongly towards a totalitarian regime. And unfortunately, as in all these underdeveloped countries the only highly organized political party is the Communist Party, it looks rather as though they will be the heirs to this unfortunate process, that they will step into the power… the position of power.

WALLACE: Well then, ironically enough one of the greatest forces against communism in the world, the Catholic Church, according to your thesis would seem to be pushing us directly into the hands of the communists because they are against birth control.

HUXLEY: Well, I think this strange paradox probably is true. There is, er…, it’s an extraordinary situation actually. I mean, one has to look at it, of course, from a biological point of view: the whole essence of biological life on earth is a question of balance and what we’ve done is to practice death control in the most intensive manner without balancing this with birth control at the other end. Consequently, the birth rates remain as high as they were and death rates have fallen substantially. (COUGHS)

WALLACE: All right then, so much, for the time being anyway, for overpopulation. Another force that is diminishing our freedoms?

HUXLEY: Well another force which I think is very strongly operative in this country is the force of what may be called of overorganization. Er… As technology becomes more and more complicated, it becomes necessary to have more and more elaborate organizations, more hierarchical organizations, and incidentally the advance of technology is being accompanied by an advance in the science of organization.

It’s now possible to make organizations on a larger scale than it was ever possible before, and so that you have more and more people living their lives out as subordinates in these hierarchical systems controlled by bureaucracy, either the bureaucracies of big businesses or the bureaucracies of big government.

WALLACE: Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Now the devices that you were talking about, are there specific devices or er… methods of communication which diminish our freedoms in addition to overpopulation and overorganization?

HUXLEY: Well, there are certainly devices which can be used in this way. I mean, let us er… take after all, a piece of very recent and very painful history is the propaganda used by Hitler, which was incredibly effective.

I mean, what were Hitler’s methods? Hitler used terror on the one kind, brute force on the one hand, but he also used a very efficient form of propaganda, which er… he was using every modern device at that time. He didn’t have TV., but he had the radio which he used to the fullest extent, and was able to impose his will on an immense mass of people. I mean, the Germans were a highly educated people.

WALLACE: Well, we’re aware of all this, but how do we equate Hitler’s use of propaganda with the way that propaganda, if you will, is used let us say here in the United States. Are you suggesting that there is a parallel?

HUXLEY: Needless to say it is not being used this way now, but, er… the point is, it seems to me, that there are methods at present available, methods superior in some respects to Hitler’s method, which could be used in a bad situation. I mean, what I feel very strongly is that we mustn’t be caught by surprise by our own advancing technology.

This has happened again and again in history with technology’s advance and this changes social condition, and suddenly people have found themselves in a situation which they didn’t foresee and doing all sorts of things they really didn’t want to do.

WALLACE: And well, what… what do you mean? Do you mean that we develop our television but we don’t know how to use it correctly, is that the point that you’re making?

HUXLEY: Well, at the present the television, I think, is being used quite harmlessly; it’s being used, I think, I would feel, it’s being used too much to distract everybody all the time. But, I mean, imagine which must be the situation in all communist countries where the television, where it exists, is always saying the same things the whole time; it’s always driving along.

It’s not creating a wide front of distraction it’s creating a one-pointed, er… drumming in of a single idea, all the time. It’s obviously an immensely powerful instrument.

WALLACE: Uh-huh. So you’re talking about the potential misuse of the instrument.

HUXLEY: Exactly. We have, of course… all technology is in itself moral and neutral. These are just powers which can either be used well or ill; it is the same thing with atomic energy, we can either use it to blow ourselves up or we can use it as a substitute for the coal and the oil which are running out.

WALLACE: You’ve even written about the use of drugs in this light.

HUXLEY: Well now, this is a very interesting subject. I mean, in this book that you mentioned, this book of mine, “Brave New World,” er… I postulated it a substance called ’soma,’ which was a very versatile drug. It would make people feel happy in small doses, it would make them see visions in medium doses, and it would send them to sleep in large doses.

Well, I don’t think such a drug exists now, nor do I think it will ever exist. But we do have drugs which will do some of these things, and I think it’s quite on the cards that we may have drugs which will profoundly change our mental states without doing us any harm.

I mean, this is the… the pharmacological revolution which is taking place, that we have now powerful mind-changing drugs which physiologically speaking are almost costless. I mean they are not like opium or like coca… cocaine, which do change the state of mind but leave terrible results physiologically and morally.

WALLACE: Mr. Huxley, in your new essays you state that these various “Enemies of Freedom” are pushing us to a real-life “Brave New World,” and you say that it’s awaiting us just around the corner. First of all, can you detail for us, what life in this Brave New World would you fear so much, or what life might be like?

HUXLEY: Well, to start with, I think this kind of dictatorship of the future, I think will be very unlike the dictatorships which we’ve been familiar with in the immediate past. I mean, take another book prophesying the future, which was a very remarkable book, George Orwell’s “1984.”

Well, this book was written at the height of the Stalinist regime, and just after the Hitler regime, and there he foresaw a dictatorship using entirely the methods of terror, the methods of physical violence. Now, I think what is going to happen in the future is that dictators will find, as the old saying goes, that you can do everything with bayonets except sit on them!


HUXLEY: But, if you want to preserve your power indefinitely, you have to get the consent of the ruled, and this they will do partly by drugs as I foresaw in “Brave New World,” partly by these new techniques of propaganda.

They will do it by bypassing the sort of rational side of man and appealing to his subconscious and his deeper emotions, and his physiology even, and so, making him actually love his slavery.

I mean, I think, this is the danger that actually people may be, in some ways, happy under the new regime, but that they will be happy in situations where they oughtn’t to be happy.

WALLACE: Well, let me ask you this. You’re talking about a world that could take place within the confines of a totalitarian state. Let’s become more immediate, more urgent about it. We believe, anyway, that we live in democracy here in the United States. Do you believe that this Brave New World that you talk about, er… could, let’s say in the next quarter century, the next century, could come here to our shores?

HUXLEY: I think it could. I mean, er… that’s why I feel it so extremely important here and now, to start thinking about these problems. Not to let ourselves be taken by surprise by the… the new advances in technology. I mean the… for example, in the regard to the use of the… of the drugs.

We know, there is enough evidence now for us to be able, on the basis of this evidence and using certain amount of creative imagination, to foresee the kind of uses which could be made by people of bad will with these things and to attempt to forestall this, and in the same way,

I think with these other methods of propaganda we can foresee and we can do a good deal to forestall. I mean, after all, the price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

WALLACE: You write in Enemies of Freedom, you write specifically about the United States. You say this, writing about American political campaigns you say, “All that is needed is money and a candidate who can be coached to look sincere; political principles and plans for specific action have come to lose most of their importance. The personality of the candidate, the way he is projected by the advertising experts, are the things that really matter.”

HUXLEY: Well, this is the… during the last campaign, there was a great deal of this kind of statement by the advertising managers of the campaign parties. This idea that the candidates had to be merchandised as though they were so-called two-faced and that you had to depend entirely on the personality.

I mean, personality is important, but there are certainly people with an extremely amiable personality, particularly on TV, who might not necessarily be very good in political… positions of political trust.

WALLACE: Well, do you feel that men like Eisenhower, Stevenson, Nixon, with knowledge aforethought were trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public?

HUXLEY: No, but they were being advised by powerful advertising agencies who were making campaigns of a quite different kind from what had been made before. and I think we shall see probably, er… all kinds of new devices coming into the picture. I mean, for example, this thing which got a good deal of publicity last autumn, subliminal projection.

I mean, as it stands, this thing, I think is of no menace to us at the moment, but I was talking the other day to one of the people who has done most experimental work in the… psychological laboratory with this, was saying precisely this, that it is not at the moment a danger, but once you’ve established the principle that something works, you can be absolutely sure that the technology of it is going to improve steadily.

And I mean his view of the subject was that, well, maybe they will use it up to some extent in the 1960 campaign, but they will probably use it a good deal and much more effectively in the 1964 campaign because this is the kind of rate at which technology advances.

WALLACE: And we’ll be persuaded to vote for a candidate that we do not know that we are being persuaded to vote for.

HUXLEY: Exactly, I mean this is the rather alarming picture that you’re being persuaded below the level of choice and reason.

WALLACE: In regard to advertising, which you mentioned just a little ago, in your writing, particularly in “Enemies of Freedom,” you attack Madison Avenue, which controls most of our television and radio advertising, newspaper advertising and so forth. Why do you consistently attack the advertising agencies…

HUXLEY: Well, no I… I think that, er… advertisement plays a very necessary role, but the danger it seems to me in a democracy is this… I mean what does a democracy depend on? A democracy depends on the individual voter making an intelligent and rational choice for what he regards as his enlightened self-interest, in any given circumstance.

But what these people are doing, I mean what both, for their particular purposes, for selling goods and the dictatorial propagandists are for doing, is to try to bypass the rational side of man and to appeal directly to these unconscious forces below the surfaces so that you are, in a way, making nonsense of the whole democratic procedure, which is based on conscious choice on rational ground.

WALLACE: Of course, well, maybe… I… you have just answered this next question because in your essay you write about television commercials, not just political commercials, but television commercials as such and how, as you put it, “Today’s children walk around singing beer commercials and toothpaste commercials.” And then you link this phenomenon in some way with the dangers of a dictatorship. Now, could you spell out the connection or, have… or do you feel you’ve done so sufficiently?

HUXLEY: Well, I mean, here, this whole question of children, I think, is a terribly important one because children are quite clearly much more suggestible than the average grownup; and again, suppose that, er… that for one reason or another all the propaganda was in the hands of one or very few agencies, you would have an extraordinarily powerful force playing on these children, who after all are going to grow up and be adults quite soon. I do think that this is not an immediate threat, but it remains a possible threat, and…

WALLACE: You said something to the effect in your essay that the children of Europe used to be called ‘cannon fodder’ and here in the United States they are ‘television and radio fodder.’

HUXLEY: Well, after all, you can read in the trade journals the most lyrical accounts of how necessary it is, to get hold of the children because then they will be loyal brand buyers later on. But I mean, again you just translate this into political terms, the dictator says they all will be ideology buyers when they are grownup.

WALLACE: We hear so much about brainwashing as used by the communists. Do you see any brainwashing other than that which we’ve just been talking about, that is used here in the United States, other forms of brainwashing?

HUXLEY: Not in the form that has been used in China and in Russia because this is, essentially, the application of propaganda methods, the most violent kind to individuals; it is not a shotgun method, like the… the advertising method. It’s a way of getting hold of the person and playing both on his physiology and his psychology until he really breaks down and then you can implant a new idea in his head.

I mean the descriptions of the methods are really blood curdling when you read them, and not only methods applied to political prisoners but the methods applied, for example, to the training of the young communist administrators and missionaries. They receive an incredibly tough kind of training which may cause maybe twenty-five percent of them to break down or commit suicide, but produces seventy-five percent of completely one-pointed fanatics.

WALLACE: The question, of course, that keeps coming back to my mind is this: obviously politics in themselves are not evil, television is not in itself evil, atomic energy is not evil, and yet you seem to fear that it will be used in an evil way. Why is it that the right people will not, in your estimation, use them? Why is it that the wrong people will use these various devices and for the wrong motives?

HUXLEY: Well, I think one of the reasons is that these are all instruments for obtaining power, and obviously the passion for power is one of the most moving passions that exists in man; and after all, all democracies are based on the proposition that power is very dangerous and that it is extremely important not to let any one man or any one small group have too much power for too long a time.

After all what are the British and American Constitution except devices for limiting power, and all these new devices are extremely efficient instruments for the imposition of power by small groups over larger masses.

WALLACE: Well, you ask this question yourself in “Enemies of Freedom.” I’ll put your own question back to you. You ask this, “In an age of accelerating overpopulation, of accelerating overorganization, and ever more efficient means of mass communication, how can we preserve the integrity and reassert the value of the human individual?” You put the question, now here’s your chance to answer it Mr. Huxley.

HUXLEY: Well, this is obviously… first of all, it is a question of education. Er… I think it’s terribly important to insist on individual values, I mean, what is a… there is a tendency as a… you probably read a book by Whyte, “The Organization Man”, a very interesting, valuable book I think, where he speaks about the new type of group morality, group ethic, which speaks about the group as though the group were somehow more important than the individual.

But this seems, as far as I’m concerned, to be in contradiction with what we know about the genetical makeup of human beings, that every human being is unique. And it is, of course, on this genetical basis that the whole idea of the value of freedom is based.

And I think it’s extremely important for us to stress this in all our educational life, and I would say it’s also very important to teach people to be on their guard against the sort of verbal booby traps into which they are always being led, to analyze the kind of things that are said to them.

Well, I think there is this whole educational side of… and I think there are many more things that one could do to strengthen people, and to make them more aware of what’s being done.

WALLACE: You’re a prophet of decentralization?

HUXLEY: Well, the… yes… if it… it’s feasible. It’s one of the tragedies, it seems to me. I mean, many people have been talking about the importance of decentralization in order to give back to the voter a sense of direct power. I mean… the voter in an enormous electorate field is quite impotent, and his vote seems to count for nothing.

This is not true where the electorate is small, and where he is dealing with a… with a group which he can manage and understand… and if one can, as Jefferson after all suggested, break up the units, er… into smaller and smaller units and so, get a real, self-governing democracy.

WALLACE: Well, that was all very well in Jefferson’s day, but how can we revamp our economic system and decentralize, and at the same time meet militarily and economically the tough challenge of a country like Soviet Russia?

HUXLEY: Well, I think the answer to that is that there are… it seems to me that you… that production, industrial production is of two kinds. I mean, there are some kinds of industrial production which obviously need the most tremendously high centralization, like the making of automobiles for example.

But there are many other kinds where you could decentralize quite easily and probably quite economically, and that you would then have this kind of decentralized, like after all you begin to see it now, if you travel through the south, this decentralized textile industry which is springing up there.

WALLACE: Mr. Huxley, let me ask you this, quite seriously, is freedom necessary?

HUXLEY: As far as I am concerned it is.

WALLACE: Why? Is it necessary for a productive society?

HUXLEY: Yes, I should say it is. I mean, a genuinely productive society. I mean you could produce plenty of goods without much freedom, but I think the whole sort of creative life of man is ultimately impossible without a considerable measure of individual freedom, of initiative, creation, all these things which we value, and I think value properly, are impossible without a large measure of freedom.

WALLACE: Well, Mr. Huxley, take a look again at the country which is in the stance of our opponent anyway, it would seem, anyway it would seem to be there, Soviet Russia. It is strong, and getting stronger, economically, militarily, at the same time it’s developing its art forms pretty well, er… it seems not unnecessarily to squelch the creative urge among its people. And yet it is not a free society.

HUXLEY: It’s not a free society, but here is something very interesting that those members of the society, like the scientists, who are doing the creative work, are given far more freedom than anybody else. I mean, it is a privileged aristocratic society in which, provided they don’t poke their noses into political affairs, these people are given a great deal of prestige, a considerable amount of freedom, and a lot money.

I mean, this is a very interesting fact about the new Soviet regime, and I think what we are going to see is er… a people on the whole with very little freedom but with an oligarchy on top enjoying a considerable measure of freedom and a very high standard of living.

WALLACE: And the people down below, the ‘epsilons’ down below…

HUXLEY: Enjoying very little.

WALLACE: And you think that that kind of situation can long endure?

HUXLEY: I think it can certainly endure much longer than the situation in which everybody is kept out; I mean, they can certainly get their technological and scientific results on such a basis.

WALLACE: Well, the next time that I talk to you then, perhaps we should investigate further the possibility of the establishment of that kind of a society, where the drones work for the queen bees up above.

HUXLEY: Well, but yes, but I must say, I still believe in democracy, if we can make the best of the creative activities of the people on top plus those of the people on the bottom, so much the better.

WALLACE: Mr. Huxley, I surely thank you for spending this half hour with us, and I wish you God speed sir.

HUXLEY: Thank you.

WALLACE: Aldous Huxley finds himself these days in a peculiar and disturbing position: a quarter of a century after prophesying an authoritarian state in which people were reduced to cyphers, he can point at Soviet Russia and say, “I told you so!” The crucial question, as he sees it now, is whether the so-called Free World is shortly going to give Mr. Huxley the further dubious satisfaction of saying the same thing about us.

Stay tuned for a preview of next weeks interview. Till then, Mike Wallace. Good night.

Closing credits

Anatomy of the American Financial Crisis: How It is Turning into a Worldwide Crisis

Prof. Rodrigue Tremblay
Global Research
October 13, 2008

"The basis for optimism is sheer terror." Oscar Wilde

[After the March 2008 Bear Stears bailout] "As more firms lost access to funding, the vicious circle of forced selling, increased volatility, and higher haircuts and margin calls that was already well advanced at the time would likely have intensified. The broader economy could hardly have remained immune from such severe financial disruptions."Ben Bernanke, Fed Chairman (March 2008)

“In accounting 101 we learn that high yields equal high risk. We know the CEOs had an incentive to disregard this because they were getting huge bonuses.” David Hartzell, dean of the University of Delaware’s business college and a former vice-president of Salomon Brothers

“Intensifying solvency concerns about a number of the largest U.S.-based and European financial institutions have pushed the global financial system to the brink of systemic meltdown.” Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Head of the IMF (October 11, 2008)

The Bush administration’s way of dealing with the ongoing financial crisis has been frantic, but probably less than adequate. In fact, tragic errors may have been made that must be remedied as quickly as possible.

The most damaging error may have been to let the global investment bank Lehman Brothers fail ($691 billion of assets at the end of 2007), on Monday September 15. This fateful date may have to be remembered in the future. This was the largest failure of an investment bank since the collapse of Drexel Burnham Lambert in 1990. In contrast, the Fed and the U.S. Treasury moved quickly in mid-March (2008) to save a similar global investment bank in distress (but half the size of Lehman), Bear Stearns, by quickly lending and guaranteeing $29 billion to the large universal J. P. Morgan Chase bank in order to absorb it. —(N.B.: Let us keep in mind that it was the collapse in June 2007 of two internal Bear Stearns hedge funds that had been heavily invested in mortgage securities that kicked off the full-fledged market panic that unfolded in August 2007, and which today has turned into a full-fledged international financial crisis).

Why was the same treatment not offered to Lehman? Possibly because of a personal lack of empathy between Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. (a former chief executive of rival investment bank Goldman Sacks) and Lehman’s CEO Mr. Richard S. Fuld Jr., or possibly because the Bush administration wanted to make an example that all investment banks, no matter how large, could not count on being rescued by the government. The Bush administration did not even bother to appoint a trustee to supervise Lehman’s liquidation in order to make it orderly.

Such a liquidation of a large international bank, known for its worldwide interconnections and unsound banking practices, was nearly a repeat of the mistake made in letting the large Vienna-based Creditanstalt bank fail, on May 13, 1931. This was a bank that had borrowed large amount of money in London and in New York to finance its activities. Its failure created a domino effect among other international banks that had lent to each other in the international credit chain. So much so that the failure of the Creditanstalt forced them to severely tighten their lending to absorb their sudden losses.

Seventy-seven years later, in 2008, the Bush administration’s decision to let the Lehman Brothers bank fail has produced a similar ripple effect throughout the international financial system. And, perhaps more important politically, it signaled to the markets that the Bush administration was willing to let a dangerous debt deflation and an ominous credit crunch proceed. This may turn out to have been a most tragic mistake.

Indeed, Lehman’s bankruptcy forced the global investment bank to quickly write down its huge portfolio of debt, a fair amount of it in derivative products. But since banks are creditors of each other, especially Lehman which dealt with large institutions, this had the consequence of spreading the American financial disease all over the world, and especially in Europe. Why? Because Lehman’s London office was a huge center of sale and distribution for its more or less toxic derivative products all over Europe. Indeed, many European banks had invested in Lehman’s securitized paper, and when it failed, they were left with large losses. As a consequence, they had to curtail their domestic lending and that’s the reason the credit crunch is now moving to Europe.

The second mistake was to address the “liquidity problem” of American investment and mortgage banks without tackling at the same time their underlying “solvency problem”.

As we wrote right at the very beginning, on August 24, 2007, the financial crisis in the U.S. is not only a classic “liquidity problem”, when banks find themselves short of cash to pay immediate redemptions and withdrawals while their longer term loans are secure, but also and above all a “solvency problem”, because the huge losses that banks had to absorb when they wrote down the value of their toxic assets-backed securitized paper, eroded their capital base to an extent that they became de facto insolvent. Market operators saw that and they sold the banks’ shares short and the price of these shares plummeted.

With many banks’ solvency now in doubt, inter-bank lending has nearly stopped, and because of a ‘flight to safety’, the Ted spread [the difference between three-month U.S. Treasury bills yields and yields on three month eurodollar contracts, as represented by the London Inter Bank Offered Rate, called Libor] exploded, and banks cut down their lending. Credit became tight and scarce. Because banks as a whole ordinarily lend between 10 and 12 times their capital base, the most liquid money supply (M1) began to contract in real terms. Even money market funds suffered heavy losses, and a run on them was in full swing when the Treasury stepped in a month ago to offer an emergency $50 billion guarantee.

The U.S. economy may be approaching what can be called a classic “liquidity trap” situation, wherein the Fed is lowering interest rates while lending through its discount window and printing money on a high scale, however the liquid money supply figures, in real terms, are not increasing, but are rather falling. Thus, there is no immediate inflation, but the money supply is contracting as banks reduce their lending and make a rush to T-bills (their yields nearly fell to zero). The short-term result is a net deflationary effect for the overall economy and on the stock market (although the long term bond market sees inflation ahead, and long term rates are rising). —The result is stock market crashes in repetition.

In fact, this is precisely what has happened over the last few weeks, not only in the United States, but also in the U.K and in other European countries. This is a very dangerous development for the real economy, because money data in real terms are a leading indicator of the future course of the economy. Six or nine months down the road, the consequences of the credit crunch will appear in production and employment declines, because the credit crunch has the effect of placing a serious squeeze on most companies. Since the credit contraction really began in June (2008), the early part of 2009 is bound to show severe economic weakness.

On Friday, September 19 (2008), the Bush administration announced its solution to the growing banking crisis. It made public the $700 billion Paulson plan (US Emergency Economic Stabilisation Act, EESA) that primarily focused on creating a government market for some of the bad mortgage-backed securities on the banks’ books. —But this was only half of the problem. The other half of the problem was the need to stop the money supply from declining, by restoring bank credit lending and allowing companies to have access to working capital financing. The goal here is to prevent banking problems from morphing into a general contraction of consumption and capital investment plans, thus slowing down production and raising unemployement in the coming months.

For this to happen, however, banks must be allowed to find badly needed new capital. But in a time of crisis, with stock markets declining, it is doubtful that much private capital can be found. The recent association of Warren Buffett with Goldman Sachs may be more of an exception than a rule.

When private capital is not available, the government has no other choice but to inject equity (by buying the banks’ preferred shares) into the national banking system, while taking steps to safeguard the public interest by obtaining common share warrants that can be resold profitably later, when the situation stabilizes.

In conclusion, we may ask if it is possible to avoid a repetition of the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930s or the more recent Japan’s protracted recession of the 1990s, both the result of a similar severe banking crisis? The answer is yes, if the vicious cycle of asset price decline, banking credit crunch and money supply contraction can be avoided, or, at the very least, stopped and reversed. —In economics, as in medicine, it is never too late to do the right thing.

The October Surprise: Global Panic

Stephen Lendman
Global Research
October 13, 2008

Since 9/11, the notion of an October surprise has been around. The idea going something like this. Another real or manufactured terror attack. The dominant media stokes fear. The public is again traumatized. The Bush administration pledges all effective measures to protect national security. Formerly seizes total power. Suspends the Constitution and declares martial law. Mass detentions follow. Beginning with dissenters and elements of the public considered “dangerous.”


Today’s crisis isn’t an accident or from happenstance. It was planned.

This may be coming with the 3rd Infantry’s 1st Brigade Combat Team back in the US as of October 1. According to the Army Times, as “an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.” Augmented by USNORTHCOM.

According to Wayne Madsen’s recent article titled “FEMA sources confirm coming martial law,” it gets worse. He cites “knowledgeable” FEMA sources saying that “the Bush administration is putting the final touches on a plan (to declare) martial law in the US with various scenarios anticipated as triggers.” Economic collapse. Massive social unrest. Bank closures. Street protests. Violence in response, and another stolen election.

Early in the month, a different October surprise arrived. Not the expected one. Not yet at least. The Wall Street Journal put it this way: “The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) capped the worst week in its 112-year history with its most volatile day ever, as hopes for a major international bank rescue plan were overwhelmed at day’s end by another wave of selling.”

The DJIA dropped 22% over the past eight trading sessions. Investors were “shell-shocked.” Many spent Friday “trying to protect themselves from further declines. The past week’s (October 6 - 10) 18% decline “and Friday’s 1018.77 point swing from low to high were the biggest since the Dow was created in 1896.” The VIX measure of market fear hit 69.95. By far its highest level ever, and some investors think it may touch 100 in the current climate. Until now, the Dow’s worst week was in 1933. Trading volume also set a record at 11.16 billion shares.

“Market crash shakes world” headlined the Financial Times (FT). Mass trauma, fear and uncertainty sent tremors everywhere, and no one knows if Friday ended it. Maybe just began it. First markets crater. Then world economies, and finally the inevitable human fallout. Affecting many tens of millions everywhere. Innocent people paying dearly.

Morning headlines say it all. And they’re getting grimmer. On October 10, the Wall Street Journal said the “Market’s 7-Day Rout Leaves US Reeling. Stocks in a Slow-Motion Crash….After Year of Declines, Investors Lose $8.4 Trillion of Wealth.” Most scary is what’s ahead and how much more people can or will tolerate.

The Financial Times was just as grim headlining “Global equities plunge….Japan leads Asian market rout…Wall Street in biggest fall since 1987 crash.” Once the nation’s largest company, General Motors may now face bankruptcy. Its October 10 stock fell to its 1950 valuation and now has a market capitalization of just $2.6 billion. Shockingly expressed in one headline saying “Wheels falling off for General Motors.” Add the engine and chassis, too.

Ford Motor’s outlook is little better. Its stock price is the lowest in decades, and one analyst warned that “the accelerating deterioration in industry fundamentals will be a serious challenge to liquidity (for both companies and Chrysler) during 2009.” JD Power and Associates was even grimmer saying that the global auto market may experience an “outright collapse” in 2009. And we’re only talking about autos.

Look at banks and world finance. The source of today’s crisis and reason global economies are reeling. Economists like Nouriel Roubini were once scoffed at. No longer. He warned for months that “the risk of a total systemic meltdown is now as high as ever since the credit crunch is gripping European banks as well” and spreading globally. Affecting good ones as well as bad. Trashing the baby with the bath water. Erasing savings for tens of millions everywhere. And for seniors who may not have time to recoup.

The crisis didn’t emerge like Topsy. It’s been simmering for years, and in July 2006 historian Gabriel Kolko warned about it in an article titled “Bankers Fear World Economic Meltdown.” He noted how:

the “whole nature of the global finance system has changed radically in ways that have nothing whatsoever to do with ‘virtuous’ national economic policies….The investment managers of private equity funds and major banks have displaced national banks….moving well beyond regulatory structures….Traders have taken over from traditional bankers because buying and selling shares, bonds, derivatives and the like now generate the greater profits, and taking more and higher risks is now the rule….They often bet with house money (and) low interest rates….let them do things….that were once deemed foolhardy.”

Compounded by the irrational development of global finance, liberalization and loose regulations. Playing fast and loose and betting on the come. The potential gains are enormous and so are the risks of a major financial crisis. A meltdown. Now we’ve got one that global institutions are “utterly inadequate” to deal with.

Kolko warned then that “the entire global financial structure (was) becoming uncontrollable….financial liberalization produced a monster….contradictions wrack the world’s financial system (that’s) both crisis-prone (and) immoral. (We) may very well be on the verge of serious crises.” Now we’ve got one and in dire straits.

Because “a kleptocratic class (took) over the economy,” according to economist Michael Hudson. A criminal element betting on high returns through computerized gambling “and when bad bets are made, bailouts are the (payoff) for campaign contributions.” For having friends in high places as well.

Today’s crisis isn’t an accident or from happenstance. It was planned, according to economist and critic F. William Engdahl in his recent article titled “Behind the Panic.” To “shape the future of global banking” through creative destruction. Panic incited by a well-designed “long-term strategy.” To change the “face of European banking.” Weaken it with toxic junk. Asset Backed Securities. Force enough of it into liquidation or cheap enough to buy at fire sale valuations. The idea being to “create three colossal global financial giants - Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, and Goldman Sachs.” Add Bank of America and make it a foursome. Then use their “muscle to ravage European banks.” Even if they wreck the US and world economies. Resuscitate them so they can “advance their global agenda over the coming years.” To dominate world finance and increase US hegemony in the new century.

That’s the scheme, and Engdahl calls it “a fight for the survival of the American Century.” Built on “the twin pillars of American financial (and military) dominance,” but the game is far from over. “Battle lines are drawn.” EU nations have their own ideas. Stabilization and recovery plans as well that differ from Washington’s and look much sounder. It remains to be seen where things are heading and whether competing nations can work together and do it effectively. They haven’t much time.

Washington’s Efforts to Shape the Last Century

Engdahl recounted some of them in his important book on war, geopolitics, oil and finance: “A Century of War.” He explained how Washington designed “the greatest confidence game” ever. A “special hegemony” to:

– print limitless amounts of dollars;

– accumulate huge trade deficits;

– “inflate (the) currency beyond imagination;”

– have the government pay bankers interest on its own money; and

– create an unprecedented public and private debt to enrich the few at the expense of the many.

Up to now it worked. Let America rule the world. Control its energy and finance. Avoid serious challengers and crush potential ones.

From the early years of the last century, US muscle flexing took many forms. From conflicts to geopolitics to controlling world resources to financial warfare. JP Morgan and other Wall Street notables were experts on the latter. Creating panics for greater power. Like today’s with similar aims.

In 1969, Richard Nixon had his own scheme with the country in recession. Interest rates were cut. Dollars flowed abroad. The money supply was expanded, and in May 1971 America recorded its first monthly trade deficit. It triggered a panic US dollar sell-off. Gold backed the currency then. Reserves were one-quarter of official liabilities, and (on August 15) Nixon unilaterally imposed a 90-day wage and price freeze. A 10% import surcharge. An 8% currency devaluation, and he closed the gold window. Suspended dollar convertibility into the metal and ended compliance with Bretton Woods’ core provision. He pulled the plug on world economies. Shook them and on February 12, 1973 did again. With a further 10% dollar devaluation that created the worst global instability since the 1930s. What lay behind his actions?

To buy time ahead of a bold new monetary “paradigm shift.” To revive a strong dollar and US hegemony. By a “colossal assault” on world industrial growth. Through an engineered oil embargo. A 400% increase in oil prices. A flood of petrodollars to be recycled into US investments and purchases. Big Oil and major banks to profit hugely at the cost of economic crisis. The worst since the 1930s. Causing bankruptcies, unemployment and stagflation.

Under Jimmy Carter in 1979, Fed chairman Paul Volker advanced his own radical monetary policy on the pretext of fighting high inflation. It was another Washington scheme to preserve dollar hegemony. Keep it the world’s reserve currency, and do it by crushing industrial growth to let political and financial power prop up dollar strength.

It worked by raising interest rates from 10% to 16% and then 20% in weeks. The US and world economies plunged into deep recessions, and the dollar began a strong five year ascent.

In the 1980s under Ronald Reagan, Mexican president Jose Lopez Portillo wanted to use his oil revenue to modernize and industrialize the country. To make it stronger and more independent. That prospect was anathema to Washington and it reacted. With a scheme to demand rigid repayment of Mexican debt at exorbitant rates.

In 1981, it began with an orchestrated run on the peso. Stories were circulated about an impending devaluation and capital flight. Portillo instituted an austerity plan, and his government cracked under pressure. The peso was devalued 30%. Mexican industry was devastated. Industrial production cut. Bankruptcies followed. Millions of Mexicans suffered grievously. The nation became effectively insolvent. It had to accept IMF help. Took on large amounts of debt, and major banks profited hugely by working with the government and IMF. Socializing the debt. Spinning it off to tax payers and privatizing gains through structural adjustment looting. Similarly in other countries. Causing mounting debt. Charging onerous interest rates, and earning greater profits from hundreds of billions of dollars in servicing costs.

Reagan-era deregulation caused the S & L crisis. A lesser version of today’s. By letting banks invest in speculative real estate. Engage in massive fraud. And get the right wing Cato Institute to say: “If Congress had set out in 1980 to create an environment that would lure all the crooks and frauds in the country into one industry, few would have been more suitable than” this one. “It was easy (finding) disenchanged S & L owners who were willing to sell out for a reasonable price, and once one had an S & L charter, opportunities abounded.”

It ended up bankrupting hundreds of banks. Shrunk the industry from 4500 in 1979 to about 2200 in 1991 and hundreds more afterward. It also cost taxpayers around $200 billion. Pocket change compared to the trillions needed for the current crisis.

In the 1980s, Japan was the country that could say “no.” At decade’s end, it was the world’s economic and banking leader. Because reckless speculation left American banks in deep crisis. Japan operated more prudently. It prospered, and challenged American dominance. Washington feared former communist countries would adopt its model. This was anathema. It might shut out US companies. Show Japan’s way was superior so it had to be stopped.

The 1985 Plaza accord was the scheme. To get Japan to exercise monetary and fiscal measures to expand domestic demand and reduce the country’s external surplus. At the same time, the Bank of Japan held interest rates at 2.5% from 1987 - 1989. To stimulate US goods purchases. Instead cheap money went into Japanese stocks and real estate. It created two colossal bubbles. A lost decade followed, and the economy is still recovering and under new duress from the current panic.

The 1990s Asian crisis was also manufactured. In summer 1997, it hit. For no apparent reason beyond rumors that the Thai baht was in trouble, and Thailand had too few dollars to back it. “Asian Contagion” was unleashed. Hot money came in earlier. Then exited electronically. From Thailand, Indonesia, South Korea, the Philippines, and other Asian Tiger countries. Through a Washington-engineered scheme because these nations’ economic model bested America’s and threatened it.

Tiger countries grew by protecting their markets and barring foreign companies from owning land and national firms. They also restricted Western and Japanese imports to grow their own economies and homegrown industries. Again anathema so it had to be stopped.

The countries were hammered. Forced to devalue their currencies and get IMF help. With strings. Accepting debt bondage. Opening their markets. Structural adjustments. Privatizations. Spending cuts. Mass layoffs and constrained wages and benefits. The whole toxic package in return for aid. The regional toll was devastating. An estimated 24 million lost jobs. Its growing middle class destroyed. A black hole of misery for around 20 million people. Forcing them to do anything to survive. Crushing the Asian miracle to let Western brands replace local ones. Bargain hunters get great deals at fire sale prices. The New York Times called it “the world’s biggest going-out-of-business sale.” The region now hammered again from the current crisis. No secret where it was manufactured. No telling how it will end up. No guessing many millions feel pain and are fearful.

No end to other notable examples. Two especially stand out. The 1990s ones affecting post-Soviet Russia and South Africa. In each case, neoliberal “shock therapy” was devastating. It empowered an oligarch class in Russia. Let them strip mine the nation’s wealth and offshore it to tax havens. Impoverished tens of millions of people. Bankrupted 80% of farmers. Caused mass unemployment. Created a permanent underclass. An annual 700,000 a year population decline and much more.

South Africa fared no better. Despite Nelson Mandela’s pledge to support black economic empowerment. As president he surrendered to capital. The consequences were horrific. Far worse than under apartheid. Double the unemployment rate and number of people in desperate poverty. Millions of poor blacks without homes. Another million evicted from farms. One-fourth of the population with no running water or electricity. Around 60% with inadequate sanitation. A 13 year life expectancy decline since 1990. Appalling human wreckage much like what happened in Russia and elsewhere. To empower capital at the expense of people. Heading for America and in one week took a quantum leap.

Spreading everywhere. On October 2, enough for The New York Times to say that Latin American leaders have gone from “schadenfreude to fear(ful).” Hugo Chavez skipped the UN General Assembly opening to visit China and said Beijing is more relevant than New York. Venezuela and Bolivia expelled their US ambassadors, and Brazil’s Lula da Silva railed against an American regional naval presence and said his nation’s warships must be on alert in response. He’s also furious at Wall Street and Washington for the current crisis and said: “We did what we were supposed to do to get our house in order. They spent years telling us what to do and they themselves didn’t do it.”

Argentina’s Christina Fernandez de Kirchner was also bitter in stating: “We are witnessing the First World, which at one point had been painted as a mecca we should strive to reach, popping like a bubble.” And the Chicago Tribune quoted an Inter-American Dialogue expert saying that “whatever credibility the US had in the region, on economic management, that’s clearly gone.”

Forty world specialists from 20 countries attended the International Conference of Political Economy in Caracas, Venezuela from October 8 - 11. To analyze and propose South-based, alternative solutions to the financial crisis. Venezuela’s Minister for Planning and Development, Haiman El Troudi, highlighted his country’s relative strength. Its impressive economic growth (at 6% in first half 2008), and recommended that Venezuelans repatriate their US investments given the current climate. To protect them from unsafe American banks.

He and President Chavez also criticized the IMF and called for it to “dissolve….kill itself.” They were harsh on the World Bank as well. Chavez added that “We are decoupling from the wagon of death.” El Troudi said we are witnessing the end of neoliberal hegemony. Others agreed that a new model is needed. The old one clearly failed.

The Current Panic and Meltdown

Credit today is frozen. From a debt crisis, not a liquidity one. Markets are reeling as a result. Crashing in free fall from severe financial stress. From the largest ever leveraged asset and credit bubbles. Multiple ones. Imploding. Starting with housing. Causing widespread mortgage defaults and huge financial institution losses. Multi-trillions more asset dollars at risk. Compounded by banks reluctant to lend. Fearing they won’t be repaid. Prices are falling. Trust is eroded. Losses mounting from destructive deleveraging. Mortgages, stocks, bonds, commodities, credit, private equity, hedge funds imploding more intensively than since the Great Depression.

Forcing troubled companies to the wall. Each one exposing others. Some too big to fail but they did. Getting investors to run for the exits. Selling good assets to cover bad ones. Freezing up money markets. Making short-term Treasuries the only safe bet. Getting world governments scrambling for solutions. Already in recession and getting worse. Fearing an intensified financial crisis. A systemic collapse.Turning a deepening recession into a global depression. A disaster only urgent, well-designed, and coordinated actions may prevent. But no assurance anything will work this late.

Here’s what Nouriel Roubini and others recommend. Mirror opposite of EESA that will do more harm than good:

– additional rapid rate cuts globally; at least to 1% in America; much lower in the EU, Asia and elsewhere;

– guarantee all deposits until stability is restored at least;

– partially nationalize troubled banks; recapitalize them with public funds; in some form that now seems the plan according to The New York Times in its October 11 article headlined: “White House Overhauling Rescue Plan;” capital to be injected into banks by buying non-voting shares; what’s known is Henry Paulson’s October 10 statement that “We can use the taxpayer’s money more effectively….if we develop a standardized program to buy equity in financial institutions;” it remains to be seen what, in fact, happens; Paulson represents Wall Street; not the public, national or world interests;

– he’s not for reestablishing responsible regulation to curb market excesses; what economists like Roubini recommend;

– freeze all home foreclosures; establish a 1930s type Home Owners’ Loan Corporation (HOLC) to refinance homes and prevent foreclosures; let foreclosed homeowners retain their properties and pay affordable rent;

– ease the debt burden of distressed households; cap credit card and other high consumer loan interest rates at much lower levels; put cash in peoples’ hands; lots of it; at least several hundred billion dollars for starters; more if needed; as much as it takes;

– provide solvent financial institutions with as much liquidity as they need; corporate sector companies as well, including small businesses;

– save solvent companies; liquidate troubled ones too far gone;

– fund massive stimulus to revive the economy; for public works, infrastructure, education, alternative energy, unemployment benefits, job training, tax rebates to the needy, and state and local governments strapped for cash; money for what’s needed most and that can do the most good;

– get stronger, more solvent countries to help weaker, more indebted ones; and

– move on these policies fast; world governments have little time left to save themselves; there’s no assurance they can; and these measure don’t address our destructive military Keynsianism; permanent war economy and need to redirect those funds for constructive homeland needs; mirror opposite of a reported a new Pentagon document requesting an additional $450 billion over the next five years.

Reeling from One Policy Response to Another

First came EESA. The Emergency Economic Stabilization Act. To reward fraudsters and not address the root of the crisis. Nor help millions of troubled households. Homeowners in foreclosure. Others threatened. The public traumatized by the most calamitous economic events since the 1930s.

Europeans formed their own plans. Different from Washington’s. On October 10, G-7 finance ministers met to discuss policy. In early evening, they presented an action plan. Long on promises. Short on specifics. The New York Times reported that: “Many investors had hoped the ministers would (propose) more concrete steps” and quoted Peterson Institute of International Economics deputy director, Adam Posen, saying: “This fell short.” But he wasn’t giving up entirely or saying what they have in mind or will later decide can’t work.

They agreed to:

– act decisively with all available tools to support financial institutions and prevent their failure;

– unfreeze credit and money markets; assure banks and other financial institutions “have broad access to liquidity and funding;”

– ensure banks and financial intermediaries “can raise (sufficient) capital from public (and) private sources;” to rebuild confidence and get them again lending to households and businesses;

– ensure national deposit insurance protection is sound so people have confidence in the safety of their deposits; and

– take appropriate action “to restart the secondary markets for mortgages and other securitized assets;” assure accurate valuations and transparency according to “high quality accounting standards.”

Besides the US Treasury planning to “buy equity in financial institutions,” AP reported on October 12 that the 15 euro-zone countries will “temporarily guarantee future bank debt to encourage lending….for an interim period and on appropriate terms” for up to five years. Recapitalizing banks is part of the plan. The hope is to unfreeze credit and get markets operating normally again.

According to The New York Times on October 12, “each country will announce concrete figures for the measures they expect to take individually.” Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders said “There is no question of setting up a European fund.” A final proposal will be presented to the full 27-member EU summit later in the week, and individual parliaments will have to vote on it.

Key to understand about whatever emerges in final details or any that follow - world governments will loot their treasuries to save powerful capital interests. Despite bold pronouncements we can expect more of ahead, practically nothing will be done for many tens of millions of people globally in greatest need. At best for them….crumbs.

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll see statements become policies and how world markets react. Given the immensity of the crisis, no one’s sure if anything can work. Nor is it reassuring to hear George Bush say remain calm. We’ve got things under control. On October 10, the Dow dropped 300 points while he spoke.

In an October 13 Barron’s interview, noted money manager Jeremy Grantham (now age 70) was asked if he thought we’d learn anything from the current crisis. His response: “an enormous amount in a very short time, quite a bit in the medium-term, and absolutely nothing in the long-term.”

He’s been bearish since last year but added that “the fundamentals are turning out worse than” he expected. “The terrible thing - after all this pain - is that the US equity market is not even cheap.” It was so high in 2000 that it hasn’t come down to trend, but it’s getting close. However, “the really bad news is that great bubbles in history always overcorrect.” He believes S & P 500 fair value is around 1025 compared to its 899.22 October 10 close. But “typically bubbles overcorrect by quite a bit, possibly by 20%. This is very discouraging,” so he’s not rushing to buy but he fears he’ll act too soon. He predicts a market low in 2010.

Where he sees things going from here was also posed. He’s highly respected as an expert, and yet he emphasized “how little (he) understand(s about) all of the intricate workings of the global financial system. (He) hopes that someone else gets it, because (he) doesn’t. And (he) has no idea, really, how this will work out….(It’s) so intricate that all (he) can conclude, by instinct (and from history), is that it will be longer, harder and more complicated than we expect.” Quite an assessment from a man called “the philosopher king of Wall Street.”

The Human Cost of Manufactured Crisis

Ordinary people are hit hardest. Millions will suffer grievously for years as a result of this totally avoidable crisis. Fraudsters who caused it are rewarded. Innocent homeowners, households, and workers are punished. Mercilessly. The result:

– trillions of dollars lost; likely trillions more ahead;

– millions of lost homes, homeowners behind in their payments, or threatened with foreclosure in the worst housing crisis since the Great Depression; ultimately may exceed it given current estimates of up to 10 million foreclosures before stability and recovery;

– likely well over a million 2008 personal bankruptcies and much higher numbers in 2009 compared to 800,000 in 2007 and 573,000 in 2006; figures below the 2000 - 2005 1.5 million average before passage of the 2005 Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act; according to Samuel Gerdano, American Bankruptcy Institute director, consumer over-indebtedness “made worse by the home mortgage crisis” is the problem; it won’t likely recede in the near or intermediate-term;

– rising unemployment; not the spurious 6.1%; including discouraged workers and people working part-time who want (but can’t find) full-time jobs, economist John Williams puts the real figure above 12% and rising;

– consumer over-indebtedness; maxed out on credit but needing more of it to survive; and charged usurious rates to get it;

– declining wages and benefits in the face of soaring expenses; making it all the harder to cope;

– food banks and homeless shelters facing increasing demands but forced to turn away people for lack of resources; and

– things overall are worsening; to the edge of the abyss according to some; even the most optimistic fear what’s coming; who can know; no one dares be complacent.

Whatever final policies emerge. In whatever form they take. Unless they address the human dimension, they’ll do nothing for people in most need. Growing millions. Desperate and in trouble. Their issue is economic and ethical. The G-7 statement addressed neither. It dealt only with saving Wall Street. Industrial capitalism. A better idea is let them die and replace them with a new order. A workable one. Respecting people, not capital.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

FEMA Official States Bush Is Planning To Implement Martial Law - Updated

FEMA Official States Bush Is Planning To Implement Martial Law - Updated

October 9th, 2008 · 19 Comments

Now that we know at least some members of our Congress were intimidated into voting for corporate welfare with the understanding that if the measure didn’t pass - it was likely Bush would have to declare Martial Law. It was “frighten, scare, claim the global economy would collapse and cause widespread panic, ushering in Martial Law because of our Congress’s inability to act fast while there was still time; It was 911 all over again, but this time, there were no mass causalities except the American and global economies. The casualties will come later, when this measure barely halts the global readjustment that is occurring as the US loses its status of being the world’s most solid economy.

The question we face is what’s next? I hate to ask what could possibly go wrong now, and I’m usually answered rather quickly as something else immediately goes haywire. I believe that for millions of Americans, many are asking themselves that same question; “What’s Next?” We have just witnessed our Congress giving into a President with a 24% approval rating, and in this matter, the people were decidedly against the bail-out, yet it happened anyway, with Nancy Pelosi bellowing that it was crucial that this measure pass. This isn’t Mrs. Pelosi’s first time acting as Bush’s spokesperson, and her “taking impeachment off the table” has endeared her office with that of the Bush administration, effectively rendering her useless as the Democratic Speaker of The House. Pelosi needs to switch her party affiliation or dispose of her “God Syndrome” where she believes that her opinion is more important then those who voted her into office and expect her to vote their will.

Millions of Americans seem to be worried that Bush/Cheney will declare Martial Law sometime before Obama is scheduled to take office unless the GOP effectively steals another election. My site has been very busy lately, and people all over the United States and the world are searching for any information they can find on Martial Law, FEMA Internment Camps, NSPD-51, and the “Thought Crime Prevention Bill.” The government’s recent actions, coupled with the unconstitutional behavior we witnessed at the RNC Convention has many people wondering if freedom is now nothing more than an illusion. On a daily basis, we hear new allegations of the GOP attempting to purge voter rolls and generally disenfranchise voters, behavior we would expect to see emanating from a Third World Country.

The most shocking evidence that we’re going to find ourselves under Martial Law was written by Wayne Madsen - and it’s bone-chilling to understand that this is what many of us on “the left” have been predicting for almost two years or more:

FEMA sources confirm coming martial law

Wayne Madsen
October 8, 2008

WMR has learned from knowledgeable Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sources that the Bush administration is putting the final touches on a plan that would see martial law declared in the United States with various scenarios anticipated as triggers. The triggers include a continuing economic collapse with massive social unrest, bank closures resulting in violence against financial institutions, and another fraudulent presidential election that would result in rioting in major cities and campuses around the country.

In addition, Army Corps of Engineer sources report that the assignment of the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) to the Northern Command’s U.S. Army North is to augment FEMA and federal law enforcement in the imposition of traffic controls, crowd control, curfews, enhanced border and port security, and neighborhood patrols in the event a national emergency being declared. The BCT was assigned to duties in Iraq before being assigned to the Northern Command.

On April 3, 2008, WMR reported on a highly-classified document regarding the martial law scenario: WMR has learned from knowledgeable sources within the US financial community that an alarming confidential and limited distribution document is circulating among senior members of Congress and their senior staff members that is warning of a bleak future for the United States if it does not quickly get its financial house in order. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is among those who have reportedly read the document. The document is being called the “C & R” document because it reportedly states that if the United States defaults on loans and debt underwriting from China, Japan, and Russia, all of which are propping up the United States government financially, and the United States unilaterally cancels the debts, America can expect a war that will have disastrous results for the United States and the world. “Conflict” is the “C word” in the document. The other scenario is that the federal government will be forced to drastically raise taxes in order to pay off debts to foreign countries to the point that the American people will react with a popular revolution against the government. “Revolution” is the document’s “R word. LINK

When I read the above story, I also verified Wayne Madsen’s Biography - and it’s impressive to the point that we must take the above report seriously. We know the FEMA Internment Camps are in place, manned, yet many of them contain no occupants. There is still a press blackout on this issue, although for the health and safety of the American public, it should be actively debated in Congress. Select members of Congress are aware of these plans yet no one is raising the alarm to the people. Is Congress complicit with turning the United States into a Police State, or are they too terrified and worried about their own safety to act/react???

One thing is sure. In spite of the danger of Martial Law, the “C & R” document described above also describes an extremely alarming scenario: “The document is being called the “C & R” document because it reportedly states that if the United States defaults on loans and debt underwriting from China, Japan, and Russia, all of which are propping up the United States government financially, and the United States unilaterally cancels the debts, America can expect a war that will have disastrous results for the United States and the world. Whether or not we face confinement in internment camps, our concentration should be centered on the document that speaks of a probability of war between Russia, China, and Japan. That may sound far-fetched, however, all of these economies have invested heavily in America - and if their debt is canceled unilaterally, I do see the possibility that as the US economy drags down our allies and enemies - there will be a global hostility aimed at the United States for crashing the world economy that will transcend territorial boundaries.

It was Bush and his greedy cronies that helped to get us into this mess. I agree that this is a crisis that cannot wait until a new President assumes power. We learned from the Great Depression the root of its causes and what is necessary to prevent another one. One thing is certain. Inaction is a guarantee that we will succumb to another Great Depression, however, if we act fast, it can be avoided. I read somewhere on the net this morning that financial representatives were being sent from Obama and McCain’s respective camps to work on a solution that can be implemented immediately. We fell into the last Great Depression because of the government’s failure to act swiftly to stem the tide of financial insolvency that began in Europe, Austria to be exact, which spread to Germany and then the United States. Let the financial wizards from the Obama and McCain camp work this one out; the insane have been running the asylum for far too long. The decisions made today need to be those of our next President, and thankfully, unless another election is stolen, that President will be Barrack Obama.

President Bush can easily declare Martial Law if our economic system fails, and right now, we have no guarantees that it wont. I do note that the White House and Congress is addressing this with all of the significance it deserves; lets hope that George Bush, in his final act as our President, doesn’t declare “null and void” all of our debts to Russia, China, and Japan. It would be the one act of unmitigated insolence that was pre-designed to embroil us in another war - one that earth itself cannot win.

On one web site, I read a plea to the “3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team” to please refrain from shooting or killing American citizens. I would expand that plea to all police officers, federal employees, and the entirety of our law enforcement agencies. Law and order is a prerequisite in this nation, and none of would ask you to shirk from your duties. If people destroy pubic property, they need to be arrested, with the least amount of force possible, and all efforts put forth to keep the peace. It doesn’t mean arresting demonstrators that have done nothing wrong; nor does it justify sneaking off in the very early hours of the morning and rounding-up all of us who are on DHS’s Terrorist Watch List. You can be added to that list for attending a peaceful protest, and Maryland state troopers recently added several people to the terrorist watch list for belonging to “three groups advocating peace and protesting the death penalty.” Better watch these people; they don’t believe in the death penalty and might strap-on bombs and kill people who are for capitol punishment (sic), which would go against everything they believe in. If you’ve sent an email, registered an anonymous comment that is derogatory to the Bush administration, then chances are that you also grace a list that is almost as absurd as the tenants of Patriot Act II and NSPD-51.

To America’s Federal, State, and Local Police Agencies: We are well aware of Operation Falcon and know that plans are in effect to pick-up and detain many citizens that are on the Terrorist Watch List. Consider that while your task force is busily at work, Task Force G-53 arrested your brother and sister for being on that very list you use to arrest innocent Americans. When all of the “dissidents” are rounded-up, placed in internment camps that will eventually lose track of what happened to their prisoners - there will be a huge cry from the very authorities that made these sweeps as they find out many of their own loved ones were also swept-up - although the lists will remain as confidential as possible. Nevertheless, the underground of American society will alert those who lost family members, and the basis for full-scale revolution will be born.

Arizona has already stated they will secede from the Union if Martial Law is declared, and I believe they would be closely followed by Vermont and then a slew of states that demand to retain control of their own sovereignty. The President may believe that he can control the United States through a declaration of Martial Law; however, citizens know that we can weather almost any situation without stripping us of our rights and resorting to measures that only a dictator and hater of freedom would employ.

It’s time to light-up the Congressional phone lines again; the cat is out of the bag and some of the people are aware of how dire our situation is and we, the people of the United States, state that we have an inherent right to know about plans and decisions that affect our freedom and liberty and the direction this country will take if we experience a country-wide or global financial meltdown. Working together as a people we can handle almost any diversity, and to “assume” that we will only act in the best interests of our country only under a declaration of Martial Law is an affront to every American citizen, here and abroad. Call Congress, demand that they bring this important issue to the forefront and quit deciding our collective future behind closed doors. If you value your liberty and freedom, and want to assure that decisions are made that address ALL of America’s citizens, it’s time to bombard Congress and demand, until they comply, to bring this Martial Law issue into the public domain.

William Cormier

Note: For the health and welfare of those who may be swept-up upon a declaration of Martial Law, which is virtually anyone that has been an outspoken critic of the Bush administration, either under an anonymous name or your real one, NSA knows where we all live and function. I believe that we need to establish a national register of people that believe they could be on the list. It may not prevent your incarceration, but in the end, whoever comes to their sanity and rectifies this situation would have a viable list of names to search for, especially since it’s rumored that some of the Internment Camps have furnaces. If the Fourth Reich is beginning to rise, you can believe that it will be accompanied by some of the same atrocities we witnessed in World War II.

Update: This article, and the information source quoted herein has been picked-up by the Boston Globe in an article entitled:

Postponing the election: It’s a joke, or is it?

While I believe the Globe article could have dug deeper, the readership did it themselves, and the comments at the end of the article represent a public that isn’t being fooled by MSM attempts to downplay significant events that could affect the health and welfare of America’s citizens. Even though I wish the article would have been based more on the facts contained within the “source documents” - I still give the Globe Kudos for publishing an issue that the MSM has refused to cover or give it the emphasis it deserves. The total lack of Congressional oversight on this issue is breathtaking, unconstitutional, and an insult to every American that believes in our Constitution and the rule of law.

William Cormier
October 11th, 2008

Militarizing the “Homeland”: NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support

Militarizing the “Homeland”: NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force-Civil Support

Tom Burghardt
Antifascist Calling
October 11, 2008

Antifascist Calling reported October 6 that nine months prior to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Donald Rumsfeld signed off on revisions for the Pentagon’s secretive Continuity of Operations Program (COOP).

Fusion center

Under cover of the "war on terror," driftnet surveillance and moves toward suppressing dissent, most recently on display when protests during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions were criminalized and organizers were charged with "domestic terrorism" under the Patriot Act, are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Based on a document (AR 500-3) published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, it described “all hazards COOP planning” as the mechanism by which “the Army remains capable of continuing mission-essential operations during any situation, including military attack, terrorist activities, and natural or man-made disasters.”

The Wikileaks document is all the more relevant since a September report in Army Times described how the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team (BCT) would be deployed October 1 “under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North,” the “service component” of NORTHCOM.

Since that article appeared September 8, Army Times has done a partial climb-down and now claims that the “non-lethal crowd control package” described earlier for operations in the heimat, “is intended for use on deployments to the war zone, not in the U.S., as previously stated.”

But this mendacious claim by Army Times is belied by current political trends in the U.S. Under cover of the “war on terror,” driftnet surveillance and moves toward suppressing dissent, most recently on display when protests during the Democratic and Republican National Conventions were criminalized and organizers were charged with “domestic terrorism” under the Patriot Act, are but the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Wholesale spying on activists by the Pentagon’s now defunct Counterintelligence Field Activity (CIFA), as well as revelations that State police agencies in Maryland routinely spied on antiwar organizers, shared this information with the National Security Agency and classified them as “terrorists” in government-run databases, are viewed as exemplary means to “keep the rabble in line”–and under wraps, if necessary.

A highly-disturbing report by Christopher Ketchum in the May/June 2008 issue of Radar Magazine, outlined how the top secret Main Core database linked to Continuity of Government contingency planning, “includes dissidents and activists of various stripes, political and tax protesters, lawyers and professors, publishers and journalists, gun owners, illegal aliens, foreign nationals, and a great many other harmless, average people.”

Reporting in July for Salon, investigative journalist Tim Shorrock was told by a source that Main Core is “‘an emergency internal security database system’ designed for use by the military in the event of a national catastrophe, a suspension of the Constitution or the imposition of martial law. Its name … is derived from the fact that it contains ‘copies of the ‘main core’ or essence of each item of intelligence information on Americans produced by the FBI and the other agencies of the U.S. intelligence community’.”

As the historic economic and political crisis gripping capitalism deepens and intensifies, and as stop-gap measures deployed by the U.S. Treasury Department intended to shore-up the crumbling financial sector crash, one by one, “forward thinking” ruling class factions are openly preparing a “Pinochet option” for the American people.

In this context, the militarization of domestic law enforcement is now coupled with the military’s own rapid development and deployment of “non-lethal weapons” systems which inevitably, will be “shared” with civilian police for “crowd control.” As with data mining, DHS spy-satellite surveillance, blanket CCTV coverage of American cities, illegal FBI deployment of infiltrators and provocateurs, “mission creep” by the Pentagon into civil affairs are signs that stronger measures to blunt the crisis may be in the offing. (For more on the Pentagon’s development of NLW’s, see: Antifascist Calling, “‘Non-Lethal’ Weapons: Where Science and Technology Service Repression,” July 8, 2008; and, Antifascist Calling, “The Calmative Before the Storm,” July 12, 2008)

During the recent Vibrant Response exercise at Fort Stewart, Georgia, three units of NORTHCOM’s Consequence Management Response Force (CCMRF, pronounced “sea-smurfs”), including two combat units from the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Army Division and the elite 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade participated in mock drills designed to “coordinate with local governments and interagency organizations such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Emergency Management Agency,” according to a report on U.S. Northern Command News.

Interestingly enough, Fort Stewart is also the site of a top secret NSA listening post that routinely “intercepted and transcribed satellite phone calls of American civilians in the Middle East for the NSA,” according to a whistleblower and former Arab linguist attached to the illegal NSA project, Wired reports.

Code-named “Operation Highlander,” the top secret program was initiated in the wake of the September 11 attacks on orders from the Bush administration. According to Wired,

If the allegations are true, it would seem to indicate that warrantless spying of Americans approved by President Bush following 9/11 expanded rapidly beyond U.S. borders to citizens overseas, notwithstanding United States Signals Intelligence Directive 18, or USSID 18–an NSA rule that bars overseas surveillance of Americans without authorization and probable cause. (Kim Zetter, “Inside Operation Highlander,” Wired, October 10, 2008)

While the ostensible purpose of Vibrant Response was to wargame scenarios where chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, or high-yield explosive incidents (CBRNE) were launched “in the nation’s heartland,” what other events could trigger the declaration of a “national security emergency,” or even martial law in the U.S.?

As Amy Goodman reported in a column for Democracy Now!

Military participation in domestic operations was originally outlawed with the Posse Comitatus Act in 1878. The John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, however, included a section that allowed the president to deploy the armed forces to “restore public order” or to suppress “any insurrection.” While a later bill repealed this, President Bush attached a signing statement that he did not feel bound by the repeal. (”Invasion of the Sea-Smurfs,” Democracy Now!, October 2, 2008)

As I pointed out in my October 6 article, current Army doctrine is heavily-weighted towards contingency planning for “civil disturbances.” While these programs are not new and in fact, plans such as Garden Plot and Cable Splicer have been integral to military doctrine since the late 1960s, what is new–and highly disturbing–is the launch of NORTHCOM’s Joint Task Force Civil Support (JTF-CS).

Located at Ft. Monroe in Hampton, Virginia, JTF-CS is described on NORTHCOM’s website as “a subordinate command of U.S. Northern Command, a unified combatant command formed in October 2002 to plan, organize and execute both homeland defense and civil support missions.”

While NORTHCOM claims that JTF-CS would be deployed “only after a Governor requests federal assistance from the President, and after the President issues a Presidential Disaster Declaration,” the Bush signing statement as well as secret annexes in updated Continuity of Government planning documents, National Security Presidential Directive 51/Homeland Security Presidential Directive 20 (NSPD 51/HSPD 20) means, as Commander-in-Chief,

The President shall lead the activities of the Federal Government for ensuring constitutional government. In order to advise and assist the President in that function, the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism (APHS/CT) is hereby designated as the National Continuity Coordinator. …

Federal Government COOP, COG, and ECG plans and operations shall be appropriately integrated with the emergency plans and capabilities of State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to promote interoperability and to prevent redundancies and conflicting lines of authority. The Secretary of Homeland Security shall coordinate the integration of Federal continuity plans and operations with State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure, as appropriate, in order to provide for the delivery of essential services during an emergency. (The White House, President George W. Bush, NSPD 51/HSPD 20, May 7, 2007)

It should be kept in mind that top secret annexes of this document have been withheld from Congress, despite repeated requests–and legal oversight requirements–by the House Homeland Security Committee, as Peter Dale Scott reported in March for CounterPunch.

NORTHCOM avers that,

The Primary Federal Agency [PFA] is the federal civilian agency designated to coordinate and direct the government’s response to a disaster or emergency situation. Presidential Decision Directive 39 designated the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the PFA for managing the consequences of CBRNE events. In most instances, FEMA will be the PFA, however, the Federal Bureau of Investigation serves as the PFA for crisis management in events designated as an act of terrorism. Although the JTF-CS supports the PFA throughout a CBRNE consequence management operation, the unit operates within a clear Department of Defense chain of command. (U.S. Northern Command, Joint Task Force Civil Support, FAQ, no date)

In other words, although civilian agencies are the nominal PFA’s during a “disaster or emergency situation,” JTF-CS “operates within a clear Department of Defense chain of command” that begins and ends with the Executive Branch, that is, the President in his role as the leader of the “unitary executive branch” and Commander-in-Chief. Were a “national emergency” of any kind declared by the President, rules governing Continuity of Government operations would place civilian agencies, including “State, local, territorial, and tribal governments, and private sector owners and operators of critical infrastructure,” under the effective control of the military.

This is clearly delineated in Department of Defense Directive 3025.12 (DoD 3025.12), “Military Assistance for Civil Disturbances (MACDIS)”:

Ensure continuous planning by the DoD Components, both in the Department of Defense and in cooperation with civil government agencies for MACDIS operations that may be required during any time or condition of peace, war, or transition to war, including any national security emergency. …

The President is authorized by the Constitution and laws of the United States to employ the Armed Forces of the United States to suppress insurrections, rebellions, and domestic violence under various conditions and circumstances. Planning and preparedness by the Federal Government and the Department of Defense for civil disturbances are important due to the potential severity of the consequences of such events for the Nation and the population.

Military resources may be employed in support of civilian law enforcement operations in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. territories and possessions only in the parameters of the Constitution and laws of the United States and the authority of the President and the Secretary of Defense, including delegations of that authority through this Directive or other means.

The primary responsibility for protecting life and property and maintaining law and order in the civilian community is vested in the State and local governments. Supplementary responsibility is vested by statute in specific Agencies of the Federal Government other than the Department of Defense. The President has additional powers and responsibilities under the Constitution of the United States to ensure that law and order are maintained. (”Military Assistance for Civil Disturbances [MACDIS],” Department of Defense Directive, No. 3025.12, February 4, 1994, pp. 1, 3) [emphasis added]

The Executive Branch’s leading role in MACDIS operations are underscored by the following:

Delegations of Authority. The Secretary of Defense shall be assisted in executing his responsibility for MACDIS by the following:

The Secretary of the Army shall be the DoD Executive Agent and shall act for the Secretary of Defense in accordance with this Directive and any supplemental direction or guidance received from the Secretary of Defense. In that capacity, the DoD Executive Agent shall develop planning guidance, plans, and procedures for MACDIS, in accordance with this Directive. The DoD Executive Agent has the authority of the Secretary of Defense to task the DoD Components to plan for and to commit DoD resources, in response to requests from civil authorities under MACDIS. The DoD Executive Agent shall coordinate with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff any commitment of Military Forces assigned to the Combatant Commands.

The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff shall communicate to the Commanders of the Combatant Commands appropriate guidance issued by the DoD Executive Agent for their compliance with this Directive, and also shall assist the DoD Executive Agent in developing MACDIS planning guidance for all conditions of war or attacks on the United States or its territories. …

For response to domestic terrorist incidents and other purposes, the DoD Executive Agent shall obtain authority from the Secretary of Defense for any employment of U.S. counterterrorism forces. The DoD Executive Agent shall coordinate with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff any request, contingency plan, directive, or order affecting the employment of such forces and, simultaneously, shall provide all applicable information to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Special Operations and Low-Intensity Conflict), who provides policy oversight for the Secretary of Defense, in accordance with DoD Directive 5138.3 (reference (h)).

The Secretary of Defense reserves the authority to modify or terminate the Executive Agency established by this Directive if operational needs so require in a particular situation. (MACDIS, op. cit., pp. 5-6)

What those “operational needs” are that might require the Secretary of Defense to “modify or terminate” the “Executive Agency” are not specified in the MACDIS Directive. However, in this regard, it is clear that a leading role of U.S. military “civil disturbance” operations will be assumed by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) and not a “Prime Federal Authority,” that is a civilian agency. The JCS will,

In coordination with the DoD Executive Agent, facilitate communications by the DoD Executive Agent with Commanders of Combatant Commands, as appropriate.

Ensure the compatibility of MACDIS plans with other military plans.

Assist in the DoD Executive Agent’s determination of military units and capabilities sufficient for all contingencies of the GARDEN PLOT plan.

Support training for and coordinated evaluation of MACDIS plans and capabilities by the Commanders of the Combatant Commands through exercises or other means, as appropriate. (MACDIS, op. cit., pp. 10-11)

Clearly, NORTHCOM’s Vibrant Response exercise, initiated by the Joint Task Force-Civil Support falls under the broad purview of Garden Plot and other planning “contingencies.” In terms of dealing with a “national security emergency” declared by the Executive Branch under rules governing Continuity of Government operations, DoD 3025.12 describes “civil disturbances” as,

Group acts of violence and disorders prejudicial to public law and order in the 50 States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the U.S. possessions and territories, or any political subdivision thereof. The term “civil disturbance” includes all domestic conditions requiring the use of Federal Armed Forces under this Directive. (MACDIS, op. cit., p. 17)

Would, let’s say, the eruption of mass protests as a result of a stolen presidential election or mass actions as a legitimate and exemplary civilian response to limiting bank withdrawals, a freeze on Social Security payments, a prohibition on strikes or the declaration of a “national security emergency” as a result of prerevolutionary challenges to the legitimacy of federal authority (as took place in Argentina in 2000 during that nation’s economic meltdown) trigger MACDIS and other Continuity of Government operations?

DoD 3025.12 states, “Under reference (r), the terms “major disaster” and “emergency” are defined substantially by action of the President in declaring that extant circumstances and risks justify Presidential implementation of the legal powers in those statutes.” In other words, “extant circumstances” are “defined substantially” by the President. Once triggered by Executive Order, the scope of operations undertaken by the military acting as the enforcement arm of the “unitary executive branch” are virtually unlimited.

Under these rules, martial law, suspension of habeas corpus, indefinite detention would render lawful rules guiding a constitutional republic moot; mere footnotes written on the “blank page” of America’s “new normal,” what Naomi Klein has termed “disaster capitalism.” Klein writes,

A more accurate term for the system that erases the boundaries between Big Government and Big Business is not liberal, conservative or capitalist, but corporatist. Its main characteristics are huge transfers of public wealth to private hands, often accompanied by exploding debt, an ever-widening chasm between the dazzling rich and the disposable poor and an aggressive nationalism that justifies unlimited spending on security. For those inside the bubble of extreme wealth created by such an arrangement, there can be no more profitable way to organize a society. But because of the obvious drawbacks for the vast majority of the population left outside the bubble, other features of the corporatist state tend to include aggressive surveillance (once again, with government and large corporations trading favors and contracts), mass incarceration, shrinking civil liberties and often, though not always, torture. (The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, New York: Metropolitan Books, 2007, p. 15)

Now that the economic bubble for the vast majority of Americans has burst, “shrinking civil liberties” are rushing headlong towards the vanishing point.

While DoD 3025.12 states that “any employment of Military Forces in support of law enforcement operations shall maintain the primacy of civilian authorities,” as noted above JTF-CS “operates within a clear Department of Defense chain of command,” answerable to the President, the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of the Army as the “DoD Executive Agent for MACDIS.”

Clearly, a “terrorist attack” or “any national security emergency” so designated by the President would trigger MACDIS guidance for “civilian law enforcement operations” and fall under the purview of NORTHCOM and JTF-CS as “a subordinate command” and would play a leading role in responding to “any national security emergency” declared by the President.

Despite the repeal of the “Insurrection Act Rider” to the 2007 Defense Appropriations bill that gave the President sweeping emergency power to deploy the military for any “condition” he might cite, not merely a terrorist atrocity or CBRNE “event,” the Bush “signing statement” reported by Amy Goodman above, effectively nullified Congress’ intent not to give the president carte blanche to station U.S. troops on American streets.

While NORTHCOM insists that JTF-CS, “will not be called upon to help with law enforcement, civil disturbance or crowd control, but will be used to support lead agencies involved in saving lives,” as I have outlined above, citing the DoD’s own documents and Executive Branch National Security Presidential Directives, contingency plans for suppressing “civil disturbance” such as the Garden Plot scenario are, like an iron fist inside a velvet glove, already in place and capable at a moment’s notice of striking the American people.

During these dark times, it is well-worth recalling the sage advice of the great American revolutionary Thomas Jefferson: The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.