Shills for the War on Terror say al Qaeda is motivated by hatred for “our freedoms.” The good folks in Congress, taking that message to heart, are acting to protect us by ensuring al Qaeda no longer has anything to complain about.
William Sumner argued the Spanish-American War, despite the military victory, was actually a “Conquest of the United States by Spain” because it marked America’s adoption of the authoritarian character of a European empire.
By that standard, every time TSA moves closer to an internal passport system, every time Joe Biden’s buddies at the RIAA and MPAA add another brick to the American version of the Great Firewall of China, every time the Drug War puts another shovel of dirt on the Fourth Amendment, we’re one step closer to being conquered by al Qaeda.
Just look at the news:
The US House Intelligence Committee just drafted a bill (bipartisan! With strong telecomm industry support!) exempting corporations from liability for sharing user data with the government. So next time your ISP or Google rolls over and opens your email to illegal inspection by Homeland Security, you can’t sue them for breach of confidence.
The US Senate’s “Defense” Reauthorization bill includes a provision requiring the President to indefinitely detain without trial suspected terrorists arrested on American soil. See, the Global War on Terror encompasses the entire planet — including the “Homeland.”
But don’t worry — it only applies to people suspected of terrorism, right? Congressional supporters of the Sedition and Espionage Acts during World War One promised those laws wouldn’t apply to the expression of ordinary political opinion about the War. Tell that to Eugene Debs.
Take a look also at how the USA PATRIOT Act — originally sold as a grant of extraordinary powers for fighting the extraordinary threat of terrorism — has been put to use. It’s a routine tool in the Drug War, with “Sneak and Peek” searches used roughly a hundred times as often for drug cases as for suspected terrorism cases.
Homeland Security has also played a major role in shutting down torrent sites suspected of violating “intellectual property” rights.
Government claims about the real motivation behind some “extraordinary” grant of power “for the duration” are as worthless as used toilet paper. The people running the government, pure and simple, are liars who’ll say anything to get power, and then do whatever they want with that power.
Consider, also, recent legislation like the SOPA (House) and PIPA (Senate) bills, which would authorize the government to shut down websites on the mere allegation of a content “owner” that it was infringing “intellectual property” rights. That’s right: A bare accusation by the MPAA or Microsoft that you’re hosting their “property” will be enough to get you shut down, without warning or hearing. It’s a violation of common law due process rights going back to the Magna Carta’s “nullus liber homo” (no free man) phrase.
In the interest of efficiency, I suggest the government consolidate the Wars on Drugs, Terror, and Piracy into a single war: The War on You. That would make things a lot simpler — and a lot more honest.
All these different wars amount to a War on You, because they’re aimed at preventing what the state and its corporate masters regard as the ultimate horror: A world where you’re free to produce and trade peacefully with others, living off the full fruit of your own labor, without having to work twice as hard to feed a gaggle of bureaucrats, usurers, landlords, and other parasitic rentiers in addition to yourself.
The real function of the War on Drugs is to prop up black market drug prices so banks have cartel money to launder and the CIA — the biggest drug cartel of all — has a funding source for black ops when Congress balks at bankrolling a death squad somewhere. And it keeps local police forces rolling in civil forfeiture loot and military surplus weaponry to use against the local population.
The War on Piracy ensures you pay $200 for software on a disk that took $10 to print out and ship, $100 for a prescription that cost $5 to produce, and a price for consumer electronics that’s nine-tenths embedded “intellectual property” rents rather than actual parts and labor.
The War on Terror ensures you can be kept under surveillance whenever you say, do or write anything, so the state and its corporate masters can be absolutely sure you’re not conspiring to threaten the system of power that enables them to feed off you.
Despite what the state tells you, in all these wars, you’re not the customer … you’re the enemy.