Homeland Security State

This is cross posted at: http://olyblog...

This is from the latest Tomgram, at Tom Englehardt's TomDispatch.com.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, the International Red Cross, it was reported, had "its first opportunity in more than 20 months" to see hundreds of former Abu Ghraib prisoners now rehoused in a state-of-the-art multimillion dollar prison, Camp Cropper, that the Bush administration has built, almost without notice, near Baghdad International Airport. Finally (but not exhaustively), back in our growing homeland security state, "in a stealth maneuver, President Bush has signed into law a provision which, according to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), will actually encourage the President to declare federal martial law." The John Warner Defense Authorization Act of 2007, according to Frank Morales, "allows the President to declare a ‘public emergency' and station troops anywhere in America and take control of state-based National Guard units without the consent of the governor or local authorities, in order to ‘suppress public disorder.'"
Here's a link: http://tomdispatch...

The first thing I thought of when I read this: What if the elections are a total sham? What if there is a civil revolt?

If the elections do go badly, i.e. - the powers of Rove swindle another one - then what is the best course of action? Would a mob of raging citizens help, or hinder the cause to effect justice? What might this "public disorder" look like.

I worry that a mass of people might be tempted into acts that the Nat'l Guard would be used to suppress. This is not a pretty picture. It might be important to have a discussion about how the community should, and might respond to a national emergency - one provoked say, by a stolen election, or by a president who decides to shut down the election system "for purposes of national security"...

I think having an organized mass of people in this situation would be critically important. But it would also be of critical importance that this conglomeration of people be nonviolent, non-antagonistic, and non-threatening. The people must make a concerted and persistent effort to welcome the national guardsmen to its side. In short the movement must be ultimately peaceful, protagonistic - and large.

Am I crazy to be thinking about such things? Basically, the picture of an angry mob (possibly toting weapons) is frightening to me. An armed mob would be crushed like a roach under the heel of the well-supplied federal militias. I feel that the only constructive avenue of discourse is total nonviolence - and total perseverance. To wage peace necessitates the same effort as waging war (i.e. a lot!)

I am thinking about the community response to the Nazis. The community was very disrespectful toward the Nazis at the rally. (Not that the Nazis weren't simultaneously hideously disrespectful, but some members of the community did lower themselves to the level of the Nazis with some of the actions and sloganry. Also, the counter presence legitimized the Nazi presence, and provided them with an audience. But the purpose here is not to stir up and salt old wounds.) If the community were to meet a contingent of armed national guardsmen with the same disrespectful and condescending attitude with which it met the Nazis, and if the Guardsmen feel threatened, well, I would consider the level of possibility for violence to be quite high! Not good. Thus, nonviolence is the key.

Okay, I am pretty much thinking out loud here. Hopefully that makes sense mostly. Also we want olycop on our side when the proverbial shit hits the fan.


  1. Do you remember the stories of the protesters putting daisys in the bayonnettes of soldiers? Or, the disaster at Kent State when the Nat'l Guard opened fire on students? I think we have to be careful to respond to the current situation and try to avoid too many hypotheticals. This is a delicate balance between being adequately prepared and way over prepared. PS This comment form is very weird. What happened?

  2. I don't think you're crazy to think of these things. They come to mind quite naturally. I remember talking about this stuff with you and Dad at the museum that I should remember the name of and don't in LA. I think we're living in scary times and I think the government is out of control. It is certainly not in our hands.

    What if the National Guards people revolt? What if they just don't take orders?

    Delicate balance, as Mom says; and I'm prone to hypotheticals, too. We must be related!

    Just remember: your sister loves you!


Aldo Leopold: "We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect."

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