Monthly Archives: October 2008
“Over the last two weeks I have encountered just such an apocalyptic situation, where I and the Department of Justice have been asked to be part of something that is fundamentally wrong.”
(Excerpt from Deputy Attorney General James Comey’s draft letter of resignation to President Bush, dated March 16, 2004, which Comey did not in the end send.)
“Nothing was your own except the few cubic centimetres inside your skull”
(George Orwell: 1984)
I: Main Core and PROMIS
Suppose that the United States Government, or more likely an unaccountable privatized intelligence colossus empowered by the reaction to the 9/11 attacks and fueled by the rampant cronyism of a system long ago gone rotten had a surveillance tool capable of peering into the most private aspects of American lives on a whim. Now suppose that the new growth industry of a previously unthinkable futuristic police state was already in place, fully operational and has been online and has actively been being utilized for domestic spying for years before those two airplanes slammed into the World Trade Center. The ‘terrorist’ attacks were used as the justification for every unconstitutional reigning in of civil liberties ever since that heinous September morning seven years ago when the reset button was hit on two and a quarter centuries of American history and we all stepped forth into the brave new world of perpetual war, fear, suspicion and vengeance into a parallel reality in a place that would come to be known as The Homeland. What if this surveillance industrial complex was in possession of a database that was so large and so powerful that not only could it instantly process and retrieve the most minute or intimate aspects of a citizen’s lives but was also able to utilize extremely sophisticated artificial intelligence capabilities to actually predict likely patterns of future behavior.
Such a huge database would be able to use cutting edge technology funded with taxpayer dollars and awarded to unaccountable private corporations largely through ‘business as usual’ no bid contracts to create the most invasive tool of oppression this country has ever seen. This database would rely on software that was capable of performing social network analysis based on block modeling technology to monitor all forms of electronic communications, all internet searches, all debit and credit card transactions, all travel arrangements, all library records, all bank activity and all telephone records. It would then be able to use the data to not only find links between persons who already know and interact with each other but to categorize each individual into a particular group that possess similar behavioral and purchasing habits. These groups could then be further divided into subgroups and further analyzed in order to determine under some loosely defined and largely unknown guidelines whether they could potentially represent a threat. While all of this may sound like some sort of futuristic dystopian nightmare straight out of Philip K. Dick’s Minority Report and “Precrime” it is very real and it goes by the name of Main Core. For example, if you are selling a bicycle and run an advertisement in your local newspaper and you happen to receive a call from a Muhammad who is interested in your bicycle and Muhammad happens to have certain friends who have relationships with an organization that is determined by some unknown criteria to be a potential terrorist organization then the call that you received from Muhammad would then in all likelihood place you in the database and subject to an increased level of scrutiny at best and at worst in jeopardy of being picked up and held indefinitely without any sort of judical review.
This techoology is being used today absent any form of legitimate oversight, with a Constitution that has been eviscerated by the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil, a vast gulag network of top secret prisons and ‘detention facilities’ and the decidedly anti-American new phenomenon of state sanctioned torture. Throw in an overworked, systematically dumbed-down populace that has been propagandized by the corrupt institution that is the corporate media machine with it’s clever use of fear and loathing and scientific development of advanced mind control techniques who despite the infinite wisdom of our forefathers would gladly sacrifice their liberty for the any sort of temporary safety (no matter that it is fleeting) and there exists today in ‘The Homeland’ a perfect petri dish for an authoritarian fascist society.
It is though a very sophisticated form of fascism unlike more outwardly obvious regimes that we have known in the past. Author Bertram Gross published a book back in 1980 that was entitled Friendly Fascism, Jim Garrison once said that “fascism would come to America in the name of national security”, and author Kevin Phillips in his 1983 book Post-Conservative America warned of the potential of an “apple pie authoritarianism” and a coming society in which: “the Star Spangled Benner would wave with greater frequency and over many more parades; increased surveillance would crack down on urban outbreaks and extreme political dissidents”. This very accurately describes post 9/11 America where any semblance of reason has been abandoned for cheap flag-waving pimped off as patriotism, criticism of authority has made into potential treason by the highly paid shills for neoconservative doctrine, sloganeering and demagoguery have replaced discourse, critical thinking is becoming extinct and just as George Orwell so accurately predicted Big Brother is now watching over us, protecting us and ensuring that we understand that war is peace, freedom is slavery and ignorance is strength.
But I digress…
Main Core has received attention in two recent articles, one a piece by investigative journalist Christopher Ketcham entitled The Last Roundup (which also looks at Continuity of Government programs but more on that in a little while) and Tim Shorrock entitled Exposing Bush’s Historic Abuse of Power. Both articles tie Main Core to the now legendary PROMIS software, an extremely advanced program designed to aid federal prosecutors in case management tracking. PROMIS could pull and put together a wide range of data from disparate sources into a single record. The PROMIS software was created by INSLAW Inc., a company owned by a former NSA intelligence officer named William Hamilton. PROMIS was to have been licensed to the U.S. government in the early 1980’s before the technology boom became widespread but was then stolen by the seamy officials in Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department. The software was modified for espionage purposes to include a ‘back door’ that could be used for spying on those that it was sold to and in a detail that should be especially relevant with the economic crisis that threatens to crash the global financial system, the software could also be used to track in real time (in order to manipulate?) stock market transactions, once can certainly speculate as to how such a tool could have contributed to an economic catastrophe as we are now facing if it were used for such a thing. It is important to keep in mind the period when PROMIS was stolen in the early 1980’s and the fact that the techology boom was still years in the future which should give one an idea to just how far advanced and therefore how important that it was to those who would use it in order to promote a sinister agenda.
Mr. Shorock’s piece goes into the relationship between PROMIS and Main Core in some detail:
According to William Hamilton, a former NSA intelligence officer who left the agency in the 1970s, that description sounded a lot like Main Core, which he first heard about in detail in 1992. Hamilton, who is the president of Inslaw Inc., a computer services firm with many clients in government and the private sector, says there are strong indications that the Bush administration’s domestic surveillance operations use Main Core.
Hamilton’s company Inslaw is widely respected in the law enforcement community for creating a program called the Prosecutors’ Management Information System, or PROMIS. It keeps track of criminal investigations through a powerful search engine that can quickly access all stored data components of a case, from the name of the initial investigators to the telephone numbers of key suspects. PROMIS, also widely used in the insurance industry, can also sort through other databases fast, with results showing up almost instantly. “It operates just like Google,” Hamilton told me in an interview in his Washington office in May.
Since the late 1980s, Inslaw has been involved in a legal dispute over its claim that Justice Department officials in the Reagan administration appropriated the PROMIS software. Hamilton claims that Reagan officials gave PROMIS to the NSA and the CIA, which then adapted the software — and its outstanding ability to search other databases — to manage intelligence operations and track financial transactions. Over the years, Hamilton has employed prominent lawyers to pursue the case, including Elliot Richardson, the former attorney general and secretary of defense who died in 1999, and C. Boyden Gray, the former White House counsel to President George H.W. Bush. The dispute has never been settled. But based on the long-running case, Hamilton says he believes U.S. intelligence uses PROMIS as the primary software for searching the Main Core database.
Hamilton was first told about the connection between PROMIS and Main Core in the spring of 1992 by a U.S. intelligence official, and again in 1995 by a former NSA official. In July 2001, Hamilton says, he discussed his case with retired Adm. Dan Murphy, a former military advisor to Elliot Richardson who later served under President George H.W. Bush as deputy director of the CIA. Murphy, who died shortly after his meeting with Hamilton, did not specifically mention Main Core. But he informed Hamilton that the NSA’s use of PROMIS involved something “so seriously wrong that money alone cannot cure the problem,” Hamilton told me. He added, “I believe in retrospect that Murphy was alluding to Main Core.” Hamilton also provided copies of letters that Richardson and Gray sent to U.S. intelligence officials and the Justice Department on Inslaw’s behalf alleging that the NSA and the CIA had appropriated PROMIS for intelligence use.
Hamilton says James B. Comey’s congressional testimony in May 2007, in which he described a hospitalized John Ashcroft’s dramatic standoff with senior Bush officials Alberto Gonzales and Andrew Card, was another illuminating moment. “It was then that we [at Inslaw] started hearing again about the Main Core derivative of PROMIS for spying on Americans,” he told me.
Through a former senior Justice Department official with more than 25 years of government experience, Salon has learned of a high-level former national security official who reportedly has firsthand knowledge of the U.S. government’s use of Main Core. The official worked as a senior intelligence analyst for a large domestic law enforcement agency inside the Bush White House. He would not agree to an interview. But according to the former Justice Department official, the former intelligence analyst told her that while stationed at the White House after the 9/11 attacks, one day he accidentally walked into a restricted room and came across a computer system that was logged on to what he recognized to be the Main Core database. When she mentioned the specific name of the top-secret system during their conversation, she recalled, “he turned white as a sheet.”
An article in Radar magazine in May, citing three unnamed former government officials, reported that “8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect” and, in the event of a national emergency, “could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and even detention.”
The INSLAW/PROMIS story reached deep into the darkest bowels of an increasingly secretive and malevolent National Security State that had manifested itself in the Reagan administration, the arms for hostages ‘October Surprise’ deal that sank Jimmy Carter’s bid for re-election leading to the Reagan-Bush hostile takeover of America, Iran-Contra, BCCI, media manipulation (see Robert Parry’s excellent special report for Consortium News entitled Iran Contra’s ‘lost chapter’), Oliver North’s swashbuckling adventures with C.O.G., drugs for guns and subversion of Congress all were components of Reagan’s government, a government that he hypocritically railed against for its intrusiveness and yet presided over while the shadow government that would rise again with the Supreme Court installation of George W. Bush as president with many of the key operatives of Reagan and George H.W. Bush’s dark shops of oppression being given key positions in this brazenly lawless administration that has brought America to the brink of fascism.
Ketcham’s The Last Roundup is particulary of interest in that he examines the now infamous 2004 visit of Bush administration officials Alberto Gonzalez and Andrew Card to the hospital room of Attorney General John Ashcroft who had been stricken with pancreaitis after acting A.G. James Comey refused to sign off on the reauthorization of what was an illegal surveillance program related to Continuity of Government. The story is fascinating in that it not only illustrated the length to which the Bush-Cheney junta would go to in order to keep their dirty little programs in place but also for the high speed chase through the streets of Washington and the race up the hospital stairs that Comey engaged in to beat Gonzalez and Card to the sedated Ashcroft to take advantage of a sick man, when John Ashcroft actually comes out looking like a heroic figure it becomes very apparent of just how grossly un-American that this flagrantly criminal administration truly is. James Comey went on to give testimony to Congress over the hospital room showdown and more details are available from blogger Glenn Greenwald in his piece entitled What illegal “things” was the government doing in 2001-2004? and in Barton Gellman’s new book Angler and exerpts were recently published in the Washington Post which part one and part two can be read for more information on the back story behind the surveillance reauthorization. Murray Waas also has done a story on whether former Attorney General Gonzalez created a set of falsified notes to provide a cover story for what occurred while trying to bully Comey and Ashcroft into signing off on the obviously illegal surveillance program.
Excerpts from Ketcham’s story are chilling:
According to a senior government official who served with high-level security clearances in five administrations, “There exists a database of Americans, who, often for the slightest and most trivial reason, are considered unfriendly, and who, in a time of panic, might be incarcerated. The database can identify and locate perceived ‘enemies of the state’ almost instantaneously.” He and other sources tell Radar that the database is sometimes referred to by the code name Main Core. One knowledgeable source claims that 8 million Americans are now listed in Main Core as potentially suspect. In the event of a national emergency, these people could be subject to everything from heightened surveillance and tracking to direct questioning and possibly even detention.
Of course, federal law is somewhat vague as to what might constitute a “national emergency.” Executive orders issued over the past three decades define it as a “natural disaster, military attack, [or] technological or other emergency,” while Department of Defense documents include eventualities like “riots, acts of violence, insurrections, unlawful obstructions or assemblages, [and] disorder prejudicial to public law and order.” According to one news report, even “national opposition to U.S. military invasion abroad” could be a trigger.
Let’s imagine a harrowing scenario: coordinated bombings in several American cities culminating in a major blast—say, a suitcase nuke—in New York City. Thousands of civilians are dead. Commerce is paralyzed. A state of emergency is declared by the president. Continuity of Governance plans that were developed during the Cold War and aggressively revised since 9/11 go into effect. Surviving government officials are shuttled to protected underground complexes carved into the hills of Maryland, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Power shifts to a “parallel government” that consists of scores of secretly preselected officials. (As far back as the 1980s, Donald Rumsfeld, then CEO of a pharmaceutical company, and Dick Cheney, then a congressman from Wyoming, were slated to step into key positions during a declared emergency.) The executive branch is the sole and absolute seat of authority, with Congress and the judiciary relegated to advisory roles at best. The country becomes, within a matter of hours, a police state.
Under law, during a national emergency, FEMA and its parent organization, the Department of Homeland Security, would be empowered to seize private and public property, all forms of transport, and all food supplies. The agency could dispatch military commanders to run state and local governments, and it could order the arrest of citizens without a warrant, holding them without trial for as long as the acting government deems necessary. From the comfortable perspective of peaceful times, such behavior by the government may seem far-fetched. But it was not so very long ago that FDR ordered 120,000 Japanese Americans—everyone from infants to the elderly—be held in detention camps for the duration of World War II. This is widely regarded as a shameful moment in U.S. history, a lesson learned. But a long trail of federal documents indicates that the possibility of large-scale detention has never quite been abandoned by federal authorities. Around the time of the 1968 race riots, for instance, a paper drawn up at the U.S. Army War College detailed plans for rounding up millions of “militants” and “American negroes,” who were to be held at “assembly centers or relocation camps.” In the late 1980s, the Austin American-Statesman and other publications reported the existence of 10 detention camp sites on military facilities nationwide, where hundreds of thousands of people could be held in the event of domestic political upheaval. More such facilities were commissioned in 2006, when Kellogg Brown & Root—then a subsidiary of Halliburton—was handed a $385 million contract to establish “temporary detention and processing capabilities” for the Department of Homeland Security. The contract is short on details, stating only that the facilities would be used for “an emergency influx of immigrants, or to support the rapid development of new programs.” Just what those “new programs” might be is not specified.
In the days after our hypothetical terror attack, events might play out like this: With the population gripped by fear and anger, authorities undertake unprecedented actions in the name of public safety. Officials at the Department of Homeland Security begin actively scrutinizing people who—for a tremendously broad set of reasons—have been flagged in Main Core as potential domestic threats. Some of these individuals might receive a letter or a phone call, others a request to register with local authorities. Still others might hear a knock on the door and find police or armed soldiers outside. In some instances, the authorities might just ask a few questions. Other suspects might be arrested and escorted to federal holding facilities, where they could be detained without counsel until the state of emergency is no longer in effect.
That Main Core and PROMIS are linked raises some extremely provocative questions in regards to intent on the subversion of the Constitution and the overthrow of the legitimate government by a shadow government using the Continuity of Government infrastructure. Ketcham also references a massive 1993 piece for Wired Magazine entitled The INSLAW Octopus that none other than the infamous rogue operative Lt. Col. Oliver North was using PROMIS for illegal surveillance purposes:
Lt. Col. Oliver North also may have been using the program. According to several intelligence community sources, PROMIS was in use at a 6,100-square-foot command center built on the sixth floor of the Justice Department. According to both a contractor who helped design the center and information disclosed during the Iran-Contra hearings, Oliver North had a similar, but smaller, White House operations room that was connected by computer link to the DOJ’s command center.
Using the computers in his command center, North tracked dissidents and potential troublemakers within the United States as part of a domestic emergency preparedness program, commissioned under Reagan’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), according to sources and published reports. Using PROMIS, sources point out, North could have drawn up lists of anyone ever arrested for a political protest, for example, or anyone who had ever refused to pay their taxes. Compared to PROMIS, Richard Nixon’s enemies list or Sen. Joe McCarthy’s blacklist look downright crude. This operation was so sensitive that when Rep. Jack Brooks asked North about it during the Iran-Contra hearings, the hearing was immediately suspended pending an executive (secret) conference. When the hearings were reconvened, the issue of North’s FEMA dealings was dropped.
North’s involvement with Continuity of Government programs including REX 84 has long been known and while Col. North no longer is active in such programs (at least not to the knowledge of anyone) a larger part of the C.O.G./shadow government infrastructure continued to breed in darkness and secrecy and on that most glorious day for American fascism, 9/11/2001 went live under the guidance of one of its most ardent and longtime architects, Vice President Richard B. Cheney.
The secrets of Main Core, PROMIS and other variations of the monstrous tools of an out of control shadow government are the veritable crown jewels of the police state and every effort has and will continue to be vigorously employed to stifle any investigations through the official channels. Is there really any doubt that these surveillance systems aren’t being used for raw political purposes and for blackmail? How much serious opposition has the Bush-Cheney-Rove Axis of Evil met in their systematic dismantling of the Constitution over the past eight years? In the ongoing exploitation of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of 9/11 that have been used to justify each and every incursion on American civil liberties and thugs like Dick Cheney and David Addington acting as the muscle for the shadow government (as is evident in the stories linked to above) the footfalls of those little cat feet grow louder and louder.
Now if PROMIS was being used by Colonel North as a part of Rex 84 back in the 1980’s when the Continuity of Government plans were being tweaked, FEMA being set up for the eventual incorporation into the Department of Homeland Security and financial transactions as well as communications already being monitored what does that say about the current state in which we all find ourselves in? Every new police state measure has been implemented largely after being conceived in secrecy under the premise of ‘national security’ and NSPD-51 has allowed for the executive branch to issue a declaration of martial law under which the roundup of dissidents for detention (or worse) will be conducted. And this has all been non-reviewable by Congress, a supposedly (at least according to the Constitution) a co-equal branch of government. When a Congressman named Peter DeFazio was last year denied access to the NSPD-51/C.O.G. plans by the Bush administration it was yet another example of what has been a disturbing pattern. The Main Core list of potential ‘enemies of the state’, the assignment of troops to NORTHCOM, the ongoing frantic efforts of the neocons to launch a war with Iran, the threat of the Cheney cabal being further exposed, the deteriorating economy and the growing public anger at government along with a loss of faith in public institutions all add up to something very dark that is about to come to fruition after decades of planning.
None of this is about terrorism at all, it never has been. It is all about the implementation of a fascist style dictatorship in America.
(This is the first installment of what will be an ongoing series)
In the great 1980’s Bruce Willis movie Die Hard an international group of thugs invade and take over Nakatomi Plaza, holding hostages and all under the pretense of terrorism. The real truth is that the terrorist ploy was designed to provide cover for a massive robbery and in the end all the hostages would be marched up to the roof of the building which mined with C4 explosives would be blown up, killing all of the hostages and allowing the perps to escape to their beaches of choice where they could bask in the sun collecting interest on their plundered loot.
The criminal Bush administration, Goldman Sachs stooge Hank Paulson, the feckless Pelosi Reid Hoyer Judas Congress and the every incompetent Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke are now blowing the roof with the greatest swindle of the American taxpayer in history. The mother of all bailouts which is the end result of looter capitalism taken to its logical end may have been temporarily halted by mass outrage along with a cadre of crybaby Republicans whose poor feelings were hurt by the whore Pelosi’s stinging speech and then threw a hissy fit (allegedly engineered by one neocon snake that goes by the name Newt Gingrich who already has his eye on the 2012 election) that derailed what the hated Michael Moore referred to as the rich staging a coup. The Dow then demonstrated that Newton’s law of gravity was still in effect by dropping a whopping 777 points (likely staged by the Plunge Protection Team failing to contribute their daily manipulation to send a message) sending shockwaves through the global casino of the great Ponzi scheme. Not to worry though, a bill WILL pass this week, it will be WORSE than the last one and Paulson and all of his Wall Street cronies will be given total AMNESTY for blowing up the system for their own greed. I don’t have much else to say right now but these comments by a die hard Marxist friend of mine pretty much sums it all up in this epic rant:
The Financial Crisis
He certainly has a right to have his say now that the entire fucking capitalist system is exploding before our eyes, while not a Marxist myself perhaps Marxism bears a more serious look for what to do as we are sorting through the mess left behind by the economic terrorists of Wall Street.
1. The financial crisis was not “caused” by Bush’s regime.
2. It was, however, “triggered” by the Bush regime. There’s a difference here between the word, “caused,” and the word, “triggered.”
3. The financial crisis was not “caused” by the economic philosophy of the Bush regime alone, but, rather, it was “facilitated” by the economic philosophy followed and pursued from the time of the last years of the Jimmy Carter administration through the years of the Reagan administration, the Bush One administration, the Clinton administration, and the Bush Two administration.
4. It is most certainly correct that the economic philosophy that “facilitated” the financial meltdown is the “no regulations” economic philosophy, and it is most certainly correct that the more “libertarian-minded” Republicans of the far right in economics — so-called “free market fundamentalists,” or “free market extremists” — are responsible for pushing that for the past 3 decades since the 1970s.
5. But it is also equally correct to say the Democratic Party have just as much pandered to and adapted to this economic philosophy in practice, and that they, too, have lessened government regulations of financial markets, investment banks, other banks.
6. But underlying the economic philosophy and what has happened to the financial markets are material causes. Being determines consciousness and ideas, not the other way around.
7. It’s correct to say the financial institutions of this country “lack liquidity,” which is simply another way of saying, “they’re insolvent,” or more bluntly, “they’re bankrupt.”
8. But it’s also correct to say, “their owners did that to themselves.”
9. It’s correct to say, “Bailing them out in a private and for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework equals making the masses of working people, who are also taxpayers and also consumers, pay for it,” because so long as operating in the private for-profit capitalistic-system-based framework is the framework in which one decides to operate, there’s no alternative to making the masses of working (taxpaying and consuming) people pay for this enormous financial bankruptcy.
10. The reason why continuing to operate in a private-for-profit-capitalistic-economic framework with government regulations and government intervention means, making the masses pay, is because the kind of “socialism,” to use the word the right-wing Republican “free market extremists” or right-wing Republican “free market fundamentalists” call the Republican Paulson-Republican Bernanke-Republican Bush-Democratic Senatorial/Congressional-Partially Republican Senatorial-Partially Republican House plan, is because this kind of “socialism” accepts the given and existing economic class division of existing society into capitalist employers (bosses, owners), and, on the other side, workers (employees), the basic class division of existing society.
11. This is, therefore, exactly as those both on the extreme “free market fundamentalist extremist” right, and those on the liberal “progressive” pro-Democratic Party reformist fake “left” say, “socializing the losses of the mega-rich, mega-bosses, mega-owners of the mega-banks and mega-corporations” at the expense of the masses of the people of America.
12. McCain sees this, and is — cynically, as Democrats suspect, deceitfully, again as Democrats suspect, but certainly quite masterfully, if one approaches how to win an election or profit politically from a set of circumstances from the standpoint of the suggestions made by the great Italian political philosopher, Machiavelli, in his most masterful explanation of how politics works, The Prince, and certainly masterfully in the short run if one appreciates just how vilely and corruptly, but masterfully deceitful and masterfully cynically Hitler operated — poised in his view to successfully mobilize a very large social base of quite justified hate, resentment, and opposition to this Paulson-Bernanke-Bush-Democratic-Partial Republican joint bipartisan capitalist bailout plan calling for the masses to pay for the losses incurred by risky financial decisions made by the big financial capitalists on Wall Street.
13. The fact financial 24/7 cable news channels like Bloomberg focus in on the right-wing Republicans’ opposition to this bailout plan and call McCain’s opposition to it “risky” illustrates that their constituency is most limited to a very small population — the mega-rich owners whom the bailout plan would serve. Therefore, from a purely electoralist political standpoint, they are missing the Machiavellian and, in a certain sense, Hitlerian-cynical, calculations of the McCain camp.
14. McCain is also banking on Barack Obama’s defense of some version of the bailout plan, particularly the version supported by the Senatorial and Congressional Democrats which is calling for some very tepid “protections” for what these people call “middle class” Americans. McCain, too, is having no difficulty aligning himself with notions of “protecting” what he, too, calls “middle class Americans.” But he is deliberately refraining from taking a hard and fast stance until the end of the decision-making process on the bailout plan so he can then position himself afterward for maximum political electoralist advantage, and destroy the Democrats in the upcoming election. He knows from his advisors exactly what he is doing.
15. The Democrats mistakenly think they can isolate McCain, and they also make the mistake of thinking that the general business opinion of people whose only constituency is a very numerically small constituency, the mega-rich whom the bailout plan will serve, equals the opinion of the masses of the American voters. In a sense, McCain knows this, too, and he is banking on the Democrats aligning themselves with a bailout which is, generally, enormously unpopular with the voters, to destroy the Democrats in the election and win him the presidency in the November 2008 election.
16. But, of course, the Democrats themselves helped create this situation over decades of pandering to the far extreme right-wing on economic policies in this country. Organizations like the right-wing Democratic “Democratic Leadership Council,” for instance, helped create it. The semi-de-regulation in some financial areas in the latter years of conservative Democrat Jimmy Carter’s administration in the later 1970s helped intensify and exacerbate the bipartisanly-supported right-wing free market fundamentalist extremist Republican Ronald Reagan policies of the 1981-1988 period. Ironically, the Republican presidency of George H. W. Bush the First with the bringing into existence of the Resolution Trust Corporation (a government-sponsored entity) to address the failure of savings and loans operated in a more bourgeois centrist bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat fashion, recognizing the dangers of the savings and loans failures to the mega-rich (bourgeoisie). But, of course, it didn’t destroy the rule of the ruling class (bourgeoisie), because it was never designed to do that. Nor was the support it got from the Democrats designed to do that.
17. But there is no way out of the financial crisis and its repercussions, which will, indeed, result in the biggest economic collapse since the Great Depression of the 1930s, exactly as Bush warned, that does not result in the destruction of the incomes and economic well-being of the American working (also consuming and taxpaying) masses so long as the kind of “bailout” “plan” still accepts the continued existence of the bourgeoisie as a class — that is, the continued existence of the class division in society between capitalist employers (bosses, the bourgeoisie, the mega-rich bosses and owners who brought on this whole crisis themselves under the unregulated or semi-regulated benevolence of multiple bipartisan Demopublican-Republicrat administrations), and workers (a/k/a employees a/k/a the great mass of consumers a/k/a the great mass of taxpayers a/k/a the masses of the American people a/k/a the vast majority of the American people).
18. The only way out, in short, is the only kind of “bailout” that will work for the majority: a working class socialist revolution from below that expropriates, without compensation, the entire capitalist system, by the action of constituted, from below, by the masses, and elected, from below, by the masses, councils of delegates of the working people from every part of this country, and turns over all the wealth of the country that was originally produced by the working people to the working people. Nothing short of this kind of “bailout” will avoid the destruction of the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of the American people, and certainly neither voting for McCain nor voting for Obama nor, for that matter, voting for McKinney, Nader, Barr, or even reformist-minded “socialists” of small fake “socialist” parties, will do it, either.
19. In short, what is needed is, a socialist policy for the enormous masses and majority, not a fake “socialist” policy that continues serving the bourgeoisie (bosses, super-rich, mega-rich).
20. Some short-hand ideas for what a revolutionary socialist addressing of the financial crisis would do would include:
a. expropriate the banks and corporations and all major industry, finance, transportation, distribution, means of production, from below, and operate them all by the operation of elected councils of the working people;
b. cancel the debts owed by the enormous mass of the people to all the banks;
c. raise the minimum wage to maybe $75 dollars per hour;
d. radically shorten the work week to 30 hours at no loss in pay, thereby immediately resulting in more available work to be immediately spread to the unemployed;
e. labor, unionize all non-unionized workers 100 percent, but kick the cops, security guards, prison guards out of the labor movement–for class struggle tactics to organize all labor, not begging the bosses, not begging the Democratic and Republican Parties of the bosses, not begging the bourgeoisie, not fighting on the turf and terms of the bosses, but fighting on the turf and terms of the working class to unionize all non-union workers 100 percent–bring back such militant class struggle tactics as the labor “flying squads” of the 1930s, the mass workers’ occupations of struck plants, factories, workshops, offices, department stores, the mass workers’ picket lines in front of struck plants to defend the workers inside against the scabs, the scab-herding and strikebreaking cops, the bosses’ private militias and bosses’ private security guards, the bosses’ fascists, bosses’ neo-Nazis, bosses’ Ku Klux Klanners, and other bosses’ tools — bring back the workers’ defense guards to defend striking workers and defend those plants, factories, workshops, stores, offices occupied by striking workers, kicking out the management and owners and making the plants, workshops, factories, stores, offices where the workers and employees work controlled by the workers as a negotiating tactic in the class struggle against the bosses–no subordination of the objective needs of the workers’ class struggle and workers’ class war to the fake and fraudulent “need” to get “lesser evil” capitalist politicians, either Democrats or Republicans, elected to office–labor must rely strictly on labor’s own needs and own interests, not on the bourgeois (bosses’) needs and interests, not on the turf and terms of the bosses (bourgeoisie) and their labor-hating, racist, sexist, bigoted, violent, imperialist, colonialist, capitalist government;
f. workers need a government of workers’ councils, a government of the multiracial, multicultural, multiethnic, racially integrated working class, a government strictly of the armed workers, a dictatorship of the working class that is dictatorial against the enemies of the working class and is democratic where the interests of the working class and toiling and exploited people, workers, employees, the poor, unemployed, the mass of the old and pensioners, oppressed and exploited minorities, women, gays, immigrants, are concerned–we need a proletarian dictatorship against the violence of the old exploiting and oppressing classes that is a proletarian democracy for the working, toiling, and oppressed peoples;
g. expropriate all unused condo buildings, office buildings, the multi-roomed mansions of the mega-rich, and turn them all over to the homeless as an emergency measure to smash homelessness and give homeless people a place to live; end all mortgage debts on poor homeowners, working class homeowners, lower middle class homeowners and lower petit-bourgeois homeowners, cancel those debts, and expropriate the banks to which they owe their mortgage debts so they can own their homes outright; expropriate the multi-roomed mansions of the fat cats, super-rich, mega-rich bourgeoisie or bosses, and turn them over to the homeless;
h. radically raise the social security and retirement pension of the enormous majority of the old people to a genuinely livable wage, say a minimum wage of $75 dollars per hour, so finally the great majority of old people receiving social security have something to actually live on that can give them some kind of quality of life;
i. immediately create free quality health care accessible immediately to all and free to all;
j. immediately create free kindergarten-through-Ph.D./Doctorate education available and accessible free to all by expropriating the private colleges and universities, entirely abolishing their boards of trustees (which are entirely capitalist or pro-capitalist boards), and putting all colleges under the control of elected councils of the working people, teachers, students, and abolishing entirely all tuition payments for students; make all remedial adult education programs free and accessible and available to all; smash the non-union nature of employment and organize all workers into labor unions; implement in all workplaces ongoing remedial education and training and upgrading programs; bring into workplaces affirmative action for minorities, and women, controlled by the workers’ organizations, workers’ councils, democratic organizations of the working people;
k. workers in all unsafe workplaces, industries, factories, plants, workshops, offices, stores, construction sites, must have the immediate and unconditional right to strike and receive full wages while on strike while the unsafe working conditions are immediately addressed and repaired–no more collapsing coal mines, no more workers killed from collapsing cranes at construction sites and from workers falling from worksites due to shoddy and private-profit-based badly made “safety” equipment, no more unsafe airplanes killing crew and passengers because such planes are flying firetraps and are not made safe because of private profit greed of the owners, no more unsafe trains colliding into each other killing crew and passengers, no more collapsing bridges built on the basis of the lowest and most profitable bid, no more exploding steam pipes built on the lowest and most profitable bid, no more overthrown and overturned and destroyed levees built on the lowest and most profitable bid that let entire cities drown–expropriate all the capitalists, smash outsourcing by militant labor action to unionize 100 percent all workers and by class struggle tactics to smash outsourcing to private contractors, expropriate all sleazebag private contractors who shortchange safety conditions for profit, and jail the sleazebags who do this–rebuild everything on the basis of a series of 5-year plans based on the precept of socialist re-industrialization and socialist re-modernization of the country from below run and operated by a socialist plan administered from below democratically and controlled from below democratically by the elected workers’ councils from below, with the full right of all within the workers’ councils who as the genuine precondition to having their ability to participate defend the elected and armed workers’ councils as the core form of government of a proletarian dictatorship against the old exploiters and oppressors and a proletarian workers’ councils-based democracy for the working, exploited, oppressed, and toiling peoples, and the precept of a proletarian government-socialist planned economy as the core form of economy of society–within that context, for the full and unconditional and unfettered right of any and all workers’ factions, caucuses, parties to form in such workers’ councils to make and debate alternative policy alternatives for the furtherance and progress of the workers’ society;
l. organize the enormous majority of the workers at their workplaces into armed and racially integrated labor organizations and mobilizations to root out the nests of Ku Klux Klan filth, neo-Nazi filth, right-wing anti-abortion clinic-bombing filth, right-wing anti-abortion anthrax-sending filth, anti-gay and anti-women’s equality rifle-toating murderers of Unitarian, liberal, and other equality supporters, racist murderers of black and other nonwhite people, bigoted terrorist murderers of gay people, racist and bigoted murderers of immigrants — for the right of the racially integrated working people, black, brown, red, yellow, white, male, female, men, women, “gay,” “straight,” immigrant, native-born, mobilized by a revolutionary workers’ party, to keep and bear arms — no guns for the bosses’ (bourgeoisie’s) labor-hating, racist and anti-black, strike-breaking, civil and human rights-crushing cops, no guns for the sadistic racist and poor people-hating prison guards, no guns for the armed militias of the labor-hating and strike-breaking bosses, no guns for the armed labor-hating and union-busting private security guards of the bosses, who bust labor strikes, beat up labor strikers, shoot down black people in the inner city black ghettos without accountability, shoot down immigrants without accountability — repel and repulse the white racist bigoted anti-immigrant thugs on the Southern borders by racially integrated, ethnically integrated mass mobilizations of black, brown, yellow, red, white, immigrant, and native-born workers, level-headed, but armed — for joint campaigns of labor and unions to organize workers on both sides of the border into fighting class struggle-based labor unions and labor organizations to upgrade labor on both sides of the border in wages, working conditions, job conditions, safety conditions, democratic rights, human rights — smash every kind of fascism through mass mobilizations of labor and minorities;
m. down with the racist, class-biased death penalty–free immediately and unconditionally Mumia Abu-Jamal, an innocent man who’s rotted on death row since 1982 because of a joint and bipartisan Democratic-Republican frame-up murder machine of death — jail the persecutors and sleazebag scum who framed up Mumia Abu-Jamal, including the corrupt prosecutors, corrupt cops, corrupt judges, the entire sleazebag operation that framed him up — free Troy Anthony Davis, an innocent man — jail the entire corrupt sleazebag and scumbag operation that framed him up, including the corrupt, coercing, violent racist cops, corrupt prosecutors, corrupt judges, corrupt Georgia board of pardons and paroles — smash the prisons — rehabilitate the enormous majority capable of being rehabilitated in the prisons; those incapable of being rehabilitated, provide whatever available remedial and palliative help is possible to provide — most in prison are there because crime is caused by capitalism, an inhuman, rotting, decaying, putrefying putrescent, decadent system based on private profit-greed, racist oppression, sexist and bigoted oppression, nationalist and imperialist oppression, colonialist oppression, and the sucking of profits out of the working class by the capitalist class, and the jails and the cops are the state, the violent instrument of class violence and class terrorism against the working class by the capitalist class and its government — they were often destroyed as humans by an inhuman and bestial capitalist society; make sure the hardest of the hardcore psychopaths are kept isolated from the masses, but the principle that must operate in keeping them so is not retribution and vengeance, but simple social expediency, and so, what must operate is not the principle of vengeance and retribution, but the principle of some sort of humane isolation from the majority of society for the hardcore psychos and ongoing rehabilitative efforts in that context; for the vast majority, however, who are not hardcore psychos, there must be ongoing rehabilitative efforts and full social re-integration back into society and efforts to make that happen that are part and parcel of a humane, compassionate system that recognizes ex-cons are human beings — for the rights right now of prisoners for form labor unions, to strike for higher wages, to engage in collective bargaining with prison administrations — again, disarm the sadistic prison guards and labor, kick them the hell out of the unions — no more slave wages for prisoners, which simultaneously hurt prison labor and bring down the wages of all labor — for full union labor wages for all prisoners, and make the minimum wage throughout society in all industries, including prison industries, about $75 dollars per hour — for the immediate restoration of civil, voting, and related rights to ex-cons at the moment of their release, for remedial, job-training, skills, and similar sorts of education for ex-cons, for upgrading, and for employment for all ex-cons at wages no less than the wages of the minimum wage of a workers’ society, which should be approximately $75 dollars per hour, so they can live like human beings and become fully re-integrated back into society again — no more sadistic discrimination against ex-cons in areas like refusing them driver’s licenses, social and health care benefits, housing–smash all discrimination; labor, labor organizations: kick cops, security guards, prison guards, the hell out of your labor organizations, for they are a knife pointed at your own throats;
n. down with the war on drugs; legalize/decriminalize drugs–for massive investment in drug rehab programs and similar sorts of programs, not only in conventional physical and physiological health care programs, but mental health care programs;
o. U.S. Imperialism: get your bloody, filthy, stinking hands off the rest of the planet — U.S. out of Iraq now, out of Afghanistan now, out of the 130 countries where U.S. troops are stationed now, no “conditions,” no “compromises,” no delays, but OUT NOW, PERIOD; disarm the pentagon, CIA, FBI, Secret Service, NSA, federal cops, state cops, local cops — for the right of the racially integrated working people to keep and bear arms; U.S. hands off Iran, hands off Syria, hands off North Korea, hands off Russia — U.S. Imperialism, no support to right-wing nationalist nutjob head of country of Georgia, Saakishvili, as all that is is an ongoing provocation of Russia — Russia, hands off Georgia — for the democratic and national rights of the peoples of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to make their own decision as to whom they wish to affiliate with or not affiliate with — for a joint revolutionary internationalist egalitarian communist proletarian party of the workers of Georgia, the workers of Abkhazia, the workers of both South and North Ossetia, and the workers of Russia fighting for a Russian Socialist Federation of Fully Independent and Equal Workers’ (Proletarians’) Socialist States; U.S. Imperialism, get your bloody provocational hands out of Poland — no U.S. “anti-missile” shield in Poland, which is nothing but a provocation against Russia; for the equal national rights of both the Palestinians and the Hebrew-speaking people in the context of a Socialist Federation of the Near East–for joint mass mobilizations of Palestinian working class people and Hebrew-speaking working class people to drive the Zionist, clerical-fascist settlers out of the West Bank–all Israeli troops, tanks, soldiers, out of the West Bank, out of the Gaza Strip, out of the Golan Heights, out of all the Occupied Territories–for a joint Arab-Hebrew revolutionary internationalist, egalitarian, proletarian communist party in the Near East fighting for an Egalitarian Socialist Near Eastern Federation and the unity of all working classes throughout the Near East–for the strict separation of religion and government throughout the Near East, including the liberation of women, gays, transgender people, and the smashing of every kind of religious fundamentalist-inspired bigoted terrorism, from clerical Zionist through Muslim fundamentalist– for the freedom of conscience of all and for no government support for any religion anywhere in the Near East–for proletarian socialist revolutions against every rotting and reactionary regime in the Near East, from that of Saudi Arabia through Syria, through Lebanon, through Egypt, through Jordan, through the Zionist regime of Israel — for revolutionary proletarian Marxist secularism and egalitarian socialist internationalism — for full equality for women, gays and homosexuals in a Near Eastern Socialist Federation and for separation of religion and government;
p. for free abortion on demand–no to forced sterilization–defend Roe v. Wade–keep abortion legal–for women’s liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of abortion clinic personnel, family planning clinic personnel to arm and train in self-defense of abortion clinics and family planning clinics in self-defense against the right-wing terrorist filth seeking to shut the clinics down–for mass mobilizations of labor, minorities, women, to defend the clinics and drive the right-wing garbage away from in front of the clinics; bring back and pass the Equal Rights Amendment for women;
q. for full democratic and equal rights for gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people–for gay and transgender liberation through socialist revolution–for the right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, and transgender people to self-defense, up through and including the right of armed self-defense, against bigoted terrorism; defeat Amendment 2, the “marriage amendment,” in Florida on November 4, 2008 — for the equal right of gay, homosexual, lesbian, transgender people to marry, and divorce, and to secure, equally with non-same-sex and non-transgender people, all economic, social, and related security and benefits accruing therefrom;
r. for the strict and uncompromised separation of religion and government — no funding of religious schools by the federal government, state governments, local governments — no funding of “faith-based” education programs — instead, for billions of dollars in investments into the public school system and for free, quality, racially integrated public education for all — bring back and defend busing to buttress and support quality and racially integrated schools most particularly for black kids, other nonwhite kids;
s. time to finish the Civil War–for black liberation through socialist revolution — smash racial segregation by proletarian socialist revolution — for the establishment of racially integrated armed workers’ self-defense guards, drawn from responsible and level-headed labor union men and women, to defend school buses busing black kids into lily-white bourgeois neighborhood-based schools, and to bus white bourgeois kids into impoverished hellhole inner city black ghetto city schools — as the revolutionary communist, Karl Marx said, when the rich start getting sick, they start finding cures for diseases which the poor typically suffer — but to smash educational inequality, it’s necessary to smash capitalism by proletarian socialist revolution.
21. In my view, nothing short of a revolutionary socialist — an authentically Marxist communist — “bailout” plan carried out by the enormous working class majority of the people can resolve the financial crisis in a way that does not destroy the economic and financial position of the enormous majority of Americans