Category Archives: Domestic surveillance

Why The Tea Party Loves Big Brother

I’m afraid, based on my own experience, that fascism will come to America in the name of national security.


-Jim Garrison

The falsely advertised anti-big government Republican Tea Party never utters a peep about the growth of the out of control police state that has been erected largely under the radar since 9/11. For a pack of GOP talking point spewing automatons seemingly concerned about massive growth of government, the ongoing pissing away of tax dollars on bloated bureaucracy, job creation and the huge deficits are totally down with the massive expansion of the Homeland Security Industrial Complex. This is just another one of the examples of the mass fakery of the Republican co-opting of the libertarian Tea Party movement. The biggest secret of all that the fascist leadership of the GOP doesn’t want to slip is that the original libertarian Tea Party (along with 9/11 Truth) were out in the streets protesting exactly that which the useful idiots of the Dick Armey of Darkness now fully embrace. As the storyline goes, the faux revolutionaries were incited to action by the staged tantrum of CNBC’s greasy derivatives pimp Rick Santelli, my local Tea Party bund chapter held a huge birthday celebration for the one year anniversary of the activation of the fifth-columnist sleeper cells that was Santelli’s orchestrated call to arms.  When it comes to being mortified at the  the rise of the police state, the unaccountable powers of government run amok and the incursions on civil liberties. The co-opted Tea Party of Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and the rest of their ilk won’t utter one peep about America’s Stasi secret police. Instead, they will distract the Becked-up, FOX lobotomized zombies and their 9/12 bunds with more of the same smoke and mirrors about that horrible Negro in the White House, the coming black enslavement of whites, black revenge on the rightful white inhabitants of Der Heimat and the shrine to Islamofascism that is the mosque at the American Mecca that is Ground Zero and the despised secular socialist machine that will be used by the illegal aliens to put them all into prison camps.

Such is the state of our pitiful Idiocracy in the second decade of the new American century. While the country continues to be bankrupted by illegal wars sold by the lies of the charlatans in the ruling class, strip-mined by Wall Street gamblers and corporations that won’t be satisfied until millions more jobs are offshored to third world sewers where children work for pennies a day in sweatshops and the infrastructure is all sold off to foreign investors who will then tax Americans for driving on roads that they have already paid for, the buffoons that are the Republican jihadists joust at windmills while those who manipulate their feeble minds piss their selves from laughter on the way to the bank. The Founding Fathers feared the detrimental effect that a mass of poorly educated, indolent slobs would have on American democracy and are likely spinning in their graves today, especially galling is when said imbeciles adopt their language to in a historical context take to the streets and raise hell to ensure that the British Monarchy remains in power.

The truly big story of the week despite the bought and paid for corporate media’s insistence that the great Mel Gibson-Brittney Spears alliance is of critical importance or of Tiger Wood’s slow and painful climb down from the cross on Golgotha to regain his rightful place as America’s Christ is Dana Priest and William M. Arkin’s Top Secret America series in the Washington Post. This is a story that were the teabaggers to practice what they preach instead of merely regurgitating Frank Luntz/Newt Gingrich slow-cooked gruel that should justifiably have them descending on Washington en masse to protest REAL tyranny. But of course the Tea Party doesn’t have any firm footing in reality outside the mess of illogic, madness and pumpkin seeds that fill up the space inside of Sarah Palin’s noggin. Lenin (Vladimir, not John to your teabagger morons) labeled tools like yourselves as “useful idiots” and it is proven on a daily basis. Whether shrieking like demented banshees about the government keeping their dirty hands off of their Medicare or serving as human carrier pigeons for the racist propaganda of degenerate scum like Andrew Breitbart, a diseased swine embitterd by his years of apprenticeship more than likely spent sucking farts out of Matt Drudge’s seat cushion. You really have to give the scumbaggers one thing though, they are predictable which is what makes them so valuable to the Republican fascists and to a larger degree to the oligarchy that rules this shithole. For a group so supposedly opposed to tyranny, socialism and a Soviet style state led by the black Antichrist they sure as hell don’t seem to be bothered by the most menacing, out of control and costly system of surveillance in human history. Think Again!

There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use to us just because he is a scoundrel.

-Vladimir Lenin

The new American police state never bothered Republicans under Bush and it doesn’t bother them under Obama, which it should. It’s another tell about just how fraudulent that the entire Republican Tea Party truly is, were they to despise and fear Obama as much as they do why in the fuck would they want the man to be allowed to preside over the most awesome surveillance colossus on the planet? Hell, you would think that they would be marching on Washington with their precious penis extensions (guns) to bring an immediate halt to a system that could be theoretically used by a dictator to haul their mangy, uneducated, unwashed asses to reeduction camps at any minute. But not in reality, the scumbaggers may have their litany of fallacious grievances that are funneled into their lizard brains by the electronic crack pushers like Glenn Beck n FOX but they don’t sweat the big stuff. Every reactionary party needs minions, stooges, thugs, spear carriers and shock troops. Like the Weimar era Germans who flocked to the Nazi Party the dregs of the country that are now the S.A. for the Republican party via the Tea Party are quite simply authority worshippers. There are  books that examine such a fanatical type of mentality, for example, Eric Hoffer’s The True Believer , Bob Altemeyer’s The Authoritarians, and John Dean’s Conservatives Without Conscience,  ross-reference those with any decent historical volume of Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia and it fits them to a Tea.. There is always a certain percentage of a population that are wired to worship authority, especially the sort of sociopathic type that uses demagoguery, slander, race-baiting and thinly veiled promises of blood revenge against those which the movement has been conditioned to hate and blame for the failures of both the system and their own pathetic, botched lives.

The allure of revenge is deeply embedded in the psyche of the authority worshipper and in actuality Obama is doing them a huge favor by failing to dismantle the police state, As the Washington Post series illustrates, the culture of surveillance is becoming even more deeply ingrained in America, the third installment which is entitled The Secrets Next Door describes the neighborhoods that surround the surveillance centers as affluent and with schools that:

The schools, indeed, are among the best, and some are adopting a curriculum this fall that will teach students as young as 10 what kind of lifestyle it takes to get a security clearance and what kind of behavior would disqualify them.

This is perhaps the most horrifying sentence in the story, the children are being prepped to become the next generation of the American fascist police state, more appropriately the managers and bureaucrats who will run the system. The low-rent, economically ruined types who populate the Republican Tea Party will be the enforcers. The typical American sheep, now completely conditioned to hate, fear and distrust will become the spies, snitches, sneaks and stool pigeons who will direct the watchers and the thugs to those with unseemly and dangerous ideas. The oligarchy will be preserved, Wall Street will reign supreme, the wars will go on and only those who dare to question why will be targeted with precision and ruthless efficiency by the savage armies of droogs that are the Republican Tea Party. The indoctrination of the young into the fascist society of post-9/11 America is now entering its second decade and future generations will have known nothing other than what is now the permanent surveillance state, Orwell was a prophet.

This whole scenario has worked to perfection, once it was done under the cover of religion with the Christian extremists, Raptureheads and theocrats being the primary enforcers for fascist Republican social engineering plans. This worked out perfectly well for awhile until the fall from grace of homophobe Pastor Ted Haggard for smoking rock and chugging cock in a seedy Denver hotel room, the exposure of de-facto leader of the Religious Right, President George W. Bush exposed as the incompetent dunce that he always was courtesy of Hurricane Katrina, the death of Jerry Falwell and the massive Tom DeLay led overreach during the Terri Schiavo circus. The Religious Right had too many built in limitations to become a vehicle for Karl Rove’s permanent majority. The easily duped dittohead dolts in the Tea Party however do not have such limitations, they are able to wrap themselves in the flag with the full blessing of the propagandistic, jingoism spewing corporate media. There have been several recent bumps in the road, such as the recent focus on the intense racism within the movement (a virus that was carried in by Republicans) but the spinners, public relations flacks and Congressional Republicans are already working desperately to circle the wagons. The racism, were it identified and focused upon would be the one thing that could blow the whole game wide open and send the fascist Republicans back to square one in finding a turnkey movement. Not to worry though, when Bibi Netanyahu’s bootlicker Joe Biden comes out and denounces charges that the scumbaggers are a racist movement and the demented harpy Michelle Bachmann sets up an actual Tea Party Caucus within Congress to legitimize protect the American brownshirts it’s official that the political system has been fully infected and minus any sort of a mass counter-movement on the left (fat chance, they are too obsessed with waging the culture war crusade to institutionalize gay marriage than be bothered with preventing fascism) the rabble will continue to be conscripted into service for the new Republican Reich.

As I stated in my recent piece – Tea Party Racist? You Betcha! – the Republicans have long used race-baiting as a path to political power. Historically, nothing works better, the Arizona test programs for the discrimination against illegal immigrants being used in order to justify laws that potentially green light the overly zealous type of personality that is often found in police forces to shakedown naturally born American citizens for the color of their skin are already proving to be a phenomenal success. Soon, if not stricken from the books and stigmatized as the tools for tyranny that they are they will spread, become more inclusive and expand to include more than alleged Mexican illegals. The Constitution was eviscerated during the Bush years and Humpty Dumpty has not been put back together by the increasingly inept Obama administration. Habeas Corpus is gone, Posse Comitatus is gone, NORTHCOM is already operating in the U.S., the airports are filled with naked body scanners manned by drooling TSA goons and as the Top Secret America series shows, the surveillance system is growing exponentially. How long is it going to take for the fascist Republicans, once back in power with all of these tools at their disposal decide to do what past totalitarian regimes always did and start to eliminate the opposition? As with the Third Reich the early targets weren’t so much the Juden (Tea Party translation: blacks, gays, Hispanics, liberals, Muslims) as they were all who were seen as potential threats to the final solution. Now wouldn’t that make Michelle Bachmann’s pussy get wet?

The Epitome of Sheer Irony

The Tea Party sign in Iowa that drew much attention to the sinister nature of the miscreants who comprise the majority of the movement comparing Obama to Lenin and Hitler was ironically somewhat accurate. While it will be lost on the standard mouth-breathing type of imbecile that is attracted to the Republican Tea Party, the historical analogy is pretty accurate in that Hitler had the Gestapo, Lenin gave way to Stalin who had the NKVD and Obama (at least for a brief period before he is ousted from office) has Homeland Security. The failure of Obama in holding the Bushreich criminals accountable instead of granting total impunity to all future torturers, war criminals and moral reprobates will ultimately prove to the the final nail in America’s coffin. The Democrats are about to be wiped off the face of the map thanks to the betrayal of what remained of the party base who isn’t about to turn out in sufficient numbers come November to counter the storming of the polls by the Republican Tea Party out to ‘take their country back’. With an even more repulsive and reactionary Congress than under either Gingrich or DeLay in place there will be a near immediate drive to impeach Obama over some bullshit on the trivial level of Clinton’s blow job, say for failing to produce his birth certificate. That will further embolden the vicious swine on the extreme right for 2012 as well as weaken the spineless and flaccid Obama for the full Republican restoration. Of course the oligarchy is down with it all too, big business backed Hitler and Mussolini’s fascism was openly touted as corporatism. As robber baron Jay Gould once so aptly put it: “I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half”. Let the streets run red with blood and the prisons be filled with the rational people, the real owners of this country will never let such trivialities get in the way of the perpetual profit machine.

The maneuvers by the fascists in this country are about three moves away from checkmate and they are unfortunately only becoming stronger and more deeply embedded. I am going to close with two articles that came out this week, the first from Ted Rall that is entitled Protofascism Comes to America and makes some important points about the fascist Republican Tea Party:

But racism is only one facet of a far more sinister political strain. It’s more accurate to categorize the Tea Party as something the United States has never seen before, certainly not in such large numbers or as widespread.

The Tea Party is a protofascist movement.

Robert O. Paxton defined fascism as “a form of political behavior marked by obsessive preoccupation with community decline, humiliation or victimhood and by compensatory cults of unity, energy and purity, in which a mass-based party of committed nationalist militants, working in uneasy but effective collaboration with traditional elites, abandons democratic liberties and pursues with redemptive violence and without ethical or legal restraints goals of internal cleansing and external expansion.”

Typical Tea Party rants fit the classic fascist mold in several respects. America, Tea Partiers complain, is falling behind. Like Hitler, they blame leftists and liberals for a “stab in the back,” treason on the homefront. The trappings of hypernationalism–flags, bunting, etc.–are notably pervasive at Tea Party rallies, even by American standards. We see “collaboration with traditional elites”–Rush Limbaugh, Congressmen, Republican Party bigwigs (including the most recent vice presidential nominee)–to an extent that is unprecedented in recent history.

Tea Partiers haven’t called for extralegal solutions to the problems they cite–but neither did the National Socialists prior to 1933. Then again, they’re not in power yet. Wait.

Exactly. Read any serious history of the Nazis, William Shirer’s The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, Richard J. Evans trilogy, The Coming of the Third Reich, The Third Reich in Power, The Third Reich at War or other notable accounts as Sebastian Hafner’s Defying Hitler or Milton Mayer’s They Thought They Were Free, and you can’t help but be terrified at the similarities to America today.

The second article is from the crusading blogger Glenn Greenwald, one of the first columns that I read each morning for information. This particular piece speaks of the deafening silence in the media, the establishment  and most importantly the government over the Top Secret America Series. While not exactly breaking new ground for most of us who follow the surveillance society one would have at least expected that this series, especially in a time of economic crisis as the massive waste of taxpayer money on a vast privatized spying apparatus could be better spent. The piece is entitled: Why has the Post series created so little reaction?:

Remember how The Washington Post spent three days documenting on its front page that we basically live under a vast Secret Government — composed of military and intelligence agencies and the largest corporations — so sprawling and unaccountable that nobody even knows what it does? This public/private Secret Government spies, detains, interrogates, and even wages wars in the dark, while sucking up untold hundreds of billions of dollars every year for the private corporations which run it. Has any investigative series ever caused less of a ripple than this one? After a one-day spate of television appearances for Dana Priest and William Arkin — most of which predictably focused on the bureaucratic waste they raised along with whether the Post had Endangered the Nation by writing about all of this — the story faded blissfully into the ether, never to be heard from again, easily subsumed by the Andrew Breitbart and Journolist sagas.

And

It’s not hard to understand why. Why would the political class possibly want to subvert or weaken their ability to exercise vast spying, detention, and military powers in the dark? They don’t. Beyond that, as the Post series highlights, Top Secret America provides not only the ability to exercise vast power with no accountability, but also enables the transfer of massive amounts of public wealth to the private national security and surveillance corporations which own the Government. Very few people with political power have the incentive to do anything about that. It’s probably best not to hold your breath waiting for Dianne Feinstein — the Democratic Chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee who lives in lavish wealth as a result of her husband’s investments in the National Security State (and whose Senate career has a way of oh-so-coincidentally bolstering their wealth) — to meaningfully address any of the issues raised by the Post series. Despite Feinstein’s rhetoric to the contrary, doing so is decidedly not in her interests for multiple reasons.

And

The secret, omnipotent National Security State highlighted by The Washington Post will endure and expand as is because those who control the Government (or, as Dick Durbin put it, who “own” the Government) benefit endlessly from it. Major scandals or citizen-infuriating crises can sometimes lead to some modest and easily circumvented restraints being placed on this power (as just happened with the recently enacted Financial Regulation bill), largely to placate public rage, but it’s simply impossible to conceive of the political class taking any meaningful steps to rein in a limitlessly powerful and unquantifiably profitable National Security and Surveillance State — at least in the absence of serious citizen revolts against it. That Post series produced so little reaction because what it describes — a Secret Government bestowed with the most extreme powers yet accountable to nobody — is something to which the nation, as part of our State of Endless War, has apparently acquiesced as a permanent and tolerable condition.

The most disturbing thing is that the people in this country do nothing to resist any of this, rather through their willful ignorance, their constant fear and their insistance on existing inside of state media enforced cocoons of denial they enable it. Some, in the case of the reactionary thugs, haters and fanatics in the Republican Tea Party embrace it as a weapon that will one day be theirs to use when it comes time for the cleansing. As Milton Mayer wrote of the rise of the Nazis to power: “Now I see a little better how Nazism overcame Germany – not by attack from without or by subversion from within, but with a whoop and a holler. It was what most Germans wanted – or, under pressure of combined reality and illusion, came to want. They wanted it; they got it; and they liked it.”

Just my two cents

EE

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Main Core, PROMIS and the New American Fascism


In this revised and updated version of my four-part series entitled Main Core, PROMIS and the Shadow Government I am going to both clarify and build upon concepts of what was originally written over a period of nearly a year beginning in late 2008. It is essential to now place the surveillance state in a context that takes into account the administration of Democratic president Barack Obama. For those who believed that the George W. Bush presidency was a horrific aberration in all of its constitution desecrating glory and that a changing of the guard to more responsible leadership would lead to a rollback of the creeping fascism that emerged from the ashes of World War II, assumed control by coup d’etat with the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and then became dominant in the aftermath of the ‘terrorist’ attacks of September 11, 2001 the initial fourteen months of the Obama administration should be a wake up call. As writer Naomi Wolf summed it up during a controversial recent interview piece:

“Bush legalized torture, but Obama is legalizing impunity. He promised to roll stuff back, but he is institutionalizing these things forever.”

Of course those who are familiar with the concepts of the deep state or the permanent government it is unsurprising that any president, despite the figurehead status is ultimately subservient to the monstrous powers of the state, at times groups that are fully aligned with the shadow government such as former “Vice-President” Richard B. Cheney and his warmongering neoconservative cabal are better able to enforce their agendas as they mesh with the radical, militarist imperialism that is at the core of the American state and that primarily serves the interests of a multi-generational oligarchy, the financial cartels, the big energy conglomerates and most importantly the military industrial complex.

The real business of America is imperialism and preservation of the empire at all costs, today, in this darkest of historical periods that militarism and institutionalized need for conquest has come home to roost and to wreak economic devastation on the populace. The loss of economic opportunity along with the need to preserve corrupt institutions and the failed political system that serve them will soon lead to massive civil unrest, this much is certain and there are signs of it now, largely confined to the extreme right that serve as shocktroops to the criminal Republican party to ensure that the criminal Democratic party will be forced from control of the spoils system and their servitude to the oligarchy. This will ultimately not remain confined to the extreme right and the co-opted Republican -FOX News led Tea Party movement that is already undergoing fragmentation as the undercurrent of political violence percolates, driving off many angry and desperate Americans who sought refuge in it’s ranks.

Thus the necessity for the police state and the high-tech totalitarian systems of control that will continue to be implemented under the premise of the phony war on terror but have always been intended to serve as a firewall between the elite and the rabble. There is no longer the ability to beat the swords back into ploughshares and the oligarchy will preserve itself and the war machine at the expense of the citizenry. As Randolph Bourne once wrote “war is the health of the state”, and as we enter the second decade of the new American century it will become increasingly necessary to use a militarized police machine and an advanced technological surveillance colossus to maintain order, suppress dissent and continue to provide grist for the highly lucrative, for-profit prison industrial complex that will ensure that Oceania will always be at war.

EE

Part One: Main Core and PROMIS

“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

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 actively been being utilized for domestic spying for years even before the World Trade Center and Pentagon were struck on that pristine Tuesday September morning that irreversibly ensured that our rendezvous with a destiny of becoming a full blown fascist society would be fulfilled. 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 and details of the lives of American citizens 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 that is largely funded by taxpayer dollars and awarded to unaccountable private corporations through the typical business as usual, crony capitalist 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 highly sophisticated forms of social network analysis based on block modeling technology in order to monitor all forms of electronic communications including telephone, email, chat, Twitter and cell phones and personal digital assistants, satellite navigation systems, all internet searches, all credit card transactions, all book purchases, all grocery or other store purchases, all travel arrangements, all library records, utility usage, all bank activity and down to what is watched or listened to as entertainment in all American homes.

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 say a bicycle and you run an advertisement in your local newspaper or on Craig’s List or some other internet board and you just happen to receive a call from a Muhammad who is interested in buying your bicycle and this Muhammad happens to have certain friends who may have relationships with an organization that is determined by some unknown criteria to be a potential terrorist organization. With the surveillance capability of Main Core and with the resources of massive bureaucracies at the NSA and the Department of Homeland Security such an innocent contact would set off a series of flags that would categorize the conversation as sufficiently suspicious to merit further examination.

Once that has been analyzed (likely in real time) the call that you received from Muhammad would then in all likelihood place you in the requisite database and at the very best would subject to an increased level of scrutiny by government and any number of unaccountable private intelligence firms. These are institutions with the power to then take control of your banking account (in an action that could be justified as prevention of the flow of funds to ‘terrorists’) and further monitor your own network of family, friends, acquaintances and co-workers who also could be suspect to being defined loosely as potential ‘terrorism’ sympathizers. At worst your life could become a nightmare of abduction, indefinite detention without access to the U.S. legal system, mental abuse, torture and perhaps eventually murder. The system is in place, 9/11 has been used as the excuse for expansion of police state powers and our government over the past two administrations has rendered habeas corpus irrelevant, codified torture and warrantless wiretapping and created a network of secret prisons. The underlying concept that is behind Guantanamo Bay prison is to create a legal black hole into which even American citizens can be thrust into under the guise of being “enemy combatants” or the even more sinister “enemy belligerents” as proposed in the new John McCain-Joseph Lieberman civil liberty destroying Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.

This technology is being used today absent any form of legitimate oversight or controls, in fact it is expanding exponentially and will continue to do so absent any sudden mass injection of honor and morality to a congress that depends on the entire war on terror paradigm to retain political power. This despite the considerable damage that has already been done to the constitution which was for all intents and purposes eviscerated with the privacy and judicial protections effectively nullified by Bush, Cheney and there army of legal experts such as David Addington and John Yoo who specialized in circumventing the laws of the land. Despite the fallacious campaign rhetoric of President Obama that promised change nothing has to this point in time been done to reign in the massive police state powers that were largely installed by his predecessor. If anything, Obama has institutionalized the surveillance state and escalated the wars of imperialism. His failure to hold accountable any member of the Bush administration for myriad crimes against the republic has rendered any concept of a criminal elite dug into our political establishment being subject to the law into a mockery. Much like President Bill Clinton did when he failed to investigate and prosecute the criminals of Iran-Contra the rogue elements have been effectively been given a pass from our constitutional law professor in chief. As with Ronald Reagan, Barack Obama is simply a product, a smiling new face as the putative head of the empire while the real business of warfare, profiteering and immense transfers of wealth to the oligarchy continue.

It is though a very sophisticated form of fascism that we are living under in America today, unlike the more outwardly obvious regimes from 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 jingoism and flag-waving pimped off as patriotism. Criticism of authority has made into potential treason by the highly paid shills for neoconservative doctrine and corporate looters, 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.

There still exists not only a militarized police force but a vast gulag network of top secret prisons and ‘detention facilities’, not to mention the for-profit prison system that should be the shame of the nation. Add in the now quaint and antiquated pretense of being innocent until proven guilty, the increasingly brazen attempts by those in charge of Homeland Security such as Senator Joseph Lieberman with his kangaroo court Senate committee, the revelations that Obama advisor Cass Sunstein (a horrifying possibility to one day end up on the Supreme Court) favors the most draconian style of crackdowns against free speech and inquiry as was promulgated in a 2008 article entitled “Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures”. According to Sunstein, groups that dare to research the all too common blanket pejorative “conspiracy theories”, a longtime defense of the ruling elite to discredit the official conspiracy theories were a threat to the credibility of the government and should be stamped out. Sunstein advocates a COINTELPRO style infiltration of such groups using government agents and paid operatives to undermine the efforts of any attempt to debunk the official conspiracy theory. Sunstein specifically singles out those believe that “the attacks of 9/11 were carried out not by Al Qaeda, but by Israel or the United States. Those who subscribe to conspiracy theories may create serious risks, including risks of violence, and the existence of such theories raises significant challenges for policy and law.” I am reasonably certain that if finding out the truth behind the American Reichstag Fire is something that should be verboten then I can only imagine what he and his ilk would think about what I am discussing here. Now there is change that you can believe in.

But I digress

Main Core has received some attention in two 2008 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 that is 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.

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 helped to sink 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 that is entitled Iran-Contra’s ‘lost chapter’), Oliver North’s swashbuckling adventures involving weaponry and drugs, a shadow government and subversion of Congress were all were components of Reagan’s administration. Reagan, a career corporate shill presided over a government that he hypocritically railed against for its intrusiveness and yet his regime would serve as an incubator for the very shadow government that would one day rise again with the Supreme Court’s 2000 installation of George W. Bush as president despite evidence of a stolen election. Bush II’s administration was stocked with many of the key operatives of Reagan and his father’s regime being given key positions in the most brazenly lawless administration in history that brought America to the brink of fascism.

Ketcham’s The Last Roundup is particularly of interest in that he examined 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 illegal 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 was. 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 book Angler with excerpts published in the Washington Post. Journalist Murray Waas also has done a story on whether then A.G. Alberto Gonzalez created a set of falsified notes in order 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 The Last Roundup are bone 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.

And –

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.

Martial law is a very serious possibility with it having now been established that the executive branch can exercise dictatorial powers during a “catastrophic emergency” (as put forth in the Bush administration’s NSPD-51) which is defined as “any incident, regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the U.S. population, infrastructure, environment, economy or government functions”. President Obama has done absolutely nothing to roll back any of this and as the axiom goes about absolute power corrupting absolutely this new administration is a prime example. There is little to no resistance to these sweeping accumulations of dictatorial powers either on the pathetic excuse for the American left (which is more interested in exploiting socially divisive wedge issues like immigration and same sex marriage) or in the ridiculous, co-opted Tea Party Movement that has no problem with either a police state run amok or the ongoing militarism that feeds the war machine. Both are morally bankrupt and willfully allow themselves to be used as pawns by a two-headed monster of a one party fully cancerous capitalist dictator ship that supports an immoral and thoroughly corrupt plutocracy. They may one day get a clue and recognize the real enemy but it likely won’t be until they are being transported to debtor prisons, forced labor camps or detention facilities. For those skeptical about martial law in the U.S. I would suggest that they simply look at the city of Pittsburgh lockdown during last year’s G20 conference.

With events unfolding as they currently are it is especially troubling to note that the “economy” is one of the criteria that would trigger the declaration of martial law, the current economic crisis along with the lack of will to do what it takes to make corrections rather than bailing out and essentially giving amnesty to the Wall Street looters who are responsible for it only guarantees that the collapse when it does come will be much more devastating. A 2008 article in The Army Times revealed that troop deployments would now include ‘Homeland’ duty under the command of NORTHCOM. Assignments will allow for an increased public visibility (translation: getting Americans used to seeing troops on the streets) and will have a stated purpose as follows: “They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.” If action by the military (and the unaccountable mercenaries from privatized ‘security’ firms like Blackwater now Xe) is decided to be merited by the unitary executive and a state of martial law declared, then what exactly is going to happen to those “8 million” names that are classified as “potentially suspect” that are in the Main Core database? For any skeptics on martial law I would ask that they just do a quick bit of research on the lockdown of the city of Pittsburgh for the G20 meetings in 2009 as well as contingency plans for large scale quarantines during the H1N1 swine flu panic of that same year.

That Main Core and PROMIS are linked raises some provocative questions in regard to intent of elements of the government to subvert the constitution as a matter of national security policy as well as the ability of the shadow government to usurp the legitimate leadership. When referencing the shadow government it is imperative to realize that the term is used loosely as if by some crazed conspiracy theorist but refers to the actual parallel infrastructure that exists and has existed for years that is the Continuity Of Government (C.O.G.) program. The rogue elements have been using PROMIS for illegal surveillance (likely also for money laundering to fund off the books operations) purposes at least since the 1980s. In The Last Roundup, Ketcham also references a 1993 piece from Wired Magazine entitled The INSLAW Octopus that examines the use of PROMIS for extra-constitutional activities by none other than Lt. Colonel Oliver North:

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 Lt. Colonel North likely is 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. Continuity Of Government will be discussed later in this essay.

The secrets of Main Core, PROMIS and other variations and evolutions of the oppressive tools of an out of control power structure are the crown jewels of the rising fascist police state and and every effort has and will continue to be vigorously employed to stifle any investigations through the official channels. The means to prevent disclosure will not stop with official government actions, lawsuits and classifications of national security, as we will see, there is a trail of dead bodies of those who have gotten too close for comfort to these programs and their offshoots. An important thing to understand is that the spying is not only being conducted by domestic forces (there are many connections to our “ally” Israel as well) and likely includes political dirty tricks and blackmail as well as the monitoring of the work of reporters and potential whistleblowers so as to bring to a halt any opposition to the ongoing illegal warrantless surveillance.

Now if PROMIS was being used by Lt. Colonel North as a part of REX 84 back in the 1980’s when the Continuity of Government plans were being tweaked, FEMA was being set up for the eventual incorporation into the massive 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? The ability to monitor dissent is the key element of any tyrannical regime for it facilitates control, allows for the identification of associates of threats to the system, intimidation, forced confessions and show trials. We are well on the way towards all of this is America, note the new focus on using the police state to monitor the more independent elements of the Tea Parties, the ones that can’t be assimilated into the Republican Borg but with the acts of political intimidation and threats of violence make for a convenient excuse to expand the spying powers. In a sardonic way it is easy to find some humor into this recent monitoring of some of these people for they were for the most part silent and largely supportive of the Bush-Cheney administration’s USAPATRIOT Act (which our new president recently extended) so it is somewhat amusing to see them about to be hoisted on their own petard but any sense of schadenfreude is short-lived because this is gravely serious.

The list of potential enemies of the state will change with administrations but the one thing that will remain consistent is that the use of unconstitutional spying will only continue to evolve along with technology and the always necessary fearmongering to keep the sheeple in line. None of this expanded power is about protecting us from those who hate us for our way of life and can easily be turned into ‘terrorist’ bogeymen by a media propaganda machine that Joseph Goebbels would be proud of; it never has been.

The real purpose is to facilitate the implementation of a fascist dictatorship in America.

To be continued…