As of October First, we are living in what can only be called the closing society.
A series of decisions has made it possible for this to happen. President George Bush struck down posse comitatus, which now allows the military to patrol the U.S. The legally-established “War on Terror” states the U.S. is at war around the globe and that the U.S. is also a battlefield.
In light of more recent events on October 1, 2008, Democracy Now! interviews NorthCom Col., Michael Boatner and writer for The Progressive, Matthew Rothschild:
Presidential Directive 51 – May 9th, 2007:
“Catastrophic Emergency” means 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.
Considering how these changes in policy – and not only the language but the practice – were allowed to happen, author Naomi Wolf has come forward declaring that the coup has already taken place.
In a conversation Naomi published on AlterNet, she asks retired Air Force Colonel what would prevent the President from sending the First Brigade to arrest the editor of the Washington Post.
Col: “Nothing. He could do what he did in Iraq — send a tank down a street in Washington and fire a shell into the Washington Post as they did into Al Jazeera, and claim they were firing at something else.”
NW: “What happens to members of the First Brigade who refuse to take up arms against U.S. citizens?”
Col: “They’d probably be treated as deserters as in Iraq: arrested, detained and facing five years in prison. In Iraq a study by Ann Wright shows that deserters — reservists who refused to go back to Iraq — got longer sentences than war criminals.”
But given that the jurisdiction over the First Brigade lies with the President, and what the President orders is de facto a lawful order, if the troops disobey the Commander in Chief, what would happen to the military system? Naomi asks.
Col: “Perhaps they would be arrested and prosecuted as those who refuse to participate in the current illegal war. That’s what would be considered a coup.”
NW: “But it’s a coup already.”
Naomi Wolf’s strong resistance narrative and her ability to convey this grave concern to the rest of American society is something I value in her work. All of us who were involved in resistance politics at the DNC and RNC can follow the discomfort and frustration behind her rhetoric, because we witnessed first-hand what she describes as a taste of things to come.
As I listened to Naomi speaking on KUOW – Seattle’s NPR – I thought about the “kafkaesque” strategies the FBI, military, and police used at the DNC and RNC to very effectively intimidate. I thought about fascist societies in the past which were transformed from know-nothing democracies to globalistic empires.
I have to ask myself whether Americans who accuse this country of imperialism are serious about this or not. And if so, how serious are we? Will we be able to disable the empire when it comes time? And when it happens, will we be ready to build a just and sustainable society in its place?
How far are we willing to take this consideration? To the internet? To the classroom? To the arms dealer?