Posts Tagged manning

Totalitarianism Comes to the U.S.

Totalitarianism Comes to the U.S.

American Dictatorship

Nations Need Therapy Too!

To avoid our next dictatorship

This chapter addresses why America still MUST have a thorough truth commission of the Bush-Cheney crimes: For how can we avoid repeating history if it is hidden from us? [continued after video and audio links below]


He Said, “I Am the Decider.” How Could We Know the Idiot King Meant “Dictator”?

This is an artistic rendition of feelings swirling around myself and my fellow Americans, living for eight long years under what a number of scholars have officially determined was—as meeting all the criteria necessary to categorize and as characterized by all the elements by which one defines it—the “dictatorship” of so-called President George W. Bush, from the years 2001 through 2009.

Music in “8 Years” – “Dear Mr. President” – written & performed by Pink, (purchase mp3) (purchase CD)
“In the Arms of the Angels” – written and performed by Sarah McLachlan (purchase mp3) (purchase CD)

Totalitarianism in the US: Nations Need Therapy Too!

This is a reading of my original commentary on “8 Years” (above). I titled it, To Avoid Our Next Dictatorship: Why America MUST have a Thorough Truth Commission of the Bush-Cheney Crimes, for How Can We Avoid Repeating History if It Is Hidden From Us? It contains the jist of what is written here. To hear my reading of this post, click on the link above to the audio site or the one below to the audio player here.
Image of To Avoid Our Next Dictatorship: Why America MUST have a Thorough Truth Commission of the Bush-Cheney Crimes, for How Can We Avoid Repeating History if It Is Hidden From Us?

TRUTHCommentary on the Video “8 Years”

It is just as important for a society to uncover its repressed truth in order to heal as it is for a person.

And just as on the individual level, if we continue to deny and refuse to let our truth rise up to heal us we are driven to continually re-enact it over and over despite our best efforts not to, so also on the level of the nation or society, if these truths are not faced by our country…God help us.

For just as Hitler wasn’t the last fascist totalitarian dictator…look to the regime currently in North Korea, China, and woefully too many nations in Africa and the Middle East; we had the Soviet Union, Cambodia…George W. Bush won’t be the first and only dictator America will ever have…. He will just be the first….

A Warning

I first wrote this during Obama’s first year in office. I am sad to say it proved prophetic, as ever since the election of 2010…and I argue it is because Obama failed to address the issues I talk about below…we have seen increasing totalitarian-style fanaticism by Republicans and the unfortunate codification of Bush’s totalitarian inroads…denial of habeas corpus, torture, extraordinary rendition, repression of freedom of speech as in the reactions to wikileaks, especially the torture and incarceration without trial of Bradley Manning, and more…by President Obama.  [continued after video]

So in this part you may better understand why current developments have come about, though they could have been prevented if there had been enough gumption, as well as what still is needed—sooner or later—or else we are in for ever more, and greater and expanding, tragedies in terms of the loss of democracy and liberty. So what follow is a warning as well.

A Prophecy

I had written that in pondering this commentary I began to realize some important and overlooked truths concerning one of the issues our government is facing currently. As Obama, Pelosi, Leahy, the Republicans, and all the media struggle over the issue of having a truth commission to look into possible illegalities committed by Bush-Cheney, I was flooded with one of those, truly, obvious truths, the common sense kind, that gets lost in the complexities of personalities and politics.  [continued after video]

For just as on the individual level, as in therapy, hidden TRUTH must be uncovered, faced, dealt with, and ONLY THEN put behind oneself; so also must society uncover its hidden truths or it will be sick. And by sick, I mean the same thing that Santayana meant when he said “A society that does not remember its history is doomed to repeat it.”

So far, nothing big there. Then it hit me: But if history is not known, how can one help but repeat it? In the current situation, if we DO NOT look into what was done by Bush-Cheney during the 8 years in which, as the videos here and numerous scholars have determined, America had its first dictatorship, then we will not have a TRUE history of what happened. And if our history is not true, then it is fantasy, speculation, or propaganda.

In that situation, which is our current one, unless we have that truth commission, we “are doomed to repeat it.” Repeat what? DICTATORSHIP. And the even sadder thing is that when we fail to learn from our past experience, whether as individuals or societies or nations, when it repeats, it repeats in a bigger form, carrying more impact, force, devastation … more dire consequences.

We have numerous historical examples of this pattern in recent history alone–on both sides. When Germany, South Africa, and Japan faced and dealt with the horribles of their recent past…after WWII for Germany and Japan; after the end of apartheid for South Africa…they went forward and prospered tremendously, even phenomenally.

Dire Consequences if a Society’s History is not Accurate

Your History Must Be a True One

Everyone quotes Santayana on history repeating. How then can no one seem to make the connection that your history has to be TRUE HISTORY not a web of lies hiding deep and festering wrongs. So it is just as important for nations and societies to uncover its repressed truth, in order to heal, as it is for the Individual.  [continued after video]

And just as on the individual level, if our nation — specifically right now our government — continues to deny, refuses to let our truth rise up to heal us, or simply, as Obama has so far done, look the other way on the grounds that there are more important things to deal with, well then as a nation — just as individuals, we are driven to continually re-enact our biggest mistakes over and over despite our best efforts not to — so also on the level of the nation or society, we will fix a problem only to see it rise up again during the next election cycle.

In fact, it is exactly that lack of facing the truth that has led to the current global economic implosion, started here in the U.S. Reaganomics caused that; we are finally admitting on our talk shows. Yet we had twelve years of Reaganomics from 1981 through 1992. And during that time, we saw how effective it was: It not only almost quadrupled the national debt during the twelve years of Reagan and Bush, Sr., it not only severely unbalanced the budget, but it caused a recession so important that it led to Clinton winning the Presidency on the slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid!”

Despite the fact the Clinton reversed that downswing dramatically by REVERSING Reaganomics; and despite the fact that his policies helped create one of the most prosperous decades in recent history, even leaving a surplus for the next administration, not a peep was heard about the disastrous experiment Reaganomics turned out to be.

Apparently our country was not about to call Reagan wrong at that time. Too many idiots felt that somehow we had to treat him like a nice Grandad and not say anything unseemly, regardless of how the rest of the country would fare. I fear there were more insidious reasons than that for not broadcasting what we had learned, at such a cost.

And it was just that lack of truth-telling of the obvious, so as not to smear Reagan, though his economics was a horrible failure and it had been proven to be so, that allowed Bush to come in and go about doing Reagan’s mistake, only doing it several powers greater and doing it sooner. Bush came in and gave the budget surplus to the wealthy, without a peep from any in the media or any outrage on the part of Americans, most of whom had suffered through the recession only a decade earlier. {pic on Congress repeating same mistake…insanity}

But the average American would not know economics like the experts, the media, and the government. So it was tragic to refuse to point out that Bush’s ideas had already been tried by Reagan and his father with horrible consequences. Everyone kept quiet and suppressed the knowledge of their own experience.

What happened? We “were doomed to repeat it.” Only karma seems to have a played a part because we are not just repeating it. We are being punished severely with one of the worst economic downturns in America’s history. And it seems to me we deserve it because obviously the lesser medicine did not teach Americans and their media and leaders a damn thing. But with this one: Oh, well, NOW, we are hearing that trickle-down Reaganomics started it all. So if we are too stupid to learn from a mistake, that mistake will come back bigger and bigger until we wake up and realize that the path we are on is not working.

Now this is very important, why?

Because scholars have determined that in studying the actions of Bush-Cheney, America, for the first time in its history, went into a dictatorship, meaning that their policies, which involved tossing out the Constitution, and pillar-by-pillar removing the foundations of our rights, our freedoms, and our democracy, including even the right to have a vote that will be counted, or more specifically, will be counted in favor of the person you voted for, not counted toward the opponent. Consider that the ones with expertise in poring over all the documents and data have determined that we had a smokescreen of democracy and freedom talk, but that actually we were living in a dictatorship.

There are scholars galore putting out books delineating the ways in which our Executive Branch acted as literal traitors, and worse, to America, and list the grounds upon which Bush and Cheney would be tried for murder, for starters, if they were anyone else in America.

If these truths are not faced by our country, God help us. For just as voodoo economics returned, with results many, many times worse than the first time; well, what can we imagine would happen if we don’t face the truth about the dictatorship of George W. Bush, the loss of rights and freedom and honest elections?

For one thing, consider how easily this dictator rose to power. Our supposed democracy didn’t stop him, like it is assumed democracy will. If we don’t take in that lesson, not only are we doomed to repeat these horrible eight years, but we are leaving a door wide open for the next one; and if you think you have to have concentration camps in order to see dictatorship, well, gee, just guess what you are going to get under the next American dictator.

And this will surely happen for it is simple common sense that anyone would understand if it were related to something in their commercial life. You don’t see farmers feeding the wrong kind of grain to their livestock more than one time, do you? Can you even imagine it? Then why would we think that we can ignore finding out what happened and fixing it in order to keep something worse than it from happening in the future when it comes to politics?

Is it that we think that as Americans we are immune from something so horrible? Then are we a nation of Pollyannas? And how many Katrinas, Iraqs, Vietnams, Bush-Cheneys, being rated at the bottom in health care among developed nations, having one of the shortest life expectancies among developed nations, having one of the worst educational systems, and having one of the lowest standards of livings among developed nations kinds of events is it going to take before people stop engaging in magical thinking, believing the things that pandering Republicans will tell them to hide these facts, instead of taking their truth from the experiences of their own lives?

I hope all Americans and our representatives will resist the tendency to run away from the unpleasant past and instead find ways, and there are plenty of easy ways, to turn and face the darkness behind us, so that we will not be forced to walk through an even blacker and more horrible darkness before us.

How Did I Do?

As you can see from the commentary above, which I wrote in 2009, I was predicting what is currently front-page news. For us to have hope, we must always hold to the idea that, given insight, there is always time to change our ways, to alter our course and thereby to correct where we have been wrong. This may or may not true. Still, I implore you to believe that our efforts to rectify matters are not futile, else we will insure that they are.

Continue on this site with
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twenty-Seven
American Fascism – Hello, 1984!
The New, “Improved” Fascism!


He Said, “I Am the Decider”; How Could We Know the Idiot King Meant “Dictator”

This is an artistic rendition of feelings swirling around myself and my fellow Americans, living for eight long years under what a number of scholars have officially determined was—as meeting all the criteria necessary to categorize and as characterized by all the elements by which one defines it—the “dictatorship” of so-called President George W. Bush, from the years 2001 through 2009.

Music in “8 Years” – “Dear Mr. President” – written & performed by Pink, (purchase mp3) (purchase CD)
“In the Arms of the Angels” – written and performed by Sarah McLachlan (purchase mp3) (purchase CD)

Totalitarianism in the US: Nations Need Therapy Too!

This is a reading of my original commentary on “8 Years” (above). I titled it, To Avoid Our Next Dictatorship: Why America MUST have a Thorough Truth Commission of the Bush-Cheney Crimes, for How Can We Avoid Repeating History if It Is Hidden From Us? It contains the jist of what is written here. To hear my reading of this post, click on the link above to the audio site or the one below to the audio player here.
Image of To Avoid Our Next Dictatorship: Why America MUST have a Thorough Truth Commission of the Bush-Cheney Crimes, for How Can We Avoid Repeating History if It Is Hidden From Us?

Continue on this site with
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Twenty-Six
American Fascism – Hello, 1984!
The New, “Improved” Fascism!

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“Fascism Has Come 2 America” Hello, 1984 Re: Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, the fascism that is no longer creeping, torture of truth-tellers in America, and the article “A Nation Stripped Bare: Fascism Has Come to America” by Chris Floyd

Re: Bradley Manning, Wikileaks, the fascism that is no longer creeping, torture of truth-tellers in America, and the article “A Nation Stripped Bare: Fascism Has Come to America” by Chris Floyd, copied at the bottom:


“Hello, 1984, You’re Looking Quite Spiffy These Days””

You get a “follower” on Twitter, who’s picture shows horn-rimmed dark glasses, fake crooked teeth, goofy hat, and smile (obviously in disguise), and he’s interested in ME, supposedly, but all he posts are adverts of travel info (over 500 tweets by me, not one having ANYthing to do with travel). So, did I see this coming a mile away!? (“You betcha! [ugh.])

But then you think, would the CIA, FBI, right-wing hate groups be so obviously fake? You answer yourself, no…well, except for the right-wing hate groups; and even then, just the duped followers acting on their own would be so “Get Smart”–ishly transparent. So, except for those tea-bag enthusiasts who are not the manipulators but who are the duped, frightened, sheeple followers; and except for similar crazed or right-wing vigilantes acting independently (i.e., again, the sheeple element), these attempts would not be obvious like the example I gave. For the professionals would be smart enough to NOT look fake, or at least be plain vanilla enough in their profile for your eyes to glaze over scanning them.

But that’s not the scary part, we saw their obvious “plants” at antiwar demonstrations, late 60s – early 70s. They’d be short-haired and dressed in trench an antiwar rally surrounded by others sporting patches, jeans, head bands, tea shirts, blue work shirts, and so on. Hey, this was the Nixon era — they were anything but slick in the beginning — not thinking they would have to be; and with the assumption that any that didn’t agree with their obvious rightness must be idiots.

Anyway, these crude and obvious “plants” — government paid agitators — would get into the middle of groups at particularly tense times and do things to rally the crowd to violence, encouraging everyone to overreact and “storm” something or other. Now this was at an ANTIWAR peace rally; a peaceful demonstration, which everyone knew would fail if there were any violence because the violence would become the news and the point we had gathered for would be discredited. We were NOT stupid.

So these agitators whose job it was to get us to do something that would discredit us and thus serve the ends of the War, would be trying to get us to come along and join with him, taunting us to “push through the policeline” or whatever. Everyone around would be looking at these guys and turning away; we’d be shaking our heads and turning to each other knowingly, motioning to each other to “back away, stay away from this guy, don’t listen, he’s one of THEM.” So, quite common in those days, it was, I say (becoming Yoda, for some unknown reason :-)).

But what I’m worried about is not so much what they did in the past or what is being reported that the Overseers are doing now in spying on U.S. citizens’ internet relationships. What I’m most angered, scared, terrified, saddened, depressed, and riled about is what these corporate matrix-weavers are doing that is beyond the law – wiretapping, national electronic monitoring — y’know the kinds of things that Vader-Cheney-Gonzalez just LOVED. Now THAT’s what I’d like someone to find out and report to us. But, dream on, I say to me. We all know their best spying/infiltration is so good that it will not see the light of day ever, not even for the history books.

So, once again, I say, “Good-bye, privacy. Hello 1984, again.”

Yea, I looked right into the face of that prick, that demon who is so taking us all down. Fully aware was I of his monstrous pervasiveness and control and the incredible advancement in the “polish” of his mind-soul designing. I knew the world was seeing unprecedented heights of accomplishment in the art of what had once been called, a term seeming so crude now, “brainwashing.” Even “propaganda” is too pedestrian a term to use for the tools that are in use, which go so far beyond that in degree and variety and currently are orchestrated with such finesse and slickness — again like nothing ever known. Spectacularly horrible, yet perfectly understandable is the coming into form of this demon Weltanschauung. You see, for, having gathered over 90% of the world’s wealth into “his” greedy hands, there’s little world intelligentisia or brute resources that are not sucking on “his” tits and making real “his” Mordor horrible, Matrix seamless nightmare…out of greed, terror, blackmail, or one or combinations of many other tools of compliance.

Such is “his” success — that soul-stealing, enlightenment-lobotomizing demon, “1984” — that a good percentage of Americans are mindlessly lockstepping behind “his” every move. They’ve been newly birthed into politics and like freshly hatched baby ducklings are hypnotically bonded to their Monster Corporate Mommie, ready to tie tea bags to their bodies and attack and threaten with violence the interests that are working to preserve their lives and health, blind even to the hundreds of thousands of deaths of people like them, some whom they even knew, that were caused by the very people and moneyed interests that are leading their attack.

As for the rest of Americans, well almost all of the rest are vision adjusted from birth to doubt the evidence of their eyes or any of their senses. So they can see a zapruder film, watch a President shot by a driver, and yet when told that one magic bullet from a rifle far away was what took a life they can thank the authorities for being more perceptive than them. They can watch the TV live for hours and see the Twin Towers come down demolition-style and even see the precise puffs of smoke ringing various floors and hear the pops of the explosives set there. They can hear the news anchors, reporters, fire and police personel on the scene all remarking on the the puffs of smoke and the precision demolition. Yet a day later they can be told that their own eyes lied, and the reports of the anchors and people on the scene were confused and hysterical, despite their memory of that not being so, and yet they can again doubt their own perceptions, not even questioning why those many hours of footage are never broadcast again.

So the demon monster 1984 is now omnipresent yet invisible, like some kind of demon god. And this enslaver has slipped in to history, time, America, and the world, and has been sowing our realities through media concoctions and distractions for decades. But “his” entrance and presence — “he” being as invisible and yet real as the air you breathe — has gone unnoticed by all but a very, very, tiny few.

But I looked straight at “him”…and I said to this darkness, 1984, who had crept in unseen but was now firmly entrenched and increasingly bloated with hideous power:

“I see, 1984, that you’re more brazen about showing yourself these days. But then you know that nobody cares, nobody’s listening, and you’ve got everyone so scared of some made up “others” (dare not say the word) that they’ll cling to you as the only support they know.

“But I’ve seen into your future, Cocky-Face. I even uploaded a lecture about you on Entertonement last year. It is an hour long or so audio clip called “Message in a Bottle, Part 1.” In one part of it, near the beginning, I speak as if I am a “Wolf Blitzer” of the future. And in his monologue, he lays out, on air, the media plan for total brainwashing to his listeners after it has succeeded so successfully that his network is trying an experiment to test their power of total mind control by allowing Wolf to tell the entire story of brainwashing, lies, and untruths put upon the masses by a controlled media, even lets in the masses on the future plans of further expansion of control over individual minds and souls, describing the plan to give everyone wonderful memories of their personal past and eradication of the actual events of people’s lives that’ll be so real, you’ll actually believe you’re having a wonderful life, and so on. By now the Media is so confident of its total control it even lets the populace in on the proof they’re expecting, of this total control: They’re going to tell the whole truth for one day of the way everyone’s reaility has been made up and the real reality blotted out; and then the next day and from then, the Network is going to deny that that information, or even that day ever happened, especially not the way it did, and they will deny everything that they said in that day of truth, and they will adjust all the records, so that the truth will have been spoken, but like that tree dropping in the forest, once the Media says you didn’t hear it fall, you’ll forget that you did, and never give it a second thought. The Media’s slogan about their experimental day of “spilling the beans”: “So tune into our once-in-a-lifetime daylong documentary TOMORROW on LNN; You DON’T want to miss it!! You’re SURE to FORGET IT.

I’ll clip and post it here soon, I think.

“But getting back to you, Your 1984-ness…or whatever the fuck you are, I know that you can screw and hurt me in any number of ways at will. But what you don’t know is that “I’ll throw my body on the banana crater to keep it from eploding. What’s 1 life, when a paradigm shift is at stake?.”

I also don’t have any false hope, not for in my lifetime. But I’m not the only one recording these things digitally for some future generation or alien race or “deux ex machina” (actually, my chips are on the last one as the most likely…seriously) with the cajoonies and strength to serve you your proper karmuppance.

For I know something that you don’t. That as bad as it is for the ordinary folks OF THE WORLD, and in America, the only true non-changing thing is CHANGE!

So control all you want, mofo’s. Keep yourself hidden. Unless you’re able to remove the divinity from everyone (impossible since there is no such thing as something that is not inherently divine, so where would you remove it TO?) then there will be people waking up from their trances over and over and sneaking out of the Matrix to post alerts about what they saw going on behind the screen. We’ve noticed how many of them came clean in tell-all books about the Bush Administration both during and after his ignoble retreat.

I KNOW, that the biggest secrets you are keeping the tightest screws on. Hell, every time I even sideways mention the one biggest atrocity I know that you committed — like even recently here at Amplify — people were too afraid to recommend it, retweet it, comment on it, and they’ve shyed away from me a bit since because of it, I think.
How would I know that? Hell, even I WAS afraid to post it because of you, and EVEN I would have held back on recommending it, etc., let alone having my name associated with (well, actually) me.

And the most important and damning evidence I know I’m afraid to post anywhere, recommend anywhere, associate my name with. So, I deal with fear and hold back, and then my courage wrought in my knowing of my dharmic obligation and the ultimate perfection of all and the unbelievable goodness of God, who’s actually walking around among us to help us in these trying times (over in India — with 10s to hundreds of millions of people knowing this…5 million actual “devotees” worldwide…and heads of states from all governments, including our own, and some of the biggest named celebrities in the world going to see Him for advice…sometimes on the sly…sometimes publicly)

And yet you never hear a word about him either in the mainstream or the popular internet medias…He is keeping Himself that secret.”

So, scare me you do, “1984,” but I know something that you will never know — blind as you are to Truth, seeing only money and profits, and they being your gods. I know that there is more to life and consciousness than this fleeting dance of physical form. I know that I cannot die, really, though my body can disappear from your eyes at any moment.

See also:

Amplify’d from

A Nation Stripped Bare: Fascism Has Come to America [ 75572 ] –

Chris Floyd

Empire burlesque, March 5, 2011

It is a question that has sparked much debate, at least in certain rare quadrants where the unvarnished reality of the American imperium is recognized. But surely now the debate is over. Question it no more; the supposition, the fear, the heartbreaking intimation is a fact. It is real. It is here.

Fascism has come to America.

And no, it didn’t come in jackboots. It didn’t come in massed, marching ranks. It didn’t come in greasy-haired frothers ranting on a stage.

It came with cool. It came with savvy. It came wearing the mask of past evils redeemed by the image of a persecuted minority elevated to power. It came spouting scripture, hugging bright children, quoting pop music, sporting pricey leisure threads.

It came on Facebook, it came with 269 cable channels blazing, with I-Pad apps offering Catholic confession and YouTube porn. It came with the Super Bowl, with de la Renta gowns on the Oscar carpet, with 36 brands of dips and chips on the bulging shelves of your local Wal-Mart.

It came right in the midst of your ordinary life, as you went to work — or looked for work — as you partied, as you courted, as you watched TV, as you worshipped, as you studied, as you played, as you went about the business of being human.

As you went about the business of being human, this inhuman thing has come. It has come in your name, wrapped in your flag, claiming your security as its raison d’etre.

And in the guise of a young, hip, educated progressive, it has just now declared that anyone who reveals any hidden evil committed by the fascist state is subject to prosecution for a capital crime. That’s right. It has revealed that you — you American citizen, you patriot, you believer in goodness and justice and genuine democracy — you can be killed by the government if you tell the truth.

This is what the administration of President Barack Obama has demonstrated — indeed, has proudly proclaimed — in its treatment of the young man it is avowedly, openly torturing for telling the truth about American war crimes, Bradley Manning. There can be no mistaking the meaning, implications and import of Barack Obama’s actions.

Corporal Bradley Manning has been charged with leaking “classified material,” including a video posted on WikiLeaks that showed American forces gleefully shooting up Iraqi civilians with helicopter gunships. Manning is also alleged to have obtained thousands of other files detailing crimes, corruption, cover-ups, lies and deceit by American forces and American diplomats around the world.

Although American officials have repeatedly said that none of leaks attributed to Manning and to WikiLeaks have caused any bodily harm to any agent of American imperial power around the world, Manning is being accused of “threatening national security” and “aiding the enemy.”

And who, pray tell, is the “enemy” being aided by the expression of truth? On Thursday, the Pentagon very helpfully spelled it out to the New York Times:

The charge sheet did not explain who “the enemy” was, leading some to speculate that it was a reference to WikiLeaks. On Thursday, however, the military said that it instead referred to any hostile forces that could benefit from learning about classified military tactics and procedures.

It could not be clearer. The release of any information that the American government declares might be of any use whatsoever to any possible “hostile” force — real, imagined, or possibly run by American provocateurs — somewhere in the world at some point in time is a crime that can be punishable by death. Thus any person or any entity that reveals embarrassing or criminal facts that the government wishes to keep hidden now stands in the shadow of death.

If that is not fascism, there has never been such a thing on the face of the earth.

To be sure, American officials say that they will seek only life imprisonment for Manning — who they are now subjecting to hours of forced nakedness in front of video cameras. But the military judge who will oversee Manning’s court martial is entirely free to disregard the prosecutor’s stated intention and impose the full penalty for aiding the “enemy.”

But again, who is the “enemy”? You are the enemy — if you speak a truth that the government does not want you to reveal. (Of course, if you are an approved and coddled courtier, an eager, scurrying scribe like Bob Woodward, for example, you can reveal all the most secret “classified material” that you like, as long as it comes from savvy insiders “authorized” to praise their bosses and make their rivals look bad.) If you speak this unwanted truth, the government, the president — the cool, savvy, modern, hip, educated progressive president — can throw you in jail, subject you to torture, deprive you of sleep, and finally strip you naked in front of cameras to break you down and humiliate you in their efforts to dehumanize you, to grind you down into a piece of meat.

Here is the New York Times report on Manning’s treatment — a small, brief story which did not make the front page of the print edition and within a few hours disappeared from the dozens of stories on the front page of the on-line edition:

A lawyer for Pfc. Bradley Manning, [David E. Coombs], the Army intelligence analyst accused of leaking secret government files to WikiLeaks, has complained that his client was stripped and left naked in his cell for seven hours on Wednesday. … The soldier’s clothing was returned to him Thursday morning, after he was required to stand naked outside his cell during an inspection, Mr. Coombs said in a posting on his Web site.

“This type of degrading treatment is inexcusable and without justification,” Mr. Coombs wrote. “It is an embarrassment to our military justice system and should not be tolerated. Pfc. Manning has been told that the same thing will happen to him again tonight. No other detainee at the brig is forced to endure this type of isolation and humiliation.”

First Lt. Brian Villiard, a Marine spokesman, said a brig duty supervisor had ordered Private Manning’s clothing taken from him. He said that the step was “not punitive” and that it was in accordance with brig rules, but he said that he was not allowed to say more. “It would be inappropriate for me to explain it,” Lieutenant Villiard said. “I can confirm that it did happen, but I can’t explain it to you without violating the detainee’s privacy.”

This is rich; this shows a devilish irony at work in the PR boiler rooms of our fascist state. Yes, we tortured Manning, but we can’t tell you why — because we want to protect his privacy! We are very concerned about his sacred right to privacy! “I’m sorry,” said Sgt. Heinrich Schultz, spokesman for the Auschwitz-Birkenau detention facility. “I can confirm that Mr Shlomo Stern, formerly of Krakow, was indeed stripped naked by guards here, but it would be inappropriate for me to explain why, because it would violate the detainee’s privacy.”

And as Glenn Greenwald reports, Manning was indeed stripped naked again the following night. Coombs himself notes:

PFC Manning was forced to strip naked in his cell again last night.  As with the previous evening, Quantico Brig guards required him to surrender all of his clothing.  PFC Manning then walked back to his bed, and spent the next seven hours in humiliation.

The decision to require him to be stripped of all clothing was made by the Brig commander, Chief Warrant Officer-2 Denise Barnes.  According to First Lieutenant Brian Villard, a Marine spokesman, the decision was “not punitive” and done in accordance with Brig rules.  There can be no conceivable justification for requiring a soldier to surrender all his clothing, remain naked in his cell for seven hours, and then stand at attention the subsequent morning.  This treatment is even more degrading considering that PFC Manning is being monitored — both by direct observation and by video — at all times. The defense was informed by Brig officials that the decision to strip PFC Manning of all his clothing was made without consulting any of the Brig’s mental health providers.

What is happening here — as Arthur Silber foretold long ago — is that Barack Obama is codifying the worst abuses of the Bush Administration (and its predecessors) —  which had usually been committed on the side, in the dark, in secret, behind many layers of “plausible deniability” — into the open, declared law of the land. This too is facism in action. Indeed, rarely has there been a regime more legalistic than Nazi Germany, where jurists, legislators and civil servants adhered strenuously to the “law” as determined by the will of the ruling clique. And for all those who make a fetish of the “rule of law,” here is the end result: law being used by brutal Power to “justify” inhuman treatment of truth-tellers. As we noted here some months ago:

A conversation during Civil War. (From work-in-progress Bright, Terrible Spirit):

“But in days past, I was a lawyer. Yes, a lawyer, can you believe it? It seems….ridiculous now, doesn’t it? An orderly system meant to govern human society, to establish justice, to advance the progress and enlightenment of the human race. Yet that system, that civil cosmos – to which I was so passionately committed – embraced and protected the most wretched evils, entrenched the powerful in their unjust privilege, oppressed the poor and weak most relentlessly and wickedly, yet at every step – at every step – sang hosannas to itself as some kind of divinity. The “Law” – oh, what a hush of reverence surrounded that word, how deeply that reverence and respect penetrated the heart. Well, my heart, anyway. But in these last few years we have seen – in intense, concentrated, microscopic view – the truth about the law, a truth which too often escaped us in the slow unrolling of peacetime. The truth that there is no law, no Platonic Form out there to which we give paltry representation. There is only power: power in conflict with power, power seeking to drive out power, to establish its dominance, maintain its privilege. Power…acquiesces to law – sometimes – but it never, never bows to it. Power goes along with the law when it is convenient to do so, when it is not too restrictive, when it demands little more than the occasional sacrifice – for the powerful are certainly not above throwing one of their own to the mob when circumstances require. But when it comes to the crisis, power shreds the law like a filthy rag and has its own way. And then you see that the law is nothing but a rag, to be torn and patched and fitted to power’s aims. The worst atrocities I have seen or heard of in this war have been committed wholly and completely under the law. This thing I held in such reverence was, is, nothing but a scrap soaked with blood and shit.”

This is what the administration of President Barack Obama has brought to open fruition in the United States of America. The debate is over. The question is answered. Facism has come.

A brief reprise of a recent tribute to Manning and other truth-tellers:

“Good corporal, good corporal, don’t you know the fate
Of all those who speak the hard truth to the State
And all who trouble the people’s sweet dreams?
They’re mocked into scorn and torn apart at the seams




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