THE DEMISE OF “SHAM” DEMOCRACY AND THE RISE OF FASCISM IN THE U.S.
by Lee Roy Rouge
When we think of Fascism we usually visualize goose stepping troops, swastikas, or the funny little mustache or straight arm salute associated with Adolph Hitler. These are mere symbols and actually, have nothing to do with the essence of Fascism.
Fascism is a form of government which centers all power in a single party headed by an absolute dictator or a small clique. Under Fascism the government rigidly controls the religious, political, social, and economic life of a country. Major features of Fascism are: secret police spying on the whole population, the crushing of opposition by a police force, extreme nationalism, the cultivation of ignorance, militarism and suppression of the press.
In each of the most famous cases of Fascism, that is with Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany and with Franco in Spain, it was first embraced and financed by the wealthy as a means of protecting their wealth from the workers and the poor.
The word Fascism was coined by Benito “Il Duce” Mussolini in the early 1900s. He took it from Fasces—of the Ancient Roman Empire. A Fasces is a bundle of elm or birch rods from which an ax projects. It was carried before a Roman Magistrate and indicated the magistrate’s power to decapitate. It was a symbol of authority.
This paper will discuss several examples of the steady rise of Fascism in the U.S. They are: (1. national security letters, (2. National Security Agency spying, (3. Fascism and the Media (4.16 provisions of the USA Patriot Act, (5. Two questionable presidential elections, (6.Militarism and the Iraq War, (7. A random reminder of other miscellaneous examples of Fascism like rampant nationalism, illegal detention of “enemy combatants,” torture, religious fundamentalism and the marriage between church and state, the suppression of science, art, higher education—anti human rights, anti women, anti gay and anti labor policies.
Taken individually, these examples raise great concern, but when we connect the dots between them, we see the emergence of a ghastly monster—Fascism. Anyone who ever heard or uttered the word freedom, should take stock of this emerging jack-booted cloud of Fascism and stand up to it.
National security letters represent the most broad, sweeping incursion into the private lives of U.S. citizens in U.S. History. In December 2005 a raging debate flipped back and forth between the authorization of the National Security Agency to carry out “illegal” eavesdropping and spying by President George W. Bush and 16 provisions of the USA Patriot Act that were scheduled to “sunset” or expire on December 31, 2005. These debates completely ignored the existence of the pernicious National security letters. What are national letters?
National security letters are powerful tools for domestic spying on ordinary American citizens. No proof of wrong doing is necessary to serve these letters and they are administered by the FBI.
National security letters are presented to librarians, internet service providers, insurance companies, universities, travel agencies, real estate agents, stockbrokers, the U.S Postal Service, Western Union, jewelry stores, hotel-casinos, storage facilities, banks, currency exchanges or any issuer, redeemer, or cashier of travelers’ checks, checks, money orders, or similar instruments. This also includes any business engaged in vehicle sales, including automobile, airplane, and boat sales and other institutions.
These agencies are forced to turn over “transactional records” of their patrons and customers. This means that the FBI can look at telephone logs, e-mail logs, including who phones or e-mails you at home or at work, where you browse on the web, your bank account activity, how much you made gambling, who you live with and who you lived with before, where you travel to, how you invest, what you search for or read on the web and dozens of other examples.
Even more disturbing is the fact that anyone who receives a national security letter is gagged—forbidden by law “forever” from telling anyone that the FBI has demanded these records. One letter can be used to sweep up the records of many people and whole databases.
Despite their apparent “shock and awe” about National Security Agency spying, the House and Senate have voted to make non-compliance with a national security letter a criminal offense. The House would also impose a prison term for breach of secrecy.
National security letters clearly threaten on line speech protected by the 1st Amendment and violate 4th Amendment rights, relative to unreasonable search and seizure. Imagine the difficulty of prosecuting the illegality of the receipt of a national security letter if the recipients of the letters have been forbidden, by law, from disclosing receipt of the letters. These draconian laws are a clear indicator of the rise of Fascism in the U.S. and the elected officials are more quiet about this than the Germans were during the rise of Hitler.
Librarians have been very vocal in opposing the new legislation that “legalizes” this new FBI snooping but only two citizens have had the courage to step forward and say that they’ve received national security letters, both of whom are represented by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
National security letters are issued by the FBI internally, based on its own say so, without the approval of a grand jury, prosecutor, judge court or any judicial oversight. After the fact, there is no review by the Justice Department or Congress. Before the USA Patriot Act, only the Attorney General or a Deputy Attorney General could issue a national security letter. At least they had to be approved by a senior government official. Under the old legal test, the FBI had to have “specific articulable” reasons to believe the records it gathered, in secret, belonged to a terrorist or a spy.
Now, national security letters are left completely to the caprice of any local FBI supervisor—the special agents in charge of field offices. There are more than five dozen of them scattered around the country. Many of these FBI agents are your tattling, former elementary school safety patrol and hall monitors. Imagine them with this unchecked power. Now, these letters can be issued on you without your being suspected of a crime and without ever having to tell you that a “letter” was issued concerning you. Currently, the FBI can use them to get the private information of just about anybody it likes.
The government is currently issuing over 30,000 national security letters per year; 100 times what had been typical before the USA Patriot Act. At one time, when no evidence of wrong doing was found the records so obtained, were destroyed.
Now, thanks to a hateful pig, former Attorney General, John Ashcroft, regardless of no evidence of wrong doing, these records are kept in the government’s data banks. Just so you know, I have called Ashcroft a hateful pig because among other things, his character is further revealed by the fact that in 1998, before he became Attorney General, Ashcroft told the Southern Partisan magazine, “You’ve got a heritage of doing that, defending Southern Patriots like Lee, Jackson, and Davis. Traditionalists must do more. I’ve got to do more. We’ve all got to stand up and speak in this respect, or else we’ll be taught that these people were giving their lives, subscribing their sacred fortunes and their honor to some perverted agenda.” Lee, Jackson and Davis led the Confederacy in its war for slavery and white supremacy.
Ashcroft, as attorney General, rescinded a 1995 guideline directing that information obtained through a national security letter about a U.S. citizen or resident shall be destroyed by the FBI and not further disseminated if it proves not relevant to the purpose for which it was collected.
Ashcroft’s new order was that the FBI shall retain all records it collects and may disseminate them freely among federal agencies. Ashcroft’s new order also directed the FBI to develop “data mining” technology to probe for hidden links among the people in its growing cache of electronic files. According to an FBI status report, the bureau’s Office of Intelligence began operating in January of 2004 a new investigative Data Warehouse, based on the same Oracle technology used by the CIA. The CIA is “supposedly” not to collect this information on U.S. citizens. The Oracle-based system uses iMap and other analysis software to connect “information dots.”
Data mining intensifies the impact of national security letters because anyone’s personal files can be scrutinized again and again without a fresh need to establish relevance. Ashcroft’s new guidelines allowed the FBI, for the first time, to add to government files consumer data from commercial providers such as Lexis Nexis and Choice Point. The FBI and police have access to this technology in their squad rooms. Choice Point is the nation’s leading provider of identification and credential verification services. Translated this means that they dig into the private information of anyone it chooses and sell this information to anyone with the money to by it.
Any criminal, police or otherwise, with a lap top could, through Choice Point, be standing outside your door and learning everything about you and your family—job, medical history and so fourth. There are currently no rules or regulations to prevent this. Choice Point has recently been tricked, by identity thieves, into revealing the private information of more than 160, 000 people. Lexis Nexis has enormous global reach and boasts of being able to get information on anyone in seconds.
Hold your nose! This is gonna really stink. Since John Ashcroft left office as Attorney General, he has founded his own lobbying firm in Washington, The Ashcroft Group LLC. Two of his main clients are Oracle and Choice point. His other clients include Israel Aircraft Industries International, LTU Technologies Inc. According to the January 10, 2006, Chicago Tribune, they are using Ashcroft to solicit business with the Homeland Security and Justice Departments.
In one case, Ashcroft’s firm collected $220,000 from Oracle, the world’s largest software company, which won Justice Department approval of a multibillion-dollar acquisition less them a month after hiring Ashcroft in October 2004.
So many top elected officials in the U.S. can’t wait to leave office so they can return to Washington as lobbyist with all the inside information they’ve gained at the people’s expense. But the fact that an Attorney General of the U.S. could do this “legally” is not only a testament to the corporate need for Fascism but a major marker of the utter degeneracy of the system.
The Fascist pig, John Ashcroft, is also a law professor at Regent University which is run by none other than the “satanic” televangelist, Pat Robertson. They deserve each other. Don’t ever forget that John Ashcroft was on his way off the scene; when the people of his home state, Missouri, literally, voted for a man they knew was dead (Mel Carnahan) rather than send Ashcroft back to the U.S. Senate. He was rescued and made U.S. Attorney General by the horn-headed, fire-breathing, devil on earth, George W. Bush.
According to Barton Gellman; who deserves great credit for leading the charge in researching and exposing the new reach of national security letters in a November 6, 2005, Washington Post article: “when you get stopped for a traffic ticket and are told to wait in your car while the officer radios in your driver’s license information, what he gets back from headquarters likely will include everything from a credit report to lawsuits you’ve been involved in, to information about the time your neighbor called the police to complain your dog was barking too loud. Unless of course, his squad car is equipped with its own terminal, then he can access this information directly on the highway.” This is like “Big Brother” gone wild and/or on “crack.”
The Bush Administration had plans to expand the powers of the Patriot Act before the invasion of Iraq. The Justice Department wrote the so-called Patriot Act II but its provisions were exposed and public outcry forced the Government to back down. They didn’t abandon their plans. They just simply slid the same legislation in under the Intelligence Authorization Act.
National security letters have been around since 1981, but would you believe that while the whole world was watching the capture of Iranian President, Saddam Hussein, on December 13, 2004—a Saturday—U.S. President, George W. Bush, stealthily signed the Intelligence Authorization Act. This Act is the legislation that has dramatically expanded the powers of the FBI through national security letters.
Some columnists and bloggers have accused the president of signing the legislation on a weekend when news organizations traditionally operate with reduced staffs. They maintain that he did this to avoid public scrutiny.
Not only were the most controversial parts of Patriot Act II extracted and slipped surreptitiously into other bills such as the Intelligence Authorization Act, on a Saturday; while the whole world was watching the capture of Saddam Hussein, but law makers were dealt a shrewd smoke screen, also.
James Dempsey of the Center for Democracy&
Technology—the organization that first spotted and exposed the Intelligence Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2004—says that the Intelligence Authorization Act is a favorite vehicle of politicians for expanding government powers without careful scrutiny.
Dempsey says that the provision granting all these increased powers was little more than a single line of legislation and it was written in such a cryptic manner that no one noticed it until it was too late. The fact that almost all the Congresspersons failed to notice this, may be one reason they are so quiet on the codification of national security letters into law. The other is probably that they agree with it.
This bill passed in the House by a vote of 264 to 163. The Senate passed the bill with a voice vote, therefore, there is no record of how individual senators or the number who opposed or supported it. Representative Betty McCollum (D-Minnesota) said “It is clear that the Republican leadership and the administration would rather expand on the USA Patriot Act through deception and secrecy than debate such provisions in an open forum.” A number of other representatives expressed concern that the financial provision was slipped into the Intelligence Authorization Act at the 11th hour with no time for public debate and against objections from members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which normally has jurisdiction over the FBI.
The Intelligence Authorization Act was the vehicle that was used to greatly broadened the definition of “financial institutions,” has added the provision of secrecy about the presentation of a national security letter and has given the FBI unprecedented, new powers.
A look into these new Fascist practices also reveals the assault on the hard fought for, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Attempts have been made under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain lists of issued National Security letters. The FBI submitted the lists but the Information was blacked-out. The FBI has been unwilling to disclose the most basic statistical information.
Another breath was taken from the life of “sham democracy” in the U.S. on November 15, 2002, when Congress passed the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2003. It was signed into law on November 27, 2002. Couched in cryptic language, this bill precludes any “covered” government agency from disclosing information to a non-government “entity.”
“Covered agencies include: The Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the National Reconnaissance Office, certain other reconnaissance offices within the Department of Defense, the intelligence elements of the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Energy, and the Coast Guard or at the time of its writing, the soon to be the Department of Homeland Security. In effect, these agencies only share information among themselves.
In October, 2005 President Bush signed Executive order 13388; which expands access to the files gathered with national security letters to state, local and tribal governments and to “appropriate private sector entities” which are not defined. They can also be used in criminal investigations.
There has been no example in which a national security letter has helped to disrupt a terrorist plot.
In April 2005 the discussion began on the 16 provisions of the USA Patriot Act that were scheduled to “sunset” or expire on December 31, 2005. The discussion heated up in December 2005. All 16 were designed to expedite the government’s ability to conduct searches, seizures, wire taps, and electronic surveillance. Without listing what these 16 provisions are, suffice it to say the debate, as we are interested in it, centers around civil liberties or the lack thereof.
These 16 provisions or sections are but a drop in the bucket of the USA Patriot Act which has 1016 sections and the 16 provisions are, in fact, arbitrary. Many terrible provisions of the USA Patriot act are in full effect and are not even a part of this discussion. Not the least of these provisions which are not being discussed are national security letters, effective unlimited detention of aliens, the imprisonment of citizens and non-citizens as “enemy combatants” outside of the criminal justice system, or various initiatives for data mining of commercial data repositories. The people are being hoodwinked as a debate rages in public about whether to employ so many measures that are already being vigorously carried out in secrecy.
Many ordinary American citizens and Congress persons on both sides of the isle are opposing the loss of civil liberties that the Patriot Act in general and these 16 provisions specifically represent. As we are interested in these 16 provisions here, we must be mindful of the change in the tenor of the debate which has arisen around the discussion of these 16 provisions.
As an example: more Fascist words have never been spoken than the words of former Attorney General John Ashcroft when he equated even discussion of the 16 provisions with disloyalty. He stated that those who raise the specter of lost liberties only aid terrorists. Regardless of what is written in the USA Patriot Act, it is this type of tone and outlook that embodies raw, unbridled Fascism.
On Wednesday December 14, 2005 the U.S. House of Representatives passed the renewal of the 16 provisions of the USA Patriot Act, 251 to 174. On Friday December 16, 2005 the Senate blocked reauthorization of the 16 provisions of the USA Patriot Act through a filibuster. The vote was 52 to 47, with four Republicans joining all but two Democrats to back the filibuster. Some Senators said that the exposure of the unlawful wiretapping helped them make their decision to block the reauthorization of the 16 Patriot Act provisions. On December 21, 2005 the Senate approved a 6 month extension of the 16 provisions of the Patriot Act.
As Congress persons were packing-up to go home for the Christmas Holiday, on December 23, 2005, House Judiciary Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., a Republican from Wisconsin, refused to go along with the six month extension and instead proposed a one month extension until February 3, 2006. Fear of a ruined Christmas and the first special session of Congress in 70 years, forced the Senate to go along with this one month extension.
In January 2006, while congress persons were on holiday, enjoying a much longer recess than most Americans enjoy, President Bush was seizing every opportunity in the media to push for the renewal of the 16 provisions of the Patriot Act. He constantly claimed that he needs these provisions to “protect Americans” and wage the war on terror. Also in January 2006, Bush trotted out himself, Vice President, Cheney, Attorney General, Alberto Gonzalez, White House Council, Dan Bartlett and others to wage a media war in order to “legalize,” in the eyes of the people, the illegal NSA spying debacle. Bush has even “brilliantly” moved to change the name of the spying program from domestic spying to “terrorist surveillance program.” Who thought this “gem” up for him, or could Bush be a closet rocket scientist? Laying all jokes aside he does look like that guy from Brokeback Mountain.
Now, it is clear that elected officials in the U.S. whether Democrat, Republican or other are either asleep at the switch or don’t see because they don’t want to see the steady rise of Fascism in the U.S. It must also be stated that the “terrorism” from which our slave masters are trying to save us has not dropped from the sky, nor has it emerged because the perpetrators hate liberty or freedom as President Bush has repeatedly asserted, but has been brought on by the previous crimes of U.S. Imperialism against the people of the world.
Elected officials have no will or power to change the horrible course of things, in a meaningful way. The people, then, must seize power from this band of international gangsters and make a world free from Fascism, poverty, mass death from curable disease, and general human privation on a planet with obvious, abundant natural and human resources.
On Friday, December 16, 2005 a New York Times article on domestic spying, sparked a tumultuous uproar in government and media circles in the U.S. At the center of the controversy are claims that President George W. Bush unlawfully authorized warrant-less eavesdropping on telephone calls and e-mail messages between the U.S. and Afghanistan. This “recently” discovered spying by the National Security Agency was in every newspaper headline, on every TV news show and on the lips of every Congress person.
The Bush Administration has rushed to twist the debate through methods of spin and confusion; that have been successful in the past. The debate is couched around the reach of presidential powers under the Constitution and whether Bush got proper warrants from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, rather than around the nature of the spying. The Bush Administration is attempting to twist the debate and criminalize whoever leaked the information and whoever reported the National Security Agency spying in the New York Times. The Administration has the FBI and the Justice Department launching a strong armed investigation into the “leakers” and reporters.
This is very much like the Bush Administration’s turning the debate around Bush’s illegal twisting of his Texas Air National Guard records and not serving properly, into a debate around whether reporter Dan Rather was reporting on the episode properly. The Dan Rather Piece will be expounded upon in the section on FASCISM AND THE MEDIA.
In a method very similar to the Dan Rather affair, the Bush Administration has the velvet glove off the iron fist again and hopes to “gorilla” the press, bamboozle the people and neutralize the Congress
around the NSA spying issue.
The cases of domestic spying in question were started by the National Security Agency immediately following the Attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 (911). This practice was formally authorized and broadened by President Bush in early 2002. President Bush not only admits that he authorized the National Security Agency (NSA) to undertake these domestic spying measures but that he renewed them over thirty times and brazenly stated that he will do it again.
Many opponents of this domestic spying episode have expressed everything from shock to outrage. Some appear to be seeking impeachment. Some have said that Bush is a president not a king but a law that has been cited is the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance act of 1978. It appears that the type of domestic eavesdropping that President Bush authorized the National Security Agency to do, is unlawful without the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
The Bush Administration has thrown out 500 as the number of these domestic spying cases in question. Further investigation reveals, however, that not only is 500 a crazy low number but that the Bush Administration has been “harvesting” streams of domestic and international information through back door access, by tapping into internet and the American telecommunication system’s main arteries.
American based telephonic “switches” are a core part of the back and forth debate between the Bush Administration, law enforcement, the Justice Department and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. These “switches” are the gateways through which vast amounts of communication flow.
It was revealed in a December 24, 2005 New York Times article that not only do domestic communications, internet and telecommunication traffic in and out of the U.S. flow through these “switches” but that as a part of the “globalization” of communications, a great deal of international to international traffic is routed through these “switches” between other countries. That is, say, between Venezuela and Nigeria.
Further, it was revealed that for the last few years the U.S. Government has been quietly encouraging the telecommunications companies to increase the amount of international to international traffic that flows through these U.S. based switches or—“Big Brother” gone global.
More than one law-maker agrees that if Bush had simply asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court for the warrants he would have gotten them. Who’s kidding whom? These guys are not each others enemies. The Bush Administration is clearly creating a climate of retribution or punishment for anyone who exposes or opposes them.
According to the December 17, 2005 New York Times, John C. Woo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley and former Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department from 2001 to 2003, is believed to have helped to write a legal justification for the National Security Agency’s secret domestic eavesdropping program.
It is believed that a September 25, 2001 memorandum from Mr. Woo laid out the basis for the war on terror and uses language like no statute passed by Congress “can place any limits on the president’s determination as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing and nature of the response.” Hitler would be proud of this. The article sited other documents that supposedly grant these unlimited type executive powers.
In the early days of the Domestic Spying program laws like the one cited above were coupled with open ended, unchecked powers of the National security Agency. Officials told the New York Times that few if any controls were placed on the National Security Agency by anyone out side the Agency. It was not until 2004 that anyone even questioned the legality of the snooping work of the National Security Agency. Then several officials questioned its legality and the Justice Department launched its first audit of the operation.
These unchecked police powers are a classic indicator of Fascism. These are not only the same unchecked type police powers used by Mussolini’s “Blackshirts” and Hitler’s “Brownshirts” but are precisely the same type powers given to the FBI and the police under national security letters.
In the exact same way that Mussolini and Hitler repeatedly invoked “love of the fatherland” in their sink into Fascism, George W. Bush repeatedly, sickeningly, invokes “the protection of Americans” in his demise into Fascism. Transpose these phrases and you will not find an iota of difference.
“Protecting Americans?” The Bush Administration does not seem to be protecting Americans as his administration repeatedly takes measures to the benefit of the rich and to the detriment of the poor.
On December 21, 2005 Vice President Dick Cheney caste the tie-breaking vote on a 50 to 50 dead lock, in the Senate, on a bill that grants a series of lucrative cuts in tax rates for the rich.
This budget cutting bill negatively affects old people, sick people, poor people and will drive up the interest rates on loans for college students. It will increase co pays for treatment and medicines that will knock those who cannot afford them out of treatment. This includes many HIV patients. This bill will exclude from Medicare and Medicaid old black people that were blocked from being born in hospitals by Jim Crow laws; who as a result, have no birth certificates. Is this “protecting Americans?”
All this stacks insult onto injury, in the world’s richest country in which, at sometime during the year over 70 million Americans have no health care at all. Is this “protecting Americans?”
Note the abandonment of the poor before, during and after hurricane Katrina. Is this “protecting Americans?” He doesn’t seem to be protecting Americans from joblessness, homelessness, poor education or the useless loss of life and limb of so many youth in Iraq.
This is because the Bush Administration is so busy pushing its Fascist agenda at home (holding the people in check) in order to carry out its imperialistic foreign policy. As a case in point, the memorandum from Mr. Woo cited above, in addition to the eavesdropping program it became the underlying justification for numerous other Fascist type actions. Some of them include: the order to try accused terrorists before military tribunals; the detention of so-called “enemy combatants” at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and in secret overseas jails operated by the Central Intelligence Agency; the holding of two Americans Jose Padilla and Yaser Esam Hamdi, as enemy combatants; and the use of severe interrogation techniques including some banned by international agreements.
We should consider the history of the Padilla case. Jose Padilla was long denied the opportunity to meet with his lawyers. Roughly a week before the Supreme Court first agreed to hear his case in 2004, the government allowed him to meet with his lawyers. At the time it said it was "allowing Padilla access to counsel as a matter of discretion and military authority. Such access is not required by domestic or international law and should not be treated as a precedent." This was a carefully determined tactic. By granting Padilla access to a lawyer, the government was trying to prevent the Supreme Court from ruling on whether they had to provide Padilla with a lawyer
The Supreme Court decided not to rule on Padilla's case in 2004, sending it back to lower courts only to spend over a year working its way back to the top. Now his case has made it back to the Supreme Court. Again, the Supreme Court is about to decide whether to hear his case. And, again, the government has decided that, at its discretion, it will grant Jose Padilla his constitutionally guaranteed rights.
The strategy is clear. The government will now try to convince the Supreme Court that Padilla's claims are irrelevant because he's been charged with a crime. By doing so, the government will retain its self-appointed power to lock you up without a lawyer or criminal charges until the Supreme Court rules on your case, which we've seen can take years.
Now Padilla’s being charged isn't a sign that the Bush administration tyrants have had a change of heart, but simply a tactic of that tyranny. To sum it up: Padilla will get a trial so that you won't when they come for you.
“Enemy combatant” status, also, allows the U.S. to go around Geneva Convention guidelines for the treatment of prisoners of war. Jose Padilla, a garden variety gang-banger, a U.S. citizen, has been held for over three years as an “enemy combatant” The Bush Administration, in the 11th hour, has scrambled to get him in ordinary criminal court and a Virginia Judge refused. This was because the judge wanted to examine the practice of holding a U. S. citizen as an “enemy combatant” in the first place. The Supreme Court overruled this Judge and allowed the Bush Administration to place Mr. Padilla in ordinary criminal court, leaving the earlier motives of the Administration un-explored. Anyway, the Constitution’s guarantees of a right to due process do not even speak of citizens but of “persons.”
In the days following the New York Times exposure of the National Security Agency’s secret spying program, President George W. Bush spoke in public almost daily, in an attempt to slow this runaway train in the midst of the pitifully low approval rating of his administration and his conducting of the Iraqi War.
He has defended his actions with comments like: “fully consistent with my constitutional responsibilities and authorities.” and things like: “There is the check of people being sworn to up hold the law, for starters.” “There’s over site.” “We’re talking to Congress all the time.” While this is some of the most ignorant jibberish to ever come out of the foul mouth of George W, Bush, the sad truth is that it is backed by some of the richest people in the world, the world’s strongest military, a huge and growing network of spying secret police and the increasing domination of the press. Of course, in the final analysis, the power of the people is stronger than all this.
The recently exposed National Security Agency secret spying program drew immediate calls from some members of Congress for an end to the program and for Congressional and possible criminal investigations into its operations.
That O. F. (Original Fascist) Benito Mussolini was a crafty newspaper man. His rise to power was aided by his ability to create public opinion through publications that he edited. When Mussolini got into public office he manipulated laws again and again and again to achieve his ends. He believed that you could fool all the people all the time. An even more substantial ingredient in his rise was the investment of the same type of broad, unchecked, spying, military power into the hands of the thuggish “Black Shirts.” Adolph Hitler copied this with his notorious “Brown shirts.”
George W. Bush has repeatedly manipulated laws whether it was stolen elections, creating shadow governments, driving quickly crafted resolutions through the U.N. to authorize pre-emptive war, slipping through laws while Congress is in recess, or authorizing illegal detention, torture or domestic spying.
Broad, unchecked, police power is a core ingredient in Fascism whether it is the “Black Shirts” of Mussolini, the “Brown Shirts” of Hitler or the FBI the police and all the information hoarding, colluding, spying intelligence agencies of the current U. S. that were mentioned above.
At its core, our form of dictatorship is not so much that of an individual as with Mussolini and Hitler. While the two headed monster, Bush/Cheney, has a perfectly Fascist heart, it is but the mouthpiece and ugly face of the dictatorship of a rich class.
Now, the reason I have used the term “sham” democracy in the title of this paper is because democracy in the U. S. has always been democracy for the rich class. Think about it. To remove delusions, the need to get rid of Bush/Cheney is imperative while the need to get rid of the rich class they represent and their system, is the ultimate need.
Of course, we must acknowledge that this is not the first time some pretty rotten stuff has happened here in the “good ole” U.S. of A. This country loved holding African slaves from New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut to Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi. The Atlantic Slave Trade Culture was “beyond Fascism” in the extreme and has tremendous aftermath. According to historian, George Washington Williams, some states actually had laws on the books that would free a slave who spied and snitched on plotters of slave rebellions. We must dry our eyes on this and fight the worst of what is upon us right here right now—Fascism.
COINTELPRO arose when congressional investigations, political trials and other traditional legal methods of repression failed to counter the growing movements of the 1950s, '60s and '70s, and even helped fuel them, the FBI and police moved outside the law. They used secret and systematic methods of fraud and force, far beyond mere surveillance, to sabotage constitutionally protected political activity. The purpose of the program was, in FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover's own words, to "expose, disrupt, misdirect, discredit and otherwise neutralize" specific groups and individuals.
Its targets in this period included the Black Panther Party, American Indian Movement, the Communist Party, the Socialist Worker's Party, Black Nationalist groups, and many members of the New Left (SDS, and a broad range of anti-war, anti-racist, feminist, lesbian and gay, environmentalist and other groups). Many other groups and individuals seeking racial, gender and class justice were targets who came under attack, including Martin Luther King, Cesar Chavez, the NAACP, the National Lawyer's Guild, SANE-Freeze, American Friends Service Committee, and many, many others.
The public exposure of COINTELPRO and other government abuses resulted in a flurry of apparent reforms in the 1970s, but domestic covert action did not end. It has persisted, and seems a permanent feature of the government. Much of today's domestic covert action can also be kept concealed because of government secrecy that has been restored. The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), a source of major disclosures of COINTELPRO and other such activities, was drastically narrowed in the 1980s through administrative and judicial reinterpretation, as well as legislative amendment. While restoring such secrecy, the Reagan Administration also reinvigorated covert action, embracing its use at home and abroad. They endorsed it, sponsored it, and even legalized it to a great extent. Virtually all of the same behind the scenes shakers and movers, then, are the self same forces driving the current Fascism, today. Now, they are known as the “Neo Cons.” There is more on them in the section, Militarism and the Iraq War.
Much of what was done outside the law under COINTELPRO was later legalized by Executive Order 12333 (12/4/81). There is every reason to believe that even what was not legalized is still going on as well. Lest we forget, Lt. Col. Oliver North funded and orchestrated from the White House basement break-ins and other "dirty tricks" to defeat congressional critics of U.S. policy in Central America and to neutralize grassroots protest.
North also helped other administration officials at the Federal Emergency Management Administration develop contingency plans for suspending the Constitution, establishing martial law, and holding political dissidents in concentration camps in the event of "national opposition against a U.S. military invasion abroad." There were reports of similar activities and preparations in response to the opposition to the Gulf War in 1991. More on COINTELPRO and the like can be found in War At Home, by Brian Glick.
There was McCarthyism, the witch hunts and the “red scare” of the 1950s; which went, essentially, after the Communist Party, Hollywood people and a few others. For decades the Black community and increasingly the Brown community in the U.S. has been living under a “designer” police state. Today, a preponderance of those proliferating, spying, police cameras are mainly in the Black and Brown communities. One current underground Hip Hop song says “we put up cameras too.”
The Colorado Legislature has legalized the putting of Computer chips into pit bulls or vicious dogs in order to track them. You can just imagine what’s next. Watch your back! Soon, a computer chip may be coming to an ass near you.
FASCISM AND THE MEDIA
Fascism is manifested in many ways as it relates to the Bush Administration and the Press. They have been putting journalists on the government payroll and tightly scripting all public events, dismissing all dissenting views as biased and politically motivated, eliminating access to information by making it virtually impossible for journalist to get at vast areas of information about the federal government.
In 1996 reactionary Australian, Rupert Murdoch, launched Fox Cable News Network a powerful and strident supporter of right wing causes and the Bush doctrine. Murdoch’s Clear Channel Network also owns 1, 200 radio stations. Many of these stations offer non-stop backward, reactionary jibberish by the likes of fools like Rush Limbaugh but also control major urban markets that feature no news at all and pump out music twenty four hours per day seven days per week.
Even though the Bush regime has so much control over so much media, they have been brutally attacking a once source of dissenting information—the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CBC).
Reports are that White House loyalist inside the CBC have launched a crusade to remake the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) and National Public Radio (NPR) and other public media into official mouthpieces. Apparently the campaign was led by Karl Rove confidant, Kenneth Tomlinson, who left the CBC board in disgrace after an Inspector General’s report found he violated federal law to monitor and influence PBS programming and used “political tests” to hire Patricia Harrison as president of the agency.
E-mail traffic between Rove and Tomlinson and the white House hand behind the back room maneuvering sits under lock and key at the CBC. Tomlinson is gone but he has left behind a cast of GOP operatives. Newly elected CPB chairwoman Cheryl Halpern and vice chairwoman Gay Hart Gaines are both major fundraisers for GOP candidates and causes. New CPB president Harrison has stacked CPB offices with former State Department officers skilled in “public diplomacy” and propaganda.
Reactionary Black pundit Armstrong Williams was paid $240,000 to promote a Bush program. It was discovered in November 2005 that U. S, army officers have been secretly paying Iraqi journalists to produce upbeat newspaper, radio and television reports about American military operations and the conduct of the war in Iraq.
The Bush Administration has also been undermining public trust in journalism as they sow hostility against any journalist with a dissenting view. Such is the case with Dan Rather. It happened in the height of the 2000 Bush-Kerry presidential campaign, coming off the Swift Boat Veteran’s Smearing of John Kerry’s “heroic” Vietnam legacy of killing Vietnamese people. On September 8, 2004, 60 Minutes on CBS featured an interview with former Texas Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes, a Democrat who claimed that in 1968 he pulled strings to get young Mr. Bush into the Guard, a popular option for men hoping to avoid the draft and possible service in Vietnam.
The piece also featured four documents purported to be memos written by one of Mr. Bush’s Guard commanders, Lt. Col. Jerry Killian. The purported memos appeared to answer longstanding questions about a period of Mr. Bush’s service in 1972, during which he missed a physical and did not drill for months after he joined an Alabama Unit.
Dan Rather was not exposing anything new: the story of Bush’s privilege and absenteeism has been repeatedly documented since it was first exposed in 2000 by the Boston Globe. The substance of the CBS story had been verified by people in Bush’s Guard unit at the time.
The questioned documents indicated that Mr. Bush had disobeyed a direct order to appear for his physical, and that friends of the Bush family tried to “sugar coat” any probe of the young lieutenant’s lapses.
The Republicans immediately raised questions about the authenticity of the documents that Rather had produced. The White House communications director, Dan Bartlett accused CBS and a high-level adviser to the Kerry Campaign of coordinating a personal attack on Mr. Bush, according to CBS News White House correspondent, Bill Plante.
The source of the documents, Bill Burkett, admitted to CBS that he lied about obtaining the documents from another former National Guard member, the network said. Burkett had earlier claimed that as a Guard official, he had in 1997, seen allies of then Gov. Bush discuss destroying military files that might embarrass the governor, who was mulling a presidential run. The allegation has never been proved.
Burkett, in an interview with Dan Rather on CBS Evening News, said he was pressured by CBS to reveal his source for the documents, and “I simply threw out a name that was basically, I guess, to get a little pressure off for the moment.”
CBS hasn’t been able to conclusively tell how Burkett got the documents or even definitely tell whether they’re fakes. But the network has given up trying to defend them. It fired Dan Rather and three other top CBS officials.
Dan Rather has since asserted in a C-SPAN interview with Marvin Kalb that he believed the Bush National Guard story to be accurate. Democratic Congressman, Maurice Hinchey of New York has suggested that Dan Rather was set up and that political mastermind Karl Rove was behind the fake documents. Further, Hinchey said that the media had been attacked and manipulated. He said, further, “What we are seeing is very new and very dangerous. No administration has attempted to manipulate the facts and information and to manipulate the news media to distort the facts…as we are seeing in this administration.”
The Fascist implications in all this are crystal clear. The Bush Administration has used a very heavy hammer on Dan Rather for a relatively small error—possibly a set-up—while they carryout lie after lie, distortion after distortion, several of which have covered huge crimes against humanity and cost $billions in material resources and untold destruction and death of Iraqis and American youth.
This is not only an attack on Dan Rather but is designed to frighten other journalist, editors, artists, intellectuals, writers, and anyone who would dare to even remotely oppose George W. Bush, “the Fuhrer.” In their view, their quest for oil, the key to global dominance, can only be achieved through Fascist domination of politics, the press, culture, religion, armed force and everything moving on the domestic front.
We must never forget how George W. Bush came to power in the first place. In the 2000 Election in the U.S. there was far more subterfuge, chicanery, threat of violence than in the initial rise of Mussolini or Hitler. While initially, Mussolini had many opposition people all around him, the cabinet of George W. Bush was completely filled with reactionaries from the top to the bottom and from the front to the back, from the outset.
In Florida leading up to the 2000 Presidential Election even without fraud, 400,000 former prisoners were prevented from voting affecting the potential vote in poor communities. Thousands upon thousands of Black college students were turned away with voter registration cards in hand. Ballots were thrown out because of irregularities on the ballots themselves.
Many Creole speaking Haitians were turned away because there was no interpreter present, as is mandated by law. Allegedly, some ballots were pre-punched. Police roadblocks were set up between Black voters and the polls to discourage Black voters. Some voters were sent from one polling place to another until the polls closed. This was a tactic used during reconstruction.
Voters without Florida IDs were turned away, though the law says that they can cast “affidavit ballots.” In some counties, minority voters say they were asked for photo IDs while white voters were not or turned away when they showed up with voter card and picture ID. People who lacked a photo ID or weren’t on the rolls were put into a “problem line,” where they were told voting officials were trying to call headquarters to find out what to do. But the lines were jammed and they just couldn’t get through. Discouraged voters just gave up and went home.
It was discovered that in Florida and across the country the rich counties or areas, had newer and more accurate voting equipment and poor counties or areas, often had dilapidated machines that spoil and miscount disproportionate numbers of ballots. Thirteen Million ex-prisoners across the U.S. who have paid their debt to society are denied the vote for life.
You no doubt remember all the thousands upon thousands votes that were disqualified by hanging chads, dimpled chads, tricky, misleading ballots, in “select” communities of course. To add insult to injury, even though Al Gore had more popular votes than George W. Bush, the highly political Supreme Court, “selected” George W. Bush as President. According to Supreme Court Expert, David Boies, in Courting Justice they could have just as easily “selected” Al Gore. 85, 000 votes were thrown out in Florida and 144,000 votes were discounted in poor communities in Illinois.
How Fascist is this? Leading up to the 2004 Presidential Election, armed, police, thugs, who answer to Florida Governor, and brother to the President, Jeb Bush, were going through the homes of shut-in, disabled, elderly Blacks—intimidating, threatening and frightening them into not voting. This act resulted in the suppression of untold numbers of Black votes in Florida. A New York Times article by Bob Herbert goes into greater detail on this issue.
I maintain that the 2004 Election was stolen in cyberspace—so smoothly, so quietly that nothing, obvious, was left to even protest. No one can say with certainty that it wasn’t. As an example, Bush got 4,000 votes in one Ohio precinct in which only 600 people voted. Every single electronic voting machine company is associated with George W. Bush and/or funded by his base, the “Religious Fundamentalist Movement.”
The 2004 Election employed the most wide-spread use of electronic voting machines ever. Most of these machines leave no paper trail. We know that they can be rigged such that someone can vote for Kerry, say, and the vote can be registered for Bush.
Every single manufacturer of Electronic voting machines is in cahoots with George W, Bush or his political base, the Religious Right wing. One company, Diebold, had to be removed from the 2004 election because they openly claimed that they would deliver the election to George W. Bush.
Check out the internet article “How George W. Bush won the 2004 Presidential Election.” Also check out the electronic voting machine companies—Diebold, Electronic Systems & Software, Sequoia, and Data Base Technologies, now “Choice Point.” Yes it’s the same “Choice Point” mentioned above.
Dr. Rebecca Mercuri, a leading independent, expert on electronic voting technology, maintains that any programmer can write code that displays one thing on a screen, records something else, and prints yet another result. She says that there is no known way to ensure that this is not happening inside a voting system. She reports further, that no electronic voting system has been certified to even the lowest levels of U.S. Government or international computer security standards.
The worse part of this is that there is no public outcry to regulate these electronic voting machines, therefore, they are in full effect for future elections.
Finally, check out the most Fascist election issue of them all. Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Secretary made plans to suspend or reschedule the 2000 Presidential Election. A letter from DeForest B. Soares Jr., chair of U.S. Election Assistance Commission suggested that the way to avoid the confusion of 2000 was to suspend the election. Tom Ridge went to the Justice Department’s “Office of Legal Council” to find out what legal steps could be taken to suspend the 2000 election. They were using a possible “terrorist threat” as the pretext but they were actively preparing for this as a “contingency plan.”
Don’t be surprised if we see this again when Bush’s Term is about to be over.
MILITARISM AND THE IRAQI WAR
Militarism is a key ingredient in Fascism. The U.S. has over 700 military bases around the world and in a country that has traditionally spent $trillions on national defense, the Bush Administration has increased defense spending by 34%. The Bush administration epitomizes the aspect of Fascism that seeks world dominance.
The facts and the pretext to the invasion of Iraq are so transparently at loggerheads; that Ray Charles could see through this sham. The CIA claimed early on that Osama Ben Laden and the al Qaida network were responsible for the events of “911” and while all the world seemed to believe this, the U.S., in some apparently really twisted logic, invaded Iraq. It’s not so much that they are stupid as much as they think we are. The Bush Administration has carried out a cold “in your face” series of pretexts and justifications for the invasion of Iraq. The minute one broke down they came up with others and not very cleaver ones, at that. They went from the search for Osama Ben Laden, to weapons of mass destruction, to regime change, to Operation Iraqi Freedom and more.
The founder of Fascism, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini also had a very low regard for the thinking ability of the Italian people. In the case of the U. S. the powers that be have worked overtime to “dumb-down” the American people. Like Mussolini, when the lies break down they have the ready and waiting shock troops.
There is method to this madness. Since the energy crisis of the 1970s, over 30 years ago, the Persian Gulf has been in the crosshairs of an influential group of Washington foreign-policy strategists, who believe that in order to ensure its global dominance, the United States must seize control of the region and its oil. According to Robert Dreyfus this is the Kissinger Plan.
These strategists have stayed in tact while several
Administrations came and went. They have found the most attentive ear in the Bush Administration. According to the March/April 2003 Mother Jones article “The Thirty Year Itch” by Robert Dreyfus “they are a feisty group of hard line, pro-Israeli thinkers, especially the hawkish circle aligned with Democratic senators Henry Jackson of Washington and the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York.
Eventually, this amalgam of strategists came to be known as "Neo-conservatives," (Neo Cons) and they played important roles in President Reagan's Defense Department and at think tanks and academic policy centers in the 1980s. Led by Richard Perle, chairman of the Pentagon's influential Defense Policy Board, and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, they now occupy several dozen key posts in the White House, the Pentagon, and the State Department. At the top, they are closest to Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who have been closely aligned since both men served in the White House under President Ford in the mid-1970s. They also clustered around Cheney when he served as secretary of defense during the Gulf War in 1991.”
An important lesson to be learned from this is that a section of the Bourgeoisie can drive things toward Fascism. These “Neo Cons” represent such a section of the U.S. ruling class.
Also, according to Dreyfus in this Mother Jones article the desert sands of the Persian Gulf hold two of every three barrels of oil in the world. Iraq's reserves alone are equal, by some estimates, to those of Russia, the United States, China, and Mexico combined.
Iraq, he says, in this view, is a strategic prize of unparalleled importance. Unlike the oil beneath Alaska's frozen tundra, locked away in the steppes of central Asia, or buried under stormy seas, Iraq's crude is readily accessible and, at less than $1.50 a barrel, some of the cheapest in the world to produce.
The build up of resources, armaments and bases in the gulf region has been massive since the Gulf War of 1991 in preparation for the invasion of Iraq. “911” was a shaky but adequate pretext, for them.
The issue here is not about Vice President Cheney and President Bush, both former oilmen, looking at the Gulf simply for the profits that can be earned there. The administration is thinking bigger, much bigger, than that.
"Controlling Iraq is about oil as power, rather than oil as fuel," says Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College and author of Resource Wars. "Control over the Persian Gulf translates into control over Europe, Japan, and China—in short—the world.
This explains why the Bush administration will never put a time-table on troop withdrawal from Iraq. No matter how many times they change the pretext for the invasion of Iraq or how much the whole world opposes this pre-emptive war, the Bush Administration and its cohorts are driven toward absolute world dominance through cornering the oil of the world. The timetable for withdrawal from Iraq is intimately linked with the time table for world dominance.
To carryout this foreign policy, domestically, they must keep down protest and opposition by any and all means even if it means proverbial jack-booted FBI and “Blue Shirts” not only serving national security letters but carrying out the perfunctory knock on the door followed by massive “roundups” and more and bigger concentration camps than the ones that already warehouse more prisoners, per capita, than any other country in the world.
Not only has the Officers Corps of the U.S. military been quietly taken over by right wing reactionaries but they have introduced their right wing religious fundamentalism into the military officer’s training schools. Protests of this practice have yielded only recriminations for the protestors and the practice is so entrenched that it continues to grow deeper.
At the Air Force Academy Mickey Weinstein, a graduate of the Academy, has been embroiled in a law suite to prohibit its members from widespread efforts to pressure, exhort, persuade and attempt to convert everyone to their Christian Fascist views. His son, a current student at the academy, has been the victim of overt anti-Semitism. When Mickey Weinstein checked into the doings at the Air Force Academy he had this to say: “It’s not a Christian Jew thing, it’s evangelical Christian vs. everybody else. The viciousness is as bad against mainline Protestants as it is against Catholics as it is against Jews.” The bottom line on all this is that these Christian Fascist Forces in the military are prepared to forcibly ram their agenda through if need be.
In addition to ever rising Fascism, this government uses contrived law after contrived law, organization after organization—NAFTA, CAFTA, the World Trade Organization (WTO) The International Monetary Fund (IMF) The World Bank as the U.S. Military backs these and multinational corporations in enslaving and robbing the people of the world blind.
Only a determined people, acting outside the guidelines of established rules for struggle can defeat this menace. The first rule of Fascism is that it is unlawful oppose the Fascist regime. If the people see a menace that is crushing us and the whole world, then it is the duty of the people to take history into their hands and overthrow this and all forms of exploitation of humans by humans.
MISCELLANEOUS OTHER EXAMPLES OF THE ARRIVAL OF FASCISM IN THE U.S.
Benito Mussolini’s Fascist movement appeared in 1919 and took advantage of the privations and disappointments of the Italian defeat in World War I as surely as the Bush Administration has taken advantage of the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or (“911”) to promote its Fascist ends.
A major ingredient in Fascism is rabid nationalism. In the early days of the invasion of Iraq—the 2003 invasion—American flags were flying form all sorts of motor vehicles, buildings, out of the windows of homes and businesses. This was truly a Nazi-type frenzy. There has been a steady thrust to pledge allegiance to the flag and pray to the fundamentalist god in schools. Even today, while much of the citizenry has essentially dropped the flag waving or relegated them to bumper stickers, the captive occupations are stuck with it.
All athletes in major college and professional sports have the reactionary red, white and blue flag on their helmets, jerseys or uniforms in some way. Even the referees in the bowl games have large flags displayed over their zebra stripes. The grave stones of soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan are inscribed with the pentagons war marketing slogans like “shock and awe.”
Estimates are that the U.S. has over 9,000 prisoners in secret prisons scattered around the world, especially in countries where torture is legal. The torture of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghrab prison in Iraq is well publicized with photographs to corroborate the claims. All indications were that the despicable treatment of these prisoners was advocated and approved at the highest levels of the U.S. Government. Yet, only the lowest ranking people in the chain of command were prosecuted.
The treatment of Middle Eastern detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba can only be terrible in the extreme. Not much information has been forthcoming about their treatment. However, a little while ago 34, 000 Haitian refugees were being detained at Guantanamo Bay and they were not even enemy combatants. This is what one of them had to say: "We were in a space cordoned off with barbed wire. Wherever they put you, you were meant to stay right there; there was no place to move. The latrines were brimming over. There was never any cold water to drink, to wet our lips. There was only water in a cistern, boiling in the hot sun. When you drank it, it gave you diarrhea... rats crawled over us at night... when we saw all these things, we thought, it's not possible, it can't go like this. We're humans, just like everyone else.”
Other Haitians reported that they were beaten by the American troops and forced to sleep on the ground. This vast tent city allowed rain to regularly douse its victims. It was infested with snakes and scorpions. The food often had maggots in it and they were forced to eat it. Many more atrocities were heaped upon the long suffering Haitian masses. I can’t imagine its any better for the Middle Eastern detainees at Guantanamo Bay, many of whom have attempted to commit suicide but have been forcibly kept alive by the American Troops.
Another Fascist feature of the Bush Administration is the steady erosion of the separation of church and state. The U.S. has experienced a steady drive toward a one party, right wing, religious, fundamentalist state. A major part of the base of George W. Bush is a huge, backward, religious fundamentalist, evangelical, movement. A December 2005 article in Vanity Fair says that there are 70 million evangelicals in the U.S., 25% of the population. They attend 200, 000 Evangelical churches most of which are run by pastors who belong to conservative political organizations and make sure their flocks vote as a hard right Republican bloc.
A part of the thrust is to use religious organizations as social service agencies. The most blatant example of the marriage between church and state is the “faith based initiative program.”
From the very start of the Bush Administration there was a move toward vouchers and greater privatization of education. Vouchers not only undermine public education but this is a method through which every right-wing reactionary, hate group can obtain taxpayer dollars to finance their racist intentions.
Right from the beginning, the Bush Administration proposed that religious organizations receive public funds to carry out social services. This was a blatant attempt on the part of Bush to financially reward and beef-up his power base among the reactionary right-wing Christian Fascists.
From the beginning the plan was for the Bush Administration to carefully choose which of the nation’s 350, 000 churches, mosques and synagogues would receive this proposed $24 billion over ten years.
In the beginning the concept of compassionate conservatism, which, spewing from the smirky, twisted mouth of George W. Bush, was a code word taken from an extremely reactionary social doctrine developed by a hate-filled pig—a fundamentalist, strategist, Marvin Olasky (who became an adviser to the new president). This doctrine was based in the idea that there is something morally wrong with people who are in need—with people who are poor, who have run away from home, who are grappling with alcoholism and other addictions, or who face violence in the family.
This view insists that such people are not suffering from oppression or from the workings of an oppressive society—that people don’t need social change and that they don’t even necessarily need a helping hand. What they need, above all, is to adopt the world-view of compassionate conservatism. This meant that people must change themselves by adopting fundamentalist religious morality, to stop being sinners to “get right with God.”
This is an approach that blames the people for their own oppression. In conservative religious circles, the idea that such things are social problems is denounced as a theory of victimization and a denial of personal responsibility. A significant number of oppressed people have been drawn into mimicking these victimization views.
Political strategist of the Republican Party had long argued that they needed to find some way to develop a more influential foot hold within oppressed communities, especially among Black people to weaken responses within the Black community in opposition to their reactionary policies.
When Bush rolled out his “faith based initiative” in January of 2001, he showed off support from conservative Black preachers like T.D. Jakes, a leading figure within the Promise Keeper’s Movement. At other critical times, Bush has been able to trot out T.D. Jakes who walks in goose step with the reactionary, Fascist, Bush regime. Another example of this is Jakes’ putting his ass in position to bolster the position of George W. Bush after the Hurricane Katrina debacle—standing shoulder to shoulder with Bush on national TV, attempting to save the public image of the new Fuhrer.
The results of funding social programs based on these reactionary beliefs are easy to imagine. Abused teenage runaways might be told that their problem is rebelliousness against God and their parents—and the solution is submission. Religious conservatives who believe that divorce is a sin will now be able to get federal funding to tell battered women to “rebuild their marriages.” Poor people picking up food at a federally funded pantry will face sermons on how poverty is caused by “sin” and lack of personal responsibility. People entering some government drug treatment program will be told their problem is a weak will and sinful heart—and would be offered Bible study as the solution.
These extreme and reactionary policies are being wrapped in the language of religious morality, simply because this way of presenting their programs gets over best. This is because so many people have been duped into not questioning anything that rides under the umbrella of religion.
In Texas, where Governor Bush tried out his “faith based” policies, Christian agencies were offered exemption from state regulation and could choose inspection by a special board made up of other Christian preachers. There were scandals involving the harsh beating, physical restraint, isolation and other cruel punishments of children and teenagers that were justified using passages from Christian scripture.
The utter cruelty of this form of state based cultural war on the people is exposed by the devil that Bush initially chose to run the Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI). He put John J. Dilulio Jr. in charge of the White House OFBCI.
Dilulio is the social theorist who whipped up a massive hype some years ago about the supposed danger of a vicious new generation of “super predators” who Dilulio said were remorseless youngsters who needed to be identified and locked up forever. This “theory”—which was complete crap and appeared in an influential 1996 book, Body Count, edited by the notorious William Bennett. The concepts in this book were used to jack up mandatory sentences, justify trying youths in adult court, and carry out general wholesale repression of Black and Latino Youth on the street. So you see the 2005, diatribe by William Bennett that the way to stop crime was to abort Black babies was no accident or slip of the tongue.
We don’t hear too much about the Faith Based initiative movement these days. There has been some opposition to it in the Congress because of the obvious violation of church and state in some of its language. Behind the scenes this program is alive and kicking. Federal, state and local governments have been constantly redesigning their programs so as to be hospitable to faith based organizations. The White House hosted and President Bush addressed a Faith-Based Conference in March 2005. The White House planned and carried out a workshop in Kansas City, MO. on Thursday, January 12, 2006. This workshop was designed to show Faith-Based organizations that have not yet been paid, how to use the proper language in their applications so that they could get on the Fascist, Faith-Based band wagon.
Finally the “Faith-Based Care Act has been hammered out in such a way that it has passed in the Senate and in now waiting for a house vote. This act will greatly entrench the Faith-Based program.
Many of the signs of Fascism in the U.S. are plain to see—the telephoning of the press by National Security Advisor, now Secretary of State Condolezza Rice telling the press what and what not to report on; the paying of reactionaries like Armstrong Williams to promote certain Bush Administration policies; the paying of certain foreign news services to report stories in deference to the Bush Administration.
The suppression of science is legion with the Fascist Bush Administration whether it’s trying to crush stem cell research or promoting “creationism” or “intelligent design” or just trying to get people to accept the world and things in it on blind faith.
They drag their feet on the development of alternative energy sources, AIDS and Cancer research; while being the penultimate terrorists of the world as they carryout mass murder in a preemptive war for the Earth’s limited supply of fossil fuel—oil—the use of which depletes the ozone layer of the Earth’s atmosphere leading to global warming, which in turn appears to lead to more and greater natural disasters like the recent Tsunami in Asia and more and more powerful hurricanes like those that the Gulf Coast of the U.S. experienced in the summer of 2005.
While the U.S. has been shown to be the Earth’s greatest producer of ozone layer damaging “green house gasses, they are the first to abandon the Kyoto Accords in which the nations of the world have joined together to limit such pollution. In another case they abandoned the World Conference on Racism.
Here are a few more undeniable examples of the unabridged Fascism of the Bush Administration. Republicans killed a defense spending bill because the Mc Cain Amendment prohibited “cruel, degrading, and inhuman treatment” of detainees. President Bush threatens to veto a 442 billion dollar defense bill if Congress investigates detainee abuses. Bush calls Amnesty International’s “gulag” report absurd (three times in two sentences) He stated “ For Amnesty International to suggest that somehow the United States is a violator of human rights, I frankly don’t take them seriously”
The Guantanamo Judge said “ I don’t care about international law. I don’t want to hear the words International law again. We are not concerned with international law. Rumsfeld sought to approve new guidelines that would formalize the administration’s policy of imprisoning without the protections of the Geneva conventions and enable the pentagon to legally hold “ghost detainees” U.S. prepares to detain terror suspects for life without trial. U.S. OK’s evidence obtained through torture.
The U.S. has been a bully toward the world community and international law in an all around way. They refused to pay U.N. dues for an unprecedented amount of time. The U.S. has refused to cooperate with the International criminal Court. July 1, 2003: U.S. suspends military aid to nearly 50 countries because they have supported the international Criminal Court and failed to exempt Americans from possible prosecution.
Funny thing about this—after putting up exceedingly stiff resistance to an investigation into the events of 911, the Bush Administration attempted to appoint Henry Kissinger as chairman of the 911 investigation. Henry Kissinger is not only (it appears) the architect of the current middle East Policy but is the world’s most famous international criminal sought by the International Criminal Court.
Fascism protects corporate power. We have seen the consummate protection of corporate power to the point that corporations now usurp the power of whole governments on a global scale. We have witnessed with our own eyes the suppression of labor power to the point where a vast world of workers are forced into unemployment on the one hand and brutal wage slavery on the other. We see the constant shrinking of unions and workers rights and strikes made illegal in more and more industries, with government protection of the right of the rich to rob and enslave, essentially, most of the workers of the whole world.
Fascism features blatant sexism and we see under the current regime constant attacks on women’s reproductive rights with getting on the Supreme Court or not hinging on how you stand on this issue. With the selection of Judge Samuel Alito by George W. Bush to replace Sandra Day O Connor as Supreme Court Justice, Bush not only gets a fool who would overturn women’s reproductive rights under Roe V Wade but Alito also agrees with the Fascist over reach of presidential powers.
This is as good a place as any to put forward my observation that in the U.S. the Supreme Court usurped powers that belonged to the Congress in settling the 2000 Gore-Bush deadlock in “selecting” George W. Bush in the first place. Even so, after seizing this power, as we have stated earlier they could just as easily have selected Gore who actually had more popular votes. Now Bush goes and appoints Alito who agrees with these dictatorial presidential powers. There is an ever deepening cyclical pattern of collusion of the executive and Judicial Branches of the Government that, in effect, stifles the Congress, the elected representatives of the people.
We see constant gay bashing and laws that discriminate against people because of their sexual orientation. This system carries out a constant assault on art programs inside and outside the schools and generally assaults the ability of the poor to get higher education through attacks on affirmative action and the general withdrawal of the necessary funds.
The world under the current Fascist regime is not getting better. It is getting worse in an exponential way. The perpetrators will not stop of their own accord. They must be stopped by the oppressed and the allies of the oppressed. The thorough criminal nature of this system has made their rules of how to struggle against them defunct. The people must have their own set of rules by which to struggle and fight. Under the circumstances, those rules can only be the rules of scientific revolution.
The U.S. Imperialists have become the leaders of a scourge that is so antagonistic to the advance of humanity that they must be stopped by any and all means. The mushrooming cloud of Fascism is a blight that further crushes the life out of long-suffering people in the U.S. and around the globe. In the quest for profits and power, for a few, this scheme of things is increasingly grinding the people to a pulp on the one hand and choking-off their ability to say or do anything about it on the other.
In a world of such obvious plenty, their system forces millions to suffer mightily and die from starvation on earth’s richest lands. Death is rampant from curable disease, abuse and neglect from the likes of power hungry, profit mongering fools like those in charge of the U.S and world affairs today.
The rulers have established all kinds of acceptable guidelines for struggling against them but Fascism trumps all their other laws and rules. They are repeatedly going out side their own decrepit laws to a form of “legalized” lawlessness. This is exactly what the granting of all this unchecked power to the FBI and police is—“legalized” lawlessness. They can now go into your home when you’re not there. How Fascist is this?
The rulers need to employ these extreme measures—national security letters, every kind of eavesdropping and spying, preemptive war, “rendition” and torture in secret prisons, endless detention without representation or trial—and all the rest, not because they are so strong but because they are so weak.
Remember that expression “the darkest hour is just before dawn?” This just may be where things stand now. Their raw exploitation and oppression of the people of the world has raised the ire of the people of the world. More people have protested the Iraqi War than any protests of any event in human history. But of course, the rulers have control of the media and can down play such things.
The inauguration of President Bush in 2000 drew more protesters to Washington than any inauguration in history. But they have control of the media and can distort and slant such things. The world-wide protests against the abuses of the WTO have been ongoing, massive and powerful but those who control society also control the major means of communication and promote the news that helps to keep them in power.
In order to maintain and extend their profit grubbing system, the U.S. Imperialists must resort to Fascism because the people of the whole world are sick to death of their exploitative oppressive system and are rising continuously through protests, civil disobedience and growing violent insurgency and revolution against these global gangsters.
With crystal clarity, we can see that this system offers no meaningful checks and balances in this plunge into Fascism and that all three branches of the U.S. Government, the Judicial, Executive and Legislative branches (whether through weakness, complicity or both) are part and parcel of this disaster. We cannot look for the system of Fascism, exploitation and oppression to save us from the system of Fascism, exploitation and oppression. Things have gone way too far for this type of naivety.
Anyone who sees this, even those who have never protested before, must petition, march, strike and speak out against these crimes in schools, universities, beauty and barber shops, in churches, busses, trains and any place we find ourselves. We must make this issue of Fascism, exploitation and oppression the subject of our art, poetry, movies, plays, books and any and all the ways we can use to save the world from a form of Fascism that has far more resources and reach than Hitler, Mussolini, Franco and “Papa Doc” in Haiti had put together.
For starters, the people of the world must demand and insure that Bush, Cheney and others stand trial for massive crimes against humanity. It is in fact, precisely, the type of preemptive war that the Bush Administration is engaged in Iraq that many Nazis were successfully prosecuted for in the Nuremburg trials after WWII.
With their laundry list of international crimes, it is no wonder that they usurp the International Criminal Court. But even if they didn’t, these courts are essentially under their control. The trials of Bush and Cheney should not take place in existing international courts or the U.N. courts. These courts are either, rubber stamps for U.S. interests or other avaricious, anti-environment, corrupt monopoly corporations, banks, and insurance companies around the world. We must demand a court constituted by international non-profit NGO’s like Doctors Without Borders, Greenpeace, and Amnesty International.
We must harbor no illusions that putting Bush and Cheney on trial for their crimes will end the exploitation and oppression the people here and around the world face twenty four seven, three sixty five. The conviction of Bush and Cheney can make the battle field more favorable to those who are fighting and yearning to be free. It can help to open up the battle field against the rich and their monopoly, corporate serving profit system. Convicting Bush and Cheney could benefit people’s movements in the U.S. and around the globe in the struggle against exploitation and oppression.
We must, however, take things far beyond convicting Bush and Cheney. We must not and we cannot stop short of ending all forms of exploitation and oppression in the world. This is a big job but no job is too big for the unleashed power of the people of the world. We can overturn this monstrous system but it will require a thorough scientific understanding of the situation, fearlessness, undying determination plus massive organization and coordination of the scattered, un-systematic resources and efforts of the people of the world.
The system of exploitation, despite its claims of checks and balances, cannot possibly correct itself. The vast majority of so-called revolutionary parties and movements of the world have lost their way, whether through “cult of the personality” jibberish, cooption, capitulation, heartlessness, or just bad science and a poor assessment of the situation at hand.
As surprising as the rise of Fascism in the U.S. may be to some people, it may be just as surprising that a revolutionary party has been born that is capable of standing up to U.S. Imperialism and all its lackys and act-a-likes of the world. Through decades of unflinching struggle, to join theory with practice the Revolutionary Internationalist Socialist Party (RISP) has been born.
Now, the masses of the world have that once missing ingredient without which it could not free itself. That ingredient is true resolute, scientific, fearless, revolutionary leadership. That leadership exists through the Revolutionary Internationalist Socialist Party. RISP is the new Vanguard imbued with the “mass line,” grounded with the principle of deep criticism and self criticism, standing against the Bourgeoisie and all exploiting classes.
The existence of such a party hastens the emergence of a bright new dawn of true mass participation in the affairs of government and a harnessing of the human and material resources of this planet for the benefit of all not just for the profit and power of a few.
The current strategy of U.S. Imperialism was only exercised
when they looked around and saw themselves as the world’s only superpower. They are on a mission to prevent the rise of another superpower. Little do they know that the world’s other superpower is the sleeping, disorganize, mass of millions upon millions of slaves, and wage slaves—employed and unemployed—and all the millions who just want to see fair play in the world. This mighty force is just dying to breath free from U.S. Imperialism, its other wannabes and all their attendant ills.
The cry for freedom is on the lips of every mother of the world who must put her babies to bed without food and medical care. The cry for freedom is on the hearts of every father enslaved in brutal work places around the world that cannot feed their families adequately or those who have no work at all, in a world with vast resources and millions of deeds crying out to be done.
Those who are forced to fight their class brother and sisters in brutal preemptive war or those languishing in prisons because of the crimes of the state and many, many more are dying to be free from this system, as we see all around us the means to make life abundant and beautiful.
We must not grow accustomed to this unfair, abusive set-up.
The missing link in all this is a revolutionary party that can give voice and guide the necessary actions to bring this Fascist, imperialistic scourge to an end and lead the making of a people friendly world in its wake. We deserve a better world but we must fight for it relentlessly, with tools that are a match for the task at hand.
Help RISP galvanize all the scattered unsystematic and systematic struggles against the system of Fascism, exploitation and oppression into one giant fighting fist. Follow and join our growing power at www.risparty.org. Let’s end all forms of exploitation and oppression in the world.
© Lee Roy Rouge 2006