Justice Department takes on itself in probe of 2001 anthrax attacks


The Washinton Post
Published: Jan 27th
By Jerry Markon

Since it began a decade ago, the federal government’s massive investigation of the 2001 anthrax attacks has been plagued by missteps and complications.

Investigators initially focused on the wrong man, then had to pay him a nearly $6 million settlement. In 2008, they accused another man, Bruce E. Ivins, who killed himself before he could go to trial.

Now, in the latest twist, the government has argued against itself.

In documents deep in the files of a recently settled Florida lawsuit, Justice Department civil attorneys contradicted their own department’sconclusion that Ivins was unquestionably the anthrax killer. The lawyers said the type of anthrax in Ivins’s lab was “radically different” from the deadly anthrax. They cited several witnesses who said Ivins was innocent, and they suggested that a private laboratory in Ohio could have been involved in the attacks.

The unusual spectacle of one arm of the Justice Department publicly questioning another has the potential to undermine one of the most high-profile investigations in years, according to critics and independent experts who reviewed the court filings.

“I cannot think of another case in which the government has done such an egregious about-face. It destroys confidence in the criminal findings,’’ said Paul Rothstein, a law professor at Georgetown University.

The documents were filed in a lawsuit over the October 2001 death of Robert Stevens, a Florida photo editor who was the first victim of the attacks. His survivors accused the government of negligence for experimenting with anthrax at Fort Detrick, a case that lingered in court until the Justice Department quietly settled it in late November.

The case, Stevens v. United States, offers a rare glimpse inside a typically unified and notoriously tight-lipped agency that collided with itself in a particularly controversial investigation. While the guilt of Ivins is likely to be a subject of public speculation and intrigue for years to come, the government’s inconsistency in the Stevens matter is sure to add another layer to that debate.

Justice Department prosecutors and FBI officials said they stand firmly behind their conclusions that Ivins prepared and mailed the anthrax-laced letters, which killed five people and terrified the nation just after Sept. 11, 2001. They said the civil filings were legal hypotheticals designed to shield the government from a negligence lawsuit filed by the family of an anthrax victim.

Yet last summer, when criminal investigators learned that their conclusions had apparently been challenged — and by their colleagues, no less — they were surprised and frustrated, leading to shouting matches within the department before it rushed to change portions of the filings, according to people familiar with the events.

Experts said that the civil lawyers went beyond the typical arguments attorneys make to avoid government liability, especially in a situation in which the Justice Department’s criminal side had already accused Ivins.

“When there have been so many public statements about Ivins’s guilt, someone higher up in the department should have seen this collision coming down the tracks,’’ Rothstein said.

Critics said that the confusion has raised new doubts about the already disputed criminal investigation of Ivins . The Fort Detrick scientist committed suicide in 2008 as investigators were closing in on him, and the Justice Department closed the case in 2010.

The Stevens case documents “should put a gun to the case and explode it,” said Meryl Nass, a physician who — along with many of Ivins’s colleagues and some members of Congress — has long questioned his guilt.

Paul F. Kemp, a lawyer for Ivins, said the civil lawsuit creates “not just reasonable doubt” about Ivins’s guilt but “millions of reasonable doubts.”

Justice Department and FBI officials counter that the evidence remains overwhelming that Ivins alone sent the spore-laden letters to news media and two U.S. Senate offices, which also sickened 17 people. The department did not provide civil division lawyers to comment on the case.

Department officials acknowledged that the civil filings appeared contradictory but attributed that to imprecise wording, some of which was corrected, and they said the civil attorneys were just doing their jobs.

“Whatever we say, there’s always going to be some percent of the public that will say Ivins didn’t do this,” said Rachel Lieber, an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the District who would have led the prosecution of Ivins. “People are entitled to their own views, but if you take a rational approach and look at the evidence, you come to the conclusion that it’s overwhelming.”

In defending the government against the Stevens lawsuit, civil lawyers tried to create distance between the Army lab where Ivins worked and the killer anthrax.

The lawyers wrote that the lab lacked the specialized equipment required to prepare the killer anthrax, a statement the Justice Department later retracted. They also cited a scientific report that had questioned the FBI’s key conclusion linking Ivins’s flask of anthrax spores to the attacks.

That conflicted with the department’s criminal side, which had closely linked Ivins, his lab and the deadly anthrax. The FBI had strongly suggested Ivins prepared the killer spores in the lab, pointing to the anthrax he maintained there, highly sophisticated equipment in the facility and his unusual late-night hours around the time of the attacks.

After the documents were filed publicly, the civil attorneys, who had not checked beforehand with the FBI or U.S. attorney’s office, “got scolded, and rightly so,” said one person familiar with the events, who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe internal matters. “If you file something in court that you don’t word perfectly and you have to go back and refile it, you should get yelled at for that.”

Richard Schuler, an attorney for the Stevens family, said “there’s no question” that the government’s decision to avoid a trial in the civil case was related to the conflicting evidence. “They would have been in the position of potentially going against their own investigative agency, the FBI,” he said.

The Justice Department initiated settlement discussions in August, about a month after filing its controversial motions, according to people familiar with the discussions. The settlement, finalized Nov. 28, paid $2.5 million to the Stevens family.

Federal officials denied any relationship between their filings and the settlement and characterized it as a victory, since the family initially sought $50 million and the government did not admit liability.

Before the settlement, Schuler questioned under oath several scientists whom the government had put on a list of witnesses for the civil trial. In their depositions, William Russell Byrne and Gerard P. Andrews, Ivins’s supervisors before and after the anthrax mailings, said they were virtually certain of his innocence.

Byrne said Ivins didn’t have the technical skill to make the extremely fine powder and both said the Fort Detrick lab’s equipment could not have dried the anthrax so it could be turned into powder without contaminating parts of the facility.

Prosecutors and FBI officials disputed the contentions of the two scientists, saying in interviews that they were biased because they supervised Ivins and could have missed signs of his guilt. Though Byrne and Andrews were listed as government witnesses in the civil case, officials said they would never have been certified by a judge as experts under the stricter rules in the criminal system, which does not allow speculation.

Vincent B. Lisi, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, said in an interview that Ivins, one of the nation’s most respected anthrax experts, “absolutely had the ability” to make the deadly spores and that experiments by FBI scientists showed there would have been no contamination.

Byrne and Andrews, in interviews, said they continued to believe Ivins was not the killer. “It is deeply insulting and slanderous to suggest that we were just kind of covering our butts,” said Byrne.

When Justice Department lawyers filed their July motions in the civil case, they wrote that the deadly powder would have required a certain amount of liquid anthrax — and the liquid content of anthrax created by Ivins and stored in a flask labeled RMR-1029 wasn’t nearly enough.

And though the department’s criminal side had said all other suspects were ruled out, the civil lawyers said portions of RMR-1029 had been sent before the attacks to Battelle, the Ohio-based lab. They raised a possible scenario in which the attack anthrax could have come from the anthrax at that lab or other labs to which Battelle may have transferred the spores.

Katy Delaney, a spokeswoman for Battelle, did not respond directly to the government filings, but said “the Stevens case against Battelle was dismissed and the [criminal] investigation of Battelle has been closed.”

Justice Department and FBI officials reiterated in interviews that they exhaustively investigated the 42 people at Battelle with access to the anthrax and ruled them out as suspects.

Four days after their disputed filings, Justice Department civil lawyers tried to file a “notice of errata,” and soon made a number of corrections and clarifications. In September, the civil lawyers filed a sworn FBI declaration with nearly 60 points reaffirming Ivins’s guilt.

Stephen A. Saltzburg, a law professor at George Washington University and former Justice Department official, said the department was right to pull the plug on the civil case but should have done so earlier.

“It would have been treacherous for them to litigate this, to answer all the questions their own pleadings raised,’’ he said. “In many ways, it was the government arguing against itself.’

1917: J.P. Morgan bought US corporate media to be 1%’s lying sacks of spin?

Carl Herman
Washington’s Blog
January 29, 2012

Congressman Oscar Callaway lost his Congressional election for opposing US entry into WW 1. Before he left office, he demanded investigation into JP Morgan & Co for purchasing control over America’s leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of his corporate and banking interests, including profits from US participation in the war. Mr. Callaway alleged he had the evidence to prove Morgan associates were working as editors to select and edit articles, with the press receiving monthly payments for their allegiance to Morgan.

One of the leading papers, The New York Times, printed the story of Congressman Callaway’s call for investigation from Washington, D.C., but the editor chose a curious obfuscating headline:

FOR PRESS INVESTIGATION

Moore Asks Inquiry Into Charges

on Preparedness Campaign.

The US eventually followed “opinion leaders” into the war, despite no national security risk from the sinking of a British ship (Lusitania) carrying over four million rounds of ammunition to kill Germans, and Germany’s offer to Mexico to attack the US with an empty promise of German help if, and only if, the US declared war on Germany first (Zimmermann telegram; Mexico rejected the offer immediately as a military impossibility and a ploy for Americans to busy themselves killing Mexicans instead of Germans). The US then imprisoned people who questioned the war, including US candidates for President.

Both my grandfathers risked their lives in the American Expeditionary Force, as did your relatives, in a war media-fed to the public with lies of commission and omission.

Congressman Callaway joined Congressman Abraham Lincoln in being deposed from Congress for challenging lying war rhetoric and being branded as “unpatriotic.”

I found no follow-up report of Mr. Callaway’s request for investigation. However, we have abundant evidence that US corporate media is controlled for propaganda in our world of the present to cover-up the US’ history of unlawful wars. Consider this as one example:

The Church Senate Committee hearings had the cooperation of CIA Director William Colby’s testimony that over 400 CIA operatives were controlling US corporate media reporting on specific issues of national interest in what they called Operation Mockingbird. This stunning testimony was then confirmed by Pulitzer Prize reporter Carl Bernstein’s research and reporting. Of course, corporate media refused to publish Bernstein’s article and it became the cover-story for Rolling Stone.

Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA

 White House bypasses Senate to ink agreement that could allow Chinese companies to demand ISPs remove web content in US with no legal oversight

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Months before the debate about Internet censorship raged as SOPA and PIPA dominated the concerns of web users, President Obama signed an international treaty that would allow companies in China or any other country in the world to demand ISPs remove web content in the US with no legal oversight whatsoever.

Obama Signs Global Internet Treaty Worse Than SOPA   government stickers acta protest.n

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement was signed by Obama on October 1 2011, yet is currently the subject of a White House petition demanding Senators be forced to ratify the treaty. The White House has circumvented the necessity to have the treaty confirmed by lawmakers by presenting it an as “executive agreement,” although legal scholars have highlighted the dubious nature of this characterization.

The hacktivist group Anonymousattacked and took offline the Federal Trade Commission’s website yesterday in protest against the treaty, which was also the subject of demonstrations across major cities in Poland, a country set to sign the agreement today.

Under the provisions of ACTA, copyright holders will be granted sweeping direct powers to demand ISPs remove material from the Internet on a whim. Whereas ISPs normally are only forced to remove content after a court order, all legal oversight will be abolished, a precedent that will apply globally, rendering the treaty worse in its potential scope for abuse than SOPA or PIPA.

A country known for its enforcement of harsh Internet censorship policies like China could demand under the treaty that an ISP in the United States remove content or terminate a website on its server altogether. As we have seen from the enforcement of similar copyright policies in the US, websites are sometimes targeted for no justifiable reason.

The groups pushing the treaty also want to empower copyright holders with the ability to demand that users who violate intellectual property rights (with no legal process) have their Internet connections terminated, a punishment that could only ever be properly enforced by the creation of an individual Internet ID card for every web user, a system that is already in the works.

“The same industry rightsholder groups that support the creation of ACTA have also called for mandatory network-level filtering by Internet Service Providers and for Internet Service Providers to terminate citizens’ Internet connection on repeat allegation of copyright infringement (the “Three Strikes” /Graduated Response) so there is reason to believe that ACTA will seek to increase intermediary liability and require these things of Internet Service Providers,” reports the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The treaty will also mandate that ISPs disclose personal user information to the copyright holder, while providing authorities across the globe with broader powers to search laptops and Internet-capable devices at border checkpoints.

In presenting ACTA as an “international agreement” rather than a treaty, the Obama administration managed to circumvent the legislative process and avoid having to get Senate approval, amethod questioned by Senator Wyden.

“That said, even if Obama has declared ACTA an executive agreement (while those in Europe insist that it’s a binding treaty), there is a very real Constitutional question here: can it actually be an executive agreement?” asks TechDirt. “The law is clear that the only things that can be covered by executive agreements are things that involve items that are solely under the President’s mandate. That is, you can’t sign an executive agreement that impacts the things Congress has control over. But here’s the thing: intellectual property, in Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, is an issue given to Congress, not the President. Thus, there’s a pretty strong argument that the president legally cannot sign any intellectual property agreements as an executive agreement and, instead, must submit them to the Senate.”.

26 European Union member states along with the EU itself are set to sign the treaty at a ceremony today in Tokyo. Other countries wishing to sign the agreement have until May 2013 to do so.

Critics are urging those concerned about Obama’s decision to sign the document with no legislative oversight to demand the Senate be forced to ratify the treaty.

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a regular fill-in host for The Alex Jones Show and Infowars Nightly News.

SOPA and PIPA Fully Alive – And a New Bill Joins Them

  • The Alex Jones Channel Alex Jones Show podcast Prison Planet TV Infowars.com Twitter Alex Jones' Facebook Infowars store

 

Heather Callaghan
Activist Post
January 24, 2012

Many of us breathed a sigh of relief when an overwhelming amount of Americans banned together and voiced their opposition to Congress over both the Stop Online Piracy Act, and Protect Intellectual Property Act.

Sites that dimmed the screen for a day or two have gone back to normal – Facebook users have swapped their anti-SOPA images for their previous profile pictures.

We may have even believed that the postponement of the vote originally scheduled for January 24th was some sort of white flag of capitulation. But that is certainly not the MO of most lawmakers.

While the outcry did get the attention of Congress, they are simply returning unflinchingly back to the drawing board to wait out our attention spans. Articles whirled that SOPA was dead and the bill was pulled when the bill’s sponsor Lamar Smith said in a statement that there would be no further action “until there is wider agreement on a solution.”

Lamar isn’t really listening. “It is clear that we need to revisit the approach on how best to address the problem of foreign thieves that steal and sell American inventions and products.”

Actually, SOPA is set to be reformulated in February. PIPA will be revisited with possible amendments in the coming weeks. Case in point, all is still open and possible — nothing is dead, pulled, or cancelled. If that wasn’t enough to keep us on our toes, a new, similar bill has surfaced.

Déjà Vu in the form of OPEN — The New Anti-Piracy Bill

As an alternative to SOPA-PIPA, Representative Darrell Issa (CA-R), and 24 co-sponsors introduced the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade (OPEN) H.R. 3782 on Wednesday, during the Internet blackout.

From PCWorld:

OPEN would give oversight to the International Trade Commission (ITC) instead of the Justice Department, focuses on foreign-based websites, includes an appeals process, and would apply only to websites that “willfully” promote copyright violation.

The bill pretends to only target foreign websites, while keeping Americans free to surf and post, but the bill’s wording is wide open to pursue American sites. Just one example: when describing an infringing site, it starts with those “that are accessed through a non-domestic domain name,” but continues in section (8)(A)(ii) for any site that “conducts business directed to residents of the United States.”

It sounds like, “in general,” copyright holders will be the ones filing complaints to the Commission, but the writing leaves it open for any complainant to file. The ITC would still have the ability to coerce payment processors and ad networks to cease funding and linking the accused in question. Who could determine “willful” infringement?

Also, none of these bills had been decided before the U.S. Government took down New Zealand owned Megaupload.com during the commotion. To which, Anonymous responded by shutting down the websites of the U.S. Department of Justice, Universal Music, Recording Industry Association of America, the U.S. Copyright Office, Broadcast Music Inc. and the Motion Picture Association of America.

“The [DOJ’s] action ‘demonstrates why we don’t need SOPA in the first place,’ points out PCWorld’s Tony Bradley.” The government was enforcing a previous anti-piracy law called PRO-IPsigned by Bush in 2008.

OPEN is gaining support from groups like Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Consumer Electronics Association and more.

While it seems admirable that the bill is transparent and open for public comment, most laws of this nature are broad and allow for bigger, no-common sense crackdowns later. Plus, there might only be a couple concessions and the pacifying effects of “being heard.”

One commenter of the bill aptly noted:

‘Reasonable belief’ and ‘credible evidence’ are too vague and have the appearance of inviting highly subjective interpretation with the option for the commission and/or the provider to exercise sweeping powers with impunity.

Whenever any group is appeased after a battle, it cannot be emphasized enough — the lawmakers’ modus operandi will be: aim high, brace for the outcry, make a couple alterations and sneak the bill back in when no one’s looking. Keep it going and going. Call it by a different name. Haggle. It appears there is compromise and reasoning now, but once the bill passes into law, reason goes out the window, and we are the only ones compromised.

Theft is a reality — although not one that has seriously damaged the growing entertainment industry, or caused massive death and devastation. If Hollywood, pitching the biggest fit, were actually going down, why should we go down with it?

It is more unfortunate that Americans must be so tirelessly vigilant to protect their online activities from the same lawmakers who are tanking the country in so many other truly devastating ways.

The dismantling of Internet freedom will not stop here. Let’s borrow an MO and not let up.

To SOPA — Say NOPA!

To PIPA — Pipe down!

To OPEN — Shut it!

U.S. fights to keep $6.6 million in al-Qaeda assets from 9/11 victims

January 22, 2012|By Chris Mondics, Inquirer Staff Writer

  • United Airlines Flight 175 collides into the south tower of the World Trade Center as smoke billows from the north tower.
United Airlines Flight 175 collides into the south tower of the World Trade Center as… (Chao Soi Cheong / Associated Press)

In a ferocious legal battle pitting government lawyers against victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, the Justice Department is fighting to block thousands of individuals and businesses from taking $6.6 million in frozen al-Qaeda assets seized from an alleged terrorism financier.

Frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department in 2007, the money is sought by the attorneys for 6,000 individual victims and insurers who suffered billions in losses from the attacks on the World Trade Center.

The money, in a Chicago brokerage account controlled by senior al-Qaeda operative Abu al-Tayyeb until his arrest in Saudi Arabia in 2006, drew little public notice until lawyers for 9/11 victims moved in June to collect on a 2007 default judgment.

A short time later, the Justice Department initiated legal proceedings to claim the money for itself – and keep it out of the hands of the 9/11 victims and insurers.

That triggered a fierce response from the victims’ lawyers, among them the Center City law firm Cozen O’Connor, who accuse the Justice Department of duplicity in seeking to prevent them from getting access to the money.

“The facts are that the U.S. government, under the professed guise of good intentions toward victims of al-Qaeda, is pulling out every trick in the book to prevent individual victims of Sept. 11, 2001 . . . from pursuing and attaching [al-Qaeda funds],” the victims’ lawyers said in a filing in U.S. District Court in Chicago.

Randall Sanborn, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago, declined to comment. He instead cited government filings arguing that the victims had missed the legal deadline for filing their claims and that the Justice Department was better positioned to distribute the money.

Those assertions have infuriated some survivors of the 9/11 attacks.

“It’s disgusting,” Sharon Premoli, who was working in the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks and barely escaped with her life, said of the government’s position. “It’s not a huge sum of money. Why would they stand in the way?”

Psychology of Tyranny for a Philosophy of Despotism

Anthony Freda

SARTRE, Contributing Writer
Activist Post

The underpinnings that fallaciously attempt to justify despotic regimes rely upon the perverted practice of controlling the public mindset in weak societies.

The indisputable evidence that civilization is regressing at lightening speed is all around us. Governments are becoming irrelevant with the passage of illegitimate authority consolidating into the hands of oligarchic cabals and global tyrants. An objective study of the voluntary abandonment of individual sovereignty is worthy of an entire scholarly discipline.

However, before confused citizens seek psychoanalysis on a couch of technocrat design, the basic principles of a classical education should be applied.

Philosophical inquiry is meant to seek an understanding of the truth. Truth, when known, vindicates the dignity of the person and the value intrinsic within the human race. Therefore, it comes as a great letdown to face up to the horrendous savageness that society accepts as typical behavior. The psychological techniques used to train people to accept tyranny as the normal course of conduct is practiced by every despotic regime.

Jon Roland in an essay, Principles of Tyranny provides a valuable insight:


Perhaps one of the things that most distinguishes those with a fascist mentality from most other persons is how they react in situations that engender feelings of insecurity and inadequacy.

The emergence of tyranny, therefore, begins with challenges to a group, develops into general feelings of insecurity and inadequacy, and falls into a pattern in which some individuals assume the role of “father” to the others, who willingly submit to becoming dependent “children” of such persons if only they are reassured that a more favorable outcome will be realized. This pattern of co-dependency is pathological, and generally results in decision-making of poor quality that makes the situation even worse; but, because the pattern is pathological, instead of abandoning it, the co-dependents repeat their inappropriate behavior to produce a vicious spiral that, if not interrupted, can lead to total breakdown of the group and the worst of the available outcomes.

In psychiatry, this syndrome is often discussed as an “authoritarian personality disorder”. In common parlance, as being a “control freak”.

Mr. Roland identifies the following traits associated with a tyrannical regime:

Control of public information and opinion Use of the law for competition suppression
Vote fraud used to prevent the election of reformers Creation of a class of officials who are above the law
Undue official influence on trials and juries Subversion of internal checks and balances
Usurpation of undelegated powers Conversion of rights into privileges
Seeking a government monopoly on the capability and use of armed force Increasing public ignorance of their civic duties and reluctance to perform them
Militarization of law enforcement Political correctness
Infiltration and subversion of citizen groups that could be forces for reform Increasing dependency of the people on government
Suppression of investigators and whistleblowers Use of staged events to produce popular support

The consequences that follow disturb psychological attributes often reflected in an Hobbism view of government. Thomas Hobbes, believed that ‘order’ and effective law enforcement were the primary conditions for human survival (‘In the state of nature … no society’). Hobbes viewed human beings as essentially selfish and thought that democracy could easily degenerate into chaos, poor government and eventually civil war. The kind of governments that would have been approved by Hobbes would include benevolent dictators and enlightened despots and monarchies.

For those who accept this position as a foundation of a pseudo vindication for authoritarian rule, Enlightened Despotism becomes the norm. The masses learn to accept the vicious obvious as the inevitable surrender to the profane. The propaganda used to indoctrinate the public that acceptance of progressive thought as preferable to classic principles of human dignity has a long history.

Going back to the era where kings and queens, needed an argument to convince the populace that their authority was justified, the reliance upon psychological distortion was common.

Enlightened Absolutism or Enlightened Despotism as it is more often called can be defined as a form of government strongly influenced by the wide propagation of ideas and the political philosophy of the Enlightenment. It is a term first used by the Philosophes in the second half of the 18th century that manifested to describe a particular phase in the development of absolutism. The term ‘Enlightened Despot’ refers to those 18th century monarchs who were familiar with the ideas of the Enlightenment and distinguished themselves from regular despots by the way they governed.

Today, the same attempts to deceive are employed with all the sophistication that modern technology can develop. The best example of the current cult of mind control and historic distortion is found in the Neo-Conservatism that has hijacked the Republican Party.

Norman D. Livergood uses a contemporary NeoCon example to illustrate the anti-intellectual disconnect use to justify despotic rule:

Leo Strauss is the ‘Fascist Godfather of the neoconservatives.’ His neocon disciples believe that an elite should use deception, religious fervor and perpetual war to control the credulous American population. The primary goal of Strauss and his disciples is to turn back the clock of history to before the Enlightenment, when ancient tyrannies ruled without restraint.

A Leo Strauss could only become a professor of philosophy in a demented age in which people in general and scholars in particular could not see through his nonsense. Strauss, for example, claimed to have ‘discovered’ a Plato without a doctrine of ideas or immortality of the soul, a Plato without metaphysics.

Much of the media’s distorted worldview is essentially a philistine portrayal of an absurd account of events. The significance of their misinformation embeds a disinformation culture with even more advanced distortions. Without a sincere commitment to follow the search for truth and act upon valid conclusions, from the evidence uncovered, no country can exist as a free nation.

America has fallen into a deep and extensive delusional state of mind since 9/11. The Tyrannical trait that Mr. Roland lists has expanded and intensified in the last decade. The pathetic justification used and repeated to sell despotism is that the “War on Terror” requires a suspension of constitutional protections. Such obscene rhetoric should be abhorrent to any rational and moral citizen. Yet, the absence of objective inquiry only leads to the inevitability of despotic tyranny.

Forgo the politics of 9/11 if you must, but listen and examine the conclusions of Christopher Rudy and ask yourself why facts no longer matter to so many people:

The reality is that the American people, as individuals, have lost their courage. The government prefers it that way, as a fearful people are easier to rule than a courageous one. But Americans don’t wish to lose their self-image of courage. So, when confronted with a situation demanding courage to challenge a government gone wrong, the American people simply pretend that the situation does not exist. Cherished illusions supersede hard reality.

When the World Trade Towers collapsed, most Americans simply refused to believe suggestions that the attacks had been staged by parties working for the U.S. Government itself. Americans were afraid to even as news reports surfaced proving that the U.S. Government had announced plans for the invasion of Afghanistan early in the year; plans into which the attacks on the World Trade Towers that angered the American people into support of the already-planned war fit entirely too conveniently. But so trapped are Americans by their belief in their own bravery that they will themselves to be blind to the evidence before their eyes so that they can nod in agreement with the government while still imagining themselves to have courage, even as they avoid the one situation which most requires real courage; to stand up to the government’s lies and deceptions.

At play in this… Mr. Rudy’s analysis is an implicit acknowledgement of the regretful mind control used to exert the psychological tyranny that is so easily accepted, when the majority believes in a philosophy of despotism. This illogical philosophy adopts the state worship of the NeoCon War Party. Ignored or rejected is the remarkable basis and essential nature upon which lead to the creation of this country.

Refusal to question, or exhibiting the timidity by sitting on their hands, after knowing the ridiculousness of official accounts of government benevolence, rejects the entire heritage of philosophical inquiry. Hobbes’ view of human nature seems accurate. However, his alternative for the State provides false cover for the despots that thrive on their desire for psychological manipulation of citizens for the benefit of their tyrannical fellow travelers.

The sickness that engulfs society today is a direct result of abandoning the search for truth. Tyranny can be defeated, but it will take courage to break away from the psychopathic distortions and lies. It will take brave souls to confront the normal pattern of despotism. This objective bears the ultimate fruits from living a life of philosophical integrity.

The three aims of the tyrant are, one, the humiliation of his subjects; he knows that a mean-spirited man will not conspire against anybody; two, the creation of mistrust among them; for a tyrant is not to be overthrown until men begin to have confidence in one another – and this is the reason why tyrants are at war with the good; they are under the idea that their power is endangered by them, not only because they will not be ruled despotically, but also because they are too loyal to one another and to other men, and do not inform against one another or against other men – three, the tyrant desires that all his subjects shall be incapable of action, for no one attempts what is impossible and they will not attempt to overthrow a tyranny if they are powerless. — Aristotle

Original article archived here 

SARTRE is the pen name of James Hall, a reformed, former political operative. This pundit’s formal instruction in History, Philosophy and Political Science served as training for activism, on the staff of several politicians and in many campaigns. A believer in authentic Public Service, independent business interests were pursued in the private sector. Speculation in markets, and international business investments, allowed for extensive travel and a world view for commerce.  SARTRE is the publisher of BREAKING ALL THE RULES. Contact batr@batr.org