Thursday, September 27, 2007

Daniel Ellsberg

Sometimes, the big guys say it better than I can. Daniel Ellsberg, in a speech Sep. 20th:

I think nothing has higher priority than averting an attack on Iran, which I think will be accompanied by a further change in our way of governing here that in effect will convert us into what I would call a police state.

If there’s another 9/11 under this regime … it means that they switch on full extent all the apparatus of a police state that has been patiently constructed, largely secretly at first but eventually leaked out and known and accepted by the Democratic people in Congress, by the Republicans and so forth.

Will there be anything left for NSA to increase its surveillance of us? … They may be to the limit of their technical capability now, or they may not. But if they’re not now they will be after another 9/11.

And I would say after the Iranian retaliation to an American attack on Iran, you will then see an increased attack on Iran – an escalation – which will be also accompanied by a total suppression of dissent in this country, including detention camps.

It’s a little hard for me to distinguish the two contingencies; they could come together. Another 9/11 or an Iranian attack in which Iran’s reaction against Israel, against our shipping, against our troops in Iraq above all, possibly in this country, will justify the full panoply of measures that have been prepared now, legitimized, and to some extent written into law. …

Please go read the whole thing. I'll wait.

Let me simplify this and not just to be rhetorical: A coup has occurred. I woke up the other day realizing, coming out of sleep, that a coup has occurred. It’s not just a question that a coup lies ahead with the next 9/11. That’s the next coup, that completes the first.

The last five years have seen a steady assault on every fundamental of our Constitution, … what the rest of the world looked at for the last 200 years as a model and experiment to the rest of the world – in checks and balances, limited government, Bill of Rights, individual rights protected from majority infringement by the Congress, an independent judiciary, the possibility of impeachment.

Is it alarmist? You bet. If you are not alarmed, you're not paying attention.

And on the other hand, the people who have this unrestrained power are crazy. Not entirely, but they have crazy beliefs.

And the question is what then, what can we do about this? We are heading towards an insane operation. It is not certain. It is likely. … I want to try to be realistic myself here, to encourage us to do what we must do, what is needed to be done with the full recognition of the reality. Nothing is impossible.

What I’m talking about in the way of a police state, in the way of an attack on Iran is not certain. Nothing is certain, actually. However, I think it is probable, more likely than not, that in the next 15, 16 months of this administration we will see an attack on Iran. Probably. Whatever we do.

And … we will not succeed in moving Congress probably, and Congress probably will not stop the president from doing this. And that’s where we’re heading. That’s a very ugly, ugly prospect.

I have to express my own belief: if we attack Iran, America as we knew it will be dead. The economic repercussions alone will destroy our way of life. The diplomatic repercussions will leave America as a global pariah, standing alone. In the eyes of the Middle East, we will truly be at war with Islam, and they will retaliate.

In the wake of the Lieberman/Kyl amendment, this is a very real possibility. And it is truly frightening.


Anonymous said...

How long until they start calling the Iranian military forces "Al Qaeda in Iran?"

Suzy said...

I read Ellsberg's article yesterday. Excellent and scary article. What the Hell are these people thinking? They too have loved ones, don't they? Children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews ...

Anonymous said...

I have strong feelings about this. We've had nine months of Dem rule and the important things are worse. There are more soldiers in Iraq ( a LOT more if you count combatants); Fisa has been virtually gutted; no progress has been made on habeas corpus or on oversight over "emergency plans" and the President's ability to declare citizens "enemy combatants" (a designation that SHOULD be legally meaningless, but somehow isn't, just as "unitary executive" SHOULD be legally meaningless, but somehow isn't); we are close to war with Iran and the Democratic party is cheerleading; free speech has been tasered and censured when it hasn't been zoned.

If you still think the Dems are better than the Pubs in any way, other than crocodile tears, I fear you have downed so much koolaide you are past the point of return on the fascism meter. You are a fascist.

How can I say such a mean thing? See, you have to understand that most fascists are the nicest people you could want to meet. The fascists who wear the jack boots and beat the crap out of dissenters and start wars and profit from wars (but don't fight them) and spread propaganda like legal cocaine - these folks are negligible. They exist in any society.

It's the bulk of society going along with what they do that are the REAL fascists. The ones who say, "well, I guess it just has to be this way," or "I guess the Dems just couldn't get the votes," or "well, maybe the Iranians really are behind all the evil in the world anyway," or "the Bush administration is wrong about a lot of things, but they haven't really done anything THAT wrong" - or whatever excuse they find to tell themselves that things really are ok after all.

It's not ok. Nothing is ok.

The answer? Well, at this point there probably is no answer. But I think that the majority of Americans need to withdraw support from both parties, start a real second party, a People's Party, and make it clear by marching nonviolently and demonstrating nonviolently in other ways that they do not consider the government in Washington to be legitimate.

How does this happen? Spontaneously. It starts in little groupings of people who finally see that things are not ok. Then little groupings see that there are other little groupings. There is potential for big groupings.

Expect the 'government' in DC to fight back. If they see a real grassroots movement building, they'll start beating heads and the propaganda against it will intensify. If that derails the growing movement, we are back to hopeless. If it doesn't, the movement grows faster.

As for Iran, the war machine is already underway, in my opinion. I think the attack will be within three weeks. The Syrian feint and the Lieberman amendment were major steps. I've been wrong before on this, so hopefully I'm wrong again.