One Against the Empire by Paul Craig Roberts; as published on January 16, 2012 at Counterpunch
America has one last chance, and it is a very slim one. Americans can elect Ron Paul President, or they can descend into tyranny.
Why is Ron Paul America’s last chance?
Because he is the only candidate who is not owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military-security complex, Wall Street, and the Israel Lobby.
All of the others, including President Obama, are owned by exactly the same interest groups. There are no differences between them. Every candidate except Ron Paul stands for war and a police state, and all have demonstrated their complete and total subservience to Israel. The fact that there is no difference between them is made perfectly clear by the absence of substantive issues in the campaigns of the Republican candidates.
Only Ron Paul deals with real issues, so he is excluded from “debates” in which the other Republican candidates throw mud at one another: “Gingrich voted $60 million to a UN program supporting abortion in China.” “Romney loves to fire people.”
The mindlessness repels.
More importantly, only Ron Paul respects the US Constitution and its protection of civil liberty. Only Ron Paul understands that if the Constitution cannot be resurrected from its public murder by Congress and the executive branch, then Americans are lost to tyranny.
There isn’t much time in which to revive the Constitution. One more presidential term with no habeas corpus and no due process for US citizens and with torture and assassination of US citizens by their own government, and it will be too late. Tyranny will have been firmly institutionalized, and too many Americans from the lowly to the high and mighty will have been implicated in the crimes of the state. Extensive guilt and complicity will make it impossible to restore the accountability of government to law.
If Ron Paul is not elected president in this year’s election, by 2016 American liberty will be in a forgotten grave in a forgotten graveyard.
Having said this, there is no way Ron Paul can be elected, for these reasons:
Not enough Americans understand that the “war on terror” has been used to create a police state. The brainwashed citizenry believe that the police state is making them safe from terrorists.
Liberals, progressives, and almost the whole of the left oppose Ron Paul, claiming that “he would abolish the social safety net, privatize Social Security and Medicare, throw the widows and orphans into the street, abolish the Federal Reserve,” etc.
Apparently, liberals, progressives, and the left-wing do not understand that privatizing Social Security and Medicare and destroying the social safety net are policies that many conservative Republicans favor and are policies that Wall Street is forcing on both political parties. In contrast, a President Ron Paul would be isolated in the White House and would never be able to muster the support of Congress and the powerful interest groups to achieve such radical changes. Moreover, Ron Paul has made it clear that a welfare-free state cannot be achieved by decree but only by creating an economy in which opportunity exists for people to stand on their own feet. Ron Paul has said that he does not support ending welfare before an economy is created that makes a welfare state unnecessary.
Candidate Paul cannot take any steps to reassure Americans that he would not throw them to the mercy of the free market, because his libertarian base would turn on him as another unprincipled politician willing to sacrifice his principles for political expediency.
If libertarians were not inflexible, candidate Paul could endorse Ron Unz’s proposal to solve the illegal immigration problem by raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, so that Americans could afford to work the jobs that are taken by illegals.
Economist James K. Galbraith is probably correct that Unz’s proposal would boost the economy by injecting purchasing power and that the unemployment would be largely confined to illegals who would return to their home country. However, if Ron Paul were to treat Unz’s proposal as one worthy of study and consideration, libertarian ideologues would write him off. Whatever liberal/progressive support he gained would be offset by the loss of his libertarian base.
Why can’t libertarians be as intelligent as Ron Unz and see that if the Constitution is lost all that remains is tyranny?
In short, Americans cannot see beyond their ideologies to the real issue, which is the choice between the Constitution and tyranny.
So we hear absurd accusations that Ron Paul, a libertarian “is a racist.” “Ron Paul is an anti-Semite.” “Ron Paul would favor the rich and hurt the poor.”
We don’t hear “Ron Paul would restore and protect the US Constitution.”
What do Americans think life will be like in the absence of the Constitution? I will tell you what it will be like, but first let’s consider the obstacles Ron Paul would face if he were to win the Republican nomination and if he were to be elected president.
In my opinion, if Ron Paul were to win the Republican nomination, the Republican Party would conspire to refuse it to him. The party would simply nominate a different candidate.
If despite everything, Ron Paul were to end up in the White House, he would not be able to form a government that would support his policies. Appointments to cabinet secretaries and assistant secretaries that would support his policies could not be confirmed by the US Senate. President Paul would have to appoint whomever the Senate would confirm in order to form a government. The Senate’s appointees would undermine his policies.
What a President Ron Paul could do, assuming Congress, controlled by powerful private interest groups, did not impeach him on trumped up charges, would be to use whatever forums that might be permitted him to explain to the public, judges, and law schools that the danger from terrorists is miniscule compared to the danger from a government unaccountable to law and the Constitution.
The reason we should vote for Ron Paul is to signal to the powers that be that we understand what they are doing to us. If Paul were to receive a large vote, it could have two good effects. One could be to introduce some caution into the establishment that would slow the march into more war and tyranny. The other is it would signal to Washington’s European and Japanese puppets that not all Americans are stupid sheep. Such an indication could make Washington’s puppet states more cautious and less cooperative with Washington’s drive for world hegemony.
What America Without the Constitution Will Be Like
In the January 4 Huff Post, attorney and author John Whitehead reported on the militarization of local police. Some police forces are now equipped with spy drones. Whitehead reports that a drone manufacturer, AeroVironment Inc., plans to sell 18,000 drones to police departments throughout the country. The company is also advertising a small drone, the “Switchblade,” which can track a person, land on the person and explode.
How long before Americans will be spied upon or murdered as extremists at the discretion of local police?
Recognizing the privacy danger, if not the murder danger, the American Civil Liberties Union has issued a report, “Protecting Privacy From Aerial Surveillance.” The ACLU believes, correctly, that liberty is threatened by “a surveillance society in which our every move is monitored, tracked, recorded, and scrutinized by authorities.”
The ACLU calls on Congress to legislate privacy protections against the police use of drones. I support the ACLU because it is the most important defender of civil liberty despite other misguided activities, but I wonder what the ACLU is thinking. Congress and the federal courts have already acquiesced in the federal government’s warrantless spying on Americans by the National Security Agency. The Bush regime violated the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act many times, and all involved, including President Bush, should have been sent to prison for many lifetimes, as each violation carries a 5-year prison term. But the executive branch emerged scot free. No one was held accountable for clear violations of US statutory law.
The ACLU might think that although the federal executive branch has successfully elevated itself above the law, state and local police forces are still accountable. We must hope that they are, but I doubt it.
The militarization of local police has received some attention. What has not received attention is that state and local police are also being federalized. It is not only military armaments and spy technology that local police are receiving from Washington, but also an attitude toward the public along with federal oversight and the collaboration that goes with it. When Homeland Security, a federal police force, comes into states, as I know has occurred in Georgia and Tennessee, and doubtless other states, and together with the state police stop cars and trucks on Interstate highways and subject them to warrantless searches, what is happening is the de facto deputizing of the state police by Homeland Security. This is the way that Goering and Himmler federalized into the Gestapo the independent police forces of German provinces such as Prussia and Bavaria.
Homeland Security has expanded its warrantless searches far beyond “airline security.”
The budding gestapo agency now conducts warrantless searches on the nation’s highways, on bus and train passengers, and at Social Security offices. On Tuesday January 3, 2012, the Social Security office in Leesburg, Florida, apparently a terrorist hotspot, became a Homeland Security checkpoint. The DHS Gestapo armed with automatic weapons and sniffer dogs demanded IDs from local residents visiting their local Social Security office.
Thomas Milligan, district manager for the Social Security Administration office, said staff were not informed their offices were about to be stormed by armed federal police officers. DHS officials refused to answer questions asked by local media and left with no explanation at noon, reports infowars.com.
The DHS gestapo justified its takeover of a Leesburg Florida Social Security office as being an integral part of “Operational Shield,” conducted by the Federal Protective Service to detect “the presence of unauthorized persons and potentially disruptive or dangerous activities.”
One wonders if even brainwashed flag-waving “superpatriots” can miss the message. The Social Security office of Leesburg, Florida, population 19,086 in central Florida is not a place where terrorists devoid of proper ID might be visiting. To protect America from the scant possibility that terrorists might be congregating at the Leesburg Social Security office, the tyrants in Washington sent the Federal Protective Service at who knows what cost to demand ID from locals visiting their Social Security office.
What is this all about except to establish the precedent that federal police, a new entity in American life, the Federal Protective Service, has authority over state and local police offices and can appear out of the blue to interrogate local citizens.
Why the ACLU thinks it is going to get any action out of a Congress that has accommodated the executive branch’s destruction of habeas corpus, due process, and the constitutional and legal prohibitions against torture is beyond me. But at least the issue is raised. But don’t expect to hear about it from the “mainstream media.”
Americans in 2012, although only a few are aware, live in a concentration camp that is far better controlled than the one portrayed by George Orwell in 1984. Orwell, writing in the late 1940s could not imagine the technology that makes control of populations so thorough as it is today. Orwell’s protagonist could at least have hope. In 2012 with the erasure of privacy by the US government, protagonists can be eliminated by hummingbird-sized drones before they can initiate a protest, much less a rebellion.
Never in human history has a people been so easily and willingly controlled by a hostile government as Americans, who are the least free people on earth. And a large percentage of Americans still wave the flag and chant USA! USA! USA!
The Bush regime operated as if the Constitution did not exist. Any semblance of constitutional government that remained after the Bush years was terminated when Congress passed and President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act. One wonders how the National Rifle Association, the defender of the Second Amendment, will now fare. If there is no Constitution, how can there be a Second Amendment? If the President, at his discretion, can set aside habeas corpus and due process and murder citizens based on unproven suspicions, why can’t he set aside the Second Amendment?
Indeed, it is folly to expect a police state to tolerate an armed population.
The NRA is very supportive of the police and military. Now that these armed organizations are being turned against the public, how will the NRA adjust its posture?
Many NRA members, pointing to the “Oath Keepers,” former members of the military who pledge to defend the Constitution, and to police chiefs who support the Second Amendment, believe that the police and military will disobey orders to attack citizens.
But we already witness constantly the gratuitous brutality of “our” police against peaceful protesters. We witness military troops all over the world murder citizens who protest government abuses. Why can’t it happen here?
If you don’t want it to happen here, you had better figure out some way to get Ron Paul into the Presidency and to get him a cabinet and subcabinet that will support him.
Meanwhile, the police state grows. On January 4, 2012, the Obama regime announced by decree, not by legislation, the creation of the Bureau of Counterterrorism which will among other tasks “seek to strengthen homeland security, countering violent extremism.”
Take a moment to think. Do you know of any “violent extremism” happening in the US? The regime is telling you that it needs a new police bureau with unaccountable powers to “strengthen homeland security” against a nonexistent bogyman.
So who will be the violent extremists who require countering by the Bureau of Counter-terrorism? It will be peace activists, the Occupy Wall Street protesters, the unemployed and foreclosed homeless. It will be whoever the police state says. And there is no due process or recourse to law.
Given the facts before you, you are out of your mind if you think Ron Paul’s rhetoric against the welfare state is more important than his defense of liberty.
Paul Craig Roberts was an editor of the Wall Street Journal and an Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury. His latest book, HOW THE ECONOMY WAS LOST, has just been published by CounterPunch/AK Press. He can be reached through his website Institute for Political Economy
He has written or co-written eight books, contributed chapters to numerous books and has published many articles in journals of scholarship. He has testified before congressional committees on 30 occasions on issues of economic policy. His writings frequently appear on OpEdNews, Prisonplanet.com, Antiwar.com, the web site VDARE.com. LewRockwell.com, CounterPunch, and the American Free Press. Roberts has been featured as a guest on the Political Cesspool radio show.