Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Growing US Police State Continued...

Editor's NOTE:

Intellectuals from both ends of the political spectrum are beginning to express extreme concern about the growing US police state begun under President George W. Bush and agressively continued under President Barack Obama.

This piece by Paul Craig Roberts adds to those I posted HERE... The creation of a domestic police state is the "other side of the coin" so to speak of running a militaristic global empire as numerous authors have oultined including Professor Francis A. Boyle, Joel Clarke Gibbons, Jim Marrs and others. As these writers have indicated, a constitutional democratic republic (the original American entity brought into existence in 1789) is incompatible with the maintainence of a global empire. Therefore, the fascist elites recognize the need to destroy it if their take-over is to be complete.

The only solution to the growing police state/global empire is the disinfectant of complete transparency. It behooves all those who care about the future of this country to help educate their fellow citizens. The internet should be utilized as the primary vehicle while it is still reasonably free and unencumbered. The ability to critique the "Regime" on the web will no doubt eventually be curtailed.

-Dr. J. P. Hubert

The Nazification of the United States

Death of the First Amendment

By Paul Craig Roberts

August 27, 2010 "Information Clearing House" --Chuck Norris is no pinko-liberal-commie, and Human Events is a very conservative publication. The two have come together to produce one of the most important articles of our time, “Obama’s US Assassination Program.”

It seems only yesterday that Americans, or those interested in their civil liberties, were shocked that the Bush regime so flagrantly violated the FlSA law against spying on American citizens without a warrant. A federal judge serving on the FISA court even resigned in protest to the illegality of the spying.

Nothing was done about it. “National security” placed the president and executive branch above the law of the land. Civil libertarians worried that the US government was freeing its power from the constraints of law, but no one else seemed to care.

Encouraged by its success in breaking the law, the executive branch early this year announced that the Obama regime has given itself the right to murder Americans abroad if such Americans are considered a “threat.” “Threat” was not defined and, thus, a death sentence would be issued by a subjective decision of an unaccountable official.

There was hardly a peep out of the public or the media. Americans and the media were content for the government to summarily execute traitors and turncoats, and who better to identify traitors and turncoats than the government with all its spy programs.

The problem with this sort of thing is that once it starts, it doesn’t stop. As Norris reports citing Obama regime security officials, the next stage is to criminalize dissent and criticism of the government. The May 2010 National Security Strategy states: “We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between homeland and national security. . . . This includes a determination to prevent terrorist attacks against the American people by fully coordinating the actions that we take abroad with the actions and precautions that we take at home.”

Most Americans will respond that the “indispensable” US government would never confuse an American exercising First Amendment rights with a terrorist or an enemy of the state. But, in fact, governments always have. Even one of our Founding Fathers, John Adams and the Federalist Party, had their “Alien and Sedition Acts” which targeted the Republican press.

Few with power can brook opposition or criticism, especially when it is a simple matter for those with power to sweep away constraints upon their power in the name of “national security.” Deputy National Security Adviser John Brennan recently explained that more steps are being taken, because of the growing number of Americans who have been “captivated by extremist ideology or causes.” Notice that this phrasing goes beyond concern with Muslim terrorists.

In pursuit of hegemony over both the world and its own subjects, the US government is shutting down the First Amendment and turning criticism of the government into an act of “domestic extremism,” a capital crime punishable by execution, just as it was in Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia.

Initially German courts resisted Hitler’s illegal acts. Hitler got around the courts by creating a parallel court system, like the Bush regime did with its military tribunals. It won’t be long before a decision of the US Supreme Court will not mean anything. Any decision that goes against the regime will simply be ignored.

This is already happening in Canada, an American puppet state. Writing for the Future of Freedom Foundation, Andy Worthington documents the lawlessness of the US trial of Canadian Omar Khadr. In January of this year, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that the interrogation of Khadr constituted “state conduct that violates the principles of fundamental justice” and “offends the most basic Canadian standards about the treatment of detained youth suspects.” According to the Toronto Star, the Court instructed the government to “shape a response that reconciled its foreign policy imperatives with its constitutional obligations to Khadr,” but the puppet prime minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, ignored the Court and permitted the US government to proceed with its lawless abuse of a Canadian citizen.

September 11 destroyed more than lives, World Trade Center buildings, and Americans’ sense of invulnerability. The event destroyed American liberty, the rule of law and the US Constitution.

Gulf Oil Update: Day 131

The search begins anew

By Samantha Joye
The Gulf Oil Blog HERE...
Published: August 19, 2010 2:16am

The R/V Oceanus will depart Gulfport at 12AM on August 21. The science party consists of microbiologists, isotope geochemists, chemical ecologists, physical oceanographers, geologists, and biogeochemists from the University of Georgia (UGA), Georgia Institute of Technology, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (LDEO), the University of California Santa Barbara, the University of Maryland, and the University of Southern Mississippi. We’ll be conducting joint operations with the R/V Cape Hatteras, which will house scientists from the University of Texas, UGA, and LDEO. We’ll be visited by journalist from the BBC, CBC, and National Public Radio while we are at sea.

We’ll be conducting many operations similar to those we conducted on our May/June cruise but our collaborators be doing a lot of work at higher trophic levels to see how oil and gas are moving through the food web and we’ll be collecting sediment cores to see how much oil is on the bottom. Our cruise plan is ambitious. We want to locate and map (again) the mysterious deepwater plumes that were discovered on the Pelican cruise in May. We will be further documenting the plume’s distribution and following up the rate measurements we did in May/June with additional rate measurements and a suite of geochemical constituents.

We are all eager to get back out on the water. This week has been filled with packing, packing and more packing. The truck was loaded tonight and leaves at the crack of dawn tomorrow. The rest of the UGA crew arrives Friday morning. We’ll get everything set up and be ready to sail early Saturday morning. We should be on station mid-day Saturday and I’ll post updates as frequently as I can manage to find some time to put my thoughts to the keyboard.

As we did on the Walton Smith cruise, we will use an instrument called a “CTD rosette” to characterize the water column and collect water samples from specific depths. The CTD rosette contains an instrument with sensors that quantify temperature, salinity, depth, chlorophyll (an indicator of phytoplankton biomass), colored dissolved organic matter (“CDOM,” which includes oil), and transmissometer (which essentially detects particles in the water). The rosette also contains special bottles for collecting water at a specific depth. We trigger the bottles at depths where we see interesting signals in the CDOM, and we use the water for measuring methane gas concentration and oxygen consumption rates on board the ship. We’re also collecting samples for analysis of oil, basic geochemistry, nutrients, and microbiology; those samples will be analyzed back at the UGA laboratory.

We’ll be doing a lot more measurements at sea on this cruise so will be much busier than we were during the May/June cruise. Stay tuned for updates!

Iranian Bushehr Reactor No Threat to Peace

Scott Horton Debunks the War Hysteria Over Iran’s Bushehr Reactor

Friday, August 27, 2010

The New Bi-Polar World: The Hegelian Dialectic and the Power of the Elites

The New Bipolar World and One-Dimensional Politics

Updated Editorial Commentary By: Dr. J. P. Hubert

A strange but remarkable phenomenon now exists in the realm of social discourse. Virtually all concepts which bear upon public policy are presented to the masses as essentially, a choice between two polar opposites. For example, there is the liberal vs. conservative, right vs. left, Republican vs. Democratic views, etc., as if there are no other frames of reference by which one might consider important issues of the day. This needless to say establishes a completely contrived and false dichotomy. It is as if a very attenuated/ distorting prism or lens has been placed before our collective minds eye.

Increasingly, society seems to have embraced the binary gestalt writ-large. For example, the only format which seems to be universally embraced by the corporate (especially television and radio) media when airing debate with respect to an issue of public policy is to arbitrarily select two individuals from opposite sides of the political spectrum. Each is then allowed to spew forth their respective “talking points” in an exchange where rhetorical flourish and rank sophistry is allowed to pass for meaningful elucidation of opinion/position(s). Sober analysis and rational discussion through thoughtful and respectful interchange of ideas is simply never forthcoming.

Rather than a situation where so-called experts are asked to come reason together, what one routinely witnesses is largely impolite jousting between two individuals each of whom function as either paid or unpaid advocates for their respective positions—presumably neither would be invited back again were they to attempt anything else. It is inconceivable that one could arrive at the truth through the employment of this commonly utilized (largely entertainment oriented) vehicle/tactic.

What it resembles is something akin to a sporting event where two teams compete in a game/contest until one prevails. The viewing public is expected to enthusiastically support one or the other of the two opponents since their positions are not only (presumably) mutually exclusive but supposedly representative of the entire universe of possibilities rather than artificially truncated ones. The entire situation would be laughable if it were not so serious.

The One-Dimensional Nature of American Politics

Many have noticed the absurdity of contemporary politics where all questions of public policy are presented as if they were located upon a one-dimensional axis e.g. the “X” axis for illustrative purposes. Under this rubric there is no possibility that any issue could somehow be located on any other axis of dimension, “Y” or “Z” for example. This means that in a figurative sense, all issues lack the depth affored by “3” dimensional space. In fact the current situation is even worse than that of the so-called “flat-lander’s” who according to a popular mind experiment inhabit only a flat plane distributed along the "X" and "Y" axes. In contradistinction to human beings who physically inhabit “3” dimensions of space, the flat-lander’s inhabit only 2, e.g. length and width. It is not difficult to imagine how much more limited would be the perception of beings who despite being capable of mathematically theorizing the existence of a third dimension would be unable to actually experience it utilizing sense data. This is by analogy the situation we find ourselves in with respect to one-dimensional contemporary politics. We are disadvantaged by virtue of being limited to only one horizontal(X- axis) dimension which is metaphorically analagous to a finite bounded line rather than a "2" dimensional plane or "3" dimensional object. This severely attenuated construct is simply incapable of serving as a platform on which to discuss "3" dimensional reality.

The ruling oligarchical Regime tells us that all issues of public policy are somehow distributed along a one dimensional line which rather than being a circle is actually straight, bounded on each end artificially by the radical left and the radical right with virtually limitless points in-between. The truly strange thing about this one dimensional line is that it admits of only one differentiating characteristic that is, the amount of control or influence the government is entitled to exercise over the populace.

For example, the liberal left tends to favor minimal control over personal sexual behavior while the conservative right claims to desire the opposite. Yet the conservative right favors minimal control over the finances of corporations and individuals while the liberal left demands serious regulation on the part of the government over the finances of both corporations and individuals. The only constant is the issue of the amount of “governmental control” over the population not whether there is a universally liberal or conservative absolute which is singularly to be associated with a given party. In that sense, the terms liberal and conservative have no meaning. They simply do not contain much informational content. As such each person is forced to memorize what each political party finds currently fashionable on any given issue of public policy.

It should be self evident that the major political parties are made up of various “interest groups” each of which have preferences. It is the prospective interest groups that determine what each political party espouses and nothing more. To say one is a liberal or a conservative for example is not to say anything which can be universalized. For example, Conservatives do not wish to “conserve” any more than liberals do. Liberals are no more interested in minimal governmental control over individuals than are conservatives. They each have their respective issues (albeit different ones) about which they demand minimal governmental interference and vice-versa.

It should be unnecessary to purport that the two-party political system as it currently exists in the United States is a kind of charade where various power-centers participate in a one-dimensional political exercise designed to advance the desires of the respective interest groups which make up each political party. The truth is that it is not a single line bounded artificially on each end by the radical left and right, but a cone, the bottom of which is actually a circle upon which all of the disparate interest groups are distributed. The top of the cone represents the oligarchical elite also known as the controlling "Regime" which ultimately determines the extent of permissible discourse (along the circle) through a kind of opposing (Hegelian) dialectic.

Enter Hegel

The above enumerated phenomenon has helped create a permanent societal split or division that--while varying to a minor degree on a percentage basis from time to time--never really comes to grip with the essence or nature of any issue/problem. Perhaps an explanation for this unfortunate dilemma is that an apparent Hegelian dialectic (thesis, antithesis, and synthesis) has become the chosen mechanism by which our oligarchical elites attempt to program/mold mass opinion. Not only does this technique seriously limit the bounds of acceptable public discourse, it implies that all issues of social import are ultimately to be resolved on the basis of a “rough and tumble” contest of wills and sophistic verbiage rather than any real sense of absolute truth(s) which might serve as guiding principles. This no doubt is a legacy of the Enlightenment.

The crucial point is that the acceptable boundary for public discussion is artificially circumscribed by the ruling elites in such a way as to control outcomes both at the level of topic selection and subsequent debate parameters and verbal/written interaction. A good example of this phenomenon is the two-ring circus which transpires every four years in which the public is treated to the spectacle of appearing to select from a large field of candidates—two individuals to vie for President of the United States. In reality, the most interesting and controversial candidates are eliminated fairly early such that the two final candidates actually differ quite minimally in terms of domestic and foreign policy preferences. Judging by the evidence, this is by design of the ruling class. In the most recent presidential election, U.S. citizens were given the choice between two seemingly different individuals, one apparently traditional (Mc Cain) the other more exotic representing “change” (Obama)--who Americans presumably preferred. Yet, both were clearly funded by and beholden to the elite power brokers whose interests would be served irrespective of which one prevailed.

It is noteworthy that after only 19 months in office, President Obama has largely followed the Bush/Cheney foreign and domestic (especially economic) policies despite campaigning vociferously against them. There is no evidence that Mr. Obama intends to dismantle the American empire or significantly reduce US militarism. There is nothing to establish that he has repudiated the Bush Doctrine of preventive war. In fact he has authorized offensive US military (armed drones) attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan which have killed innocent non-combatants and most disturbingly announced a policy of preventive detention of “terrorists.” The latter immoral and illegal policy is more aggressive than what the Bush/Cheney administration attempted in that regard.

More recently the Obama administration has claimed the power to execute American citizens within the borders of the United States on only the suspicion of being tied to terrorism. This means that Americans may be summarily executed without trial at the direction of the President, a truly atrocious development and really the sine qua non of a Nazi police state. For the remainder of this article it may be helpful for the reader to keep a mental picture of the “cone” described above in the forefront of one’s mind.

Abandonment of Reality, Reason

In reality, there are very few issues of public policy which can be adequately considered through the prism of a binary lens--even though doing so has become the new norm--understood as the one-dimensional political construct outlined above. Similarly the related notion that all social/political questions must have either a yes or no answer flies in the face of reality—if true all “what” questions or those having to do with the nature or being of things would be eliminated— an unfortunate but foreseeable effect of the post-Enlightenment abandonment of metaphysics. The result is an artificial oversimplification which does not mirror reality but instead serves as a rhetorical devise by which a proponent of one particular view attempts to dis-intellectually “score points” or in contemporary parlance “spin” the target audience.

Integral to construction of the bipolar worldview is the need to carefully narrow the formulation of any potential issue or premise. For example, one is either for or against gay “marriage” for or against enhanced interrogation (torture), in favor of or against “pre-emptive” war (when what is really meant is preventive war). All are vacuous notions without a careful articulation of what is actually meant by these terms. Once adequately defined that is, with precision, it is sometimes but not always possible to take a pro or con position with respect to some of the so-called issues of the day. The Western legal system now steeped in legal positivism (pragmatism) and based as it is in a binary adversarial process clearly contributes to this phenomenon as well.

Constant Change and Lack of Universals

A related trend is the completely ad-hoc division that has occurred over what is considered a liberal vs.: conservative view with respect to a given issue. For example, strict literal interpretations of each term (liberal/conservative) yield entirely different conclusions than can be had from a review of commonly understood usages of the terms. In other words, the monikers liberal and conservative have no fixed or foundational referent and are constantly subject to alteration based on the changing nature of various interest groups that comprise their political bases from time to time. This leads to incompatible contradictions with regard to the policies of self-described members of each group.

It is noteworthy that traditional Paleoconservatives eschew foreign wars of conquest and oppose so-called pre-emptive (preventive) wars. Neoconservatives enthusiastically support both. Which view should be thought to characterize the conservative position? In reality it is a matter of opinion only. Historically, Neoconservatism is clearly the aberration. The change presumably reflects the result of an internal political power struggle rather than a natural (ideological) evolution among adherents of conservatism.

Theoretically, conservatives (in the sense of preserving the status quo) should favor the continuation of whatever has gone before. If historically the United States engaged in defensive war only--than preventive war would be incompatible with conservatism and vice-versa. By analogy if abortion has become the legal norm, after decades, the conservative view should be pro-abortion. Obviously, the terms are not meant to be taken literally yet it becomes clear that there really is an ad-hoc and arbitrary nature to what is considered liberal and conservative from time to time. Neither term is based on a stable worldview (epistemology, metaphysics and moral philosophy).

Similar contradictions have occurred with respect to the policy positions held by proponents of liberalism (now referred to as adherents of progressive politics—one assumes the change in name was made ostensibly for perceived commercial advantage). Prior to 1973, liberals as defined by the Democratic Party held--along with conservatives as put forth by the Republican Party--that abortion on demand was immoral (the prevailing moral philosophy at the time was still heavily influenced by the Judeo-Christian Ethic) and should be kept illegal as a matter of public policy or at least left to the states to regulate. As a significant percentage of the Democratic Party base became composed of individuals with an interest in liberalizing the existing laws with respect to abortion, the party became “pro-choice” meaning in favor of either federal legislation or judicial action legalizing abortion on demand. In this case, the term liberal from a literal perspective appears to be more in-keeping with the moniker. The change however was made because of the demands of an active, large and growing interest group within the Democratic Party and the liberal establishment. Does that mean that pre-1973 the Democratic Party was conservative not liberal? Yes and no, the point here is that these terms are completely fluid and ultimately without lasting/foundational meaning. What is favored today may be shunned tomorrow by either. To say that one is either liberal or conservative without clarification/amplification is really to reveal almost nothing other than the affiliation of one’s current power-base.

Will to Power

Perhaps more astoundingly, the terms liberal and conservative have no cohesive/conceptual underpinnings which might unify the various disparate strains which make up each. In some respects, liberals appear to espouse conservative policies, in others, conservatives embrace liberal ones. Neoconservatives as has already been mentioned embrace aggressive foreign policy including preventive wars of aggression. This in reality is a very liberal not conservative view. Analogously, most liberals currently oppose foreign wars of aggression and excessive U.S. militarism (in the maintenance of American hegemony) despite the fact that to do so is really a traditionally conservative position. Thoughtful persons find that neither political party has a consistent underlying conceptually unified organizing principle. What then attracts the vast majority of people to one or the other belief system? In the absence of any core worldview orientation it appears that the choice of one or the other is based solely on the need to posses a power-base from which to operate i.e. a special interest. Since third parties (political) have not been successful in the United States, the choices available are either liberal/conservative, Democrat/Republican irrespective of the fact that these terms are constantly changing and without ultimate meaning.

The media (talk-radio and cable especially) essentially mirror this artificial division. For example, Fox News represents the Neoconservative position; MSNBC largely reflects the Liberal or Progressive viewpoint. Similar divisions characterize talk-radio. Traditional or Paleoconservative views are left largely unrepresented by the corporate media with a few exceptions (e.g. Patrick J. Buchanan).

Part of the current bi-polar split involves a separation between Secularism and Traditionalism as the United States progressively abandons all semblance of Tradition in favor of Secular Humanism. While liberalism/progressivism almost entirely ascribes to Secularism, there remain parts of the “conservative” coalition which attempt to adhere to more traditionalist views—primarily those Paleoconservatives from whom the Neoconservatives have rested control of the Republican Party. Nevertheless, even here, there is a great deal of overlap. For example, the so-called Libertarian wing of conservatism favors the liberalization of controlled substance laws e.g. Marijuana which most Paleoconservatives oppose. In that sense, Libertarians are much more like liberals (progressives) than traditional conservatives. They are more inclined to accept gay “marriage” than are Paleoconservatives on the grounds of individual liberty or on the basis of civil or personal “rights” criteria. These rights however are fictitious in that they are ungrounded in any fixed or foundational human anthropology (nature or essence). That is to say since the Enlightenment and in the wake of Darwinism (Darwinian philosophy or metaphysical naturalism), human nature is assumed to be fluid. Modern "rights" simply refer to the constantly changing desires/choices which various individuals and groups wish to see codified in the law from time to time.

It becomes apparent that the artificial bi-polar split articulated here is completely without ideological foundation. Evidence seems to indicate that it has become a favored mechanism by which the ruling elites exercise control over the masses. In reality this amounts to a kind of not so subtle Hegelian “brain-washing” which is utilized to change public opinion by making it appear that issues are being fairly debated and democratically resolved. One feels forced to conclude that the binary worldview is nothing but a ruse--a kind of “bread and circus” extravaganza which functions to keep the proletariat pacified while the oligarchical elites proceed with advancing their goals.

As long as political discourse is limited to a one-dimensional binary charade in which the elite power broker’s of the Regime manage all public discourse utilizing a kind of Hegelian dialectic, it will be impossible for Americans to alter their government and the status quo will be maintained. Surely it is obvious that most issues are at least “3” dimensional meaning that more than the question of the amount of government control or lack of same should be at stake. If we are to add for example the moral dimension (in this case a kind of “Y” axis) or any other dimension which mirror’s reality, we must discard once and for all the new bipolar one-dimensional worldview.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Growing U.S. Police State: Leading Democrats and Republicans Involved

The Government's New Right to Track Your Every Move With GPS

By: Adam Cohen
Thu Aug 26, 3:45 am ET

Government agents can sneak onto your property in the middle of the night, put a GPS device on the bottom of your car and keep track of everywhere you go. This doesn't violate your Fourth Amendment rights, because you do not have any reasonable expectation of privacy in your own driveway - and no reasonable expectation that the government isn't tracking your movements.

That is the bizarre - and scary - rule that now applies in California and eight other Western states. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which covers this vast jurisdiction, recently decided the government can monitor you in this way virtually anytime it wants - with no need for a search warrant.

It is a dangerous decision - one that, as the dissenting judges warned, could turn America into the sort of totalitarian state imagined by George Orwell. It is particularly offensive because the judges added insult to injury with some shocking class bias: the little personal privacy that still exists, the court suggested, should belong mainly to the rich.

This case began in 2007, when Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents decided to monitor Juan Pineda-Moreno, an Oregon resident who they suspected was growing marijuana. They snuck onto his property in the middle of the night and found his Jeep in his driveway, a few feet from his trailer home. Then they attached a GPS tracking device to the vehicle's underside.

After Pineda-Moreno challenged the DEA's actions, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled in January that it was all perfectly legal. More disturbingly, a larger group of judges on the circuit, who were subsequently asked to reconsider the ruling, decided this month to let it stand. (Pineda-Moreno has pleaded guilty conditionally to conspiracy to manufacture marijuana and manufacturing marijuana while appealing the denial of his motion to suppress evidence obtained with the help of GPS.)

In fact, the government violated Pineda-Moreno's privacy rights in two different ways. For starters, the invasion of his driveway was wrong. The courts have long held that people have a reasonable expectation of privacy in their homes and in the "curtilage," a fancy legal term for the area around the home. The government's intrusion on property just a few feet away was clearly in this zone of privacy.

The judges veered into offensiveness when they explained why Pineda-Moreno's driveway was not private. It was open to strangers, they said, such as delivery people and neighborhood children, who could wander across it uninvited.

Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who dissented from this month's decision refusing to reconsider the case, pointed out whose homes are not open to strangers: rich people's. The court's ruling, he said, means that people who protect their homes with electric gates, fences and security booths have a large protected zone of privacy around their homes. People who cannot afford such barriers have to put up with the government sneaking around at night.

Judge Kozinski is a leading conservative, appointed by President Ronald Reagan, but in his dissent he came across as a raging liberal. "There's been much talk about diversity on the bench, but there's one kind of diversity that doesn't exist," he wrote. "No truly poor people are appointed as federal judges, or as state judges for that matter." The judges in the majority, he charged, were guilty of "cultural elitism."

The court went on to make a second terrible decision about privacy: that once a GPS device has been planted, the government is free to use it to track people without getting a warrant.
There is a major battle under way in the federal and state courts over this issue, and the stakes are high. After all, if government agents can track people with secretly planted GPS devices virtually anytime they want, without having to go to a court for a warrant, we are one step closer to a classic police state - with technology taking on the role of the KGB or the East German Stasi.

Fortunately, other courts are coming to a different conclusion from the Ninth Circuit's - including the influential U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court ruled, also this month, that tracking for an extended period of time with GPS is an invasion of privacy that requires a warrant. The issue is likely to end up in the Supreme Court.

In these highly partisan times, GPS monitoring is a subject that has both conservatives and liberals worried. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit's pro-privacy ruling was unanimous - decided by judges appointed by Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Plenty of liberals have objected to this kind of spying, but it is the conservative Chief Judge Kozinski who has done so most passionately. "1984 may have come a bit later than predicted, but it's here at last," he lamented in his dissent. And invoking Orwell's totalitarian dystopia where privacy is essentially nonexistent, he warned: "Some day, soon, we may wake up and find we're living in Oceania."

Cohen, a lawyer, is a former TIME writer and a former member of the New York Times editorial board.


Confirmed: Obama Authorizes Assassination of U.S. Citizen

By Glenn Greenwald original HERE...
Wednesday, Apr 7, 2010 07:08 ET

In late January, I wrote about the Obama administration's "presidential assassination program," whereby American citizens are targeted for killings far away from any battlefield, based exclusively on unchecked accusations by the Executive Branch that they're involved in Terrorism. At the time, The Washington Post's Dana Priest had noted deep in a long article that Obama had continued Bush's policy (which Bush never actually implemented) of having the Joint Chiefs of Staff compile "hit lists" of Americans, and Priest suggested that the American-born Islamic cleric Anwar al-Awlaki was on that list. The following week, Obama's Director of National Intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, acknowledged in Congressional testimony that the administration reserves the "right" to carry out such assassinations.

Today, both The New York Times and The Washington Post confirm that the Obama White House has now expressly authorized the CIA to kill al-Alwaki no matter where he is found, no matter his distance from a battlefield. I wrote at length about the extreme dangers and lawlessness of allowing the Executive Branch the power to murder U.S. citizens far away from a battlefield (i.e., while they're sleeping, at home, with their children, etc.) and with no due process of any kind. I won't repeat those arguments, but I do want to highlight how unbelievably Orwellian and tyrannical this is in light of these new articles today.

Just consider how the NYT reports on Obama's assassination order and how it is justified:

The Obama administration has taken the extraordinary step of authorizing the targeted killing of an American citizen, the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who is believed to have shifted from encouraging attacks on the United States to directly participating in them, intelligence and counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. . . .

American counterterrorism officials say Mr. Awlaki is an operative of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the affiliate of the terror network in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They say they believe that he has become a recruiter for the terrorist network, feeding prospects into plots aimed at the United States and at Americans abroad, the officials said.

It is extremely rare, if not unprecedented, for an American to be approved for targeted killing, officials said. A former senior legal official in the administration of George W. Bush said he did not know of any American who was approved for targeted killing under the former president. . . .

"The danger Awlaki poses to this country is no longer confined to words," said an American official, who like other current and former officials interviewed for this article spoke of the classified counterterrorism measures on the condition of anonymity. "He’s gotten involved in plots."

No due process is accorded. No charges or trials are necessary. No evidence is offered, nor any opportunity for him to deny these accusations (which he has done vehemently through his family). None of that.

Instead, in Barack Obama's America, the way guilt is determined for American citizens -- and a death penalty imposed -- is that the President, like the King he thinks he is, secretly decrees someone's guilt as a Terrorist. He then dispatches his aides to run to America's newspapers -- cowardly hiding behind the shield of anonymity which they're granted -- to proclaim that the Guilty One shall be killed on sight because the Leader has decreed him to be a Terrorist. It is simply asserted that Awlaki has converted from a cleric who expresses anti-American views and advocates attacks on American military targets (advocacy which happens to be Constitutionally protected) to Actual Terrorist "involved in plots." These newspapers then print this Executive Verdict with no questioning, no opposition, no investigation, no refutation as to its truth. And the punishment is thus decreed: this American citizen will now be murdered by the CIA because Barack Obama has ordered that it be done. What kind of person could possibly justify this or think that this is a legitimate government power?

Just to get a sense for how extreme this behavior is, consider -- as the NYT reported -- that not even George Bush targeted American citizens for this type of extra-judicial killing (though a 2002 drone attack in Yemen did result in the death of an American citizen). Even more strikingly, Antonin Scalia, in the 2004 case of Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, wrote an Opinion (joined by Justice Stevens) arguing that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. Government merely to imprison (let alone kill) American citizens as "enemy combatants"; instead, they argued, the Constitution required that Americans be charged with crimes (such as treason) and be given a trial before being punished. The full Hamdi Court held that at least some due process was required before Americans could be imprisoned as "enemy combatants." Yet now, Barack Obama is claiming the right not merely to imprison, but to assassinate far from any battlefield, American citizens with no due process of any kind. Even GOP Congressman Pete Hoekstra, when questioning Adm. Blair, recognized the severe dangers raised by this asserted power.

And what about all the progressives who screamed for years about the Bush administration's tyrannical treatment of Jose Padilla? Bush merely imprisoned Padilla for years without a trial. If that's a vicious, tyrannical assault on the Constitution -- and it was -- what should they be saying about the Nobel Peace Prize winner's assassination of American citizens without any due process?

All of this underscores the principal point made in this excellent new article by Eli Lake, who compellingly and comprehensively documents what readers here well know: that while Obama's "speeches and some of his administration’s policy rollouts have emphasized a break from the Bush era," the reality is that the administration has retained and, in some cases, built upon the core Bush/Cheney approach to civil liberties and Terrorism. As Al Gore asked in his superb 2006 speech protesting Bush's "War on the Constitution":

Can it be true that any president really has such powers under our Constitution?

If the answer is yes, then under the theory by which these acts are committed, are there any acts that can on their face be prohibited?

If the president has the inherent authority to eavesdrop on American citizens without a warrant, imprison American citizens on his own declaration, kidnap and torture, then what can't he do?

Notice the power that was missing from Gore's indictment of Bush radicalism: the power to kill American citizens. Add that to the litany -- as Obama has now done -- and consider how much more compelling Gore's accusatory questions become.

UPDATE: When Obama was seeking the Democratic nomination, the Constitutional Law Scholar answered a questionnaire about executive power distributed by The Boston Globe's Charlie Savage, and this was one of his answers:

5. Does the Constitution permit a president to detain US citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants?

[Obama]: No. I reject the Bush Administration's claim that the President has plenary authority under the Constitution to detain U.S. citizens without charges as unlawful enemy combatants.

So back then, Obama said the President lacks the power merely to detain U.S. citizens without charges. Now, as President, he claims the power to assassinate them without charges. Could even his hardest-core loyalists try to reconcile that with a straight face? As Spencer Ackerman documents today, not even John Yoo claimed that the President possessed the power Obama is claiming here.

UPDATE II: If you're going to go into the comment section -- or anywhere else -- and argue that this is all justified because Awlaki is an Evil, Violent, Murdering Terrorist Trying to Kill Americans, you should say how you know that. Generally, guilt is determined by having a trial where the evidence is presented and the accused has an opportunity to defend himself -- not by putting blind authoritarian faith in the unchecked accusations of government leaders, even if it happens to be Barack Obama. That's especially true given how many times accusations of Terrorism by the U.S. Government have proven to be false.

UPDATE III: Congratulations, Barack Obama: you're now to the Right of National Review on issues of executive power and due process, as Kevin Williamson objects: "Surely there has to be some operational constraint on the executive when it comes to the killing of U.S. citizens. . . . Odious as Awlaki is, this seems to me to be setting an awful and reckless precedent. " But Andy McCarthy -- who is about the most crazed Far Right extremist on such matters as it gets, literally -- is as pleased as can be with what Obama is doing (or, as Gawker puts it, "Obama Does Something Bloodthirsty Enough to Please the Psychos").


How Empires Rule at Home

By: Professor Francis A. Boyle, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence - Could The US War On Terrorism Go Nuclear? (Clarity Press, 2002),
original HERE...

Undoubtedly, the further expansion of the American Empire and Pax Americana abroad will require the further imposition of an American police state here at home. As the Romans discovered, an Empire is incompatible with a Republic. No point would be served here by reviewing the extensive literature that was generated during the Vietnam War comparing the United States with the demise of the Imperial Athenian Democracy during what Thucydides first denominated as the “Peloponnesian War” that really extended over 27 years. Yet the Bush Jr. administration is publicly and shamelessly promising us a war against terrorism without a conceivable end in sight. Not even the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.

Bush Jr.'s Constitutional Coup D'Êtat

From the Supreme Court's installation of Bush Jr. as President to the Ashcroft/Federalist Society post-September 11th regime of police state “laws,” the politico-legal functioning of America is increasingly resembling that of a Banana Republic. Since September 11th, we have seen one blow against the U.S. Constitution after another. For example, Attorney General John Ashcroft unilaterally instituted the monitoring of attorney-client communications despite the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures and the Sixth Amendment right to representation by Counsel in criminal cases. He just went ahead and did it, without even bothering to inform anyone.

Over 1100 aliens have been picked up and “disappeared” by Ashcroft and his Department of Injustice. The American People have no idea where most of these people are. They are being held on the basis of immigration law, not criminal law, for a period of detention which has not been defined. Ashcroft proclaimed another ukaze that these immigration proceedings must be held in secret. The phenomenon of “enforced disappearances” is considered to be a crime against humanity by Article 7(I)(i) of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court.

It appears that many of these aliens have been deprived of their basic human rights to consular notification and access as set forth in the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, to which the United States is a contracting party and which even the U.S. State Department concedes constitutes binding customary international law. Apparently Bush Jr.'s left hand does not care about what his right hand does. Yet another international convention set at naught.

The one characteristic these detained foreigners have in common is that they are mostly Muslims, Arabs, and Asians. Everyone needs a scapegoat for the 11 September tragedy, and it looks like we have one, both at home and abroad. Thousands more such aliens are being moved into the pipeline for the Ashcroft gulag by the FBI.

Ashcroft is now planning to reinstate the infamous COINTELPRO Program, whose atrocities against the civil rights and civil liberties of the American People have been amply documented elsewhere.

It is just a matter of time before the Bush Jr. Leaguers unleash the newly-augmented powers of the FBI, CIA and NSA directly against the American People. (Professor Boyle was almost clairvoyant here in that his prediction has now come true) And we already have 2 million Americans rotting away in prison -- the highest rate of incarceration in the world, a disproportionate majority of whom are Americans of Color, victims of the Nixon/Ford, Reagan/Bush, and Clinton administrations' racist “war on drugs,” which is really a war against people of color. [32] The American Police State has already arrived for people of color!

Ashcroft's Police State

This brings the analysis to the Ashcroft Police State Act. There are no other words to describe it. While Bush failed to get a formal declaration of war that would have rendered him a constitutional dictator, clearly Attorney General John Ashcroft and his right-wing Federalist Society lawyers took every piece of regressive legislation off the shelf, tied it all into what they called an anti-terrorism bill, and then rammed it through Congress, giving it the appropriately Orwellian name of the U.S.A. Patriot Act. According to one report, Ashcroft's first draft would have had Congress suspend the ancient Writ of Habeas Corpus -- the necessary prerequisite for imposing a police state in the United States of America. Many Members of Congress publicly admitted that they did not even bother to read the Ashcroft Police State Act. Another Congressman said basically: “Right, but there's nothing new about that.” Interestingly enough the so-called liberal Democrats in the House and the Senate were willing to give Bush Jr. and Ashcroft more police state powers than the conservative Republicans in the House. But there are no real differences that matter between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to promoting America's self-proclaimed “Manifest Destiny” to control the World and now Outer Space too.

Bush's Kangaroo Courts

It would take an entire law review article for me to analyze all the legal and human rights problems with Bush Jr.'s proposed military commissions. Here a cabal of Federalist Society Lawyers in the White House got President Bush to sign a Presidential Order on 13 November 2001 which, when implemented, will be widely recognized to constitute a grave breach of the Geneva Conventions and establish a prima facie case of criminal accountability against the President himself. It is emblematic of this particular war that right towards its very outset President George W. Bush personally incriminated himself under both international criminal law and United States domestic criminal law. The Bush Jr. administration has severely undermined the integrity of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949. By doing this, the Bush Jr. administration has opened up U.S. Armed Forces and civilians around the world to similar reprisals, which has already happened.

As a licensed attorney for 25 years, a law professor for 23 years and someone who has done a good deal of criminal defense work in U.S. Federal Courts, I am opposed to the insinuation of these Federalist Society Lawyers that America's Federal Courts established by Article III of the U.S. Constitution cannot hold accountable those responsible for the crimes of 11 September 2001. This is an insult to all Federal Judges, Federal Prosecutors, Federal Public Defenders and all the Lawyers who are Officers of these Courts.

In one fell stroke these Federalist Society lawyers have besmirched and undermined the integrity of two Branches of the United States Federal Government established by the Constitution -- the Presidency and the Judiciary. So far the U.S. Congress has supinely gone along with the Bush Jr. police state agenda. If and when these Bush/Ashcroft police state practices make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, many of them will probably be upheld. After all, a 5 to 4 majority of the Supreme Court already gave the Presidency to Bush Jr. We need to seriously consider whether they would strike down laws and practices that would give Bush Jr. a Police State as well.

Philosophers have taught that a People get the type of government they deserve. If the American People permit the Bush Jr. Leaguers to impose a Police State at home in the name of furthering Pax Americana abroad, we will have deserved it by abnegating our responsibilities as Citizens living in what is supposed to be a constitutional Republic with a commitment to the Rule of Law. The same thing happened to the Romans and to the Athenians. The United States of America is not immune to the laws of history. Sic transit gloria mundi!


Obama's US Assassination Program? Part 1

by: Chuck Norris
Posted 07/27/2010 ET
Updated 07/28/2010 ET

Sound too conspiratorial to be true? Like the cover-up ops of spy novels? Well, it's reality. And it is possibly the most bizarre, inhumane and abusive way that the White House is expanding its power over the American people.

It's not an extremist belief or theory of the far right. It's a fact that has been confirmed by The New York Times, The Washington Post and MSNBC and even documented by the far-left online magazine (Glen Greenwald of Salon and Chuch Norris are at opposite ends of the political spectrum and yet both agree on this).

And it's the gravest nightmare of U.S. citizens and abandonment of our Constitution to date: a presidential assassination program in which U.S. citizens are in the literal scopes of the executive branch based upon nothing more than allegations of terrorism involvement as the branch defines it.

Of course, the CIA has executed covert assassinations of foreigners for decades. But tragically, Obama is expanding this program to include American, non-Islamic, stateside, homegrown terrorists.

It all started in January, when The Washington Post reported: "As part of the operations, Obama approved a Dec. 24 strike against a (Yemeni) compound where a U.S. citizen, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was thought to be meeting with other regional al-Qaeda leaders. Although he was not the focus of the strike and was not killed, he has since been added to a shortlist of U.S. citizens specifically targeted for killing or capture."

"A shortlist of U.S. citizens specifically targeted for killing"?

That's right. No arrest. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet.

While the Obama administration continues its Bush-blaming for the economy, it is mega-morphing Bush policy in covert ops overseas, which was, according to the Post, "to kill U.S. citizens abroad if strong evidence existed that an American was involved in organizing or carrying out terrorist actions against the United States or U.S. interests."

Well, in recent weeks, the Obama administration has taken this overseas killing op to a new low: stateside assassinations.

A former director of national intelligence, Adm. Dennis Blair, confessed before Congress: "We take direct actions against terrorists in the intelligence community. If we think that direct action will involve killing an American, we get specific permission to do that."

If you are wondering who the "we" are to whom Adm. Blair refers, they are Smith, Wesson and the White House.

Now we know what deputy national security adviser John Brennan meant when he admitted in May, "And under President Obama, we have built upon the work of the previous administration and have accelerated efforts in many areas." (Remember when Bush's eavesdropping on U.S. citizens seemed harsh?)

Brennan further explained then that the problem of homegrown terrorists ranks as a top priority because of the increasing number of U.S. individuals who have become "captivated by extremist ideology or causes." He went on to say, "There are ... dozens of U.S. persons who are in different parts of the world and ... are very concerning to us."

Do you think "different parts of the world" doesn't include their country of origin?

Conveniently, the Obama administration also is integrating a pervasive plan to ensure the termination of radicals as the feds deem them abroad and domestic, too, with the resurrection of the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007, introduced by Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif. Also known as H.R. 1955, it was passed in the House by the Democratic majority but was rejected by the Senate.

Everyone thought that legislation was dead until the Obama administration resurrected its tenets in its 52-page "National Security Strategy," released in May. So alarming is the feds' potential abuse of power that officials from London to the Kremlin are recognizing the threat to U.S. citizens.

The European Union Times reported, "Foreign Ministry reports circulating in the Kremlin today are warning that an already explosive situation in the United States is about to get a whole lot worse as a new law put forth by President Obama is said capable of seeing up to 500,000 American citizens jailed for the crime of opposing their government."

Woodrow Wilson, during his reign as president, incarcerated more than 2,000 U.S. citizens for speaking out against the government. And now for the first time since, a U.S. president is highlighting the threats of homegrown terror and literally hunting U.S. citizens as terrorists. One senior administration official said, "For the first time since 9/11, the (national security strategy) integrates homeland security and national security."

And what type of "integration" does that entail?

President Obama explained in an often overlooked statement within the "National Security Strategy": "We are now moving beyond traditional distinctions between homeland and national security. ... This includes a determination to prevent terrorist attacks against the American people by fully coordinating the actions that we take abroad with the actions and precautions that we take at home."

Could it be any clearer? Right out of the horse's mouth. Or do I need to spell out what "fully coordinating the actions that we take abroad with the actions and precautions that we take at home" means?

Remember the words "a shortlist of U.S. citizens specifically targeted for killing"?

That's right. No arrest. No Miranda rights. No due process. No trial. Just a bullet.

Mossad in America

Israeli intelligence steps up its activity in the U.S. — and gets away with it.

By Philip Giraldi
The American Conservative original HERE...
August 23, 2010

Israeli government claims that it does not spy on the United States are intended for the media and popular consumption. The reality is that Israel’s intelligence agencies target the United States intensively, particularly in pursuit of military and dual-use civilian technology. Among nations considered to be friendly to Washington, Israel leads all others in its active espionage directed against American companies and the Defense Department. It also dominates two commercial sectors that enable it to extend its reach inside America’s domestic infrastructure: airline and telecommunications security. Israel is believed to have the ability to monitor nearly all phone records originating in the United States, while numerous Israeli air-travel security companies are known to act as the local Mossad stations.

As tensions with Iran increase, sources in the counterintelligence community report that Israeli agents have become more aggressive in targeting Muslims living in the United States as well as in operating against critics. There have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab-American communities and have falsely represented themselves as “U.S. intelligence.” Because few Muslims would assist an Israeli, this is done to increase the likelihood that the target will cooperate. It’s referred to as a “false flag” operation.

Mossad officers sought to recruit Arab-Americans as sources willing to inform on their associates and neighbors. The approaches, which took place in New York and New Jersey, were reportedly handled clumsily, making the targets of the operation suspicious. These Arab-Americans turned down the requests for cooperation, and some of the contacts were eventually reported to the FBI, which has determined that at least two of the Mossad officers are, ironically, Israeli Arabs operating out of Israel’s mission to the United Nations in New York under cover as consular assistants.

In another bizarre case, U.S.S. Liberty survivor Phil Tourney was recently accosted in Southern California by a foreigner who eventually identified himself as an Israeli government representative. Tourney was taunted, and the Israeli threatened both him and journalist Mark Glenn, who has been reporting on the Liberty story. Tourney was approached in a hotel lounge, and it is not completely clear how the Israeli was able to identify him. But he knew exactly who Tourney was, as the official referred to the Liberty, saying that the people who had been killed on board had gotten what they deserved. There were a number of witnesses to the incident, including Tourney’s wife. The threat has been reported to the FBI, which is investigating, but Tourney and Glenn believe that the incident is not being taken seriously by the bureau.

FBI sources indicate that the increase in Mossad activity is a major problem, particularly when Israelis are posing as U.S. government officials, but they also note that there is little they can do to stop it as the Justice Department refuses to initiate any punitive action or prosecutions of the Mossad officers who have been identified as involved in the illegal activity.

In another ongoing Israeli spy case, Stewart Nozette appears to be headed towards eventual freedom as his case drags on through the District of Columbia courts. Nozette, an aerospace scientist with a top secret clearance and access to highly sensitive information, offered to sell classified material to a man he believed to be a Mossad officer, but who instead turned out to be with the FBI. Nozette has been in jail since October, but he has now been granted an additional 90-day delay so his lawyers can review the documents in the government’s case, many of which are classified. If Nozette demands that sensitive information be used in his defense, his case will likely follow the pattern set in the nine-times-postponed trial of AIPAC spies Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, who were ultimately acquitted in April 2009 when prosecutors determined that they could not make their case without doing significant damage to national security. A month after Rosen and Weissman were freed, Ben-Ami Kadish, who admitted to providing defense secrets to Israel while working as an engineer at Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, walked out of a Manhattan court after paying a fine. He did no jail time and continues to receive his substantial Defense Department pension.

The mainstream media reported the Rosen and Weissman trial intermittently, but there was virtually no coverage of Ben-Ami Kadish, and there has been even less of Nozette. Compare that with the recent reporting on the Russian spies who, by all accounts, did almost nothing and never obtained any classified information. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that spying for Israel is consequence free.


Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer, is the Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest. His “Deep Background” column appears every month exclusively in The American Conservative.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Constant War: No End in Sight, Military Imploding from Stress

Thousands strain Fort Hood's mental health system

By Gregg Zoroya

FORT HOOD, Texas — Nine months after an Army psychiatrist was charged with fatally shooting 13 soldiers and wounding 30, the nation's largest Army post can measure the toll of war in the more than 10,000 mental health evaluations, referrals or therapy sessions held every month.

About every fourth soldier here, where 48,000 troops and their families are based, has been in counseling during the past year, according to the service's medical statistics. And the number of soldiers seeking help for combat stress, substance abuse, broken marriages or other emotional problems keeps increasing.

A common refrain by the Army's vice chief of staff, Gen. Peter Chiarelli, is that far more soldiers suffer mental health issues than the Army anticipated. Nowhere is this more evident than at Fort Hood, where emotional problems among the soldiers threaten to overwhelm the system in place to help them.

Counselors are booked. The 12-bed inpatient psychiatric ward is full more often than not. Overflow patient-soldiers are sent to private local clinics that stay open for 10 hours a day, six days a week to meet the demand.

"We are full to the brim," says Col. Steve Braverman, commander of the Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center on the post.

PTSD: "Hundreds of soldiers incorrectly dismissed" Full article HERE...
BUREAUCRACY: "Benefits process streamlined for vets with PTSD" see USA Today Archive

That doesn't even count those soldiers reluctant to seek care because they are ashamed to admit they need help or the hundreds who find therapy outside the Army medical system, Braverman and other medical officials say.

Officials worry the problems may worsen — for the military and the country.

"If Fort Hood is representative of the Army — and 10% of the Army is assigned to Fort Hood — then if you follow the logic, our numbers should be scalable to any other post in the country," says acting base commander Maj. Gen. William Grimsley.

"I worry that if we don't see this through the right way over the long haul ... we're going to grow a generation of people 10 or 15 years from now who are going to be a burden on our own society," he says. "And that's not a good thing for the Army. That's not a good thing for the United States."

Statistics provided to USA TODAY by Fort Hood commanders show the explosion of mental health issues here:

•Fort Hood counselors meet with more than 4,000 mental health patients a month.

•Last year, 2,445 soldiers were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), up from 310 in 2004.

•Every month, an average of 585 soldiers are sent to nearby private clinics contracted through the Pentagon's TRICARE health system because Army counselors cannot handle more patients. That is up from 15 per month in 2004.

•Hundreds more see therapists "off the network" because they want their psychological problems kept secret from the Army. A free clinic in Killeen offering total discretion treated 2,000 soldiers or family members this year, many of them officers.

•Last year, 6,000 soldiers here were on anti-depressant medications and an additional 1,400 received anti-psychotic drugs.

"I don't think we fully understand the total effect of nine years of continuous conflict on a force this size," Chiarelli says, reacting to those statistics.

"Those numbers are pretty staggering," says Kathy Beasley, a health care executive with the Military Officers Association of America. She wonders what will happen when those soldiers leave the military. "Do we have the supply and the people in our systems to take care of that?"

Every time more counselors are hired here, their schedules immediately fill up with patients. "It's almost like a Field of Dreams," Braverman says, referring to the famous line from the 1989 film about a baseball field on an Iowa farm that spontaneously draws crowds. "If you build it, they will come."

'Life can slowly slip away'

Staff Sgt. Josh Rivera came back from his third tour in Iraq this year eager to save his marriage.

"When a soldier is constantly gone and actually fighting, not just deploying and sitting in an office, life can slowly slip away," says Rivera, 32, a native of the Bronx, N.Y.

IN KENTUCKY: Losses mount at Fort Campbell, Ky. See article HERE...

Thirty-nine cumulative months of war had left him distant from his family and confused about his role in their lives, Rivera says. All that made sense was the infantry, which he loves. Rivera resisted seeing a counselor until his marriage was in real trouble, he says.

The Army therapist who met with Rivera and his wife, Julie, gently guided them back to basics — what brought them together 10 years before, why each mattered to the other and what they wanted out of life, the couple say.

Chaplains provide marriage counseling, but for soldiers who want to see a licensed marriage counselor, the base's social work department has two, each with a caseload of 60 couples, says Lt. Col. Nancy Ruffin, department director.

She has to refer some troubled marriages to private clinics, and not all the soldiers are willing to do that, Ruffin says.

The demand for other types of counseling also far exceeds supply. There are not enough social workers to treat soldiers suffering the emotional effect of sexual assault. Ruffin says she has one social worker, who is handling 50 cases.

Fort Hood has an intensive, three-week therapy program, followed by eight weeks of group therapy, for soldiers suffering stress-related issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder. It has a waiting list of 80 soldiers.

The child and adolescent psychiatric services at Fort Hood handle more than 1,000 visits, assessments or counseling sessions with military children each month, up from about 800 in 2004. It refers about 30 overflow cases off base each month, up from zero in 2004, the base statistics show.

Fort Hood has one of the most robust mental health programs in the Army. It has 171 behavioral health providers and 28 new hires are on the way, says Lt. Col. B. Kirk Phillips, a psychiatrist and director of mental health care at the Darnall medical center. This is up from about 50 mental health workers in 2004.

Because of war and deployments, not only are there more soldiers suffering emotional problems, they are sicker than ever and require more counseling sessions, Phillips says. Even after the latest round of hiring, Phillips says, a recent internal analysis showed the mental health staff will need an additional 58 counselors to meet the demand.

Suicides outpacing 2009

Despite the increase in mental health resources, there have been 14 confirmed or suspected suicides among Fort Hood soldiers this year. That figure outpaces 2009 and matched each of the three worst years for suicides in recent base history, 2006-2008. In June, the Army recorded 32 suicides overall, the highest monthly total since it began keeping records.

Army Sgt. Douglas Hale Jr., 26, was one of the most recent Fort Hood suicides.

On July, 6, Glenda Moss received this text message from Hale, her son: "i love u mom im so sorry i hope u and the family and god can forgive me."

Her son had tried to kill himself in May. She feared he might try again. She immediately called the Army and then drove the 90 minutes from her home in King, Texas, to the base.

It was too late. Hale had walked into a restaurant across Highway 190 from Fort Hood, asked to use the bathroom, locked the door and shot himself in the head with a newly purchased handgun, according to a police report. He was removed from life support a few days later.

Moss knew her son was very troubled. When his second combat tour to Iraq ended in 2007 after 15 months, he was diagnosed with PTSD and severe depression, began drinking heavily, saw his marriage disintegrate and, finally, left the base without permission last year.

He was brought back to Fort Hood in May after being taken into custody by police in King for being absent without leave, his mother said. He attempted suicide in his barracks that month.

The Army sent him to a psychiatric hospital in Denton, Texas. Army doctors told him "we don't have enough people here (at Fort Hood) to help you," his mother recalls.

A statement released by Fort Hood in response to questions about Hale's case says, "Space and staff shortages prevent us from treating all our patients on post. While it is our intent to treat patients within our facilities, the reality is we cannot at the present time."

Base officials declined to discuss the specifics of Hale's case while an Army investigation continues.

Moss says her son seemed to be in good spirits after leaving the Denton hospital following a month of treatment in June. He spent the July 4th weekend at his mother's home before she drove him back to Fort Hood on July 5.

Moss says the Army can do more to watch over troubled soldiers like her son. "They need to do as much as they can to stop this, because if they don't, the Army's going to be responsible for a lot more (suicides)," she says. "I don't want another family to have to deal with what I went through.

'Stigma was still a problem'

After the mass killings in November, Fort Hood launched a campaign to gauge the psychological health in the community. The goal was to see how many people needed help, whether they were getting it and how many counselors were needed. Part of the effort was an online, confidential survey in February to get soldiers' views. Troops were offered incentives such as a day off from work to participate. More than 5,000 responded.

One in four said they would be viewed as weak, treated differently or harm their careers if they admitted suffering emotional issues, says Col. William Rabena, who led the campaign. The attitude was particularly strong among majors, lieutenant colonels and full colonels.

"Stigma was still a problem," Rabena says.

For those soldiers afraid to seek help, who decline to go to Army therapists or private clinics that contract with the military, there are alternatives.

A Pentagon program offers soldiers a limited number of counseling sessions with private therapists that will remain off their medical records. The program is called Military OneSource, and it provides up to 12 free and confidential therapy sessions when soldiers call a toll-free hotline. From May 2009 to May 2010, there was a 72% increase in sessions provided by the program in the Fort Hood area, from 822 to 1,412, says Air Force Maj. April Cunningham, a Pentagon spokeswoman.

Another option for Fort Hood soldiers who want to keep their psychological problems secret from the Army is a free clinic in Killeen called Scott & White Military Homefront Services. The therapy provided at this clinic does not show up as a mental health diagnosis on a soldier's medical record.

The five therapists at the project are booked solid, says the director, Maxine Trent, a psychotherapist and the wife of a retired Navy SEAL.

The clinic has seen 7,117 soldiers, spouses and their children since it opened in 2008, says Matthew Wright, a director with Scott & White Healthcare of Temple, Texas, which operates the project.

Soldiers, many of them officers, come into the clinic seeking therapy for the first time in their careers, Trent says.

"Generally, you have the parade rest," she says, demonstrating how they sit with backs straight, arms outstretched and palms on knees. The tension in their bodies, she says, is palpable.

"Those who have been back-to-back deployed vibrate. ... There's different energy. There's hyper-vigilance that you won't see anywhere else," Trent says. "They walk in here not sleeping. They walk in here having mood disruptions, angry driving, explosions at wife and/or husband and kids."

When her offices opened, Trent canvassed the wives of Fort Hood commanders to get a sense of what she was facing. "They told us basically, 'We know everything we need to know about deployment. Please don't set up any programs to teach us about deployment,' " Trent recalls. " 'What we don't know how to do is to keep doing it (deployments). We're tired. We're exhausted.' "

Even this program struggles to cope with all those needing help and getting the money to pay for it.

A $750,000 grant from the Dallas Foundation and the Association of the U.S. Army for the project is nearly gone and officials are trying to secure more funding, Wright says.

Adam Borah, who runs the outpatient psychiatric clinic at Fort Hood, sees progress in the many soldiers stepping forward to seek help. "The bad news is that there are a lot of people out there who need behavioral heath care," he says.

Braverman worries that if the number of patients keeps climbing, soldiers will give up waiting to see someone and avoid seeking help. Private clinics that contract with the military to handle overflow patients are overworked, says Chuck Lauer, a senior administrator at Darnall Hospital. "These guys (local private therapists) are putting in six days a week. Some of them have their practices open 10 hours a day," Lauer says.

Staff Sgt. Rivera, who got the marital help, worries for the soldiers. "The military needs to know that they are losing very good soldiers and squads and platoons to multiple deployments," he says. "The amount of help needed is actually overwhelming."


There Are No Heroes In Illegal And Immoral Wars

By Robert Jensen

August 24, 2010 "Information Clearing House" -- When the 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division rolled out of Iraq last week, the colonel commanding the brigade told a reporter that his soldiers were “leaving as heroes.”

While we can understand the pride of professional soldiers and the emotion behind that statement, it’s time for Americans -- military and civilian -- to face a difficult reality: In seven years of the deceptively named “Operation Iraqi Freedom” and nine years of “Operation Enduring Freedom” in Afghanistan, no member of the U.S. has been a hero.

This is not an attack on soldiers, sailors, and Marines. Military personnel may act heroically in specific situations, showing courage and compassion, but for them to be heroes in the truest sense they must be engaged in a legal and morally justifiable conflict. That is not the case with the U.S. invasions and occupations of Iraq or Afghanistan, and the social pressure on us to use the language of heroism -- or risk being labeled callous or traitors -- undermines our ability to evaluate the politics and ethics of wars in a historical framework.

The legal case is straightforward: Neither invasion had the necessary approval of the United Nations Security Council, and neither was a response to an imminent attack. In both cases, U.S. officials pretended to engage in diplomacy but demanded war. Under international law and the U.S. Constitution (Article 6 is clear that “all Treaties made,” such as the UN Charter, are “the supreme Law of the Land”), both invasions were illegal.

The moral case is also clear: U.S. officials’ claims that the invasions were necessary to protect us from terrorism or locate weapons of mass destruction were never plausible and have been exposed as lies. The world is a more dangerous place today than it was in 2001, when sensible changes in U.S. foreign policy and vigorous law enforcement in collaboration with other nations could have made us safer.

The people who bear the greatest legal and moral responsibility for these crimes are the politicians who send the military to war and the generals who plan the actions (editor's bold emphasis throughout), and it may seem unfair to deny the front-line service personnel the label of “hero” when they did their duty as they understood it. But this talk of heroism is part of the way we avoid politics and deny the unpleasant fact that these are imperial wars. U.S. military forces are in the Middle East and Central Asia not to bring freedom but to extend and deepen U.S. power in a region home to the world’s most important energy resources. The nation exercising control there increases its influence over the global economy, and despite all the U.S. propaganda, the world realizes we have tens of thousands of troops on the ground because of those oil and gas reserves.

Individuals can act with courage and compassion serving in imperial armies. There no doubt were soldiers among the British forces in colonial India who acted heroically, and Soviet soldiers stationed in Eastern Europe were capable of bravery. But they were serving in imperial armies engaged in indefensible attempts to dominate and control. They were fighting not for freedom but to advance the interests of elites in their home countries.

I recognize the complexity of the choices the men and women serving in our military face. I am aware that economic realities and the false promises of recruiters lure many of them into service. I am not judging or condemning them. Judgments and condemnations should be aimed at the powerful, who typically avoid their responsibility. For example, a journalist recently asked Ryan Crocker, former U.S. ambassador to Iraq, to reflect on U.S. culpability for the current state of Iraqi politics. Crocker was reluctant to go there, and then refused even to consider the United States’ moral responsibility: “You can ask the question, was the whole bloody thing a mistake?” he said. “I don’t spend a lot of time on that.”

It’s not surprising U.S. policymakers don’t want to reflect on the invasions, but the public must. Until we can tell the truth about U.S. foreign policy, and how the military is used to advance that policy in illegal and immoral ways, we will remain easy marks for the politicians and their propagandists.

Part of that propaganda campaign is suggesting that critics of the war don’t support the troops, don’t recognize their sacrifices, don’t appreciate their heroism. We escape the propaganda by not playing that game, by telling the truth even when it is painful.


Black Hearts: One Platoon's Descent into Madness in Iraq's Triangle of Death

by Jim Frederick
The Guardian
August 21, 2010

Vietnam veteran and novelist Edward Wilson finds chilling echoes of that war in a US platoon's Iraq killing spree

This isn't a book for armchair war junkies. It's about what Wilfred Owen called "the pity of war". The centre and the pity of Jim Frederick's account is the murder of the Janabis, an Iraqi family, and the rape of their 14-year-old daughter by four US soldiers. The most chilling aspect of the crime was the casual manner in which it was carried out. It was almost a jape – something to break the boredom of endless hours at a checkpoint. The soldiers did it because they had the power to do it; they didn't need a reason why – almost the invasion of Iraq in microcosm.

The rapists were from an infantry platoon in the US army's most elite division, the 101st Airborne, which provided "the Band of Brothers". It was the division sent by Eisenhower to enforce civil rights legislation and ensure that nine African-American children could attend Little Rock Central High School. It is associated with honour, not atrocity. It was only natural that it would be tasked with the most dangerous area of operations in the Iraq of 2005-06: the "Triangle of Death".

There are three basic things to avoid in war: getting killed, being convicted of war crimes and having a commanding officer who thinks you are useless. B Company's ill-fated 1st Platoon avoided none of these. By the end of their deployment, 11 of 1st Platoon's 33 members were dead or in jail for murder. Why? According to their commander, Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Kunk, it was all their fault: "You 1st Platoon are fucked up. Fucked up! Every single one of you!" Colonel Kunk was straight out of Catch-22. His officers referred to his control-freak outbursts as "getting Kunked" or being under the "Kunk gun". He seemed to have had every tact and empathy instinct removed: 1st Platoon's seven killed in action "were dead because of their failings", and the survivors were "quitters, crybabies and complainers". Such leadership is not unknown in the US military. Sometimes it works, but when it doesn't, the results can be bloody.

Everything that could go wrong did go wrong. The platoon's best leaders were killed early on, and the remaining soldiers were a mixture of seething resentment, indiscipline and combat exhaustion. Young soldiers on a battlefield packed with civilians need constant and close supervision. This didn't happen.

The best of 1st Platoon's lost leaders was Sergeant Kenith Casica. A photo shows James Barker, one of the rapists, with his arms around gentle giant Casica. The expression on Barker's face as he hugs Casica is pure bliss. Barker has found a replacement for the father who died when he was 15, but soon afterwards the surrogate father is dead as well. Casica was openly friendly to the Iraqis. When he was teased as a "hadji hugger" he reminded his men that they were there to help the Iraqis. If Casica had lived, Abeer Janabi and her family would also be alive today.

The most toxic of 1st Platoon's leaderless soldiers was Steven Green. His psychosis seemed obvious to all except the army's mental health professionals. On a combat stress report, Green's statement of "interests" as "none other than killing Iraqis" was dismissed as "normal". The alarm bells began to ring only when he killed a puppy by throwing it off a roof. At every step the army failed to protect the Iraqis from Green and Green from himself. His discharge papers, citing a pre-existing personality disorder marked by "indifference to the suffering of others", came too late. He had already committed rape and quadruple homicide.

In retrospect, it was obvious that Green was a troubled youngster whom the army couldn't redeem. There was something that went beyond drug offences, ADHD diagnosis and his mother kicking him out of the house at 14. Before dropping out of high school, Green entertained classmates at lunchtimes by smashing drinks cans on his forehead. After the murder-rape it was reported that: "Green was jumping up and down on a cot and they all agreed that that was awesome, that was cool."

Frederick acknowledges the adrenaline buzz of battle but does not attempt to gloss over war's inherently brutal and dehumanising nature. He is also a master at describing the psychological effects. The most feared weapon of today's wars is the ubiquitous IED (improvised explosive device). "There is nothing you can do . . . no release for the anger and adrenaline." The IED saps morale and spawns hate for the population: "How could you not want to kill them, too, for protecting the person who just tried to kill you?"

Inevitably, there are echoes of Vietnam, the most chilling of which comes from a 1st Platoon soldier: "You can't think of these people as people." The same dehumanisation that led to My Lai led to the murder of the Janabis. And in both wars, the soldiers who refused to tolerate dehumanisation were the real heroes. To his credit, Colonel Kunk, unlike his Vietnam predecessors, acted quickly and decisively. He may not have handled the matter tactfully – he immediately revealed the names of the whistleblowers, Justin Watt and John Diem, who risked retribution and scorn by reporting the murders – but he did the right thing.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Back in News: Still No Moral Clarity

NIH cannot fund embryonic stem cell research, judge rules

By Rob Stein and Spencer S. Hsu
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A federal judge on Monday blocked the Obama administration from funding human embryonic stem cell research, ruling that the support violates a federal law barring the use of taxpayer money for experiments that destroy human embryos.

U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth issued a preliminary injunction that prohibits the National Institutes of Health from funding the research under the administration's new guidelines, citing an appeals court's ruling that the researchers who had challenged the less-restrictive policy have the legal standing to pursue their lawsuit.

The decision, a setback for one of the administration's most high-profile scientific policies, was praised by opponents of the research.

"We are encouraged that the court has recognized the seriousness of the ethics and the funding of embryonic stem cell research," said David Prentice, senior fellow for life sciences at the Family Research Council.

The ruling stunned scientists and other advocates of the research, which has been hailed as one of the most important advances in medicine in decades because of its potential to cure many diseases but has been embroiled in controversy because the cells are obtained by destroying days-old embryos.

"This is devastating, absolutely devastating," said Amy Comstock Rick, immediate past president of the Coalition for the Advancement of Medical Research, a group of patient organizations that has been lobbying for more federal funding.

"We were really looking forward to research finally moving forward with the full backing of the NIH. We were really looking forward to the next chapter when human embryonic stem cells could really be explored for their full potential. This really sets us back," Rick said. "Every day we lose is another day lost for patients waiting for cures."

Tracy Schmaler, a Justice Department spokeswoman, did not discuss how the administration intends to respond to the ruling, saying only that "we're reviewing the decision." The NIH had no immediate comment.

Steven Aden, a lawyer with the Alliance Defense Fund who filed the suit, said the court will need to clarify whether the injunction affects work using money already issued to researchers under the administration's new guidelines or blocks additional funding.

In his 15-page decision, Lamberth cited "unambiguous" legislation by Congress in 1996, called the Dickey-Wicker Amendment, which prohibits federal funding for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed for research on fetuses in utero."

In 1999, Harriet S. Rabb, a lawyer for the Department of Health and Human Services, concluded that the NIH's support of embryonic stem cell research did not violate the amendment if the funds were used only for experiments involving the cells -- not to procure them. The cells themselves are not embryos, she said.

Said Sean Tipton of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine: "NIH carefully designed polices to allow federally funded scientists to explore the potential of human embryonic stem cell research without violating Dickey-Wicker. The NIH policies on stem cell research make it clear that federal funds can be used to investigate cells and tissues created from human embryonic stem cells, but not to create them."

Lamberth rejected that distinction.

"The language of the statute reflects the unambiguous intent of Congress to enact a broad prohibition of funding research in which a human embryo is destroyed," he wrote. "This prohibition encompasses all 'research in which' an embryo is destroyed, not just the 'piece of research' in which the embryo is destroyed," as the Justice Department argued.

On Aug. 9, 2001, President George W. Bush limited federal funding to 21 colonies of existing human embryonic stem cells to prevent taxpayer money from funding the destruction of more embryos to obtain additional cells. Critics of the research praised Bush's move, saying that destroying embryos to advance academic study is immoral and that alternative approaches, such as using stem cells derived from adults, were equally if not more promising.

But many scientists condemned the restrictions, saying they were hindering research that could lead to cures for Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, paralysis and other ailments. Embryonic stem cells, which can morph into many different types of tissue, are able to do things that other cells cannot, proponents argued. No new therapies, however, have been developed.

Soon after taking office, President Obama announced that he was lifting his predecessor's restrictions and ordered the NIH to develop new guidelines addressing the ethical issues involved. Last summer, the NIH issued detailed guidelines and began authorizing new colonies of cells eligible for funding. Seventy-five colonies have been approved so far.

Monday's ruling was in response to a lawsuit filed by James L. Sherley and Theresa Deisher, researchers who study other types of human stem cells. The pair argued that the new administration's guidelines would "result in increased competition for limited federal funding," hindering their plans to seek money for other research.

Lamberth initially threw out the case, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled June 25 that the researchers had legal standing to bring a suit. Several other plaintiffs were dropped, including the Christian Medical Association, Nightlight Christian Adoptions and two couples seeking to "adopt" unused embryos. The original suit also contended that the policy would limit the number of embryos available to people seeking them.

Lamberth's injunction does not prevent the government from taking the case to trial. However, the judge wrote that the claim was strong enough to bar federal authorities from "taking any action whatsoever" to implement funding guidelines pending trial.

"The Court finds that the likelihood of success on the merits, irreparable harm to plaintiffs, the balance of hardships, and public interest considerations each weigh in favor of a preliminary injunction," he wrote.

To read a copy of the Judges ruling See THIS...


Federal Court Halts Obama Administration's Deadly Research on Human Embryonic Life

By Deacon Keith Fournier
Catholic Online HERE...

Federal Court opinion an opportunity to speak the truth into a culture which has been lied to

From the Judge's Ruling:

"Having concluded that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is unambiguous, the question before the Court is whether ESC (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) is research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The Court concludes that it is. The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo."

On Monday, March 9, 2009, President Barrack Obama turned a whole class of human persons into commodities to be used by issuing an Executive Order. The NIH Guidelines which followed treat human embryos as property, 'manufactured' and used as spare parts in experimentation which has produced no discernible scientific results and always kills the human embryonic person.

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - In a significant opinion issued by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia human embryonic life was given a stay of execution on Monday, August 23, 2010. The Federal Court enjoined the implementation of the Obama Administration guidelines which would have allowed researchers to extract stem cells from "surplus" embryos donated by patients at fertility clinics. This "extraction" amounts to an execution of human embryonic life. These guidelines went into effect in July, 2009.

The case, Dr. James L Sherley et al. v Kathleen Sebelius et al., was filed by Doctors James J Sherley and Theresa Deisher, Nightlife Christian Adoption, Embryos, Shayne and Tina Nelson, William and Patricia Flynn and the Christian Medical Association. At this stage of the proceeding the plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the implementation of the Administrations' guidelines. The issuance of an injunction is an extraordinary legal remedy and the party seeking it has a very high burden of proof. The Plaintiffs prevailed. The Federal Judge wrote a long opinion for an injunction. It is filled with solid legal and medical analysis which should be used by everyone seeking to defend human embryonic lives from destruction.

The Federal Court found that the new guidelines issued by the Obama Administration violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment which provides that no Federal funds shall be used for "research in which a human embryo or embryos are destroyed, discarded, or knowingly subjected to risk of injury or death greater than that allowed on fetuses in utero" under Federal Law. The Obama administration argued a specious statutory interpretation which strained credulity. The Court did not accept it and properly interpreted the law based upon its clear language.

In the Courts own words "having concluded that the Dickey-Wicker Amendment is unambiguous, the question before the Court is whether ESC (Embryonic Stem Cell Research) is research in which a human embryo is destroyed. The Court concludes that it is." In another section of the opinion the judge made it even clearer: "The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed."

"Thus, if ESC research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the Guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment. ESC research is clearly research in which an embryo is destroyed. To conduct ESC research, ESCs must be derived from an embryo. The process of deriving ESCs from an embryo results in the destruction of the embryo. Thus, ESC research necessarily depends upon the destruction of a human embryo"

The efforts of this administration to use human embryonic life for deadly experimentation, in spite of the medical science which has proven that Adult Stem Cell Research, (which never injures or kills) is far more promising, is not only bad science but it is also morally reprehensible. On Monday, March 9, 2009, President Barrack Obama turned a whole class of human persons into commodities to be used by issuing an Executive Order. The NIH Guidelines which followed, treat human embryos as property, capable of being "manufactured" and used as spare parts in experimentation which has produced no discernible scientific results and always kills the human embryonic person.

Every "extraction" of embryonic stem cells kills a living human embryonic person. This is not simply a "religious" position, it is medical science and the Judge in this opinion acknowledged these scientific facts. This opinion provides a resource for our work in the great human rights struggle of our age, restoring the legal recognition of the fundamental human right to life for all persons from conception to natural death.

This Federal Court opinion offers an opportunity to again speak the truth into a culture which has been lied to. The insistence upon a framework for evaluating biomedicine which always respects human life is revealed in the Natural Law, we all know it is wrong to kill our neighbor and the child in the womb is our neighbor. It is also confirmed by medical science which proves that the human embryonic person is always killed in embryonic stem cell research. Now we have a well written Federal Court opinion which provides helpful assistance in our important work of exposing the culture of death and proposing in its place a new culture of life and civilization of love.


The Embryonic Stem Cell Debate: Lack of a Uniform Moral Code

By: Dr. J. P. Hubert (Biomedical Ethicist)

The two articles above correctly report Judge Lambert's ruling and the legal and the basic scientific facts with respect to ESCR. It is true that in standard ESCR, embyronic stem cells are derived from human embryo's and in all cases the embryonic human beings are killed in the process. This of course is immoral under Traditional Aristotelian/Thomistic principles which hold that it is always and everywhere wrong to intentionally kill an innocent human being.

Unfortunately, in the United States and much of the "developed West" Traditional morality is no longer practiced or reveered. Rather, a rabid form of Utilitarianism and Moral Relativism have been adopted by the elites who control our increasingly Neo-Nazi (fascist) Regime (see for example Jim Marrs. The Rise of the Fourth Reich: The Secret Societies that Threaten to Take over America. (New York: Harper, 2008). The intentional killing of innocent human beings was of course one of the hallmarks of the Nazi Third Reich.

The larger question for America is what moral philosophy are we to accept as controlling in our increasingly diverse and immoral society? The courts have largely adopted Legal Pragmatism (for details see my related article at the Intellectual Conservative entitled: “The “Fruits” of Legal Positivism: Utilitarianism in Action”, Intellectual Conservative, 09 December 2005 HERE...) rather than a Natural Law based jurisprudence which of course reflects the rejection of Traditional morality and the adoption of the utilitarian calculus and of necessity moral relativism.

This ruling by Judge Lamberth is encouraging but is actually a legal aberation for a court system which has largely rejected traditional morality. I predict that barring a complete reversal in which Legal Pragmatism is discarded in favor of a return to Natural Law based jurisprudence, federal funding of the killing of human embryo's for their spare-parts will eventually be legalized by the courts.

The real dilemma for Americans is that we are unwilling to agree about what moral code we will accept as the basis of civil law. With respect to Destructive Embryo Research (DER) the debate is not really one of the related legal or medical scientific questions but of the morality or lack of same involved. More fundamentally yet, can a society which has no foundational underlying moral code that is accepted by the vast majority of its inhabitants long survive upon the earth?