America, Land of the Formerly Free

by Imraan

Originally published at

I’m not sure of what to make of Obama any more – I must say that I was never a fan to begin with, although preferred him infinitely to Senator McCain – someone who had fought for his country and should know better than to promote rampant warmongering. But goodness!

With the recent revelations from the White House about the so-called ‘Kill List’, which effectively means that the executive has the unrestrained right to sign-off on any drone attacks and kills on alleged terrorists (so far targeting Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan – funnily enough they’re only technically ‘at war’ in one of those countries); it turns out you needn’t occupy a country in order to terrorise its populace). Back to McCain, the Washington Post writes about how he “expressed dismay that presidential aides were leaking national security information to bolster the president’s foreign policy credentials.” – again, from a man who has allegedly seen the realities of war, the destruction it brings to the lives of civilians, his audacity astounds me.

The word alleged is the operative one, in many respects, not least because it means that the right to a trial by jury of any so-called terrorist; although that issue itself isn’t a new one either. Dozens of detainees at Guantanamo Bay camp are still held without charge nor trial.

Moreover the redefining of a ‘terrorist’ as any adult male who falls within a strike zone, until posthumously proven otherwise demonstrates, how the War on Terror has reached very new depths. Imaginable depths, of course, but depths nonetheless. Clearly, the loss of life of innocents is no longer a concern for the administration, or perhaps it has never been so. The track-record of these strikes is very telling, the loss of life of ‘innocents’ outnumbers the deaths of alleged terrorists by a factor of dozens, in all likelihood. Of course they forget that terrorists are people too, in that they tend to live in houses populated by family members, i.e. wives, children, even grandchildren (as we saw in the Bin Laden case last year) – it turns out that they’re all fair game for now; even though no actual attack has been successful on US soil in years.

Commentators are right to be weary of what is a growing trend in this atrocious phantom war perpetuated by the American Oligarchy, bolstered unashamedly by the intelligentsia;, the National Defence Authorization Act would make it legal for the military to hold anyone suspected of terrorism, including a US citizen, without charge and indefinitely.

Though a Maryland court recently declared that particular clause (in as much as it refers to US-citizens) as unconstitutional as it violates the First and Fourth Amendments, I doubt that will put a damper on the military’s activities. With its current track record, if the case is taken to the Supreme Court I doubt very much that they will take significant issue with this law; after all, it was just last week that they again refused to hear cases of some detainees who are still being held at Guantanamo Bay. It’s funny how the human rights of US citizens seem more important than those of innocent civilians in Pakistan etc. But then, the blood of brown-people in far-off lands is cheaper than that of Americans.

As Reuters Reported last week:

The high court sided with the Obama administration and rejected appeals by seven detainees who lost their bid for freedom in cases before U.S. federal judges in Washington, D.C.. The court issued no statement with its order and no justice publicly dissented.

So where next for the War on Terror? The DoD budget, which is set at something like 1.3 trn USD over the next few years, with special emphasis on drone strikes and war by proxy, as well as the passage of the NDAA and the revelations about the President’s kill list, suggests that an all-out infringement of the human rights of all, US citizens, alleged terrorists, innocent bystanders is likely to continue. The US Constitution will continue to be eroded.

Allow me to speculate…This war will not end for some time, I’m foreseeing a time where the U.S will just be at perpetual war, the Constitution will likely be suspended in the case of armed conflict in Iran (although Martial Law already seems to be in action) – meanwhile the coffers of those on Wall Street will overflow, and the lives of the 99 per cent will become increasingly choked. But what with all the mass paranoia, for some years yet (though I hope it comes sooner), the citizenry will stand idly by as their inalienable rights are violated and atrocious crimes are committed in their name.