Monday, February 15, 2010

How did it come to this?

Greetings good citizen,

One of the more stringently avoided ‘lines in the sand’ we’ve been encountering with increasing frequency over the past two decades is ‘overkill’ when it comes to dealing with ‘undesirables’.

There has been some recent ripples in the alternative press regarding the, er, ‘extrajudicial execution’ of US citizens by agents of the US government. At what point/circumstances is it permissible (never mind desirable) for our government to assassinate ‘enemies of the state’, especially now that there is no longer a ‘sharp distinction’ between who is and is not an ‘enemy combatant.

The only thing protecting you from defacto ‘summary execution’ is the arbitrary judgement of some unspecified individual…acting in their capacity as agent/proxy for the chief executive.

Not only has this practice never seen the ‘sunshine’ of the ballot box, it hasn’t even been decided by our so-called ‘elected representatives’.

How far removed is this from agents of the King executing colonists suspected of treason without any ‘proof’?

Um, there is one major difference between then and now…back then your accuser/executioner looked you in the eye before they dispatched you…today the coward my look you in the eye but you can’t do likewise because your executioner is thousands of miles away, pushing buttons.

Worse, resistance is futile.

So we arrive at tonight’s first offering

America’s Deadly Robots Rewrite the Rules
February 15th, 2010

Via: Sydney Morning Herald:

The kohl-eyed Hakimullah Mehsud probably is dead. He was the target for a missile fired last month from an unmanned aircraft hovering over the Afghan-Pakistani border – but launched by an operator in the US.

Mehsud was the ruthless mastermind of multiple suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan. He was part of a suicide mission on December 30 at Khost, just across the border in Afghanistan, which killed seven CIA agents who were working on the covert operation that now appears to have ended Mehsud’s brief and brutal leadership of the Taliban in Pakistan.

In the artistry of war, the insertion of a Jordanian double-agent who detonated his explosive vest inside this super-sensitive CIA bunker was flawless. But, in their payback, the enraged Americans confirmed the breadth of a new horizon in modern warfare – launching 15 clinical drone attacks in which more than 100 people died along the border, as Washington’s electronic eyes and guns sought out Mehsud and his Taliban and al-Qaeda allies.

War does not get more radical than this – technically, politically and, perhaps, ethically.

Consider: for the first time ever, a civilian intelligence agency is manipulating robots from halfway around the world in a program of extrajudicial executions in a country with which Washington is not at war. [Worse good citizen, this is an agency that didn’t even exist before WWII!]

Consider, too: the drone wars were initiated under the presidency of George Bush. But it is the Democrat Barack Obama who has given them flight and stumped up sufficient funding to spark serious debate on the end of the ”Top Gun” era of the fighter-pilot.

And there is this: despite decades of American disquiet about assassinations abroad and a shrill Republican critique of him as a security wuss, the professorial Obama is the new killer on the block, authorising more drone attacks in the first year of his term in office than Bush did in his entire presidency.

Hold on a second, before you dismiss this as more ‘Obama-bashing’ check the source again. Last time I looked there weren’t any Republicans in Sidney Australia…

While it is tempting to call the Obama administration ‘Bush’s third term’, it is a bit more disturbing to consider that the D or the R after a politicians’ name has become absolutely meaningless.

As I asked last night, what happened to the ‘good guys?’ Who do we elect to save us when they both suck?

More importantly is just how far ‘off course’ our government has, um, ‘strayed’, although I hardly believe that matters have gotten this far afield totally by ‘accident’.

Which is to ask at what point do we determine that this is no longer a government, by, of and for the people? When did we lose control of those elected to protect us…when did their job switch from protecting us to protecting themselves?

This ‘extrajudicial’ murder is the first sign that things are farther gone than they appear. If we don’t rein in the renegades, they won’t be reined in.

Which leaves another disturbing question…how can we trust those who fail to execute their oath of office faithfully?

Short answer…we can’t.

How bad is it? Let’s have a look at tonight’s second offering for a clue…

Simon Johnson: Goldman Faces Special Audit and Possible Ban in Europe

"The crash has laid bare many unpleasant truths about the United States. One of the most alarming, says a chief economist of the International Monetary Fund, is that the finance industry has effectively captured our government - a state of affairs that more typically describes emerging markets, and is at the center of many emerging-market crises. If the IMF's staff could speak freely about the U.S., it would tell us what it tells all countries in this situation; recovery will fail unless we break the financial oligarchy that is blocking essential reform." ~ The Atlantic Monthly, May 2009, by Simon Johnson

Regular readers will be aware of our thesis that the American Wall Street banks have become dominated by a culture of compulsive sociopaths who are incapable of reforming or restraining their greed. Like all addicts, they push the envelope looking for a new high, emboldened by each successful scam, the weakness of regulators, and the craven support of politicians, going further and further until at long last they go one step too far, with spectacularly destructive results.

Goldman Sachs may have reached that point. And as also suggested here, the rebuke may be coming from European and Asian nations who [have] become weary of the extra-legal antics of the rogue American banks.

In the interests of harmony, the Europeans may once again bow to US pressure and continue to permit the Money Center privateers to roam through the interational financial system wreaking havoc, as they have been doing through the domestic US economy. It will be too bad if they do.

If it ever comes to the light of day, the complicity of a few central banks and governments in the actions of one or two of the money center banks in manipulating several global markets may ignite a firestorm of a political scandal.

At the very least, it remains a practical imperative that the banks be restrained, the financial system reformed, and the economy brought back into balance, before there can be any sustainable recovery and stability.

And it is now apparent that Obama and the US Congress, for whatever reasons, are incapable of doing this. And yet, hope remains.

Few tell it straighter than Jesse.

The criminals that nobody is willing to subdue are wreaking havoc around the globe and we, the victims, have no leverage to make those we elected to enforce the laws to do their job…

Which won’t end well…for all parties concerned.

I won’t kid you good citizen, all civilizations rely on trust. If you can’t trust the people in charge you can’t trust anyone…and once you get to that point there’s no turning back.

Um, where do you think we are now? Can we turn back? Is it possible to re-trench and make things right once more?

…Um, yeah, it can be done, but the price is going to be heavy, real heavy.

We HAVE TO throw the entire judicial system in the trash and start from scratch (because nobody ‘in their right mind’ has any faith in the current system!)

Then we HAVE TO scrap the entire electoral process, 230 years of non-performance is proof enough that you can’t ‘elect’ competence (much less buy it!)

And finally we HAVE TO scrap our entire financial system, money is a great idea that has been abused far too long! Luckily, this can be easily fixed.

Thank you for letting me inside your head,


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