MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘Machiavellian’

The Rutherford Institute :: Suspending the Constitution: Police State Uses Crises to Expand Its Lockdown Powers | By John W. Whitehead |

Posted by M. C. on March 26, 2020

The America metamorphosing before our eyes is almost unrecognizable from the country I grew up in, and that’s not just tragic—it’s downright terrifying.

This is how freedom dies.

We erect our own prison walls, and as our rights dwindle away, we forge our own chains of servitude to the police state.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/suspending_the_constitution_police_state_uses_crises_to_expand_its_lockdown_powers

By John W. Whitehead

“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.”― Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

You can always count on the government to take advantage of a crisis, legitimate or manufactured.

This coronavirus pandemic is no exception.

Not only are the federal and state governments unraveling the constitutional fabric of the nation with lockdown mandates that are sending the economy into a tailspin and wreaking havoc with our liberties, but they are also rendering the citizenry fully dependent on the government for financial handouts, medical intervention, protection and sustenance.

Unless we find some way to rein in the government’s power grabs, the fall-out will be epic.

Everything I have warned about for years—government overreach, invasive surveillance, martial law, abuse of powers, militarized police, weaponized technology used to track and control the citizenry, and so on—has coalesced into this present moment.

The government’s shameless exploitation of past national emergencies for its own nefarious purposes pales in comparison to what is presently unfolding.

It’s downright Machiavellian.

Deploying the same strategy it used with 9/11 to acquire greater powers under the USA Patriot Act, the police state—a.k.a. the shadow government, a.k.a. the Deep State—has been anticipating this moment for years, quietly assembling a wish list of lockdown powers that could be trotted out and approved at a moment’s notice.

It should surprise no one, then, that the Trump Administration has asked Congress to allow it to suspend parts of the Constitution whenever it deems it necessary during this coronavirus pandemic and “other” emergencies.

It’s that “other” emergencies part that should particularly give you pause, if not spur you to immediate action (by action, I mean a loud and vocal, apolitical, nonpartisan outcry and sustained, apolitical, nonpartisan resistance).

In fact, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has been quietly trotting out and testing a long laundry list of terrifying powers that override the Constitution.

We’re talking about lockdown powers (at both the federal and state level): the ability to suspend the Constitution, indefinitely detain American citizens, bypass the courts, quarantine whole communities or segments of the population, override the First Amendment by outlawing religious gatherings and assemblies of more than a few people, shut down entire industries and manipulate the economy, muzzle dissidents, “stop and seize any plane, train or automobile to stymie the spread of contagious disease,” reshape financial markets, create a digital currency (and thus further restrict the use of cash), determine who should live or die…

You’re getting the picture now, right?

These are powers the police state would desperately like to make permanent.

Specifically, the DOJ wants to be able to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial. The DOJ also wants to be able to pause court proceedings and suspend the statute of limitations on criminal and civil cases.

Both signify a clear violation of every right espoused in the Constitution, including habeas corpus.

Habeas corpus, a fundamental tenet of English common law that guards against arbitrary and lawless state action, does not appear anywhere in the Bill of Rights. Its importance was such that it was enshrined in the Constitution itself. And it is of such magnitude that all other rights, including those in the Bill of Rights, are dependent upon it. Without habeas corpus, the significance of all other rights crumbles.

The right of habeas corpus was important to the Framers of the Constitution because they knew from personal experience what it was like to be labeled enemy combatants, imprisoned indefinitely and not given the opportunity to appear before a neutral judge. Believing that such arbitrary imprisonment is “in all ages, the favorite and most formidable instrument of tyranny,” the Founders were all the more determined to protect Americans from such government abuses.

Translated as “you should have the body,” habeas corpus is a legal action, or writ, by which those imprisoned unlawfully can seek relief from their imprisonment. Derived from English common law, habeas corpus first appeared in the Magna Carta of 1215 and is the oldest human right in the history of English-speaking civilization. The doctrine of habeas corpus stems from the requirement that a government must either charge a person or let him go free.

While serving as President, Thomas Jefferson addressed the essential necessity of habeas corpus. In his first inaugural address on March 4, 1801, Jefferson said, “I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government cannot be strong; that this government is not strong enough.” But, said Jefferson, our nation was “the world’s best hope” and, because of our strong commitment to democracy, “the strongest government on earth.” Jefferson said that the sum of this basic belief was found in the “freedom of person under the protection of the habeas corpus; and trial by juries impartially selected. These principles form the bright constellation which has gone before us, and guided our steps through an age of revolution and reformation.”

Throughout the twentieth century, the importance of the right of habeas corpus has repeatedly been confirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court. Yet 200-plus years after America’s founders risked their lives to secure their freedoms, we find ourselves right back where we started, with a government determined to strip us of every vestige of our freedoms.

The DOJ’s latest request to Congress is merely a signal that the police state is ready to step out of the shadows, with the current national emergency being a convenient cover for their dastardly deeds.

Bear in mind, however, that these powers the Trump Administration, acting on orders from the police state, are officially asking Congress to recognize and authorize barely scratch the surface of the far-reaching powers the government has already unilaterally claimed for itself.

Unofficially, the police state has been riding roughshod over the rule of law for years now without any pretense of being reined in or restricted in its power grabs by Congress, the courts or the citizenry.

As David C. Unger, observes in The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute Security at All Costs:

“For seven decades we have been yielding our most basic liberties to a secretive, unaccountable emergency state – a vast but increasingly misdirected complex of national security institutions, reflexes, and beliefs that so define our present world that we forget that there was ever a different America. … Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have given way to permanent crisis management: to policing the planet and fighting preventative wars of ideological containment, usually on terrain chosen by, and favorable to, our enemies. Limited government and constitutional accountability have been shouldered aside by the kind of imperial presidency our constitutional system was explicitly designed to prevent.”

This rise of an “emergency state” that justifies all manner of government tyranny in the so-called name of national security is all happening according to schedule. Read the rest of this entry »

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Roger Stone’s conviction is the last hope to save RussiaGate — RT Op-ed

Posted by M. C. on February 21, 2020

Stone then seemed to catch a lucky break with the revelation that his jury’s foreperson was actually a Democratic Party activist with a pronounced anti-Trump bias, further invigorating calls from the White House and conservative media that it was a rigged show trial from day one.

Meanwhile, the DOJ has flatly refused to prosecute a number of high-profile government officials who were caught lying under oath multiple times, like former intelligence directors John Brennan and James Clapper, and former FBI heads James Comey and Andrew McCabe. Unlike Roger Stone’s campaign bluster and trivial fibs, their lies actually had grave implications for the institutions they were tasked to run, as well as for the country.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/481212-roger-stone-russiagate-trump/

Patrick Henningsen

The Trial of Roger Stone has reached its finale. After closely examining Stone’s case, one thing becomes clear: it should never have gotten this far.

Stone, long-time political operative and former Trump adviser, is due to be sentenced today in federal court in Washington DC, for charges including lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction.

To the untrained eye it might seem like just another Beltway scandal, featuring one of Washington’s finest, a self-proclaimed Dirty Trickster and rancorous political operative.

Beyond the Machiavellian intrigue though, this trial and its outcome could carry some very profound implications. If convicted, his verdict will be hoisted by the American establishment to further validate the RussiaGate narrative, in particular the idea that Russia had passed hacked emails on to WikiLeaks at the height of the 2016 US presidential election.

It’s important to note that Stone’s case shares the very same fundamental prosecutorial assumptions which underpin Julian Assange’s US case, namely, that Assange and WikiLeaks are hostile foreign actors, and not members of the Fourth Estate. In this political hall of mirrors, each piece of the official myth reinforces the other, but it is this perversion of legalese which has allowed both of these anathemas of due process to persist, and that’s why these show trials should be regarded as a low point in the history of American justice.

Jury of his peers

An additional twist to the story came last week when all four federal prosecutors working on the Stone case suddenly resigned in protest after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) intervened to reduce their sentence of seven to nine years for Stone. Naturally, all of this triggered a partisan storm, with the usual hysterical reactions from every known outpost of the anti-Trump resistance.

Stone then seemed to catch a lucky break with the revelation that his jury’s foreperson was actually a Democratic Party activist with a pronounced anti-Trump bias, further invigorating calls from the White House and conservative media that it was a rigged show trial from day one.

Was it ever possible for Roger Stone to get a fair trial? Throughout this entire ordeal, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone outside of the White House who would jump to defend Roger Stone. This is one reason why there’s been a noticeable lack of levity coming from the ranks of mainstream media and politics, as many regard him as an unsavory charlatan running subterfuge for then-candidate Trump. For this reason, they would just as soon let him languish in Leavenworth. Blinded by their disdain, they will have missed why his political crucifixion is so dangerous.

Trump may end up pardoning his old friend, but it should never have to come to that.

Looking back at how this story unfolded, it’s clearer than ever how due process was corrupted at every juncture.

The Collusion Illusion

Read the rest of this entry »

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