The Empire Strikes Back… Against Ordinary Americans, Constitutionally-Protected Protesters and the Rule of Law
December 17, 2011
Would it be taken as parody to openly state that the United States has moved away from its Constitution, and the hope that its concept of freedom would be a light upon the world, and instead shifted towards ‘The Dark Side’– that is, the kind of evil empire portrayed in Star Wars? The language authorizing the indefinite detention of American citizens without trial under the sections 1031 & 1032 of the 2012 Defense Authorization Act take America many steps towards that fictional but importantly symbolic Empire– it too a broken and corrupted Republic.
But it is much more than the naked tyranny demonstrated under NDAA. It is the direction towards paradoxical control by the State, sold psychologically in Orwellian terms. Preemptive strikes define the atmosphere of lawlessness and paranoia that has painted in succession terrorists, rogue states, patriots and homeland dissidents as threats that must be dealt without outside the framework of due process and the rights explicitly stated under the Bill of Rights.
THE DARK SIDE, BORN ON 9/11
Somehow victory in the War on Terror was successfully accepted under a definition that saw constitutional protections under the Fourth Amendment, preventing warrantless checkpoints and guarding privacy, as a barrier to stopping the bad guys under due diligence. This same attitude, coaxed under the manufactured fears from 9/11, helped to stifle, but not stop, free speech and encouraged legislation and administrative policies that disregard (and even spit upon) many of the Bill of Rights– from warrantless wiretapping, to policies on torture and legal-roundabouts turning definitions like waterboarding, spying, searches, enemy combatant status, lawful detention & imprisonment, “war” and many other important concepts upside down, all with legal ramifications. And it’s no wonder why, as the president during this era had referred to the Constitution as ‘just a goddamned piece of paper.’
Dick Cheney as vice president openly quipped about working “on the dark side” to win the shadowy War on Terror. This fight has been not only ill advised but completely destructive in its vision to fight against extremists at the direct, proportional expense of the Bill of Rights and rule of law. This from a vice president who lives with an artificial heart and openly embraces satirical comparisons of himself to Darth Vader. He made the joke before a Heritage Foundation audience (during a remembrance of the Reagan-era ‘Star Wars’ missile defense program) and even appeared on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno dressed in a Vader costume; he even laughed that he was ‘honored’ to be compared to Vader while promoting his memoir.
But it’s no joke.
PBS FRONTLINE: Dick Cheney, The Dark Side
Darkness Falls on America: “The Constitution is just a piece of paper” – G.W. Bush
This momentum of tyranny was initiated under the George W. Bush administration, but has continued full steam under the re-branded cloak of the Sith Lord Obama. Homeland Security has steadily expanded its intrusion into public life in America, declaring a mandate of authority not only at airports where hijackers could be, but to bus & train stations, sports stadiums, shopping malls and even high school proms. The righteous indignation about targeting innocent civilians under Middle East & Central Asian proxy wars has morphed into targeting innocent American citizens here in the Homeland– including now by targeted drones. Under the guise of anti-terrorism enforcement, authorities have admitted to profiling and tracking returning veterans, patriot groups, Constitutionalists, third party candidate supporters, Tea Party & Occupy Wall Street protesters and much more.
In a very real way, President Obama and his advisers have demonstrated their allegiance to the Dark Side, after, of course, cynically campaigning on issues like closing Guantanamo Bay, an icon of the Bush-era assault on civil liberties. Instead, Obama has taken the assault on the Bill of Rights even further, by backing the indefinite detention of Americans and abolishing the constitutional-guarantee of a trial and due process. In violation of the spirit of the first amendment, the militarization of cyberspace has taken place under his administration, with bills to shut down websites and institute a “kill switch” over the Internet under the guise of fighting “cyber terrorism” and stopping online privacy.
DARTH VADER’S FORCE CHOKE
Regardless of whatever justifications and pretexts White House legal teams come up with, the United States has sent a message to the people it supposedly represents and who supposedly control it that any attempt to undermine State power will be met with a violation of rights and perhaps even violence.
Obama sparked outrage in justifying the overseas targeting of U.S.-born Anwar al-Awlaki, and declaring the right to kill Americans deemed a terror threat without indictment, formal accusations or any other aspects of due process. But Obama has gone much further than asserting the right to an assassination list with his administration’s covert support for the NDAA’s declaration of war against American citizens by further blurring the legal distinctions requiring certain rights and procedures under law.
The tone of this dreadful language– which Obama’s team pushed for, according to bill author Sen. Carl Levin– sets an atmosphere that eerily echoes the steady chilling of what it means to be an American. The Department of Homeland Security have not been deterred from profiling, targeting, monitoring and arresting protesters in the Homeland it claims to protect. Police have had open season against groups like Occupy, pepper spraying peaceful demonstrators at UC Davis and using petty city ordinances to shut down the constitutionally-protected right to assemble peaceably, speak freely and address grievances, etc.
Is it any surprise under this climate of chilled speech that government contractors have now developed further “Dark Side” technology to use against protesters and choke free speech? As we covered on the Infowars Nightly News, new riot shields under development by Raytheon as ‘less lethal’ technology will have the capability to literally suffocate protesters via low frequency waves they put off.
Gizmodo called the technology “a little scary,” as it can supposedly “disrupt the respiratory tract and hinder breathing.”
“Raytheon’s non-lethal pressure shield creates a pulsed pressure wave that resonates the upper respiratory tract of a human, hindering breathing and eventually incapacitating the target. The patent points out that the sound waves being generated are actually not that powerful, so while protestors might collapse from a lack of oxygen reaching their brains, their eardrums won’t be damaged in the process. Phew!”
Like taser guns, LRAD sound canons and other “less lethal” crowd control technologies, it is being developed under the guise of being “safe” and somehow appropriate. Yet, even if it doesn’t choke the life out of protesters, it absolutely has the capacity to choke out free speech.
What could better symbolically demonstrate the shift towards the dark side- by denying the literal rights of Americans to free speech, evidence-based accusations and due process– than a new “active denial” riot technology that Gizmodo compared directly to Darth Vader’s capacity to “force choke” his enemies from afar:
There’s no word on what the long-term medical implications might be if you find yourself on the wrong side of one of these shields. But I imagine the unpleasant experience is not unlike being force choked from afar by Darth Vader.
Yes, America has lost its way, and its slide towards the Dark Side has come explicitly through undermining the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Executive orders and acts of Congress have encouraged killings outside of law, illegal monitoring of protest groups and the legitimacy of technology used to criminalize and literally stifle free speech. Whether individual assertions of the 1st amendment are right or wrong, well-articulated or not, popular or despised, the protection of this speech is the cornerstone of our free society… and the Empire has taken another strike against the rights of that Republic.
Dark Vader “Force Choke” Riot Shield to Suffocate Free Speech