The "F" Word - Police State
- The "F" Word
By Michael C. Ruppert
[© Copyright 2001, All Rights Reserved, Michael C. Ruppert and From
The Wilderness Publications, www.copvcia.com . May be recopied,
distributed or reposted on the World Wide Web for non-profit purposes
Fascism 1 a. Totalitarianism marked by right-wing dictatorship and
bellicose nationalism. 2. Oppressive, dictatorial control. The
American Heritage Dictionary.
November 20, 2001
My fellow Americans:
"On what legal meat does this our Caesar feed?" wrote New York Times
Columnist William Safire as he blasted President Bush's November 13
emergency order permitting noncitizens the government has "reason to
believe" are terrorists to be tried - inside the U.S - by military
These trials may be held in secret and the prosecutors do not have to
produce evidence if it is "in the interests of national security."
And the condemned may then be executed "even if a third of the
officers disagree." Safire categorized this as a "dictatorial power
to jail or execute aliens." Bush's proclamation is a nullification of
the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. At the same time that
Caesar Bush was announcing this edict the Justice Department was
announcing as reported in the AP on November 15 that it will not
disclose the identities or status of more than 1,100 people arrested
or detained since September 11th, nor will it continue to release a
running tally of those detained.
As the anxiety level rises in you, you think, "Well, I'm a citizen so
I don't have anything to worry about."
Try harder to refocus on your Christmas list, Harry Potter and your
On October 26th a date which will live in infamy the President
signed the USA/PATRIOT act, officially known as HR 3162. And you
should well note that, according to Representative Ron Paul (R) of
Texas as reported on November 9th by Kelly O'Meara of the
Washington Times' Insight Magazine the bill had not even been
printed and members of the House could not read it before they were
compelled to vote on it. O'Meara wrote, "Meanwhile, efforts to obtain
copies of the new bill were stonewalled even by the committee that
wrote it." Most of its provisions have nothing to do with fighting
terrorism. Under this so-called anti-terrorist measure:
· Any federal law enforcement agency may enter your home or business
when you are not there, collect evidence, not tell you about it, and
then use that evidence to convict you of a crime; (This nullifies the
4th Amendment to the Constitution). And, says the ACLU, it doesn't
even have to be a terrorism investigation, just a criminal
investigation. [Section 213 The Sneak and Peek provision].
· Any federal law enforcement agency may, if they suspect that you
are committing a crime, monitor all of you internet traffic and read
your emails. They may also intercept all of your cell phone calls as
well. No warrant is required. (This violates the Fourth and Fifth
Amendments to the Constitution) [Section 202 and 216] [See FTW on
Carnivore, Vol. IV, No.2 April 30, 2001].
· The FBI or any other federal law enforcement agency may come to
your business and seize any of your business records if they claim
it is connected with a terrorist investigation - and they can arrest
you if you tell anyone that they were there. (this violates the First
and the Fourth Amendments to the Constitution) [Title II, Section 501]
· The CIA can now operate inside the U.S. and spy on American
citizens. And, as directed by AG Ashcroft on November 13, it is also
permitted to share its intelligence files with local law enforcement
agencies (and vice versa). The CIA has spied on Americans for
decades, but the fruits of that spying have never been admissible in
court. Now law enforcement will have the ability rewrite the
intelligence as a probable cause statement, conduct an investigation
and introduce it as evidence. This, from material that was collected
outside the rules of search and seizure. (There goes the Exclusionary
rule of the Fourth Amendment). [Titles 2 & 9].
· The foundation for an international secret political police agency
is laid by allowing the CIA to receive wiretap information from any
local agency and then share it with the intelligence services of any
foreign country. [Section 203]
So now a darkness begins to sink over your consciousness. You are
mad, first at me, and then you are not quite sure of what to be mad
at - but you know you're mad. Reaching through a guilty conscience
you check with yourself and beg of your soul the permission to take
the position that you never break any laws. None! You're a good
citizen of the Homeland, a good German I mean American. What can
you do anyway?
Then I arouse your rage at me even further by telling you that
Section 802 of HR 3162 defines domestic terrorism as "activities
that involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of
the criminal laws of the United States: and "appear to be intended
to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;" or "to influence the
policy of a government by intimidation or coercion;"
Under this definition the blocking of a driveway at a federal
building or defending yourself when attacked by good "Germans" at a
protest march while protesting these violations of the
Constitution - could instantly make you a "domestic terrorist" and
subject to some of the stiffest penalties ever enacted into law.
Next, as you retreat further, covering your ears and mind, shutting
out the crime that is being perpetrated by your government against
you - you will lash out at me and say, "Look Ruppert, I read the
Bill. There's a `Sunset Clause' in it. All this stuff goes away after
four years. It's just for the duration of the terrorist emergency."
Not so. Under Section 224 (b) "With respect to any particular foreign
intelligence investigation that began before the date on which the
provisions referred to in subsection (a) cease to have effect, or
with respect to any particular offense or potential offense that
began or occurred before the date on which such provisions cease to
have effect, such provisions shall continue in effect." In other
words, if the government says that their desire to burglarize, or
wiretap you or search your files is part of an investigation that
started before December 31, 2005, there is no sunset clause. This
could be for a "potential" offense. What is a potential offense?
Something you thought about? Something you might have thought about?
Now thoroughly uncomfortable you reach for more straw teddy bears.
And I, like a hunter smelling victory, will close in on you with
words that will both reassure you and make you a grown up. Upon
reviewing HR 3162 Congressman Paul said to reporter O'Meara, "Our
forefathers would think it's time for a revolution. This is why they
revolted in the first place They revolted against much more mild
Mao once said that "Revolution is not a dinner party." You squirm in
OK, The Congressman's noble words stirred you for a moment, made you
think of Mel Gibson in "The Patriot." But you realize that you're not
Mel Gibson, you're out of shape, you have bills to pay, a vacation
coming soon. Reaching again, you realize something. "Wait! This is a
law. It was passed. It's proof that there are checks and balances.
I'm coming to get you now.
Beyond The Law
On November 9th, Attorney General Ashcroft announced that he was
ordering the Justice Department to begin wiretapping and monitoring
attorney-client communications in terrorist cases where the suspect
was incarcerated. This was not even discussed in HR 3162. That same
day Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Vermont wrote to Ashcroft. He had many
questions to ask about what the Justice Department had been doing by
violating the trust of Congress and assuming powers which were not
authorized by either law or the Constitution. Leahy even quoted a
Supreme Court case (U.S. v. Robel):
"[T]his concept of "national defense" cannot be deemed an end in
itself, justifying any exercise of power designed to promote such a
goal. Implicit in the term `national defense' is the notion that
defending those values and ideas which set this Nation apart It
would indeed be ironic if, in the name of national defense, we would
sanction the subversion of one of those liberties which makes the
defense of the Nation worthwhile."
Leahy asked Ashcroft by what authority had he decided on his own
and without judicial review to nullify the Fifth Amendment to the
Constitution. He asked for an explanation and some description of the
procedural safeguards that Ashcroft would put in place. He asked
Ashcroft to appear before the Judiciary committee and to respond in
writing by November 13.
His answer came a little late.
On November 16, Patrick Leahy received an anthrax letter. And, as of
this press time, Ashcroft has not responded in writing.
I've got you now.
Moving up the ladder we come to the Vice President, Dick Cheney. The
Washington Post reported on November 9 that all summer a major
Constitutional clash had been brewing as the former head of oil giant
Halliburton refused to surrender to Congress' investigative arm, the
GAO, records from his energy task force. The Post story
said, "Comptroller General David M. Walker described the fight as a
direct threat to the GAO's reason for being, a separation-of-powers
issue that would determine whether the legislative branch could
exercise the oversight role envisioned by the founding fathers." But
the Sept 11th attacks have changed all that. A planned suit by the
GAO against Cheney to get the records of his task force on oil has
been put on hold. Cheney's violation of the law goes unchallenged in
the goose-stepped march of manufactured polls showing support for the
administration. Congressman Henry Waxman (D), CA has blasted Cheney
on constitutional grounds but there's little else he can do in the
And now we come to your President, the guy we started with, by asking
what "legal meat" he eats. Apparently he eats anything he damned well
pleases. On November 1st, after several months of delays, George W,
Bush broke the law himself by changing an Executive Order and
declaring that in this national emergency he was going to prevent the
release of papers from the Reagan presidency, even though release is
mandated by The Presidential Records Act of 1978.
Of what use could these papers be to Osama bin Laden?
These papers would probably shed glaring light on the criminality of
the Reagan-Bush (the elder) years of Iran-Contra, the savings and
loan plundering of American taxpayers and the hand-over-fist drug
dealing by the CIA at the direction of G.H.W. Bush. But now, in
violation of the law, you will never see them. Nor will you likely
ever see the papers from the 89-93 Bush presidency, or the Clinton
years not to mention those of the current administration. What a
convenient way to cover up criminal actions.
Representatives Jan Schakowsky (D), Ill, and the ever-brave Henry
Waxman rose to the challenge and wrote Bush a letter on November 6th.
They said in closing, "These provisions clearly violate the intent of
the law The Executive Order violates the intent of Congress and keeps
the public in the dark. We urge you to rescind this executive order
and instead begin a dialogue with Congress and the public to
determine the need for clarification of this law."
Any bets as to who gets the next anthrax letter? Have you noticed
that only Democrats have been getting them?
So now you retreat, your decision has been made. Do nothing. This
will all go away. In a last gasp of intellectual, pretzel-bending
logic you think, "Wait! We still have the Supreme Court."
This is the same Supreme Court that illegally handed George W. Bush
the 2000 election. This is the court that stopped and delayed hand
counting long enough to prevent the final results from being known.
Those results as buried by the major media in horrendously
dishonest stories released last week were written as supporting the
Supreme Court's decision to stop the recounts. And based on that
decision, the media recount gave Bush the victory. But, as noted by
EXTRA! Editor Jim Naureckas in a November 15 Newsday story, the media
found that it was quite possible, by examining rejected ballots, to
determine the "clear intent of the voter." Yet none of these ballots
were included in the media recount and all of the media organizations
recognized that, had those ballots been counted, Al Gore would have
As constitutional lawyer Mark H. Levine noted in a December 20, 2000
editorial, what the Supreme Court did was to create a one-case only
exception where the "clear intent of the voter" as dictated by
Florida law was no longer applicable standard. By stopping the hand
count and overturning the Florida Supreme Court's correct reading of
its own law, it delayed the recount long enough to force a crisis
where it could overrule Florida and deliver the election to Bush
while thousands of ballots went uncounted.
So much for the Supreme Court.
One of the greatest decisions to ever come out the Supreme Court
when it was one was rendered in 1866 after the civil war. The case
in question was Abraham Lincoln's suspension of the writ of habeas
corpus in arresting protesters and rioters. As recently quoted in an
eloquent November 15 article by David Dietman, an attorney and Ph.D.
candidate from Erie Pennsylvania, the Court stated:
"The Constitution of the United States is a law for rulers and people
equally in war and in peace, and covers with the shield of its
protection all classes of men, at all times, and under all
circumstances. No doctrine, involving more pernicious consequences,
was ever invented by the wit of man than that any of its provisions
can be suspended during any of the great exigencies of government."
Ex parte Milligan, 71 U.S. 2 (1866).
So all you have left to put your faith, or your fear, in as you see
it is the President. You have no faith in yourself, no faith in
God, no trust in your fellow citizens and no willingness to
experience discomfort. You fail to praise, support and uplift all of
the courage that is beginning to reveal itself around you. You draw
your blinds and wave your flags hoping for divine intervention before
your name or your job comes up on the list. You are a good German,
like the Germans who followed Hitler and allowed him to start a war
that killed hundreds of millions of people.
And when it is all over, when they come for me, when they come for
you, when they come for your job - when history sheds it inevitable
light on the criminals that today rule our country - you will say, "I
didn't do anything wrong."
Oh yes you did.
Oh yes you did.
To read Kelly O'Meara's article on HR 3162 please go to:
"From The Wilderness"
Posted Nov. 9, 2001
By Kelly Patricia O'Meara
If the United States is at war against terrorism to preserve freedom,
a new coalition of conservatives and liberals is asking, why is it
doing so by wholesale abrogation of civil liberties? They cite the
Halloween-week passage of the antiterrorism bill a new law that
carries the almost preposterously gimmicky title: "Uniting and
Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to
Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act" (USA PATRIOT Act). Critics both
left and right are saying it not only strips Americans of fundamental
rights but does little or nothing to secure the nation from terrorist
Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, one of only three Republican lawmakers to
buck the House leadership and the Bush administration to vote against
this legislation, is outraged not only by what is contained in the
antiterrorism bill but also by the effort to stigmatize opponents.
Paul tells Insight, "The insult is to call this a 'patriot bill' and
suggest I'm not patriotic because I insisted upon finding out what is
in it and voting no. I thought it was undermining the Constitution,
so I didn't vote for it and therefore I'm somehow not a patriot.
Paul confirms rumors circulating in Washington that this sweeping new
law, with serious implications for each and every American, was not
made available to members of Congress for review before the
vote. "It's my understanding the bill wasn't printed before the vote
at least I couldn't get it. They played all kinds of games, kept the
House in session all night, and it was a very complicated bill. Maybe
a handful of staffers actually read it, but the bill definitely was
not available to members before the vote."
And why would that be? "This is a very bad bill," explains Paul, "and
I think the people who voted for it knew it and that's why they
said, 'Well, we know it's bad, but we need it under these
conditions.'" Meanwhile, efforts to obtain copies of the new law were
stonewalled even by the committee that wrote it.
What is so bad about the new law? "Generally," says Paul, "the worst
part of this so-called antiterrorism bill is the increased ability of
the federal government to commit surveillance on all of us without
proper search warrants." He is referring to Section 213 (Authority
for Delaying Notice of the Execution of a Warrant), also known as
the "sneak-and-peek" provision, which effectively allows police to
avoid giving prior warning when searches of personal property are
conducted. Before the USA PATRIOT Act, the government had to obtain a
warrant and give notice to the person whose property was to be
searched. With one vote by Congress and the sweep of the president's
pen, say critics, the right of every American fully to be protected
under the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures
The Fourth Amendment states: "The right of the people to be secure in
their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable
searches and seizures, shall not be violated; and no warrants shall
issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and
particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or
things to be seized."
According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which is
joining with conservatives as critics of the legislation, the
rationale for the Fourth Amendment protection always has been to
provide the person targeted for search with the opportunity to "point
out irregularities in the warrant, such as the fact that the police
may be at the wrong address or that the warrant is limited to a
search of a stolen car, so the police have no authority to be looking
into dresser drawers." Likely bad scenarios involving the midnight
knock at the door are not hard to imagine.
Paul, a strict constructionist (see Picture Profile, Sept. 3), has a
pretty good idea of what Americans may anticipate. "I don't like the
sneak-and-peek provision because you have to ask yourself what
happens if the person is home, doesn't know that law enforcement is
coming to search his home, hasn't a clue as to who's coming in
unannounced and he shoots them. This law clearly authorizes illegal
search and seizure, and anyone who thinks of this as antiterrorism
needs to consider its application to every American citizen."
The only independent in the House, Rep. Bernie Sanders from Vermont,
couldn't support the bill for similar reasons: "I took an oath to
support and defend the Constitution of the United States, and I'm
concerned that voting for this legislation fundamentally violates
that oath. And the contents of the legislation have not been
subjected to serious hearings or searching examination."
Nadine Strossen, president of the ACLU and professor of law at New
York University, tells Insight, "The sneak-and-peek provision is just
one that will be challenged in the courts. We're not only talking
about the sanctity of the home, but this includes searches of offices
and other places. It is a violation of the Fourth Amendment and poses
tremendous problems with due process. By not notifying someone about
a search, they don't have the opportunity to raise a constitutional
challenge to the search."
Even before the ink on the president's signature had dried, the FBI
began to take advantage of the new search-and-seizure provisions. A
handful of companies have reported visits from federal agents
demanding private business records. C.L. "Butch" Otter (R-Idaho),
another of the three GOP lawmakers who found the legislation
unconstitutional, says he knew this provision would be a
problem. "Section 215 authorizes the FBI to acquire any business
records whatsoever by order of a secret U.S. court. The recipient of
such a search order is forbidden from telling any person that he has
received such a request. This is a violation of the First Amendment
right to free speech and the Fourth Amendment protection of private
Otter added that "some of these provisions place more power in the
hands of law enforcement than our Founding Fathers could have dreamt
and severely compromises the civil liberties of law-abiding
Americans. This bill, while crafted with good intentions, is rife
with constitutional infringements I could not support."
Like most who actually have read and analyzed the new law, Strossen
disagrees with several provisions not only because they appear to her
to be unconstitutional but also because the sweeping changes it
codifies have little or nothing to do with fighting terrorism. "There
is no connection," insists Strossen, "between the Sept. 11 attacks
and what is in this legislation. Most of the provisions relate not
just to terrorist crimes but to criminal activity generally. This
happened, too, with the 1996 antiterrorism legislation where most of
the surveillance laws have been used for drug enforcement, gambling
"I like to refer to this legislation," continues Strossen, "as
the 'so-called antiterrorism law,' because on its face the provisions
are written to deal with any crime, and the definition of terrorism
under the new law is so severely broad that it applies far beyond
what most people think of as terrorism." A similar propensity of
governments to slide down the slippery slope recently was reported in
England by The Guardian newspaper. Under a law passed last year by
the British Parliament, investigators can get information from
Internet-service providers about their subscribers without a warrant.
Supposedly an antiterrorist measure, the British law will be applied
to minor crimes, tax collection and public-health purposes.
Under the USA PATRIOT Act in this country, Section 802 defines
domestic terrorism as engaging in "activity that involves acts
dangerous to human life that violate the laws of the United States or
any state and appear to be intended: (i) to intimidate or coerce a
civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by
intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a
government by mass destruction, assassination or kidnapping."
The ACLU has posted on its Website, www.aclu.org, a comprehensive
list of the provisions and summarizes the increased powers for
federal spying. The following are a sample of some of the changes as
a result of the so-called USA PATRIOT Act. The legislation:
minimizes judicial supervision of federal telephone and Internet
surveillance by law-enforcement authorities.
expands the ability of the government to conduct secret searches.
gives the attorney general and the secretary of state the power to
designate domestic groups as terrorist organizations and deport any
noncitizen who belongs to them.
grants the FBI broad access to sensitive business records about
individuals without having to show evidence of a crime.
leads to large-scale investigations of American citizens
for "intelligence" purposes.
More specifically, Section 203 (Authority to Share Criminal
Investigative Information) allows information gathered in criminal
proceedings to be shared with intelligence agencies, including but
not limited to the CIA in effect, say critics, creating a political
secret police. No court order is necessary for law enforcement to
provide untested information gleaned from otherwise secret grand-jury
proceedings, and the information is not limited to the person being
Furthermore, this section allows law enforcement to share intercepted
telephone and Internet conversations with intelligence agencies. No
court order is necessary to authorize the sharing of this
information, and the CIA is not prohibited from giving this
information to foreign-intelligence operations in effect, say
critics, creating an international political secret police.
According to Strossen, "The concern here is about the third branch of
government. One of the overarching problems that pervades so many of
these provisions is reduction of the role of judicial oversight. The
executive branch is running roughshod over both of the other branches
of government. I find it very bothersome that the government is going
to have more widespread access to e-mail and Websites and that
information can be shared with other law-enforcement and even
intelligence agencies. So, again, we're going to have the CIA in the
business of spying on Americans something that certainly hasn't
gone on since the 1970s."
Strossen is referring to the illegal investigations of thousands of
Americans under Operation CHAOS, spying carried out by the CIA and
National Security Agency against U.S. activists and opponents of the
war in Southeast Asia.
Nor do the invasion-of-privacy provisions of the new law end with law
enforcement illegally searching homes and offices, say critics. Under
Section 216 of the USA PATRIOT Act (Modification of Authorities
Relating to Use of Pen Registers and Trap and Trace Devices),
investigators freely can obtain access to "dialing, routing and
signaling information." While the bill provides no definition
of "dialing, routing and signaling information," the ACLU says this
means they even would "apply law-enforcement efforts to determine
what Websites a person visits." The police need only certify the
information they are in search of is "relevant to an ongoing criminal
This does not meet probable-cause standards that a crime has
occurred, is occurring or will occur. Furthermore, regardless of
whether a judge believes the request is without merit, the order must
be given to the requesting law-enforcement agency, a veritable rubber
stamp and potential carte blanche for fishing exhibitions.
Additionally, under Section 216, law enforcement now will have
unbridled access to Internet communications. The contents of e-mail
messages are supposed to be separated from the e-mail addresses,
which presumably is what interests law enforcement. To conduct this
process of separation, however, Congress is relying on the FBI to
separate the content from the addresses and disregard the
In other words, the presumption is that law enforcement is only
interested in who is being communicated with and not what is said,
which critics say is unlikely. Citing political implications they
note this is the same FBI that during the Clinton administration
could not adequately explain how hundreds of personal FBI files of
Clinton political opponents found their way from the FBI to the
Clinton White House.
And these are just a few of the provisions and problems. While
critics doubt it will help in the tracking of would-be terrorists,
the certainty is that homes and places of business will be searched
without prior notice. And telephone and Internet communications will
be recorded and shared among law-enforcement and intelligence
agencies, all in the name of making America safe from terrorism.
Strossen understands the desire of lawmakers to respond forcefully to
the Sept. 11 attacks but complains that this is more of the same old
same old. "Government has the tendency," she explains, "to want to
proliferate during times of crisis, and that's why we have to
constantly fight against it. It's a natural impulse and, in many
ways, I don't fault it. In some ways they're just doing their job by
aggressively seeking as much law-enforcement power as possible, but
that's why we have checks and balances in our system of government,
and that's why I'm upset that Congress just rolled and played dead on
Paul agrees: "This legislation wouldn't have made any difference in
stopping the Sept. 11 attacks," he says. "Therefore, giving up our
freedoms to get more security when they can't prove it will do so
makes no sense. I seriously believe this is a violation of our
liberties. After all, a lot of this stuff in the bill has to do with
finances, search warrants and arrests."
For the most part, continues Paul, "our rights have been eroded as
much by our courts as they have been by Congress. Whether it's
Congress being willing to give up its prerogatives on just about
everything to deliver them to an administration that develops new and
bigger agencies, or whether it's the courts, there's not enough
wariness of the slippery slope and insufficient respect and love of
What does Paul believe the nation's Founding Fathers would think of
this law? "Our forefathers would think it's time for a revolution.
This is why they revolted in the first place." Says Paul with a
laugh, "They revolted against much more mild oppression."
Kelly Patricia O'Meara is an investigative reporter for Insight.