By Timothy V. Gatto
I think I can speak for many Americans when I say that our government has been less than responsive as far as ending militarism and holding our civil liberties sacrosanct. In fact, less than responsive is being generous, as we have seen this nation totally scrap the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, station troops in bases world-wide in over 130 different nations, and wage aggressive war on three nations, become complicit with another nation to wage war (Georgia) and institute trade sanctions (another Act of War by International law) on Iran.
During the past two terms of this Presidency we have learned in-depth about signing statements, the “Unitary Presidency”, numerous Executive Orders that remain secret from the Congress, extraordinary “rendition”, and torture to include inflicting injuries on another human being “to the point of, but not exceeding organ failure”. We know of places such as Abu Graib, and Guantanamo and watched as our Army dropped white Phosphorus on innocent civilians in a city called Fallujah where photographs of women and children showed burned blackened corpses while the clothes and blankets they were wrapped in weren’t even singed. We learned about depleted uranium and exposed our soldiers and Iraqi citizens to ionizing radiation that causes cancers, leukemia, and birth defect among other things. Radiation that we brought to Iraq and Afghanistan has a half-life of eight billion years.
We watched as Congress enabled the President to commit vast sums of money on an aggressive war in the Middle-East, taking money away from the taxpayer that could have been used to build schools, hospitals and to fix crumbling infrastructure in this country. We could have offered every American student tuition free higher education instead of dumping it into Iraq in the quest for global resources like oil. We could have taken the trillion dollars that we spent on these wars and used it to promote alternate energy resources. Instead of looking out for the taxpayers, the Congress, controlled by BOTH major corporate political parties, squandered our nation’s wealth on war and weapons of war for a global empire nobody voted on and nobody wants save those that are now in government.
Congress voted for The Patriot Act, The Military Commissions Act, The John Warner Defense Bill (The re-vamped Insurrection Act), the enhanced FISA Bill that gave the telecom companies retroactive immunity for illegally wiretapping American citizens for the Executive Branch which was against the law. Congress ignored Articles of Impeachment against the President and Vice-President time and time again. Congressional subpoenas have been ignored by members of the Executive Branch and Congress does not impose inherent contempt charges on these individual and send Capitol Police to arrest them for willfully disobeying Congress. The checks and balances that were built into our Constitution are broken from neglect and disuse. Congress has allowed the Executive Branch to supersede those powers that were expressly given to Congress by our Constitution.
We are now facing an election in which the nominees were presented to us by a compliant corporate led media. Before a single vote had been cast, two of the Democratic nominees had been barred from taking part in the Primary Debates. We saw, according to The Center for Responsive Politics (opensecrets.org), corporate money in bundles campaign donations go to two Democrats almost exclusively before a vote was cast in the primaries. The two major party nominees both support more war and more military spending, while ignoring the fact that we have lost a majority of our civil liberties that were stated in the Bill of Rights.
Meanwhile the media is controlled by the same interests that now control our elected officials from the two major parties, and tout only two candidates, the Democrat and the Republican. To illustrate that there is hardly a difference between them, they must rely on “straw man” arguments such as gay rights, abortion, taxes and education. These are the same issues that are brought up time after time, election after election, yet most of these issues should be settled by the States, not the Federal Government. They fail to bring up the loss of our constitutional rights like freedom of speech and the press, unrestricted search and seizures without a warrant. Non-lethal force such as tasers, rubber bullets and riot gas being used on demonstrators in violation of their free speech rights, as they are rounded up from “free speech” zones. The candidates neglect to bring up the fact that the Unites States of America spends 48% of the entire world’s spending on the military. The candidates threaten Russia as we encircle them with nuclear –tipped missiles and American military bases. We demonize Venezuela and Hugo Chavez while we interfere in the internal affairs of Bolivia against the democratically elected government of Evo Morales by giving five provinces rich in natural gas, hundreds of thousands of dollars to succeed from Bolivia.
Our Federal government has allowed unchecked predatory capitalism to thrive in this country, offering mortgages to people with suspect credit, knowing full well that these people would never be able to pay the ballooning mortgages in the future in order to make a quick buck. Our economy is going belly-up by these “lassie faire” practices that have raped the taxpayers while the government bails out the banks and brokers with “corporate welfare”. The top 10% of the wealthiest people in this nation own 71% of its wealth! This gives the remaining 90% of us 21% to share together.
I have written about all of this before. There are examples that for sake of brevity I have not mentioned instances which are just as egregious as those mentioned above like the Federal assistance after Katrina and the saber-rattling towards Iran. I needed to restate all of these things to illustrate that our federal government is totally out of control, and is not concerned about the well-being of the American taxpayer. The simple fact is that after this election, with the two candidates they are running and the third parties shut out of participating in an honest election because of impediments set up by the two-party duopoly, we will have no change in the foreseeable future. Others besides me have predicted that we will have more of the status quo if McCain or Obama are elected. Unless this nation comes to an epiphany and all at once gets behind Nader or McKinney which is very doubtful, our votes will not win this election. This election will be decided by the mass media’s coverage of the two corporate candidates that are both more of the same, and the general public that has been dumbed-down by the same media and the lack of honest news.
So what can we do? I propose a “Shadow Government” that be made up of all the third parties and the disaffected Republicans and Democrats that are tired of the American Empire and the squandering of our nation’s wealth on wars while our civil liberties are being taken from us. It can be formed at a conference much like the one last week-end at Andover, Mass. We are looking at a police state that operates outside the rule of law that we have operated on for over two hundred years. This shadow government will be divided up much like the Federal Government. Instead of individuals holding office however, there will be committees that will monitor every action by every part of every branch of this government to insure that they are following the laws, and not operating outside the rule of law which is US code and the Constitution.
These committees will have not power but to seek indictments against those in the federal government that break US law. They can seek relief in local, State and Federal Courts. Every move that this corporate government makes will be followed closely by this shadow government to insure that the excesses that happened in the last decade are not allowed to continue. The shadow government can also lobby for campaign finance reform to get corporate money out of political elections. All other partisan issues will be left to political interests lest they take the focus off of what the shadow government was designed to do.
Drastic times call for drastic measures. This country is rapidly coming apart at the seams and our government continues as if this is what is expected of them. It’s time to tell them what is expected of them by banding together, left, right, liberal, conservative the old paradigms’ no longer matter. So for now it is not between left and right, only between right and wrong, and it’s about time.