January 7, 2002
The Big Brother Files #25: Entering the New Totalitarian Era
The title says it all!
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
1. America's Empire Rules an Unbalanced World
2. Where Is Ben Laden?
3. The New Totalitarianism
4. Emergency Health Powers in the US
INDIA'S TERRORIST MINISTER (January 2, 2002)
Defense chief George Fernandes raised funds and supplied arms to the terrorist Tamil Tigers. As India took full advantage of the instability in Central Asia to push its agenda in Kashmir, and force a showdown with Pakistan, the rattling of the nuclear saber by Indian defense minister George Fernandes sent a collective shiver down the world's spine. The Pakistanis, emphasizing the need for negotiation, were rebuffed by New Delhi's arrogant Brahmins, who stoked war hysteria to shore up their faltering political fortunes at home - and openly bragged that they would "win" a nuclear exchange with Pakistan.
In Kashmir Sequel, Seeking a New Ending (January 1, 2002)
This excellent article raises the possibility of a different, more hopeful ending to this new crisis, yet also points out that India's response to the attack on its Parliament has been influenced by the Bush administration's Sept. 11 template, with its moral absolutism about terrorism and its overwhelming application of military power against the terrorist suspects and crucially the government that harbored them.
The "Biggest Scientific Fraud" in India affecting the livelihood of millions of people: Monsanto Genetically Modified Cotton Pushing Farmers into a Death Trap (December 17)
Petition to the Senate to Investigate Oddities Involving 9/11 Terrorist Attacks
Firefighter Magazine Raps 9/11 Probe (1-4-2)
The current investigation is "a half-baked farce."
America's Empire Rules an Unbalanced World
(January 3, 2001)
(...) America's engineering of its dominance has at times been for the general good, when it used its clout to "think for the world." But often its clout has been used solely in the interests of its richest citizens and most powerful corporations. This latter tendency has been dominant lately. We see it in its new single-minded unilateralism in international relations, much exacerbated by the mixture of rage at Sept. 11th and gung-ho jubilation at "success" in Afghanistan.
And we see it in what the United States is now ramming through the international supervisory organizations. The United States has engineered the World Trade Organization to commit itself to negotiate a General Agreement on Trade in Services, which will facilitate a global market in private health care, welfare, pensions, education and water, supplied - naturally - by U.S. companies, and which will undermine political support for universal access to social services in developing countries. And it has engineered the World Bank, through congressional conditions on the replenishment of IDA, the soft-loan facility, to launch its biggest refocusing in a decade - a "private sector development" agenda devoted to the same end of accelerating the private (and nongovernmental) provision of basic services on a commercial basis. (...)
Globalization and the global supervisory organizations enable the United States to harness the rest of the world to its own rhythms and structure. Of course these arrangements do not produce terrorism in any direct way. But they are deeply implicated in the very slow economic growth in most of the developing world since 1980, and in the wide and widening world income inequality. (The average purchasing power of the bottom 10 percent of Americans is higher than that of two-thirds of the rest of the world's population.)
Slow economic growth and vast income disparities, when seen as such, breed cohorts of partly educated young people who grow up in anger and despair. Some try by legal or illegal means to migrate to the West; some join militant ethnic or religious movements directed at each other and their own rulers. But now the idea has spread among a few vengeful fundamentalists that the United States should be attacked directly.
The United States and its allies can stamp out specific groups by force and bribery. But in the longer run, the structural arrangements that replicate a grossly unequal world have to be redesigned, as we did at the Bretton Woods conference after World War II, so that markets working within the new framework produce more equitable results. Historians looking back a century from now will say that the time to have begun was now.
From: Michael Lightweaver <N2012@aol.com>
Date: Mon, 31 Dec 2001
Subject: Where Is Ben Laden?
Thought this might interest you. It is the "guest editorial" that I wrote under the pen name "Thomas Payne" for the upcoming issue of the Global Village News. Feel free to share if you wish.
Global Village News
January 7, 2002
Guest Editorial by Thomas Payne
Where Is Ben Laden?
If you live outside the USA - where the news tends to focus on issues instead of individuals - you may not be aware that the top news story in the States for the past several weeks has been:
"Where is Osana Ben Laden???"
Now that the dust is beginning to settle from two months of bombing, and despite the rhetoric of G. Bush, Ben Laden has seemingly disappeared.
Where has he gone?
We have reliable information from well-placed sources who wish to remain anonymous that Ben Laden is alive and well and living in.... Are you sitting down? OK.... he is hiding out in a small town in central Texas.
It happened this way. After slipping through the battle lines dressed head to toe as a 6' 4" lady in black, he made his way to Iran and from there to Saudi Arabia where he underwent a radical transformation: a clean shave, a preppie haircut, a three piece suite. He even cultivated a Texas drawl and learned how to say "terrist." From Saudi to Texas it was an easy hop as a wealthy businessman. With his new identity, Mr. Benjamin Ladenfeld didn't even have to clear US customs and he had already been schooled in Texas customs.
Why Texas? First and foremost, it is the last place the CIA would be looking for him. This was a part of his "worst case scenario" plan of escape from the beginning. In al-Qaida parlance it is known as "Option T."
It was also decided by the al-Qaida inner circle that Texas would be the best base for launching Phase II of their terrorist campaign.
Work with me here. Think strategy. First they were able to boldly attack and destroy the primary symbol of US economic dominance on the planet. Secondly they were able to strike deep at the symbol of US global military domination - all in one morning. And the US elected leaders jumped in quickly to complete the task; dismantling democracy with the creation of secret military tribunals, new powers of police surveillance, and other such "protective" measures.
And while US officials and citizens alike are worried about air flights and anthrax, al-Qaida is preparing to implement Phase II of its plan from deep within the heart of Texas.
It goes like this. With his fortune, "Benjamin Ladenfeld" plans to do a major buyout of a strategic US energy based corporation. This will be followed by a major restructuring and layoffs of more than 500,000 workers in 12 states. He figures that this will strike real terror in the hearts of the average working America in a way that makes September 11th look like a fairy tale. It will give him major control of the US energy supply and the layoffs will free several billion dollars which can then be reinvested in the newly revived arms industry. He sees it as the best possible win/win situation.
But this is America, you say. Won't the government step in and help these people? No. With his money he will lobby Congress to reduce taxes for the very wealthy, provide a high profile pittance program for the poor and reduce social assistance programs to near zero.
Won't Americans rebel? Wrong again. First, their attention is still being captivated by airports, anthrax and al-Qaida. Secondly, they are being fed a daily diet of "kick butt patriotism" based on the football model that 'might makes right," and on the bombing front, America rules.
Of course, this will all run its course. Little by little, Americans will begin to wake up and smell the coffee - or at least those who can still afford coffee. And when we do, if Mr. Ben Ladenfeld of Texas has his way, we will find a country of secret courts, neighbors who report on our personal lives, identity cards & police surveillance of all our communications. And when this happens, Mr. Ladenfeld and his al-Quaida cohorts will enjoy a smug smile of satisfaction, knowing that they were able to accomplish from the inside what they failed to do from the outside.
How Osama was smuggled into Pakistan
The covert operation to facilitate Osama bin Laden sneak into Pakistan from Afghanistan in November could well be the script of a spy thriller.
The New Totalitarianism
Why there is a there a War in Afghanistan?
by John McMurtry, Professor of Philosophy, Guelph University
Opening Address, Science for Peace Forum and Teach-In, "How Should Canada Respond to War and Terrorism". University of Toronto, December 9, 2001
I have been asked to speak on the topic Why Is There A War in Afghanistan? I could focus on the innumerable suspicious circumstances of this latest U.S. aerial war on a poverty-stricken country - its typical overriding of international law, its strategic fit with U.S. corporate designs for foreign oil resources, and the U.S. past strategic support of the very Enemy said to be targeted - like Noriega, Saddam, and Milosevic in the past.1 But instead I am going to situate this latest U.S.-led war on a third-world region within a much wider global process. I am going to consider Americas New War as the latest expression of a much deeper and wider terrorist campaign of an emergent totalitarian pattern of instituting world corporate rule with no limit of occupation or accountability beyond itself. Unhappily, it is not easy to see Canadas foreign policy role in all this as anything other than obedient subjugation to this transnational corporate agenda at every senior level of decision-making.
CLIP - This long but *really* excellent article certainly deserves to be read in its entirety at http://globalresearch.ca/articles//MCM112A.html
Here is the first and most interesting of a long series of complementary notes...
1. There is growing suspicion, which is officially unspeakable, that the Afghanistan War is a set-up, including September 11 itself. With any such hypothesis, one looks not only for the evidence confirming it, but more conscientiously, for the evidence disconfirming it. The evidence confirming U.S. and allied security awareness of and possible complicity in the 9/11 attack is considerable, but I have found no evidence disconfirming it. The principal reason against is the assumption that it is impossible that the U.S. national security apparatus would ever permit such a mass killing of Americans on U.S. soil, but this assumption itself is shaky given that Pearl Harbour itself was likely known about in advance, and non-defensive wars since have sacrificed tens of thousands of U.S. citizens (not to say millions of others) for so-called foreign policy and national security objectives. On September 12, I wrote a paragraph for publication that seems no less telling today. The pervasive Echelon surveillance apparatus and the most sophisticated intelligence machinery ever built is unlikely not to have eavesdropped on some of the very complicated organisation and plans across states and boundaries for the multi-site hijacking of planes from major security structures across the U.S. - especially since the suicide pilots were trained as pilots in the U.S., and the World Trade Centre had already been bombed in 1993 by Afghan ex-allies of the CIA. Since the prime suspect, Osama bin Laden, is himself an ex-CIA operative in Afghanistan, and his moves presumably under the intensest scrutiny for past successful terrorist attacks on two U.S. embassies in 1998, one has to reflect on the connections. To begin with, the forensic principle of who most benefits from the crime? clearly points in the direction of the Bush administration. One would be naive to think the Bush Jr. faction and its oil, military-industrial and Wall Street backers who had stolen an election with its man rated in office by the majority of Americans as poor on the economy (a Netscape Poll poll taken off the screen when the planes hit the towers), and more deplored by the rest of the world as a deep danger to the global environment and the international rule of law, do not benefit astronomically from this mass-kill explosion. If there was a wish-list, it is all granted by this numbing turn of events. Americans are diverted from a free-falling economy to attack another foreign Satan, while the Bush regimes popularity climbs. The military, the CIA and every satellite armed security apparatus have more money and power than ever, and become as dominant as they can over civilians in the whole new era already being declared by the White House. The anti-missile plan to rule the skies is now exonerated (if irrelevantly so), and Israels apartheid civil war is vindicated at the same time. Even the surgingly popular anti world-trade movement is now associated with foreign terrorists blowing up the World Trade Centre. The more you review the connections and the sweeping lapse of security across so many co-ordinates, the more the lines point backwards (published in The Record, September and Economic Reform, October 2001). As we will see ahead, these benefits of the 9/11 attack go still deeper than the payoffs enumerated here. Isolated reports by major newspapers across the world of pre-9/11 links between the CIA, the Pakistan ISI, and bin Ladens Al Qaeda network have been usefully documented by Michael C. Ruppert at http://www.copvcia.com
From: "Lynn Wright" <email@example.com>
Subject: Emergency Health Powers in the US
Sent: 26 December 2001
Model Emergency Health Powers Act (MEHPA) Turns Governors into Dictators
DR. MERCOLA'S COMMENT:
Since this is a bit of an unusual type of article I thought I would put my comment first.
It appears some very dangerous legislation is being prepared to be implemented in the US.
If this legislation passes, in brief:
1 - You will have a mandatory vaccination or you will be charged with a crime.
2 - You will get a mandatory medical exam, or you will be charged with a crime.
3 - Doctors will give the exam or you will be charged with a crime.
4 - Your property can be seized if there is 'REASONABLE CAUSE TO BELIEVE" that it may pose a public health hazard... it can be burned or destroyed and you will NOT have recourse or compensation.
This Act would:
a.. broaden government access to private medical records; a.. greatly weaken protections against the taking of private property without compensation;
b.. criminalize refusal to be conscripted for public service or to take medical treatment; a.. potentially increase the risk of infection to many individuals on the pretext of protecting the common good; a.. subjugate scientific analysis and deliberation to the raw assertion of power; greatly expand the power of government to interfere with commerce; a.. and immunize state officials from sanctions against gross abuses of power. Although certain extraordinary government interventions might be warranted in a true emergency, the government already has significant emergency powers as well as the ability to convene a special session of the legislature. It is highly inadvisable to completely suspend our delicate system of checks and balances upon the word of a Governor that an emergency requires it.
This Act, in effect, empowers the Governor to create a police state by fiat, and for a sufficient length of time to destroy or muzzle his political opposition.
The most telling sentence is: "The public health authority shall have the power to enforce the provisions of this Act through the imposition of fines and penalties, the issuance of orders, and such other remedies as are provided by law, but nothing in this Section shall be construed to limit specific enforcement powers enumerated in this Act." Article VIII Section 802.
It is unlikely that the vast expansion of governmental powers would be restricted to combating a smallpox outbreak. Once the precedent is established, it could be expanded to other types of "emergencies."
This proposal violates the very principles that its author, Lawrence O Gostin, has previously outlined, while giving them lip service. His article recommends that "public health authorities should bear the burden of justification and, therefore, should demonstrate
(1) a significant risk based on scientific evidence;
(2) the intervention's effectiveness by showing a reasonable fit between ends and means;
(3) that economic costs are reasonable;
(4) that human rights burdens are reasonable...." (see JAMA 2000;283:3118-3122).
HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson is urging State legislatures to adopt the Model State Emergency Health Powers Act, prepared by the Center for Law and the Public's Health at Georgetown and Johns Hopkins Universities for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This Act grants unprecedented and unchecked powers to the Governors of the 50 States. It can be downloaded from www.publichealthlaw.net.
It is likely that HHS will tie passage of the Act to billions of dollars in federal funding: the usual method of bribery/coercion to get States to pass legislation that would otherwise never be considered.
Paul Weyrich of the Free Congress Foundation said: "Tommy Thompson, whom I have considered a friend for thirty years, should be ashamed of himself for advocating this kind of Big Brother legislation. This is not the Tommy Thompson we knew as a four-term governor of Wisconsin."
HHS is using the 9/11 emergency as a pretext to rush passage of an Act that has been in the works for more than a year. Its main author, Lawrence O. Gostin, was a member of Clinton's Task Force on Health Care Reform, whose secret documents were exposed to public view as a result of the AAPS lawsuit (AAPS et al v. Hillary Rodham Clinton et al.)
He was a member of Working Group 17, Bioethics, of Cluster V, The Ethical Foundations of the New System, and also a member of the informal group promoting Single Payer. It is odd that Tommy Thompson should be urging adoption of a plan originating with the most extremist left wing of Clinton's Health Care Task Force.
This legislation is a serious threat to our civil liberties. Indeed, "this law treats American citizens as if they were the enemy," stated George Annas, chairman of the Health Law Department at the Boston University School of Public Health (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/25/01). It must be exposed to the light of day in the next month and a half.
"If protests are sufficient and if conservative legislators in state legislatures are properly alerted, perhaps there is a chance to beat back this monster," Weyrich said.
Declaring an Emergency: Under this Act, any Governor could appoint himself dictator by declaring a "public health emergency." He doesn't even have to consult anyone.
The Act requires that he "shall consult with the public health authority," but "nothing in the duty to consult ... shall be construed to limit the Governor's authority to act without such consultation when the situation calls for prompt and timely action."
The legislature is prohibited from intervening for 60 days, after which it may terminate the state of emergency only by a two-thirds vote of both chambers. (Apparently, it does not have the authority to find that the state of emergency never really existed.) Article III, Section 305(c). There is also the possibility that the Governor could declare a new emergency as soon as his powers were about to expire.
What is a public health emergency? It is whatever the Governor decides it should be. By the definition in the Act, it could be an "occurrence"-or just an "imminent threat"-of basically any cause that involves a biological agent or biological toxin that poses a "substantial risk" of a "significant number" of human fatalities or disability. Article I, Section 104(g). Terrorism need not be involved; any threat of an epidemic would suffice.
The Act does not define "substantial risk." Could it mean a 1-in-1,000,000 chance? Risks of that magnitude are already being invoked as a cause for alarm, say of a measles outbreak with transmission through an unvaccinated child, and a pretext for removing exemptions to mandatory vaccines. The EPA also uses such low (and purely hypothetical) risk as the rationale for very costly regulations, so the precedent is well-established.
Is a "significant number" five (the number of deaths from anthrax as of the date of this writing); 24 (the number of deaths from chickenpox in 1998 and 1999 combined, 12 of them in persons under the age of 20, used as a reason for mandatory childhood vaccination); 100 cases of AIDS; or is it thousands of deaths from smallpox, as most readers may assume-or a single case?
It could be any of these because the definition is at the sole discretion of the Governor. The most plausible of the dire threats generally cited is a smallpox outbreak.
However, given the nature of the disease and advanced medicine and sanitation, such an outbreak could be contained without any of the extreme measures in this Act, just as in the 1970s. (See, for example, "Super Smallpox Saturdays?" by Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., and Robert J. Cihak, MD, http://WorldNetDaily.com, Nov. 15, 2001.)
Because of the adverse side effects of the vaccine (including death), more harm than good could be done by an ill-advised, unnecessary mass vaccination campaign.
Patient Privacy Abolished: The Act would impose significant new reporting requirements on physicians and pharmacists, further diminishing the confidentiality of medical records.
Personal identifying information would have to be reported in writing, without patient consent, in the event of "an unusual increase" in prescriptions related to fever, respiratory, or gastrointestinal complaints that might represent an epidemic disease or bioterrorism, or of any other illness or health condition that could represent bioterrorism or epidemic or pandemic disease. Such conditions are legion.
Gostin concedes that his privacy provision is based on his own model privacy act of 1999, which apparently no state has adopted. Like the Clinton privacy regulations that AAPS is now challenging in court, Gostin's view of privacy is to allow unrestricted disclosure to federal authorities. Section 506.
Unlimited Power: How would the Governor handle the emergency? By whatever means he chose. He is under no obligation to use scientifically valid methods, or to choose the least destructive method, or to perform any kind of risk-benefit analysis.
He may suspend any regulatory statute, or the rules of any state agency, if they would "prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action." Article III, Section 303(a)(1). Among the laws to be suspended would probably be those permitting religious, medical, or philosophical exemptions to mandatory vaccines.
The Governor may not only utilize all the resources of the State and its political subdivisions, but commandeer any private facilities or resources considered necessary, and "take immediate possession thereof. Such materials and facilities include, but are not limited to, communication devices, carriers, real estate, fuels, food, clothing, and health care facilities."
Article IV Section 402(a). He may "compel a health care facility to provide services," but it is not clear what means he may use to compel its personnel to work (Article IV Section 402(b)), except that any physician or other health care provider who refuses to perform medical examination or testing as directed shall be liable for a misdemeanor. Article V Section 502(b).
The Governor may destroy any material or property "of which there is reasonable cause to believe that it may endanger the public health." Article IV Section 401(b). And while the State shall pay just compensation to the owner of any facilities that are "lawfully taken" or appropriated (Article IV Section 406), there is a huge exception:
"Compensation shall not be provided for facilities or materials that are closed, evacuated, decontaminated, or destroyed when there is reasonable cause to believe that they may endanger the public health pursuant to Section 401." Article IV Section 406.
The Governor is in charge of determining "reasonable cause." There is a strong incentive for him to declare any losses to private owners to be noncompensable.
"Reasonable cause" might mean "contaminated." Is the Senate Hart Office Building contaminated with anthrax? Yes. Should it therefore be destroyed, or subjected to fumigation with chemicals that would destroy much of the equipment and furnishings? Most think not.
The problem is that given a sufficiently sensitive testing method, everything is probably "contaminated" with almost everything else. Moreover, every testing method has some level of false positives.
The late Conrad Chester of Oak Ridge National Laboratory stated that any place that has ever supported cattle has anthrax contamination (lecture before Doctors for Disaster Preparedness annual meeting, 1996). The same probably applies to any land that has supported sheep or goats, or any land that has had the wind deposit soil from such an area.
In other words, anthrax spores are probably ubiquitous, though at a concentration that very rarely causes any harm. Such harm as was done may have been misdiagnosed by physicians who were unfamiliar with anthrax and not specifically looking for it.
Under this law, nothing would stop the Governor from ordering a citizen to turn over his house to be used as an isolation facility, and later destroying the house on the grounds that it is contaminated. This order, like any other, could be enforced at gunpoint by any law enforcement officer.
In a time of public hysteria, fanned by press coverage based on the "if it bleeds, it leads" policy, common sense is likely to be an early casualty. It is even possible that terrorists-or persons bent on radical transformation of society and the American form of government-could deliberately raise a false alarm and influence a Governor to take action that would result in more damage to freedom than the terrorists themselves could ever accomplish.
Or radical environmentalists (who haven't, to date, generally had the label of terrorist applied to them) could bring about the destruction of an activity that they object to (such as logging, cattle ranching, or modern farming). There are no checks and balances in this Act to prevent such an occurrence, and no meaningful accountability for the public officials who carry out a basically misguided policy, however destructive.
Command and Control: The Act assumes that the best method to use in an emergency is force and central control. There is no evidence that force works better than leadership, which can bring out the best in citizens coming together to meet the crisis, just as firefighters, police, medical professionals, hotel owners, and other businessmen did in New York City.
Totalitarianism is not only evil but has had uniformly disastrous results.
Although the world has 40 centuries of experience to show that the effect of price controls on the economy is comparable to that of an asteroid impact on the earth, the Act empowers the Governor to ration, fix prices, and otherwise control the allocation, sale, use, or transportation of any item as deemed "reasonable and necessary for emergency response."
This specifically includes firearms. Article IV Section 402(c) and Section 405(b). Moreover, the Governor can simply seize such items. Article IV Section 402(a).
The Act grants Governors the exclusive power to control the expenditure of funds appropriated for emergencies; the intent and priorities set by the Legislature would be irrelevant.
The Governor may delegate powers at his sole discretion to unelected political appointees.
Criminalizing Refusal of Medical Treatment: The Act empowers the public health authority to decide upon medical treatment or immunizations and to impose its view on individuals, who are liable for a misdemeanor should they refuse.
Article V Section 504(b). Although it might in some circumstances be prudent and justified to quarantine a person who refuses immunization during an outbreak, it is tyrannical to criminalize the medical choice to decline a treatment.
An immunization or treatment might well cause serious harm to certain individuals even if the public health authority does not recognize that it is "reasonably likely" to lead to "serious harm"-another two important undefined terms. Article V Section 504(a)(4).
The Act gives the public health authority the right to isolate or quarantine a person on an ex parte court order, with no hearing for at least 72 hours. If the public health authority decides that an unvaccinated person is a risk to others, even if uninfected, he could be quarantined.
Article V Section 503(e). It is quite possible that public health authorities could force such a person from his home to a place of quarantine, where he will be exposed to infected persons. Such places shall be maintained in a safe and hygienic manner "to the extent possible," and "all reasonable means shall be taken to prevent the transmission of infection among isolated or quarantined individuals."
Article V Section 503(a). The Act itself thus implies that an uninfected person is at risk by being placed in such a facility; it is quite likely that he could be at greater risk than if he had the freedom to protect himself as he saw fit. It is assumed that public health authorities will be "reasonable"; however, this assumption is questionable.
Even now, children not vaccinated against hepatitis B are being excluded from school even though there is NO risk that an uninfected child can transmit the disease and a minuscule risk that he can acquire the disease at school.
Zero Accountability: If the State does more harm than good through unfettered use of its draconian power, it can rely on the state immunity clause:
"Neither the State, its political subdivisions, nor, except in cases of gross negligence or willful misconduct, the Governor, the public health authority, or any other State official referenced in this Act, is liable for the death of or any injury to persons, or damage to property, as a result of complying with or attempting to comply with this Act or any rule or regulations promulgated pursuant to this Act."
Article VIII Section 804.
Note that the law would grant certain immunities even for deaths improperly caused, and allows such immunity even for advisors who made recommendations based on conflicts of interest.
An Alternate Proposal
States can and should improve their ability to respond to disaster, including bioterrorism. However, having the Governor play doctor and dictator is not the right response. Citizens should distribute information about the actual content of the Model Emergency Health Powers Act to opinion leaders, newspaper editors, columnists, the Chamber of Commerce, business groups, medical society officials, legislators, and the Bush Administration.
You can go to http://www.aapsonline.org/ and click on the Emergency Dictorial Powers act in the left column. Then click on the December 13th Action Alert which will provide information on how to respond to your legislators on this issue.
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