Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now. 1 of 6

By Carl Herman, National Board Certified Teacher in economics, government, and history, who blogs as the Nonpartisan Examiner at Examiner.com. Carl was one of the leaders who launched the microcredit movement, and is a tireless activist for peace and justice.

Occupy Wall Street (and nationwide) has three emerging objectives:

  1. Public recognition of the 1%’s crimes, centering on war and money.
  2. End war and money crimes that annually kill millions, injure billions, and loot trillions of our dollars.
  3. Build a brighter future for 100% of humanity, centering on full constructive employment and the creation of money that maximizes public good.

My Open proposal for US Revolution: end unlawful wars, parasitic economics explains and documents

  • war and money crimes so they are “emperor has no clothes” obvious,
  • Gandhi and Dr. King’s strategy for victory, with recommendation for a Truth and Reconciliation window to encourage criminals’ peaceful surrender,
  • Historical consideration and today’s possibility of the US creating money to cause full employment and optimal infrastructure. This replaces the Orwellian “debt supply” the 1% creates and controls as their main weapon of dominance (more on economic solutions here).

This 6-article series documents the history of criminality of the 1%’s Wars of Aggression and War Crimes. The power of this history is to reveal that the 1% lies, kills, and loots as their usual business. We the People, the 99%, have historically been distracted by political and media rhetoric that propagandized the crimes.

For whatever reasons of greed never having “enough,” the 1% overplayed their hand. We the 99% have reached a critical mass stage of engaged attention. The criminals among the 1% have a rapidly closing window of opportunity to reclaim their humanity, have “Scrooge conversions,” and contribute to causing the above objectives.

The facts that the 1%’s war and money policies are massive and obvious crimes is important. The 99%’s recognition is a trigger for those of us with Oaths to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Arrests will follow; the 1%’s houses of cards will collapse in tragic-comedy.

These six articles are taken from an assignment for my high school seniors to understand current events. The 11-part series will be available under the title, Teaching US History of empire/terrorism to recognize it today.

The 1%’s crimes will end because the 99% embrace the political, economic, and spiritual ideals of our Declaration of Independence (my emphasis added):

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.

  1. A revealing current event of our United States: MCA
  2. Revealing current event: waterboarding and its reporting by corporate media
  3. Past “current events”: Native American treaties, Mexican-American War
  4. Past “current events”: US overthrow of Hawaii, Spanish-American War
  5. Past “current events”: World War 1, CIA wars, Vietnam War
  6. King family’s civil trial for the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *

A revealing current event of our United States: MCA

In our world of the present, you face demanding political issues that challenge the heart of what it means to be an American. These issues include the legislated end for all people of habeas corpus (right to challenge an arrest as unlawful and be freed) and replacing it with indefinite detention at the government’s dictate in the Military Commissions Act of 2006 (MCA).

The basic legal meaning of MCA is this: the Executive Branch now has legal authority to say any person is an “unlawful enemy combatant” (a designation invented for this act). MCA removes nearly every imaginable protection from unchallengeable and endless dictatorial imprisonment. The government has explicit authority under MCA to detain any person forever without charge of a crime, not provide an attorney until trial through tribunal (if the government chooses to prosecute rather than hold in prison for as long as they choose), consider as legal evidence any confessions extracted through “enhanced interrogation techniques” (this is the same term Nazi Germany used for their torture that would leave no marks: Verschärfte Vernehmung), not disclose evidence against the declared “enemy” but only a summary of the evidence (that means the government could say they have video of you planning to blow-up the school because you’ve chosen a career path as a professional terrorist, never show you the video for “national security” reasons, but give the court a written description of the video. This would be considered legal evidence under MCA, and not subject to your challenge of its authenticity), appoint an attorney for you of their choosing, and have you tried by a three person military tribunal selected by the same Executive Branch that accused you of being an enemy combatant. Your sentence can include your death. MCA text allows this to be applied to “persons;” which means American citizens:

“DETERMINATION OF UNLAWFUL ENEMY COMBATANT STATUS DISPOSITIVE.—A finding, whether before, on, or after the date of the enactment of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, by a Combatant Status Review Tribunal or another competent tribunal established under the authority of the President or the Secretary of Defense that a person is an unlawful enemy combatant is dispositive for purposes of jurisdiction for trial by military commission under this chapter.”

Dispositive” in law means “providing a final resolution,” and “having control over an outcome.”

The US updated MCA in 2009, but the current status has become even more tragic-comic. The US now claims legal right that if a US president so dictates, American citizens are targeted for assassination by US military. President Obama authorized a list of American citizens to be killed, with the first assassination reported on September 30, 2011. The term for this policy is extrajudicial assassination. [2]

“Let that sink in. The U.S. presidency, supposed leader of the free world, has a clandestine committee that chooses American citizens to assassinate. This from the administration that promised unprecedented transparency and a ratcheting back of Bush-era civil liberties abuses. This from the president who vowed to restore habeas corpus and subject executive war powers to judicial scrutiny. This from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate. … For generations much of the world has been under the spell of the lie of American democracy, the propaganda that the brutality of power politics can be tempered through elections and an eloquent piece of parchment.” [3]

For video coverage of the US assassinating American citizens at will, here for summary explaining this as unlawful, and here for coverage attempting to explain it as legal. [4] And here is a 4-minute video comparing the policy of assassinating American citizens, or any person, versus the text of the US Constitution. [5]

In contrast, the Declaration of Independence emphasizes unalienable rights for everyone from our Creator, that it is the function of government to secure those rights rather than “in your face” explicitly legislate to destroy those rights, and that government only derives its power from the consent of the governed.

The US Constitution is the rules of US government; that is, the promises by government to the public for the limits of its authority. The essential term, “limited government,” means the boundaries beyond which government action becomes unlawful, and the Enlightenment’s philosophical response to end unlimited government through claimed divine rights from kings. “Limited government” is codified in the US Constitution’s 9th and 10th Amendments. [6] The US Constitution is the legal definition of what it means to “be” American, and provides a form of limited government called “constitutional republic.” That means government power is strictly limited by what is said in its constitution.

It’s explicit under this form of government that if officials act beyond Constitutional limits of authority that they face impeachment and/or arrest.

Indeed, it was from English violation of the 1689 “Bill of Rights” that Americans petitioned their government for restoration, and then revolted when King and Parliament refused to uphold rights that were crystal-clear in letter and intent (here for Jefferson’s argument in A summary view of the rights of British America). The specific violations included no representation in Parliament and no vote for taxation, a standing army on American soil, open-ended search warrants, mercantilism that acted as a de facto tax transferring wealth from Americans to a British oligarchy of politicians and insider merchants, and attempting to remove the people’s arms in militias for their defense that were paid and managed by local taxes.

The US Constitution provides detailed rights to all “persons” in the US Bill of Rights from prosecution by the US federal government. These rights include freedom of speech and press without fear of being declared an enemy of the state, freedom from searches unless government obtains a specific warrant from a judge upon probable cause of having committed a crime, right to juries of one’s peers (both a Grand Jury to examine the evidence before a trial, and then to determine the facts of the case for innocence or guilt), freedom from helping the government’s case through one’s own testimony, a speedy and public jury trial, being informed of the government’s charges of alleged crimes, freedom to engage directly with government evidence and witnesses, immediate right to attorney representation, no excessive bail, and no torture.

Again, and as always: the above summaries of MCA and the promises guaranteed under the US Constitution is my professional understanding of the objective facts. I actively discourage anyone from believing what I say, and actively encourage everyone to look to the evidence for verification. I welcome any refutation of my claims.

If my summary of MCA is correct, this is a big deal. Please allow its meaning to penetrate: Unless you want to make the argument that the words of the MCA paragraph I’ve provided or the word “assassination” mean something other than what they say, this means that the US Constitution no longer applies if the president or SecDef (Secretary of Defense) dictate.

Again, US Constitutional rights define “being American.” When a government is no longer limited by the laws in its constitution, we have to change its description from “constitutional republic” to another term. In this case, because MCA applies whenever a leader says so/dictates, that is the exact definition of a dictatorship. In at least this area of law, the US is far closer to fascism than a constitutional republic.

But let me make this distinction even sharper: If we’re basing our American government on what the President/leader says rather than limitations of clear law, such as the dictates of a leader to apply Verschärfte Vernehmung or other MCA provisions, there is another analogous German word for the “leader” doing the dictating: the German word for “leader” is fuhrer.

Am I exaggerating here?! Or is the explanation of MCA you’ve just read an accurate description of what kind of law it is, and the meaning when MCA removes Constitutional limits from abusive dictatorial power?

While more Republicans support MCA than Democrats, this legislation is possible only with the ongoing support of Democratic Party leadership (for example, see this curious statement [7] by President Obama on his vote for MCA).

Do you really think that the American public would have supported MCA if the Democratic Party leadership clearly communicated what MCA does, and its explicit language that includes Americans in the removal of virtually all Constitutional rights?

And where is US corporate media to explain this???

Feeling any cognitive dissonance yet?

See what I mean by the title of this assignment: Critical thinking skills in action?

I’m spending some time asking you to think about this because the idea that the US government can willfully destroy its own constitution is new for most people, but absolutely proved by the facts and repeated time and again in our history. Let me provide a snippet of history with Abraham Lincoln’s first encounter with the destruction of our own Constitution when a US president and the majority of Congress chose to steal land through waging a War of Aggression.

“At first blush, a man is not capable of reporting truth; he must be drenched and saturated with it first.” – Henry David Thoreau, I to myself: an annotated selection from the journal of Henry D. Thoreau, 1837.

Thoreau, like Abraham Lincoln in a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives recognized the claimed “reasons” for a “defensive war” against Mexico were obvious lies when inspected. Lincoln:

“I carefully examined the President’s messages, to ascertain what he himself had said and proved upon the point. The result of this examination was to make the impression, that taking for true, all the President states as facts, he falls far short of proving his justification; and that the President would have gone farther with his proof, if it had not been for the small matter, that the truth would not permit him… Now I propose to try to show, that the whole of this, — issue and evidence — is, from beginning to end, the sheerest deception.”

And Lincoln in a letter to his law partner:

“Allow the President to invade a neighboring nation whenever he shall deem it necessary to repel an invasion, and you allow him to do so whenever he may choose to say he deems it necessary for such purpose, and you allow him to make war at pleasure. Study to see if you can fix any limit to his power in this respect, after having given him so much as you propose. If to-day he should choose to say he thinks it necessary to invade Canada to prevent the British from invading us, how could you stop him? You may say to him, — “I see no probability of the British invading us”; but he will say to you, “Be silent: I see it, if you don’t.””

The US taking Texas as a state was in direct violation of the Adams-Onís Treaty that guaranteed all the land that is now the Southwest US to forever belong to Mexico (signed in 1819 with Spain, and formally transferred to Mexico in 1831). Lincoln attempted to force President Polk to report to Congress and answer several pointed and brilliantly-worded questions from Lincoln that would prove Polk’s claimed “border dispute” was really 400 miles into agreed-upon land of Mexico.

I invite you to read Lincoln’s “Spot Resolutions” for yourself as an example of why Lincoln is considered to be one of the sharpest writers in all American history.

Thoreau refused to pay his taxes to support the unlawful war and was jailed. Despite Lincoln having all the facts on his side, because the president, majority of Congress, and majority of the press wanted this war as an expression of the racistManifest Destiny,” Lincoln didn’t have the votes to pass the Spot Resolutions. In fact, Lincoln was called “unpatriotic” and “Spotty” in derision by both parties’ “leadership” and the press.

Lincoln became so unpopular from these intentional lies and propaganda that he had no chance for re-election.

A treaty is the “Supreme law of the land” in Article Six of the US Constitution. In this case, when a US president and Congress had the votes to violate a treaty and the Constitution in order to take land and resources, they lied, went to war, and took the land and resources.

The war killed over 50,000 Mexicans and over 5,000 Americans, and is a clear historical precedent for US “leadership” to choose lies, dictatorship, and War of Aggression rather than truth, limited government under the law, and peace.

Although this history of the Mexican-American War is uncontroversially factual and as far as I’m aware undisputed among professional historians, corporate media-published high school textbooks will only state that the causes of war were a “border dispute” and repeat President Polk’s claims that Mexico invaded the US with “American blood shed on American soil.”

This is a massive lie of omission and commission to not communicate at least the preceding few paragraphs.

If your text explained that a US President was the war-mongering liar that Lincoln explained in his speech and documented in the Spot Resolutions, and that Congress voted in criminal complicity to shred a US treaty, lie to the American public about who invaded whom, and be guilty of war-murdering tens of thousands of human beings, would you look at current US wars from the benefit of that accurate history?

And yes, an area for you to consider in this policy analysis assignment is whether current US wars are also a choice of leadership to lie, dictate, and invade other countries in unlawful Wars of Aggression that violate treaties and the Constitution.

Students: please consider my personal testimony that US leadership today absolutely can and do lie in omission and commission: Through our18 years of experience in RESULTS working with three US presidents, two UN Summits, and leadership of both parties, we found that “leadership” reneged on each and every public and private promise to end poverty.

And just as US corporate media will not walk you through the facts of unlawful US war with Mexico in 1846 (in analysis of current US wars or in your textbooks), US corporate media refused to interview us at RESULTS and/or expose US political leadership failure to fulfill their promises to end poverty.

You’ll have an assignment called “The economics of ending poverty” to consider the importance, costs and benefits, and politics of that issue that kills a million children every month from preventable poverty. Our findings of why US “leadership” reject ending poverty are consistent with the testimonies of former IMF Chief Economist Simon Johnson [8], former World Bank Chief Economist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz [9] (and here) [10], former Chief Economist John Perkins, and most effectively shown in a 3-minute video [11] from the group “Renegade Economist” and a 2-minute video [12] of John Perkins: US political and economic leadership prefer to retain an imperialist/Robber Baron mentality and policies to take as much as they can for themselves, say that it’s legal and “good for everybody,” buy media coverage to say the same, and hope they can get away with it. Johnson, Stiglitz, and Perkins have all authored multiple bestselling books to explain and document their findings of how this works.

The point of Abraham Lincoln, Thoreau, and my testimony is not to illicit your belief in our conclusions. It is to provide facts and analysis omitted from most American’s consideration in the speeches and writing of politicians and media. Its purpose is to empower you to:

  • Allow the facts to lead your analysis of policy; not the rhetoric of politicians and media.
  • Allow the facts of history to provide best context to understand the present.
  • Once you have the most comprehensive set of facts through use of critical thinking skills, to reflect upon the meaning of the data, and discover/develop your unique, powerful, and beautiful voices of citizenry.

As the Romans simply stated in their understanding of law under a constitutional republic (before it devolved into dictatorship and purchased politicians): res ipsa loquitur: the facts tell the story.

Now that I’ve hopefully accomplished my objective to have you spend some time considering what MCA says, what it means, and open your inquiry with a touch of vitally important and “game-changing” history that’s right there for anyone to verify that the California Framework’s admonitions of the fragility of democratic institutions and the importance of your competent citizenry mean exactly what they say: let’s move onto our second and last example of a really important current event.

*****

Endnotes:

2 Among many: Marjorie Cohn. The targeted assassination of Osama bin Laden. May 9, 2011: http://www.marjoriecohn.com/2011/05/targeted-assassination-of-osama-bin.html , Greenwald, G. Presidential assassinations of U.S. citizens. Jan. 27, 2010: http://uruknet.com/index.php?p=m62651&hd=&size=1&l=e , Examiner.com. Herman, C. Official US policy: kill American citizens when President/Fuhrer declares them “terrorists”. Jan. 29, 2010: http://www.examiner.com/la-county-nonpartisan-in-los-angeles/official-us-policy-kill-american-citizens-when-president-fuhrer-declares-them-terrorists , Salon.com. The due-process-free assassination of U.S. citizens is now reality. Greeenwald, G. Sep 30, 2011.

3 Global Research. Obama’s very real death panel: the CIA’s assassination program. Gregory, A. Oct. 7, 2011: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=26984

4 Revolutionary Politics tv. When the president can kill who ever he wants: http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=16288 and Revolutionary Politics tv. “The president signs a piece of paper & it’s a death sentence”: http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=16284

5 Revolutionary Politics tv. The plain truth about executive assassination. Judge Napolitano’s Freedom Watch. Oct. 3, 2011: http://revolutionarypolitics.tv/video/viewVideo.php?video_id=16304&title=the-plain-truth-about-executive-assassination

6 Among many: Revolutionary War and beyond. The 10th Amendment: http://www.revolutionary-war-and-beyond.com/10th-amendment.html

7 The White House. Statement of President Barack Obama on Military Commissions. May 15, 2009.

8 Project Syndicate. Did the poor cause the crisis? Johnson, S. Jan. 19, 2011.

9 The Independent. Joseph Stiglitz: It takes more than free trade to end poverty. Feb. 3, 2006.

10 Project Syndicate. The end of the beginning of ending poverty. Stiglitz, J. July 7, 2005.

11 Examiner.com. 3-minute video: US policy causes poverty, terrorism, war to enrich US oligarchs. Herman, C. Sept. 9, 2011.

12 Examiner.com. 2-minute video: Best-selling Chief Economist reveals criminal US foreign policy. Herman, C. April 24, 2011.

Continue reading on Examiner.com Occupy This: US History exposes the 1%’s crimes then and now. 1 of 6 – National Nonpartisan | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/nonpartisan-in-national/occupy-this-us-history-exposes-the-1-s-crimes-then-and-now-1-of-6#ixzz1aM9re133

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  • Denny

    Remember: They want it all and will do ANYTHING to get it. Anything. Simply ask the Afghanis, the Iraqis, the Pakistanis, the Vietnamese, the peasants of Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and South America, among others (Herr Kissinger’s murder of Allende’s elected government and Allende himself). They are going to tighten down the screws deeply and quickly. Their response is being formulated as I write this. We the People have caught them slightly under-prepared for once; but they will, no doubt about it, find a rationale to level a hefty amount of violence at those who dare question their authority. The question is: How many dead can WE tolerate? Good luck, folks! The path is a righteous one!

 

 

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