An Objective Comparison of the U.S. to Regimes that Everyone Labels Repressive

How Does America Compare to China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Other Repressive Regimes?

Top constitutional law expert Jon Turley notes in a must-read Washington Post article called “We are no longer the land of the free” (I have edited slightly to remove parentheses in several places):

Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Assassination of U.S. citizens

[The U.S. assassinates its own citizens.]

Nations such as Nigeria, Iran and Syria have been routinely criticized for extrajudicial killings of enemies of the state.

Indefinite detention

[The U.S. has passed a law allowing indefinite detention of American citizens.]

China recently codified a more limited detention law for its citizens, while countries such as Cambodia have been singled out by the United States for “prolonged detention.”

Arbitrary justice

The president now decides whether a person will receive a trial in the federal courts or in a military tribunal, a system that has been ridiculed around the world for lacking basic due process protections. Bush claimed this authority in 2001, and Obama has continued the practice. (Egypt and China have been denounced for maintaining separate military justice systems for selected defendants, including civilians.)

Warrantless searches

[The U.S. routinely conducts warrantless searches.]

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan operate under laws that allow the government to engage in widespread discretionary surveillance.

***

War crimes

[The U.S. has committed various war crimes, then refused to hold the actors to account.]

Various nations have resisted investigations of officials accused of war crimes and torture. Some, such as Serbia and Chile, eventually relented to comply with international law; countries that have denied independent investigations include Iran, Syria and China.

Secret court

[The U.S. uses secret courts under the guise of national security.]

Pakistan places national security surveillance under the unchecked powers of the military or intelligence services.

Immunity from judicial review

Like the Bush administration, the Obama administration has successfully pushed for immunity for companies that assist in warrantless surveillance of citizens, blocking the ability of citizens to challenge the violation of privacy. (Similarly, China has maintained sweeping immunity claims both inside and outside the country and routinely blocks lawsuits against private companies.)

Continual monitoring of citizens

The Obama administration has successfully defended its claim that it can use GPS devices to monitor every move of targeted citizens without securing any court order or review. It is not defending the power before the Supreme Court — a power described by Justice Anthony Kennedy as “Orwellian.” (Saudi Arabia has installed massive public surveillance systems, while Cuba is notorious for active monitoring of selected citizens.)

Extraordinary renditions

The government now has the ability to transfer both citizens and noncitizens to another country under a system known as extraordinary rendition, which has been denounced as using other countries, such as Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan, to torture suspects. The Obama administration says it is not continuing the abuses of this practice under Bush, but it insists on the unfettered right to order such transfers — including the possible transfer of U.S. citizens.

Professor Turley stresses the fact that it is the ability of powerful men to make arbitrary decisions which defines an authoritarian country:

An authoritarian nation is defined not just by the use of authoritarian powers, but by the ability to use them. If a president can take away your freedom or your life on his own authority, all rights become little more than a discretionary grant subject to executive will.

The framers lived under autocratic rule and understood this danger better than we do. James Madison famously warned that we needed a system that did not depend on the good intentions or motivations of our rulers: “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.”

In fact, we go from the land of the free to tyranny the moment we go from a nation of laws to a nation of powerful men arbitrarily making laws in secret.

Indeed, Bush and Obama have claimed some tyrannical powers that even Hitler and Stalin never claimed.

As I pointed out last month, many American leaders appear to be consciously copying China:

The American copyright bill is modeled after the Chinese system. As I noted Monday:

Given that Joe Lieberman said that America needs an internet kill switch like China, that the U.S. economy has turned socialist (at least for friends of those with control of the money spigot), and that the U.S. government used communist Chinese torture techniques specifically designed to produce false confessions in order to sell the Iraq war, I guess that the bill’s Chinese-style censorship is not entirely surprising.

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  • http://www.examiner.com/nonpartisan-in-national/carl-herman Carl Herman

    Hitting hard, GW!

    Thank you for this documentation, and to Professor Turley.

    When enough Americans have the intellectual integrity and moral courage to state the “emperor has no clothes” obvious facts, we can arrest the obvious criminals, restore the rule of law, stop killing millions and harming billions, and redirect trillions of our dollars to constructive projects.

    • bert

      when enough amerikans have the intellectual courage, etc. ??? are you kidding??? this country is toast. all, we who realize what’s really going on, can do is try and be as scarce as possible from the police state and to protect ourselves from the marauding hoards that are surely coming. it already started on the beaches of amerika last summer, in the fast food restaurants, and the convenience stores (swarming). what do you think is going to happen when the ruskies slam us with their weapons that they have pointed at us (russia never fell friends!) and the cities empty?

  • Pierre

    False flag operations are covert operations conducted by governments, corporations, or other organizations, which are designed to deceive the public in such a way that the operations appear as if they are being carried out by other entities. The name is derived from the military concept of flying false colors; that is, flying the flag of a country other than one’s own. False flag operations are not limited to war and counter-insurgency operations, and have been used in peace-time.

    Expose the wicked intentions the Zionist warmongers and the Soetoro administration have in mind of igniting a war in the Persian Gulf. The phrase these misanthropes hate most nowadays is called FALSE FLAG since ordinary people are becoming aware of its meaning.

    Israeli submarines deployed in the Sea of Oman will sink an American warship that happens to be navigating close to the Strait of Hormuz – an attack to subsequently be blamed on Iran. Most likely one of these Zionist submarines (Type 800 Dolphin class) is already operating in the Sea of Oman:
    INS Dolphin
    INS Livyathan
    INS Tekumah

    Another plausible way by which Barry & Associates (including the Zionist warmongers) could justify a war against the Islamic Republic of Iran is by staging another FALSE FLAG ATTACK on continental United States: a controlled nuclear explosion (dirty bomb) targeting a major urban concentration that may kill dozens of thousands of civilians. This operation will be carried out by the CIA in partnership with Israel’s Mossad and British MI6 to subsequently be blamed on elements of Iran’s IRGC.

    Educate the masses about the meaning of FALSE FLAG operations.

    • Arctic Pro

      Gee, ‘Pierre’, you have a strange Arabic/Persian revisionist view of history and current events. Israel a warmonger? How many times have they been first attacked by surrounding Arab armies? How many thousands of missiles, rockets ansd shells rain down on Isreael with nary a whimper from the Arabic countries (and sady, the western MSM). Which country’s president has sworn to wipe Isreal off the map?

      Which is the only true democracy in the Middle east? Which has 25-35% Arabic citizens allowed to vote and sue the government? Legally, in courts?

      Get a life. And a brain.

      • LocalHero

        I’d suggest that you put down the kool-aid and back away – you know the cartoon version of history. So little, in fact, that it’s hard to take you seriously as a real, live grown-up.

        “The only true democracy in the Middle East.”

        In fact, it’s far worse than apartheid South Africa ever was.

        “Which country’s president has sworn to wipe Isreal off the map?”

        Well, I’m assuming you are repeating the Big Lie that Iran has vowed to destroy Israel. I hate to wake you up from your little-baby slumber but this is another Neo-con/Zionist fabrication. I know you won’t bother to read where this lie came from but, for the sake of others who might come across this thread, here’s the truth:

        http://newworldorderreport.com/News/tabid/266/ID/8301/Wiped-off-the-Map-The-Rumor-of-the-Century-Iran-Never-Threatened-Israel-Get-Your-Facts-Straight.aspx

        And let’s not even get into the fact that Israel is involved in some pretty despicable “business” including the sale of human organs, assassination, torture and the use of outlawed munitions to slaughter women and children.

        So, you’ve got your empty, spoon-fed talking-points down, for sure but you’ve got a lot to learn, my brainwashed friend.

  • http://www.real-debt-elimination.com allen heart

    Kind of hard to sing the last part of the National Anthem anymore.

    When will the military honor their oathes of office? Defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic seems to have disappeared from honor. How long before officers honor their pledge? Is there any honor in America today? Seems it has been threatened with indefinite detention.

    The gates to the paddock are being closed and there remains only a small chance that humanity will escape in sufficient number to be able to make a difference. Freedom is elusive and can only be kept when people are fully aware. Some cannot look because they might see the reality and then they would have to take responsibility for what they see and what they must do.

    You Can’t Have Your Freedom for Free!

  • http://coyotescage.wordpress.com/ Charlie

    Think oil isn’t an important driver of conflicts and world events? Think again. http://coyotescage.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/think-oil-isnt-an-important-driver-of-conflicts-and-world-events-think-again/

  • Battery Operated

    Time for Vivos!

  • private

    Most famous quote of former President George Bush say it all about the Constitution, “Just a goddamnned piece of paper.” See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wmc60JmaLbE

    No big deal as Americans are now routinely tortured by state governments by the corrupt judiciary because they are deemed a threat in some way to the statutus quo by putting them in mental institutions by legalized drugs to make you want to die by feeling hopeless and suicidale. I was! Those corrupt judges, attorneys, politicians, and bankers are the real enemies of the people and lacky police who uphold them by not arresting them. The U.S. Navy has the power to arrest Obama! The Navy is the only part of the military with Constitutional authority to exist. Obama is considered the top admiral. So many patsies around him! We the people suffer from the treasonous acts under the Patriotic Act and unconstitutinal Marshal Law being imposed.

    Politicians can now take bribes legally from foreigners, as they call it lobbying you know. Here is much for you to know if you have enough understanding:

    The real problem is the judges, as foreign agents for their foreign principles are ignoring many Federal Statutes that protect American State Citizens, as individuals deliberately oppressing their rights as individuals. Foreign corporate administrative judges in fiction under color of law can only legally prosecute organizations per Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure – Rule I. Applicability, Definitions (b)(7), and 18 USC 18. These two Statutes were created originally by the U.S. Congress in 2002 to hide the truth of a major Statute that protect the American people of 18 USC 54(C), which stated, “Federal and state statutes within the fifty states do not apply to the sovereign(s)…”

    So, am I to think that the words used here:

    (a)(2) “the term “individual” means a citizen of the United States or an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.”

    really means, in legalistic terms of art:

    … every freeborn man or woman, born on the soil known as one of the 50 several states, and living “without the United States” (CITE: 28USC1746(1)], nor subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of any of them, is the subject and object of Title 5 USCA Chapter 5 § 552a(a)(2)? Isn’t that title the rules for the agents of government to live by? The people at the SSA and the IRS routinely ignore these statutes. I’ve been there.

    Or am I presumed to be an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence (more terms of art) because my parents signed an application to register my live birth into the corporate Beast of the U.S. system of record, resident in the District of Columbia?
    I am not a “permanent resident” anywhere on this earth, although the blacked robed “judge” tried to kidnap me on paper, and then manufacture my consent. To believe that this reality is ‘permanent’ is foolishness. We people of flesh and blood must suffer physical death to this world someday. Corporations merely dissolve or go on indefinitely morphing into other fictional entities, and that’s a privilege.

    Anyway, their imperial conditioning of my mind as been broken, in my case. It’s even recorded in the U.S. system of record. I am not an “individual” anything subject to their record, no Certification of Birth, no SSN, no presumed obligation in assumpsit can exist.

    http://crifasi.net/strikeit

    Please see here: http://crifasi.net/private – Watch 2 videos.

    A judge must have the defendant volunteer both subject matter jurisdiction and in personam jurisdiction over to the court. It is the job of an attorney or judge to get the arrested party to sign some document so that happens for the judge is the bonding out contract, and for the attorney the power of attorney contract. All government actions are by contract Best response to always say and nothing more “I refuse to contract with you!” All government actions are by contract. Remain silent by not talking to a police officer, as he does not have legal authority to talk to you. Sovereigns do not have a last name, so never give it out, as a last name is fictional. Your first and middle hyphenated surname is your appellation. Do not allow to be addressed as Mister / Mr. in a court as they are reducing you from being a sovereign over them to a low ranking military personnel, as a judge is an admiral in court of admiralty jurisdiction using maritime law. The judge uses a letter or marque to become an inland privateer/pirate. A police officer’s badge is his letter or marque.

    Definition: Mister

    2. 2) noun, naval a) the official form of address for subordinate or senior warrant officers b) the official form of address for all officers in a merchant ship, other than the captain c) navy the official form of address used by the commanding officer to his officers, esp to the more junior – Source: http://www.wordia.com/mister

    State Citizens are not United States citizens per U.S. Supreme Court Case of Barron v. Mayor and City Council of Baltimore , 32 U.S. 243 (1833).

    The people are sovereign, as Masters over their public servants per the word definition from BLACK’S LAW DICTIONARY of Master and servant. See the first great U.S. Supreme Court case of Chisholm v. Georgia, 2 U.S. (2 Dall.) 419 (1793) where the State of Georgia tried to hang a man for suing the state for money owed from an inheritance. We the people are the sovereigns over our government not the other way around. All the States and Federal government were founded as republics not democracies. According the the 1928 United States Army Training Manual’s definition a republic protects the rights of the minorities, while a democracy is run by mob rule. Black’s Law Dictionary is not law but the case law used in the word definitions is law used to backup the word definitions.

    The sovereign people over-stand the law of the Land by being the originators of the law. We do not understand Federal and state Statutes, Rules, and Ordinances. We are the source of the law. The states are operating under Roman Canon Law, which is now called the Uniform Commercial Code being contract law.

    Sovereign rights cannot be contracted away by obtaining a state driver license, passport or Social Security Number. See U.S. Supreme Court Case of Merrion v. Jicarilla Apache Tribe, 455 US 130 (1982), which states, “It is one thing to find that the Tribe has agreed to sell the right to use the land and take valuable minerals from it, and quite another to find that the Tribe has abandoned its sovereign powers simply because it has not expressly reserved them through a contract. To presume that a sovereign forever waives the right to exercise one of its powers unless it expressly reserves the right to exercise that power in a commercial agreement turns the concept of sovereignty on its head.”

    The fifty states are sovereign nations.

    The Federal Government having declared bankruptcy on March 9, 1933 lost its sovereignty to its creditors.

    The Federal Reserve went bankrupt in 1928, and the U.S. Treasury bailed them out.
    U.S. STATUTES SHOW THAT ALL FEDERAL AND STATE AGENTS WORK FOR FOREIGN PRINCIPALS.

    -NOTICE TO PUBLIC SERVANTS- Joyce Rosenwald

    …Since 1933 what is called the “United States Government”
    is a privately owned corporation of the Federal Reserve/
    International Monetary Fund. It is merely an instrument
    whereby the bankers administer their ongoing subjugation
    and plunder of what was once considered “the last great
    hope of human freedom.” All “public servants,” officials,
    Congressmen, politicians, judges, attorneys, law
    enforcement officers, States and their various agencies, etc.,
    are the express agents of these foreign principals – see
    Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938; 22 USC 286 et
    seq, 263A, 185G, 267J, 611(C) (ii) & (iii); Treasury
    Delegation Order #91 – who have stolen the country by
    clever, intentional, and unrelenting fraud, trickery,
    treachery, non-disclosure, miss-representation , intrigue,
    coercion, conspiracy, murder. If there is a greater tragedy in
    human history it is hard to know what it is.

    An insidious aspect of this is that “officials” like you may
    think you are “public servants,” are upholding the “law,” or
    other hoaxes. In truth you are conscientiously and
    assiduously serving the archenemies of yourselves, your own
    rights, your fellow citizens, continued human rights, life, and
    freedom in general. YOU are seditiously administering the
    plunder, bankruptcy, conquest, destruction, dismantling, and
    elimination of your country. YOU are systematically
    defrauding, extorting, impoverishing, and injuring human life
    on the basis of crimes and lies of such magnitude, depth, and
    proportions as to be beyond human comprehension.

    continued

    http://www.joycerosenwald.com/Treason.htm

    The Sixteenth Amendment of the Federal Constitution was never ratified by the needed 75% of the states at that time, so the Federal Government is currently operating under fraud, that the State Citizens are legally volunteering to-be United State citizens. See. http://www.thelawthatneverwas.

    The original / de jure government and the corporate / de facto government are not the same. See: http://www.gemworld.com/USAvsUS.htm

    Those judges have committed high crimes by oppressing the privacy right of the people to be left alone. See: 18 USC 2383, 2381, 1583, 1581, 242, and 241, including the Federal RICO Statutes.

    An administrative judge has a separate duty to uphold each specific right and individual has per the Hohfeldian Concepts they study to become a judge.. You can ask a judge will he uphold your sovereign rights per his Oath of Office. He likely will not and then you need to have him arrested by the bailiff and handcuffed for impersonating an officer for breaching his/hers contract with you as one of the people.

    An Amerian State Citizen volunteers to become an United States citizen, and can un-volunteer at anytime to protect his/her right, including leaving the country freely. See:

    14 C.J.S. “Citizenship” pg. 426, 430
    (Corpus Juris Secundum )

    The particular meaning of the word “citizen” is frequently dependent on the context in which it is found[25], and the word must always be taken in the sense which best harmonizes with the subject matter in which it is used[26].
    One may be considered a citizen for some purposes and not a citizen for other purposes, as, for instance, for commercial purposes, and not for political purposes[27]. So, a person may be a citizen in the sense that as such he is entitled to the protection of his life, liberty, and property, even though he is not vested with the suffrage or other political rights[28].
    [25] Cal.–Prowd v. Gore, 2 Dist. 207 P. 490. 57 C.A. 458.
    [26] Cal.–Prowd v. Gore. 2 Dist. 207 P. 490. 57 C.A. 458.
    La.–Lepenser v Griffin, 83 So. 839, 146 La. 584
    N.Y.–Union Hotel Co. v. Hersee, 79 N.Y. 454
    [27] U.S.–The Friendschaft, N.C., 16 U.S. 14, 3 Wheat. 14, 4 L.Ed. 322
    –Murray v. The Charming Betsy, 6 U.S. 64, 2 Cranch 64, 2 L.Ed. 208
    Md.–Risewick v. Davis, 19 Md. 82
    Mass.–Judd v. Lawrence, 1 Cush 531
    R.I.–Greeough v. Tiverton Police Com’rs, 74 A 785, 30 R.I. 212
    [28] Mass.–Dillaway v. Burton, 153 N.E. 13, 256 Mass. 568

    Congress meant to punish as extortion any effort to obtain property by inherently wrongful means, such as force or threats of force or criminal prosecution, regardless of the defendant’s claim of right to the property.” Robbins v. Wilkie, No. 04-8016, 10th Cir. Jan. 10, 2006. (bold added)

    I would also recommend reading:
    United States v. Enmons, 410 US 396 – Supreme Court 1973
    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=456315492013367909&q=United+States+v.+Enmons,+410+US+396&hl=en&as_sdt=2,16&as_vis=1

    @399:
    “The Government contends that the statutory language unambiguously and without qualification proscribes interference with commerce by “extortion,” and that in terms of the statute, “extortion” is “the obtaining of property from another, with his consent, induced by wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence, or fear . . . .” Wages are the “property” of the employer,”

    The Federal Constitution and Bill of Rights applies to Federal Employees; not to American State Citizens who have all sovereign birth rights being the Masters over their public servants. See Black’s Law Dictionary definition of: Master and servant, and Sovereign.

    With the Roman Catholic pope being one of the main foreign principals of the foreign Corporate United States ordering his foreign agent Mr. Obama around who committed treason by writing most of the House Joint Resolution for confiscation of American State Citizens’ private offshore bank accounts having no legal authority to do so other than fraud to carry out the Papal Bull by the current pope as President. Do a http://www.google.com search using the following two words: taxhaven pope

    Also you have some bitter hateful Muslims that could cause serious problems for the facility. See: http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/imagine-filipino.html and http://www.faithfreedom.org

    Christmas day is the ancient Roman’s festival worship to the sun god. Do a http://www.google.com search using the term: Babylonian sun god worship

    Little known historical facts about the founding of the pagan Roman Catholic religious cult:

    The Bishop of the Church at Rome, Damasus, was elected to the position. He had been Bishop 12 years, having been made. Bishop in A. D. 366, through the influence of the monks of Mt. Carmel, a college of Babylonian religion originally founded by the priests of Jezebel. So in A. D. 378 the Head of the “Babylonian Order” became the Ruler of the “Roman Church.” Thus Satan united Rome and Babylon in One Religious System.”

    Soon after Damasus was made “Supreme Pontiff” the “rites” of Babylon began to come to the front. The worship of the Virgin Mary was set up in A. D. 381. (All the outstanding festivals of the Roman Catholic Church are of Babylonian origin.) Easter is not a Christian name. It means “Ishtar,” one of the titles of the Babylonian Queen of Heaven, whose worship by the Children of Israel was such an abomination in the sight of God. The decree for the observance of Easter and Lent was given in A. D. 519.

    All organized religions of the world are pagan cults. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paganism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult

    Religions are the curse of mankind.

  • Arthur Hall

    I’m getting very tired of reading nothing but negative comments on this and similar internet websites. I can’t recall the last time I found something positive to read. Is there nothing still good about being an American and living in this country? I’m shortly going to be 91 years old so you know I’ve lived through a lot, including serving my country with honor during four battle campaigns in Europe during World War II, including Utah beach in Normandy and the Ardennes ( Battle of the Bulge) in Belgium. I feel ashamed at times to see what has become of the written word expressed via the free internet.

    • Diane

      Arthur,

      Thank you for your service in WW II. I know it is sad to see how little courage and patriotism this country displays, but there are many of us who want to right the direction of this ship. We remember the heroes of the past, the reasons for the blood shed and the quest to be a free nation. Many of us are silent, but that doesn’t mean we are not out there. We currently have a president who manipulates the laws or simply ignores the law so that he can gain more control over the people. It is time for a new president. It is time for personal responsibility and time for the government to step aside and allow people to be successful.

    • LocalHero

      The short answer is “no” there isn’t anything “still good about being an American.” But, at least, it’s high-time we found that out, opened our eyes, dusted ourselves off and did something about it.

    • John

      Yes we’re also tired of a government that makes arbitrary laws that violate the constitution on a regular basis and gradually take away the people’s liberties at will. I say that this is not the same country you fought for in ww II. There is less and less true freedom of the press. The government is gradually gaining control over the Internet. They’ve already pretty much gotten control over the rest of the media. Give them time. Eventually you will not read negative things over the Internet about our government!

  • Dennis

    Well Professor Turley certainly hit the nail on the head. This article probably won’t be widely publicized, by the establishment media though it should be. Pierre is very perceptive and is probably aware of “false flag” incidents that have occurred recently in this country in places like Texas, Oklahoma, New York. Yes, America is now Amerika and our Fuerer is waiting in the wings to take control with the help of Homeland Security and the CIA. Those of you who read this article had best have a plan of exit when the stuff hits the fan!!!!!

  • Ray

    The USA is becoming day by day a police state. people needs to wake up, stop watching tv and do your
    homework. Please watch on youtube.com Jordan Maxwell videos about religion,politics and commerce
    go hand to hand in this web of global affairs. This present situation has been planned for a very long
    time,but as long as people gets distracted by hollywood stories,sports, mediocre media,drugs,alcohol
    and bad controlled public education its freedom can be taken away. Just recently the new National
    Authority Defense Act 2012 signed by Obama Dec 31/2011 without so much coverage in the night should tell You that something is fishy. AMERICANS WAKE UP !!!!

  • http://www.contrarianism.net Contrarian

    I find it amusing that you provide an insightful and instructive list of rights that have been usurped on a website with a huge Comcast banner ad at the top. For those who do not know, Comcast is one of the lead proponents lobbying their bought-and-paid-for fascist-leaning members of congress to pass SOPA.

    – Contrarian

 

 

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