Indefinite Detention Is Not a New Policy
The government’s claim that it can indefinitely detain American citizens living on American soil based upon a vague “suspicion” that they might be supporting or affiliated with bad guys is disturbing.
But this is nothing new …
J. Edgar Hoover, then-actor Ronald Reagan, Earl Warren, and UC Berkeley officials all agreed acted to blacklist professors – McCarthy-style – who they suspected of being radical.
Indeed, as award-winning investigative reporter Seth Rosenfeld explains today, the FBI devised plans to arrest without warrant and then indefinitely detain Berkeley professors and students who were champions of free speech in the event of any national emergency:
Japanese-Americans, of course, were interned – or “indefinitely detained” – until the end of WWII. In 1988, Congress passed a bill, subsequently signed by President Reagan, apologizing for the internment, and confessing that the government’s actions were based on:
Race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership.
Unfortunately, our leaders seemed to have learned nothing from past mistakes.
Constitutional Challenges Contemplated Long Before 9/11
Congress members and legal scholars tell us that the Constitution has largely been suspended since 9/11.
But the suspension of the Constitution and declaration of martial law in the event that the President declares a “State of National Emergency” – for example, based upon widespread the U.S. people’s opposition to a U.S. military invasion abroad – was contemplated by Ronald Reagan’s administration in the 1980s.
See this July 5, 1987 report in the Miami Herald.
In Fact, Everything Happening Now Was Foreshadowed Long Before 9/11
These may seem like isolated examples of extreme plans which were ever implemented.
But virtually all of our “post-9/11 reality” was actually planned long before September 11th :
- The Patriot Act was planned before 9/11 (and see this). Indeed, former Counter Terrorism Czar Richard Clarke told Stanford law professor Lawrence Lessig:
After 9/11 the government drew up the Patriot Act within 20 days and it was passed.
The Patriot Act is huge and I remember someone asking a Justice Department official how did they write such a large statute so quickly, and of course the answer was that it has been sitting in the drawers of the Justice Department for the last 20 years waiting for the event where they would pull it out.
(4:30 into this video).
- Militarization of American police forces started 30 years before 9/11
- Cheney dreamed of giving the White House the powers of a monarch long before 9/11
- The decision to launch the Iraq war was made before 9/11. Indeed, former CIA director George Tenet said that the White House wanted to invade Iraq long before 9/11, and inserted “crap” in its justifications for invading Iraq. Former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill – who sat on the National Security Council – also says that Bush planned the Iraq war before 9/11. Top British officials say that the U.S. discussed Iraq regime change even before Bush took office. And in 2000, Cheney said a Bush administration might “have to take military action to forcibly remove Saddam from power.”
- Cheney apparently even made Iraqi’s oil fields a national security priority before 9/11. And the Sunday Herald reported: “Five months before September 11, the US advocated using force against Iraq … to secure control of its oil.” (remember that Alan Greenspan, John McCain, George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, a high-level National Security Council officer and others all say that the Iraq war was really about oil.)
- In fact, regime change in Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon, Somalia, Sudan and Iran were all planned a decade before 9/11
- Cheney and Rumsfeld actively generated fake intelligence which exaggerated the threat from an enemy in order to justify huge amounts of military spending long before 9/11. And see this
- It was known long before 9/11 that torture doesn’t work to produce accurate intelligence … but is an effective way to terrorize people
- And – sadly – America played dirty games to justify and win wars before 9/11