Outta sight

A short entry to point to an article on the increasing militarization of our daily lives (out of sight, out of mind)… Peter Byrne used to publish a very good investigative newsletter here in SF before eventually being hired by the SF Weekly, where he did some good investigations and some that seemed like hatchet jobs (but I can’t remember now which ones so we’ll leave that aside). Anyway, in spite of thinking that not ALL his pieces in the Weakly were worthwhile, I always think of Byrne as a good journalist, and worth checking out. Via another old friend came a link to this article on Bohemian.com, a north bay paper where he’s got a column now.

I note too on FireDogLake a link to the former NSA analyst William Arkin’s blog on the Washington Post wherein he emphasizes Bush’s language yesterday:

Extremist-in-chief George W. Bush yesterday continued along his merry way, going over the heads of the wise men and defying Washington moderation and the glories of bipartisan centrism to remind the American public that he is also the protector.

“The only way to secure a lasting peace for our children and grandchildren is to defeat the extremist ideologies,” the president said.

Mark his words: the only way.

Put that together with the neocon Dead-enders running the government, their increasing detachment from any accountability or even reality, and domestic military surveillance and planning takes on even more sinister implications. I can always get paranoid about martial law and camps, being shaped politically by the Nixon era, but I find it hard to imagine that the military and National Guard would actually follow orders to impose it on major U.S. cities. Unless they’ve segregated brigades of fundy xtian soldiers to carry it out, I think most would mutiny before carrying out a desperate martial law declaration from the madmen running the government for two more years… Hopefully we won’t get to find out!

2 comments to Outta sight

  • Biker-X

    Sorry, Byrne is a few years behind. Though some newer NORTHCOM military developments may have recently taken place, NORTHCOM is nothing new: it was created in 2002 following the 9-11 inside job pulled off by Cheney and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. NORTHCOM was added to the pre-existing regional warmaking (“security”) divisions in Europe (EUCOM), the Middle East and neighboring oil-rich regions (CENTCOM), South America (SOUTHCOM), and the Pacific (USPACOM). NORTHCOM has already been operating spy blimps over several US cities. These 5 regional warmaking divisions are led by “combatant commanders” previously known as CINCs (Commander-in-Chief), but Pwesident Chimpy has now reserved that title all to himself. These regional combatant commanders have a very high level of autonomy to wage war on their own, and respond to attacks. I believe the President has delegated power to them to retaliate with nuclear weapons under certain circumstances without direct presidential authority, increasing the liklihood of an accidental or escalating nuclear confrontation. Though I don’t have documentation for the following, I believe the combatant commander response protocol for use of nuclear weapons is permissible in the following situtations: an attack on US forces or its allies by any type of WMD (nuclear, chemical, or biological), or the loss of one or more US aircraft carriers. There are an additional 5 combatant commanders not assigned to these 5 geographical divisions but special operations instead.

    CC, perhaps your historical expertise can confirm or elaborate on this observation. History has one lesson of hope for the future: empires which discard human rights, civil rights, the rule of domestic and international law, embrace torture and authoritarianism to maintain power, do this in their last stages of decline and collapse. Of course, that’s of little comfort to the millions of victims of the USA’s spoiled, insatiable belligerence.

    On another note, here’s an interesting photo revealing the increasing militarization of our daily lives:


    The photographer even tried to bury the photo and paint smiley-faces on it.

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