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Mon Feb 17, 2014, 07:00 AM

Chris Hedges: Our Sinister Dual State


from truthdig:


Our Sinister Dual State

Posted on Feb 16, 2014
By Chris Hedges


On Thursday the former National Security Agency official and whistle-blower William E. Binney and I will debate Stewart A. Baker, a former general counsel for the NSA, P.J. Crowley, a former State Department spokesman, and the media pundit Jeffrey Toobin. The debate, at Oxford University, will center on whether Edward Snowden’s leaks helped or harmed the public good. The proposition asks: “Is Edward Snowden a Hero?” But, on a deeper level, the debate will revolve around our nation’s loss of liberty.

The government officials who, along with their courtiers in the press, castigate Snowden insist that congressional and judicial oversight, the right to privacy, the rule of law, freedom of the press and the right to express dissent remain inviolate. They use the old words and the old phrases, old laws and old constitutional guarantees to give our corporate totalitarianism a democratic veneer. They insist that the system works. They tell us we are still protected by the Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Yet the promise of that sentence in the Bill of Rights is pitted against the fact that every telephone call we make, every email or text we send or receive, every website we visit and many of our travels are tracked, recorded and stored in government computers. The Fourth Amendment was written in 1789 in direct response to the arbitrary and unchecked search powers that the British had exercised through general warrants called writs of assistance, which played a significant part in fomenting the American Revolution. A technical system of surveillance designed to monitor those considered to be a danger to the state has, in the words of Binney, been “turned against you.”

We live in what the German political scientist Ernst Fraenkel called “the dual state.” Totalitarian states are always dual states. In the dual state civil liberties are abolished in the name of national security. The political sphere becomes a vacuum “as far as the law is concerned,” Fraenkel wrote. There is no legal check on power. Official bodies operate with impunity outside the law. In the dual state the government can convict citizens on secret evidence in secret courts. It can strip citizens of due process and detain, torture or assassinate them, serving as judge, jury and executioner. It rules according to its own arbitrary whims and prerogatives. The outward forms of democratic participation—voting, competing political parties, judicial oversight and legislation—are hollow, political stagecraft. Fraenkel called those who wield this unchecked power over the citizenry “the prerogative state.”

The masses in a totalitarian structure live in what Fraenkel termed “the normative state.” The normative state, he said, is defenseless against the abuses of the prerogative state. Citizens are subjected to draconian laws and regulations, as well as arbitrary searches and arrests. The police and internal security are omnipotent. The internal workings of power are secret. Free expression and opposition political activity are pushed to the fringes of society or shut down. Those who challenge the abuses of power by the prerogative state, those who, like Snowden, expose the crimes carried out by government, are made into criminals. Totalitarian states always invert the moral order. It is the wicked who rule. It is the just who are damned. ........................(more)

The complete piece is at: http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/our_sinister_dual_state_20140216



18 replies, 1866 views

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Arrow 18 replies Author Time Post
Reply Chris Hedges: Our Sinister Dual State (Original post)
marmar Feb 2014 OP
Pholus Feb 2014 #1
Warren Stupidity Feb 2014 #2
xchrom Feb 2014 #3
SamKnause Feb 2014 #4
cantbeserious Feb 2014 #5
silvershadow Feb 2014 #6
OnyxCollie Feb 2014 #7
woo me with science Feb 2014 #8
L0oniX Feb 2014 #9
marmar Feb 2014 #12
Octafish Feb 2014 #10
marmar Feb 2014 #14
Octafish Feb 2014 #16
Oilwellian Feb 2014 #11
bvar22 Feb 2014 #13
kenny blankenship Feb 2014 #15
Octafish Feb 2014 #17
Agony Feb 2014 #18

Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 07:53 AM

1. Best of luck to Mr. Hedges. Won't stop the authoritarians though....


Too much money involved. Surveillance is low-risk big business!

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 07:54 AM

2. kick

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 07:55 AM

3. du rec.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 08:03 AM

4. Good luck.

Stewart A. Baker is a NSA apologist and a government propagandist.

Daniel Ellsberg took him task.

Baker was loud, arrogant, and filibustered the entire debate.

Chris Hedges will put him in his place just like Daniel Ellsberg did.

Who hates whistleblowers ?;

NSA
FBI
DEA
CIA
FISA court
police
The Faternal Order of Police
military brass
war profiteers
Wall Street thieves
corrupt politicians (the majority)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 08:11 AM

5. Kick And Recommend

eom

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 08:46 AM

6. K&R.

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 09:18 AM

7. K&R. nt

 

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 09:21 AM

8. K&R This really should be on the Greatest Page. nt

Last edited Mon Feb 17, 2014, 11:53 AM - Edit history (1)

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 09:45 AM

9. This is their government ...not mine! Like I've been saying ...democracy is an illusion.

 

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Response to L0oniX (Reply #9)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 11:50 AM

12. "democracy is an illusion"

Yup. Kabuki democracy.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 10:25 AM

10. Friendly Fascism

Is how Bertram Gross put things, back before Reagan and Papa Doc Bush even put out a feeler to the Ayatollah.




Friendly Fascism - The New Face of Power in America

by Bertram Gross

EXCERPT...

Friendly fascism portrays two conflicting trends in the United States and other countries of the so-called "free world."

The first is a slow and powerful drift toward greater concentration of power and wealth in a repressive Big Business-Big Government partnership. This drift leads down the road toward a new and subtly manipulative form of corporatist serfdom. The phrase "friendly fascism" helps distinguish this possible future from the patently vicious corporatism of classic fascism in the past of Germany, Italy and Japan. It also contrasts with the friendly present of the dependent fascisms propped up by the U.S. government in El Salvador, Haiti, Argentina, Chile, South Korea, the Philippines and elsewhere.

The other is a slower and less powerful tendency for individuals and groups to seek greater participation in decisions affecting themselves and others. This trend goes beyond mere reaction to authoritarianism. It transcends the activities of progressive groups or movements and their use of formal democratic machinery. It is nourished by establishment promises-too often rendered false-of more human rights, civil rights and civil liberties. It is embodied in larger values of community, sharing, cooperation, service to others and basic morality as contrasted with crass materialism and dog-eat-dog competition. It affects power relations in the household, workplace, community, school, church, synagogue, and even the labyrinths of private and public bureaucracies. It could lead toward a truer democracy-and for this reason is bitterly fought...

These contradictory trends are woven fine into the fabric of highly industrialized capitalism. The unfolding logic of friendly fascist corporatism is rooted in "capitalist society's transnational growth and the groping responses to mounting crises in a dwindling capitalist world". Mind management and sophisticated repression become more attractive to would-be oligarchs when too many people try to convert democratic promises into reality. On the other hand, the alternative logic of true democracy is rooted in "humankind's long history of resistance to unjustified privilege" and in spontaneous or organized "reaction (other than fright or apathy) to concentrated power...and inequality, injustice or coercion".

A few years ago too many people closed their eyes to the indicators of the first tendency.

But events soon began to change perceptions.

CONTINUED...



Of course, The New York Times didn't give the good professor and his work any attention.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #10)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:06 PM

14. Great piece.

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Response to marmar (Reply #14)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 05:01 PM

16. The guy was a prof at Wayne State University.

Just so happens.



Bertram M. Gross, 84, Author of Full Employment Bills of 1944-45

By KENNETH N. GILPIN
The New York Times, Published: March 15, 1997

Bertram M. Gross, a public policy specialist, author and academician who was a forceful and persistent advocate of full employment, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday in Walnut Creek, Calif., his widow, Kusum Singh, said. He was 84 years old.

Although he earned no degrees in economics -- he majored in English and philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania as an undergraduate and subsequently received an M.A. in English literature at Penn -- Mr. Gross played an important role in crafting policies and legislation that were cornerstones of the New Deal, first at the United States Housing Authority, where he worked from 1938 to 1941, and then in Congress.

From 1941 to 1945 he served as research director and economic adviser for a series of Senate committees. In that capacity he wrote the Roosevelt-Truman full employment bills of 1944 and 1945, legislation that articulated for the first time that full employment at a living wage should be a national priority.

This legislation also created the President's Council of Economic Advisers, and from 1946 to 1952 Mr. Gross served as its first executive secretary, an administrative post.

CONTINUED...

http://www.nytimes.com/1997/03/15/business/bertram-m-gross-84-author-of-full-employment-bills-of-1944-45.html



Thanks to your response, I learned The New York Times failed to mention "Friendly Fascism" in his obit. An oversight, no doubt.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 10:33 AM

11. “Until they become conscious they will never rebel. ...”

Indeed. This should be an interesting debate.

K&R

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Response to Oilwellian (Reply #11)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 02:07 PM

13. DURec


*Rampant Government Secrecy and Democracy can not co-exist.

*Persecution of Whistle Blowers and Democracy can not co-exist.

*Government surveillance of the citizenry and Democracy can not co-exist.

*Secret Laws and Democracy can not co-exist.

*Secret Courts and Democracy can not-co-exist.

*Our Democracy depends on an informed electorate.

You either believe in Democracy,
or you don't.
It IS that simple.



So...Are we "there" yet?
Many conservatives and authoritarians will be quick to answer "NO!",
and point out that East Germany and North Korea were/are far worse,
but NOBODY can truthfully say that we are NOT heading in that direction.

We ARE much closer to "there" than we were just 15 years years ago.

I personally became frightened when I saw a Creation of the Police State named a "First Amendment Zone",
that made it much easier to corral, isolate, and record anyone who was resistant to going along peacefully.....
"potential" terrorists and troublemakers to the authoritarians.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 04:42 PM

15. In a bad state, people of bad character are the "good citizens"

and the good will be "bad citizens", and soon fall afoul of the laws.
-Harry Stoddle

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Response to kenny blankenship (Reply #15)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 05:19 PM

17. Explains CEOs.

And Banksters.

And Warmongers.

And Traitors.

And why they're all running around free, living large.

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Response to marmar (Original post)

Mon Feb 17, 2014, 06:50 PM

18. Kick

anybody know if or where this will be online? The Google Calendar entry(below) for the event does not mention anything online...


This House Would call Edward Snowden a hero
PROPOSITION:
Chris Hedges
Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent for The New York Times. Won Hedges v. Obama case on indefinite detention without trial.

William Binney
Former senior NSA official. Resigned in 2001 after almost 40 years at the agency to blow the whistle on internet surveillance programmes.

Annie Machon
Former Intelligence Officer who revealed corruption in MI5 and MI6, blowing the whistle on illegal phone tapping. Forced to go into hiding.

Chris Huhne
Former Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change and Liberal Democrat MP. Current Guardian contributor and sustainable energy consultant.

OPPOSITION:

Jeffrey Toobin
American lawyer and commentator for The New Yorker. Described Snowden as “a grandiose narcissist who deserves to be in prison”.

Philip J Crowley
Former US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. Resigned over treatment of Chelsea Manning by US Department of Defense.

Hazel Blears
MP for Salford and Eccles. Served under Blair as Minister of State at the Home Office, responsible for crime reduction and counter-terrorism.

Stewart Baker
First Assistant Secretary for Policy at the US Department of Homeland Security under President George W Bush. Former General Counsel of the NSA.

When
Thu Feb 20, 2014 8:30pm – 10:30pm GMT (no daylight saving)
Where
Oxford Union (map)

https://www.google.com/calendar/event?eid=ZDc2dm5kb3NxNjU0cXFibm0yZzFucWNybDQgN3J1MXNrYTFtZTdpanBndWZpb3Q1ZmloNzRAZw

Thanks, marmar

Cheers, Agony

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