Saturday, May 8, 2010

We're All Hutaree Now

Pay close attention, if you will, to the verbiage being traded back and forth with regard to the question of whether to keep the nine members of the Hutaree militia in custody. The judge says (and rightly so) that "offensive and hate-filled speech" does not automatically signal a conspiracy to levy war against the government. The feds, on the other hand, contend that there was indeed a conspiracy, as evidenced by talk of killing law officers. This assumes, of course, that "talk" equals "conspiracy" -- or, to put it another way, that the mere exchange of thoughts and ideas is sufficient to constitute a conspiracy; i.e., a tangible, feasible plan is not required. It is also contended that “the defendants pose a danger to the public” -- although no explanation of which “public” they have in mind was offered. The judge, on the other hand, who seems remarkably enlightened, says “Defendants are presumed innocent of all charges against them... This presumption of innocence is part and parcel of why, 'In our society liberty is the norm, and detention prior to trial or without trial is the carefully limited exception.'"

So what are we to make of all this? It seems to pit the traditional rights of defendants against claims that these are exceptional circumstances that require “flexibility” when it comes to heretofore-settled questions of law... “conspiracy” being the scare word du jour, the way “Bolshevism” might have been in an earlier era. And there are always people looking for exceptions to the rule of law, because the law, quite frankly, is a pain in the butt when you're trying to get something done. Just at the point when you think you've got someone dead to rights, it turns out they have rights after all. And this is the thing that has always irritated those with tyrannical or collectivist tendencies... and it's one of many reasons why we've evolved, with hardly anyone noticing it, into a perpetual-war system (and economy). Because if we're always at war, then wartime measures are always justified, and things like habeas corpus can be dispensed with for the duration.

Hence the Guantanamo controversy. If the president can wage war with neither the advice nor consent of Congress, then he can also take prisoners of war, right? And those prisoners can be held until the war is concluded. But when will the “war on terror” be concluded? How would we even know that we've won? We won't – which means that, perhaps for the first time, we have a truly open-ended war on our hands... which is, of course, exactly what the Regime wants. An open-ended war is ideal, because it means endless expenditures, endless “temporary” compromises in the area of citizens' (and non-citizens') rights, and endless opportunities for more concentration of power and resources at the federal level. And of course to fight an open-ended war, it can't simply be with another country or group of countries – because then it would be too easy to define what would constitute victory. No, it has to be with a nebulous, ill-defined entity of some sort that is not located in any particular place and has no discernible, coherent economic base. But it also has to be capable of eliciting vast and chronic fear in the populace (ours, that is). Hence the “war on terror” -- made to order for the Regime, the internationalists, the globalists... in short, the New World Order – which, as it turns out, is one of the things the Hutaree used to trade e-mails about between swigs of beer and training sessions for pit bulls. So yes, we now have guys who live in “double wides” arming themselves against the New World Order; how things have evolved over the last few decades! Time was when they would have been just peaceful deer hunters – except for the occasional barroom brawl. But now they have a sort of international consciousness. And whose fault is that? Did they dream this issue up out of thin air? Well, of course not; they didn't, and they couldn't. What they do see – if dimly – is that this country has long since submitted to, and come under the boot of, powers that have absolutely nothing to do with the United States in terms of loyalty, patriotism, or economic good faith. They see that the federal government has sold out and collaborated with what is, in effect, an alien force, and they would like very much to see that the same thing doesn't happen at the state and local level. This, rather than any sort of tangible conspiracy, is their real sin – and the fact that they are both hapless and powerless doesn't make it any less of a threat. (The town drunk in a small Russian village could be sent to the gulag for criticizing Stalin just as readily as an urban academician or journalist could.)

But I don't want to just talk about the Hutaree, and the other equally pathetic militia groups. I want to talk about you and me. Because we're conspirators too, don't you see? We think, we talk... by the standards of the World War I era we're all already guilty of sedition, a criminal offense. Federal authorities accused the Hutaree of having “dark hearts and evil intent” -- but didn't we hear the same things said about the “tea partiers” by the powers that be in Washington? What I see here is a kind of pincer movement on the part of the establishment – on the one hand, you do as much as possible to suspend the usual rights under the law based on claims of “a national emergency”. And at the same time, you (or your stooges in the media) start re-defining terms like “conspiracy”, “terrorism”, “freedom of speech”, “freedom of association”, “overthrow” (as in “overthrow the government”), “danger to the public”, and the like. The idea is to narrow the scope of allowable debate or protest until we reach the point where any debate, or any protest, is considered dangerous and a cause for legal sanctions. Which means that much of the current debate would – under conditions the Regime considers ideal – be off limits and illegal. And don't forget – we would still have “freedom of speech” and “freedom of the press” -- but only to the extent that those freedoms were exercised in a “responsible” way – i.e. a way that did not constitute any sort of threat to the status quo.

Impossible, you say? “It can't happen here”? I refer you again to the Sedition Act of 1918... and the martial law imposed by Lincoln... on the North! And how have many of the skeptics when it comes to the Kennedy assassination and the 9/11 attacks been treated? Some have not lived to tell any more tales. Whenever any other version of reality becomes “off limits” -- unpublishable and unspeakable – you know you're dealing with censorship of a totalitarian sort. And one might say, well, as long as it's just outfits like the Hutaree – i.e., ignorant rednecks – I'm not going to get too worried. But it has already gone way beyond that point. Again, I ask you to consider how Ron Paul was treated by his fellow Republicans when he expressed skepticism about our twin wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is censorship (not to mention character assassination) at the highest levels. On a more intermediate level, we have the “tea partiers” and the reaction to them by the mainstream media. You'd think the Huns were sailing up the Potomac and storming the Capitol! And the top-drawer liberals of the press and Congress have called them every name in the book – with the President and his underlings piling on when the mood strikes. They've been accused – by a certain ex-president – of being, basically, a bunch of little Tim McVeighs... based on what they write on protest signs?

The culture wars, just like most wars over the last couple of centuries, typically begin with words – and those words express ideas... ideas as to who is right or wrong, good or evil... who has a right to remain at liberty and who must be eliminated by one means or another. At present, the war – and yes, one could call it a civil war of sorts – is being fought primarily with words. But once the terminology is firmly in place, and all the names that can be called have been called, you can expect to see more direct action – not on the part of rag-tag militia groups, and certainly not on the part of solidly middle-class “tea partiers”, but on the part of the government itself, which has become, in our time, the main practitioner of intolerance.

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