A FINER POINT

One of the excuses given by the Bush administration (and its lackeys in the corporate whore media) for its matador defense of 9/11 was that the various intelligence and law-enforcement agencies responsible for keeping the nation safe from such attacks failed to “connect the dots.” In other words, the Bushies claimed that a lack of communication and cooperation between the FBI, CIA, and others resulted in valuable bits of intelligence not being formed into a cohesive picture of the unfolding plot. We now know, of course, that the aforementioned excuse is utter bullshit. While certain individuals within the agencies may not have seen the big picture, there was certainly enough evidence to raise the suspicions of the executive branch. The only question still remaining is just how much the Bushies knew, and how willful was their involvement (or lack thereof). Given that none of the principals– Bush, Cheney, or Rice, for example– was made to testify under oath, I’d say the official (but non-binding) whitewash is the best we’ll ever get out of our government.

Yesterday I wrote a post in which I contended that the infrastructure of a brutal, totalitarian police state is already in place. In many ways, it has always been in place, and it has been activated from time to time in the service of hammering down particularly dangerous (to the status quo) nails of dissent. The irony of the present is that the “connecting of the dots” that supposedly failed to materialize before 9/11 is coming into plain view now. Those ‘dots,’ when connected, do not surround any nebulous foreign terrorist group. The picture that I see coming into focus is a noose that lays around the neck of our civil liberties.

Of course, some who read this might reflexively call me a conspiracy theorist. Fine. If you are one of those, I suggest you cut through the bullshit and ask yourself if your creature comforts, your social ergonomics, and your illusory peace of mind are worth sacrificing your democratic values. Better yet, ask yourself if your dedication to democracy is anything more than rote. Ask yourself if that noble language you spout whenever your hand is over your heart is anything more than rhetorical cover for the empty, nihilistic materialism which is your birthright (the question would apply whether you’ve been worshipping at Wal-Mart or at Bloomingdale’s). If you honestly answer yes, then your are either deceiving yourself, or you are dangerously ignorant of current (and recent) events.

The police state is activated. It didn’t do squat to stop 9/11, but it has begun cracking down on political dissent. Think me an alarmist? Good. It’s a damned shame that it has come this far, so if you’re paying attention enough to understand what I’m saying, you don’t get a prize. If you are reading these words with scorn or offense, fuck you. I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last to tell you that you’ve had fair warning. I should wonder if you’ll be too stupid even to understand when the proverbial shit hits the fan.

To those of you with working brains, understand that we may be beyond a safe turning point. As an armchair historian, I have come to comprehend how these things develop; history doesn’t repeat itself, but it paraphrases eloquently. We have tolerated injustice and brutality in our name, and we have let fear be the excuse for the violent preservation of our greedy, myopic way of life.

As a republic, we’ve sort of gotten away with it in the past, but now I believe we’ve gone too far. I don’t fear outside antagonists, because our end is going to come from within. Isn’t that how it always happens with the most powerful empires? Anyway, the examples of what I contend are too numerous to list here. I will give you a few examples, some of which you may already be aware:

NSA Used City Police as Trackers

U.S. Supreme Court to Decide if Police Can Barge in Unannounced

You Too Might Be a Terrorist

Now, you might be asking, just who will be doing the dirty work in this new, brutal police state? Are there actually enough individuals among my fellow citizens who would be willing to serve as Gestapo, Stasi, or KGB? How could the government get away with setting up such an apparatus? Well, if you even ask such questions, you are hazardously naive. I will, however, indulge you with a bit of perspective:

Revenge of the Mutt People

I’d like to close this diatribe on a positive note, but I’m afraid I have nothing positive to add. Enjoy your freedom of movement, your freedom of speech, and your freedom of thought while you can. The time is fast approaching when we’ll look back upon those freedoms and see them as luxuries.

4 comments on “

  1. Jeff says:

    Looks like Bageant must have just read Jim Goad’s “The Redneck Manifesto”.

  2. I checked out the reviews of Goad’s book, and I should like to read the entire thing, Jeff. The only precriticism I have, and it’s a point he probably makes, is that racism isn’t just a plot cooked up by the Rich Man. The only reason it’s always worked– pitting working people against each other for centuries in this country– is because the working people keep buying it. I’m not just talking about white people buying it, either. Far too many Negroes have been willing to accept the ethnic psychosis of self-hatred, or they’ve settled for seeing racism in a vacuum (as opposed to treating it as a social construct standing in for class). Some Negroes have bought into both mindsets, and we call them black conservatives (I kid!).Anyway, I would like to have been a fly on the wall during the Woodrow Wilson years. It was by that time that a small but noticeable percentage of working people had started actively pursuing the idea that class and race were not impenetrable (or mutually exclusive) issues, and that by organizing against the entrenched structures of concentrated capital (including big-city police forces, who later unionized themselves– go figure!), they could turn this country into something that resembled the more florid and lofty language of its seminal documents. Of course, those activist dreamers (Wobblies, socialists, communists, etc.) got the Grade A fascist smackdown. However, they planted the seeds of the high standard of living that workers enjoyed until, well, the Reagan Revolution started yanking us back down. Furthermore, those ‘leftist’ agitators scared the capitalists shitless, and inspired the revolutionary substitute known as the New Deal.Of course, here we are in Bush Country, and it seems like what little we peons have left is getting pissed away over fear and the old standbys of racism, ignorance, and jingoism. Damn. A good time to be in municipal employment in Chicago, I guess.

  3. Jeff says:

    “(including big-city police forces, who later unionized themselves– go figure!)”My older sibling, a ultra-conservative, born-again, Limbaugh-loving, union-hating, picture-with-Liddy-proudly-displayed resident of southwestern Michigan, still derisively characterizes organized labor and unions as populated and run by “pinkos” and “commies”. I try to explain that nearly all of the hard-core pro-labor people I’ve ever worked with over the last 23 years (first in the UFCW, then the Teamsters, now the IAFF) would get along with her just fine.

  4. It’s amazing to me how working people find so many ways to maintain crippling divisions among ourselves. I guess some things don’t really change all that much.

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