Warning: This Message Contains Democracy

By Susan Lindauer

No great civilization is ever destroyed from without, or conquered by external forces, until it first destroys itself from within. America’s leaders should have thought long and hard about that before voting to extend the Patriot Act last week.

Unhappily it’s official. We the People are the enemy. We have dared to prod and examine government policy too closely. We have questioned government leadership when we should rightly have obeyed without challenge. Some of us have exposed wrongful government practices and deceptions, expecting to hold Congress and White House leaders accountable to voters. Foolish us!

Last week Congress set the record straight. Breaking campaign promises to defeat the Patriot Act, Congress blocked hearings and debate on amendments that would fix problems in surveillance rules, and rammed a four year extension on the American People. Only 31 Republicans and 122 Democrats voted against the Patriot Act in the House.


It’s no exaggeration, unfortunately, that the Patriot Act is more dangerous to our way of life than any foreign enemy.

Most ominously, entire sections of the Patriot Act are verbatim and identical to two of the most frightening laws in World History:

• The 1929 Bolshevik Communist Criminal Act established Communist control in the age of Joseph Stalin. It created a security apparatchik unparalleled in its intrusion into the lives of ordinary, non-political families. For enforcement, it created the Gulags, which quickly filled with intellectuals and dissidents, poets and hard luck Russian people who got caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was enough for a neighbor to point a finger secretly for that individual to disappear to the Siberian work camps for life. Secret charges, secret evidence, secret accusations figured prominently— identical to the Patriot Act.

• It’s hard to say if that’s worse than Germany’s Enabling Act in 1933. Such comforting words, “the Enabling Act” established the legal framework for Nazi Fascism. The Enabling Law lay the parameters for the Third Reich of Adolph Hitler.

According to history buff, Alan Batterman, the German word for “Gestapo” is an acronym of GEheim STAdt POlezi.

Translation: “Homeland Security.”

Unhappily, for free thinking Americans, Batterman’s analysis is correct. Paragraph for paragraph, clause for clause, laws establishing fascist control over the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany are replicated in the Patriot Act today.

Like the iron fist of the Nazis and Communists, Americans must submit to “roving surveillance” and warrantless searches, without the requirement of a Judge’s authorization. Surveillance laws are part of a larger arsenal of weapons against political dissidents and whistle blowers. Most Americans don’t know the Patriot Act authorizes secret charges relying on secret evidence and secret grand jury statements. Under the Patriot Act, Americans have no right to know who has accused them of what criminal activities, or the dates of the alleged offense. They’re not even told what law was broken. The government has power to lock up Americans on military bases or other prisons without a hearing or trial. We can be detained indefinitely without any rights of due process at all.

Perhaps it’s fitting, therefore, that Nazi Leader, Herman Goering, should explain the New America to us, as we tread into this new age so dangerous to freedom:

“Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy enough. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”

Powerful words of warning, indeed.

Think it won’t come to that? It won’t happen? It already has.

That’s what they did to me—not because I plotted some terrorist conspiracy, but because I opposed the Iraqi War.

Legalizing Government Deception

Come to discover the Patriot Act has proven most valuable for legalizing government deceptions. When the government desires to hide from the people, the Patriot Act provides a framework for arresting those who know too much of the truth, and might expose government fraud and corruption. Leaders are thus protected from the consequences of their decision-making.

That’s what motivated the attack against me. In January, 2003, I took two actions that would perplex the Courts for five years, through two Presidential elections. First, in a warm hearted letter, I warned White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, my second cousin, that War in Iraq would result in a catastrophic Occupation. Secondly, a week before his big speech at the United Nations, I told Secretary of State Colin Powell that, as the Asset who handled preliminary talks on resuming the weapons inspections with senior Iraqi diplomats, I considered it most unlikely that Iraq possessed WMDs.

Worst of all, I told Secretary Powell that a comprehensive peace framework with Iraq, hammered out by the CIA, could accomplish all U.S. objectives, including democratic reforms, without sacrificing the life of a single American soldier or Iraqi child.

That was enough to make me Public Enemy Number One.

Think about it. What if the American people had learned that every goal could have been achieved in Iraq without sacrifice? A lot of White House officials and members of Congress (in both parties) would be out of a job.

Ah, now you see, those are the Americans who count under the Patriot Act! The law exists to protect the power access of the elite. My arrest coincided with a White House decision to blame the unpopular war on “incompetent” Intelligence Assets. Congress liked that story. They liked it very much. It kept them employed. And so I got arrested, accused of “incompetence” myself, and thrown in prison for a year, while the Justice Department argued for the right to detain me indefinitely.

Mercifully, Judge Michael Mukasey refused. But for one horrified Judge I would still be locked in prison on Carswell Air Force Base.

During the five years of my indictment, Congress complained bitterly that Assets like myself had not come forward to correct mistakes in the assumptions of their war planning. Both Party leaderships scorned the Intelligence Community. They actively deceived Americans and the International Community. But so long as I was tied up on the Patriot Act, they were free to invent any story they wanted. That’s exactly what they did.

Enemies of Freedom

The enemies of freedom won this round. They beat us. But Americans must understand that we cannot give up this fight to stop the Patriot Act. It cannot be over.

Yes, it’s Nazi Germany in the 1930s. They’re getting everything in place — They’re testing the waters with a few scattered arrests of activists and troublesome truth tellers here and there. Nobody has really protested, right? So far so good. It’s all in the open for anybody paying attention, but if you complain, they say you’re paranoid.

The fight is on! Congress might hope this is over, and we’ll “get over it.” But the threat to our freedom is so extreme that we must now wake out of our drifting slumber. These Tea Partiers promised to defend freedom. They championed the Constitution when it was politically convenient, and abandoned the Constitution when they no longer needed public support to get elected.

Enough of us are vigilant that we can stop them— even now. Really, this is a fight that we cannot lose. What Congress has forgot, we must remember. No great civilization is destroyed by external forces, until it first destroys itself.

Susan Lindauer is a former Asset covering Iraq and Libya, and the second non-Arab American Indicted on the Patriot Act. She is also the author of Extreme Prejudice: The Terrifying Story of the Patriot Act and the Cover Ups of 9/11 and Iraq.

7 responses to “Warning: This Message Contains Democracy

  1. Pingback: The Progressive Mind » Warning: This Message Contains Democracy | COTO Report

  2. “Declaration of a State of War,” the first communication from the Weatherman Underground to its adherents:

    “All over the world, people fighting Amerikan imperialism look to Amerika’s youth to use our strategic position behind enemy lines to join forces in the destruction of the empire….

    “Tens of thousands have learned that protest and marches don’t do it. Revolutionary violence is the only way.”

    “Now we are adapting the classic guerrilla strategy of the Vietcong and the urban guerrilla strategy of the Tupamaros to our own situation here in the most technically advanced country in the world.”

  3. Announcement from the initiators of China’s “jasmine revolution”:

    We are the initiators of the “jasmine” revolution

    We have seen how the Chinese society has already collapsed completely, how poisonous food products are breeding like flies and how the younger generation has already suffered deeply from this. The autocratic regime in China have lost their believes and become an organization that share the booty, incapable of saving itself, day by day it is becoming more and more fascistic. The political system is rotten and corruption has run amock. The independence of the courts is being reversed and government officials and their children have monopolized all the resources of the system. Society has become extremely polarized and there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Prices are rising, especially real estate prices, causing seething popular discontent. The human rights situation for people in China is disgusting, arbitrary detentions and kidnappings are widespread. News is heavily censored and the livelihoods of media professionals are smashed one after another. The 35 articles of The Constitution perform practically no function; people’s properties are recklessly plundered and demolished homes lead to death; sometimes people even light themselves on fire. China has already been reduced to a dark hole of resources, the environment is polluted, the eco-system is destroyed and our children and grandchildren are left a legacy of nothing but trouble.

    We deeply feel that the root of all this is the autocratic regime. What makes us even more troubled is that the rulers have already closed off our increasing numbers of communication channels. When investigating government offices we are not only competing with the children of government officials, but also with business interests. We have no way of matching the capital of the big wigs of “the nation advances, the people are left behind.” We can do nothing but to bear the weight of high real estate prices and high inflation on our shoulders and struggle to eke out a living; we never see a future.

    We only possess a virtual space where we can feel that we exist. Last week we initiated China’s “Jasmine revolution” because we hoped to borrow momentum from the democratization of North Africa and the Middle East and we urge China to reform or change; to change the unfair and unjust situation of the present – a situation of gradual degradation.

  4. My heart breaks for China! And yet in 10 years China will eclipse the United States, because of our economic collapse. China shall dictate to the world, and our world compass will mean very little. That’s a very good reason why we must show the world today that we are a beacon of hope and moral decency. If we sell out our values now, we will never regain our ability to influence global directions in problem solving. It’s another good reason why we have to stop this insanity of military aggression for the sake of feeding the defense procurement junkies.

  5. Under the Patriot Act, free speech means sedition. Anything that challenges the stability of the “system” poses a threat. We’re farther gone, I think, than most Americans are willing to accept.

  6. China may not have a future due to her resemblance to the West and the worst excesses of the West. By resemblacne I only can observe that it would like modest langugage change in the Jasmine call to reflect the present moment in the USA. Just as it also would take modest language change in the Weatherman Underground call for revolutionary violence to fit the present political moment.

  7. Aye, administered in a language whose cognates are woefully incapable of recalling ideas more than one hour old. I blame the People. When the patriotic protective military dicatorship of the most high rich finally abolishes freedom in these United States in favor of debt slavery the last Taco-Bell/KFC clerk will undertake seppuku after being downsized by a machine from Brazil. Then, finally, understanding who is the enemy the Boycott will begin. At first only officers refuse KFC and the enlisted refuse Taco Bell, but when Rachel Ray brings up the death of a citizen by his own hand due to job loss and gluttony and FOX and CNN devote hours to the story
    people will rouze up and eat at McDonald’s instad.

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