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10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free by Jonathan Turley

Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.

Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?

While each new national security power Washington has embraced was controversial when enacted, they are often discussed in isolation. But they don’t operate in isolation. They form a mosaic of powers under which our country could be considered, at least in part, authoritarian. Americans often proclaim our nation as a symbol of freedom to the world while dismissing nations such as Cuba and China as categorically unfree. Yet, objectively, we may be only half right. Those countries do lack basic individual rights such as due process, placing them outside any reasonable definition of “free,” but the United States now has much more in common with such regimes than anyone may like to admit.

These countries also have constitutions that purport to guarantee freedoms and rights. But their governments have broad discretion in denying those rights and few real avenues for challenges by citizens — precisely the problem with the new laws in this country.

The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Read the rest: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-united-states-still-the-land-of-the-free/2012/01/04/gIQAvcD1wP_print.html

Thanks......

Thank you for posting that. I used to read newspapers daily but I no longer have the heart for it so this is a great service that you performed.

Freedom

The thing that 9/11 deniers (as I refer to them) do is enable the buildup of the inevitable fascist state, by continuing with their denial to deny others of vital information, and by their voting to give assent to the politicians who do the state's work. 9/11 has been used as the core justification for the killing of over a million people. It now justifies the legalization of the murder of U.S. citizens in their own country, via assassination by secret committees controlled by the president.

Have you ever seen a modern patdown at an airport? Groping people's genitals? Didn't anyone stop to think that the existence of the Bill of Rights was not a grant by government - it was a notice to the government that they cannot encroach on those rights under any circumstances.

I have currently been warned by very serious debunkers (deniers) to be careful what I say, lest I be banned from certain forums, or worse. These debunkers have stated emphatically that "there is no reason" for the government to release documents on 9/11 to the people, since "crazy conspiracy people" would just deny the proofs that the government offers. So the debunkers are saying that the only purpose of releasing information has nothing to do with normal people.

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer...

10 reasons the U.S. is no longer the land of the free - The list of powers acquired by the U.S. government since 9/11 puts us in rather troubling company.

Comparable to Hitler's Germany, Mussolini's Italy, Franco's Spain, Suharto's Indonesia, and Pinochet's Chile?

Powerful and Continuing Nationalism: Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights: Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause: The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

Supremacy of the Military: Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

Rampant Sexism: The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Opposition to abortion is high, as is homophobia and anti-gay legislation and national policy.

Controlled Mass Media: Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

Obsession with National Security: Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

Religion and Government are Intertwined: Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

Corporate Power is Protected: The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

Labor Power is Suppressed: Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts: Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts.

Obsession with Crime and Punishment: Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

Rampant Cronyism and Corruption: Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

Fraudulent Elections: Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Fascism/14_Characteristics_Fascism.html

Freedom Fries.... yes it does.

Remember "Freedom Fries"? It appears that freedom is frying in the skillet of big, intrusive "heavy manners" government. The object sizzling away in the pan is still recognizable, but the edges are getting curled up and browned off. We're not even a quarter of the way down that road yet - the fact that the Washington Post published this article demonstrates such - but if the current trends maintain, give it another 15 years and the notion of America as "land of the free" will be but a memory.

Another 15 years?

No need to wait another 15 years. We already live in a Corporate Fascist State. The Bill Of Rights and the Constitution are but a distant memory.

From Washington's Blog...

An Objective Comparison of the U.S. to Regimes that Everyone Labels Repressive: How Does America Compare to China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Other Repressive Regimes?

Stolen Elections

Terrifying

Tyranny isn't coming or approaching, it is and has been upon us now.

Erik Larson

historycommons.org 's DNS record currently points to en.wikipedia.org

SOPA protest?

What's up?

ETA: correction: I mean HTTP 302 redirect to Wikipedia.

By the way

I am 100% behind the anti-SOPA/PIPA actions and am glad HC participated, if that is what this was about. In any case HC is available again.

Redirect???

I think that a lot of people (sites) redirected to Wiki to use their black out graphics. They had some really cool graphics for the event.

Yeah

That's the technical term for what happens protocol-wise when you connected to History Commons during their participation. I wrongly assumed DNS redirect at first.

Jonathan Turley - Countdown with Keith Olbermann