Obama Maintains a State of National Emergency
by Stephen Lendman
No threat whatever exists. Alleged ones are fabricated. They're fake. They used to enforce police state harshness.
Fearmongering is longstanding US policy. So is bald-faced lying. At issue is supporting wealth, power, and privilege. It's about advancing America's imperium.
One war after another follows. Permanent ones persist. So does police state ruthlessness.
On September 14, 2001, George Bush issued Proclamation 7463: Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks."
They were state-sponsored. So-called "crazed Arabs" had nothing to do with them. Bush didn't explain. The 9/11 Big Lie persists.
So does a state of national emergency. Faking one doesn't matter. It's in force. It's renewed annually. On January 21, Obama did so.
The White House headlined "TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE
Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)
Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 USC 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, within 90 days prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.
In accordance with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency declared with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process is to continue in effect beyond January 23, 2014.
The crisis with respect to grave acts of violence committed by foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process that led to the declaration of a national emergency on January 23, 1995, has not been resolved.
Terrorist groups continue to engage in activities that have the purpose or effect of threatening the Middle East peace process and that are hostile to United States interests in the region.
Such actions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States.
Therefore, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to foreign terrorists who threaten to disrupt the Middle East peace process and to maintain in force the economic sanctions against them to respond to this threat."
It bears repeating. Terrorists don't threaten America. They didn't earlier. They don't now. Claiming otherwise doesn't wash.
National emergency conditions aren't warranted. They weren't earlier. For sure, not post-9/11. Or now. Or any time in the foreseeable future.
America's only threats are ones it invents. Rogue leaders willfully deceive. They routinely declare national emergency conditions.
They do so when none exist. Presidential declarations facilitate state terror. Washington's war on humanity continues. No end in sight looms.
Obama's latest declaration was virtually unnoticed. Major media sources ignored it. Few Americans understand.
Or know anything about America's shadow government. It's a coup d'etat power writ large. It's in place with no public declaration.
It's called continuity of government (COG) authority. It began under Ronald Reagan. It's renewed annually. It does so without legal justification.
Its pretext is "a coordinated effort within the Federal Government's executive branch to ensure that National Essential Functions continue to be performed during a Catastrophic Emergency."
Implementing it gives presidents and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) unprecedented police state powers.
Martial law can be declared. The Constitution can be suspended. Congress has no say.
On April 4, 2007, Bush issued a combined White House/DHS National Security/Homeland Security Presidential Directive NSPD 51/HSPD 20.
It extended the post-9/11 national emergency for the sixth time. It established COG procedures. It did so under catastrophic emergency conditions. It called them:
"any incident (such as an alleged terrorist attack), regardless of location, that results in extraordinary levels of mass casualties, damage, or disruption severely affecting the US population, infrastructure, environment, economy, or government functions."
COG authority is renewed annually. Doing so is longstanding.
On September 14, 1982, Ronald Reagan's National Security Decision Directive/NSDD 55 established a National Program Office (NPO).
It was tasked with ensuring the federal government survives in case of a national emergency. Examples include a nuclear attack or major natural disaster.
NPO developed and coordinated plans secretly. It did so with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and CIA, as well as Departments of State and Defense.
Plans included maintaining large underground bunkers, high-tech software, and procedures to let government function under emergency conditions.
In 1988, Reagan's Executive Order 12656 authorized a COG response. It included full-scale militarization in case of a "national security emergency." It defined as:
"(a)ny occurrence, including natural disaster, military attack, technological or other emergency, that seriously degrades or seriously threatens the national security of the United States."
COG authority remained in place under GHW Bush and Clinton. GW Bush changed earlier interpretations.
He did it by Executive Orders (EOs), NSPDs, HSPDs, legislation and other disturbing measures.
They targeted alleged domestic and foreign adversaries. They subvert fundamental constitutional rights.
Patriot Act legislation did so. So did other police state laws. DHS was created. It's the national Gestapo. The US Northern Command (NORTHCOM) was established.
For the first time, the homeland was militarized. Deploying federal troops in US communities was authorized.
It's now permitted in case of alleged terrorist attacks, civil unrest or other declared emergencies.
Torture became official US policy. America's global gulag was established. Guantanamo is the tip of the iceberg.
Dozens of US torture prisons operate worldwide. They do so under Obama. Innocent victims suffer horrific abuse. Abu Wa'el Bhiab is one of thousands. He's at Guantanamo.
He's a Syrian national. He committed no crimes. He was never charged. He was never tried.
In 2009, he was cleared for release. He remains imprisoned. On January 22, he described his ordeal. He spoke for others doing so.
"I am dying every day many, many times," he said.
"Sometimes because of my illness, and sometimes because of the oppression by the guards here, and sometimes because of the doctors, and sometimes because of the pressure they put on us and because of the length of our unfair imprisonment."
"I had wanted to live in peace with my wife and our children, and we had planned our future and the future of our children together, but they destroyed our dreams and our plans. They did not let us live."
"Twelve years I have been unable to see my children, not out of choice, but because I was denied the ability to see them, and without reason."
Reports indicate at least 33 Guantanamo detainees are again hunger striking. Twice daily, they're being painfully forced-fed. Doing so constitutes torture.
Other cleared prisoners remain detained. No independently verifiable evidence indicates anyone held committed crimes. Innocent detainees suffer unjustly.
Obama promised to close Guantanamo straightaway in office. His January 22, 2009 EO pledged within a year.
He lied. It remains open. Another promise made. Another broken. Nothing prevents him from acting on his own authority.
He can do so without congressional approval. He lies claiming otherwise. He's a serial liar. He's a war criminal multiple times over.
He maintains the worst of COG authority. Maintaining a state of national emergency when none exist doesn't matter. It's been in place throughout Obama's tenure.
He continues Bush's fake war on terror. It reflects state terror waged worldwide. Rule of law principles are quaint. They're out-of-date. They no longer matter.
Abdul Rahim Abdul Razak al-Janko was lawlessly held at Guantanamo for seven years. He committed no crimes. He was brutally tortured.
He's now free. He sued for damages. He said he tried to commit suicide at Guantanamo 17 times. He wants just redress. It doesn't matter.
In 2009, federal Judge Karen Henderson ordered his release. She said no proof suggested he was an enemy combatant. At the same time, she ruled him ineligible to sue.
"It may very well be that to deny the appellant recovery for injuries incurred while in the United States's custody based solely on the unreviewed decision of a tribunal the Supreme Court has labeled 'closed and accusatorial' is rough justice," she said.
"But that objection is to the statute's underlying policy and not to our interpretation thereof."
"The Congress has communicated its directive in unmistakable language and we must obey."
She referred to the 2006 Military Commissions Act. It's a police state law writ large. It's one of the most outrageous federal laws ever enacted. It's unconstitutional by any standard. It remains US law.
Last October, the Ninth Circuit Federal Appeals Court denied another former Guantanamo detainee's right to sue.
In Hamad v. Gates, it ruled unanimously against him. It didn't deny his rights were violated. They were egregiously. It didn't matter.
The Court cited a federal statute. It's interpretation may have been wrong, not right.
It claimed federal 28 US Code 2241 - Power to Grant Writ denies federal courts jurisdiction to hear suits from former detainees like him. Saying so effectively ruled him a nonperson.
Other federal court spurned fundamental rights the same way. They oppose Washington's culpability for abuses relating to terrorism.
Torture victims' claims are routinely dismissed. Justice is systematically denied. US-style justice works this way.
It's worse than ever under Obama. Fake war on terror priorities come first. Police state lawlessness targets nonbelievers.
Freedom in America is dying. It's on borrowed time. Obama may entirely eliminate it. Rule of law principles don't matter.
Checks and balances don't exist. All three branches of government march in lockstep. Media scoundrels turn a blind eye.
America is on a fast track to tyranny. Police states operate this way. Abuses of power beget greater ones.
Washington rules threaten everyone. Hard won freedoms are fast disappearing. They're vanishing in plain sight.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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