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Scary Justifications

by on December 29, 2010

Since we have shown that democracy is anti-democratic more compelling information has come to our attention to convince us of this compelling theory. Reads the Espionage Act of 1917:

(g) If two or more persons conspire to violate any of the foregoing provisions of this section, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to such conspiracy shall be subject to the punishment provided for the offense which is the object of such conspiracy.

The foregoing provisions of which include everything known to man in 1917: “any vessel, aircraft, work of defense, navy yard, naval station, submarine base, fueling station, fort, battery, torpedo station, dockyard, canal, railroad, arsenal, camp, factory, mine, telegraph, telephone, wireless, or signal station, building, office, research laboratory or station or other place connected with the national defense,” ” intent or reason to believe, copies, takes, makes, or obtains, or attempts to copy, take, make, or obtain, any sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, document, writing, or note of anything connected with the national defense,” and so forth.

The Espionage Act is not the first of its kind (nor was it the last, as the PATRIOT act proved). Arguably unlike the current congress, or any congress of the last hundred and fifty years, the Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798, though signed into law, were later repealed, or allowed to expire, by many of the same people who promoted and ratified the Acts. As we have shown before, it is against the interest of even a democracy to act in an open, trusting, manner.

Somewhere between the Espionage Act and the PATRIOT act (the official title of which is “Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act of 2001”) came the Second Red Scare, in which we worried that the Communist idea of 1) doing what you do best, and 2)caring about your neighbor, might destroy us. The Second Red Scare (in case you needed another one) from 1947-1957 included, in its early stages, The Rosenberg Case, whose son Robert Meeropol wrote of the unconstitutionality of the Espionage Act in an article on December 28, 2010, said of recent scare tactics,

just as in my parents’ case, the prosecutors could seek to bully some involved into ratting out others, in return for more favorable treatment. This divide and conquer approach would turn individuals against each other, sow the seeds of distrust within the broader community, and intimidate others into quiescence.

It has previously been argued that caring is essential if progress, and here I would add to that argument, open democracy, is to survive. It is a lot easier not to worry – care- or expend emotional well-being on issues. That, intentionally or inadvertently is what the government desires, because citizens go about the task of providing taxes, unconcerned with the morality of to government to which they pledge allegiance. I have previously maintained that I’m not terribly concerned with ‘leaked secrets’ (that were already known). That’s true, in the nominal sense. What is disconcerting is the human aspect of what the government will do to ensure loyalty.

“Bradley Manning’s detention is not comparable with the horrific measures imposed on Jose Padilla, an American citizen who was accused of plotting to detonate a “dirty bomb” and held as an “enemy combatant” for six years before being convicted on a lesser charge. Padilla’s attorneys alleged that he was subjected to sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, and tortured with psychotropic drugs until he lost his mind. But Manning is also a 23-year-old who, whether he is right or wrong, thought he was doing the right thing, and has now run into the maw of a vindictive American security state.”

A government cannot (justly) propose that it teach morality in schools, expect morality of citizens, teach morality to soldiers, and then act immorally.  Just as you do not resolve a peace process by lobbing missiles at your enemy – though often tempting – you do not resolve truth with lies, or trust with mistrust.

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