Another SWAT video with some lovely music and featuring the fictional character The Punisher. This one from Doraville, Georgia. The wars, and the people we’ve trained to fight them, are coming home. The trained killers are really excited about their new toys provided to local police departments by the Pentagon, from the surpluses of the military-industrial complex, as shown in this video. Just a matter of time before they get to “protect” us all right here at home.
As a former Congressional staff member with top secret security clearance, Mike Lofgren crunched the numbers for 28 years as part of the House and Senate Budget Committees and found that the numbers didn’t add up. The numbers led him to connect the dots to America’s “deep state”: where elected and unelected figures collude to protect and serve powerful vested interests. He left the Republican party and wrote The Party Is Over.
Now he has written an essay called The Anatomy of the Deep State. It is a must-read.
An interview with Bill Moyers is below. “He says: I’m not a conspiracy theorist…This is something that hides in plain sight. It’s something we know about but we can’t connect the dots, or most people can’t.”
He talks about a hybrid of corporate America and the national security state. He also talks about Group Think, “a kind of assimilation of the views of your superiors and peers,” a all out plague in Washington.
Moyers: “If the ideology of the deep state is not right or left, Democrat or Republican, what is it?”
Lofgren: “It’s an ideology. I just don’t think we’ve named it. It’s kind of corporatism. Now the actors in this drama tend to steer clear of social issues. They pretend to be merely neutral servants of the State giving the best advice possible on national security or financial matters, but they hold a very deep ideology of the Washington consensus at home, which is deregulation, outsourcing, de-industrialization and financialization and they believe in American exceptionalism abroad, which is: boots on the ground everywhere, it’s our right to meddle everywhere in the world, and the result of that is perpetual war.”
He does end on a hopeful note:
Not “heroes.” Not “Peace Officers.” Just a few thugs in uniforms trying to make their lives more exciting (I guess) by terrorizing innocent people and using excessive force.
Land of the free!
I don’t know which says more about the state of our society: the fact that this horrific killing happened or the fact that a jury acquitted the killers, presumably because they were wearing uniforms and just “doing what they were trained to do.” This comment by a random person at the Fullerton Rag sums it up:
Police have rights that normal citizens do not. The news mentioned that they were in line with their training. As a Marine and veteran of Iraq, I know what my training did, but it was “all right” because it was within my Rules of Engagement to kill. When the difference between what is legal and what is right, allows for death of someone that does not deserve it, something needs to change. Usually this means the people that created that difference are punished. Since this did not happen, we ought to look higher. This “training” that allowed someone to die, in the way Thomas did, is horrible and wrong and should change. I am curious and hopeful the FBI investigation proves fruitful.
Here is a great analysis at The Atlantic about the shock and confusion over the verdict. But should we be so shocked? This is what happens in a police state! The Rules of Engagement change! This is happening because the mindset and mentality of militarism, which we project abroad, is coming home to roost. See: Do we live in a police state?
This is a beautiful song and a well done video. Pray for the victim and his tormentors. I can’t find much background on the homeless victim Kelly Thomas, but reports say he was a veteran of the war in Iraq.
Pray for Kelly Thomas, his family, and his murderers.
The story of Gabriel Brown, former decorated soldier turned Blackwater employee turned armed robber, is sad indeed. He blamed his military “service” (he killed people whom he believed posed no real threat to him because he was ordered to) on his downward spiral in life, leading to drug use, adultery, gambling, debt, an addiction to adrenaline, and a feeling of shame, of being lost and feeling suicidal.
The Tampa Florida Tribune reports: “I was ordered to kill the man even though to me it seemed as if he was just ordinary guy coming out of his house. It was a difficult moment in my career as a sniper because in my opinion he was not a threat. It is not easy to kill people, and if you have to kill someone who you suspect is innocent just because you are ordered to do so, it is even worse. I still have nightmares about the man that I killed.”
Why do Christians keep lauding this kind of “service” that does not produce the fruit of the Spirit but it’s exact opposite? If a form of service does not produce the fruit of the Spirit, how can we say that the one being served is God? Who, or what, are these soldiers really serving?
Galatians 5:13-23: “Now the works of the flesh are obvious: immorality, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, rivalry, jealousy, outbursts of fury, acts of selfishness, dissensions, factions, occasions of envy, drinking bouts, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. In contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
“When I began to become acquainted with Dr. King’s assassination, which changed my life in many ways when it occurred, when I began to explore the details of his assassination and understood that he was killed by the United States government, then I began to ask questions, well, how does that relate to John Kennedy’s assassination or Robert Kennedy’s and then eventually Malcolm X as well, and I found the same patterns in all four of them but especially the same patterns in us, and I talk about myself personally and I’m talking about a collective reality, the way we see things in this country, and I began to realize there’s an extraordinary denial in us as a people when it come to dealing with a question of systemic evil within our system right here in much more profound ways than anybody on the Left, for example, is going to acknowledge any more than any of the rest of us are going to acknowledge. When it comes to the Central Intelligence Agency being engaged in assassinations abroad many people will acknowledge that. When it comes to them doing exactly the same thing in this country, that’s another thing. We don’t want to deal with that.” — Jim Douglass
“The control of man’s destructive and aggressive impulses is one of the great unsolved problems of our society,” pontificated the Court as it destroyed one of the few effective checks on the deadliest manifestation of those impulses. “Our rules of law should discourage the unnecessary use of physical force between man and man. Any rule which promotes rather than inhibits violence should be re-examined.” That objective is not legitimately served by granting State functionaries an unqualified license to commit criminal violence against the innocent.
***The following was written by Rev. Emmanuel Charles McCarthy***
General Robert Baden-Powell, who is considered the founder of the Boy Scouts in 1906 and author of the first book and the most widely read book on Scouting in the Twentieth Century (150 million copies), Scouting for Boys (1908), said he had seen enough of war and that “…the boys should be kept away from the idea that they are being trained so that some day they might fight for their country. It is not war-Scouting that is needed now, but peace-Scouting.” The early editions of the American Boy Scout Handbook emphasized this so strongly that it was accused of being ”propaganda for pacifism.”
Indeed in the 1980s at a retreat I directed on Gospel Nonviolence at the Catholic Church in Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, I met a man who was a life long pacifist and a World War II conscientious objector, who told me that he was converted to pacifism when he was a youngster in the Boy Scouts. There was no problem with Christian Churches sponsoring Boy Scout Troops then, but what about now? Are the Scouts picture below or in the slide show below have their little, undeveloped brain nurtured in the values of Jesus? Is it the mind of Christ that today’s Boy Scouts of America are helping them “put on?” Is it not a radical form of child abuse for a Christian Church to sponsor or to allow its facilities to be used to so corrupt young Christians’ minds? If not, why not? If your parish is engaged in this or is engaged in finessing Christian children into engaging in this, what is the responsibility before Jesus Christ of an adult who belongs to such a parish?
Explorers Train to Fight Terrorists, and More, The New York Times
“Heroes” (guys with guns who are agents of the state) use force and intimidation to kick Americans off their land for spurious reasons. This is happening in Los Angeles County.
These storm troopers show up to the houses of people living simply and peacefully in the desert, including one Vietnam veteran and one Seventh Day Adventist pastor, and intimidate them with “black jackets, sidearms, taser guns, M-16s, paint ball guns.”
Watch the video. If you suspect it comes down to a) money, or b) control (forcing into mass society anyone who prefers to live independently), then you are a “conspiracy theorist,” naturally.