Saturday, February 20, 2010
America might strike on Iran according to the top Russian Military official. The consequences, I believe, would be dreadful for Iran, as well as Russia, the entire Asia-Pacific community, General Nikolai Makarov, chief of Russias General Staff, was quoted. Makarov also stated that he doubts the US can attack Iran until the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are over.
WMR's intelligence sources in Asia report that the much-ballyhooed "capture" of two top Afghan Taliban commanders in Afghanistan was the result of a ruse cooked up by the CIA and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency. The "capture" came after an offer by the United States, NATO, and the UN to Taliban leaders of cash if they laid down their weapons and joined the Hamid Karzai government in Kabul.
The two Taliban leaders captured were Mullah Abdul Salam, the Taliban's rival governor of Afghanistan's Kuduz province, and Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar. Salam was captured in a CIA-ISI raid in Faisalabad, Pakistan. Baradar, the Taliban's military commander, was also captured in Faisalabad.
WMR has been told that the U.S.-NATO-UN "cash-for-peace" offer is now effectively dead as the Taliban and its allies now realize that the offer was a ruse designed to lure the Taliban leaders into the open.
Baradar was given a guarantee of safe passage to meet with Japanese and European diplomats who were offering millions of dollars for the Taliban to integrate their forces with the Afghan government. When the Pentagon and CIA learned of the Taliban talks with the Europeans and Japanese and the details of Baradar's planned meeting with the envoys, the CIA and its Pakistani colleagues pounced on Baradar. He is now reportedly being tortured by CIA personnel who want to know the location of his immediate boss, the elusive Taliban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar.
The U.S. action has scuttled any hopes of future talks with the Taliban and Washington has signalled that its only solution for the Afghanistan situation is a military one.
Some military observers see the United States playing the same role as the Knights Templar in the Crusades. The Muslim army commander, Salahuddin, often complained that the Crusaders displayed no respect for the rules of war and often made of mockery of the flag of truce.
The first treaty signed in 1797 by the United States with a Muslim nation, Tripoli, states in Article II: "As the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquility, of Musselmen; and as of the said States never have entered into any war or act of hostility against any Mehomitan nation, it is declared by the parties that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.'
The neocons and Zionists who call the shots on U.S. foreign policy have effectively scrapped the letter and spirit of the 1797 U.S.-Tripolitanian Treaty.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
It began "in the fall of 1947 focusing on the identification and testing of drugs (LSD and others) in interrogations and the recruitment of agents. The research included laboratory experiments on both animal and human subjects. The program ended shortly after the Korean War in 1953."
It was run under the direction of Dr. Charles Savage of the Naval Medical Research Institute, Bethesda, MD from 1947 - 1953, after which CIA's Office of Scientific Intelligence continued it under the name Project Bluebird, its first mind control program to:
-- learn how to condition subjects to withstand information from being extracted from them by known means;
-- develop interrogation methods to exert control;
-- develop memory enhancement techniques; and
-- establish ways to prevent hostile control of Agency personnel.
In 1951, it was renamed Project Artichoke, then MK-ULTRA under Deputy CIA Director Richard Helms in 1953. It aimed to control human behavior through psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs, electroshock, radiation, graphology, paramilitary techniques, and psychological/sociological/anthropological methods, among others - a vast open-field of mind experimentation trying anything that might work, legal or otherwise on willing and unwitting subjects.
Ongoing at different times were 149 sub-projects in 80 US and Canadian universities, medical centers and three prisons, involving 185 researchers, 15 foundations and numerous drug companies. Everything was top secret, and most records later destroyed, yet FOIA suits salvaged thousands of pages with documented evidence of the horrific experiments and their effects on human subjects.
Most were unwitting guinea pigs, and those consenting were misinformed of the dangers. James Stanley was a career soldier when given LSD in 1958 along with 1,000 other military "volunteers." They suffered hallucinations, memory loss, incoherence, and severe personality changes. Stanley exhibited uncontrollable violence. It destroyed his family, impeded his working ability, and he never knew why until the Army asked him to participate in a follow-up study.
He sued for damages under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA), his case reaching the Supreme Court in United States v. Stanley. Argued and decided in 1987, the Court dismissed his claim (5 - 4), ruling his injuries occurred during military service. Justices Thurgood Marshall, William Brennan and Sandra Day O'Conner wrote dissenting opinions, saying the Nuremberg Code applies to soldiers as well as civilians. In 1996, Stanley got $400,000 in compensation, but no apology from the government.
Perhaps MK-ULTRA's most publicized victim was Frank Olsen, a biochemist working for the Army Chemical Corps' Special Operations Division at Ft. Detrick, MD. On November 18, 1953, he was administered LSD. Immediately, he became agitated and severely paranoid. Nine days later, he reportedly committed suicide by jumping 13 stories to his death through a New York hotel's closed window. His family members didn't know he was drugged until MK-ULTRA was exposed in 1975.
President Gerald Ford apologized, granted a $750,000 settlement, but Olson's son discovered documents suggesting his father was killed. In 1994, he exhumed the body, had it forensically evaluated, and the conclusion was homicide based on a previously undetected skull fracture suggesting a blow on the head and other disturbing evidence.
Stanley Glickman was another MK-ULTRA tragedy, an unwitting victim of hallucinogenic drugs and electroshock treatment. He became traumatized, couldn't work, barely ate, suffered a psychological breakdown and never fully recovered. After learning about the CIA's LSD experiments, he sued in 1983. The trial was delayed 16 years, he died, but his sister Gloria Kronisch pursued the case.
MK-ULTRA chief Stanley Gottleib was at issue, hired to run its Technical Service Staff (TSS) to develop poisons to assassinate political opponents, truth serum drugs for interrogating spies, and mind control techniques to create robot assassins or unwitting double agents. He used Nazi scientists and their state of the art methods, perfected on concentration camp victims. Some were known as programmers, skilled professionals in the art of breaking down and controlling the human mind.
Joseph Mengele did similar work, experimenting extensively with children and adults using mescaline, electroshock therapy, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, torture, rape, starvation, and trauma bonding. He was so successful with the latter technique that survivors expressed strong affection for him.
The CIA and US military copied the Nazi methodology through numerous programs, including MK-ULTRA, MK being an abbreviation for words "mind control" in German. According to obtained documents, it works best when severe trauma (such as rape) occurs by age three, the result often causing the personality to split or dissociate (called dissociative identity disorder or DID) to repress painful memories.
Therapists can cause multiple personality disorder (MPD) by mind manipulation, but early in life trauma makes victims especially vulnerable. Gottlieb focused on LSD for mind control and exotic poisons and drugs for political assassinations.
Under Operation Paperclip, 9,000 Nazi scientists and technicians were recruited to help undermine the Soviet Union.
In 1952, Gottlieb met Glickman in a Paris cafe, bought him a drink and laced it with LSD. After finally being held to account, he became ill. The trial was postponed, and on the eve of its resumption he died unexpectedly. At the time, New York Times and Los Angeles Times obituaries reported that his family refused to disclose the cause. The online WorldNet Daily explained it was after a "month-long bout with pneumonia," saying that after being admitted to the University of Virginia Medical Center, he lapsed into a coma, never recovered, but foul play couldn't be determined.
At trial against his estate, the judge died of a heart attack while exercising. The question again arose. Was it natural or was he killed, especially since his replacement was prejudicial to the plaintiff having thrown out his case two years earlier. Perhaps so after the jury ruled against Glickman's family, denying them justice.
On December 22, 1974, Seymour Hersh exposed MK-ULTRA in a New York Times article. Headlined, "Huge CIA Operation Reported in US Against Antiwar Forces, Other Dissidents in Nixon Years," it documented illegal activities, including secret experiments on US citizens during the 1960s and earlier. Church Committee Congressional investigations followed, headed by Senator Frank Church, on abusive intelligence practices, replaced by the Pike Committee five months later. The Rockefeller Commission, under vice president Nelson Rockefeller, also examined the domestic activities of the CIA, FBI, and military intelligence agencies.
By summer 1975, it was learned that CIA and Department of Defense had conducted illegal experiments on willing and unwitting subjects as part of an exhaustive program to influence human behavior through psychoactive drugs (including LSD and mescaline) and other chemical, biological, psychological, and other methods.
Origins of CIA Mind Manipulation Practices
CIA became interested in Montreal Dr. Ewen Cameron's work at McGill University's Allan Memorial Institute. With full knowledge of the Canadian government, he was funded to perform bizarre experiments on his psychiatric patients, including keeping them asleep and isolated for weeks, then administering large doses of electroshock and experimental drug cocktails, LSD and PCP angel dust among them.
Though clearly unethical, Cameron believed by blasting the human brain with an array of shocks, he could unmake impaired minds, rebuilding them with new personalities cleansed of their previous state. It was voodoo science and failed, but CIA gained a wealth of knowledge it's used to this day.
In 1951, the Agency engaged McGill's director of psychology, Dr. Donald Hebb, and others to conduct sensory-deprivation experiments on volunteer students. They showed intense isolation disrupts clear thinking enough to make subjects receptive to suggestion. They were also formidable interrogation techniques amounting to torture when forcibly administered.
These early experiments laid the foundation for CIA's two-stage torture process - sensory deprivation followed by overload. University of Wisconsin historian Alfred McCoy documented them in his book, "A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror," calling them "the first real revolution in the cruel science of pain in more than three centuries."
CIA developed and codified them in manuals, used extensively in Southeast Asia, Central America, Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, and at secret black sites globally. McCoy referred to an offshore information extraction mini-gulag during the Cold War and War on Terror. Out of sight, nothing is banned, including physical harshness and psychologically crippling mind control methods that turn human beings into mush.
MK-ULTRA was one of them, even though Gerald Ford's 1976 Executive Order (EO 11905) "establish(ed) policies to improve the quality of intelligence needed for national security (and) establish(ed) effective oversight to assure compliance with law in the management and direction of intelligence agencies and departments of the national government."
The EO prohibited "experimentation with drugs on human subjects, except with their informed consent, in writing and witnessed by a disinterested party, of each such human subject," according to guidelines issued by the National Commission. Subsequent Carter and Reagan directives banned all human experimentation. Nonetheless, they continue, in violation of the Nuremberg Code that prohibits:
-- medical experiments without the voluntary consent of human subjects - "without coercion, fraud, deceit, and the full disclosure of known risks;"
-- those "where there is an a priori reason to believe that death or disabling injury will occur;" and
-- only ones expected "to yield fruitful results for the good of society, unprocurable by other methods or means of study...."
Conducting human mind control experiments are clearly illegal and unethical. They're more sophisticated than ever today, and claims that MK-ULTRA experiments were halted in the 1970s were false. Renamed they continue and much more.
America's Long History of Human Experimentation
Prior examples include:
-- In 1931, Dr. Cornelius Rhoads infected human subjects with cancer cells under the auspices of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Investigations; Rhoads later conducted radiation exposure experiments on American soldiers and civilian hospital patients;
-- In 1932, the Tuskegee Syphilis Study began on 200 black men; they're weren't told of their illness, were denied treatment, and were used as human guinea pigs to follow their disease symptoms and progression; they all subsequently died;
-- in 1940, 400 Chicago prisoners were infected with malaria to study the effects of new and experimental drugs;
-- from 1942 - 1945, the US Navy used human subjects (locked in chambers) to test gas masks and clothing;
-- since the 1940s, human radiation experiments were conducted to test its effects and determine how much can kill; unwitting subjects were used in prisons, hospitals, orphanages, and mental institutions, including men, women, children, and the unborn of all races, mostly people from lower socio-economic brackets; in addition, more than 200,000 US soldiers were exposed to above ground nuclear tests; many later became ill and died;
-- in 1945, the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) implemented "Program F," the most exhaustive American study of fluoride's health effects - a key component in atomic bomb production and one of the most toxic chemicals known; it causes marked adverse central nervous system effects; in the interest of national security, the information was suppressed;
-- in 1945, VA hospital patients became guinea pigs for medical experiments;
-- in 1947, the AEC's Colonel EE Kirkpatrich issued secret document #07075001, stating that the agency will begin administering intravenous doses of radioactive substances to human subjects;
-- in 1949, the US Army released biological agents in US cities to study the effects of a real germ warfare attack; tests continued secretly through at least the 1960s in San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, Panama City and Key West, FL, Minnesota, other midwest locations, along the Pennsylvania turnpike and elsewhere;
-- in 1950, the Defense Department (DOD) began open-air testing of nuclear weapons in desert areas, then monitored downwind residents for medical problems and mortality rates;
-- in 1951, African-Americans were exposed to potentially fatal stimulants as part of a race-specific fungal weapons test in Virginia;
-- in 1953, DOD released zinc cadmium sulfide gas over Winnipeg, Canada, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Fort Wayne, the Monocacy River Valley, MD, and Leesburg, VA - to determine how efficiently chemical agents can be dispersed;
-- in 1953, joint Army-Navy-CIA experiments were conducted in New York and San Francisco, exposing tens of thousands of people to the airborne agents Serratia marcescens and Bacillus glogigii;
-- in 1955, the CIA released bacteria from the Army's Tampa, FL biological warfare arsenal to test its ability to infect human populations;
-- in 1956, the US military released mosquitoes infected with Yellow Fever over Savannah, GA and Avon Park, FL to test the health effects on humans;
-- in 1965, Homesburg State Prison, Philadelphia prisoners were subjected to dioxin, the highly toxic Agent Orange agent, to study their carcinogenic effects;
-- in 1966, the New York subway system was used for a germ warfare experiment;
-- in 1969, an apparent nerve agent killed thousands of sheep in Utah;
-- in 1970, the Military Review reported that "ethnic weapons" development was intensified to be able to target specific ethnic groups thought susceptible to genetic differences and DNA variations;
-- in 1976, Americans were warned about an earlier Swine Flu scare, urging everyone to be vaccinated; millions complied, many of whom were harmed; 500 Guillan-Barre Syndrome (GBS - the deadly nerve disorder) resulted; people died from respiratory failure after severe paralysis, and experts said the vaccine increased the GBS risk level eight-fold;
-- in 1985 and 1986, open-air biological agents testing was done in populated areas;
-- in 1990, over 1,500 six-month old Los Angeles black and hispanic babies were given an experimental measles vaccine, never informing parents of the potential harm
-- in 1990 and 1991 before deploying to the Persian Gulf, all US troops were inoculated with experimental anthrax and botulinum toxoid vaccines, even though concerns were raised about their adverse long-term effects; over 12,000 died and over 30% became ill from non-combat-related factors in what subsequently was called Gulf War Syndrome, the result of exposure to a variety of toxins;
-- in 1994, Senator Jay Rockefeller issued a report revealing that for the past 50 or more years, DOD used hundreds of thousands of US military personnel, exposing them to dangerous substances experimentally; materials included mustard and nerve gas, ionizing radiation, psychochemicals, hallucinogens, and other drugs;
-- in 1995, Dr. Garth Nicolson discovered that toxic agents used during the Gulf War were pre-tested on Texas Department of Corrections prisoners;
-- in 1996, DOD admitted that Gulf War troops were exposed to chemical agents; and
-- in 2009, experimental vaccines were again used to inoculate people globally in response to another hyped Swine Flu scare; scattered reports of illnesses and deaths followed.
MK-ULTRA Victim Maryam Ruhullah
This writer will interview Ruhullah and Dr. James Randall Noblitt, a licensed psychologist, on The Progressive Radio News Hour (on The Progressive Radio Network), February 18 at 10AM US Central time to discuss MK-ULTRA, Ruhullah's experience and Noblitt's work with survivors of extreme abuse and individuals afflicted with identity dissociation. Noblitt is a Professor at the California School of Professional Psychology and Chair of the International Society of Trauma and Dissociation Ritual Abuse/Mind Control Interest Group.
The program will be archived for later listening.
As an MK-ULTRA victim, Ruhullah's memory was impaired and somewhat still is because of what she experienced. She explained it as follows.
In the early 1970s, she lived in Boston, MA, was married with a six-year old son, and as a lawyer worked for a prestigious firm, its name she can't remember. "One day, two federal agents came to (her) home unannounced," asking her to be a federal witness against an alleged organized crime figure. For her safety, they explained, she'd be placed in protective custody for a period not exceeding six months. She was asked to leave her family and job immediately, and say nothing to her husband and employer.
She "was forced to leave (her) home with the agents that day." She got no choice, and "was treated more like a prisoner than a witness." She couldn't use the phone or communicate with anyone, was transfered frequently, and held in "very low budget places," during which time her life "became a succession of abuses and exploitations."
"To this day," she says, she doesn't know precisely "when or why the government decided to use" her for MK-ULTRA experimentation, "but one day (she) was a mother, wife, and attorney, then, (later) had no memory of (her) past."
Having partly recovered it, she recalls "being given non-medically necessary electro-shock treatments. This was done to create amnesia (to block her) core personality and replac(e) it with" only need-to-know information.
She remembers "that the shock treatment given (her) was so severe and often that one day something happened and" she wasn't returned to her room. She now speaks of "an unbelievable long list of horrid exploitations and inhumane abuses" done to her.
In the late 1980s, fragments of her memory returned. She sought information on her case through an FOIA request, but was told no records were found. From 1992 - 1996, no one helped her until a member of B'nai Brith, Stephanie Suleiman, offered to do so but needed a few weeks to complete other work.
When Ruhullah recontacted her, she learned that "this thirty-two year old mother of two died of a heart attack," very suspicious given her age.
Ruhullah also explains that federal agents stopped communicating with her. Her experiences were "totally removed from the public record," and she went from "being a missing person to becoming a person erased." She's now divorced and unable to contact her children and former friends. "The US government does not want (her) story told."
She adds that the "only way (she) can measure (her) length of time held (is) by her son's age. (He) was six when (agents) entered (her) home, and he is (now) in his late thirties." She considers herself to have been continuously separated from her children, grandchildren, family, friends, assets, memories, and educated skills.
She calls each day "an experience of being held against (her) will while living in a vat of bureaucratic arrogance which refuses to acknowledge what was done (made worse by stopping (her) from getting (her) life back." Each day she's "being more injured and having more of (her) life robbed from" her.
She says she "was not released from custody." After being used for medical experiments, she was "given an implanted false identity, then left penniless and without proof of (her) true identity or lineage." She still considers herself a prisoner, a body with no persona, with little knowledge of her former self, stripped of everything important in her life.
MK-ULTRA and Ruhullah's story will be featured on the Progressive Radio News Hour on February 18 at 10AM US Central time on The Progressive Radio Network. Listen live or later through archives.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization. He lives in Chicago and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Perpetual Wars & the Permanent Wartime Presidency
With almost a decade under its belt, our multi-front war on a vaguely defined notion of terrorism targeting never-really-defined enemies across the world and here in the newly rephrased ‘homeland’ has come to define the state of our nation. Even the meager limitations on presidential powers of the last six decades have in effect been nullified and replaced with a newly declared and interpreted authority mirroring those of past emperors and kings, and of any classic authoritarian regimes’ rulers. One look at the last decade’s successfully won legal arguments on behalf of the executive, the presidency, is enough to establish the common theme that ‘the war on terror is global and indefinite in scope, and that it effectively removes all traditional limits of wartime authority to the times and places of imminent or actual battle.’
Whether it is illegal domestic eavesdropping or unlawful detention and torture, these newly claimed and boldly practiced presidential entitlements rely on one factor, and that is the extraordinary claims of presidential war-making power. Here is a perfect example of the new permanent wartime presidency in action; boldly, loudly, and unfortunately thus far successfully:
On occasion the Bush administration has explicitly rejected the authority of courts and Congress to impose boundaries on the power of the commander in chief, describing the president’s war-making powers in legal briefs as “plenary” — a term defined as “full,” “complete,” and “absolute.”
The current status of our nation’s president’s war-making powers is defined, recognized, and has been practiced as ‘plenary;’ complete and absolute. Now, let’s add to this the fact that our multi-fronted war on terror is global and indefinite, a war open-ended in time and with no national boundaries. What do we have with this equation? A permanent wartime presidency with absolute powers. The Constitution indeed granted the president the power to fight with any resources Congress makes available in wartime, and accordingly the executive is expected to do whatever it takes to protect the nation, even if it leaves some room for abuse of this power. But did our founders factor in the notion of indefinite, open-ended, perpetual wars, and with them, a permanent wartime presidency status? The Constitution gave presidents the freedom to defend the nation, but what about the nation’s need to protect itself against the abuses of this freedom, including the creation of perpetual wars accompanied with indefinite and absolute presidential powers?
The following excerpts are from the Devil’s Advocate, John Yoo:
Critics of presidential war powers exaggerate the benefits of declarations or authorizations of war, and they also fail to examine the potential costs of congressional participation: delay, inflexibility, and lack of secrecy. Legislative deliberation may breed consensus in the best of cases, but it also may inhibit speed and decisiveness. In the post-Cold War era, the United States confronts several new threats to its national security: proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, the emergence of rogue nations, and the rise of international terrorism. Each of these threats may require pre-emptive action best undertaken by the president and approved by Congress only afterward.
The Constitution creates a presidency that can respond forcefully and independently to pre-empt serious threats to our national security. Instead of demanding a legalistic process to begin war, the framers left war to politics. Presidents can take the initiative and Congress would use their funding power to check him. As we confront terrorism, rogue nations, and WMD proliferation, now is not the time to engage in a radical change in the way our government has waged war for decades.
Mr. Yoo considers a thorough congressional review and authorization based on findings and careful review as tending to ‘exaggerate the benefits of declarations or authorizations of war.’ If put in an appropriate context, this exaggeration could probably have prevented a preemptive attack on Iraq based on false and made-up intelligence on nonexistent WMD, and we may have saved thousands of American soldiers’ lives, tens of billions of dollars of taxpayers’ hard-earned money, and would have prevented the loss of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians’ lives. Only in John Yoo’s book of ‘cost & benefits analysis’ would this make it to the ‘exaggerated cost column.’
As for ‘Congress would use their funding power to check him,’ his pretend innocence would not get a pass from even the most naïve or ignorant. Considering where the real funding of the inhabitants of our congress comes from, taking into consideration the old adage ‘thou shall not bite the hand that feeds you,’ and understanding the power of ‘bacon sent home,’ who is Mr. Yoo kidding here; really?
Let’s look at it from the other side of the fence. What executive office wouldn’t want to possess this level of power? How many presidents would resist gravitating towards the enormous powers granted to a Commander in Chief in practice? How many of today’s ‘viable’ presidential candidate’s bread is heavily buttered by the war industry? Here is how Richard Norton Smith put it during an interview:
However you define national emergency, whether it’s a foreign war, whether it’s a civil war, whether it’s an economic depression, whether it’s a Cold War or the current war on terror, the fact is power gravitates towards the president…It’s a tug of war, Jim, that’s been going on, a constitutional tug of war between the executive and the legislative branch. And what I was picking up off what Ellen said I think the last 75 years has, if anything, distorted what the founders intended. Because of the Great Depression, because of World War II, because of the Cold War, now the war on terror, the fact is that that tug of war has actually been very one-sided. I don’t think this is the presidency that the founders really envisioned.
A Little Bit of History
On November 19, 1973, the Special Committee on the Termination of the National Emergency presented Senate Report 93-549 at the first session of the 93rd Congress. The Introduction to the report, an examination of existing War and Emergency Powers Acts, states:
Since March 9, 1933, the United States has been in a state of declared national emergency. In fact, there are now in effect four presidentially-proclaimed states of national emergency: In addition to the national emergency declared by President Roosevelt in 1933, there are also the national emergency proclaimed by President Truman in 1950, during the Korean conflict, and the states of national emergency declared by President Nixon in1970 and 1971.
These proclamations give force to 470 provisions of Federal law. These hundreds of statutes delegate to the President extraordinary powers, ordinarily exercised by the Congress, which affect the lives of American citizens in a host of all-encompassing manners. These vast ranges of powers, taken together, confer enough authority to rule the country without reference to normal Constitutional processes.
Under the powers delegated by these statutes, the President may: seize property; organize and control the means of production; seize commodities; assign military forces abroad; institute martial law; seize and control all transportation and communication; regulate the operation of private enterprise; restrict travel; and, in a plethora of particular ways, control the lives of all American citizens.
With the melting of the Cold War-the developing détente, with the Soviet Union and China, the stable truce of over 20 years duration between North and South Korea, and the end of U.S. involvement in the war in Indochina-there is no present need for the United States Government to continue to function under emergency conditions.
As we all know the establishment did not let the ‘melting Cold War’ argument stand. During the Reagan era the Cold War reached new heights, with a massive military buildup in an arms race with the USSR, before it came to an end. It wouldn’t be difficult to imagine the panic experienced by the real powers as the Berlin wall and with it the several-decade Cold War came crumbling down. How could the massive Military Industrial Complex, and those feeding upon it, survive this ‘ending,’ and find a way to sustain itself? How about maintaining the role and power of the Executive Intelligence Complex? The creation, existence, and practices of these agencies were based on and justified by the ‘Evil Empire,’ and with it gone, so was the justification sold to the public for the existence of many dependent upon it here in the States.
Sure there were other wars; Gulf War, Kosovo… But those were mini-wars; peanuts. What was needed, that is for the sustainability, survival, and even the fantasy of expansion, was another long-lasting war. Not a dingy little country or two, and certainly not a clear-cut enemy and pinpointable target to hit and be done with. No. In fact, learning from experience, it had to be something that could not end with some darn wall coming down, or a massive regime being taken out. An open ended war; a war with undefined enemies in many colors, with many tongues, and scattered across the world; a war that could be pointed at one place, then at another, and yet another without having to fit any military definition of target or strategy; a war with no boundaries; a war with no possible end. A war that couldn’t even be defined as a war, yet could act as the mother of all wars – a Perpetual War.
If anyone laughed at even the fantasy of such an absurd objective, they certainly weren’t the ones who had the last laugh. All that was needed to make it happen was the creation of a state of emergency. After all, it had been done for a long time, and done so very successfully. People were used to it – living under various degrees of a state of emergency for many decades. Just take it up a notch or two, then sit back and watch the panic take root and spring into full bloom. Jazz it up with a disaster-loving and panic-driving media, and the state of emergency will go into full effect. And from there – hello Perpetual War.
Here is more on the report by the Special Committee on the Termination of the National Emergency:
A majority of the people of the United States have lived all of their lives under emergency rule. For 40 years, freedoms and governmental procedures guaranteed by the Constitution have, in varying degrees, been abridged by laws brought into force by states of national emergency. The problem of how a constitutional democracy reacts to great crises, however, far antedates the Great Depression. As a philosophical issue, its origins reach back to the Greek city-states and the Roman Republic. And, in the United States, actions taken by the Government in times of great crises have-from, at least, the Civil War-in important ways, shaped the present phenomenon of a permanent state of national emergency.
Because Congress and the public are unaware of the extent of emergency powers, there has never been any notable congressional or public objection made to this state of affairs. Nor have the courts imposed significant limitations … the temporary states of emergency declared in 1938, 1939, 1941, 1950, 1970, and 1971 would become what are now regarded collectively as virtually permanent states of emergency (the 1939 and 1941 emergencies were terminated in 1952). Forty years can, in no way, be defined as a temporary emergency.
‘Forty years can, in no way, be defined as a temporary emergency;’ really? Obviously it can, and it was. Not only that, it actually got worse. Today they don’t even bother adding ‘temporary,’ and leave it out completely. How could you win or lose, and declare the end of the ‘war on terror’? Is it possible to capture and neutralize that one last boogie man, announce that the last of the terrorists has been terminated, and then go about dissolving Homeland Security, Motherland Security, Fatherland Agency, Intelligence Czars, Domestic Eavesdropping…? How about the entire industry, the thriving many trillion dollar industry, with the ‘war on terror’ as their sole reason for existence? Obviously this would not fit the vision put in place by the few who matter, and the many grown dependent on them.
The Mother of all perpetual wars, War on Terror, followed by unjustified and undeclared wars: Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iran… Who are the enemies? Bad Taliban, Semi-bad Taliban, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaeda Supporters, Possible Al-Qaeda, Islamists, Fanatics, semi-fanatics, fanatic-looking dudes, Iran-ists, and with them all the civilians ‘just our collateral damage.’; babies, women, elderly…Kidnapping, torture, assassinations, black sites, black operations, black budgets…
Here at home: airport security check-points, no-fly list, semi-no-fly-list, many secret lists, tapping all phone calls, monitoring all e-mails, billions of secret documents, thousands of secret operations & plans.
For the winners in the Perpetual War, the military-intelligence-surveillance industrial complexes, the empire presidency and its advocates, and the parasitic class who lives beneath and off of them…the state of Perpetual War is a long-held dream coming true.
For the losers, we, the public majority, the mothers losing their sons and daughters to wars, the spouses left to deal with their returning amputated loved ones, many in need of medical care but with no coverage or assistance, the hard-working class dutifully parting with needed dollars and foregoing all expectations, the seekers of liberties…the realities of these made-up emergencies, and the real consequences of these vague wars are either not registering, or are being accepted and paid for silently.
This applicable quote comes to mind: “Inter arma silent leges: in time of war the laws are silent.” And, I feel like extending the line by adding”…for as long as the people wish to remain silent.”
# # # #
Monday, February 15, 2010
Commentary by Wayne Madsen
After the U.S. revolutionaries defeated the British and the embryonic United States was formed, the nation had two paths before it. It could have followed the path laid out by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin and become a truly enlightened democratic republic founded upon strict secularism and revolutionary principles of liberty and justice for all. Or it had the choice of following the cautious and limited democracy, based on a strong central government, as preached by George Washington, John Adams, and Alexander Hamilton.
Unfortunately, for the United States, the country chose the latter option, thus ensuring that the present-day United States of America is a nation controlled by an elite oligarch that does not differ in thought and practice from the arcane monarchy of Great Britain, from which the American revolutionaries fought so hard to break free.
The commander of the Continental Army and the first president of the United States, George Washington, was in lockstep with those conservatives and wealthy elites - symbolized most egregiously by the stranglehold of the cultish and globally-powerful Freemasons - who quickly bled revolutionary principles from the new nation.
Washington began his career as a military surveyor for the British Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Robert Dinwiddie. It was Washington who carried the standard of the British monarch to order the French Marquis Duquesne to pull French troops out of forts established in the Ohio Valley. Washington would cut his teeth as a virtual mercenary for the British crown. His fealty to London would color his approach to his former masters after the American Revolution and his lack of will to order a prompt and total British military evacuation from the city of New York and Charleston, South Carolina.
In 1754, Washington's first battle with the French in what is now Pittsburgh resulted in the defeat of Washington and his expeditionary force. A second battle with the French in the Ohio Valley resulted in Washington's surrender to the French forces. Washington's initial 0 for 2 military record would also result in later disasters during his command of the Continental Army during the revolution.
As far as Washington's empathy with the common man, it is a fact that it never approached the proletarian sympathies of Jefferson, Franklin, Patrick Henry, and Thomas Paine. Washington, at the age of 26 and as an up-and-coming officer in the British colonial army, married Martha [Dandridg]e Custis, the wealthiest widow in the colony of Virginia. Soon, Washington and his wealthier friend and neighbor, Thomas Fairfax, became the top oligarchs in the southern colonies. That experience would color Washington's siding with the John Adams-Alexander Hamilton mercantile-banking clique following the revolution. Washington's perfidy helped to create the present-day banking empire headquartered in lower Manhattan and the City of London. At the same time Washington was fighting for the King of England, Mayer Amschel Rothschild was beginning a coin dealership in Frankfurt. Eventually, Washington and his friends John Adams and Hamilton would ensure that the American city of New York was ripe for business for the expansive House of Rothschild.
In 1765, when the British Parliament levied a stamp tax on all newspapers, pamphlets, almanacs, wills, and business documents - much like what is being heard today from the Obama White House about requiring a fee for running an Internet website - it was Franklin who tried, albeit unsuccessfully, for British Prime Minister Grenville to drop the what was known as the Stamp Act. Washington, a loyal servant of His Majesty's government, was nowhere to be found in the uproar over the tax. It was Patrick Henry, who, before the Virginia House of Burgesses, who, in response to the speaker's comments that Henry's comments about the tax were "treason," said, "If this be treason, make the most of it." Meanwhile, Washington was ensconced with his oligarch friends in Mount Vernon and nearby Alexandria.
Thanks mainly to the opposition of Franklin and Henry, the British parliament repealed the Stamp Act in 1766. Washington was pre-occupied with other matters. During the same year, he shipped one of his "uppity" slaves off to the West Indies in return for a barrel of rum and other Caribbean goods. As a leader of the southern plantocracy, Washington firmly believed in the institution of slavery.
Washington, still a loyal subject of the Crown, was silent as the embers of the American Revolution blew hot in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and among the North Carolina backwoodsmen called "the Regulators" and among a secretive group of secessionists in the Virginia House of Burgesses who used the Committees of Correspondence to keep in contact with fellow travelers in the other colonies.
The Washington estate at Mount Vernon was named by George Washington's brother, British Army Colonel Lawrence Washington for British Admiral Edward Vernon for whom Lawrence served in the British and American colonial attempt to wrest control of the West Indies from Spain. Vernon had, in appreciation for Lawrence's help, arranged a royal grant of the Mount Vernon land to Lawrence. George Washington inherited the estate after Lawrence, who was married to daughter of Colonel Thomas Fairfax, died from tuberculosis in 1752. Washington was part and parcel of the British royal elite in the Virginia colony.
When the first Continental Congress met on September 5, 1774 in Philadelphia, Henry declared that "I am no longer a Virginian, I am an American!" New England's Samuel Adams, known as much for his patriotic fervor as his ale-making abilities, was the impetus behind the Congress. From his Mount Vernon estate, Washington's reaction to the news from Philadelphia was that "no thinking man" in North America desired independence from Britain.
At the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia in 1775, the oligarchs were already putting the brakes on the revolutionary ideas of Henry, Franklin, and other firebrands, including John Hancock. John Adams, who was much more conservative than his second cousin Samuel, supported the wishy-washy Washington to be the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. Hancock wanted the position of army commander for himself. Many of the delegates in Philadelphia believed Washington to be untested as a commander. The fact that Washington wore his old British Army uniform from two decades earlier apparently dazzled the delegates into believing Washington was the man for the job. It was a fateful error in judgment. Virginia's Charles Lee was appointed the second major general of the Continental Army. In retrospect, Lee would have been a better choice as commander.
After British Army defectors reported to Washington that the British commander in Boston, General William Howe, had engaged in an early form of biological warfare by sending people with smallpox out of Boston to infect other refugees from Boston and the American army, Washington, still believing in the chivalry of the British army, disbelieves the report. After smallpox broke out among the Bostonians fleeing the city, Washington belatedly changed his mind. It would not be the last poor decision made by Washington as commander of American forces.
In 1776, Washington agreed to have American Major General John Sullivan, captured by the British in New York, freed by General Howe to carry a peace agreement to the Continental Congress in Philadelphia. The Congress rejects Howe's offer of clemency and pardons for all rebels who repent their actions before the Crown. Washington abandoned his positions in lower Manhattan and took up a new position in Harlem Heights from where he merely observed the deployment of Howe's forces. Washington's foot-dragging permitted Howe's forces to be supplemented by newly-arrived German Hessian mercenaries.
Eventually, Washington abandons Harlem Heights and Fort Lee, New Jersey after having lost 90 percent of his army. General Charles Lee, in Pennsylvania where he employed the very "un-British" tactic of guerrilla warfare against the redcoats, reluctantly answered Washington's call for help. Lee denounced Washington in a letter in which he stated that Washington was "damnably deficient" and who "has thrown me into a situation where I have my choice of difficulties." Difficulties Lee had - he was captured by the British and held in prison in New York for a year and a half.
It was pure luck that resulted in Washington's defeat of a combined British and Hessian force in Trenton the day after Christmas in 1776. Washington had already seen his Maryland and New Jersey contingent of troops opt not to re-enlist and return home. Luck and the element of surprise gave Washington a badly-needed victory at Trenton, one that helped the American forces see another victory at Princeton and limp along until the French arrived with massive military and naval might.
While Washington still believed in the British methods of warfare, Jefferson had penned the Declaration of Independence, which read "We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness-That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government." Jefferson's attack on the institution of slavery was edited out of the document at the insistence of Washington's plantocracy friends from the southern colonies.
When Congress declined to appoint Brigadier General Benedict Arnold to major general, it was Washington who came to the defense of the soon-to-be traitor to the American cause.
Washington suffered another setback in 1777, when Philadelphia was lost to the British, resulting in the Continental Congress fleeing to York, Pennsylvania. Washington's losses to the British at Germantown and Brandywine had many a member of the Congress wondering about Washington's abilities, especially after his having lost New York earlier. Some members of Congress secretly conspired with some of Washington's senior officers to replace Washington with General Horatio Gates. Meanwhile, Washington led a force of over 10,000 sick and dying troops in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania during a bitterly cold winter.
Gates is eliminated as a potential rival to Washington after he suffers a severe defeat at the Battle of Camden, South Carolina in 1780. Gates is relieved of his command as a result.
Animosity between Washington and freed General Charles Lee at the Battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, results in Washington court-martialing Lee, who is found guilty and suspended from duty for twelve months. On the other hand, Washington dispatched the incompetent General Israel Putnam to raise fresh troops in Connecticut but Putnam has a stroke and retires from the military. Meanwhile, Jefferson successfully pressed the Virginia legislature to prohibit the further importation of slaves into the state.
In 1779, after Britain's Iroquois allies in New York offer the revolutionaries a separate peace deal, Washington's commander responds to the offer by destroying all Iroquois villages in western New York. Washington would set into motion a policy by many of his successors that would see the wholesale slaughter and forced exile of millions of Native Americans from the Atlantic to the Pacific.
On October 19, 1781, after Lord Cornwallis surrenders to Washington at Yorktown, Virginia after the French come to the aid of the revolutionaries, Washington curiously permits British troops to remain in New York until November 1783 and in Savannah until July 1782 and Charleston until December 1782. New York was a fateful decision. One of Washington's staff officers, Alexander Hamilton, resigned his commission and moved back to New York to publish essays advocating a strong central government. Hamilton's policies would eventually include advocacy for the establishment of a U.S. central bank, akin to what is now the secretive Federal Reserve Bank system.
Some slaves opted to flee with the British ships at Yorktown into freedom. However, Washington issued an order that these slaves were to be returned to their owners. Meanwhile, Jefferson was writing about the total emancipation of slaves, further widening his gulf with Washington and his pro-business post-revolutionary conservative allies.
In 1782, Washington's old rival Charles Lee died of pneumonia in Philadelphia at age 51. To his dying breath, Lee called Washington a "puffed up charlatan." Later, many other new citizens of the new American republic would agree with Lee.
During the war, Washington's chief army logistician, Joseph Simon of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a Jew, ran up huge debts, although he did not personally profit from any of the business deals. Those war debts would begin the steady slide of the United States into a state of permanent financial servitude to European banking houses, already being influenced by the Rothschilds, and provide a impetus to Hamilton to create major banking structures in New York City. While the British still occupied New York City, the Bank of North America was established in 1781 by Congress. Hamilton favored the creation of a national bank and was behind the creation of the Bank of New York during the British occupation of the city. In 1791, the bank became the First Bank of the United States and, along with the Bank of New York, were issued the first shares of stock by the new New York Stock Exchange in 1792. Hamilton succeeded in transforming New York City into a financial center - one that worked closely with its counterparts in London and the Rothschilds' emerging empire in Frankfurt and other continental European cities.
Although Washington retired from the Army after the Treaty of Paris with Britain was signed, his hard nailed approach to rebellion influenced how the government of Massachusetts dealt with Shay's Rebellion in 1787. The Massachusetts governor sent a militia to deal with farmers in western Massachusetts who seized a federal arsenal in Springfield. The militia opened fire on the rebel farmers, killing four and wounding 20. In a letter to his friend James Madison, Jefferson shows his commitment to the revolutionary principals, later to be expounded upon further in the French and Russian revolutions: "I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the rights of the people, which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of the government." For John Adams and his Boston oligarchs and Washington and his Virginia landed gentry friends, one revolution would be quite enough. The new United States now had before it two paths: oligarchic control or ingrained revolutionary principles of government. To its everlasting shame, it would choose the former.
Washington would retire temporarily to Mount Vernon where he would consort with his Freemason friends as well as a secretive group of war veteran officers known as the Society of the Cincinnati. The group of veterans elected Washington as their first president-general. The second president-general was central bank and strong federal government proponent Hamilton. The third head of the group was Charles Pinckney who would run for president against Jefferson's friend Madison. The split between the secretive oligarchs and the democratic revolutionaries was set in cement. Franklin, Jefferson, and Elbridge Gerry all criticized the hereditary membership society as an embryonic American nobility class, although Franklin later joined the group. It was the society that chose the Teutonic and militaristic bald eagle as America's national symbol. Franklin preferred the turkey.
In a letter to his daughter, Franklin wrote of the eagle symbol: "He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Support of his Mate and young Ones, the Bald Eagle pursues him and takes it from him . . . For the Truth the Turkey is in Comparison a much more respectable Bird, and withal a true original Native of America . . . He is besides, though a little vain & silly, a Bird of Courage, and would not hesitate to attack a Grenadier of the British Guards who should presume to invade his Farm Yard with a red Coat on."
At the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, there is so much distrust of the oligarchic strong central government proponents that some small states, including Delaware, threaten to go their separate ways. Madison, sensitive to their grievances, hammers out protections for the small states. He would also protect the people against the designs of Washington - who turned down a kingship - and John Adams by beginning work on the Amendments to the Constitution, which would provide for protections from an overbearing central government.
Jefferson also pens in 1787, "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure." This was America at its highest regard for revolutionary ideas and ideals. It would not last in America but in 1788, the success of the American Revolution was already being felt in the streets of Paris. The seeds of the French Revolution had been sown in the taverns, meeting halls, and battleground of America.
The inauguration of Washington as the first President of the United States in 1789 in New York set the stage for the imperial presidency. Although he turned down the offer of king, Washington did not shake hands with well-wishing visitors. Washington merely bowed. Artwork has, throughout the history of the country, portrayed Washington as an effeminate deity-like figure. Washington took the oath of office on a bible from the St. John's Lodge No. 1. The bible use predated the First Amendment to the Constitution spelling out the separation of church and state and became a custom used until the present day.
The Masonic Lodge in Alexandria, Virginia possesses a true-to-life portrait of Washington. He has a scar on his left cheek, an ugly black mole just underneath his right ear, and pockmarks on his nose as a result of smallpox when he was younger. Couple those blemishes with his wooden dentures, and Washington is far from the powdered wig-adorned dandy on the U.S. dollar bill.
However, Washington's appearance pales in comparison to his thoughts about the role of government. No sooner is Washington inaugurated then Madison rises in Congress to introduce the Amendments to the Constitution as a check against the designs of Washington, Hamilton, and the Cincinnati Society crowd.
In 1790, Washington laid the groundwork of America's military-industrial complex when he told Congress in New York "To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace." Congress also approved Hamilton's choice for the new capital on the banks of the Potomac near Georgetown, Maryland. The city would be designed by Washington's fellow Mason, the Frenchman Pierre-Charles L'Enfant. To this day, Washington, DC evokes the architecture of the Roman Empire and ancient Egypt.
Washington (l.) and Jefferson (r.) at the laying of the cornerstone for the U.S. Capitol Building in 1793. While Washington was an ardent Mason as evidenced by his apron, Jefferson was not a Mason and was a critic of secret societies. However, the painting above shows Jefferson wearing a Masonic apron as well, one of the first examples in American history of a neo-con [Federalist] disinformation campaign.
One of Hamilton's first acts as Treasury Secretary was to create the first public debt by having the federal government assume the unpaid debts of the states. Speculators in New York began buying up depreciated debt securities with the promise of accrued interest from Hamilton. Madison and Secretary of State Jefferson opposed Hamilton having his full way because the southern states had already paid their war debts and there was a compromise that saw the moved to near Georgetown in exchange for the Treasury's assumption of the debt of the states.
In 1791, Jefferson and Madison, with the help of Virginia's George Mason, succeeded in enacting the Bill of Rights as amendments to the U.S. Constitution. The main reason was to place a check on Washington, Hamilton, John Adams and the other neo-Tories.
Meanwhile, Hamilton began issuing U.S. bonds playing 6 percent interest in order to avert an economic depression.
In 1793, Washington betrayed America's revolutionary foundations by deciding not to support revolutionary France in its war against Britain. Treasury Secretary Hamilton was urging the United States to enter the war on the side of its old enemy, the British and Secretary of State Jefferson urged the United States to come to the aid of France. Apparently, the anti-Masonic zeal of the French revolutionaries who had beheaded their king and queen was too much revolution for the doddering Washington.
A majority of the American people favored the United States coming to the military aid of France. But Washington rejected their wishes, instead, sending Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay to London to persuade the British to evacuate from their forts in the Northwest Territory in return for American "neutrality" in the British-French war. Washington had already embraced "Manifest Destiny" for an imperialistic and expansive United States.
Associate Supreme Court Justice John Rutledge felt so betrayed by the Jay Treaty with Britain he denounced it publicly. In retaliation, Washington's neo-Tories in Congress failed to confirm Rutledge for the post of Chief Justice.
In 1794, when farmers in western Pennsylvania objected to a Hamilton-inspired tax on their whisky, they rose in rebellion. Washington and Hamilton decided to raise a militia and send it to Pennsylvania to put down the rebellion as an example of how far the federal government would go in stamping out insurrection, memories of Shay's Rebellion in Massachusetts still fresh in their minds, Washington, Hamilton, and General Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee personally led federal militia troops into battle against the rebels in Pennsylvania. Ironically, Lee's son, Robert, would lead the Confederate Army against the federal forces in the Civil War.
True to his devotion to slavery, one of Washington's last acts of president was to demand to return of a young female fugitive slave from New Hampshire to Alexandria, Virginia. The New Hampshire authorities refused the request from the slave-minded Washington.
In 1797, President John Adams and his neo-Tories, worried about the success of the French Revolution, push for the U.S. to side with the British against the French. As later seen with "papists," "anarchists," "communists," and "terrorists," the United States is gripped by fear of pro-French revolutionary "Jacobists." Adams orders the U.S. Navy into action against the French Navy. France feels betrayed by the United States. Adams forces through Congress the Aliens Act, which permit the deportation of any alien deemed dangerous - particularly anti-British republicans from France and Ireland. Jefferson rejects the acts and drafts the Kentucky Resolutions that declare Adams's acts "null and void" in Kentucky. Virginia also nullifies Adams's acts. Over two hundred years later, the spirit of independence in the United States was lost when there was not even a hint that a state might declare the USA-PATRIOT act "null and void" within its jurisdiction.
Newspaper publisher and editor Benjamin Franklin Bache, the grandson of Benjamin Franklin, was a fervent Jeffersonian who criticized Washington, Adams, and their Federalist Party in his Philadelphia Auroranewspaper. Bache even wrote that Washington had secretly collaborated with the British during the Revolutionary War. Bache was arrested and jailed just before the enactment of Adams's unconstitutional Alien and Sedition Acts and charged with seditious libel against the government. Bache thundered that his First Amendment rights had been violated by Adams and his regime. Bache died from yellow fever in 1798 at age 29 before his case was to come to trial.
In 1799, Washington died at Mount Vernon. The U.S. government immediately began the process of deifying the first president of the United States. Nonsensical tales of Washington chopping down a cherry tree and throwing a silver dollar across the Potomac became folklore believed by children in schools across the country.
As we celebrate a contrived federal holiday called "President's Day," which was originally cobbled together from two February birthday holidays honoring Washington and Abraham Lincoln and then expanded to honor all U.S. presidents, we should all remember the real Washington: the man who reluctantly agreed to fight the British, the man whose poor military decisions almost resulted in a British victory, whose conservative and Tory beliefs ensured that slavery would continue for several more decades in the United States, and whose penchant for aristocracy and oligarchy resulted in the Bill of Rights being passed as a check on the designs of Washington and his neo-Tories.
Washington may have been the first president of the United States but he was one of the worst individuals to have occupied that office. Careful consideration should be made on whether it is time to have some name changes in this country. The nation foolishly followed the aristocratic and secret society ways of Washington and his cohorts rather than the true revolutionary path laid out by Jefferson, Madison, Henry, Mason, and Thomas Paine. I propose renaming Washington, DC, Jefferson with full rights, as a state, as Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, would have demanded. The state of Washington should become the state of Madison, in honor of the author of the Bill of Rights. Mount Washington in New England should become Mount Henry, named after Patrick Henry. The George Washington Bridge should become Thomas Paine Bridge. Northern Virginia's George Washington Parkway should become the Ben Franklin Bache Parkway, most notably because it passes by the CIA headquarters, which could use a wake up call on the history and beliefs of Bache when, in the future, they consider again knocking off or torturing an unfriendly journalist.
To enact a new American Revolution, we must scrap what was rotten with the first one. And that can begin by relegating Washington, John Adams, Hamilton, and their neo-Tory Federalist lackeys to their proper dungeons in American history.
Note: In the interest of full disclosure, the author's maternal ancestor was Washington's chief logistician, Joseph Simon.