by Justin Gardner, Activist Post:
Fifteen years ago the U.S. government, in response to 9/11, took the unprecedented step of declaring war on a tactic. Waging a ‘war on terror’ gave the president and his neocon cabal vast new powers to make the world a battleground and sacrifice constitutional rights.
Key to this was the declaration of a “State of National Emergency” on September 14, 2001. This, combined with the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), gave the executive branch dictatorial powers, allowing for the invasion and occupation of Iraq – which had nothing to do with 9/11 – and bypassing the Geneva Conventions to declare foreign fighters as “enemy combatants” to be tortured and held indefinitely.
These new powers also allowed for the creation of a surveillance state that Stasi Germany could only dream of – pumping billions into new spy centers, giving the FBI National Security Letters to go after U.S. citizens for any reason, and turning the power of the NSA against the homeland.
While politicians claimed these powers would only be temporary while the terrorist threat was supposedly being neutralized, many of us knew government would never let go of power once it had been gained. The war on terror and its dismantling of human rights became just another fact of life.
Predictably, the invasion and occupation of Iraq turned the country into a breeding ground for terrorism, and drone bombings in other countries such as Pakistan – killing untold numbers of children and innocent civilians – created a million new terrorists.
With regime change in Iraq carried out under the banner of “pre-emptive war” – in accordance with the pre-9/11 goals of the Project for the New American Century – eyes were turned to Syria, where purveyors of U.S. military hegemony longed to oust democratically elected president Bashar al-Assad.
To help achieve this, the U.S. nurtured the Salafist sect in Syria, which went on to become a major component of the brutal terrorist organization called ISIS or Daesh. Besides the horrendous, unchecked murder it is inflicting in several Middle Eastern countries, ISIS has managed to stage multiple attacks in Europe and inspired people within the U.S. to go on shooting sprees.
Funny thing how terrorism has become more of a problem 15 years after the U.S. began its war on terror.
A few days ago, Obama quietly recommitted to the cause of perpetual war and diminished civil liberties by continuing the “State of National Emergency With Respect to Certain Terrorist Attacks” for another year. The August 30 memo cited “the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.”
The specter of terrorism, which always has and always will exist, means that “the powers and authorities adopted to deal with that emergency must continue in effect beyond September 14, 2016.”
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