Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Rules of American Justice

The Rules of American Justice are quite clear:
  1. If you are a high-ranking government official who commits war crimes, you will receive full-scale immunity, both civil and criminal, and will have the American President demand that all citizens Look Forward, Not Backward. 
  2. If you are a low-ranking member of the military, you will receive relatively trivial punishments in order to protect higher-ranking officials and cast the appearance of accountability. 
  3. If you are a victim of American war crimes, you are a non-person with no legal rights or even any entitlement to see the inside of a courtroom. 
  4. If you talk publicly about any of these war crimes, you have committed the Gravest Crime — you are guilty of espionage – and will have the full weight of the American criminal justice system come crashing down upon you. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Double Ring of Fences Protects U.S. Congress from Citizens

To protect Congress from the people in advance of the "Occupy Congress" protest Tuesday in Washington, we put a double ring of fencing around the Capitol Building.  The new fencing is the centerpiece of our "Green Zone DC" initiative.

What is Green Zone DC?  Modeled after our former seat of government in Baghdad, Green Zone DC will comprise a system of fortifications designed to keep the People at a distance from Congress.  The temporary fencing we have in place today is only a beginning. 

Both parties have agreed in principle to allocate $350 million to make the double fencing permanent.   They're only arguing about how to pay for it.  The GOP wants the money to come out of a school lunch program for handicapped orphans, and the Democrats propose that permanent fencing be funded through a new "mansion tax" on homes valued at more than $500,000.

The plan for Green Zone DC is on display inside the recently competed $1 billion dollar Capitol Visitor Center.  Similar to Green Zone DC, the thinking behind the Visitor Center was to protect our political leaders from the public.  

The first five photos show the double ring of fencing we installed around the U.S. Capital Building in advance of the "Occupy Congress" protest.    The space between the perimeter fences is intended to be wide enough for an officer mounted on a horse.  

The final four photos show the Capitol Detainment Zone and Arrest Venue (aka "the West Lawn") which we have surrounded with double fences.  The space between the fences is wide enough for us to ride two horses.  It provides a corridor from which we intend to videotape and photograph protesters.  These images will go into a database which we plan to share with various government agencies including the FBI and Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE) which now deports U.S. citizens for us.  We may also decide to share the images with foreign governments and private corporations.

If we get annoyed by what we overhear the protesters saying and we feel like pepper spraying them, the double fencing provides a quiet area from which to assault them with our chemical weapons.  Depending on wind conditions, we may volley canisters of the new tear gas the Egyptian junta kindly tested for us in November. 

Members of the public have provided some feedback about our new fences on Twitter.  You are welcome to tweet your own comments to @FearDept.  Suggested hashtags are #FearFence and #GreenZoneDC.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

We must change our laws to get Assange

Heritage Foundation recently held a public panel discussion about WikiLeaks. The panelists included Cully Stimson, former Asst Deputy Sec of Defense on Detainee Affairs, and Paul Rosenzweig, former Asst Deputy for Homeland Security.

Staff have transcribed former Asst Deputy of Homeland Security Paul Rosenzweig's statement from the 2 min 20 sec mark:
It seems to me that if we're going to go down the road of trying to fix our espionage laws to fix issues like Assange and terrorism, the right way is not to try and shoehorn a change that we're not quite sure of its second order and collateral effects into a statute that actually is pretty effective under the terms that it is in. I mean I'm not going to be an advocate of not amending the espionage laws to get at Assange -- I think it's a reasonable thing for Congress to want to do. I would be an advocate for them to take a little more time, step back, and think about all of the categories and types of information, and all the different means by which information is disclosed. And see if there isn't a way -- I believe there is -- of drawing distinctions between mainstream media organizations who report news and add value and things like WikiLeaks which I tend to think of as just a means of communications as a telephone directory. I mean they're just putting information out. Nobody would say a telephone directory is a news organization...
We agree with Paul Rosenzweig. The key is for Congress to carefully work out how to support the mainstream corporate media while sticking it to WikiLeaks.  This is legislation that cannot be rushed but will require the full attention of media and entertainment industry lobbyists.

Former Asst Deputy Sec of Defense on Detainee Affairs Cully Stimson went on to suggest that we have reason to believe "WikiLeaks has a lot more information to divulge" and presumably changes to the espionage laws could be made in time.  The bottom line is we have to get Assange before he can liberate any more of the information we are keeping from the public.  
See also this post about the Espionage Act of 1917.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Fear Sharing

Above are selected responses.  You can view more here

The Secret to Our Success

I didn't know our government could torture people.  I didn't know the president could go to war with another country without the approval of Congress.  I didn't know the Supreme Court could decide the winner of a presidential election.  I didn't know the president could assassinate American citizens.   I didn't know American citizens could be imprisoned without trial indefinitely.  I didn't know the Constitution could be suspended

There was a time we didn't know either.   But we chose not sit around contemplating ethics or legal precedents.  We didn't consult the Constitution.   Instead of listening to our lawyers, we spoke to them.  And they assured us if we broke laws, we could change them later.  We realized we would never known how much power and wealth we accumulate for our corporate partners until we tried.  When the time was right, we set out to see what we could get away with.

A few years ago Easton Syme (now with DoF) explained our winning attitude to journalist and author Ron Suskind:
The [George W. Bush White House] aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore," he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do." 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Our Journalist Surveillance Program

Have certain media personalities or bloggers been bad mouthing Fear Dept? We'd like to know. That's one reason we systematically monitor the activities of journalists and citizens active on social media.

Citing a recent report by Homeland Security, FastCompany (h/t @Asher_Wolf) notes that not only are we spying on U.S. journalists, but we're sharing our findings with corporate and international partners: 
DHS Discloses NOC Monitoring Initiative. In a document posted to the Department of Homeland Security's website, the agency confirmed the existence of an extensive media monitoring program. Since at least 2010, DHS has been collecting personally identifiable information on "anchors, newscasters, or on-scene reporters who are known or identified as reporters in their post or article or who use traditional and/or social media in real time to keep their audience situationally aware and informed" and "current and former public officials who are victims of incidents or activities related to Homeland Security." In-house media monitoring reports created by DHS are also being shared with private sector and international partners.