In my recent article "The End Of
America: The Police State Is Right Here, Right Now" I included
experiences of escalating intimidation on the part of law enforcement in the
United States within recent months. I must confess that when I cite such
incidents, I fear that in a few days or weeks, it will all go away, and
everyone, myself included, will begin to question the validity of the examples,
breathing a heavy sigh of relief and rejoicing that the situation isn't nearly
as dire as I'm asserting it is.
This time, however, I have nothing to fear because since
that article was posted, the ante of out-of-control law enforcement in America
appears to have been upped with a rapidity that I could not have imagined just
a few weeks ago.
Have we not all heard about the New York woman on her way to
rehab who passed through the Phoenix airport, became distraught when she had
just missed her flight, and was arrested for disorderly conduct by airport
police? The suspect, Carol Ann Gotbaum, was handcuffed and then placed in a
holding cell and left alone. According to police, when they returned, she was
dead. At this writing, Gotbaum's family and officials are awaiting the autopsy
report -- the "official" cause of death.
Just a few days later, again in Phoenix, a male
suspect was handcuffed after an on-foot chase by police, and shortly after
being handcuffed, according to police, he lost consciousness. He was then taken
to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.
In yesterday's New York Daily News, the story "Science
teacher's brush with police ends in heart attack" relates an incident
that happened back in June of this year when an African American Brooklyn high
school teacher was mistaken for a perpetrator by police, suffered a heart
attack, and was left on his own by the street cops who accused him of
As outrageous as these incidents may be, the most chilling
event appeared on networks across the nation yesterday morning with the story of a 20-year-old
Wisconsin sheriff's deputy who shot and killed six young people at a party
Saturday night. The most obvious question: How is it that a community of
citizens allows a 20-year-old to become a deputy sheriff? Why not give an M-16
to a third-grader?
Nevertheless, all of these stories are connected by a common
thread: Law enforcement in the United States, whose duty it is to "protect
and serve" have now become not just part of the problem but in fact,
predatory devourers of those they are sworn to keep safe.
Deepening collapse will be attended by manifestations of the
unraveling of all institutions, one of the most frightening examples being law
enforcement's hysterical repression of citizens.
Although we are seeing more media attention given to private
security companies such as Blackwater, we should not assume that the power and
funding granted to these firms will dissipate anytime soon. They are an
integral part of the Shock Doctrine
brilliantly analyzed by Naomi Klein in her new book of the same title. The
greater the extent of the empire's collapse, the greater the intensity of the
shock applied to those who reside within the belly of the beast. From those
shocks flow not only increased terror and social control, but flourishing
profits for private security companies.
The U.S. government is making it unmistakably clear that it
intends to use every avenue of power at its disposal to lock down the nation. A
story sent to my subscribers today
from the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (GATA) reveals that in its
correspondence with the Treasury Department, "The Treasury Department was
surprisingly candid in that correspondence, asserting the U.S. Government's
authority, in declared emergencies, to confiscate precious metals and to restrict
ownership of mining shares -- and to confiscate and restrict every other
financial asset as well."
Almost daily we hear of increased surveillance of Americans
as well as unprecedented restrictions on travel, not only on persons entering
the U.S. but on persons traveling within the country and on dissenters who
attempt to enter other countries as in
the case of two activists, Medea Benjamin and Ann Wright, who were denied
entrance into Canada last Thursday "because their names appeared on the
FBI's National Crime Information Center database."
story relinked today pertains to the anti-terrorism Vigilant Shield 2008
exercise of U.S. Northern Command (USNORTHCOM): "The series of
exercises is mandated by the US government to prepare, prevent and
respond to any number of national crises that would call for the use of the
military inside the United States. Vigilant Shield 2008 builds a scenario of a
domestic disaster in the US (terrorist attack or natural disaster). It posits
the domestic use of the US military including a special role for the US Air
Force." As we know, a precedent for using the U.S. military inside the
U.S. was set in the aftermath of Katrina in 2005.
For those considering expatriation, it will soon be too late
to leave. For those who choose to remain within this increasingly locked down
nation, it will be necessary to acquire survival skills, a strong community of
friends, and a great deal of stealth in order to navigate this empire's
exacerbating Orwellian treachery.Carolyn
Baker, Ph.D. is author of a forthcoming book, �COMING OUT FROM CHRISTIAN
FUNDAMENTALISM: Affirming Life, Love and The Sacred.�
Her recent book is �U.S.
History Uncensored: What Your High School Textbook Didn't Tell You.�Her website is www.carolynbaker.org where she may be