We Are All Prisoners Now
Paul Craig Roberts
"They’re locking them up today
They’re throwing away the key
I wonder who it’ll be tomorrow, you or me?"
~ The Red Telephone (LOVE, 1967)
At Christmas time it has been my habit to write
a column in remembrance of the many innocent people in prisons whose lives have
been stolen by the US criminal justice (sic) system that is as inhumane as it
is indifferent to justice. Usually I retell the cases of William Strong and
Christophe Gaynor, two men framed in the state of Virginia by prosecutors and
judges as wicked and corrupt as any who served Hitler or Stalin.
This year is different. All Americans are now imprisoned in a world of lies
and deception created by the Bush Regime and the two complicit parties of Congress,
by federal judges too timid or ignorant to recognize a rogue regime running
roughshod over the Constitution, by a bought and paid for media that serves
as propagandists for a regime of war criminals, and by a public who have forsaken
their Founding Fathers.
Americans are also imprisoned by fear, a false fear created by the hoax of
"terrorism." It has turned out that headline terrorist events since
9/11 have been orchestrated by the US government. For example, the alleged terrorist
plot to blow up Chicago’s Sears Tower was the brainchild of an FBI agent who
searched out a few disaffected people to give lip service to the plot devised
by the FBI agent. He arrested his victims, whose trial ended in acquittal and
Raising doubts among Americans about the government is not a strong point of
the corporate media. Americans live in a world of propaganda designed to secure
their acquiescence to war crimes, torture, searches and police state measures,
military aggression, hegemony and oppression, while portraying Americans (and
Israelis) as the salt of the earth who are threatened by Muslims who hate their
"freedom and democracy."
Americans cling to this "truth" while the Bush regime and a complicit
Congress destroy the Bill of Rights and engineer the theft of elections.
Freedom and democracy in America have been reduced to no-fly lists, spying
without warrants, arrests without warrants or evidence, permanent detention
despite the constitutional protection of habeas corpus, torture despite the
prohibition against self-incrimination – the
list goes on and on.
In today’s fearful America, a US Senator, whose elder brothers were (1) a military
hero killed in action, (2) a President of the United States assassinated in
office, (3) an Attorney General of the United States and likely president except
he was assassinated like his brother, can find himself on the no-fly list. Present
and former high government officials, with top secret security clearances, cannot
fly with a tube of toothpaste or a bottle of water despite
the absence of any evidence that extreme measures imposed by "airport
security" makes flying safer.
Elderly American citizens with walkers and young mothers with children are
meticulously searched because US Homeland Security cannot tell the difference
between an American citizen and a terrorist.
All Americans should note the ominous implications of the inability of Homeland
Security to distinguish an American citizen from a terrorist.
Security cannot differentiate a US Marine General recipient of the Medal of
Honor from a terrorist, Americans have all the information they need to
Any and every American can be arrested by unaccountable authority, held indefinitely
without charges and tortured until he or she can no longer stand the abuse and
This predicament, which can now befall any American, is our reward for our
stupidity, our indifference, our gullibility, and our lack of compassion for
anyone but ourselves.
Some Americans have begun to comprehend the tremendous financial costs of the
"war on terror." But few understand the cost to American liberty.
Last October a Democrat-sponsored bill, "Prevention
of Violent Radicalism and Homegrown Terrorism," passed the House of Representatives
404 to 6.
Only six members of the House voted against tyrannical legislation that would
destroy freedom of speech and freedom of assembly and that would mandate 18
months of congressional hearings to discover Americans with "extreme"
views who could be preemptively arrested.
What better indication that the US Constitution has lost its authority when
elected representatives closest to the people pass a bill that permits the Bill
of Rights to be overturned by the subjective opinion of members of an "Extremist
Belief Commission" and Homeland Security bureaucrats? Clearly, Americans
face no greater threat than the government in Washington.