Edward Mandell House had this to say in a private meeting with President Woodrow Wilson (President) [1913-1921]:

    “Very soon, every American will be required to register their biological property in a national system designed to keep track of the people and that will operate under the ancient system of pledging. By such methodology, we can compel people to submit to our agenda, which will effect our security as a chargeback for our fiat paper currency. Every American will be forced to register or suffer being unable to work and earn a living. They will be our chattel, and we will hold the security interest over them forever, by operation of the law merchant under the scheme of secured transactions.

    Americans, by unknowingly or unwittingly delivering the bills of lading to us will be rendered bankrupt and insolvent, forever to remain economic slaves through taxation, secured by their pledges. They will be stripped of their rights and given a commercial value designed to make us a profit and they will be none the wiser, for not one man in a million could ever figure our plans and, if by accident one or two should figure it out, we have in our arsenal plausible deniability. After all, this is the only logical way to fund government, by floating liens and debt to the registrants in the form of benefits and privileges. This will inevitably reap to us huge profits beyond our wildest expectations and leave every American a contributor to this fraud which we will call “Social Insurance.” Without realizing it, every American will insure us for any loss we may incur and in this manner, every American will unknowingly be our servant, however begrudgingly. The people will become helpless and without any hope for their redemption and, we will employ the high office of the President of our dummy corporation to foment this plot against America.”

    tent city wallnstreet

    In 1915, a statistician at the University of Wisconsin named Willford I. King published The Wealth and Income of the People of the United States, the most comprehensive study of its kind to date. The United States was displacing Great Britain as the world's wealthiest nation, but detailed information about its economy was not yet readily available; the federal government wouldn't start collecting such data in any systematic way until the 1930s. One of King's purposes was to reassure the public that all Americans were sharing in the country's newfound wealth.

    King was somewhat troubled to find that the richest 1 percent possessed about 15 percent of the nation's income. (A more authoritative subsequent calculation puts the figure slightly higher, at about 18 percent.) This was the era in which the accumulated wealth of America's richest families—the Rockefellers, the Vanderbilts, the Carnegies—helped prompt creation of the modern income tax, lest disparities in wealth turn the United States into a European-style aristocracy. The socialist movement was at its historic peak, a wave of anarchist bombings was terrorizing the nation's industrialists, and President Woodrow Wilson's attorney general, Alexander Palmer, would soon stage brutal raids on radicals of every stripe. In American history, there has never been a time when class warfare seemed more imminent. That was when the richest 1 percent accounted for 18 percent of the nation's income. Today, the richest 1 percent account for 24 percent of the nation's income. What caused this to happen? Over the next two weeks, I'll try to answer that question by looking at all potential explanations—race, gender, the computer revolution, immigration, trade, government policies, the decline of labor, compensation policies on Wall Street and in executive suites, and education. Then I'll explain why people who say we don't need to worry about income inequality (there aren't many of them) are wrong.

    Income inequality in the United States has not worsened steadily since 1915. It dropped a bit in the late teens, then started climbing again in the 1920s, reaching its peak just before the 1929 crash. The trend then reversed itself. Incomes started to become more equal in the 1930s and then became dramatically more equal in the 1940s. Income distribution remained roughly stable through the postwar economic boom of the 1950s and 1960s. Economic historians Claudia Goldin and Robert Margo have termed this midcentury era the "Great Compression." The deep nostalgia for that period felt by the World War II generation—the era of Life magazine and the bowling league—reflects something more than mere sentimentality. Assuming you were white, not of draft age, and Christian, there probably was no better time to belong to America's middle class. The Great Compression ended in the 1970s. Wages stagnated, inflation raged, and by the decade's end, income inequality had started to rise. Income inequality grew through the 1980s, slackened briefly at the end of the 1990s, and then resumed with a vengeance in the aughts. In his 2007 book The Conscience of a Liberal, the Nobel laureate, Princeton economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman labeled the post-1979 epoch the "Great Divergence."

    It's generally understood that we live in a time of growing income inequality, but "the ordinary person is not really aware of how big it is," Krugman told me. During the late 1980s and the late 1990s, the United States experienced two unprecedentedly long periods of sustained economic growth—the "seven fat years" and the " long boom." Yet from 1980 to 2005, more than 80 percent of total increase in Americans' income went to the top 1 percent. Economic growth was more sluggish in the aughts, but the decade saw productivity increase by about 20 percent. Yet virtually none of the increase translated into wage growth at middle and lower incomes, an outcome that left many economists scratching their heads.

    There is a group of Americans, a combination of coward, gangster, politician, buffoonish soldier, con man and Israel obsessed bully. These are the “users” and “takers” who live their lives, some invisible, some media darlings, some famous heroes as portrayed by their friends in the media, their fellow thugs. This is the world’s greatest terrorist organization, the threat to, not only world security but the lives and freedom of the people of the world. These are the people who bleed America dry and have for generations, the people who have turned America into what the world clearly sees it as now, a weapon to be wielded against the common and decent people of the world on behalf of criminal terrorists.

    Everyone has heard the story at one time or another. President Wilson was duped into setting up the Federal Reserve system. The term “Federal Reserve” is a lie. The Rothschild family and their predecessors that have controlled European currencies forever, since the 1600s and before, took over operation of America in 1913, printing our money and running the country through a series of banks that they control, and not all that “secretly.” ”Federal Reserve” means “Rothschild.” “Rothschild” means poverty, hunger, ignorance and, most of all, war. This is all you really need to know. Everything else, the Pentagon, Wall Street, the corporate news, congress, the Supreme Court, the arms industry bandits are nothing but their henchmen, cowards and thieves that sold their souls for cash, the perception of power and vice.

    Walk the corridors of power in America and you will see vice, drugs, sex and corruption. We all know the “nice Jewish girls” that are passed around Washington like party favors, Monica Lewinsky, Chandra Levy are only two names America knows. There are a hundred more. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out who recruited them and why. Sex is power in Washington, London, Rome and Tel Aviv. If they aren’t snared in Washington, fly them to Tel Aviv. They got John McCain in Hanoi, or so reliable sources tell us, giving North Vietnam virtual control over American trade policies with Vietnam and guaranteeing the slow death of hundreds of abandoned prisoners of war.

    It was the Franklin Scandal that told us how bad it was. A case is made against two American presidents as pedophiles, not just them but hundreds of others including dozens of prominent members of congress. “Franklin” went after the GOP and their weakness, phony Christianity, phony “family values” and the love of young boys. We know it isn’t just the GOP and Pentagon but Franklin taught us how far America could go to cover up well documented crimes, how much control there is over, not only the criminal justice system but the news media as well.

    The political assassination of Chandra Levy was another, even easier than the murder of Pat Tillman, now supposedly “revealed” to the world as the cover-up of an “accident.” One of the most obvious expressions of disdain for America displayed by the criminal elite is the treatment of Americas soldiers and veterans. This week it was discovered that Prudential Insurance, one of America’s best known companies, was defrauding the families of soldiers killed in action. Insurance payments to the survivors of those killed in wars now admitted by all to be, not just “mistakes,” but clearly criminal wars of aggression, were withheld and reinvested but the proceeds was retained by Prudential and never paid to the survivors. Prudential, one of the most influential corporations on the planet profits, not only from war but from American deaths in war. With America’s Supreme Court ruled on a 5/4 basis by justices who cannot be described in terms other than corporate Zionist lackeys, the recent decision allowing unlimited campaign donations by international corporate conglomerates gives Prudential and their friends and affiliates virtual control over America’s military adventurism.

    That power had always been there but now it is written into law. Corporations control America’s government and sending armies to do their bidding is now their legal right. There are no “checks and balances” left. Calling them “armies” is also a misnomer, as much as calling congress a legislative body or the Supreme Court as an organization meant to support justice is equally silly. Let’s look at what we call an army or in a broader sense, our new “agile” military. America turned onto the road to total bankruptcy and collapse during the Reagan years. Star Wars is the biggest of the cons. The idea was to develop hard science that could create a missile shield for America. Tests were falsified, money squandered, corruption was out of control. Nothing whatsoever resulted as the total failure of the Patriot missile system during the First Gulf War demonstrated. Every defensive technology can be defeated by an offensive technology for a tenth the price. The French taught the world this with the Maginot Line.

    Billions, actually hundreds of billions have been spent to develop “stealth” everything, especially aircraft. However, by tuning down their radar frequencies, the Serbs had no trouble shooting down our stealth planes. The technology is a joke and the science to beat stealth was in place long before the planes hit the drawing board. Stealth is a con. Once upon a time we had one Marine Corps. It worked out well for the United States and, as General Smedley Butler loved pointing out, it was always there when Wall street needed thugs to collect a debt. Now we have a dozen cardboard cutout versions of the Marine Corps and every one of them is a con. The game, of course, is to sell the idea of elitism as a way of funding, not only wasteful spending and redundancy but to secretly give our “rogue” government their own terrorists, gangster enforcers, drug running lackeys and death squads, like any “banana republic.” When this wasn’t bad enough, we had to “privatize.” Not only does America have tens of thousands of “troops” probably involved in war crimes such as kidnapping, murder, torture and drug running but we now have private contracting companies hiring foreign nationals to do things even worse.

    Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo

    ‘They Kill Alex’

    Carlos Arredondo, a native Costa Rican, stands in a parking lot of a Holiday Inn in Portland, Maine, next to his green Nissan pickup truck. The truck, its tailgate folded down, carries a flag-draped coffin and is adorned with pictures of his son, Lance Cpl. Alexander S. Arredondo, 20, a Marine killed in Iraq in 2004. The truck and a trailer he pulls with it have become a mobile shrine to his boy. He drives around the country, with the aid of donations, evoking a mixture of sympathy and hostility. There are white crosses with the names of other boys killed in the war. Combat boots are nailed to the side of the display. There is a wheelchair, covered in colored ribbons, fixed to the roof of the cab. There is Alex’s military uniform and boots, poster-size pictures of the young Marine shown on the streets of Najaf, in his formal Marine portrait, and then lying, his hands folded in white gloves, in his coffin. A metal sign on the back of the truck bears a gold star and reads: “USMC L/CPL ALEXANDER S. ARREDONDO.”

    “This is what happens every week to some family in America,” says Carlos. “This is what war does. And this is the grief and pain the government does not want people to see.” Alex, from a working-class immigrant family, was lured into the military a month before Sept. 11, 2001. The Marine recruiters made the usual appeals to patriotism, promised that he would be trained for a career, go to college and become a man. They included a $10,000 sign-on bonus. Alex was in the Marine units that invaded Iraq. His father, chained to the news reports, listening to the radio and two televisions at the same time, was increasingly distraught. “I hear nothing about my son for days and days,” he says. “It was too much, too much, too much for parents.”

    Alex, in August 2004, was back in Iraq for a second tour. In one of his last phone calls, Alex told him: “Dad, I call you because, to say, you know, we’ve been fighting for many, many days already, and I want to tell you that I love you and I don’t want you to forget me.” His father answered: “Of course I love you, and I don’t want—I never forget you.” The last message the family received was an e-mail around that time which read: “Watch the news online. Check the news, and tell everyone that I love them.” Twenty days later, on Aug. 25, a U.S. government van pulled up in front of Carlos’ home in Hollywood, Fla. It was Carlos’ 44th birthday and he was expecting a birthday call from Alex. “I saw the van and thought maybe Alex had come home to surprise me for my birthday or maybe they were coming to recruit my other son, Brian,” he says. Three Marine officers climbed out of the van. One asked, “Are you Carlos Arredondo?” He answered “yes.” “I’m sorry, we’re here to notify you about the death of Lance Cpl. Arredondo,” one of the officers told him. Alex was the 968th soldier or Marine to be killed in the Iraq war.

    “I tried to process this in my head,” Carlos says. “I never hear that. I remember how my body felt. I got a rush of blood to my body. I felt like it’s the worst thing in my life. It is my worst fear. I could not believe what they were telling me.” Carlos turned and ran into the house to find his mother, who was in the kitchen making him a birthday cake. “I cried, ‘Mama! Mama! They are telling me Alex got killed! Alex got killed! They kill Alex! They kill Alex! They kill Alex!” His mother crumbled in grief. Carlos went to the large picture of his son in the living room and held it. Carlos asked the Marines to leave several times over the next 20 minutes, but the Marines refused, saying they had to wait for his wife. “I did this because I was in denial. I think if they leave none of this will happen.” Crazed and distraught with grief, the father went into his garage and took out five gallons of gasoline and a propane torch. He walked past the three Marines in their dress blues and began to smash the windows of the government van with a hammer.

    “I went into the van,” he says. “I poured gasoline on the seats. I pour gasoline on the floor and in the gas tank. I was, like, looking for my son. I was screaming and yelling for him. I remember that one day he left in a van and now he’s not there. I destroy everything. The pain I feel is the pain of what I learned from war. I was wearing only socks and no shoes. I was wearing shorts. The fumes were powerful and I could not breathe no more, even though I broke the windows.” As Carlos stepped out of the van, he ignited the propane torch inside the vehicle. It started a fire that “threw me from the driver’s seat backwards onto the ground.” His clothes caught fire. It felt “like thousands of needles stabbing into my body.” He ran across the street and fell onto the grass. His mother followed him and pulled off his shirt and socks, which were on fire, as he screamed “Mama! Mama! My feet are burning! My feet are burning!” The Marines dragged him away and he remembers one of them saying, “The van is going to blow! The van is going to blow!” The van erupted in a fireball and the rush of hot air, he says, swept over him. The Marines called a fire truck and an ambulance. Carlos sustained second- and third-degree burns over 26 percent of his body. As I talk to him in the Portland parking lot he shows me the burn scars on his legs. The government chose not to prosecute him.

    “I wake up in the hospital two days later and I was tied with tubes in my mouth,” he says. “When they take the tubes out I say, ‘I want to be with my son. I want to be with my son.’ Somebody was telling me my son had died. I get very emotional. I kept saying ‘I want to be with my son’ and they think I want to commit suicide.” He had no health insurance. His medical bills soon climbed to $55,000. On Sept. 2, 2004, Carlos, transported in a stretcher, attended his son’s wake at the Rodgers Funeral Home in Jamaica Plain, Mass. He lifted himself, with the help of those around him, from his stretcher, and when he reached his son’s open casket he kissed his child. “I held his head and when I put my hands in the back of his head I felt the huge hole where the sniper bullet had come out,” he says. “I climbed into the casket. I lay on top of my son. I apologized to him because I did not do enough to avoid this.”

    Arredondo began to collect items that memorialized his son’s life. He tacked them to his truck. A funeral home in Boston donated a casket to the display. He began to attend anti-war events, at times flying the American flag upside down to signal distress. He has taken his shrine to the Mall in Washington, D.C., and Times Square in New York City. He has traveled throughout the country presenting to the public a visual expression of death and grief. He has placed some of his son’s favorite childhood toys and belongings in the coffin, including a soccer ball, a pair of shoes, a baseball and a Winnie the Pooh. The power of his images, which force onlookers to confront the fact that the essence of war is death, has angered some who prefer to keep war sanitized and wrapped in the patriotic slogans of glory, honor and heroism. Three years ago vandals defaced his son’s gravestone. “I don’t speak,” he says. “I show people war. I show them the caskets they are not allowed to see. If people don’t see what war does they don’t feel it. If they don’t feel it they don’t care.”

    Military recruiters, who often have offices in high schools, prey on young men like Alex, who was first approached when he was 16. They cater to their insecurities, their dreams and their economic deprivation. They promise them what the larger society denies them. Those of Latino descent and from divorced families, as Alex was, are especially vulnerable. Alex’s brother Brian was approached by the military, which suggested that if he enlisted he could receive $60,000 in signing bonuses and more than $27,000 in payments for higher education. The proposed Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act, or DREAM Act, is designed to give undocumented young people a chance at citizenship provided they attend college—not usually an option for poor, often poorly educated and undocumented Latino youths who are prohibited from receiving Pell grants—for at least two years, or enlist and serve in the military. The military helped author the pending act and is lobbying for it. Twelve percent of Army enlistees are Hispanic, and this percentage is expected to double by 2020 if the current rate of recruitment continues. And once they are recruited, these young men and women are trained to be killers, sent to wars that should never be fought and returned back to their families often traumatized and broken and sometimes dead. Alex told Carlos in their last conversation there was heavy fighting in Najaf. Alex usually asked his father not to “forget” him, but now, increasingly in the final days of his life, another word was taking the place of forget. It was forgive. He felt his father should not forgive him for what he was doing in Iraq. He told his father, “Dad, I hope you are proud of what I’m doing. Don’t forgive me, Dad.” The sentence bewildered his father. “Oh my God, how can I forgive you? ... I love you, you’re my son, very proud, you’re my son.”

    “I thought, when he died, my God, he has killed somebody,” Carlos says quietly as he readied for an anti-war march organized by Veterans for Peace. “He feels guilty. If he returned home his mind would be destroyed. His heart would be torn apart. It is not normal to kill. How can they do this? How can they take our children?”

    CIA files that document the agency’s connections to institutions and individuals figuring prominently in the lives of Barack Obama and his mother, father, grandmother, and stepfather.

  • Obama: All In The Company Part I

  • Obama: All In The Company Part 2

  • Obama: All In The Company Part 3

  • Obama: All In The Company Part 4

  • Obama: All In The Company Part 5

    us depression Working used to be a proud expression of manhood. Since the days of “Rosie the Riveter”, mothers and daughters joined the work force in mass. Building infrastructure, developing commercial enterprises and producing an endless assembly line of goods led to the greatest expansion of the middle class in American history. In a mere fifty years of planned and coordinated downsizing and out sourcing, the only outcome from honest work is the sweat from your brow. Folks still expend energy and labor at tasks, but few earn a living wage from engaging in industry or commerce.

    General disconnect from hard dedication to achieve a project or manufacture a component and a fair reward for that effort, is the “new normal” standard for life in the 21st century America. Labor Day used to be a celebration of family, friends and fraternal goodwill. Today the picnics are a small diversion from the harsh realities that your children’s futures are destined to be austere, aimless and turbulent. Troubles faced every generation, but contemporary trends are so ominous that it requires a virtual reality hologram to locate a joyful Pollyanna. The list is long for the intentional de-industrialization of production. Most intuitively understand that the elimination of good paying jobs is not an accident. Perceptive individuals even know the reasons and players who systematically promote the most perverted of all caught phrases, Free Trade. Yet few are willing to take the great leap to the inevitable conclusion that the country that rebuilt the world after the WWII global conflict, is actually worse off than the vanquished regimes that were beaten back to the Stone Age. The imported disposable trinkets that divert attention from the day of reckoning are part of the fallout from a service economy that only provides illusions. With each passing day the crumbling society, that surrounds our communities sink deeper into national insolvency. Working harder or even smarter will not provide the ladder to climb out of this abyss.

    The triumphant middle class is rapidly becoming the beholding subsistent underclass. In order to reverse this debacle the entire superstructure of globalization must be overturned. It is better to face the inescapability of the inevitable fiscal cataclysm, which stems from the debt crisis. When the dollar collapses and the debt obligations repudiated, the country must demand rational and balanced trade protectionism and re-industrialization of a manufacturing economy. The goal is to re-create independence through product self-reliance. Closing of the borders from transnational dumping from abroad is imperative to put Americans back to work. The model for a sustainable economy is not a greening of the environment, but is found in a viable “Merchant Class” commercial wealth creation system. “The Merchant Class represents the most fundamental organization of business activities. Ownership of these ventures is private and usually managed by the proprietor. They may be small operations or large in scope, but they all hold in common the independence in management control that private ownership affords. Salaried managers are 'hired help' and lack the sole authority for mergers and acquisitions. This distinction is crucial from a public company where senior management routinely compromise the interest of the operations for self-enhancement or 'so called' share holder value. Corporate buyouts and takeovers seek to purge the expenses of the operation, usually translated into employee termination. Increasing the quarterly reporting of bottom line return on equity becomes the only objective. The real work of the company takes a back seat to cooking the books”.

    The "Corporatism" controlled and "Banksters" financed economy is not compatible with a free and independent society. The Trilateral Commission claims that the world is interdependent. God does not ordain interdependency for global commerce. Interdependency is simply a creation of the New World Order. Why then do so many people refuse to deal with the scope of the actual reasons why Americans are out of work or unable to find employment at a wage that can support a family? Denial is a contagious disease and the affliction is rampant in America. Slave labor seems to be the common job spec on every employment application! Labor Day needs to be an everyday celebration. However, this can only be achieved when a fair days wage is again provided in the marketplace. Government subsidized make work graft are not real jobs. This conclusion should be evident to everyone. Yet the poverty parade goes on in every town, city or suburban area. Where is the panic? When will we see some righteous outrage? How much can a society take before the lid explodes from the cooker at the barbecue? Back in the days of the Robber Barons labor strikes were often common occurrences. Nowadays folks just apply for food stamps. Even USA Today admits that: "More than 40 million people get food stamps, an increase of nearly 50% during the economic downturn, according to government data through May. The program has grown steadily for three years". So why should anyone want to work? Minimum wage laws just guarantee a growing underclass and permanent dependency. The alternative is to unleash the entrepreneurial spirit that built and created an upwardly mobile society. Nonetheless, government has stood in the way for decades. Their alliance is with the "Corporatism" and the "Banksters", forging their feudal fascist fiefdom.

    When a voluntary military becomes the best economic opportunity for your prodigy, what does that say about the American Dream? It is on life support as long as your child is able to survive the assassination assaults on foreign soil. Blue-collar labor and white-collar service personnel all share the same fate in this globalist vortex. The maelstrom that has stripped your security, devastated your finances and destroyed your dignity is killing you every bit as much as the troops garrisoned in hostile lands. The ruling elites are happy to see you eat their chemical infested preservative hot dogs with macaroni and cheese on your Labor Day feast. They already own or control the financial whorehouses and publicly traded labor camps that sew your footwear. Why worry about the unemployed or the despaired who have just given up any prospects for meaningful work.

    Labor Day belongs to those who are cashing their unemployment checks. As long as the economy remains in the grip and stranglehold of the global cabal, the middle class is doomed. Without an awakening that economic survival demands that independent sources of income are the only way to withdraw from the noose of tyranny, there is no future worth living. Barter and off the grid transactions walk the line of being labeled domestic terrorism. Even so, what choice do people have when Plutocrats hijack their society? The weather will change soon and the cold harsh winds will blow first as a zephyr and build up into a CAT 5 hurricane. Remember the theme God, Family and Country means even more under the dire economic conditions of the intensified depression. Never forget that the government is not your country and is certainly not the nation. Labor in the fields of courage and protect your home from all traitors, foreign or domestic.

  • USA Government now fits Jesus' definition of " Evil " (VIDEO)


    On August 29, One DC pulled entirely out of the Parcel 42 tent city, literally pulling up their tents and moving on. The homeless who actually sleep there, however, are staying, despite the withdrawal of support by One DC from this now 7 week long land occupation. Two tents remain standing, both occupied by homeless people every night.

    There will still be film showings and a few other social events there, run by Take Back the Land DC, but One DC's supply tent and other resources have been withdrawn. Now, the real question is this: Will Mayor Fenty, the police and DC agencies respect the promise of 14 days notice prior to any eviction they made to One DC, or are the homeless to be treated differently (presumably worse) than NGO activists?

    If Fenty's promise of 14 days notice goes the way of his promise to keep Franklin Shelter open, it will be up to the activist community and the voting public to hold him accountable!
  • The Cabal Is Looting and Attacking Social Security
    us zionist flag For those of us who have grown up, lived in or gone to a US school in America, the pledge of allegiance recited every morning before the start of our elementary school days still rings in the memory of most, if not all. The opening, “I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which is stands…”, lingers irrespective of how old one gets, how many years past, or the number of places lived and visited.

    Nowhere do the stanzas read “I pledge allegiance to the flag of “Israel” and definitely not “for which it stands.” Yet, for some reason, our policymakers pledge their allegiance through their unwavering monetary and verbal support of and policies toward the Apartheid State of Israel, where freedom and democracy definitely do not ring true. One ponders, with the current US Supreme court decision, how much longer shall there be vestiges of democracy and freedom in the United States of America? This past week the US Supreme Court upheld a lower court decision that bans providing support to groups or individuals designated by the government as engaging in acts of terrorism. A quick sweep of newspaper headlines, news tickers at the bottom of the television screen, or twitter posts would not have many Americans batting an eyelid. I can hear some of my students or those walking across the college campus in rural Virginia, and even my grandfather and brother in mountains of western Maryland, making reference to the US government having a right to ban those who want to aid so-called known “terrorists.”

    To diverge just a bit, one should recall the designation of a movement as a terrorist organization or an individual as a terrorist is political. Some non-state actors, engaged in acts of resistance, despite them having a right under international law, are defined as engaging in acts of “terrorism.” State policies intentionally targeting civilians are defined by some as acts of terrorism, and others as necessary in the name of state security. History has demonstrated that states and the international community use this classification as a political tool to designate those they are opposed to as “terrorists” and those they support as “freedom fighters” or “liberation movements.” As the saying goes, one man’s freedom fighter is another man’s terrorist best sums up US policy of supporting and opposing non-state actors that cross its path in the pursuit of its foreign policy goals.

    One need only look at US foreign policy toward Apartheid Israel as one of the more recent examples, or even the US Supreme Court’s decision upholding the lower court’s decision. What happened to the days where the US pursued a foreign policy not designed to interfere in the domestic politics of another state or region? Where are the days when foreign economic aid was provided to help feed a starving population and fund schools for those who lacked an education? When precisely did the tide turn to playing politics, interfering in the domestic affairs of others, and funding states to systematically starve, target and exterminate an entire population? The problem with the quick sweep of the headlines regarding the US Supreme Court’s decision is that they lay a security blanket over the overworked, average working person. What is being covered up and protected is that the US Supreme Court Decision, which divided the court, is the type of aid being banned. Deemed a criminal act and aiding terrorism are providing advice, counseling or teaching others how to work within the confines of international law, to abide by human rights, and to engage in acts of nonviolent resistance. This decision also bans providing humanitarian aid to an entire population because the government has designated one of the political parties as a terrorist organization. It is only a matter of time before the US government, in its so called “War on Terrorism” begins to target humanitarian and human rights groups that provide aid to the besieged Palestinians. According to former President Jimmy Carter, the upholding of this law inhibits the work of human rights and conflict resolution groups. The law seeks to criminalize those who want to work within the confines of international law, to promote human rights, and to reduce armed conflict. Where have the values of and respect for that which democracy is supposed to stand for gone? Where is the outrage over the upholding of this injustice?

    The defining, promotion and protection of human rights has become a political game waged by states. They have been able to do so because for far too long American citizens, participants in the International Community and concerned humanitarians worldwide have failed to demand accountability of those representing them in the International community. Today, the voices of Americans are heard unequally; the privileged participate more than any other group or segment in society; and, public officials are more responsive to them than to the average and less affluent. From the many students to the overworked average citizen, the voices complaining about US politics, politicians and government are similar. What does it matter, as our voices are not heard, our votes irrelevant, and our system corrupt. These voices are actually not too different from a study conducted by the Task Force on Inequality and American Democracy. It found that more than 50% of Americans distrust, lack faith in, and feel the US government, its policies and the politicians elected do not represent them. The thesis put forward in that study is the ideal of equal citizenship and responsive government are undergoing threat in the United States due to an era of persistent and rising inequalities. Disparities of income, wealth and access to opportunity are growing more sharply in the US then in many other countries. It is time for the people of the United States to demand of their representatives to stand for the values enshrined in, and that form the basis of, the US constitution rather than acting as the voice of and representatives for the people of Apartheid Israel. We are two separate entities, and the duty of our elected representatives is to those living in and who are citizens of the United States. Is it not time for the United States to care for its own, the hungry, unemployed and sick that are alive within the borders of the United States? Will we, the people of the United States, continue to allow our representatives to bankrupt our country, thereby depriving our young and future children and grandchildren with a future that our forefathers promised?

    An end to military aid to Apartheid Israel will force it to engage in real dialogue, with all Palestinian parties and not just those actors that will acts as its servants, and to find a solution whereby a Palestinian state is possible. Apartheid Israel will remain acting with impunity so long as it continues to receive military and financial support from the United States. While the government of the United States provides financial support and protection to Apartheid Israel, US citizens will continue to go bankrupt. Nonethe lss, as participants in the international community, the United States does have an international duty. Its duty should be the implementation and protection of human rights and not criminalizing the behavior of those seeking to work within international law, uphold human rights and reduce conflict. The US Supreme Court decision and the policies of the US government run contrary to the values upon which American was founded and the principles embodied in international law and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. When shall the act of systematically starving and killing civilians, including women, children and the elderly become an act of terrorism, one engaged in by the state? When shall aid to a state that carries out such policies be considered providing material support to those known or suspected of engaging in acts of terrorism? Those silent over the many Palestinians that have been injured, harmed and lost their life as a result of the sanctions and siege imposed are just as guilty as those states in the international community that are committing human rights abuses by their enforcement or military aid. Where is our leadership? Where are our states? The time has come for concerned humanitarians worldwide and states claiming to be our representatives in the international community to stand steadfast and in solidarity with human rights and international law, to join forces, take a stand, and speak out against the unjust, inhumane, and degrading treatment of all, including Palestinians. It is time to end the unjust and criminal siege imposed on the Gaza Strip and aid to Apartheid Israel.

    The street or public sentiment are often demonized by others, particularly politicians, who deem them and their voices as being irrational and emotional, unorganized and leaderless, thus hostile for a time being and within a particular context or around salient issues within a given time and space. Some would argue that the voices that speak out do not reflect public sentiment or express public discontent, as the majority is merely submissive and unconcerned. Others argue that the power of the people is nothing more than a myth, a fiction that those living in a fantasy world would like to see be reality. The street or public, however, are part of and form public opinion within a country, region and in the international community. They may dismiss us as being irrelevant, irrational and governed by emotion, but the louder we speak, the more we act, the larger the crowds that take to the streets demanding action, the more we shall become a reality to be reckoned with. Then, the voice of the voiceless will be formulated into policy and policies that actually reflect reality on the ground and the preference of the people.

    Gone are the days when politicians can dictate what we are to believe and an old political order governed by neo-imperialist political elites seeking to control, dominate and subordinate others for their own self-interests. Our politicians and governments are there to represent us and not the interests of other countries. Is it to be the United States of America or the United States of Apartheid Israel? Shall we continue to support our politicians and governments who send funds so that others can exploit, slaughter, starve and enslave a population? While of course at home, the homeless will continue to increase, the unemployment lines will get longer, healthcare will bankrupt the system, and our loved ones will continue suffer. Governments and those in power may be able to imprison an entire people such as what the Apartheid Entity has done to Gaza; beat and torture protesters; take passports to prevent us from traveling; and, accuse or charge us with aiding terrorism because we choose to work within the confines of international law or send aid to those being systematically subjugated and strangled because of the policies of our government. They, however, cannot stop us from globally mobilizing against injustice, oppression, repression and subjugation. Apartheid, occupation, systematic killing, and targeted extermination must be brought to an end. Let there be no more wars led by (neo)imperialist elites; no more sanctions, blockades and embargoes designed to starve a population into submissiveness; and, no more silence from the street. The days of apathy have ended, and the voice of the voiceless has risen.


  • Law enforcement officers may secretly place a GPS device on a person's car without seeking a warrant from a judge, according to a recent federal appeals court ruling in California. Drug Enforcement Administration agents in Oregon in 2007 surreptitiously attached a GPS to the silver Jeep owned by Juan Pineda-Moreno, whom they suspected of growing marijuana, according to court papers. When Pineda-Moreno was arrested and charged, one piece of evidence was the GPS data, including the longitude and latitude of where the Jeep was driven, and how long it stayed. Prosecutors asserted the Jeep had been driven several times to remote rural locations where agents discovered marijuana being grown, court documents show.

    Pineda-Moreno eventually pleaded guilty to conspiracy to grow marijuana, and is serving a 51-month sentence, according to his lawyer. But he appealed on the grounds that sneaking onto a person's driveway and secretly tracking their car violates a person's reasonable expectation of privacy. "They went onto the property several times in the middle of the night without his knowledge and without his permission," said his lawyer, Harrison Latto.

    The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the appeal twice -- in January of this year by a three-judge panel, and then again by the full court earlier this month. The judges who affirmed Pineda-Moreno's conviction did so without comment. Latto says the Ninth Circuit decision means law enforcement can place trackers on cars, without seeking a court's permission, in the nine western states the California-based circuit covers. The ruling likely won't be the end of the matter. A federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., arrived at a different conclusion in similar case, saying officers who attached a GPS to the car of a suspected drug dealer should have sought a warrant. Experts say the issue could eventually reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

    One of the dissenting judges in Pineda-Moreno's case, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, said the defendant's driveway was private and that the decision would allow police to use tactics he called "creepy" and "underhanded." "The vast majority of the 60 million people living in the Ninth Circuit will see their privacy materially diminished by the panel's ruling," Kozinksi wrote in his dissent. "I think it is Orwellian," said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, which advocates for privacy rights.

    "If the courts allow the police to gather up this information without a warrant," he said, "the police could place a tracking device on any individual's car -- without having to ever justify the reason they did that." But supporters of the decision see the GPS trackers as a law enforcement tool that is no more intrusive than other means of surveillance, such as visually following a person, that do not require a court's approval. "You left place A, at this time, you went to place B, you took this street -- that information can be gleaned in a variety of ways," said David Rivkin, a former Justice Department attorney. "It can be old surveillance, by tailing you unbeknownst to you; it could be a GPS."

    He says that a person cannot automatically expect privacy just because something is on private property. "You have to take measures -- to build a fence, to put the car in the garage" or post a no-trespassing sign, he said. "If you don't do that, you're not going to get the privacy."
    us zionist flag James Petras' powerful 2006 book titled, "The Power of Israel in the United States" explained the enormous Jewish Lobby influence on US Middle East policies. Often harming American interests, they're pursued anyway because of its grassroots and high-level control over government, the business community, academia, the clergy and mass media since at least the 1960s.

    Intolerant of opposing views, they're suppressed for its own agenda, funded by PR propaganda domestically and overseas, America's top publications paid off to go along, now revealed by a secret document subpoenaed by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (FRC) investigation into the American Zionist Council (AZC), AIPAC's parent lobbying arm. "Between 1962 - 1963, the FRC subpoenaed" AZC's internal documents, examining their activities as "registered agents of foreign principals," learning that over $5 million in tax exempt (and perhaps overseas funds) "had been laundered through the Jewish Agency's American Section into the (AZC)." The Agency is a quasi-Israeli government branch, funded to review legislation ahead of its submission to the Knesset under its Covenant Agreement - in violation of IRS regulations regarding tax exempt charitable funds and the 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act.

    No matter. Israel got a pass to act illegally for nearly 50 years, doing it today more aggregiously than ever. In 1962, after being ordered to register as a foreign agent, AZC transferred its responsibilities to AIPAC, "which refuses to register as (an Israeli) foreign agent" and gets away with it. In November/December 1960, news and editorial content covered Israel's new nuclear reactor (for peace, not bombs they said), Arab refugees when the General Assembly was discussing them, the Eichmann case, Israel's aid to African states, and seating the UAR in the Security Council, reports presenting one-sided, pro-Israeli propaganda. "It can be said that the press of the nation, during 1960, has by and large shown sympathy and understanding of Israel's position." Arab views have been largely "counteracted."

    "The US contingent of 60 Mayors returned from Israel where they attended (an earlier) Conference....While (there), a number of them were interviewed by (US reporters) who sent (pro-Israeli) stories back to their hometown papers; they were also recorded in interviews for local radio stations." Other plans were made to have those attending meet with Jewish and Christian audiences to disseminate friendly Israeli commentaries. In addition, opinion makers are invited to Israel at government expense, paid off to report friendly stories. An Israeli student got a scholarship "to transfer to the Monterey Peninsula College where propaganda carried on by three Arab professors has been most hurtful." Other schools were infiltrated the same way. Further, "We continue to cultivate (pay off) faculty people in many areas and are making progress here....our friends in San Francisco (are trying) to persuade Stanford to drop Fayez Sayeh from the faculty on the grounds that he is a paid propagandist rather than an objective academician." Efforts at other US schools were similar - pressure to fire Arab professors, replacing them with pro-Israeli ones.

    "Prof. Arnold Toynbee was invited to spend about five months in this country....When (his) accusations first broke in the press, we (enlisted) major non-Zionist groups and evolved a common policy (to):

    (1) Discourage all Jewish (organizations) from issuing invitations to Toynbee;

    (2) Monitor all (his) public appearances and refrain from bringing up the subject of Israel or the Jews unless Toynbee raises the subject in his presentation."

    Overall, measures were taken to counteract his unfriendly Israeli positions, the same policy used against all critical public figures, strike back to discredit them. Calling the American Council for Judaism (ACJ) "the most effective anti-Zionist and anti-Israeli force on the American scene," efforts were made to give them "much more attention....than in the past." Bribing major US publications and their writers helped do it, including at the Reader's Digest, Atlantic Monthly, Look, Holiday, Parade, Saturday Review, the New York Times Magazine, and various women's and business ones. Today, the entire US major media serve as Israel's PR arm, its mouthpiece, the fruition of efforts begun 50 years ago.

    Earlier, and of course now, TV shows were also arranged, and "We continue to counteract Arab speakers wherever they appear, by placing our own speakers on the same platforms...." In addition, "Mailings have gone out to public opinion molders dealing with current issues...." In November 1961, the Atlantic Monthly was paid off to run a pro-Israeli "64-page Supplement, (featuring) some of Israel's top names." Earlier in September, the Atlantic ran a "20-page article on "The Arabs of Palestine" which is "one of the best (we've seen done) on the subject." Jack Anderson also did a friendly piece for Parade Publications after returning from Israel. In addition, AZC officials arranged speaking engagements for pro-Israeli figures throughout the country. Their mission - counteract "anti-Israeli propaganda....a careful check of newspapers, bulletins and confidential sources of our own (can) give us reliable information on the movements and itineraries of these propagandists." Community contacts were then alerted to furnish speakers to discredit them.

    AZC's Research Bureau also analyzed books and articles on Israel. "When a book is favorable, it is recommended. When (it's not), it is analyzed and distortions are pointed up by providing the factual data required, so that our local Councils will be prepared to react....Further, we (arrange) book presentations (in) community and university libraries...." Written for the AZC, Marc Siegel's play, "A Message from Dimona" was described by The New York Times as a "story of a new city in the Israeli desert," suppressing the reactor's bomb-making purpose, Israel's open secret, well known, but not discussed. "The nuclear reactor story inspired (other) editorial writers, columnists, science writers and cartoonists. Most of (them) accept(ed) the thesis that the reactor was being built for peaceful purposes and not for bombs....Drew Pearson's syndicated column justified Israel's secrecy; (science writer) William Laurence in the New York Times stressed Israel's peaceful intent."

    In 1945, the same William Laurence led a double life as both Times science writer and shill on the War Department's payroll. Writing press releases for the Manhattan Project, he mislead the public, sold the program, lied about Alamorgordo, NM tests and the Hiroshima/Nagasaki horrors. He also denied what historian/attorney Jonathan M. Weisgall later called the "silent nuclear terror of radioactivity and radiation" - that it condemns exposed people to a slow, painful death, but it benefitted Laurence. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his lying, and got to fly on the plane that bombed Nagasaki, later describing the experience in The Times with religious awe. Today, the entire US major media cheerlead for Israel, even its most unjustifiable, unconscionable, criminal acts. Entirely suppressed is its history of international law violations, including:

    -- a violence doctrine over peace;

    -- crimes of war and against humanity;

    -- excessive force and abuse;

    -- collective punishment and economic strangulation;

    -- expanding illegal settlements;

    -- dispossessions and home demolitions;

    -- mass arrests and political imprisonments;

    -- targeted assassinations and torture;

    -- land theft and crop destruction;

    -- policies of closure, separation, isolation, checkpoints, ghettoization and curfews;

    -- denial of the most fundamental human rights and civil liberties; and

    -- an overall Kafkaesque "matrix of control" designed to crush Palestinians' will to resist.

    In the old days, journalists were bought off to ignore them. They now do it willingly and reflexively, knowing the consequences otherwise, the Israeli Lobby's power to remove unfriendly voices - from Congress, academia and the media. Demanded is that Israel be portrayed as peaceful, never aggressive, surrounded, beleaguered, and victimized, acting solely in self-defense. In contrast, Palestinians are called militant terrorist threats to Israeli security, its propaganda machine relentless in pounding that message, the Senate's investigation failing to expose and halt it.

    As a result, it's more virulent and pervasive than ever, what no congressional committee will touch, what no major media report will reveal. Israel's power in America suppresses everything unfavorable, willing fourth estate stooges going along, or else. It's why Project Censored warns about a "truth emergency," the urgency for media reform, and need for a cadre to do what all responsible journalists should - their job, what's sorely absent in America, especially in reports about Israel.

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    usa corp Whistle-blowing website Wikileaks has published a CIA memo examining the implications of the US being perceived as an "exporter of terrorism".

    The three-page report from February 2010 says the participation of US-based individuals in terrorism is "not a recent phenomenon". The memo cites several cases of alleged terrorist acts by US residents.

    An official played down the report from the CIA's so-called Red Cell, saying it was "not exactly a blockbuster paper". The Red Cell was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to offer an "out-of-the-box" approach and "produce memos intended to provoke thought rather than to provide authoritative assessment", the CIA website says. CIA spokesman George Little said: "These sorts of analytic products - clearly identified as coming from the Agency's 'Red Cell' - are designed simply to provoke thought and present different points of view." The report, which highlights attacks by US-based or US-financed Jewish, Muslim and Irish-American terrorists, questions how foreign perceptions of the US could change with continued attacks.

    "Much attention has been paid recently to the increasing occurrence of American-grown Islamic terrorists conducting attacks against US targets, primarily in the homeland. Less attention has been paid to homegrown terrorism, not exclusively Muslim terrorists, exported overseas to target non-US persons," the report says. The memo, titled What If Foreigners See the United States as an 'Exporter of Terrorism'?, concludes that if the US is perceived by other nations as an "exporter of terrorism", those countries may be less willing to co-operate with the US in the detention, transfer and interrogation of future suspects.

    Wikileaks on 23 July published 76,000 secret US military logs detailing military actions in Afghanistan, an act the US authorities described as highly irresponsible. The website now says it will release 15,000 further sensitive documents, once it has completed a review aimed at minimising the risk that their publication could put people's lives in danger.


  • As the privacy controversy around full-body security scans begins to simmer, it’s worth noting that courthouses and airport security checkpoints aren’t the only places where backscatter x-ray vision is being deployed. The same technology, capable of seeing through clothes and walls, has also been rolling out on U.S. streets.

    American Science & Engineering, a company based in Billerica, Massachusetts, has sold U.S. and foreign government agencies more than 500 backscatter x-ray scanners mounted in vans that can be driven past neighboring vehicles to see their contents, Joe Reiss, a vice president of marketing at the company told me in an interview. While the biggest buyer of AS&E’s machines over the last seven years has been the Department of Defense operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, Reiss says law enforcement agencies have also deployed the vans to search for vehicle-based bombs in the U.S. “This product is now the largest selling cargo and vehicle inspection system ever,” says Reiss. The Z Backscatter Vans, or ZBVs, as the company calls them, bounce a narrow stream of x-rays off and through nearby objects, and read which ones come back. Absorbed rays indicate dense material such as steel. Scattered rays indicate less-dense objects that can include explosives, drugs, or human bodies. That capability makes them powerful tools for security, law enforcement, and border control.

    It would also seem to make the vans mobile versions of the same scanning technique that’s riled privacy advocates as it’s been deployed in airports around the country. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is currently suing the DHS to stop airport deployments of the backscatter scanners, which can reveal detailed images of human bodies. (Just how much detail became clear last May, when TSA employee Rolando Negrin was charged with assaulting a coworker who made jokes about the size of Negrin’s genitalia after Negrin received a full-body scan.) “It’s no surprise that goverments and vendors are very enthusiastic about [the vans],” says Marc Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC. “But from a privacy perspective, it’s one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.” AS&E’s Reiss counters privacy critics by pointing out that the ZBV scans don’t capture nearly as much detail of human bodies as their airport counterparts. The company’s marketing materials say that its “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.”

    Though Reiss admits that the systems “to a large degree will penetrate clothing,” he points to the lack of features in images of humans like the one shown at right, far less detail than is obtained from the airport scans. “From a privacy standpoint, I’m hard-pressed to see what the concern or objection could be,” he says. But EPIC’s Rotenberg says that the scans, like those in the airport, potentially violate the fourth amendment. “Without a warrant, the government doesn’t have a right to peer beneath your clothes without probable cause,” he says. Even airport scans are typically used only as a secondary security measure, he points out. “If the scans can only be used in exceptional cases in airports, the idea that they can be used routinely on city streets is a very hard argument to make.” The TSA’s official policy dictates that full-body scans must be viewed in a separate room from any guards dealing directly with subjects of the scans, and that the scanners won’t save any images. Just what sort of safeguards might be in place for AS&E’s scanning vans isn’t clear, given that the company won’t reveal just which law enforcement agencies, organizations within the DHS, or foreign governments have purchased the equipment. Reiss says AS&E has customers on “all continents except Antarctica.”

    Reiss adds that the vans do have the capability of storing images. “Sometimes customers need to save images for evidentiary reasons,” he says. “We do what our customers need.”
    ohio militia Armed and extremely... patriotic. Why a growing number of Americans are preparing for a war against their government.

    In heavy camouflage gear, Johnny Cochran squats down and shuffles noiselessly along the ground. His target is a large man who, like Cochran, is in military fatigues. Seconds later, Cochran leaps up and stabs the man once, hard, in the neck. The movement is swift, and would almost certainly be lethal, were it not for the fact that the ‘weapon’ Cochran is wielding is a pen.

    The scenario I have just witnessed may be simulated, but its protagonists are deadly serious. This is a ‘close combat training’ session given by ‘Fireteam Diamondback’ – an armed militia group, or civilian ‘army’, based in west Texas, in the United States. Cochran, a chain-smoking 39 year-old with a handlebar moustache and goatee whose T-shirt reads: ‘Disgruntled Combat Vet – Right Wing Extremist’, is their leader. Biro-wielding or not, he’s not someone you would wish to encounter in combat. ‘Straight into the base of his skull,’ he says, after pretending to plunge the pen into the neck of Steven Page, a member of another militia group who has joined the training. ‘That’s the nerve centre. Then you push forward. If you’re dealing with someone short, that works like a charm, but if you’re dealing with someone tall, grab his face, insert the knife and when you shove that knife forwards, pull him towards you.’

    Cochran smiles. ‘You’re going to make a hell of a mess, but human flesh tears easily. Bone is a pain in the a--.’ He knows what he’s talking about, having served four years as a combat medic with the US Marines during Operation Desert Storm. His ‘handle’, or nickname, in the militia is ‘Doc’. And yet, as he freely admits, the hypothetical enemy – the target he’s teaching the people gathered here today to kill – is a US soldier. Why? Cochran says he is simply exercising his constitutional right to assemble an armed civilian force that is prepared to fight any enemy, be they domestic or foreign. There are 27 men in Cochran’s squad including, apparently, both former and serving soldiers, policemen and members of the sheriff’s department. This didn’t surprise me. I’d already read about Richard Mack, a former sheriff of Graham County, Arizona, who now travels the country ‘crusading for freedom and individual rights’ and insists ‘the greatest threat we face today is not terrorists; it is our own federal government’.

    The militias, which are dotted throughout the US and, according to recent figures, are growing rapidly in numbers, claim they are bulwarks against tyranny. The US Department of Homeland Security takes a dimmer view, warning of a ‘rise in Right-wing anti-government extremist activity’ as far back as April 2009 and a ‘phenomenon of violent radicalisation’. Indeed, according to the Southern Poverty Law Centre (SPLC), which tracks extremist groups, the US has seen a dramatic spike in attempted domestic terrorism ever since Barack Obama started his campaign for office, including: two skinhead plots to assassinate him; a plan to set off a dirty bomb packed with radioactive materials during the inauguration; and a lone assassin, Keith Luke, who began murdering black people in Massachusetts. Of course, militia activity is hardly new to the US. The very first article of the Constitution granted Congress the power to call on ‘the militia to execute the laws of the union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions’ and the subsequent Militia Act of 1792 defined the militia as every able-bodied male citizen over 18 and under 45.

    It’s an act that has been embraced by a fair number of American citizens ever since, whether loners or disparate groups of armed, disgruntled civilians. In 1992, Randy Weaver, a former US Army Green Beret, moved himself and his family to an isolated cabin in Ruby Ridge, Idaho, to escape what they saw as a corrupt world. Rather than a peaceful nature-lover, officials claimed Weaver was a member of a race-hate group and he was charged with weapons violations. When he failed to appear in court, they stormed the cabin, resulting in the fatal shooting of Weaver’s wife, Vicki, and 14-year-old son, Sammy. The deadly ambush only added to militias’ grievances against what they saw as an unlawful and despotic federal government. But it was the siege at Waco, Texas, a year later, that really ignited the movement. Following the deaths of 80 people in the fire, Waco became a rallying point for conspiracy theorists, members of the patriot movement and a rabid end-of-days philosophy. Timothy McVeigh was one of those unhinged people who visited Mount Carmel during the weeks following the battle between cult members and officers of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Two years later, he would use plastic explosives to blow up the Federal Murrah building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

    It was 1995 before Theodore Kaczynski, the ‘Unabomber’, was arrested, after a domestic mail bombing campaign spanning almost 20 years. Having honed his survival skills from his isolated cabin outside Lincoln, Montana, the by-then 68 year-old had succeeded in killing three people and injuring 23 others with bombs that often included bits of treebark and wood, a symbolic protest against what he saw as the destruction of the wilderness around his home. With this sort of history, it’s perhaps unsurprising that so many militias were loath to let me in. My quest began in February this year, after a report by the SPLC claimed that the number of Right-wing extremist groups had risen by 250 per cent since Obama’s election. I had approached groups from all over the country in the hope that one of them would let me watch them train. Then, in April, members of a radical Christian militia in Michigan known as the Hutaree were arrested for allegedly plotting to kill police officers. Suddenly, the movement had become even more fearful of media interest – not to mention the heat of the law. I still wanted to find out first-hand why there were a growing number of people wanting to arm themselves – and against what exactly? And this was how, one spring evening, I eventually found myself face-to-face with Johnny Cochran, the head of Fireteam Diamondback (named after the rattlesnake abundant in this part of Texas), in his local Italian in the oil-rich city of Odessa.

    I was due to watch Cochran and his men train the next day. But first, I wanted to find out more about him and his members. Why had he left the military? Cochran told me that he had been shot in the leg by friendly fire in Iraq and in the finger by an Iraqi, and had left the navy ‘just before Comrade Clinton took office in 1992’. So how could he ever envisage taking up arms against the US military? ‘If they take our guns away,’ he told me. ‘They already did it after Hurricane Katrina. They declared a national emergency then went through neighbourhoods disarming civilians. The National Guard units went house-to-house, physically body slamming an elderly woman to the ground, taking a .38 revolver from her even though she was telling them she needed it to protect her family.’ That was a Republican administration, I pointed out. ‘The Democrats are running towards socialism at 100 miles an hour and Republicans are only running 60,’ he said. ‘They’ll all get to the same damn place eventually. Our job as militia is to re-establish the government in a way George [Washington] and the boys intended. And to do that we can’t go and hide in the bushes; we have to take active participation in the overthrow that Thomas Jefferson point-blank told us was our duty as Americans.’

    Cochran certainly sounded ready for some ‘active participation’, reeling off a list of items he always carries in his car ‘in case of emergencies’: an AR15 assault rifle, a minimum 300 rounds of ammunition, a knife, first aid kit, food for three days, combat boots, a Cold Steel curved knife (‘I can remove a human limb with that and the head of a white tail buck with one swat’), a Kimber 45 pistol and six spare magazines, a shotgun and military-issue MREs (meals ready to eat). I asked when he thought this revolution might happen. ‘We’re anticipating something happening prior to the November elections because the Democrats know they’re on the way out.’ This may sound like some crackpot fantasy, but it’s one that’s undeniably gaining currency. According to the SPLC report, there were 147 ‘patriot groups’ in 2006; by 2009 there were 512. ‘There has been a stunning expansion in these groups,’ Mark Potok, a spokesman for the SPLC, tells me. ‘In addition, there was an 80 per cent rise in hardline anti-immigration groups and hate groups like the Klan and neo-Nazis.’

    Cochran, who runs a small oilfield company, told me emphatically that his group was not racist and that, like a lot of militias, he resents being grouped together with race-hate groups by organisations such as the SPLC. ‘They say we’re Nazis but it’s ironic because we’re faith-based and the Nazis deplored religion,’ he said. ‘We’re pro-rights, and the Nazis removed as many rights as possible. All this has done is strengthen the core support.’ Certainly, the militias I spoke to all seemed to share the same preoccupations. One man recruiting for a new militia in Oklahoma told me he wanted to be ‘prepared to put down a tyrannical government’. A member of a group in Mississippi said that if the government ‘did something crazy’, like take away their guns, he couldn’t predict what people would do: ‘This could get real ugly, real quick.’

    Their opposition to federal government is what distinguishes them from the militias of old, which were designed to aid the government, rather than fight them, in the event of a national emergency. Indeed, according to civil rights organisation the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the militia movement claims to be the ‘militia’ enshrined in the Constitution but is not. The ADL says that they are simply private, unregulated paramilitary groups but that there is no federal law against their existence. Cochran, who grew up within 20 minutes of the city of Midland, George W Bush’s hometown, was introduced to the movement by his father ‘as soon as I was big enough to carry a rifle’, at the age of 10. He joined the Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps in high school, after which he signed up to the military. Cochran’s wife (he won’t reveal her name) was born in ‘liberal Kansas’ – apparently a running joke in their family – and has degrees in Spanish, mathematics and chemistry. She is also an expert marksman. Cochran told me that some of the close-quarters training would be ‘off-limits’ the next day – although he would evidently relent when it came to demonstrating knifing someone in the throat. ‘We do simulation but we don’t condone anything that is illegal,’ he tells me. ‘If someone is to show up at one of our exercises with an illegal weapon they’ll be turned away.’

    The next morning I am waiting with Cochran at a restaurant five miles out of town. Inside the next door petrol station, you can buy cowboy hats, model buffalo heads, and John Wayne mugs and alarm clocks. A truck pulls up and two men get out wearing camouflage gear. One is Steven Page, who will later help Cochran with his ‘knife’ demonstration. The other is ‘Shepherd’, a 48-year-old computer store owner. Both are from another group, the Southwest Texas Desert Militia, but occasionally train with Cochran. The sticker on the back of Shepherd’s truck reads: ‘I love my AR15’. Cochran leads us to a ranch 10 miles up the road, owned by a friend in the oil business. The land here is flat and peppered with nodding donkeys. Black rubber piping snakes its way along the paths, carrying water to the wells: once the oil is extracted they are filled with water to prevent sink holes occurring.

    We pull up by the edge of a large quarry. Grey clouds loom overhead and although it was 91F (33C) here the day before, today it’s a chilly 52F (11C). Cochran grabs his AR15 and starts walking in a straight line through the quarry, intermittently raising the gun to his eye and firing. The ground is littered with hundreds of corroded steel and brass bullet cartridges. ‘Any damn fool can stand still to shoot a gun,’ he says. ‘You gotta be moving – and always keep your gun loaded; an empty rifle is a baseball bat.’ Shepherd walks forwards. ‘Safety off, mine is hot,’ he says, before taking eight shots at an old piece of wooden board 500 yards away on a bank. He walks another five paces and shoots again, this time blasting a large rock apart. ‘Rock o’clock,’ Cochran cackles. Shepherd likes to quote the following to justify his involvement in the militia: ‘When seconds count, the police are always minutes away.’ ‘Look at the Los Angeles riots – people were dying, man,’ Page adds.

    A lot of their fears – and those of many militias like them – are of a kind of post-apocalyptic future in which the infrastructure of civilisation collapses. They say this could come about as a result of natural disaster or if the government imposes what they see as unconstitutional laws: enforced health care, increased gun control. And they want to be ready. Cochran has even got a ‘safe zone’ – a ranch outside Odessa that has its own water source and solar panels to generate electricity, and where he stores food, guns and ammunition. ‘Jefferson himself anticipated a violent revolution every 75 to 100 years. We’re running a little behind schedule,’ he says. ‘The last thing I want to do is look down the sights of my rifle at another American – that would be the most sickening prospect I could dream of – however, I’m a realist. I can pray all day long that this won’t take place but I’m not stupid enough to think it never will.’ ‘They’ll fine me for refusing to buy health care first,’ Shepherd says. ‘Then I won’t pay the fine, I won’t show up to court, they’ll come to try to take me to jail and at that point they’re on my land illegally. So someone’s going to be met at the door looking down the barrel. And it’ll only take one person to refuse to be taken away to start the whole thing off. I’m ready to put this into practice, I’m ready to lay down my life for what I believe.’ I don’t doubt him.

    At the same time, Shepherd appears quiet and fairly gentle – not the sort of person you’d associate with a militia. I ask what his wife thinks of his involvement. ‘All she knows is what the mainstream media say about the militia – bad, bad, bad,’ he says. ‘She’s worried I’m going to get arrested but there are key things I never want to be a part of or that I will never talk about.’ Cochran tells me the militia has what are termed ‘standing orders’ in place, in the event they capture anyone attempting to impose martial law or take away their constitutional rights on the ‘battlefield’. American officers will be executed by bullet. Foreign fighters, mercenaries or civilians employed by the US government to carry out its work will be ‘hoisted and hung’. Cochran walks to the back of his Hummer and begins to change into his ghillie suit – military clothing designed to blend in with the surrounding vegetation that is covered in strands of green and tan cotton fibres that hang off like matted fur. ‘Man, they are great colours, we wouldn’t see you 20 yards away in the mesquite,’ Shepherd says. Page adds: ‘Let us know if we pee on you.’

    By the end of the day, Cochran has demonstrated how to stab someone wearing combat body armour, how to break the finger of someone pointing a gun at your head, and explained how to use a piece of PVC and some hand grenades (‘the most wonderful toys in the world’) to make a trip wire. I ask Cochran who taught him all this. ‘Uncle Sam,’ he says, fixing me with a stare and then erupting in a throaty cackle before lighting another Marlboro. ‘And he spent a lot of money teaching me how to do this s---.’ We drive in convoy to a nearby café, where Shepherd prays over our chilli hot dogs. Cochran had told me his militia was a ‘faith-based organisation’ and after a chorus of ‘Amens’ I ask how they can reconcile practising killing people with their Christian beliefs. Wasn’t Jesus supposed to have been a pacifist?

    Cochran is quick on the draw. ‘Jesus Christ said: “He who does not have a sword should sell his robe and buy one”, because a man who will not defend his family and friends is worse than a fool. Now, when Christ said that, a fool was absolutely the worst thing you could call someone. Jesus said if a man is to strike you on the cheek, turn to him the other cheek. But if he strikes you on the other cheek, God leaves that up to you. You can either turn and walk away or you can fight.’ But he didn’t say that, I say. ‘No. But the catch is, after he strikes you on the other cheek, God doesn’t tell you what to do. It depends on how you’re struck,’ Cochran states. The following day I call Mark Potok at the SPLC in Washington DC. He says the growth of these radical Right groups is related to three factors: the changing racial demographic of the country (by 2050 it’s estimated the US will lose its white majority); the election of Obama – who many of these groups feel does not represent the country their white Christian forefathers built; and a depressed economy.

    Potok admits that not every group is racially motivated but says there is a ‘great deal of profound unease out there’. ‘It’s based on completely baseless fears of a new round of gun control, yet Obama has made it clear he’s not going to do that. He even signed a bill to allow guns to be carried in national parks,’ he says. ‘They say Obama has run roughshod over the Constitution by passing a health care bill, but so often these people argue something is unconstitutional when what they really mean is they don’t like it. If you don’t like it, vote out your congressman.’ So is Johnny Cochran’s outfit actually dangerous? ‘Some small percentage of members of these groups will act on their fears,’ Potok says. ‘I think when you get to the point of teaching people how to sever other human beings’ necks and carotid arteries, the law does get interested.’ He also says it’s entirely possible the US could see another ‘Oklahoma’, but when, and how, is impossible to predict. For the moment, that same ‘spark’ hasn’t happened. But it could – any day. And America needs to be ready.