BY Luke Hiken
Progressive Avenues January 11, 2013
When did the coup happen here, and how did we miss it? I always imagined military coups to occur when jack-booted generals marched into the town square in front of columns of heavily armed soldiers.
Pinochet, Mussolini, Franco come to mind – we’ve all seen the pictures. But here in the United States, nobody even has a clue as to when the Pentagon, and its secret policing, “anti-terrorist” organizations took control of the U.S. government and its people.
Recently, the newspapers indicated that the U.S./NATO was sending scud missiles to Turkey and U.S. soldiers would be stationed there to fire them at Syria. No declaration of war, no ok from Congress, not a word from the President. If the Pentagon wants to go to war against Syria, it simply does so. We are already fighting other wars throughout the Middle East – not just in Afghanistan and Iraq, Libya, Bahrain and (add the Muslim nation of your choice), but in dozens of other countries, as well.
Last week, we sent groups of “anti-terrorist” mercenaries to 35 countries in Africa. Most Americans can’t even name 25 countries on that continent, but the Pentagon is making sure that every African nation is on board for at least one U.S. base. That way, we can justify invading any country we want in case something happens to one of our “heroes” protecting Africa.
The U.S. government has secret prisons for “renditions” (torture is what the rest of the world calls it); secret assassination squads (“Seals” in the euphemistic jargon for such mercenaries); CIA “destabilization” officers throughout the world: the list of assassins go on an on. This “secret” world of U.S. terror exists side-by-side with the 1000 identified U.S. military bases throughout the globe.
The ascendancy of an all-powerful, unrestrained military system, unaccountable to the Congress, the courts, or the public, was one of the subtlest coups anywhere in the history of the world. Certainly, the presidencies of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan consolidated the authority that the Pentagon held over the American people, but nobody ever recognized that during those regimes there was a formal abdication of power to the military-corporate state by the civilian government.
After World War II, with the development of the nuclear weapons industry, there was a recognition that the complexity of modern warfare was beyond the knowledge and capacity of the American people to control. Reinforced by the Pentagon’s propaganda efforts during the Cold War, and the establishment of a secret Central Intelligence Agency (under the auspices of numerous named and unnamed front groups), the Congress and executive governments gradually gave more and more power to these agencies. With the advent of “terrorists” as the new shibboleth, and “Homeland Security” as the front group, the Pentagon and its secret police are so protected that it is a crime to even talk publicly about what these monsters are doing to those we characterize as “terrorists” throughout the world. Whistleblowers are at risk of being tortured and assassinated as quickly and deftly as are our “enemies.”
And now there is not even a pretext at controlling this run-away military/industrial complex. Even if President Obama, or his predecessors, had the courage or integrity to try to control the Pentagon and its cohorts, they could not do so. Instead, we witness one clown after another, sitting in the White House, rubber-stamping outrageously expensive military budgets, and endorsing one unpopular war after another, with no oversight by any civilian authority. The creation of one unnecessary program after another is the standard for Pentagon spending. That Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and General Adolph Betray-us would be “in bed” with each other, is not a caricature of their relationship, but rather, constitutes the normal state of affairs. Hillary will undoubtedly be the next President of the United States, since she represents everything that the Pentagon wants in a leader: total dishonesty, coupled with unrestrained violence against those who would oppose U.S. world domination.
The shibboleth of “terrorism” is merely the Pentagon’s latest excuse for permanent war, and endless drone attacks, not only on foreign populations, but also for the domestic police surveillance state, at home. The silent military coup that has taken place in this country is beyond the reach of our elected officials. Whatever hope we ever had for regaining control over the Pentagon was lost with the Citizens United decision issued by the puppets on the U.S. Supreme Court, and we, like the rest of the world, are left with no government independent enough to fight back. History demonstrates that military empires burn themselves out eventually, but in the meantime, we are facing a long, difficult period of oppression and violence.
Luke Hiken is an attorney who has engaged in the practice of criminal, military, immigration, and appellate law.