Tyranny Over There But Not Over Here By Jacob G. Hornberger!!
(2017-06-14 at 13:47:02 )

Tyranny Over There But Not Over Here by Jacob G. Hornberger

One of the fascinating aspects of tyranny is that people can recognize it when it happens in other countries but are blind about it when it happens at home. The American people, especially the United States mainstream press, are a perfect demonstration of this phenomenon.

Consider the following article from last Sundays New York Times: "Dilemma for Uber and Rival: Egypts Demand for Data on Their Riders" It details a request by the military dictatorship that governs Egypt that Uber provide government officials with all of its data about customers and their Uber rides.

The purpose of the request?

To monitor the activities of the citizenry, of course. Or as the Times puts it, "The software would be a powerful tool in the hands of Egypts security services, which, under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, have ramped up spying on citizens as part of an effort to stifle dissent and entrench Mr. Sisi power."

See how easy the Times recognizes tyranny.. when it is in Egypt?

That is not all. The Times writes: "The security services can already track Egyptians through their cellphones. But ride-share spying speaks volumes about Mr. Sisis ambitions for electronic surveillance, at a time when his government has already imprisoned citizens for social media posts, has hacked activitists using fake emails and has blocked encrypted messaging applications.."

What is the Egyptian dictatorships justification for monitoring the activities of its citizenry? The war on terrorism, of course. As the Times states, "The Egyptian government justifies such harsh measures by pointing to the threat from militants like the Islamic State.."

Now, let us look at post-9-11-01 America. Secret mass surveillance of the citizenry by United States security services. Edward Snowden and other leakers reveal some of the secrets and are called traitors.

The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency wield the omnipotent power to assassinate anyone they want, including American citizens, without judicial interference. That power was upheld by the federal judiciary in the Anwar al-Awlaki case.

United States security services also wield the power to kidnap people, including American citizens, place them in military dungeons or camps and torture them. The federal judiciary upheld that power in the Jose Padilla case.

They also wield the power to seize people and deliver them to friendly dictatorial regimes, like they have with Egypt and Syria. The federal judiciary upheld that power in the Mahar Arar case.

And let us not forget the USA PATRIOT Act, which was enacted almost immediately after the 9-11-01 attacks, which the federal judiciary also upheld.

What was the justification for all these post-9-11-01 totalitarian measures? The war on terrorism, the same justification that the dictatorial regime in Egypt uses to justify its totalitarian powers.

Where was the attitude of American liberals and conservatives when these post-9-11-01 powers were being adopted by United States security services?

Most of them quickly fell into line, falling for the governments line that such totalitarian measures were to keep us free, safe, and secure. The terrorists (which later morphed into the Muslims) were coming to get us. Unless the national-security services wielded these totalitarian powers, the terrorists would win. They would take over America, establish Sharia law, and force us to study the Koran.

In fact, for all practical purposes, it was only us libertarians who were opposing the acquisition of such tyrannical powers and, not surprisingly, statists were attacking us viciously as unpatriotic America-haters and terrorist-lovers for questioning the United States governments adoption of dictatorial powers.

Throughout history, governments have used crises to justify the adoption of totalitarian powers. In the model totalitarian regime - Nazi Germany - Hitler used the terrorist attack on the Reichstag to ask the German Parliament to grant him emergency powers - temporarily, of course (although, not surprisingly, they lasted to his death in 1945). That is what the Enabling Act in 1933 was all about. And do not forget that Hitler had another threat to justify his "temporary" totalitarian powers, one that might seem familiar: communism and the Soviet Union, including Russia.

That is what the Egyptian military dictatorship (which, do not forget, is a close partner and ally of the United States government) is doing - using crises and terrorism to justify its dictatorial powers. It is an old but highly effective strategy employed by totalitarian regimes.

But it is also what the United States national-security state did after the 9-11-01 attacks. And do not forget - the totalitarian powers that were adopted by United States security services are still in existence - 16 years after the attacks - longer now than Hitlers "emergency" powers were in existence, and there is still no sign that United States security services intend to relinquish such powers any time soon.

It was not supposed to be that way. Take a close look at the Constitution. Do you see anything about crises serving as a justification for the adoption of totalitarian powers? Not a peep about that.

That is because the Framers understood that crises are the time-tested method by which regimes destroy freedom through the acquisition of totalitarian powers. Our American ancestors understood that it is within times of crises that freedom is in greatest danger, at the hands of the peoples own government.

It is easy to recognize tyranny when it is being imposed in Egypt, North Korea, China, or Russia. Too bad that it is so difficult to recognize it here at home.

Printed here with permission from Mr. Jacob G. Hornberger of The Future of Freedom Foundation!! Their Great Website!!