It’s All About Control
March 21, 2012 Leave a comment
By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com (Revised)
Ever since the original Patriot Act was passed by Congress in 2001, American civil liberties have steadily shrunk and government control has steadily grown. In a financial crisis, your bank or brokerage can severely restrict the amount of money you can withdraw from your accounts. The government can now assassinate so-called terrorists anywhere in the world, including on U.S. soil. Think Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born radical Muslim cleric who was assassinated by a U.S. drone strike in September.
It can also indefinitely detain suspected terrorists without charge or due process, all thanks to the National Defense Authorization Act recently signed into law by the President. The government can shut down a website anywhere in the world without due process, just ask Megaupload owner Kim Dotcom from New Zealand. (Yes, that’s his real name.)
As of last Friday, President Obama has authorized the government to take just about whatever it needs in the name of national defense. It is an Executive Order appropriately called “National Defense Resources Preparedness (NDRP).” This allows members of Obama’s Cabinet to take resources such as livestock, water, fuel, farm equipment, vehicles, planes, boats, food and just about anything the government thinks it needs for “defense preparedness.” I am just skimming the surface here as there are many more details in the order. (Click here for the complete Executive Order — National Defense Resources Preparedness – NDRP.) Many are calling this a setup for peacetime martial law. After reading the Executive Order, I don’t see how anyone could disagree with this statement.
My question is why? If all that happened was an extension of the Patriot Act in 2011, I might not worry that much (although, Congress basically traded liberty for so-called security.) But when you look at several of the government’s big power grabbing moves, you can’t help but ask what are they getting ready for? Is it a Middle East war that will probably turn into world war? Is it another financial meltdown worse than the one in 2008? Or, is it all of the above?
On the war question, I have written many posts that say war is a “when” not an “if” scenario. Just last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he did not need the approval of the U.S. to attack Iran. Iran has said it has the right to strike first if it feels necessary. Now, there are reports of Russian troops landing in Syria. The U.N. calls this development a “bomb.” The world hasn’t been this close to a global war since the late 1930’s. War would plunge the world into a deep depression so fast that many could be wiped out financially literally overnight.
Another financial meltdown is not just probable but highly likely. In my opinion, and many other experts, another financial crash is also a question of “when” and not “if.” The Fed pumped out $16 trillion in the wake of the last meltdown, and it has frozen interest rates at near 0% through 2014. Talk of a so-called “recovery” is preposterous with a record 46.5 million Americans on food stamps and declining home values despite near record low mortgage rates. Sure, the stock market has doubled since 2009, but it was cut in half after the 2008 meltdown. How is anyone making money? Charles Biderman of the Wall Street research firm “Trim Tabs” recently said, the increase in stocks came mainly from trillions of dollars of new money printed by the Fed. (Click here to hear Mr. Biderman.) Shouldn’t this have fixed the economy? Shouldn’t the banks be able to go back to “mark to market” accounting and not value real estate and mortgage-backed securities at whatever the bankers think they will fetch in the distant future? No way is that going to happen because nothing is fixed from the last meltdown. The failing economy was just papered over with trillions of freshly printed dollars.
Economist Dr. Marc Faber of Gloomdoomandboom.com agrees the economy has been propped up by money printing, but that will not stop a financial crash forever. In a recent interview, he said, “. . . I think eventually the financial system will be an MF Global where you don’t get your money back from the banks and the investment banks and from the mutual funds and so forth and so on. And, so I think everybody has to think to himself, how do I protect myself against such a black swan event.” (Click here for the complete interview from ChrisMartenson.com) Dr. Faber is recommending physical gold and silver as portfolio insurance. (FYI, Faber also recommended buying stocks in 2009, at the very bottom of the last financial meltdown.)
March 20, 2012
Quietly, and with little fanfare, President Obama signed a “National Defense Resources Preparedness” Executive Order on Friday. As the name suggests, the order intends to shore up the country’s national defense resources in advance of a national emergency.
To be fair, this is not the first time that such an order has been written. Presidents Bush (II), Clinton, Reagan, and even Eisenhower provided directives in the same spirit as President Obama’s order– providing some level of government commandeering in times of national emergency.
In the past, these orders have related to things like production capacity for defense contractors, or giving FEMA authority to resolve disputes between other departments in federally designated emergency areas.
President Obama’s order, however, takes things much, much further.
(1) The order vastly expands the role of Homeland Security… as if these knuckleheads didn’t already have too much influence in people’s lives. Apparently highways, shopping malls, airports, bus stations, Wal-Marts, hotels, train stations, etc. aren’t enough for DHS. Now the Secretary of DHS will:
a) “advise the President on issues of national defense resource preparedness”.
This one is really clear. Under normal circumstances, matters related to defense would fall under the Secretary of Defense… or perhaps the National Security Advisor. Giving such responsibility to DHS suggests that the government is expecting an emergency from within.
b) “provide for the central coordination of the plans and programs… under this order, and provide guidance to agencies assigned functions under this order…”
DHS now has authority to direct the emergency preparedness of every other government department. The Secretary of Homeland Security has effectively become the Emergency Czar.
c) have oversight of “all other national defense programs, including civil defense and continuity of Government.”
In case it wasn’t clear before, the people who molest children and radiate travelers will have total and complete control in some event defined as a national emergency in the sole discretion of the President.
(2) The order further provides for an effective nationalization of the entire US economy in the event of an emergency.
The Secretary of Labor, for example, will “collect and maintain data necessary to make a continuing appraisal of the Nation’s workforce needs for purposes of national defense” and then “formulate plans, programs, and policies for meeting the labor requirements of actions to be taken for national defense purposes.”
In other words, the Labor Department becomes the Ministry of Plenty, and all the good little citizens will be forcibly reallocated to other jobs. This turned out really well for the Soviets.
(3) The purpose of this order, for example, is to “take actions necessary to ensure the availability of adequate resources and production capability, including services and critical technology, for national defense requirements;”
It goes on to list ‘adequate resources’ to include things like:
(i) “all forms of energy including petroleum, gas (both natural and manufactured), electricity, solid fuels… solar, wind, other types of renewable energy, atomic energy”, etc.
(ii) “all usable water, from all sources, within the jurisdiction of the United States, that can be managed, controlled, and allocated to meet emergency requirements…”
(iii) “all commodities and products… that are capable of being ingested by either human beings or animals…”
(iv) “drugs, biological products, medical devices, materials, facilities, health supplies, services and equipment required to diagnose, mitigate or prevent the impairment of, improve, treat, cure, or restore the physical or mental health conditions of the population.”
Hmmmm. Food. Water. Energy. Medicine. Security. All the stuff that human beings need at a basic level to survive. Except that Obama’s executive order puts all of these resources under control of the government and allocates them exclusively to meet the needs of government.