One of the most annoying aspects of contemporary Western scholarship of the 1920s and 1930s is the almost uniform judgmentalism (usually from Brits, but not always). They seek some peculiar German explanation for what happened — to the society and leader. Almost uniformly, the question is presented as ‘how could such a civilized people allow themselves to be governed (enthusiastically) by such criminals?’ (Let’s skip Daniel Goldhagen’s ‘special pleading’ for a moment, as well as Irving’s post “Hitler’s War” declamations).
For the 1938-45 era, scholariship, particularly by the Brits, place emphasis on the Corporal as a one man freak show, making poor decisions, irrational, etc. Richard Harris and Ian Kershaw are two exemplars; the latter’s overly “well received” drum and trumpets books singularly unhelpful to understanding events in our opinion.
Relax, Dear Reader. We won’t impose a tawdry Thanksgiving historical analogy directly. Too much egg nog awaits on the horizon to unveil that one now.
We simply note that the rollback in American civil liberties here at home is remarkable given the limited (but still painful) loss of two iconic sky scrapers and one unremarkable Pentagon wing. We lost no millions dead. No great war. No foreign power occupies Silicon Valley. One can still get a SUV without wheelbarrows full of billions of dollars. But just under 4,000 dead Americans.
The rest has been rhetoric — and rhetoric not from particularly compelling public speakers. Even just the other day John Bolton was biting the head off of some ineffectual Ivy League professor on Tweety’s show balefully intoning about Iranian nuclear bombs going off in America. Pure brute force. Makes one wonder what *ANY* peoples would have done in the circumstances 1918-1932.
A sideshow in any event. The Stiftung has argued since day one that the Movement’s various strands agree on one thing — the importance of domestic transformation and radicalization. Either here or at STSOZ 1.0 we have tried to explain long before people knew who Addington was in the blogosphere what the objective was: an American Counter-Intelligence State. Even after November 2006, little has changed. We still lay down more foundation for their modern day CI State. Despite Iraq, here the Neocons must count a major victory. In that way, Neocons parallel Lenin — who after losing out to the majority (and ingeniously calling them the minority (‘Menshiviks’)) — Lenin’s entire effort and the CSPU’s from that day until December 25, 1991 was about maintaining counter-intelligence. Government existed, but largely as a facade.
Rule of Law is incompatible with a CI State. When Addington et al. argue for Executive lattitude it isn’t just pushing aside FISA or even foreign aid disbursements or about obtaining “King-like” powers. It looks like all those things and more, naturally. And King-like powers or the ‘unitary executive’ would be welcome (as long as under their control or a disciple’s). Formless authoritarianism offers something more precious — total narrative control. Narratives rise, fall, shift, twist and disappear over night. *That’s* Darkness at Noon. Formless power and discipline are the ultimate Who Whom of the imagination — and political existence.
It’s not like all our ills can be blamed on the Warlord and his crowd. The erosion began earlier during the CALEA debates in the 1990s (Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act). One largely had to assume the that Permanent National Security State (PNSS) won in its bid to suborn courts and law to its Will, justified by shamanistic invocations of national security. The real overt encroachment started with the Clipper Chip under Bush 41. CALEA followed under Reno, too.
So now the PNSS seeks, in addition to knowing who your five are without a warrant, and their fives, and so into infinite regression of unintelligibility, where you are; they now ping your cell phone like a GPS without court supervision. It’s a capability that’s always been there — that’s how emergency 911 works, after all — triangulating among cell towers, etc. Little you can do about it, too. Even when you turn your phone off, it still checks in with the network. Depending on device and software, even when off it will download email, etc.
If you feel that The Man is on to you, you do have some options: (a) pull the battery out; (b) put the entire phone in a tin box sufficient to block the network; (c) FedEx the fully charged phone 180 degrees from where you are going, drop your car off (which may be compromised by GPS tracking), rent a wreck (get in a cab) and do your business; or (d) smile and grin at the change all around, just like yesterday.
We’re not big fans of Kerr over at now-to-be-Virginia-based ODNI. (DIA is happy, they get their old new HQ back at the air force base. But the commute from the Maryland siders to the Herndon “secret” location is going to be one hell of a bitch. So their psychic misery and dependence on bad books on CD is at least some compensation). But we digress. Where were we? Oh, yes. Kerr. He at least had the honesty to spit the truth in everyone’s face testifying before the Senate. His paraphrase: “[Screw you], you don’t have and never will have privacy anymore, the PNSS has erased the 4th Amendment. You only do what we tell you and THIS is your future.”
One step to our future. What will our future American Chekisty look like? Well, unless a nuclear bomb goes off in the Mall of America, pretty much like they do now. A little more self righteous. A little more smug. We doubt they will wear the leather stuff. PETA would be an unnecessary distraction and the subliminal sexual aura antithetical to all repressed psyches involved. Some of the more distasteful stuff even may be subcontracted out or run from other Departments, like CIFA, etc. (On the other hand, if a real — or staged/permitted attack — occurs, they then might go for the more “sci fi” dyspotian garb — they’ve seen THAT on TV already, and they all know deep down it looks wicked cool).
Can such a future be avoided? (Especially the one with bad sci-fi costumes?).
Nothing is set in stone, but it will require Will and Action. Both. Either alone will fail. Who among the Democrat candidates understands the scale of roll back required? Conceptually? The actual people that must be purged. Who can identify and the train over the course of years trustworthy cadres to restore the Constitution? The Democrats will require some of their counter intelligence to avoid penetration as well. Do they know how to set that up? The scale is sobering. We are not talking about just 2 new Justices, or coming up with 5 Appellate nominees. The new Administration must make it a senior priority to reach down into the bowels of DoJ, into the corners of ODNI, NSA, OSD, etc. from the clerks to the top — and pull out the innards. Purge.
In the absence of a purge, should a Democratic Administration come to terms with the encroaching and gloating Permanent National Security State? The frog gets used to another 10 degrees or so. A poorly executed purge that is beaten back by the Movement peddled as anti-American? Fodder for 2012 Restoration. Threading a needle, indeed.