Monday, March 18, 2019

The ongoing, never-ending U.S. death star

  The U.S. national-security establishment’s death star continues operating at full-speed and on auto-pilot. According to an article in Newsweek, the Pentagon and the CIA have now killed half-a-million people since 9/11. The article didn’t say how many of those dead people are estimated to have participated in the 9/11 attacks, but I’d say that a reasonable estimate would be maybe 10 or 20 at the most. That would mean that 498,980 people who have been killed by the U.S. death star since 9/11 had absolutely nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks.

  Moreover, those half-a-million deaths don’t include the hundreds of thousands of people who have been killed in the U.S.-incited civil wars in Syria and Lebanon.

  That’s a lot of dead people at the hands of the U.S. national-security state. It’s surely got to be some sort of record. And it hasn’t stopped. The U.S. death star continues operating apace.

  Last week, an article on stated that in 2018 U.S. forces operating in Somalia killed 326 people. So far this year, the U.S. death star has killed 225 people in Somalia.

  Somalia? Yes, Somalia! Why Somalia? Well, apparently all those dead people in Somalia were considered to be threats to U.S. “national security”, whatever that term means, and therefore needed to have their lives snuffed out by the U.S. death star.

  Ever since the U.S. death star began operating in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. mainstream media has expressed concern for civilians who are killed as part of the death star’s operations against “terrorists”. That, of course, is a valid concern.

  But hardly anyone questions the legitimacy of the death star itself. That is, the underlying assumption is that the death star is operating legitimately when it targets “terrorists” or “combatants” or “insurgents”. Therefore, the notion goes, it’s no big deal that they’re killing those people. They just have to be more careful, the media feels, about killing innocent civilians in the process.

  Consider the following sentence from the New York Times in an article about the U.S. air war in Somalia:

    A surge in American airstrikes over the last four months of 2018 pushed the annual death toll of suspected Shabab fighters in Somalia to the third record high in three years.

  Do you notice the operative word in that sentence? It is the word “suspected.”

  Why is that word important? Because the people who are operating the death star aren’t really sure whether the people they are killing are actually guilty of being “Shabab fighters” or, in more common parlance, “terrorists”.

  They might believe they are terrorists, but they can’t be sure. But for the death star that doesn’t matter. As long as there is a reasonable possibility that the targets are terrorists, that’s good enough.

  Or maybe the standard of proof for these state-inflicted assassinations is “a preponderance of the evidence” or maybe “clear and convincing evidence” or maybe just “reasonable suspicion”.

  We don’t really know how they determine which people are going to have their lives snuffed out today. They insist on keeping that part of their operation secret. They say that we just need to trust them.

  In the early years of the U.S. national-security state after World War II, the Pentagon and the CIA did their best to keep their assassinations secret. They didn’t want Americans to know about their assassinations. Today, much of their assassination program is obviously out in the open. Their ongoing, never-ending death star continues assassinating people openly and with impunity. The secrecy is with respect to how they decide whose life is going to be snuffed out today.

  At the risk of belaboring the obvious, people in foreign lands don’t like being assassinated, especially by an all-powerful imperial force like the U.S. government. Families of assassination victims oftentimes do not forget. Some of them inevitably seek vengeance.

  Let me tell you what U.S. death-star officials are going to say if there is a terrorist attack in retaliation for the massive number of deaths inflicted by the U.S. death star. They’re going to say the same thing they said after the 9/11 attacks: “The terrorists just hate us for our freedom and values. That’s why they have struck. Pay no mind to libertarians who are pointing out that this attack is more blowback arising from the U.S. national-security state’s ongoing, never-ending death star.”

  In fact, they’ll say much the same thing if there is another act of mass killing here at home without any apparent justification: “This random act of mass killing has nothing to do with our death star’s total indifference to the value of human life overseas. We just need gun control to resolve the problem of mass killing here at home.”

  Meanwhile, as the death star continues on auto-pilot, the American people continue going to church every Sunday, where they are exhorted to pray that the death star be kept safe from harm as it continues to wreak its death and destruction in the Middle East, Afghanistan, and, now, Africa.

  Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that the same Newsweek article that detailed the number of deaths at the hands of the Pentagon and CIA points out that the U.S. government has spent $6 trillion dollars in these forever wars that have killed half-a-million people, almost none of whom had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks. That’s worth mentioning in the context of the 23 trillion federal debt that is now hanging over American taxpayers and growing by the day.

  It’s also worth mentioning that the threat of retaliation from all this death and destruction is what has been used as the excuse to destroy the freedom and privacy of the American people. That’s how we have come to live under a regime in which the military and the CIA wield the legal authority to detain, torture, spy on, and even assassinate American citizens, totalitarian powers that have been fully confirmed by an extremely deferential federal judiciary.

  Obviously, there is but one solution to all this death and destruction: Stop the death star at once, bring it home, and dismantle it. That is a necessary prerequisite to restoring freedom, peace, prosperity, and harmony to our land.

  About the author: Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

  This article was published by The Future of Freedom Foundation.

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