Hornberger's Blog

Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Hornberger’s Blog, July 2007

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Perversity from the Other Failed War

Would you like to read about another perverse outcome of the other failed war that is being waged by the federal government?

The New York Times is reporting that California farmers are suffering financial losses arising out of the inability to irrigate their crops. No, the problem does not arise from drought, heat waves, or fires. And no, it’s not because of a shortage of illegal aliens.

It’s because thieves are stealing copper from the irrigation systems, which is disabling the pumps on the systems.

Guess who is doing the stealing — drug users who need the money to pay for their illegal drugs.

The Times reports that with the price of copper soaring (no doubt in part because of the crashing U.S. dollar due to the out-of-control federal spending in Iraq and elsewhere), “metal theft is now committed in nearly every state, largely by methamphetamine users who hock the metal to buy drugs, the authorities say.”

The federal government’s other failed war — the drug war — causes the prices of drugs to soar to artificially high levels, causing drug addicts to commit muggings, robberies, and theft to pay the high prices of illegal drugs to satisfy their addiction. After all, notice that alcoholics are not stealing copper from those irrigation systems to finance their purchase of booze.

With the ongoing debacle in Iraq, which is almost certain to stretch beyond President Bush’s tenure in office, the constant reality of death and destruction will surely cause an increasing number of Americans to challenge the long-time U.S. foreign policy of empire and intervention.

Let’s just hope that people don’t stop there and that they proceed to challenge other failed wars that the federal government persists in waging. What better place to begin than with the multi-decade, failed war on drugs? Why, I’ll bet even California farmers might now consider ending the drug war to save their crops, especially since most everyone now knows that the drug war has brought nothing but death, destruction, perversity, and loss of liberty to our land.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Gorbachev Is Right About U.S. Foreign Policy

Statements about U.S. foreign policy made last week by former Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev undoubtedly stung U.S. officials, if for no other reason than that the statements were true. According to the Washington Post, Gorbachev said “that the fall of the Soviet Union … ushered in an era of U.S. imperialism responsible for many of the world’s gravest problems.”

The Post added:

“Instead of ushering in a new era of cooperation with the West, the USSR’s collapse put the United States into an aggressive, empire-building mood, the former leader said. Ultimately, he said, that has led the U.S. to commit a string of ‘major strategic mistakes.’ ‘The idea of a new empire, of sole leadership, was born,’ Gorbachev said. ‘Unilateral actions and wars followed,’ he added, saying that Washington ‘ignored the Security Council, international law and the will of their own people.’”

Longtime readers of our journal Freedom Daily will recall that when we began publishing our journal in January 1990, we said that the American people should be taking advantage of the end of the Cold War to dismantle their military empire. We pointed out that since there was absolutely no possibility of a foreign invasion, Americans could eliminate all the Cold War machinery and the enormous tax burden needed to fund it.

But as Gorbachev points out, the lure of empire and imperialism was too strong. Americans thought that they could be the world’s sole remaining “superpower” without any costs.

And so what did the U.S. government do? Desperately in search of a new official enemy after Soviet communism disintegrated, it found one in Saddam Hussein, a former close friend and ally to whom the U.S. had even delivered WMDs. Then, after U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie failed to warn Saddam of adverse consequences if Iraq invaded Kuwait, Saddam was converted into a new official enemy, which led to the Persian Gulf intervention.

The U.S. government then embarked on a program to poke hornets’ nests in the Middle East, including the intentional destruction of Iraq’s water-and-sewage facilities, the imposition of deadly sanctions against Iraq that contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children, UN Ambassador Madeleine Albright’s infamous statement that the deaths of the Iraqi children were “worth it,” the deadly enforcement of the illegal “no-fly zones” over Iraq, the stationing of U.S. troops on Islamic holy lands, and, of course, continued unconditional foreign and military aid to the Israeli government.

All that, of course, led to the terrorism blowback of the 1993 terrorist attack on the WTC, the terrorist attacks on the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, the terrorist attack on the USS Cole, and the terrorist attacks on 9/11, which, in turn, produced the USA Patriot Act, the cancellation of habeas corpus, the “enemy combatant” doctrine, torture and sex abuse of prisoners, indefinite detentions, kidnapping and rendition, Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, Bagram, the invasion of Iraq, the “war on terrorism,” the spying on Americans, the “signing statements,” and all the other infringements on civil liberties.

And all because of the siren song of empire, imperialism, and militarism, as Gorbachev correctly points out.

Of course, that’s all water under the bridge. But the same point applies today: No nation on earth has the remotest military capability of invading, conquering, and occupying the United States. In the wake of the Iraq debacle — in the wake of ever-increasing loss of our freedom at the hands of the federal government — the American people would be wise to do what they should have done in 1990 — dismantle their overseas military empire and end the U.S. government’s role as international policeman, interloper, intervener, invader, sanctioner, and welfare provider.

Friday, July 27, 2007

U.S. Attorney Scandal Reflects Congressional Cowardice

The confrontation between Congress and President Bush over the scandal involving Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzalez and the firing of U.S. Attorneys continues to boil in Washington. What I find fascinating is how Congress has got itself into an uproar over this scandal while remaining silent, passive, and docile over much more important issues, such as:

1. The lies that the Bush administration told to scare the American people into supporting the war of aggression against Iraq, which has killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people, not to mention the destruction of an entire country. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of U.S. Attorneys?

2. The people who have been kidnapped, tortured, renditioned, and disappeared by the CIA? Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

3. The CIA’s kidnapping on American soil of Canadian citizen Mahar Arar and its rendition of Arar to Syria for torture, a terrorist state with whom Bush has claimed, obviously quite falsely, that U.S. officials don’t talk to. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

4. The incarceration for years and torture of American citizen Jose Padilla by the military, along with the Pentagon’s denial of due process and right to counsel for much of that time. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

5. The arbitrary round-ups and incarcerations of Muslims living in the United States. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

6. The torture and sex abuse of prisoners at the Pentagon’s Guantanamo Bay prison camp. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

7. The spying on Americans by the NSA. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

8. The motives and circumstances surrounding the retaliation against former Ambassador Joseph Wilson for disclosing falsehoods in the president’s State of the Union address that helped to scare the American people into supporting the war of aggression against Iraq. Isn’t that a bit more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

How about subpoenas and congressional hearings on these matters? Aren’t they all much more important than the firing of some U.S. Attorneys?

One almost gets the feeling that in the U.S. Attorney’s scandal, the members of Congress are puffing out their chests and saying, “Look at how brave and tough we can be with the president!” But in the wider context of Congress’s silence, passivity, and acquiescence to what the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA have done — and are doing — as part of their occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and their much-vaunted “war on terrorism,” the congressional aggressiveness in the U.S. Attorney scandal only evidences the fear, passivity, and cowardice that has characterized Congress since at least the 9/11 attacks.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Iron Grip of Farm-Support Socialism

Farm subsidies provide a good example of the welfare-state quagmire in which Americans find themselves. Here you have a classic example of the socialism — using the state’s coercive taxing-and-spending powers to take money from one group of people and give it to another group of people. Keep in mind Karl Marx’s famous socialist principle, “From each according to ability, to each according to need.”

Of course, as most everyone acknowledges, the recipients of the farm subsidies don’t really need the money. They just desire it. They like the idea of using the IRS to plunder their fellow Americans in order to feather their own nest with the loot. Don’t forget: with farm subsidies the plunderers are mostly big, wealthy corporations, which are not exactly the type of homeless person that welfare-state proponents conjure up to justify their programs.

So, why does Congress continue this socialist program? Lobbyists for the corporate welfare recipients have a sufficient number of congressmen in their pockets to secure a vote to renew the farm subsidies. How do the lobbyists get these congressmen into their pockets? They put money into the pockets of the congressmen in the form of campaign contributions, with the expectation that they will be rewarded at farm-subsidy time.

So, it’s a nice tit-for-tat: “We’ll put money into your pockets if you’ll agree to let us put you into our pocket.” Obviously, the money that is put into the pockets of the congressmen, while significant to the congressmen, pales in comparison to the farm subsidies that the congressmen, in turn, put into the pockets of the companies that the lobbyists represent.

Of course, we always hear the standard calls for “reform,” especially among conservative “free-market” educational foundations. That’s just more nonsense, as “reform” doesn’t rid our nation of the iron grip that the corporate welfare recipients have on the Congress and the American people.

Instead, what we need to do is reach for a higher level, one that permanently removes the power of the government to provide people with the dole. The ideal solution is a constitutional amendment that states: “Neither the federal government nor the states shall provide any welfare to anyone.” Such an amendment would strike fear not only with the farm-subsidy community but also within every other welfare recipient, not to mention all those congressmen whose vote is currently for sale.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

An American Invasion of France

The Business Day section of the New York Times today has an article entitled “Law Firms from U.S. Invade Paris” which describes how American lawyers practicing law in France are transforming French legal circles with their aggressive legal tactics.

So far, it seems that anti-immigrant types in the U.S. have not begun protesting against these American lawyers for retaining their American citizenship, refusing to meekly assimilate into French culture, subjecting France to an invasion by aggressive Americans, and actually producing a “revolution” in France.

Isn’t that ironic, given that that’s exactly what the anti-immigration crowd wants foreigners to do here in the United States?

Many (but certainly not all) in the anti-immigrant crowd claim to support the right of people to leave a country but simultaneously support the “right” of the government to keep people out of the country.

We see this dichotomy when we compare the Berlin Wall to the U.S. Wall that is being constructed on the Southern border of the U.S. Anti-immigrant proponents condemn the enforcement of the Berlin Wall because it interfered with people leaving their country. On the other hand, they praise the enforcement of the U.S. Wall because they say that it stops foreigners from entering the United States.

(Of course, as my associate Sheldon Richman points out, it is difficult to reconcile U.S. condemnation of the Berlin Wall with U.S. re—uests that the Mexican government stop its own citizens from crossing into the United States.)

Let’s assume that the anti-immigrant crowd is granted its fondest wish — a totally sealed border — i.e., only a few foreigners are allowed into the country each year, by official permission. At the same time, the anti-immigrant crowd says, “Americans have the right to leave the country any time they want.”

But what happens if every country models its policies on those of the U.S.? If every country seals its borders, then what meaning does the right to leave have? While everyone will have the right to leave his country, no one will have the right to go anywhere because all the other countries will be prohibiting foreigners from coming in.

The closed-border —uandary is similar to the —uandary that arises for protectionists. Protectionists want to keep foreign goods out of the country while supporting the right of Americans to sell their goods anywhere in the world. But obviously, if every country takes the same position, then the right to sell one’s goods overseas becomes meaningless.

When a philosophy ends up with such a ludicrous result, isn’t that a good time to examine one’s premises? Of course, no such —uandary arises with open borders. With the free trade and open immigration that come with open borders, people’s fundamental and inherent rights to seek happiness by freely buying and selling goods and services and by contracting and associating with each other are upheld, bringing economic prosperity and rising standards of liberty in their wake.

The French are right to open their borders to an “invasion” by American lawyers. France, the United States, and every other nation should open its borders to everyone else.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Foreign Policy Lessons from Abroad

Sometimes by focusing on what is happening in other countries, we can gain a deeper understanding of what is happening here in the United States.

The Washington Post reports today that Afghan authorities have surrounded a group of Taliban fighters that are holding 23 Koreans. The Taliban is also holding a German citizen hostage, after having killed another German.

According to the Post, “The Koreans are the largest group of foreigners the Taliban has taken hostage since the Islamic extremist group began an insurgent campaign after being ousted from power by a U.S.-led invasion in 2001.”

The Post added, “German Chancellor Angele Merkel said her government would not agree to the Taliban’s demand that Germany withdraw its troops. We will not give in to blackmail.” (Translation: “Germany will occupy any country it wants, and the citizens of such countries will be expected to obey the orders of Germany military officials.”

Meanwhile, German officials are debating anti-terrorism measures in Germany that would constitute severe infringements on civil liberties, causing some Germans to raise the specter of Hitler’s “temporary” suspension of civil liberties after the terrorist strike on the Reichstag.

According to the Post, “The governments of South Korea and Germany have both come under intense domestic political pressure to withdraw from Afghanistan, and South Korea has already announced that it will leave the country by the end of the year.”

There are lessons to be learned here — lessons involving foreign policy.

Lesson 1: These terrorist acts are taking place not because the Taliban hate South Korea and Germany for their “freedom and values.” They are taking place because the South Korean and German governments are in Afghanistan — i.e., far away from their own countries.

Lesson 2: The Taliban have not committed terrorist acts against Swiss citizens. Why not? Because the Swiss government does not have troops stationed in Afghanistan (or Ira—). The Swiss government minds its own business and, thus, the Swiss people do not live their lives in constant fear of terrorism.

Meanwhile, the New York Times reports on its front page today, “While Washington is mired in political debate over the future of Ira—, the American command here has prepared a detailed plan that foresees a significant American role for the next two years.” At the same time, U.S. intelligence agencies are reporting that the threat of terrorism, including on American soil, by al-—aeda and other terrorist groups continue to grow.

Last week, President Bush used the Ira— occupation to justify another ominous infringement on the liberty of the American people — an executive order that, according to Washington Post columnist Walter Pincus, could be interpreted as casting a wide net “to include not just those who commit violent acts or pose the risk of doing so in Ira—, but also third parties — such as U.S. citizens in this country — who knowingly or unknowingly aid or encourage such people.” (Unfortunately, the order was not a law debated and enacted by Congress but instead was part of Bush’s policy of ruling America by decree.)

It is easy to see that there is an obvious solution to the problems of terrorism faced by South Korea and Germany: Return your military forces to your respective countries. If you fail to do that, you will incur terrorist counterstrikes, which will then be used as excuses to infringe upon your freedoms.

If it is so easy to recognize the solution for South Korea and Germany, why do Americans have such a difficult time recognizing the solution for themselves?

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Monday, July 23, 2007

More Hypocrisy in the Pro-Occupation Crowd

The number of Americans publicly calling for an indefinite occupation of Ira— continues to drop. I suspect that there’s more to this than meets the eye. I wonder if many of the pro-occupation people, having come to the realization that the occupation will never succeed, are now hiding behind a log, so that when the anticipated post-occupation violence and chaos takes place, they can exclaim, “It’s all the fault of the peaceniks and the media. We were on the verge of victory and if we had just stayed a bit longer, we would have won!” In other words, my hunch is that the post-occupation posturing and maneuvering has already begun, especially among conservatives and neo-conservatives.

As most everyone knows, throughout the 1990s these two groups were advocating going into Ira— and finishing the job that President Bush I had failed to do. In granting conservatives and neoconservatives their wish, President Bush II has converted Ira— into a wasteland of death, destruction, and torture and mired the United States in an indefinite —uagmire that is being used to justify the continued infringements on the liberties of the American people, not to mention the continued fall of the dollar.

But do you see even one conservative or neo-conservative taking individual responsibility for what he has wrought? Of course not. Responsibility is something to preach to Democrats about, not take seriously for one’s self. Instead, the cons and neo-cons are now blaming the Ira—i debacle on “mismanagement” of the occupation. In other words, if only President Bush II had followed the “correct” plan run by the “correct” people, everything today would be hunky-dory.

And now that the Ira— occupation is tearing apart the military and the military-industrial complex, the cons and neo-cons are becoming increasingly silent, no doubt recognizing that it’s just a matter of time before the occupation must end — and perhaps even hoping that it ends sooner rather than later. But rather than publicly confessing remorse and repentance and publicly calling for an end to the occupation, all too many of them have slunk behind the log, —uietly hoping that the anti-occupation crowd succeeds but unfortunately posturing themselves so as to be able to claim that failure is not their fault but instead due to the anti-war crowd’s decision to end the occupation too soon … just like they did with Vietnam.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New York Times Article on Ron Paul

This Sunday’s New York Times Magazine carries a long, detailed article about Ron Paul that has already been posted online (by subscription only):

The article mentioned Ron’s speech at FFF’s recent conference “Restoring the Republic: Foreign Policy and Civil Liberties”:

“Speaking this spring before the libertarian Future of Freedom Foundation in Reston, Va., he warned of a dollar crisis. ‘That’s usually the way empires end,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t us forcing the Soviets to build missiles that brought them down. It was the fact that socialism doesn’t work. Our system doesn’t work much better.’”

If you haven’t seen Ron’s speech, here are the YouTube links to all the parts of the speech (along with links to Andrew Napolitano’s speech which followed Ron’s talk):

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_—uery=fff+conference

Ron’s talk on YouTube has received 8,000 views and Andrew’s has received 12,000.

Also, today we’re linking to the speech that kicked off the conference—“How Foreign Warring Subverts Freedom at Home” by James Bovard.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3DiUSiKDgA

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Tax Resistance Can Be Hazardous to Your Health

On the radio show I appeared on yesterday, there was a short discussion about tax resisters, including Ed and Elaine Brown, a New Hampshire couple that was recently convicted in federal district court on charges relating to income-tax evasion.

In a series of article in FFF’s journal Freedom Daily, my associate Sheldon Richman has shown how the arguments of the tax resisters are without legal foundation under U.S. law.

Beware Income-Tax Casuistry

The Flimflam of Income-Tax Denial

As Sheldon has pointed out, simply because one shows how the arguments of the tax resisters are fallacious doesn’t mean that one is defending the income tax itself. It is entirely consistent to call for the abolition of the income tax, as Sheldon has done in FFF’s book Your Money or Your Life: Why the Income Tax Should Be Abolished, and, at the same time, to show that U.S. law does in fact re—uire people to pay their income taxes.

The point I made during the radio show is that when it comes to civil disobedience, each person must carefully weigh the potential conse—uences before making his decision to go down that road. After considering the possible conse—uences of refusing to pay his income taxes (or file his returns), if the person then decides to go down the tax-resistance route, so be it. He has made a conscious choice with full knowledge of what could happen to him.

My beef is with those people in the tax-resistance movement that make newbies think that the feds won’t do anything bad to them if they stop paying their income taxes or filing their returns. When they advise the newbies that nothing bad can happen to them, they’re lying. In truth, very bad things can — and often do — happen to people who go down the tax-resistance road.

As I pointed out in the radio show, the IRS is a very vicious and brutal federal agency, one that has knowingly and intentionally destroyed and terrorized the lives of many people — and without any remorse or regret whatsoever. If someone goes down the tax-resistance road, he is facing the possibility of the following conse—uences: A federal criminal indictment, incarceration, fine, garnishment of savings and salaries, liens on property, and harassment at work and home. Once the IRS targets the tax resister, any hope of owning a home or real estate disappears — it will be taken over in the tax lien foreclosure sales.

Even if a jury ac—uits the person in the criminal case, that doesn’t stop the IRS from proceeding in civil court for recovery of the back taxes (plus penalty and interest). In fact, an ac—uittal in criminal court inevitably incites the IRS to redouble its efforts to collect the ever-growing back-tax liability with garnishments, levies, and liens.

Did I mention lawyer fees? After all, don’t forget the old adage: “The person who represents himself has a fool for a client.”

Assuming that the tax resister never gives in, at the end of this road lies a violent confrontation with federal gendarmes. After all, if the tax resister were to voluntarily let the government take his home after a foreclosure sale or allow U.S. marshals to take him into custody, the natural —uestion would arise: Why did you go down this road if you were going to voluntarily give up and let them take you or your property?

That’s why I think the Brown case has one of two likely outcomes, given the Browns’ vow to never give up: they’re either going to end up dead or in the penitentiary. The chance that the Browns are going to live their lives normally in their home and within their community for the rest of their natural lives is, in my opinion, nonexistent. At some point, the feds will do what is necessary to take them into custody and if they resist violently that effort, they will wind up either dead or in jail.

Again, that’s not to say that tax resisters are not taking a stand for something they believe in very strongly. It’s just to say that before anyone goes down this road, it would be wise to recognize that tax resistance can be hazardous to your health — and your life.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

More U.S. Deception and Hypocrisy in the Middle East

In its search for an excuse to start another war — this time against Iran, the Bush administration is saying that Iran is supporting Ira—i insurgents and terrorists who are resisting the U.S. occupation of Ira—. Of course, never mind that the U.S. government did the same thing when it partnered with Osama bin Laden and other Islamic extremists to resist the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.

In further confirmation of the lies, deception, and hypocrisy that characterize U.S. foreign policy, the Los Angeles Times reported this week that according to a senior U.S. military officer and Ira—i lawmakers, 45 percent of foreign insurgents in Ira— are from Saudi Arabia. The officer said that “50% of all Saudi fighters in Ira— come here as suicide bombers.”

Yes, that’s Saudi Arabia! You know, the country from which many of the 9/11 attackers came from!

So, why then are U.S. officials focusing on bombing Iran rather than Saudi Arabia? The answer is obvious: Saudi Arabia is a loyal member of the U.S. Empire, a member that kowtows to U.S. officials, and a member that has lots of oil.

Iran, on the other hand, is an independent nation that does not kowtow to the Empire, much to the anger and chagrin of U.S. officials, and has lots of oil too.

When Iran was a member of the U.S. Empire — that is, during the time that the shah of Iran was in power and serving as a puppet of U.S. officials, there was never any talk about how the U.S. faced the threat of Islamo-fascism in Iran. Instead, Iran was in the same position that Saudi Arabia is in today — a “friend” of the U.S. government. As soon as the Iranian Revolution took place in 1979, however, Iran was converted into a new official enemy of the United States. The same thing would happen, of course, if the Saudi people were to revolt against their corrupt, autocratic regime and install a regime that was independent of U.S. government control.

It would seem that despite U.S. hopes of becoming a permanent occupier of Ira—, ultimately the U.S. government is going to be forced to exit the country. Let’s just hope that President Bush doesn’t try to get out of the Ira— —uagmire in which he has plunged our nation by starting a war against Iran.

When the day to leave Ira— finally does come, Americans would be wise to not settle for simply withdrawing U.S. troops from Ira—. They would be wise to conduct a wholesale reevaluation of the foreign policy of interventionism and empire that has come to characterize our nation, and which has proven so deadly and destructive, and to embrace instead the non-interventionist, limited-government philosophy on which our nation was founded.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Is It Okay to Compare Germany to Nazi Germany?

Germans are debating the same type of anti-terrorist legislation that the United States has adopted. Unlike here in the United States, where people get upset when one raises Hitler’s infringements on civil liberties as part of his war on terrorism, the issue is obviously front and center in Germany. Germans have not forgotten that Hitler used the terrorist strike on the Reichstag to secure passage of the Enabling Act, which “temporarily” suspended civil liberties until the war on terror was won. Not surprisingly, the Enabling Act was renewed every time it was set to expire because Hitler’s war on terror had not yet been won.

As the German people discovered, once people trade freedom for security, they gain neither freedom nor security. E—ually important, they are unable to regain their freedom for the obvious reason that the government now wields the omnipotent power to prevent them from regaining their freedom.

Interestingly, the Germans seem to recognize what many Americans have yet to recognize — that the infringements on their freedom are based entirely on German foreign policy, specifically Germany’s troops that are currently intervening in Afghanistan. That intervention has given rise to the threat of blowback and retaliation in the form of terrorist strikes back in Germany.

So, what is the response of German officials? Well, obviously one response would be: Get out of Afghanistan and dismantle your standing army so that it lacks the power to intervene in foreign countries. But alas, the militarist temptation is strong, not only among U.S. officials, but German ones as well. Just like U.S. officials, German officials are bound and determined not to give in to “the terrorists.” The result is, just like here in the United States, to then use the threat of terrorism to take away the freedoms of the citizenry.

Of course, the U.S. military and U.S. military-industrial complex must be pleased with the direction that Germany is taking. After all, if U.S. officials are forced to exit Ira—, they’re going to need new official enemies to justify their existence. And with the possible exception of a resurgent Russia that is now recoiling against U.S. missiles being installed in Eastern Europe, what better new official enemy than a resurgent militarist Germany that is once again sending troops into foreign nations and suspending civil liberties to protect Germans from terrorism?

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Monday, July 16, 2007

GIs Are Finally Facing a Grim Reality in Ira—

In my July 11 blog, I wrote that in the growing battle over the continuing occupation of Ira—, the wildcard in the battle is the individual soldier and his loved ones. If the troops and their families finally break through to reality and realize that they are killing, dying, and maiming and getting maimed for a worthless cause, then President Bush might not be able to keep the occupation going until he leaves office after all.

Over the weekend, the New York Times reported that that is exactly what is now taking place. One Marine in Ira— told his wife, who is also a Marine getting ready to deploy to Ira—, that he didn’t want her to be doing the things he’s doing to people in Ira—. He told her that “we have all decided that it’s time for us to go home.”

The Times also points out, “Membership is also increasing among antiwar groups that represent the active military and veterans. Military Families Speak Out, one such group, which was started in the fall of 2002, now has about 3,500 member families. About 500 of them have joined since January.”

Consider what one army wife said, “I backed this war from the beginning, but I don’t think I can look my kids in the eyes anymore, if my husband comes home in a wooden box, and tell them he died for a good reason.”

In other words, it just might be that GIs and their families are finally starting to realize what many retired admirals and generals realized a long time ago — that this war and occupation are nothing but a crock. That’s right — the troops are not killing and dying for freedom, democracy, (nonexistent) WMDs, national security, war on terrorism, or to protect the American way of life. They are killing and dying for empire, intervention, and regime change, none of which are worth killing and dying for, getting maimed for, or getting all screwed up in the head for.

So, the battle lines continue to form especially given that President Bush continues to dig in his heels and is now looking for post-surge excuses to continue delaying the occupation until after he leaves office. As I’ve said before, the last thing that President Bush wants is to go down in history as a president who started a war against a weak Third World country and then had to cut and run before was able to establish his dominion and control over it.

Moreover, ask yourself: How could President Bush order a withdrawal from Ira— when he and Vice-President Cheney have repeatedly emphasized that the national security of the United States depends on the continuation of the occupation?

So, while there is a chance that an anti-occupation sentiment among the troops could bring about the end of the occupation, I wouldn’t bet on it. My hunch is that the soldiers and their spouses and other loved ones are going to simply come to another harsh reality: In the final analysis, U.S. soldiers are nothing more than minor pawns who can and will be sacrificed for the greater good of empire, intervention, regime change, and presidential legacies.

If the soldiers in Ira— are smart, they will spend the next two years doing their best to stay alive and whole by staying out of harm’s way. If they’re lucky, they’ll have commanding officers who feel the same way.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Friday, July 13, 2007

The Benefits of Being the World’s Sole Remaining Empire

Will Great Britain soon attack Russia? Possibly, if it follows the model set by the United States and its attack on Afghanistan.

British officials have accused Andrei K. Lugovoi, a former KGB bodyguard, with murdering a former KGB agent, Alexander V. Litvinenko by poisoning him with plutonium in England. Britain is asking the Russians to extradite Lugovoi to England to stand trial.

Russian officials, however, are refusing the extradition re—uest, saying that the Russian Constitution does not permit it.

Of course, this is exactly what happened prior to the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. After the 9/11 attacks, U.S. officials accused Osama bin Laden of conspiring to commit the attacks and re—uested the Taliban government to deliver bin Laden to the United States. However, there was no extradition agreement between the United States and Afghanistan. The Taliban government nonetheless offered to deliver bin Laden to the U.S. or to a third nation if U.S. officials would furnish evidence of bin Laden’s complicity in the 9/11 attacks, a re—uest that U.S. officials declined. “Extradition agreement or no extradition agreement, evidence or no evidence, you will turn bin Laden over to us simply because we order you to do so because if you don’t we will bomb you and remove you from power” was the essence of the U.S. position.

According to the New York Times, “It was not clear what action, if any, Britain might take toward Russia. ‘We will consider our response with the deliberation and seriousness it deserves,’ a Foreign Office spokesman said.”

Will Britain do to Russia what the U.S. did to Afghanistan? Not likely because Russia is a strong major military power while Afghanistan was a weak, Third World military power.

In a world ruled by U.S. imperial officials, might certainly does make right, which, by the way, is also why Venezuela won’t attack the United States for refusing to extradite accused terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela to stand trial for bombing a Cuban airliner, which killed dozens of innocent people, despite the fact that there is an extradition agreement between Venezuela and the United States. U.S. officials say, with a straight face, that Venezuelan officials might torture Posada, who, by the way, has close ties to the CIA that go back decades.

Isn’t it great being the world’s sole remaining empire, where the rule of men, rather than the rule of law, prevails?

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The Inflation Tax is Funding the Occupation

Amidst all the hubbub over President Bush’s “surge” strategy in Ira—, we shouldn’t ignore the important financial aspect of the surge: According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the cost of military operations in both Ira— and Afghanistan has increased to $12 billion a month.

According to New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, “This fiscal year alone, Ira— will cost us $135 billion, which amounts to a bit more than a —uarter-million dollars per minute.”

Since 9/11 Congress has appropriated $610 billion for military expenditures, which is about e—ual to the Vietnam War. Ira— itself has cost $450 billion.

Many Americans choose to ignore the costs of all this military adventurism. After all, since President Bush and the Congress aren’t raising people’s taxes, what’s the big deal with all this federal spending? The federal government is rich, right?

It’s classic self-deception or intentional ignorance, however. As we have been saying for years here at FFF, the American people are ultimately going to have to pay for all this militarism and foreign adventurism, and that day seems to be arriving.

As every middle-class consumer is discovering, prices of everything have been rising. Gasoline. Groceries. Restaurants. Clothing. Vacations. All of a sudden, everyone is realizing that his money just isn’t carrying him as far it used to.

Meanwhile, the value of the dollar continues to crater in international markets. Yesterday the dollar plunged to an all-time low against the Euro.

None of this is a coincidence. When President Bush and Congress decided to open wide the federal spending spigots after 9/11, they had a choice about how to collect the funds necessary to pay for all the programs, including the invasions of Ira— and Afghanistan, the “war on terrorism,” and, of course, all the domestic welfare benefits that keep Americans pacified and mollified. They could raise taxes, borrow the money, or simply use the federal printing presses to print the money to pay the expenses.

They decided that raising taxes could mean angry taxpayers, which would not be a good thing at election time. Thus, they resorted to the time-honored political method of borrowing the money, which is why so many U.S. debt instruments are now sitting in the hands of China and other Far East countries. That debt, however, must ultimately be paid off, and that’s where the printing press comes in handy.

The reason that public officials throughout history have always liked the printing press is that they know that most people won’t figure out what the officials are doing.

For example, consider milk, whose price has been rising. The average consumer will blame greedy dairy farmers or the dairy industry. The average economist will talk about the laws of supply and demand with respect to milk.

But milk, like everything else in the U.S., is priced in dollars. Thus, supply and demand for dollars must also come into play. As the supply of dollars increases, the only way that can be reflected in terms of milk is a higher dollar price for milk. The same goes for gasoline and everything else.

The average person, however, has no idea that government officials are behind the rising prices. Just as many Americans refuse to believe that terrorism against the U.S. is rooted in U.S. foreign policy, many of them convince themselves that inflation has nothing to do with U.S. monetary policy. In the minds of these Americans, terrorism and inflation are just mysterious ailments that periodically afflict societies.

Conservatives used to brag that the way they supposedly brought down the Soviet Union was to make the Soviet government spend the nation into bankruptcy. Have you noticed that they’re no longer singing that tune? There is a reason for that.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

President Bush Invited the Attacks in Ira—

As I have been writing here for many months, a monumental political battle continues to shape up over the U.S. military occupation of Ira—. Yesterday, President Bush provided further confirmation of that battle by restating his steadfast commitment to keep the troops in Ira— until they “win this fight,” which means until after he leaves office. Meanwhile, a coalition of Democrats, Republicans up for reelection in November 2008, and a majority of the American people are lining up against the president and demanding an end to the occupation long before the president leaves office.

Congress could force a withdrawal from Ira— by simply cutting off funding for the war, which it has the power to do under the Constitution. I just think that the members of Congress lack the courage to do that. After all, don’t forget that most of these people enacted the Patriot Act without reading it and delegated their constitutional power to declare war because they were scared of being labeled unpatriotic. Anyway, my hunch is that President Bush would ignore a funding cut-off anyway with some sort of national-security signing statement.

The wild card in all this is the individual soldier — and, to a certain extent, his spouse, parents, and loved ones. As of right now, the mindsets of the average soldier and his family are that U.S. soldiers are in Ira— to protect our freedoms and the American way of life. If they figure out what a crock that is, there is no telling what the result might be. How many people want to lose their lives or the lives of their loved ones over a crock?

Of course, no one can deny that President Bush is responsible for the deadly —uagmire in Ira—. He was the Decider. He decided to order a military attack on a country that had never attacked the United States, an attack that has now resulted in the deaths and maiming of hundreds of thousands of people — and all in the name of (nonexistent) WMDs, freedom, and democracy.

Also, we shouldn’t forget that President Bush himself invited the terrorist and insurgent attacks on U.S. troops in Ira—. After all, what other meaning could “Bring it on!” have? Those were the president’s exact words and he addressed them to all terrorists and insurgents in the Middle East. What Bush was saying with those words was essentially: “We’re here in Ira—. We invite you to come and attack us. We dare you.” Of course Bush himself wasn’t in Ira—. He was referring to the U.S. soldiers who are now getting killed and maimed and screwed up in the head at the hands of those who are indeed “bringing it on.”

How will this political battle end? Will President Bush succeed in continuing the U.S. occupation of Ira— until he leaves office? It’s anyone’s guess. My hunch is that the president will win and that the Ira—i people, American people, and U.S. troops will lose.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

No Moral Right to Be Killing Ira—is

In a counteroffensive against Republican members of Congress who are shifting their positions on Ira—, the White House is predicting dire conse—uences in Ira— if the U.S. government ends its indefinite occupation of that country. Among the terrifying scenarios are increased violence, civil war, and a regional conflict.

Sounds like a —uagmire to me! Can’t stay and can’t get out. Isn’t that what they used to say about Vietnam? Can’t stay and can’t get out. If U.S. forces were to exit Vietnam, they said, the dominoes would start falling big time and the communists would ultimately follow us home and con—uer the United States. Today? The U.S. government is doing everything it can to open trade between the United States and the communist regime in Vietnam. Oh, and the dominoes didn’t fall after all.

Ultimately, Americans must face the crucial fact about this —uagmire — the moral one. Otherwise, they had had better just get used to the fact that their soldiers are going to continue dying on a weekly basis for nothing, at least until President Bush leaves office in January 2009.

The U.S. government had no more right to invade and con—uer Ira— than the Russian or Chinese governments did. In fact, think about it: If Russia had invaded Ira— and then occupied it for 4 years and had done all the things that U.S. forces have done to the Ira—i people, including killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of them, torturing them, sexually abusing, murdering, and raping them, establishing curfews, confiscating guns, suppressing speech and the press, arbitrarily arresting and indefinitely incarcerating people, and installing a radical, brutal, and corrupt pro-Iranian Islamic regime, U.S. officials would be screaming like banshees.

The simple moral fact remains: The U.S. government has no legal or moral right to be in Ira—. It illegally invaded their country. There was no declaration of war by Congress, as the Constitution re—uires, and no UN resolution authorizing the invasion. Neither the Ira—i regime nor the Ira—i people had participated in the 9/11 attacks or had even threatened to attack the United States with any (nonexistent) WMDs.

In this war, the U.S. is the attacking and occupying nation. Ira— is the defending and occupied nation. The position of U.S. officials is that the Ira—i people must submit to the will of the con—ueror because our side “won.” The U.S. position is similar to that of Persian King Xerxes in the movie “300.” Zerxes tells Greek King Leonidas that if Leonidas would surrender, Zerxes will let him be king of all Greece. All that Leonidas has to do is kneel and kiss the ring of Zerxes, acknowledging that while he has full power over the Greek people, Leonidas must still answer to Xerxes.

This is what U.S. officials want in Ira— — to have the Ira—i people kneel, kiss their imperial ring, and acknowledge their authority over Ira—. But their position is as wrong and immoral as that of King Xerxes. Neither the U.S., nor Russia, nor China, nor any other country has the moral right to attack and wage a war of aggression against another country. That’s why the U.S. should exit Ira— today, without killing or maiming one more Ira—i. The U.S. government, as an illegal and immoral occupier of a foreign country that never attacked the United States and which is responsible for this big mess, has no legal or moral right to be killing, maiming, and abusing any more Ira—is, not even to prevent the mess from getting worse.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Looming Battle over the Ira— Occupation

It must be election season. How can we tell? Because Republican members of Congress are rapidly shifting their position on Ira—. As I stated several months ago, there seems to be a monumental political battle brewing.

On one side of the battle is President Bush, who is doing everything he can to delay withdrawal from Ira— before he leaves office. What matters to him, first and foremost, at this point is the protection of his legacy. The last thing Bush wants is to go down in history as a president who started a war and then, to use his term, “cut and run” from the battlefield. That was what “the surge” was all about — and what the post-surge analysis will be all about — buying time so that Bush can leave office with U.S. troops still occupying Ira—.

On the other side of the battle is aligned a diverse group of folks:

(1) There are the Democrats, who are sensing another political victory at the polls in November 2008, much like their congressional victory in 2006.

(2) Republican members of the House and Senate who are up for reelection. First and foremost for this group is the retention of power and if they have to abandon the president, even after years of loyally saluting and serving him, they are going to have no reluctance in doing so.

(3) The Republican establishment, which does not want to suffer major electoral losses in November 2008. So far, this group has loyally stuck with the president but as Bush becomes a bigger lame duck leading up the elections, the Republican establishment is less likely to want to go down with Bush.

(4) Retired military generals and admirals who have turned against the occupation and called for a withdrawal from Ira—. These people are seeing that the occupation is tearing apart the U.S. military and the military’s overseas empire.

(5) The mainstream press, which, by and large, loyally supported the president’s invasion of Ira— but which is now slowly but surely joining the anti-occupation coalition.

(6) The troops. Right now, the troops and their families are, by and large, still clinging to such bogus canards that they’re fighting for freedom in Ira— or that they’re keeping the terrorists from following us home. The primary reason they’re still falling for this nonsense is undoubtedly self-protection in a psychological sense: They can’t bring themselves to see, yet, that they are killing others and risking their lives for the ignominious sake of empire-building.

Unfortunately, through all of the shifting of positions, most of the shifters are dissatisfied for pragmatic reasons rather than moral ones. When the American people finally come to the realization that it was immoral for the U.S. government to attack and occupy a country that had never attacked the United States — and all for the sake of empire-building — killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of people in the process — then we will have a good chance to move our nation in a better, more peaceful, prosperous, and harmonious direction — the direction of a limited-government republic based on a foreign policy of free trade and non-intervention.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Bush’s Fourth of July Nonsense

Every time I think that there is no way that President Bush can surprise me with more nonsense on Ira—, he surprises me. What could be more silly and nonsensical than to compare U.S. soldiers in Ira— to the British revolutionaries during the War for Independence? Yet, that is exactly what Bush did in a Fourth of July speech to members of the National Guard in Martinsburg, West Virginia.

In the Revolutionary War, the colonists were British citizens fighting against their own government. They were British insurgents waging guerrilla warfare against British soldiers. They were shooting and killing their government’s troops. In the eyes of the government, the revolutionaries were terrorists and traitors.

In Ira—, on the other hand, the Ira—i insurgents are fighting to rid their nation of a foreign empire that has wrongfully and brutally invaded and occupied their country. They are also fighting against the Ira—i —uislings who are cooperating with the invader and occupier.

Ironically, however, what U.S. troops, as imperial invaders and occupiers, are doing to the Ira—i people is no different in principle than what British troops were doing to their own people prior to the Revolution. Unreasonable searches and seizures. Curfews. Gun confiscation. Indefinite detentions. Denial of due process and jury trials. Cruel and unusual punishments. Arbitrary rules and edicts.

Nobody likes a tyrannical government (except the tyrants and those benefiting from the tyranny) and no one likes an occupier (except the occupier and those benefiting from the occupation), especially an occupier that is arrogant, brutal, and tyrannical. Thus, it was no surprise that many (but not all) British colonists rebelled against the tyranny of their own government, just as it is no surprise that the Ira—i people are rebelling against the brutal foreign occupation of their country. What is surprising is that there are still people, including U.S. soldiers, who continue to fall for President Bush’s pro-empire, pro-interventionist nonsense.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Signers of the Declaration Were Not Great Americans

Contrary to popular opinion, the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were not great Americans. Instead, they were great Englishmen. They were as much English citizens as you and I are American citizens.

In fact, one of major reasons they are considered patriots is that they had the courage to stand up against their own government, even to the point of taking up arms against their government’s troops.

Their government, of course, did not consider the signers of the Declaration to be patriots. Instead, they considered them to be insurgent, terrorist, treasonous scum who deserved nothing better than to be shot or hung.

Thank goodness there were English men and women on July 4, 1776, who had the courage to risk their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in a courageous stand against the wrongdoing of their own government. They showed the world that the love of liberty and one’s country sometimes entails the difficult task of standing against one’s own government.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Bush’s Tangled Web in the Libby Case

It would appear that President Bush has lied once again, this time with respect to the Scooter Libby case. You’ll recall that Bush repeatedly said that he would not interfere with the case until the appeals were decided. Of course, at the time he was saying this, he assumed that by the time the appeals were over, the November 2008 elections would be over as well. In that way, Bush could mislead people into thinking that he was doing the right thing — until after the November 2008 elections, when it would be too late for voters to punish the Republicans at the polls.

What Bush (and undoubtedly Vice President Cheney) had not counted on was the judiciary’s power to order Libby’s incarceration during the pendency of the appeals. District judges have the power to do this if they find that the chances of prevailing on appeal are slim. That was what the judge in the Libby case found, and his finding was upheld on appeal.

Thus, Bush’s obvious plan was foiled. He knew that if he fulfilled his word not to interfere with the case until all the appeals were heard, that would mean that Libby would be going to jail during the appeal. That would mean that an angry and disgruntled Libby might be willing to cooperate with the prosecutor by disclosing all the facts and circumstances leading up to his perjury conviction, would might well have meant criminal exposure for others in the administration, including Cheney and Bush themselves. By breaking his word and commuting Libby’s sentence, Bush’s lie was exposed, but at least the commutation presumably kept Libby pleased and contented — and most likely silent.

We should never forget the underlying reason that Cheney, Bush, Libby, and others were so intent on exposing Wilson’s wife Valerie Plame’s employment at the CIA — to punish Wilson for disclosing the truth about the bogus WMD-Niger claim on which Bush and Cheney were relying to justify their invasion of Ira— and to send the message to everyone else: This is what happens to people who betray us by telling the truth and exposing our lies about what we are doing to induce people to support our invasion and occupation of a country that never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent people in the process.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Signers of the Declaration Were Not Great Americans

Contrary to popular opinion, the men who signed the Declaration of Independence were not great Americans. Instead, they were great Englishmen. They were as much English citizens as you and I are American citizens.

In fact, one of major reasons they are considered patriots is that they had the courage to stand up against their own government, even to the point of taking up arms against their government’s troops.

Their government, of course, did not consider the signers of the Declaration to be patriots. Instead, they considered them to be insurgent, terrorist, treasonous scum who deserved nothing better than to be shot or hung.

Thank goodness there were English men and women on July 4, 1776, who had the courage to risk their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in a courageous stand against the wrongdoing of their own government. They showed the world that the love of liberty and one’s country sometimes entails the difficult task of standing against one’s own government.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Bush’s Order Will Keep Libby —uiet

Not surprisingly, President Bush has commuted Scooter Libby’s sentence to ensure that he doesn’t have to serve one day in jail. While Bush undoubtedly would have desired to wait until after the November 2008 elections to pardon Libby, the U.S. Court of Appeals put the —uietus to that hope by refusing to delay Libby’s incarceration pending the outcome of his appeal. Thus, Bush’s timetable for keeping Libby happy was accelerated. My hunch is that Bush will still issue a full pardon just before leaving office in January 2009.

The order of clemency serves a valuable function, the same function that the pardons that Bush’s father issued in the Iran-Contra scandal served: it buys a virtual guarantee of silence.

Recall the Watergate scandal. If the presiding judge in that case, Judge Sirica, had not imposed high sentences on the Watergate burglars, the probability is that the scandal would never have been uncovered. Faced with the prospect of going to jail for many years, some of the Watergate burglars began cooperating with the prosecutors by disclosing the criminal wrongdoing within the Nixon administration.

If Libby conspired with other high U.S. officials (e.g., Vice President Cheney) to commit perjury in the Plame case, what happened in Watergate is now unlikely to happen here. With Bush’s order, Libby has little incentive to cooperate with the prosecutors if there was in fact a conspiracy to commit perjury.

Bush said that the only reason for his order of commutation was that Libby’s sentence was too long, despite the fact that a 2-year sentence for perjury by a high federal official doesn’t seem inordinately high. By commuting the sentence to 0 time in jail, Bush is effectively saying that any time in jail for perjury is too much time. Oh? What about Martha Stewart, Mr. Bush? She received a 5-month sentence for lying to a federal official. Why didn’t you commute her sentence to 0 time in jail? If you thought her sentence was fair, then why didn’t you at least match Libby’s sentence to hers?

And while we’re on the subject of excessive sentences, what about the cruel and harsh sentences given to drug offenders? Why not commute those, Mr. Bush? After all, you and other government officials have destroyed people’s lives with your multi-year sentences arising out of your silly, nonsensical, never-ending, fruitless war on drugs. For example, consider the case of Anthony Papa, a 29-year-old father who was made to serve 12 years for delivering a $500 package of cocaine in a federal sting operation. Whose rights did he violate, Mr. Bush? And he’s just one example. There are tens of thousands of others who are rotting their lives away in prisons all across the land because of the beloved and failed war on drug. Why not commute their sentences too?

Let’s face it: There are two sets of justice in this country — one for the federal elite and the other for the private-sector peons whose labor, ironically, provides the tax-paid sustenance by which the federal sector survives and thrives.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Monday, July 2, 2007

The Reason for bin Laden’s Jihad

An interesting part of the Jose Padilla trial failed to garner much publicity, not surprisingly. Certainly U.S. officials, including President Bush and Vice President Cheney, ignored it. It involved a statement by Osama bin Laden that was contained in a videotape that was shown the Padilla jury. In the videotape, bin Laden tells the interviewer, Peter Arnett: “We declared a jihad, a holy war, against the United States government because it is unjust, criminal and tyrannical.”

Notice the operative word in that sentence — government, the U.S. government to be exact. That’s right — no talk about hating America because of its “freedom and values.” No talk against the First Amendment, rock and roll, or religious freedom. Bin Laden is directly his words against the U.S. government and its foreign policy.

Of course, this is what we have been saying here at FFF since the 1990s, that is long before the 9/11 attacks. The U.S. government went into the Middle East with its bombs, missiles, sanctions, embargoes, no-fly zones, invasions, occupations, and foreign aid to Israel and other Middle East regimes, including that of Saddam Hussein. All those things produced massive death and destruction, which produced the anger and rage, which produced the terrorist blowback.

As we have long pointed out, the reason that the president and vice president and their minions cited hatred for America’s “freedom and values” immediately after the 9/11 attacks is that they did not want Americans to —uestion the pro-empire, pro-interventionist foreign policy that the U.S. government had been pursuing and intended to continue pursuing. If Americans figured out that the real reason for the 9/11 attacks, along with the previous terrorist attacks (i.e., the 1993 attack on the WTC in 1993, the 1998 attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, and the 2000 terrorist attack on the USS Cole) was U.S. foreign policy, then they might demand that such policy be changed, a terrifying prospect for imperial Washington, D.C.

As I was recently going through security at the airport, I reflected on this as I watched people take off their shoes and display their plastic bag containing their tiny containers of toothpaste, shaving cream, and deodorant. I thought to myself: Look at all of us going through this nonsensical, childish humiliation, not to mention loss of critical liberties, ahd all for the sake of maintaining the U.S. government’s pro-empire, pro-intervention foreign policy.

So, there you have it: a foreign policy that produces terrorist blowback that is then used to take away the liberties of the American people and subject them to ever-growing petty humiliations. It’s not surprising that federal officials, with their ever-growing thirst for more power, would favor such a policy. What’s disappointing is that the American people would choose such a policy, especially knowing the conse—uences.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.