The most disgraceful — but, at the same time, the most revealing and, also, the most ominous — aspect of Wall Street Journal editorial board member Dorothy Rabinowitz’s attack on Ron Paul was when she accused Paul of being “the best-known of our homegrown propagandists for our chief enemies in the world.”
That is one fascinating and honest revelation of the interventionist mindset.
After all, let’s not forget two important things about the country in which we now live:
(1) We now live in a country in which the president, operating through his military forces and the CIA, now wields the power to assassinate both foreigners and Americans; and
(2) We now live in a country in which the military wields the authority to round up both foreigners and Americans and incarcerate them indefinitely in military facilities without trial and treat them as terrorists.
What’s the standard by which these powers are exercised? We don’t know. It’s classified. We’re not permitted to know because to reveal the standard would, they tell us, threaten “national security.”
But what we do know is that one of the Americans they’ve assassinated was alleged to be precisely what Rabinowitz has accused Ron Paul of being: a homegrown propagandist for our chief enemies of the world.
That’s why President Obama, the Pentagon, and the CIA assassinated American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki — for being a homegrown propagandist for our chief enemies of the world.
And therein lies one of the chief threats to a free society posed by interventionism.
And let me tell you something: Rabinowitz is not some interventionist aberration. She’s a model for the interventionist mindset. She is the epitome of the paradigm of foreign interventionism.
In that one sentence, Rabinowitz revealed the true essence of the interventionist mind — one that conflates criticism of government policy with those who are violently resisting the U.S. government’s actions overseas. For her, they are obviously one and the same thing.
After all, no one seriously believes that Ron Paul has formally joined al Qaeda or the insurgency in Afghanistan or the people resisting U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. Not even Rabinowitz believes that.
Then why would she say that? Why would she accuse Paul of the precise thing that al-Awlaki was assassinated for?
Because her mindset is obviously such that when a person criticizes what the government is doing to people overseas, the critic automatically has joined the other side.
Rabinowitz accused Ron Paul of being “a homegrown propagandist for our chief enemies of the world” because she honestly believes it. And the reason she believes it is based on nothing more than Paul’s criticism of the U.S. government’s policies abroad.
This is one of the big reasons that we libertarians have been opposing the enemy-combatant doctrine ever since it was adopted immediately after 9/11. We have consistently maintained that you can’t trust the president, the military, and the CIA with the decision as to who is guilty of terrorism and who isn’t. That’s what a criminal trial is for — to determine who is guilty of a crime and who isn’t. And if anyone doubts whether terrorism is in fact a federal criminal offense, all he need do is go look at the U.S. Code or visit any number of federal courts across the land in which people have been indicted and are being prosecuted for terrorism.
Equally important, we have repeatedly emphasized that whenever a country’s ruler, along with his military and intelligence forces, wields these types of omnipotent powers, officials inevitably begin perceiving critics of the regime as part of the enemy forces. Thus, the round-ups, the detention, the torture, and the executions inevitably expand to encompass critics of the regime, especially during “crises” or “emergencies,” when the citizenry is frightened.
Look at Egypt, where the U.S.-supported military dictatorship absolutely refuses to give up the same powers that are now wielded by Obama, the Pentagon, and the CIA. Those are the same powers that angered the Egyptian people to such an extent that they violently revolted against the tyranny of their own government. For 30 years, Egypt’s military dictatorship has used those powers to round up and incarcerate critics and dissidents, torture them, and execute them.
And all in the name of “national security,” “order and stability,” and “keeping the people safe.”
Oh, and don’t forget — these 30-year-old emergency powers were supposed to be only temporary. To this day, Egypt’s military dictatorship, said to be the friend of the people, has bared its fangs by absolutely refusing to give up its power to round up people as “terrorists” (and as “drug dealers”), incarcerate them without trial, torture them, and execute them — the same power now wielded by the president and the Pentagon here in the United States as part of their “war on terrorism.”
And, hey, the mindset of the Egyptian military is the same as the interventionist mindset in America. A critic of the regime is an enemy of the regime. By criticizing the regime, he has joined the other side. He has become a propagandist for the nation’s enemies. He needs to be treated accordingly. How else can “national security” be preserved? How else can “order and stability” be maintained? How else can “the people be kept safe?”
And make no mistake about it: Deep down, the people in the Pentagon and the CIA share the Rabinowitz mindset. After all, let’s not forget who’s been supporting, cooperating, training, funding, and cozying up to Egypt’s totalitarian military regime for the last 30 years.
Yes, the Pentagon and the CIA. That’s because they’ve believed in the Egyptian military dictatorship. They’ve favored what that dictatorship has been doing for the past 30 years. After all, what better way to protect “national security” and “establish order and stability” and “keep people safe” than by silencing people who are objecting to the totalitarian policies under which they are living?
And it’s not as though the Pentagon and the CIA were unaware of the Egypt’s military dictatorship’s excellent system for torturing people. They were fully aware of it given that they have chosen Egypt’s military dictatorship to be one of their foreign torture partners, a partnerships in which Egyptian military goons torture people who U.S. officials send to them for that purpose.
No American should have any pretensions on whether the Pentagon and the CIA will follow whatever orders the president issues, especially in the midst of an “emergency” or “crisis.” They loyally followed orders to round up Americans and cart them away to concentration camps in World War II. They loyally followed orders to arrest, incarcerate, and torture American citizen Jose Padilla, after his removal from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. They loyally followed orders to assassinate American citizen Anwar al-Awlaki. They have loyally followed orders to incarcerate indefinitely without trial, torture, and execute a large number of foreign citizens. They have loyally followed orders to sanction, invade, and occupy countries that have never attacked the United States or even threatened to do so, killing and maiming countless people in the process.
Make no mistake about it: To protect our “national security” and to maintain “order and stability” and to “keep us safe” — especially in an “emergency” or “crisis” — the military and the CIA will follow whatever orders the president issues to them. In their mind, by doing so they will be “supporting and defending the Constitution” and the “rights and freedoms we all enjoy as Americans.”
The Rabinowitz mindset, as manifested in her piece that the Wall Street Journalknowingly, deliberately, and intentionally chose to publish, constitutes a perfect revelation of the grave danger to freedom that Americans now face under the government’s omnipotent power to round up Americans and to assassinate Americans. It is the same threat that the Egyptian people face. And the Chinese people. And the North Korean people. And the Cuban people. It is the threat that people living under totalitarian regimes throughout history have had to face.
It is the very real danger in which critics of government policy are viewed as enemies of the state — people who have joined the other side — fifth columnists — people who have crossed the line and become propagandists for the nation’s enemies — people who need to be dealt with accordingly by the nation’s military and intelligence forces, whose mission is to protect “national security,” “maintain order and stability,” and “keep the people safe.”
What follows the round-ups, incarceration, torture, and execution is oftentimes silence — a deafening silence as the rest of the citizenry realize what lies in store for them if they protest the treatment of those who have already been forced into the concentration camps, the military dungeons, the torture chambers, and the execution rooms.
It is tremendously encouraging that interventionists are openly attacking Ron Paul for his foreign policy views — views that mirror those of America’s Founding Fathers — and, in the process, revealing their interventionist mindsets. It shows that the interventionists are getting nervous about the fact that increasing numbers of Americans are finally recognizing that the interventionists have brought us nothing but moral debauchery, economic depression, financial bankruptcy, and ever-increasing loss of our rights and freedoms and who are now wishing to restore a free, peaceful, harmonious, and prosperous society and a constitutional republic to our land.