A New Kind of Tyranny: The Global State’s War on Those Who Speak Truth to Power

By John W. Whitehead

“What happens to Julian Assange and to Chelsea Manning is meant to intimidate us, to frighten us into silence. By defending Julian Assange, we defend our most sacred rights. Speak up now or wake up one morning to the silence of a new kind of tyranny. The choice is ours.”—John Pilger, investigative journalist

November 12, 2019 “Information Clearing House” –   All of us are in danger.

In an age of prosecutions for thought crimes, pre-crime deterrence programs, and government agencies that operate like organized crime syndicates, there is a new kind of tyranny being imposed on those who dare to expose the crimes of the Deep State, whose reach has gone global.

The Deep State has embarked on a ruthless, take-no-prisoners, all-out assault on truth-tellers.

Activists, journalists and whistleblowers alike are being terrorized, traumatized, tortured and subjected to the fear-inducing, mind-altering, soul-destroying, smash-your-face-in tactics employed by the superpowers-that-be.

Take Julian Assange, for example.

Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks—a website that published secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources—was arrested on April 11, 2019, on charges of helping U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning access and leak more than 700,000 classified military documents that portray the U.S. government and its military as reckless, irresponsible and responsible for thousands of civilian deaths.

Included among the leaked Manning material were the Collateral Murder video (April 2010), the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), a quarter of a million diplomatic cables (November 2010), and the Guantánamo files (April 2011).

The Collateral Murder leak included gunsight video footage from two U.S. AH-64 Apache helicopters engaged in a series of air-to-ground attacks while air crew laughed at some of the casualties. Among the casualties were two Reuters correspondents who were gunned down after their cameras were mistaken for weapons and a driver who stopped to help one of the journalists. The driver’s two children, who happened to be in the van at the time it was fired upon by U.S. forces, suffered serious injuries.

This is morally wrong.

It shouldn’t matter which nation is responsible for these atrocities: there is no defense for such evil perpetrated in the name of profit margins and war profiteering.

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In true Orwellian fashion, however, the government would have us believe that it is Assange and Manning who are the real criminals for daring to expose the war machine’s seedy underbelly.

Since his April 2019 arrest, Assange has been locked up in a maximum-security British prison—in solitary confinement for up to 23 hours a day—pending extradition to the U.S., where if convicted, he could be sentenced to 175 years in prison.

Whatever is being done to Assange behind those prison walls—psychological torture, forced drugging, prolonged isolation, intimidation, surveillance—it’s wearing him down.

In court appearances, the 48-year-old Assange appears disoriented, haggard and zombie-like.

“In 20 years of work with victims of war, violence and political persecution I have never seen a group of democratic States ganging up to deliberately isolate, demonise and abuse a single individual for such a long time and with so little regard for human dignity and the rule of law,” declared Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture.

It’s not just Assange who is being made to suffer, however.

Manning, who was jailed for seven years from 2010 to 2017 for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, was arrested in March 2019 for refusing to testify before a grand jury about Assange, placed in solitary confinement for almost a month, and then sentenced to remain in jail either until she agrees to testify or until the grand jury’s 18-month term expires.

Federal judge Anthony J. Trenga of the Eastern District of Virginia also fined Manning $500 for every day she remained in custody after 30 days, and $1,000 for every day she remains in custody after 60 days, a chilling—and financially crippling—example of the government’s heavy-handed efforts to weaponize fines and jail terms as a means of forcing dissidents to fall in line.

This is how the police state deals with those who challenge its chokehold on power.

Make no mistake: the government is waging war on journalists and whistleblowers for disclosing information relating to government misconduct that is within the public’s right to know.

Yet while this targeted campaign—aided, abetted and advanced by the Deep State’s international alliances—is unfolding during President Trump’s watch, it began with the Obama Administration’s decision to revive the antiquated, hundred-year-old Espionage Act, which was intended to punish government spies, and instead use it to prosecute government whistleblowers.

Unfortunately, the Trump Administration has not merely continued the Obama Administration’s attack on whistleblowers. It has injected this war on truth-tellers and truth-seekers with steroids and let it loose on the First Amendment.

In May 2019, Trump’s Justice Department issued a sweeping new “superseding” secret indictment of Assange—hinged on the Espionage Act—that empowers the government to determine what counts as legitimate journalism and criminalize the rest, not to mention giving “the government license to criminally punish journalists it does not like, based on antipathy, vague standards, and subjective judgments.”

Noting that the indictment signaled grave dangers for freedom of the press in general, media lawyer Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., warned, “The indictment would criminalize the encouragement of leaks of newsworthy classified information, criminalize the acceptance of such information, and criminalize publication of it.”

Boutrous continues:

[I]t doesn’t matter whether you think Assange is a journalist, or whether WikiLeaks is a news organization. The theory that animates the indictment targets the very essence of journalistic activity: the gathering and dissemination of information that the government wants to keep secret. You don’t have to like Assange or endorse what he and WikiLeaks have done over the years to recognize that this indictment sets an ominous precedent and threatens basic First Amendment values…. With only modest tweaking, the very same theory could be invoked to prosecute journalists for the very same crimes being alleged against Assange, simply for doing their jobs of scrutinizing the government and reporting the news to the American people.

We desperately need greater scrutiny and transparency, not less.

Indeed, transparency is one of those things the shadow government fears the most. Why? Because it might arouse the distracted American populace to actually exercise their rights and resist the tyranny that is inexorably asphyxiating their freedoms.

This need to shed light on government actions—to make the obscure, least transparent reaches of government accessible and accountable—was a common theme for Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who famously coined the phrase, “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Writing in January 1884, Brandeis explained:

Light is the only thing that can sweeten our political atmosphere—light thrown upon every detail of administration in the departments; light diffused through every policy; light blazed full upon every feature of legislation; light that can penetrate every recess or corner in which any intrigue might hide; light that will open up to view the innermost chambers of government, drive away all darkness from the treasury vaults; illuminate foreign correspondence; explore national dockyards; search out the obscurities of Indian affairs; display the workings of justice; exhibit the management of the army; play upon the sails of the navy; and follow the distribution of the mails.

Of course, transparency is futile without a populace that is informed, engaged and prepared to hold the government accountable to abiding by the rule of law.

For this reason, it is vital that citizens have the right to criticize the government without fear.

After all, we’re citizens, not subjects. For those who don’t fully understand the distinction between the two and why transparency is so vital to a healthy constitutional government, Manning explains it well:

When freedom of information and transparency are stifled, then bad decisions are often made and heartbreaking tragedies occur – too often on a breathtaking scale that can leave societies wondering: how did this happen? … I believe that when the public lacks even the most fundamental access to what its governments and militaries are doing in their names, then they cease to be involved in the act of citizenship. There is a bright distinction between citizens, who have rights and privileges protected by the state, and subjects, who are under the complete control and authority of the state.

Manning goes on to suggest that the U.S. “needs legislation to protect the public’s right to free speech and a free press, to protect it from the actions of the executive branch and to promote the integrity and transparency of the US government.”

Technically, we’ve already got such legislation on the books: the First Amendment.

The First Amendment gives the citizenry the right to speak freely, protest peacefully, expose government wrongdoing, and criticize the government without fear of arrest, isolation or any of the other punishments that have been meted out to whistleblowers such as Edwards Snowden, Assange and Manning.

The challenge is holding the government accountable to obeying the law.

Almost 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in United States v. Washington Post Co. to block the Nixon Administration’s attempts to use claims of national security to prevent The Washington Post and The New York Times from publishing secret Pentagon papers on how America went to war in Vietnam.

As Justice William O. Douglas remarked on the ruling, “The press was protected so that it could bare the secrets of government and inform the people. Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell.”

Almost 50 years later, with Assange being cast as the poster boy for treason, we’re witnessing yet another showdown, which pits the people’s right to know about government misconduct against the might of the military industrial complex.

Yet this isn’t merely about whether whistleblowers and journalists are part of a protected class under the Constitution. It’s a debate over how long “we the people” will remain a protected class under the Constitution.

Following the current downward trajectory, it won’t be long before anyone who believes in holding the government accountable is labeled an “extremist,” is relegated to an underclass that doesn’t fit in, must be watched all the time, and is rounded up when the government deems it necessary.

Eventually, we will all be potential suspects, terrorists and lawbreakers in the eyes of the government

Partisan politics have no place in this debate: Americans of all stripes would do well to remember that those who question the motives of government provide a necessary counterpoint to those who would blindly follow where politicians choose to lead.

We don’t have to agree with every criticism of the government, but we must defend the rights of all individuals to speak freely without fear of punishment or threat of banishment.

Never forget: what the architects of the police state want are submissive, compliant, cooperative, obedient, meek citizens who don’t talk back, don’t challenge government authority, don’t speak out against government misconduct, and don’t step out of line.

What the First Amendment protects—and a healthy constitutional republic requires—are citizens who routinely exercise their right to speak truth to power.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, the right to speak out against government wrongdoing is the quintessential freedom.

Be warned: this quintessential freedom won’t be much good to anyone if the government makes good on its promise to make an example of Assange as a warning to other journalists intent on helping whistleblowers disclose government corruption.

Once again, we find ourselves reliving George Orwell’s 1984, which portrayed in chilling detail how totalitarian governments employ the power of language to manipulate the masses.

In Orwell’s dystopian vision of the future, Big Brother does away with all undesirable and unnecessary words and meanings, even going so far as to routinely rewrite history and punish “thoughtcrimes.”

Much like today’s social media censors and pre-crime police departments, Orwell’s Thought Police serve as the eyes and ears of Big Brother, while the other government agencies peddle in economic affairs (rationing and starvation), law and order (torture and brainwashing), and news, entertainment, education and art (propaganda).

Orwell’s Big Brother relies on Newspeak to eliminate undesirable words, strip such words as remained of unorthodox meanings and make independent, non-government-approved thought altogether unnecessary.

Where we stand now is at the juncture of OldSpeak (where words have meanings, and ideas can be dangerous) and Newspeak (where only that which is “safe” and “accepted” by the majority is permitted). The power elite has made their intentions clear: they will pursue and prosecute any and all words, thoughts and expressions that challenge their authority.

This is the final link in the police state chain.

Having been reduced to a cowering citizenry—mute in the face of elected officials who refuse to represent us, helpless in the face of police brutality, powerless in the face of militarized tactics and technology that treat us like enemy combatants on a battlefield, and naked in the face of government surveillance that sees and hears all—our backs are to the walls.

From this point on, we have only two options: go down fighting, or capitulate and betray our loved ones, our friends and ourselves by insisting that, as a brainwashed Winston Smith does at the end of Orwell’s 1984, yes, 2+2 does equal 5.

As George Orwell recognized, “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

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You have 49 days left to come to Puerto Rico

November 12, 2019
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Over the past two decades, one of my hobbies has been chronicling my family history.

It started back in the early 2000s right around my first military deployment. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it home, so I had a strong desire to know more about my ancestors.

I was fascinated by what I found– not just names and dates, but the stories of their lives. And the more I discovered, the more I wanted to go even farther back.

After 18 years of doing this, I’ve managed to trace my ancestors back nearly 1,000 years to the Norman conquest of England.

(William the Conqueror ordered regular census studies to be taken, so there are ample records from that era.)

One consistent theme about my ancestors that I learned– most of those people never went anywhere.

From the late 1000s to the early 1400s, the family stayed put in Oxfordshire in southern England. That’s more than three centuries, and at least a dozen generations, who remained in the same place and rarely strayed more than a few miles from home.

And if they ever did leave town, it was usually to go fight in some foreign war.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate in this regard; my travels have taken me to more than 120 countries, and I’ve lived in several over the years. I doubt my ancestors could have ever imagined this lifestyle.

But today it’s normal. We can hop on a plane today, go to sleep in a flying bed, and wake up tomorrow morning on the other side of the planet.

Moving is also normal. People are no longer rooted to their ancestral homes, and it’s common for people to pick up and move.

It happens every day, and for a multitude of reasons– better opportunities, a new job, warmer weather, lower cost of living, etc.

But lately there’s been another big reason why people are looking for greener pastures elsewhere, at least in the Land of the Free: taxes.

Recent studies by the Heritage Foundation and Cato Institute show that, in 2016, 24 out of the 25 highest tax states showed net OUT migration, i.e. the states lost population.

And states with low (or zero taxes) have gained population.

The populations in Nevada, Washington, Florida, Texas, and even South Dakota– places without a state income tax– have all risen.

New Hampshire and Tennessee (which have no state income tax on wages) have also seen population increases.

Wyoming, which also has no state income tax, has had a small decline in overall population, but showed a substantial net increase of high income and wealthy households.

And since 2007, Texas and Florida (both states without an income tax) have gained 2.2 million people, while California and New York (both high-tax states) have lost 2.2 million people.

Up until last year, you used to be able to deduct the full amount of state and local tax on your US federal income tax return. That softened the blow of living in a high tax state like California.

Now there are strict limitations on that deduction, meaning the tax burden of living in a place like New York or California is higher than ever. So this exodus of tax refugees is likely to continue.

And then there’s Puerto Rico.

While not officially a state, Puerto Rico is a US territory… so moving from, say, New York to Puerto Rico is like moving from New York to Miami.

You don’t need to apply for residency or do anything special. You just show up here and, poof, you’re a resident.

A lot of people still don’t realize that Puerto Rico is not a foreign country. Flying here from the US mainland is a domestic flight, no different than flying from St. Louis to Chicago.

Amazon Prime works here. The US Postal Service delivers here. US mobile carriers like T-Mobile and AT&T have service here. Etc.

The point is that Puerto Rico is not Timbuktu. It’s still the United States… but with an enormous tax benefit.

Texas and Florida might have 0% state income tax. And that’s great. But residents of those states are required to pay US federal income tax.

It’s better than living in New York or California, sure. But in Puerto Rico, residents can eliminate their US federal tax obligations altogether.

This isn’t some ‘loophole’ or shady tax dodge; it’s been a deliberate part of the federal tax code for decades:

Section 933 of the Internal Revenue Code states explicitly that Puerto Rican residents are exempt from US federal tax on all income derived from Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans do have to pay Puerto Rican tax. But they’re not subject to US federal tax on their Puerto Rican income. In most cases they don’t even have to file a US tax return.

Up until recently, that wasn’t much of a benefit. Puerto Rico has very high local tax rates.

But some years ago the Puerto Rican government passed incredible tax incentives, allowing qualifying businesses to pay just 4% corporate tax, and individuals to pay 0% tax on their investment income.

These incentives have attracted a LOT of people (including myself) to move here. From a tax perspective, it’s like being in Texas or Florida, but even better.

If you own a business, you pay just 4% corporate tax, and 0% dividend tax when you distribute your company’s profits to yourself. And that’s it.

The Puerto Rican government changed the law several months ago… something I predicted. A great thing never lasts forever.

And, while the new provisions are still incredibly attractive (they didn’t touch the 4% tax rate), there will be some extra costs and requirements that kick in starting January 1, 2020.

But you can still apply now to be grandfathered in under the current tax incentives before they change on January 1st.

So if you’ve been thinking about Puerto Rico, get down here and apply within then next 49 days.

To your freedom,

Signature

Simon Black,
Founder, SovereignMan.com

US hand in glove of terrorists Al-Qaeda is a U.S. proxy against the Syrian government, Russian government and the Iranian government. President Assad

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How did ISIS rise suddenly in 2014?! Out of nowhere! Out of nothing! In Iraq and Syria at the same time, with American armaments?! It’s very clear.

Posted November 11, 2019

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Click here full English transcript

US hand in glove of terrorists

He said IS at the peak of its power could not have been smuggling oil worth millions of dollars per month out of Syria without the US turning a blind eye.

“Since ISIS started … looting Syrian oil in 2014, they had two partners: [Turkish President Tayyip] Erdogan and his coterie, and the Americans, whether the CIA or others,” he said. The US-supervised looting of Syria’s riches openly continues today, he added. Yet, that looting – so the president says – doesn’t stop when a war ends.

The Americans always try to loot other countries in different ways regarding not only their oil or money, or financial resources. They loot their rights, their political rights, every other right. That’s their historical role at least after World War II.

Assad said that murky ties between Washington and hardline militants in Syria is the reason why he is skeptical about Donald Trump’s claim that American special ops indeed took down IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Just like in the case of Osama Bin Laden, no definitive proof of the death was made public, which contrasts sharply with what happened to people like Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Moscow, for its part, also has reservations about claims Baghdadi is dead, calling for the release of some definite proof.

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People fight and die for a cause, not a person

The narrative supporting regime change in Syria usually focuses on Assad and his inner circle, claiming that disposing of the so-called ‘dictator’ would be enough to ensure positive change in Syria. “Assad must go” has long been a mantra in the West. The man himself says the notion is ridiculous since hundreds of thousands of Syrians fighting on the side of Damascus are certainly not putting their lives on the line for his person.

People would die, especially en masse for a cause, and this cause is defending their country, defending their existence, their future.

The same is even truer for nations like Iran and Russia, which sent their troops to help the Syrians in the battle against terrorism. Believing that any government would bet its interests on the political survival of a single foreign leader “is against logic,” Assad said. The leader is often accused of using brutality and terror tactics against the civilian population to turn against the militant groups opposing Damascus and pledge allegiance to the Syrian government. He argued that such an approach would be not only immoral but also impractical.

“The war in Syria was about capturing the hearts of the people, and you cannot capture the hearts of the people by bombarding them,” he said. “How could the Syrian people support their state and their president and their army, if they are killing them?”

Economic warfare continues

Assad said that Western leaders who say that the Syrian people are suffering under his government are hypocrites because the very same leaders inflict suffering on Syrians through economic sanctions. It is basically just another way to try and ensure regime change, he argued.

This is maybe the last ditch-attempt in order to push them to be against their government. But they tried it last winter, they tried it before, and it did not work because the people knew the whole story, and they knew where their interest lies.

Syria traditionally has a strong public sector, which provides many services like healthcare or education free or at subsidized prices. With the economy crippled by the war even more people rely on the government to get basic things like food or heating oil.

The sanctions, however, are not limited to the government, Assad said. Private investors are strongly discouraged by the US and its allies from bringing capital into government-controlled parts of Syria, which makes economic recovery, reconstruction and return of refugees harder.

Click here full English transcript

This article was originally published by “RT” – 

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Peace and joy