Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lockdown USA

The Alex Jones segment of the media has been reporting for a few years now that the Department of Homeland Security has been building a series of large detention centers in and near US urban areas. One, as I recall, is supposed to be on the grounds of LA International Airport. They are basically just big, open air fenced in areas.

It's easy to dismiss such reports as Libertarian-Right-Gun Nut paranoia, but I've read several reports in regular news media in the past year about US military training exercises in urban areas, where fleets of Blackhawk helicopters fly over rooftops and armored personnel carriers roll through the streets.

An article at the World Socialist Web Site this week summarizes some of these reports. It also talks about a US military urban warfare training center in Indiana, which has a web site that says the fake buildings on it can be made to simulate either foreign or domestic settings.

The WSWS also quotes from a Wall Street Journal story that details the militarization of American police forces. I've mentioned this, and the fact that Homeland Security has been handing out large amounts of military hardware -- helicopters, armored personnel carriers, even tanks -- to local law enforcement agencies, including millions of rounds of hollow point bullets. The Journal article says almost every American burg now has a SWAT team.

I've mentioned recently that Homeland Security's "fushion centers", which were set up after 9-11to enhance communication and cooperation between all the federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, have been shown to be spending much of their time not pursuing foreign based terrorist plots but spying on and infiltrating groups of peaceful US citizens -- Occupy, Leftist activist groups and environmental groups.

Recall also that just recently, new rules of engagement were adopted that authorize the use of US military forces on US soil, reversing a policy that had been in place since the US was founded more than 200 years ago that said that the military could never be deployed against the US populace.

All but a small handful of the terrorist plots that have been uncovered and prosecuted in US courts have been what's commonly known as entrapment, where intelligence agents conceive of plots, bomb plots usually, then talk susceptible young people into participating in them, and supply all the money and equipment necessary including fake bombs.  I say this to point out that there is no real terrorist threat, but in the absence of such a threat millions continue to be pumped into intelligence agencies and local police, and the massive spying on US citizens by the NSA and other agencies continues unabated.

Some see all this as a sign of creeping authoritarianism or nascent fascism. I won't rule that out, but a rationale that's easier to swallow is that the powers that be know that our economic situation -- "ours" meaning us, the working class, not theirs -- will continue to deteriorate, and they know what the consequences will be.

Quoting the WSWS article; "Both America’s ruling oligarchy and the Pentagon command recognize that profound social polarization and deepening economic crisis must give rise to social upheavals. They are preparing accordingly."


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