Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Age of the 'Unperson'

by Len Hart, The Existentialist Cowboy

Thanks to the increasingly absurd, bought-and-paid for Supreme Court, corporations are now people but real people can be declared Orwellian 'un-persons' with but a stroke of a pen. This is an unconstitutional power given POTUS by SCROTUS but has no basis in law.

Everything you were told in school with respect to the Bill of Rights, habeas corpus, the rule of law, the right to trial, the right to be confronted by your accusers --all of that is by the boards, 'repealed', rendered moot, defunct with yet another idiotic, stupid and dead wrong decision by the most subversive, traitorous 'Supreme Court' in history.

Moreover, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that government officials are immune from lawsuits because --at the time --it was unclear whether the abuse of prisoners at Guantanamo was illegal. Let me help them out on this one: every 'prisoner' held in Guantanamo is held in violation of every treaty and international principle to which the U.S. is obliged. I believe that applies as well to Abu Ghraib. Clearly --every action of the U.S. in Iraq is illegal stemming from the illegal invasion, a violation of every international principle and/or treaty to which the U.S. is bound. Any death following as a result of any action taken by the U.S. in or to Iraq violated U.S. Codes, Title 18, Section 2441 is a capital crime! Bush himself is in violation of that provision. Others, farther down the food chain, can always plead: 'but ve ver only folloving orters!'

This affront to the rule of law must not stand! It is more repugnant than the so-called 'Intolerable Acts' which motivated the colonial separation from England. Can we have that revolution now?

As everyone knows by now, SCROTUS recently declared corporations --mere words on paper --to be 'real people' having rights that are NOW denied to you who are living, breathing real people. This is intolerable and absurd. The Supreme Court should be dismissed! One wonders now what additional bullshit must the government try to pull before it is declared illegitimate by a 'people's tribunal' and eventually replaced a real government representing REAL people not 'legal abstractions' and the ambitions of the Military/Industrial complex?
In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal Monday to review a lower court’s dismissal of a case brought by four British former Guantanamo prisoners against former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the detainees’ lawyers charged Tuesday that the country’s highest court evidently believes that "torture and religious humiliation are permissible tools for a government to use."

[....]

Channeling their predecessors in the George W. Bush administration, Obama Justice Department lawyers argued in this case that there is no constitutional right not to be tortured or otherwise abused in a U.S. prison abroad.

The Obama administration had asked the court not to hear the case. By agreeing, the court let stand an earlier opinion by the D.C. Circuit Court, which found that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act -- a statute that applies by its terms to all "persons" -- did not apply to detainees at Guantanamo, effectively ruling that the detainees are not persons at all for purposes of U.S. law.

The lower court also dismissed the detainees’ claims under the Alien Tort Statute and the Geneva Conventions, finding defendants immune on the basis that "torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants."

--US: Guantanamo Prisoners Not ‘Persons’, Anti-War Dot Com
In Orwellian terms, an 'unperson is a person who has been vaporized perhaps not literally by the state but nevertheless robbed of his/her natural rights and records of his/her ever having existed. This erasure of personhood itself consists of removing all references to the person in existing books, the destruction of photographs, in fact, any documentary proof of existence at any time, i.e, no trace or evidence is to be found in the historical record.

Even close friends or relatives are 'expected' to forget that an 'un-person' ever existed. The very mention of the unperson's name becomes a 'thought crime'. The concept is not so far-fetched. Consider the Stalinist practice of erasing from photographs the images of convicted 'enemies' of the state. That individuals --real persons --may be subject to this treatment by the 'state' --itself a mere abstraction --is double-plus absurd and more so when corporations are given rights that, by right, belong only to real, living, breathing, biological human beings. Revolution now!

1984 might not have been late in arriving as is often thought. It's implementation may have been complicated but only temporarily delayed by the arrival of the internet. Certainly, the Reagan administration was poised to concentrate, consolidate the conventional and broadcast media into very few and controllable hands. Much of that has occurred. Fox, nothing more than a shrill propaganda organ, is a prime example. Fox arrived on time. The rest of the right wing coup cannot be far behind.

But for the internet and independent blogs, it is this Reagan legacy of concentrated, biased right wing media that you would depend upon for information. That should scare you! If it does not, you're reading the wrong article. Meanwhile, we should not be surprised that the 'conventional' media has yet to grasp the many harms done the world by Reagan, Bush and Bush. The conventional media still speaks another language! Newspeak?

In George Orwell's 1984, life is lived in a state of perpetual war. The U.S. has been at war in one form or another since the beginning of World War II. In 1984 an oligarchical society is defined by its having voided the rights of citizens. It accomplishes this with pervasive government surveillance, mind control, and a 'ministry of truth'. This has been accomplished in the U.S. with the repeal of the Communications Act of 1934 which had established the recently defunct notion that the 'air waves' are owned collectively by the people! That is no longer the law of the land and consolidation of broadcast and print media into very few hands is the result. The internet, we suspect, will eventually be brought under the control of Big Bro. Enjoy it while you can!

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