OpEdNews, 22 December 2013
We have big problems that are currently out of control and taking our nation careening towards a future that is dangerously out of control. We have, deeply ensconced within our power infrastructures, institutions, organizations and job categories where there are gross violations of the law, of the constitution, of the rights of citizens. These organizations and the people who operate freely as perpetrators of crimes and abuses of the constitution are protected by the power hierarchy that is supposed to supervise them and hold them accountable.
Let’s take a look at some of the worse offenders. There’s no new news here. But my hope is to frame this is a bigger problem that needs to be addressed by new responses– responses which I’ll discuss shortly.
My goal in this article is to start a conversation that needs to be raised to a much higher level. So here are a few examples of the abusing entities.
-Law enforcement agencies and officers, from the top down to cops on the street. The US is quickly moving towards becoming a militarized police state, as Radley Balko has exposed. Police cover each other and routinely violate the law without accountability. They work with homeland security and intelligence agencies to spy on innocent activist organizations and individuals. As Glenn Greenwald has said, they use terrorism as an excuse for almost anything. They use swat teams for actions that are totally inappropriate. Sometimes they lead to innocent people being, at worst, killed, at the least, mistreated with violations of rights. We need a set of laws and a system that enforces them so police, who are given the public trust, are held accountable when they abuse the powers they are entrusted with.
-Intelligence and surveillance agencies, like FBI, CIA, NSA engage in spying that is unconstitutional and illegal. Then, the heads of these agencies lie to congress, to the congressional committees that are supposed to supervise them. And then, congress lets them get away with it. People like hawk Democrat Dianne Feinstein propose legislation that retroactively protect the criminals who violate these laws. People like congressman Peter King would give the NSA a blank check to despoil American’s rights.
-Military mystery spending. At this point, there are more than a trillion dollars of unaccounted for spending tied to Defense. A few people have shown this to be true. Why haven’t these missing billions been tracked down, the people responsible for accounting for them identified?
-Military murder. Just because Obama takes time to decide who to kill with drones each day does not make such murders okay. Just because a president appoints an attorney who will say that what he’s doing is legal does not make it legal. Jeremy Scahill has documented this in articles and his book and movie, Dirty Wars.
-Wolves in sheep’s clothing are running government regulatory and consumer and worker protection agencies. it has become common for presidents to appoint and for congress to authorize the appointment of people with massive corporate conflicts of interest– moles who use their positions to remove regulatory impediments, create sham regulations that, worse than not working, actually enable further corporate malfeasance. Start by looking at the FDA and the Department of Agriculture.
-Bankers and finance industry people have engaged in criminal actions that have hurt millions, yet the Department of Justice has failed chosen not to prosecute almost all of them. This is NOT a failure to act. It is intentional permission of criminal action. Attorney General Eric Holder has made it clear that he feels some people are exempt from prosecution. The problem is bi-partisan. Both parties are protecting the economic industries from robust regulations that would protect consumers.
–Psychopaths in the highest places. We know that one to two percent of the population are psychopaths– predators who don’t care– they are without empathy and don’t care about laws, about who they hurt. The smart ones skirt the laws, evading arrest. The less smart ones cost the US alone over half a trillion dollars a year in prison, prosecution and crime costs, yet the research budget to understand and prevent harm and damage caused by them is less than twenty million dollars a year. I would argue that if you include hurt and damage by uncaught, smarter psychopaths, the costs exceed a trillion dollars a year. How much damage can a psychopath CEO or member of congress, or a high level aide do? Massive amounts!!
We need to take a step back and see these symptoms as part of a much bigger problem.
These rogue institutions are costing the USA trillions of dollars annually. But it goes beyond money.