Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Janet Phelan: The US and the Reign of Fear


(Reprinted with permission of the author. The link to the original is in the title.)

A message of hope in the midst of the darkness.


The story ran on the front page of a major metropolitan newspaper in the states. On the streets of Baghdad, hit teams had become a matter of normal course. A car would pull up and shots would ring out. A man, a pedestrian making his way down a busy midday street, would fall to the ground, dead or deeply wounded.

And the passers-by would keep on walking, as if nothing out of the ordinary had occurred. No one would stop for the wounded or dying, no one would call out for help.

Beyond the depiction of the violence that has become an everyday event in Baghdad, this article revealed the impact of a reign of terror, the blow to humanity when normal, everyday people fear to even take notice of a fallen countryman.

Every reign of terror has its human cost, far beyond the cost of the fallen. Every reign of terror victimizes also those who know that their countrymen are being attacked and even killed, but who fear to speak up or reach out a hand, thinking that they may be next.

And this is how evil accomplishes its aims. This is how a reign of terror succeeds in imprisoning the spirit of a once free people.

Those who think that the US is not now under a similar reign of fear need only surf the web. At elderabusehelp.org, you may read stories of the elderly and disabled, who are being robbed and denied lifesaving medical care, through the guardianship and conservatorship programs, run through our courts. Astute observers have likened this to the T-4 programs in Hitler's Germany, wherein the "useless eaters," the elderly and disabled, were sent off to their deaths, after their assets were secured by the Nazi state.

Both journalists and lawyers attempting to address this issue are under attack. Mary Garofalo was abruptly exited from her twenty year tenure at fox 5 news in New York, the day after the second in her investigative series on guardianship ran on that network. Attorney Margie Mikals has been threatened with revocation of her bar license, after coming up against the conservatorship machine in Southern California.

These tactics have a chilling effect on those who might speak out about the covert, genteel violence being done in our courts, against the most vulnerable of our fellow countrymen. And it has gotten worse. We have journalists and whistleblowers now being imprisoned in our country. Look at the fate of author Fritz Springmeier. Look at what has happened to former reporters and CIA whistleblowers Susan Lindauer and Barbara Hartwell.

And it has gotten worse. Journalist Gary Webb took two bullets in the head in 2004 and his demise was dutifully reported as suicide by his fellow reporters. Over eighty scientists have met suspicious deaths since 2001. Steve Quayle has compiled the following list, which has not been recently updated: http://www.stevequayle.com/index1.html

And it has gotten worse. Those in a position to realize the ramifications for possessing certain types of information, those with their fingers on the pulse of the nation--this would include journalists, broadcasters, lawyers, medical doctors and others in the scientific field--have certain choices to make. One of the possible choices is to skirt around the increasingly obvious fact that people are being killed in this country, murdered by the state. One of the possible choices is to maintain a safe distance from people who are being targeted, and, like those unhappy people on the street in Baghdad, to shut one's eyes to what is becoming every day more apparent.

This choice will ensure the continued and escalating oppression we are now seeing in the states.

The other choice is to continue to speak out, in the face of possible persecution and retaliation. The other choice is to take notice, as loudly as possible, of every person under mortal attack by our government. The other choice is to help those in trouble, not ignore their plight. While this choice may appear more risky in the short term, it is, in fact the only choice that will give us any leverage to change the future.

This is the choice that I made, back in 2002, when my own mother came under deadly attack. (http://la.indymedia.org/news/2006/12/190681.php)
Those who know me know that I have paid dearly for my choice. And those who know me also know I have no regrets.

We have an incredible opportunity, right now, to make our voices heard, to stand up and speak out, without fear and with righteousness. We have a window of possibility, before the iron hand comes down, as we have never yet seen in this country. The choices we make today determine the future of our planet.

I wish you all strength and courage. It is the most beautiful thing to possess.

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