On February 22 1933 a deranged communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, 24, from Holland attempted to strike a blow against capitalism by burning down the German Reichstag. German Chancellor Adolph Hitler’s SA agents knew about his plan but instead of preventing him they were concerned that the fire he set wouldn’t be effective. So while Marinus was upstairs setting his fire SA Storm Troopers under Karl Ernst, entered the Reichstag basement through a tunnel connected to Herman Goering’s residence and distributed enough gasoline and incendiaries around to ensure a good blaze. After the Reichstag had burned and Van der Lubbe had been captured, an incensed Hitler told his nation “The German people have been soft too long. Every Communist official must be shot. All Communist deputies must be hanged this very night. All friends of the Communists must be locked up. And that goes for the Social Democrats and the Reichsbanner as well!"
The next day he issued the following proclamation; "Restrictions
on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including
freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations
of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and
warrants for house searches, orders for confiscation’s as well as
restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed."
He went on to slaughter millions of dissidents, Jews, and other people that he didn’t care for and lead his country into a World War that ended in a bloody, disastrous, and humiliating defeat.
On September 11, 2001 a group of religious zealots hijacked some
airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon
in Washington DC, killing about three thousand people including themselves.
Following this, President Bush asked for and received passage of
the ironically named USA Patriot Act, which contains the following
Allows for indefinite detention of non-citizens
who are not terrorists on minor visa violations.
Constitution doesn’t distinguish between citizens and non-citizens this undermines Constitutional protections
of all citizens.
Allows the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to designate groups as “terrorist“ without specifying
just what a “terrorist” is.
Allows the government to conduct secret searches of homes and business.
Allows for trial of suspected terrorists by secret military courts.
Greatly reduces individual rights of privacy in communications.
Creates the new crime of “domestic terrorism” which is so broadly defined as to include any dissident group.
President Bush also took the opportunity to get a blank check from Congress to make war on any nation that “harbored terrorists” – blithely ignoring the fact that the CIA is demonstrably the biggest terrorist organization on earth and his own father, George Bush Sr. was at it’s head when it committed some of its most heinous crimes. He then sent the entire weight of the American military against Afghanistan because it was harboring Osama bin Layden although there was no proof that bin Laden or Afghanistan had anything to do with the September 11 attack. The attack was productive in other ways though; oil interests, to whom Bush has close ties, had long desired control of, and access to, the great oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea area, but this was prevented by a constant state of political turmoil. One way to reduce the political problems is to bomb the population and infrastructure into a condition that wouldn’t allow them to resist oil company domination.
In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks some Americans feel
that there are questions that should have been
answered and aren’t receiving the attention they deserve. One, is the question of why the plane that hit the Pentagon
wasn’t shot down? There was almost a full hour between the attack on the first tower and the attack on the Pentagon, where was the Air Force? It is standard operational procedure to intercept and interrogate civilian aircraft that are off course. Any nation with a military establishment has secrets that it wants to keep and even a civilian airliner can carry spy gear – or a bomb. Some years ago the USSR shot down a civilian airliner under such circumstances. During the hour that elapsed between the first attack and the last it had become obvious that we were under attack and all civilian aircraft had been ordered grounded. The lone airliner cruising through the thick East Coast air defenses toward the Pentagon would have been easily detected. Why wasn’t it intercepted and shot down?
The FBI is displaying an unseemly reluctance to discover who did the anthrax mailings. It has been established that the weapons grade anthrax found in the envelopes was made in the USA at the facility at Dugway Utah. How did it find it way out of this high security area into the envelopes that were mailed to leading Democratic Senators and news people?
It also seems that American intelligence organizations were warned of an impending terrorist attack by French, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence. Why were these warnings ignored – or were they? These questions and many others concerning September 11 have not been satisfactorily addressed by the Bush administration.
Unanswered questions like these and the all out attack on civil liberties have caused a certain stiffening of what passes for a spine among the corporate whores that infest Congress and future increases of federal power at the expense of the Constitution may be more difficult to push through.
The Reichstag Fire had increased Hitler’s power and authority tremendously – but it still wasn’t enough. Hitler wanted total control. With an election scheduled for March 5 1934 he had an opportunity to take it. Accordingly, the Nazis made an all out attempt to win a majority in the Reichstag so they could get an ironically named “Law for Removing the Distress of the People and the Reich” passed. This act would confer on Hitler the constitutional functions of the Reichstag including, the power to make laws, control of the budget and the ability to make treaties with foreign governments. Political enemies were arrested by the thousands and put in hastily constructed prisons. Old Army barracks and abandoned factories were converted to this purpose and thus was begun the concentration camp system. Large donations were solicited, and received, from industrial organizations like Krupp and I.G. Farben.
But in spite of an energetic and well-executed campaign the Nazis didn’t
win the majority they needed to pass the act. They were undeterred
however, and when the newly elected Reichstag convened in the Kroll Opera
House on March 23, they packed it inside and out with SA Storm Troopers.
And with Storm Troopers on the outside chanting slogans like “Full
powers – or else! We want the bill – or fire and murder!” and
Hitler lying on the inside with statements like “The
government will make use of these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures…” and promises to promote peace with France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union; the measure passed and Hitler became dictator of Germany.
For Bush all of the pieces are in place. An apathetic populace, completely under the spell of the corporate media and so discouraged with the corrupt political processes that only about half turn out for presidential elections; a degenerate Congress whose members are fit only for toadying to special interests and lying to their constituencies; a huge military establishment without a draftee in it and completely barren of democratic thoughts or ideals. A large and growing prison system created under the phony War on Drugs. And finally, the newly created, heavily funded, Office of Home Security, ready to become his own personal police force immediately after the next attack. Everything is ready, and all he needs to sweep away the last vestiges of a government “of, by and for the people” in America is the next Reichstag Fire.
Salt Lake City, Utah
"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders... All
you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and
denounce the peacemakers for ... exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg Trials