That Bracken guy sure can write, can’t he?
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That Bracken guy sure can write, can’t he?
Feel free to drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org, or to leave a comment below.
Federal, state, or local. You, the man or woman with the badge, the sworn LEO or FLEA and those who inhabit the many law enforcement niches in between and on all sides. This essay is directed to you, because in the end, how this turmoil about gun control turns out will depend largely upon your decisions and actions over the coming months and years.
I sincerely wish that members of Congress—who may soon be voting on new gun control measures—would read this essay, but I realize that’s a pipe dream, considering the impenetrable bubbles around those exalted entities. So I’ll settle for you, Mr. (or Ms.) Security Agent, since you already gobble up everything on the internet, and I don’t have to seek you out.
A decade ago I wrote the novel Enemies Foreign and Domestic, a tale about how tragic events involving the misuse of firearms can be used by an evil administration to misinform and mold public opinion to support its malign anti-freedom policies.
No, my novel was not predicting “Operation Fast and Furious” a decade before that covert policy of “pursuing gun control under the radar,” (which was President Obama’s explanation to Sarah Brady for his lack of overt political action). That inter-agency gun-walking policy, remember, resulted in the deaths of over four hundred Mexicans and two U.S. federal agents, murdered in an effort to discredit the Second Amendment and lead to more restrictive gun control laws in America. (If Nixon—or any Republican, for that matter—were in office, the intentional bloodbath would be called Murdergate, but today’s collaborating Woodwards and Bernsteins are in on the cover-up.)
Instead of gun-walking thousands of AK-47s to Mexican drug cartel assassins (who would believe that?), Enemies Foreign and Domestic begins with a sniper opening fire on a packed football stadium. A thousand innocent fans die, some from the ninety bullets fired but most in the ensuing panic stampede. In a traumatized America, the fictional stadium massacre results in the banning of all semi-automatic rifles, with no buyback, no grandfathering of weapons already owned, and no sunset clause. Citizens had to turn them in for destruction or face years in federal prison.
The page-one stadium massacre was simply a plot device chosen to launch the story in high gear and set the stage to immediately and fully explore the main theme of the novel: the calculated transformation of our Constitutional republic into a socialist police state. Since I prefer to write tightly wound fiction transpiring at a rapid pace in a compressed time period, I examined the imposition of totalitarian controls over the course of just a few weeks, not years or decades.
Consider: The TSA was born in the panicked backwash of 9/11, which is understandable given the events of that day, when Muslim maniacs screaming allahu akbar murdered 3,000 Americans and others in the name of Islamic global jihad. But a decade after 9/11, due entirely to political correctness, it’s completely out of the question to profile Mohammed at the airport yet absolutely necessary for that bloated agency to “randomly” select your pre-teen or teenage daughter for a body search performed by a government matron in a TSA uniform. This frequently under-the-clothes and against-the-skin complete body search may done in full public view, or in a hidden back room, solely at the discretion of the TSA agents involved.
Meanwhile, Mom and Dad stand off to the side where they have been directed to wait, saying nothing, scarcely moving, avoiding random eye contact lest a TSA security agent catch a wayward smirk or utterance of protest. To pull out a cell phone camera at this time would surely invite arrest. To walk over and grab the matron by the arm is out of the question. Defending your child from the indignity would lead only to your being Tasered and handcuffed on the cold airport floor. After that, your entire family may wind up in some TSA airport detention cells, conveniently located right on your concourse and unknown to you until then. Better to stew in silence, let the incident pass, and try to forget it.
So in the year 2013, in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we stand with our eyes averted, burning with humiliation, while our spouses or children are groped above and below the waist by blue-gloved government prison guards—only we are in an airport in a free country, and not in a prison!
Or are we? A virtual open-air prison, where government security agents can pat down ordinary citizens at will is the accepted “new normal.” Did that happen often in East Germany, I wonder? In the Soviet Union? Does it happen today in Cuba? Officially sanctioned crotch groping in the name of “security?”
(Why, again, was it that the TSA was created? Oh yes, Islamic jihad terrorists destroyed some big buildings and killed thousands of people in New York City on September 11 way back in the year 2001. It was because of that very bad day in lower Manhattan and many other acts of bloody Muslim terrorism around the world going on for decades, especially hijacking and blowing up lots of airliners full of people. It’s so easy to forget why exactly it is that we need to become a police state for our own safety.)
And now we read that the TSA is yet again expanding and branching out, like an octopus on steroids. This suddenly gargantuan federal agency is not only running routine checkpoints and stop-and-frisk operations in airports, but at bus and train stations also. Eight thousand times in 2010, if you can believe the government’s own accounting figures. Your papers, please! These checkpoints and mobile searching stations are called VIPR Teams, a telling acronym for Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response Teams.
Folks, you cannot make this stuff up. Well, actually, you can. Way back in 2002 in Enemies Foreign and Domestic I invented FIST checkpoints, for Firearms Inspections Stop Terrorism. I leave it to you as to which sounds more coolly ominous and plausible in fact and in fiction—VIPRs or FISTs.
The advance word is that at the next stop on this express lane to tyranny, we will be seeing the TSA on our highways, setting up roaming vehicle checkpoints. For our “public safety,” of course. Watch the recent YouTube video of the Texas state trooper digitally raping a mother and daughter by the side of a Texas highway to see law enforcement checkpoint authority run amok, and wonder at the future of our nation and our hard-won legacy of individual freedom. If you can stomach to watch it.
Welcome to the USSA, comrades! How in the world did this happen? When did we wake up to find our freedom stolen in the night—and all in name of “homeland security” and “public safety”?
And now in the wake of yet another disgusting example of the worst human depravity, this time in an elementary school in New England, we are told by the government that some firearms are simply too dangerous for citizens to possess. We are told that limiting or removing these firearms from private hands will increase the general public safety. We are told that it is a small thing to give up semi-automatic rifles, which the political and cooperating media elites will dutifully call “assault weapons,” even though nobody can quite define the term. In any case, we are told, nobody needs an “assault weapon” with a thirty-round magazine.
Well, actually, almost nobody needs them.
Apparently, Mr. Security Agent and his comrades need them, lots of them. Tens of thousands of new “assault weapons,” enough to shoot all of the billions (with a “b”) of .223 and .40 caliber hollow-point bullets recently purchased by our federal law enforcement agencies in unprecedented new acquisitions. Are we suddenly expecting a foreign invasion I missed reading about? Wouldn’t that be the job of the military? Why do our federal law enforcement agencies suddenly need tens of thousands of “assault weapons” and billions of new hollow-point (not training) bullets, many times more than in previous years?
Evidently, it’s very dangerous on the Homeland Security front, and Mr. Security Agent needs a lot of firepower to be able to put down all of the assorted troublemakers and problem children out in the “uncontrolled spaces” of America. You can’t have too much firepower if you work for our government law enforcement agencies!
But in the name of public safety the government is going to whittle your allowable firearms down step by step, first eliminating semi-automatic rifles, then pistols, and eventually on down to the last bolt-action hunting rifles and shotguns, which may be kept at a government armory, and signed out for an approved day of hunting with a few shells. (Make sure to retrieve your empty brass for the counting.)
So, step by step, the government is going to take away any ability the average citizen might have to resist a rampaging mob or roving gangs of bandits during a breakdown in law and order, or any demands at all made by a tyrannical government sometime in the murky future.
So at the historical moment that our nation is turning into a police state, with no expectation of privacy, even of our private parts in public airports or on public highways, we are commanded to grant even greater trust in our government’s perpetual future benevolence, to have blind faith that at no point in the future will our government turn tyrannical.
But in the year 2013, has the government already earned our trust, or our disgust, with its current abuses of its police powers? In this environment of steadily creeping tyranny, should we comply with government demands for our increasing disarmament?
I wrote Enemies Foreign and Domestic a decade ago with the hope that eventually anti-gun liberals would discover it and it would provide them with a virtual road map to understanding conservative thinking about firearms and their place in society. Additionally, I wrote the novel hoping that if it were successful, it might provide me a platform and a microphone to discuss these issues at some dangerous time in the future.
That time is now. Well-meaning, gun-loathing liberals need to understand that they are blindly tossing matches into a dynamite factory with their threats to severely limit and restrict the Second Amendment. They must understand the other point of view in order not to send America careening into a deadly minefield, the existence of which they are, evidently, blissfully unaware.
To many liberals, the popular American hobby of collecting and shooting guns is a bizarre and shameful vice. Three or four pistols and long guns and a few hundred rounds of ammunition are routinely described in the popular media as an “arsenal.” Perhaps in a Manhattan walk-up studio apartment, where that handful of guns had to be smuggled in and hidden, it would be considered an “arsenal.” But out past the urban beltway, out in Red State America, that is what many folks I know keep in their car or truck for roadside emergencies, or impromptu plinking, or varmint-hunting opportunities. And hell, isn’t that why we have guns out in Red State America? Damn sure is. Among other reasons.
Millions of firearms aficionados in their later years have purchased a rifle, pistol or shotgun every year or two for decades. In millions of cases, these add up to dozens of firearms per household. A round dozen firearms of all types might be a good average. Some are hunting arms, some are military antiques, and increasingly, many are defensive pistols and modern sporting rifles, and yes, both are semi-automatic. For example, millions of AR-15 rifles have been purchased in just the last few years. Note that I did not say modern hunting rifles. That is a separate category, but the important thing to understand is that the Second Amendment has nothing to do with hunting, and anybody who says it does is telling a lie.
Those of us who enjoy firearms feel it deeply when some lunatic misuses one to slaughter innocents. Shooting ranges are virtually churches of gun safety, with safety rules posted everywhere, taught to one and all, and enforced strictly. Passing down our tradition of safe and responsible gun ownership from generation to generation is considered a sacred trust. When a firearm is misused by a criminal, our greatest wish is always that we had been present with our legally concealed pistols to stop the slaughter of unarmed, defenseless innocents. And more frequently than you might imagine, this actually happens.
Consider this: the average number of victims per incident when the shooter is stopped by an armed civilian: three. The average number of victims when the shooter is stopped by a policeman: fourteen. Why? Because when every second is a matter of life and death, the police are still minutes away. Think about those numbers. Eleven people die needlessly if the shooting takes place in a “victim disarmament zone,” where legal firearms are prohibited. This is why deranged shooters head for schools, malls, and theaters, where signs forthrightly proclaim that guns are forbidden. A “no firearms” sign draws such a person the way that a starving wolf is attracted to a pen full of helpless lambs.
But when the killer is stopped by an armed civilian, the mainstream media rarely or never mention that fact, because it goes against their propaganda template: the inherent evil of guns in civilian hands. So those stories are spiked and the typical American never hears of them. Did you know that shortly before the tragedy in Connecticut, an armed civilian stopped a maniac in a packed shopping mall after he had killed only two victims, instead of twenty-seven?
The same media that pointedly ignore frequent life-saving defensive uses of firearms consistently pours hours and days and weeks of attention upon the latest maniac who chooses a firearm as his tool of mass murder, so that the next potential insane villain cannot fail to notice the easy path to fame and immortality that the misuse of a gun can bring. But the greatest fame will only attach if they can beat the previous body-count record, a number constantly and loudly broadcast, so that no one can fail to hear it.
The message to the unstable is clear: Come on, you crazy guys, can’t you at least murder your way to thirty? The Virginia Polytechnic Institute madman is still leading the lone-wolf pack, but college students might resist, so maybe find an easier target to rack up higher numbers. Find a killing zone with younger and more helpless victims. The media’s lesson was clear, and it was well learned by Adam Lanza when he set out to slaughter helpless little lambs instead of bigger and tougher sheep.
The mainstream media pour a Niagara of crocodile tears over the most recent child victims, after doing everything for the killer but sign his name to their pre-written script. With such fanfare, is it any wonder that there is no lack of new monsters playing “beat the kill record” on a regular basis? It’s almost become a recurring television reality show.
Meanwhile, liberal politicians scheme about how to leverage the latest human tragedy into new gun control laws, laws that by definition will be obeyed only by the law-abiding, not by criminals. “Never let a good crisis go to waste,” to paraphrase Obama confidant Rahm Emmanuel. And no better opportunity to trim the Second Amendment fangs and claws of their ideological enemies than in the immediate aftermath of another massacre wrought by a madman with a gun.
But conservatives have also considered this phenomenon of grief exploitation for political ends, although from a very different ideological perspective. We look back a century and even longer, and see other nations and peoples that were also on the march forward toward “social progress” when the need for mandatory gun registration suddenly became an urgent national priority.
To say that Turkey did not enjoy a smooth transition from being the seat of the collapsing Ottoman Empire, through World War I and into the modernist Ataturk era, would be a massive understatement. In those turbulent times, ethnic Turks, Muslims composing the vast majority of the population, considered their Christian minorities, especially the Armenians, to be disloyal and treacherous.
In 1911, a national gun registration law was passed in Turkey, with no apparent ill intention beyond increasing public safety. In 1915, during the Great War, these gun registration lists were used to disarm the Armenian and other Christian populations. Army battalions cordoned off entire towns and did gun sweeps. Once disarmed, the official state violence visited against the Armenians ratcheted up to murderous levels. Typically, on town-wide sweeps, all of the men and boys were taken away by the Turkish soldiers, never to be seen or heard from again.
Only after these Armenian “enemies of the state” were disarmed and completely helpless to resist did the final step begin: the officially sanctioned, ordered, led and conducted wholesale “deportations” of the Christian minorities from Turkey. These “deportations” were in reality forced marches into fiery deserts, accompanied by pervasive sadistic cruelty comparable only to the Japanese “Bataan Death March,” and the less known but much more deadly death marches of the last surviving Jews in Nazi hands as the Red Army closed in on Germany.
Three decades earlier in Turkey, rape, roadside torture sessions ending in death, and the entire worst catalog of human abuses were standard procedure while the Christian Armenians were being marched into the deserts to die of thirst, hunger, exposure, and sheer brutality. The stragglers who could not keep up with the columns being force-marched without food or water by Turkish soldiers were killed with bullets, bayonets, swords and even crueler means (for sport and variety), until the columns were no more and the missions were complete.
Between 1915 and 1923, one and a half of the two million Turkish Armenians were murdered, along with a half million Christians of other sects. The rest escaped from Turkey in one of the first great diasporas of a genocided people in the modern era. There is no need to build gas chambers or slave-labor gulag death camps in a country with ample deserts. In Turkey there is no Dachau or Auschwitz to memorialize the dead, just bones scattered in the sand and rocks a century ago, a model of efficiency that Hitler might have envied. (The Turks deny to this day that it happened, just as some deny the later Nazi holocaust.)
But even after conducting this first modern mega-death holocaust, with diplomats and reporters covering the genocide with daily wire reports, Turkey was not expelled in disgrace from the community of nations. There was no Western boycott of the new Turkish state. Adolf Hitler noticed this 20th-century indifference to genocide, and so did Lenin and Stalin and other despots. After the horrors of the First World War, the West had little gas left in the tank for do-gooder intervention just because some ethnic minority or other had been wiped out in Turkey.
A new low standard had been set. A nation’s leaders could commit genocide against a despised minority, murder two million living souls in full view, and the world would not give a good damn. It was an important lesson for future dictators, leading to even greater mass murders under the Nazis and Soviets.
And the German Nazis and the Soviet Communists learned another crucial lesson from the Turks: national gun registration laws could be passed easily in the name of dubious “public safety,” and the registration lists could be used later to disarm selected minorities and then subsequently to arrest, deport, and murder them by the millions after they were helpless to resist.
In the Turkish case, only a small clique understood the true purpose behind the gun registration and gun control laws of 1911. If average Turks thought about the gun laws at all, they probably believed they would actually lead to greater public safety, as advertised. That was also generally the case with the Russians, Germans, Chinese, Cambodians, Guatemalans, Rwandans, and all the rest who were required to register or even turn in their firearms for “public safety,” and who accepted the demand at face value as a “reasonable” gun control measure, to their later regret.
American liberals who would like to see the Second Amendment torn out of the Constitution as a problematic relic of a bygone era generally do not know—or pretend not to know—this well-established historical pattern. But American Constitutionalists, who are more often than not students of history, understand the pattern very well.
So, directly behind the insane faces of contemporary villains like Loughner, Holmes and Lanza, we see the smirking faces of Stalin, Hitler, and Mao, tyrants who did not murder individual victims by the fives and tens, but entire populations by the tens of millions. And in each case, these national genocides were preceded by gun confiscation that was made possible by national firearms registration laws sold to a gullible population in the name of “public safety.”
(Interestingly, during the bloody French Revolution’s “Great Terror” of 1793 to 1794, it was the “Committee of Public Safety” who condemned tens of thousands of French men and women to the guillotine or other forms of summary execution without trial. After previously being disarmed, of course.)
Let’s look at another foreign country for a positive perspective on gun ownership. Although surrounded by sometimes hostile neighbors, Switzerland has maintained neutrality for centuries. It is an armed neutrality: nearly every adult Swiss male serves a short period of active military duty and thereafter is a member of the home guard militia. The inactive reservist keeps his military-issued fully automatic battle rifle at home, with plenty of ammunition and magazines, for the rest of his life. If Switzerland were ever invaded, the invaders would immediately find themselves taking accurate fire from many directions. Beyond personal rifles kept at home, field artillery, heavy machineguns and other crew-served weapons were hidden in disguised barns and other public and private buildings across the countryside, among the very citizen-soldiers who would man and fire them.
An interesting story, but what does it have to do with this essay? Over those same centuries that Switzerland has not been invaded by a foreign enemy, it has also never been taken over internally by a dictator. Any would-be Swiss tyrant would face the same dilemna faced by an invading army: a citizenry armed to the teeth with the latest military-grade, full-automatic-capable true assault rifles, plus jointly operated crew-served weapons. A citizenry dedicated to preserving its freedom from any tyrant, foreign or domestic.
Liberals might cite the example of Great Britain or Australia as countries that have created national registration lists and then later disarmed their populations through confiscation, but without a subsequent genocide. That’s true, but there is often a long delay between the stages of the registration-confiscation-extermination progression. For example, national gun registration in Germany was implemented in the 1920s, without any immediate dire consequences. Then Hitler was elected and took dictatorial powers under the Enabling Act. Beginning in 1938, Hitler used the gun registration lists to first disarm and then exterminate his enemies, primarily the Jews.
Scapegoating an unpopular group is standard operating procedure for budding socialist dictators wrecking once-free economies. For the Soviets, it was the Kulaks; for the Chinese it was the so-called “landlords.” I could list more recent cases to include Cambodia, Uganda, Guatemala, Rwanda and others. Once disarmed and helpless to resist, the hated national scapegoats are slaughtered by the millions.
Probably few Turks, Germans or Russians gave a thought to the ultimate aim of their new gun registration laws, passed quite plausibly in the name of public safety. But national gun registration is a slow-acting poison, sweet and easy to swallow, but potentially becoming deadly only years later, when a tyrant takes the reins of power and inevitably sends for the list. He begins with his most dangerous enemies and works his way through the list, marching the helpless scapegoats into deserts or gas chambers or gulags after disarming them.
In America today, we are seeing the beginning of an insidious scapegoating process, with older conservative white Christian males designated as the national Lucifer du jour, fair game for any vicious attack. Famous black movie stars joke about murdering white folks and white liberal media stars laugh along with them, conveying elite acceptance of the prevailing “evil whitey” meme.
Filled from birth on a steady diet of the pervasiveness of white racism in America, rage-filled urban youths across the nation play “the knockout game” with often fatal results for their randomly selected white or Asian victims. Meanwhile, the elite liberal media fail to notice the national scope of the almost weekly occurrences. Google “the knockout game” and start reading the dozens of local stories that the media refuse to connect or identify as part of a dangerous national trend.
And it doesn’t stop with knocking out random passers-by with sucker punches and then kicking them in head until they are dead, disfigured for life, or in comas. Have you ever heard of “The Knoxville Horror”? How about “The Wichita Horror”? Google them, read the local news articles about them, and ask yourself how much national media attention those cases and others like them would garner had the races been reversed.
When alternately trumpeting or ignoring crime stories based entirely on the races of the perpetrators and the victims isn’t enough to convey the media’s full slant, they will invent stories or lie freely, as we saw in the Trayvon Martin case, with video footage edited and spliced to deliberately portray “white-Hispanic” George Zimmerman as a racist killer. Selectively covering or ignoring crimes depending on the races of the victims and perpetrators is a vital part of the process of scapegoating. The unspoken message is clearly conveyed: crimes against disfavored groups just don’t matter. The violence prone absorb the lesson, and the result is a wave of racial attacks such as those described under the rubric of “the knockout game.”
Or consider the types of cartoons that are considered acceptable today in mainstream publications, portraying prototypical older white Christian men—presumably filthy-rich conservative Republicans—as hate-spewing maniacal villains, complete with fangs, Confederate flags, prominent Christian crosses and gigantic, threatening guns. Compare these viciously racist cartoons to the vilest anti-Semitic cartoons created by Nazi propagandists before and during World War II. I am not speaking of cartoons drawn by nobodies and posted on obscure fringe websites, I am talking about cartoons printed in mainstream newspapers, cartoons that would be condemned if the targeted group was any other than the scapegoat.
Cartoons are not serious, you say? Then how about a paper in an approved and sanctioned semi-official U.S. military publication, written by a War College professor in good standing. Serious enough for you? Google the “Small Wars Journal” piece entitled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A Vision of the Future,” by Colonel Kevin Benson, USA (ret), 2012. The “full spectrum operations” envisaged for the Army in the homeland are not made against hypothetical hostile drug cartels in the Southwest, or urban gangs, or the traditionally ambiguous and vague “Pineland Liberation Group,” or “Orangeland People’s Front,” hypothetical stand-ins named to offend no one, not even by accident.
This long-standing neutral naming protocol is tossed aside in “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland,” where the new domestic enemy that the U.S. Army must crush is a neo-KKK, a white racist “Tea Party terrorist” organization, headquartered in, of all places, Darlington, South Carolina. Yes, the NASCAR Darlington. Anybody who has been in or near an actual Tea Party event or rally knows the crowd is made up mainly of an older white population, a quiet group that leaves no mess behind, not even a stray poster, and causes no fuss.
Yet “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland” postulates that these white grandpas and grannies will be the very group that the U.S. Army will be called upon to crush in its first major battles on American soil since 1865. The message this paper sends throughout the upper ranks of the War-College-trained military, actually naming an ethnic group—Southern whites—as the national enemy to “hypothetically” be crushed by the Army in the year 2016, is simply mind-boggling.
The path forward that is indicated by the media’s growing acceptance of these vile and outrageous anti-white celebrity rants, cartoons, and articles is the same path that in previous eras led to the guillotine, the gulag, and the gas chamber for the scapegoated populations. But the final solution—genocide of the scapegoats—is only possible after the mob is sufficiently inflamed with hatred toward them by the mass media, in collaboration with an evil government. And time after time, it works.
We are seeing the opening stages of the scapegoating of white conservatives today, as the last election seems to demonstrate to the left’s satisfaction that a crucial political and demographic tipping point has been passed, and the ultimate power equations of raw tribal loyalty have changed in a fundamental way—and now it’s payback time.
We have seen this play out before in other countries and times, and it is deadly serious. Once the scapegoating gets far enough under way, it can pick up a life and a momentum of its own. For example, if the economy ever truly crashes, and the EBT system that feeds fifty million Americans goes down hard, leading to hunger, looting, and riots, (or we suffer other unforeseen problems of similar crisis proportions), the scapegoats will always be dragged to the forefront as the pre-designated patsy, to deflect blame from the government.
“It’s the traitorous Armenians! It’s the greedy Kulaks! It’s the filthy Jews! It’s the oppressive Rwandan Hutus! It’s the white-racist rednecks! Let’s go get them, and make them pay!”
The end result of disarming a scapegoat population is as easy to follow as 1-2-3:
1. Registration. 2. Confiscation. 3. Extermination.
And in this cultural and social climate, with class envy and racial hatred being stoked by the government and its willing partners in the liberal media against white conservatives, our socialist-leaning administration now wants us to surrender our most useful and effective self-defense tools, in the name of “public safety”!
Why is this essay titled Dear Mr. Security Agent, when it dwells mainly upon the media and coastal-dwelling urban liberals and their utopian belief in the benefits of new gun control laws in the United States? Mr. Security Agent will protest that he is no liberal, he is ex-military, he’s a cop, he’s a fed—he’s one of the good guys! He took the same oath to defend the Constitution that you did, Buster! He doesn’t need any lectures on defending the Constitution! So why single him out in this essay?
Why? Because liberal bliss-ninnies in San Francisco and Boston are not issued flash-bang grenades, battering rams, body armor, flex-cuffs by the gross, and MP-5 submachine guns. No, the dirty end of the confiscation job will fall upon the shoulders of sworn law enforcement officers and gold-badged federal law enforcement agents. The LEOs and the FLEAs. That’s you, Mr. Security Agent.
We really don’t want a problem with you, believe me. And there is no reason for us to have a problem, because we both can read the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and neither of us requires a team of black-robed mystics to translate its plain English into Newspeak for improved comprehension. You and I both understand what “the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” means, without requiring five out of nine politically appointed Supremes to tell us that it does not mean what it very plainly states in black and white.
Now, as long as Mr. Security Agent remembers that he swore the same oath that millions of Americans swore, to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, he will certainly not permit himself to take part in gun confiscation raids. But if he does, well, let’s be frank: tens of millions of Americans would then consider him to be the very domestic enemy that they swore to defend the Constitution against.
But Mr. Bracken—I can hear it now—this is the United States of America! Abuses like the ones you hypothesize simply cannot happen here. Gun registration does not always lead to confiscation, much less to extermination. We are not Germany or Russia or any of those other countries you mentioned. This is the 21st Century. America is different, and it can’t happen here. You must lay your irrational fears aside and place your trust in your government. It cannot, it will not, ever turn in the dark and tyrannical direction that you imagine.
Oh, really? Google “wrong-address SWAT raids” and read any of the dozens of articles you will find. We should trust the government not to abuse us even further, once we are disarmed and helpless to resist them? Thanks, but I don’t think so.
In 2002, in Enemies Foreign and Domestic, I wrote a fictional account of future government agents waterboarding American “detainees” in a clandestine “interrogation center.” In 2013, I think that we are many steps closer to that reality. Today, we already see genital groping by federal agents and at least one Texas state trooper who was caught on film. Their goal is not “public safety,” but public humiliation, intimidation, and control. Cowing the peasants into meek obeisance to unchecked authority. Can waterboarding American “detainees” in clandestine torture centers really be that far behind?
We have recently learned, Mr. Security Agent, that your law enforcement comrades can read every email we send or receive with no need for a pesky and outdated warrant. Today, our cell phones come complete with undisclosed “back doors” for law enforcement use, allowing them even to be switched on remotely, to serve as no less than a secret police microphone in our very own pockets.
Next year there will be drones patrolling the skies above America, keeping a watchful “Gorgon Stare” (Google it) mega-eye out for our “public safety.” Please read “The Coming Drone Attack on America,” by Naomi Wolf, to understand the grim implications of this development for what remains of American freedom.
Facial recognition cameras are going up everywhere. Nearly all public and corporate video camera networks have their feeds directed to dozens of new law enforcement “fusion centers,” whose very existence is kept secret from the American people they were supposedly built to protect. (Google “fusion centers” as well. Discover more news that the liberal mainstream media don’t think you need to know.) Data-mining and Social Network Analysis by our “protectors” edges steadily toward the “Department of Pre-Crime” foreseen in the science fiction movie Minority Report.
Next, project a decade ahead to what may be considered routine law enforcement behavior in 2023, after millions of Americans refuse to comply with new firearms registration and confiscation laws. Action will beget reaction. SWAT raids will spur armed resistance, which will spur “death squad” reprisals by “off-duty” agents, exactly in the way I wrote in “Enemies Foreign and Domestic.” It is a natural, almost organic progression, once started—and it has started. Secret detention centers will proliferate like mushrooms in the night. The media will not report on them, even if screams are heard around the clock by neighbors. Particularly brave reporters who break the media silence to report on police abuses will disappear, or be found headless, as they are in Mexico today.
For that is what a modern “dirty civil war” looks like, in country after country, from continent to continent. If present trends continue, America is going to experience a very old witch’s brew on her home soil for the first time since the Civil War. This is my own very dark “vision of the future” (to quote the subtitle of Colonel Benson’s piece) if new and restrictive gun control laws are passed.
So now we’re back to you, Mr. Security Agent, and your unique role in this high drama. Let me state this very clearly, both for you and for the liberal agenda-setting elites who might accidentally stumble upon this essay. Let there be no doubt about this. Let no one later say, “But we were just trying to improve public safety. We had no idea that all these disastrous unintended consequences would happen.”
I am telling you now that disastrous unintended consequences will happen if Congress passes new laws banning presently legal firearms. To make it very easy to remember, and in the spirit of our beloved Department of Homeland Security’s old color-coded security threat levels, let me spell out three lines of demarcation.
The yellow warning line will be crossed with national gun registration laws, including laws forbidding private gun sales without government permission. When that law passes, millions of Americans will feel that they have been pushed directly to the edge of the abyss above the mass graves of history. Defenders of the Second Amendment know what happened in Turkey, the USSR, Germany, China, and other nations that fell under totalitarian rule: in every case a necessary preliminary step on the road to genocide was national gun registration, followed by confiscation. The Jewish survivors of the Nazi Holocaust say, “Never again!” And so do we.
The red line will be crossed with the passage of laws mandating that currently owned weapons, ammunition magazines, and ammunition quantities above a certain number must be turned in to authorities or destroyed, and thereafter their simple possession will be a felony. At that point, the nation will be on a hair trigger, with a thousand flaring matches nearing a thousand primed cannon fuses aimed directly at the next Fort Sumter.
The next line requires a bit of history to explain. In some primitive Civil War POW camps, where lack of funding or logistical constraints did not allow the construction of proper fences, a knee-high continuous railing of wooden slats encircled the prison grounds. Guards with rifles were positioned at the corners and in crude towers. If a prisoner so much as stepped over the narrow plank, he was shot dead without warning, obviating the need for a real fence to contain him. Hence the term “dead line.” Cross the line and people die, right now.
And this is what liberal utopians must understand: after passing the yellow line with national gun registration and transfer requirements, and the red line by making possession of currently legal firearms felonious, the dead line will be breached with the first SWAT raids upon citizens suspected of owning legal firearms made illegal by the new gun control laws. People will die resisting confiscation, in large numbers.
Confiscation crosses the dead line, make no mistake about it.
So this essay is really for you, Mr. Security Agent, because it won’t be elite Manhattan or Malibu liberals or Ivy League professors or politicians or columnists who will be ordered to strap on the sweat-stained body armor and enforce the new gun control laws at gunpoint. No, that grim task will fall to you.
But as long as you are an honorable agent of the people while an employee of the government, and as long as you honor your oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, then you will encounter no problems at all with gun owners. Why? Because you will refuse to take part in gun confiscation raids. Period. End of sentence, end of paragraph.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is the leading American law enforcement agency, at least in terms of its long history and high prestige. Dear Mr. Security Agent, please consider that F.B.I. also stands for Fidelity, Bravery, and Integrity. Soon, your fidelity to your solemnly sworn oath may be severely tested. It will take a lot of bravery to make your personal integrity a higher calling than following illegitimate orders, simply to maintain your steady paycheck and benefits.
On the other hand, if you no longer resemble the upstanding and honorable federal agents I have known in the past, if that whole oath-to-the-Constitution shtick was a big fat joke to you and you would accept a transfer to the old Soviet KGB or East German Stasi for a ten percent pay raise…then we are definitely going to have a problem. So that oath you swore really matters, one way or the other, and so does your personal sense of honor.
Dear Mr. Security Agent, let me spell it out. If you find yourself in the sub-basement of an annex to a secret intelligence center on the far end of town, waterboarding citizens into revealing the locations of suspected “illegal caches” of firearms, ammunition or ammunition magazines that were legally owned in 2012, then know this one simple fact: tens of millions of Americans will most surely consider you a betrayer of your sworn oath and a traitor to your country.
And so, if you find yourself silently dismounting a covert SWAT vehicle at zero-dark-thirty, dressed all in body armor, counting down to the time-coordinated explosion of battering rams and flash-bang grenades, on a raid against a sleeping household intended to result in the confiscation of firearms, ammunition or ammunition magazines that were legal to own in 2012, millions of Americans who also swore an oath to defend the Constitution will consider you their domestic enemy, and they will resist you with force of arms. Just as the soldiers of King George were resisted on another notable gun confiscation raid on April 19, 1775. It used to be called “The Shot Heard ’Round the World.”
You may consider the sentiments expressed above to be absurd, hyperbolic, dangerous, ridiculous, or simply wrong-headed. But please understand that tens of millions of Americans feel this way to their cores, and they will not be disarmed without a fight. Well-meaning but naive liberals should understand the certain-to-follow consequences of new gun control laws intended to disarm their fellow citizens in the name of “public safety.” LEOs and FLEAs should understand the dire consequences of participating in gun confiscation raids, in direct violation of their sworn oaths to uphold the Constitution, including the Second Amendment.
The unintended consequences of this misguided utopian fool’s crusade to ban guns would include a second civil war as agonizingly painful as the first one, if not more so, since there would be no front lines and no safe areas for anybody, anywhere. Every sane American wants to prevent such a calamitous outcome as a “dirty civil war” on United States soil.
But know this: those tens of millions will never be quietly disarmed and then later forced at government gunpoint onto history’s next boxcars. If boxcars and detention camps are to be in America’s future, then you, Mr. Security Agent, will have to disarm them the hard way first. Not Piers Morgan, not Michael Moore, not Rosie O’Donnell, not Dianne Feinstein, not Chuck Schumer.
Matt Bracken was born and raised in Baltimore, and graduated from the University of Virginia and Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL Training in 1979.
He has written four novels about defending freedom in an era of steadily encroaching tyranny.
Excerpts of his novels, and all of his recent essays, may be found at EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com.
Watch the full vid here.
And for those who say that the US security forces will use deadly force against American protesters, I say “Good!”:
That worked out pretty well last time.
However you can.
No matter what.
Or opportunity to recruit for intel purposes?
You make the call.
Besides, they are just doing their jobs.
[/eye roll off]
…There is no progress in progressivism. There is instead a deep fear of progress. Utopians fear the unregulated and unplanned and they replace the true expansive progress of the human spirit with the false progress of social controls. Human genius is sold on the block in exchange for bureaucracy…
Or, as a WRSA reader commented the other day:
Nothing will change until the bureaucrats are scared to go to work.
As the old joke goes, a good start.
Know that is always about the power.
Add little gems like this:
and it isn’t irrational to conclude that all electronic comms are potentially compromised.
WM’s dope-slapping of it and its authors here.
You do understand where this is going, right?
You do realize that the game is already afoot here in FUSA, right?
One of the important auxiliary functions not discussed to date is that of public information collection and distribution.
Going back to the first “tea party” march in DC in September, 2009 – the one the legacy media described as involving “tens of thousands”:
How did anyone outside of DC know that the MSM was lying?
Because ordinary people were sending imagery and text description via the ‘net to the world.
The “Barrycades” protest last fall?
And it will be the same in future scuffles.
There will be no “journalists” from the Regime media covering the events objectively.
The days of mass-media distribution of shots like these are over:
The recent events in Ukraine prove the point.
Wrap your brains around the following idea, as it is of supreme importance:
When the Bad People go kinetic here in CONUS during the Coming Excitement, if the Good People don’t get imagery of Evil in action, no one else will.
Every patriot is a sensor.
Every patriot is a reporter.
Every patriot is a publisher.
It’s your most important task.
Never forget that.
A reader reminded me of Obama’s surely-coincidental setting of the new Federal project minimum wage at $10.10/hour and the lovely greenie advert above.
Pure serendipity, I am sure.
Especially since the debate is over.
Read ’em both.
Especially the second one.
The only remaining constraint bearing at all on President Obama is the need to retain the Senate and possibly pick up the House in November.
Once that game is over – likely by carefully-targeted theft – he will have full Imperial powers with zero accountability for two full years.
Think about what that means.
I always liked the final scenes of The Godfather:
Your mileage may vary.
No matter what.
…A certain few individuals that seem to have the right mindset and outlook. Starting a revolution is short sighted. Surviving the downfall that is likely to eventually happen anyways, that is where your money should be. Guys (neuter) that are out there training to survive. Guys that are out there getting involved with communities. Guys that are planning communities. Guys that are learning valuable skills that a community needs. Those are going to be the ones standing when things finally go south. Stop inciting panic and subversion, and figure out how you can actually make an improvement, instead of blowing smoke and being a keyboard warrior…
Then think about the issues I raise in this comment I’ve posted at his place:
With all due respect, you and I and a whole lot of other Cassandras are all dead already.
You don’t think the Bad People have gotten pretty good over the past dozen years at kinetically removing nits from Leviathan’s buttocks?
Pay special attention to Bracken’s discussion of social network analysis in this bit of fictional fancy:
What must be done now – especially given The Won’s plans – is to turn up the volume.
Make the Bad People take action.
Defy the Satanic SOBs.
Both sides are doing battlespace prep in the info space.
We get to be on point.
Be not afraid.
Another dead guy
No matter what.
However you can.
Do you understand yet?
But remember – McCarthy was a bully.
That’s what really matters.
Two words, to be ever more relevant in FUSA:
FREEFOR can learn much about the info aspect of the Approaching Excitement by watching the Ukrainians.
Short-fuse fiction by Matt Bracken intended to spread alarm among progressives, in the spirit of dispiriting them from ever attempting such a mad folly in order to cling to power. Matt Bracken is the author of the Enemies Foreign And Domestic trilogy, and Castigo Cay.
This is the first time in many years that I have put pen to paper for a lengthy letter, so please forgive my misspellings, poor handwriting or any other errors. I will probably do this in one go and be finished with it. I won’t need much of this new notebook. It’s a nice room, desk and chair, but really, no computer? I just wish they would stop the hammering outside. I need to focus in order to write well.
No one person could possibly expect to know the full truth about such a complex history, so near to its time. But I know what I know, saw what I saw, and heard what I heard. Now it’s time to set the record straight, at least about what transpired between some of the key players in the lead up to the recent events.
What I have heard called “the plan” began as idle office chat, nothing more. (Of course, not much chat is ever truly idle at the very highest levels of power, between senior presidential advisors.) The first time I heard it mentioned was over lunch with Dennis in the White House Mess, down in the basement next to the situation room. We were at a quiet corner table of the wood-paneled dining room, tossing ideas for the next talking points back and forth. Routine.
One of right-wing hate radio’s loudest and most poisonous voices was conducting an embarrassing public feud with our press secretary. The President had trapped himself in a seeming contradiction. The video and audio were both damning, and one must admit, very funny—if one’s goal was to make the President look and sound like a liar and a fool. The Youtube videos were getting millions of hits; the TV comics were not letting it go. We had been knocked completely off message, the optics were horrible, and our favorability ratings were collapsing at a crucial moment. (It seems like an ice-age ago when such trivialities actually mattered to me.)
I said something offhandedly to Dennis. “I just wish we could get rid of those bastards, once and for all.”
He stared at me for a long time, chewing on his second BLT sandwich until the Navy steward retreated from range, and then he said, “Actually, Jacinda, there is sort of a plan for that.”
“What do you mean, ‘a plan for that’?”
He explained that it was nothing formal, and there was nothing in writing. Nor would there ever be. It was just a concept he had come up with, along with a few other trusted colleagues and advisors. An idea. They had gamed out various scenarios. We could solve our problems with molding public opinion if we removed just a few dozen key right-wing opinion makers. That was the exact word he used, “removed.” That was last spring, and I put it off as a harmless thought experiment. I didn’t hear anything more about it for several months.
Then one day after another media talking points session in the mess, Dennis said, “Remember the plan we were talking about? You know, we really could do it.”
“Are you serious?”
“The timing would have to be just right. Mainly, it would depend on external events.”
Remembering the numbers from our earlier conversation, I told him that removing a few dozen of the worst reactionaries wouldn’t change anything. Other fast-talking right wingers would just take their places. Except they would be angrier than ever.
“Not dozens.” He paused. “Around two thousand, actually.”
The new number shocked me. “That’s not possible.”
“No, it’s very possible. We’ve studied it from every angle.”
Clearly, he knew more about a plan than he was letting on. Nobody was closer to the President than the two of us and his wife, and I had heard nothing from the boss, not even a hint. “You’re making this up. You’re not serious. Is it a joke, or a test? I wasn’t born yesterday.” I had to be careful. This was dangerous territory, when any spoken word could be recorded almost anywhere. Trust in a man like Dennis was a very slender reed upon which to cling.
“No, I’m very serious,” he said. “Here’s how we came up with two thousand. I was given a copy of a new law enforcement software program, one that Justice had for testing and evaluation. A refinement of the social networking analysis stuff. Data-mining, all of that. We put it on a clean computer, adjusted it for our own parameters, and made the list. We tried it at different levels from ten up to ten thousand. The optimal number for the greatest effect with the least initial disruption came in at about two thousand.”
I shook my head and said, “Dennis, it’s crazy to even talk about it.”
He continued with what, I saw later, was a canned pitch. “Do you want everything we’ve worked for to be lost? What if it came to striking boldly, or losing all of the progress we’ve made over the last fifty or a hundred years?”
I sidestepped. “You know as well as I do that boldness isn’t the President’s forte.”
“Well, you could help stiffen his backbone.”
“We could both be facing prison time just for talking like this.”
“Not as long as we’re in power. You know how I know? Operation Fast and Furious. At least four hundred dead and there was no blowback that we couldn’t handle. Our media stuck right with us all the way through. For me, that was the final test. We can do almost anything if we get the timing right, and most of the media stays with us.”
I replied, “But those were Mexicans. And not two thousand.”
“It doesn’t matter. I have the majority leader on a leash. I could drag him around the White House on all-fours if I wanted to. We have nothing to fear coming out of the House. Without the majority leader, Congress can’t do anything but hold hearings that the media won’t cover.”
“But he hammers us every day in the press…”
“Of course he does, he has to maintain credibility with his base. But it’s pure bluster. Trust me—I own him when it counts.”
In the right company (particularly mine, since we go back so far), Dennis liked to brag about the political enemies he held under the control of blackmail. It was a measure of his power, and whom else could he tell? You could count the people he trusted on one hand, perhaps two. One way or the other, all the dirtiest secrets wound up in his hands. Some said it was a mafia thing. Or the unions. Or the red net that had helped us at critical junctures most of our lives. There were advantages to growing up in the second or third generation of the movement. Certain doors opened before us at critical junctures.
Dennis’s knack for finding the hidden scandals almost seemed occult-like. After the big national health care decision, he showed me compromising “men’s health club” photos of the younger chief justice and his pals. Dennis just couldn’t resist the irony and had to share it with me, but that was a rare case of candor about his methods.
So I wondered what he had on the majority leader, that holier-than-thou redneck prick. Was he kinky, greedy, or both? Had Dennis’s minions discovered ancient history long buried, or had they lured him into some new honey trap? It didn’t matter, and I didn’t really care. But it did explain why the Congress could never seem to move past first base on Fast and Furious, even with so many dead.
But I still wasn’t ready to believe he was serious. I said, “Four hundred dead Mexicans are not the same as two thousand dead Americans.”
“It depends on what’s going on at the time. We would need a thick smokescreen, that’s for sure. Lots of background noise. The right emergency.” He lowered his voice and said, “Anyway, they wouldn’t necessarily be ‘dead.’ Technically, they’d just be ‘missing’.”
We held long eye contact across the table. He needed to clean his eyeglasses, but didn’t seem to mind the smudges. I said, “The Iran thing could blow sky-high any day. And Egypt, and Syria…”
“Exactly. And that kind of an emergency might lead to all sorts of opportunities.” He smiled, and gazed at me.
After another long silence I asked, “Does this plan have a name?”
“There’s no name.”
I asked him, “How many people know about this … idea?”
“Just a few, but that doesn’t matter. It’s designed to be self-reinforcing, once it gets kicked off. A positive feedback loop. Unstoppable.”
The smile again. A cocked eyebrow. Dennis was as slippery as an eel. A charming eel, when he wanted to be. “He knows that bold action might be called for. We’ve spoken about it for years, in a hypothetical sense, using historical precedents. But I know from those discussions that he’ll back the plan, once the parts fall into place.”
I said, “The military wouldn’t stand for it, not two thousand.”
“The military won’t be in the loop—this will all be handled at the federal agency level. The AG is fully aboard, and so are his directors. They’re facing federal prison time if the majority leader is replaced. Once he’s gone, we’ll be totally exposed on that end. So it’ll happen soon, or never. Let’s just say that forces are in motion and leave it at that.”
“So … what do you want from me?”
“I just want you to influence the President and his wife favorably when the time comes. You know what to say to them. ‘Sometimes in the life of a revolution, hard decisions must be taken. Cross the Rubicon and cement the gains of history, or get washed out to sea and be forgotten.’ You know what to tell them. But what about you? Jacinda, when the time comes, can we count on you?”
My mind was in turmoil. I was being asked to engage in a conspiracy. Perhaps this was a setup, and my answers were being recorded for another piece of Dennis’s trademark blackmail. Yet to refuse Dennis could also be dangerous. I decided to sound favorable yet remain noncommittal. “I understand history as well as you do. Sometimes dreadful actions are called for during a revolution, I know that. But I won’t support a fool’s crusade that goes off half-cocked and damns us all as traitors.”
He nodded, and smiled again. “That’s good enough.”
The war broke out a few weeks later.
I am referring to the cruel and insane but necessary war with Iran.
As necessary for them, as for us. The Iranian missile strikes were followed by the Israeli bombing raids. Or perhaps it was the other way around, the timeline depending on which news network you believe. When is a pre-emptive strike self defense, and when is it aggression? I will leave it for future historians. The simple fact is that within a few days cities were burning from Cairo to Islamabad, while at home we were struggling against Iranian terror cells and cyber sabotage, and an anthrax attack that had crippled our mail and package services. The dirty bombs in Houston and Long Beach were overrated initially, but they stopped port operations around the country for weeks. It all added up to a lot of hurt on the home front.
Basic electrical service, phone service, the internet, and our entire digitally managed infrastructure went haywire while the stuxnet-like viruses were continuously fed into our own digital bloodstream. Trains derailed and all of the planes had to be grounded; everybody knows what happened. Many thought the Russians and Chinese were using the opportunity to add to our misery. In any event, Dennis was right: there was plenty of smoke and noise available to conceal the arrests of two thousand reactionary opinion makers. Men, most of them, who spent nearly every waking moment busily stamping out every little spark of popular democracy, social justice, or true human progress.
The internet was shut down for a week, and was erratic and unreliable after that. Most of the arrests happened during that early period of maximum confusion and fear. Those on the secret arrest list were isolated from communication by the total sabotage of their digital lives. They could not make cell phone calls or send texts, or use the internet in any fashion. They could not find one effective portal to untangle their wrecked virtual lives. Pay phones and land lines were all they had left, when they were working. In the total confusion and disorder of that week, it was understandable that many people might have suffered complete digital blackouts. We were all on uncharted ground, so almost anything was possible. Like the genuine beginning of the Iran war, it could never exactly be sorted out until long after it mattered. Dennis was a genius about that part of the plan.
Down in the secret federal law enforcement fusion centers, our thousands of social network warriors swung into action as the internet was brought back on line—but this time on our own timing, and on our own terms. Questions about missing right-wingers were deflected by our internet imposters with rumors about embezzled funds, foreign girlfriends, car accidents, distant vacations, non-existent medical emergencies and other stalling tactics. It would take a long while for a true count of the missing to be made, and by then it wouldn’t matter.
Like I said, Dennis was a genius. At first he gave me a daily update, in private. Later, more of us met in the situation room. If Dennis wasn’t the leader, I wouldn’t know who was. I never met a new member of the circle unless Dennis was there to make the connection. What I mean is that I already knew them; I just didn’t know that they were in on the plan, until Dennis brought us together. And I never spoke to any of them about it when Dennis wasn’t there with us. Naturally, not a word about the plan was ever written down.
Most of the original two thousand on the arrest list were picked up in the first week. In fact, in their desperation to reconnect, they sent out their precise locations with every attempted cell phone call, text, tweet, email or credit card use, making them easy to find. The FBI and other federal agencies were already on a war-footing tracking down the Iranian and other foreign terror cells, and they didn’t question the odd Americans arrested among the rest.
Anyway, ninety-five percent of the people on the list were basically nobodies, and they were rarely missed. It’s funny how social network analysis works—it’s not the famous people, it’s the important people. People behind the famous names. The critical nodes. Bloggers in the basement that nobody had heard of. SNA found them all, and plucked them from obscurity.
Only proven-loyal teams of agents were used to arrest the handful of well-known people on the list. The warrants were prepared by tried and true federal attorneys, and signed off by trusted judges. Dennis did not only make a secret list of enemies to arrest—he also prepared a list of key personnel we could depend on to run the dodgy paperwork through the federal law enforcement system with no hassles. Mostly they used “National Security Letters” instead of regular warrants, because then no questions were asked. Dennis and his little circle had mastered the architecture. It was seamless, and for the most part it went like clockwork, especially at the beginning.
Once each of the arrested was “tagged and bagged,” the normal federal prison bureaucracy handled them like so many UPS or Fed-Ex packages. After the domestic terrorism label was slapped onto their files, special prisoner handling rules applied, mandating their seclusion. Gagged and hooded, if need be. Unlawful enemy combatants, foreign or domestic, could be held incommunicado. It was already in the law. The legal machinery existed; it just needed to be switched on. I give Dennis all the credit for grasping the enormous potential.
In the confusion during the Middle East war and the domestic terror attacks, including the cyber attacks, it took several weeks for reports about the missing Americans to grow into rumors of a possible purge of political enemies. Our own thousands of internet cyber warriors tamped down the rumors with continuing obfuscations. Many of them had been burrowing into the virtual world for years under multiple false screen names, building trust and credibility to expend during just such an emergency.
The most effective of the right-wing muckrakers chatting about purges and political arrests were digitally sabotaged and lined up for the next wave of arrests. Once they were isolated they could get in a car and drive, but only as far as the cash in their wallets would carry them. None of their cards, phones or other wireless devices worked. This kept them close to home, and made them easy to arrest.
For the first few weeks, the internal war conducted by our security services was going as well for us as the external war was going badly for our armed forces. The President had to struggle to keep his facial expressions under control in his rare on-camera appearances: I knew that secretly, he was as pleased as any of us that so many American warships, fighter planes and bombers would no longer be available to menace the globe. So in truth, at about one month into it, we were actually winning on both fronts, from our special point of view.
For the most part, our friendly media outlets continued to use our talking points, staying on board with all aspects of the gloriously jingoistic war effort—including the war against all forms of domestic terrorism. Even the right-wing talk radio hosts were cautious about making wild accusations against the government while our heroic armed forces were busy being decimated thousands of miles away.
Crazy black-helicopter talk about a secret political purge was kept beyond the acceptable fringe of polite news network mention during the first month of patriotic fervor that surrounded the war. Our army of social network warriors did a masterful job of remessaging any mention of a “purge” as delusional. No respectable news network or reputable website would touch such rumors. (Some of the most rabid of the bloggers promoting the purge rumors were, in fact, our own cyber commandos, working to discredit truthful reports through bizarre and outrageous exaggeration.)
After a month, though, the missiles and planes had seemingly run out on all sides, and a new stalemate was reached across the Middle East. The fog of war began to lift, and a clearer picture began to emerge that we could no longer keep completely hidden from sight. It was not plausible that so many right-wing opinion makers were suddenly unavailable for comment. They could not have all had heart attacks, or fled to Panama, or gone on vacation in New Zealand, or into hiding.
Some of the hate radio hosts began to fan the flames with crazy rumors that really weren’t so crazy, not to us. When they were taken off the air through a variety of means (but mainly for violating the “fomenting domestic terrorism” laws), the right wing nut jobs went absolutely mad with fury. The accusations about a secret purge continued. The plan was being laid out for all to see, even while it was being officially denied at every level, and was never reported on at all by our cooperating media networks and other friendly outlets.
And then the shooting started.
At a month and a half or so, it sometimes seemed that the plan was in danger of falling apart. I asked Dennis about it in private, but he appeared unworried. “It’s all part of the action-reaction calculus. It was all taken into account. We needed them to react. We’re in the second phase. We smoked them out into the open with phase one, and now we can go get them. Why do you think we bought billions of bullets for the DHS? Why do you think we paid for SWAT teams and armored cars in every Podunk town in America? We’ve been getting ready for this moment for years.”
“You knew this would happen? A civil war?”
He said, “It’s not a civil war—it’s a police action against criminals and domestic terrorists. But don’t worry: we’re ready. Now that they’re shooting at us, we can take the gloves off. The first two thousand arrests were just priming the pump. This phase will let us finish the job once and for all. Think about it: even now, nobody knows what happened to the first two thousand, or even that there were two thousand. In a month, nobody will remember if they were arrested before the shooting started, or after.”
“So, what did happen to the first two thousand? Can you at least tell me that?”
He shook his head, slowly. “Jacinda, you don’t need to know. But they won’t be coming back. They won’t be seen again. At least that much is for sure.”
So they were dead. That didn’t upset me. Hundreds of thousands had died since the missiles had flown, most of them in the Middle East. For some reason I was thinking of the Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. Twenty-thousand military officers and many other members of the Polish intelligentsia had been killed in 1940 after the Red Army invaded Eastern Poland. The Soviets had blamed the mass-killings on the Nazis for decades, until the fall of the USSR in 1990 when the truth was finally admitted. So, naturally, I had a question. “Will they ever be found?”
“No, this time it’s sealed airtight. They’ll never be found.”
I heard later, from Larry, that the two thousand were taken in unmarked vans to a brand-new “bureau of prisons transfer site” in Kansas or Oklahoma, or somewhere else out in flyover country. The site consisted of some fenced-in buildings near an old airstrip. Vans and small airplanes arrived one at a time. As each van or plane arrived, the prisoners were signed over by the US Marshals or other federal agents to a small waiting detachment that, on paper, was from the TSA.
It was an ad-hoc unit made up of men pre-selected for their special aptitudes and proclivities. One of the benefits of SNA is that it permits you to find and bring together any personality types that you need for special missions—even unquestioning executioners. According to Larry it was staffed entirely by violent street gang members with a promise of parole, pardons, and citizenship—but he has been known to embellish a story with his own lurid details.
After the Marshals departed, instead of being transferred elsewhere, the manacled arrestees were marched around a corner, stood against a wall, and shot. Their bodies were then burned in an on-site incinerator. According to Larry, one vanload at a time is how you get rid of two thousand die-hard reactionaries. The “transfer facility” was then bulldozed, and each person with knowledge of the site was himself transferred to distant and remote federal installations, where their single voices in the wilderness would never be heard, or believed. Then a rapid process of attrition would begin, with the individuals comprising the former group of executioners suffering a statistically improbable number of heart attacks, fast-acting cancer, accidents and other plausible reasons for their rapid demise.
I have heard other rumors about the final disposition of the two thousand, and I’m not sure which one is true, but that was the version told to me by Larry. I was never really a part of his circle with Dennis. I only sat in on a few meetings. If there is any truth to his story, it will probably come out eventually. But if I know Dennis, the bones of the two thousand will never be found.
Toward the end of the second month, against all odds, it seemed like the plan was working. Our federal agents were making record numbers of arrests for new acts of bona-fide domestic terrorism, and of course, for “fomenting domestic terrorism” in the media and on the internet. We still had most of the friendly media on our side lamenting the outbreak of right-wing terror against the government. As long as most of the media continued reporting our version of reality, we could keep pushing the right-wing extremists to exhaustion and eventual submission.
Ah, blessed silence, the hammering and sawing outside has stopped. I flex and shake my hands, limbering up my sore wrist and fingers. Flipping back through this spiral notebook, I count a dozen freshly-filled pages. I have not done so much handwriting in one go since blue-book exams at the university, and that was decades ago.
Back to my story. The first real jolt indicating a serious problem with the plan came when television reporter Cathy Carlsen was killed in Norfolk, shot dead while covering the commissioning of the Harvey Milk, the Navy’s newest destroyer. That she was killed was bad enough. That it happened on a “secure” naval base—a federal installation—made it much worse. Her blood splattered across the Admirals’ white uniforms made quite a picture. The videos…
We were two women born in the same year, with similar academic backgrounds. We had known each other for decades, and her untimely death hit me hard. Cathy Carlsen had been a reliable voice on the progressive side of a supposedly impartial television news network. That a respected member of the media would be assassinated was big surprise, at least to me. Up to that point, only a few federal officials and high-ranking agents had been targeted.
Then a new photo was released on the internet. I had always thought the NSA could trace those things back to their origins, but apparently not. The photo was taken through the Norfolk sniper’s rifle scope just a few moments before the murder. It showed thin black crosshairs and other reference marks across Cathy’s smiling face. And it showed some text added just above her head:
If the media lies, the media dies.
You take a side, you’re along for the ride.
A traitor in front of a camera is still just a traitor.
This single act of domestic terrorism immediately dampened the enthusiasm of most of our formerly reliable reporters to continue to carry our water. More such photographs of other media figures appeared on the internet with crosshairs over their faces. Most of the pictures were bogus, just photoshop pranks, but they had a similar effect: our dependably cooperative reporters suddenly lost their nerve. The comments following the photos on the remaining right-wing web forums were perhaps the most frightening aspect. It was obvious that plenty of Americans were willing to voice their support for the assassinations of their enemies in both the media and the government. It became a game for them to walk up to the “fomenting domestic terrorism” line with carefully parsed words, and this glutted our SNA fusion centers with background noise.
For another week or two it seemed that we were playing catch-up with new bloggers who appeared each morning like overnight mushrooms. In spite of all of the new restrictions and tracking tools, every day anonymously sourced articles concerning the purge were posted on what remained of the internet. It was obvious that some of the stories were coming from federal law enforcement whistle-blowers. Dennis said that if the internet rumor-mongers and the last of the hate radio hosts could be silenced, the plan could still be fought to a win. But the leaks were not plugged. Instead, they worsened.
The final outcome hinged on a simple equation based of the availability or non-availability of enough federal agents to make fresh rounds of arrests each day, crushing domestic terrorists and their internet supporters faster than they could proliferate. New arrests were being made, but still the assassinations of government officials and media figures continued to escalate. One a day. Five a day. Ten. Twenty. Some officials were killed by their very own bodyguards or aides, who then disappeared. The words “civil war” were being tossed around on both sides.
Even though the total number of murdered government officials was insignificant as a percentage of their total numbers, far too many of them reacted hysterically out of personal fear. Practically the entire Senior Executive Service demanded protection teams of federal agents to personally bodyguard them twenty-four hours a day. Soon there were no agents available to stamp out the internet insurrection with new arrests, much less somehow interdict a single domestic terrorist on a private sniper mission. Instead, all of the armed federal agents were kept occupied guarding terrified government leaders.
And that was the downfall of the plan: it just came down to numbers, manpower, and, perhaps, agent morale. I’ve seen reports that at least a third of the federal agents went on sick leave vacation, after word of the original two thousand political arrests began to spread within their ranks.
The ferocity of the counter-attack took us all by surprise.
Even Dennis. The original arrest list, derived from cutting-edge SNA, was a great success as far as it went, especially in spurring the rest of his “action-reaction calculations.” It sure provoked a reaction, anyway. But at a level that none of us ever anticipated or even dreamed possible.
Dennis had always assumed that the combined might of our armed federal agents and their SWAT Teams, reinforced with local police and, if necessary, the National Guard or even the Army, could crush any conceivable right-wing reaction to his plan. But social network analysis couldn’t find snipers who were not part of any network. That’s when we began to hear of “The Militia of One.” In the end there were too many rifles, and too many willing shooters. A number that was constantly heard was twenty million. That was the number of Americans who supposedly went deer hunting every year, against less than 200,000 armed federal agents.
Local police evaporated from the equation once the going got tough. The most common sentiment heard expressed was, “You feds made your bed, so now sleep on it.” The National Guard, those units not already deployed overseas, proved hopelessly slow and cumbersome. That is, the few who reported for duty when called up.
While top federal officials hid inside buildings, a new and unanticipated escalation of the sniper war emerged. When no one of high rank was available to shoot, their outermost rings of security were targeted, even down to lowly GS-5s standing perimeter duty. Suddenly, competent and trustworthy guards were very hard to find.
On the remaining internet the threats multiplied as pictures and videos were shared and commented upon by millions. “Remember your oath” was a common theme. That whole tired shtick about “defending the Constitution from all enemies foreign and domestic,” with a heavy emphasis on domestic. All of that reactionary claptrap. Who knew that so many of them took that oath so damned seriously? Who knew? Mere words on paper, and yet, so many Americans were willing to kill and to die for them. Who knew?
The snipers grew ever more brazen and their numbers multiplied daily. They were emboldened by accounts of the murders of federal officials that were splashed across what was left of the internet, no matter how we tried to control and contain it. They freely posted comments such as, “You can take away our rights, but we still get to vote under Rule 308,” (which I have since learned refers to a popular rifle caliber). The shooters understood the critical manpower equation as well as we did. We were out-gunned a hundred to one by snipers we could neither see nor find, and they knew it.
Right-wing media dutifully passed along all of the latest terrorist manifestos.
“Anonymous sources within the so-called ‘liberty movement’ are now demanding that highway checkpoints searching for weapons be disbanded immediately. These sources state that any federal agents, military or police stopping vehicles and searching them for firearms will be considered traitors and could be shot.”
Our jaws dropped in the situation room when we heard that demand relayed on FOX. There was talk in the room of arresting the entire management and all of the remaining on-air personalities and so-called reporters at that rogue network. Actually, it became a screaming match. The final decision was up to the President. He needed time to think it over, and went upstairs.
Thereafter, FOX News led each fresh report with a graphic announcing the discovery of a “Communist putsch against the Constitution.” Oh, how I hate that ugly German word! Not revolution, not even coup d’etat, but putsch! What an unfair description of a sincere attempt to solidify the forward march of history, right in the heart of capitalist imperialism! In time, “the putsch” became the name that stuck to Dennis’s original plan. Even on MSNBC, where they at least called it “the so-called Communist putsch.”
I knew it was finished when I was driving up I-95 from Virginia into the city at dawn. From a long way off I saw the two bodies hanging from the overpass. Northbound rush-hour traffic was crawling, so I had a long time to look. I was driving my mother’s Acura, wearing a blond wig and big sunglasses. There was no security in recognizable security anymore. A convoy of black full-size SUVs was liable to become a bullet magnet on any highway around DC. I was safer in the white Acura, but feeling very, very alone.
Their ropes were tied to the guard rail above their heads. They were clothed, thankfully, and hooded. Black military-style fatigue uniforms, and bare feet. Their swollen hands were bound behind their backs. The two bodies were slowly twisting without any visible movement to recover them. This told me the bridge might be under a sniper’s observation, holding the police at bay while keeping the corpses in view of thousands of Washington’s morning commuters, half of them federal employees. A chill feeling, being in range of a right-wing sniper. A white bed sheet hanging between the two bodies was marked with black spray-painted lettering.
Every fed must decide:
Liberty, or Tyranny?
Death to all traitors!
I got off at the Quantico exit, looped back and went home. Never returned to my office in the West Wing, never saw the White House again. I was picked up three weeks later by a team from the FBI, while I was staying at my mother’s place outside of Charlottesville. Since then I’ve been under house arrest, and lately held in a series of rooms and cells. The rules seem to change daily, but at least I have not been physically brutalized. Instead, my guards seem to revel in reactionary notions of chivalry, pointedly calling me “ma’am,” and asking about my comfort. Pen and paper and a better pillow they are happy to provide. I hate them all the more for their sexist bourgeois manners.
As would be expected following such calamitous events, the political world has turned quite upside-down. When it reconvened in emergency session, Congress was a very different animal, and in a mood for bloody revenge. Somehow, the greater war deaths and the deaths from the secret purge and the counter-revolution were blended together, and we were blamed for all of them.
The backlash to our efforts saw many of our progressive friends in the Congress retire immediately, and their replacements, mostly appointed by governors, were uniformly reactionaries. The opposition party majority leader that Dennis had formerly dangled on a string was one of the many who swiftly departed the scene. More than half of the Supreme Court disappeared for reasons of age or health. Two had died, some said of “Breitbart’s Syndrome.” Our old protections were swept away.
And now America has slid back into worshipping the dusty old parchment. In their reading of the Holy Constitution, the Senate and Supreme Court make the rules and conduct the trials, and swift trials they were. Guilty of high treason, conspiracy to commit genocide, and a dozen other charges. Guilty on all counts. What else could we expect? We took the bold action, grabbed for the brass ring of history, and we missed it. Where no mercy is given, none should be expected.
I’ve seen Dennis but have not been able to speak to him in private. Once we were left alone in a small conference room, but both of us were convinced the room was bugged and under video observation, so we just talked about the food and our involuntary accommodations and such.
While being escorted in the hallway I have heard Larry talking in his cell to somebody, a priest or a lawyer perhaps. He always seems to speak in a snivel. But he’s not the worst of them. Many of my former colleagues have clearly been eager to spill their pitiful guts and minimize their participation in the plan, hoping that Dennis will take the brunt of the lynch mob’s fury. But I knew that was a foolish hope: there was fury enough for all of us. So I kept my silence, until now, when it can no longer affect my own outcome.
Now I write for posterity alone.
I rise from the table and stretch. To see out through the high window in my room, I must climb up on the desk. If anybody is watching me on hidden cameras, they don’t seem to care that I am sneaking looks out through the narrow window. I am on the second floor of whatever building I am in, so I must look down a bit to get a view of the source of the hammering and sawing in the paved courtyard where they used to take me for exercise.
The gallows structure seems to be complete. There are four square holes under a single beam. Workers are screwing down some hardware for traps not yet installed. The grim work of execution will be done in two shifts, on consecutive mornings. I shall outlive Dennis by twenty-four hours. At times like this, I almost wish I believed in an afterlife, like those fools deluded by the opiate of religion. The only afterlife I shall achieve is what I am writing on the pages of this spiral notebook, and they will be cold comfort in the ground. To come so far, to get so close, and then to be consigned to oblivion—it just seems so damned unfair, after three generations of dedicated struggle.
(To be tried, convicted, hanged and buried as a traitor concerns me not at all, considering the illegitimate, even farcical nature of the kangaroo court that condemned us.)
I was scarcely involved in the plan, and then only passively. I gave no orders; I conducted no illegal arrests or executions. In truth, I did little or nothing to influence the President one way or the other before the fact. But I knew of the plan, and for that, I will be hanged in two days time as one of the secondary conspirators. There will be no clemency coming from the “Acting President,” or the new “Provisional Supreme Court.”
A few days ago Dennis smiled at me when we passed in a corridor in our matching gray jumpsuits. He was wearing leg and waist shackles, in addition to handcuffs like mine. He must have been giving them hell to merit the chains, and I felt a little ashamed of my meekness in captivity. Despite all that has happened, I am proud of him for that smile and his thrown-back shoulders, a warrior for the cause to the very last. He was, in the end, the single man who was bold enough to initiate decisive action. The failure was not his.
No, it was the President, the man in whom we invested our very lives, the ultimate standard-bearer of the global forces of progress; it was he alone who let us down at the crucial moment. He vetoed the last plan to arrest the remaining right-wing media voices and shut down their vile hate networks. He failed us when we needed him the most.
Air Force One landed in South America while I was being arrested. As the world has seen, the blue and white 747 now sits empty on a tarmac at a remote Argentinean air base near the Andes, disabled and unflyable. The President has gone with the wind, and he is still a relatively young man, nearly a decade younger than me.
I have no doubt that he will eventually turn up somewhere in the developing world, someplace tropical and near the ocean, a land where the call of the muezzin is heard at sunset. A place where he will be admired for striking many hard blows at the Great Satan.
Coming home, the almost-conquering hero, while we face the hangman. It’s just so unfair that the fascist reactionaries will inherit America, and undo the work of generations to advance the human condition.
Other than the final outcome, I would not change a single thing that we have done.
Hasta la victoria siempre!
Up the revolution, forever!
Former Presidential advisor
Author’s Note: This essay and last week’s “When The Music Stops—How Our Cities May Explode In Violence” were both written in response to the article published on July 25, 2012 in the semi-official Small Wars Journal titled “Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A Vision of the Future.”
My twin essays represent starkly different “visions of the future” that would-be tyrants, their hopeful henchmen and other self-deluded nimrods may want to consider, before ordering the U.S. military or federal agencies to suppress Americans.
They need you to comply and conform.
By any means necessary.
I just hope those weasels aren’t looking for me now….
Phrased alternatively, why would these shitbirds be any more effective against righteous Americans than they have been against any other dragon upon they’ve chosen to declare “war” in the past fifty years?
Pass the Padre Kino.