Thursday, December 1, 2011

A lesson from history

Reichstag fire
Compare the following account in Conservapedia with the logic behind Sections 1033 and 1034 of the Defense Appropriations bill, which we discussed Tuesday. I found the comparison rather chilling:
On February 27, 1933, the Reichstag in Berlin was destroyed in a fire that had plainly been deliberately set. Exactly who set the fire remains a question never fully resolved. Most contemporary observers both in and outside of Germany blamed and still blame the Nazis themselves, though [author William] Shirer admits in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich that “The whole truth about the Reichstag Fire will probably never be known...”
Didn't all this hysteria over terrorism start with 9-11? Like the Reichstag fire, the whole truth of how the World Trade Center was destroyed will probably never be known.* In response, Congress passed several acts designed to restrict the freedom of the American people, notably the USA PATRIOT Act, creation of the Department of Homeland Security (which makes it possible for the federal government to create a secret police apparatus), the REAL ID Act, and those Transportation Security Administration gropers and scanners.

The article continues:
A day later a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence endangering the state” was passed:
“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 searchers, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.”  [Does the part in italics sound familiar?]
Thus, the first taste of Nazi state terror was rendered “legal,” as over the next week Brownshirts took into “protective custody” several thousand Communist officials and many Social Democrats and liberals. These prisoners, often snatched from their homes and off the streets, were loaded onto trucks and carried off to SA barracks and hastily set up prisons where many of them were held, tortured and killed without the formality of a hearing or trial. The rationale for these drastic measures, Hitler’s government insisted, was the dire threat posed by the communist menace... 
Not to be alarmist, but if the Defense Appropriations bill stands, our soldiers will be able to do exactly the same thing, and not just to suspected al-Qaeda terrorists! And then there are those empty FEMA camps... Continuing in Conservapedia:
“The burning of the Reichstag was to be the signal for a bloody insurrection and civil war…it was ascertained that today was to have seen throughout Germany terrorist acts against individual persons, against private property, and against the life and limb of the peaceful population, and also the beginning of general civil war.” 

Compare this paragraph with Senator Lindsay Graham's statement about Al-Qaeda on our shores in the Defense Appropriations bill debate (from The Hill):
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) argued that al Qaeda members are enemy combatants and should be held and prosecuted by the military. He and fellow Republicans have been critical of reading terror suspects Miranda rights.

“When they say, ‘I want a lawyer,’ you tell them, ‘Shut up,’ ” Graham said. “ ‘You don’t get a lawyer. You’re an enemy combatant, and we’re going to talk to you about why you joined al Qaeda.’ ”
At this point, the democratic Weimar Republic became Adolf Hitler's totalitarian Third Reich. Let me suggest that we may have a point of comparison here with a statement of President Obama's (July 27):
[The President] admitted that “the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting” when it came to dealing with Congress over the debt deal. And while he added the caveat that our democracy doesn’t work like that – the crowd was cheering the possibility of Obama side stepping Congress and doing things his own way.
The Third Reich built a system that enriched Germany's largest industrialists at the expense of everyone else. We call that system Fascism. In one of my early posts (January 2008), I listed ten steps to fascism. This act effectively completes Step 10 (to suspend the rule of law). The only remaining step is Step 9, to assert that dissent is the same as treason, and I expect that shoe to drop very shortly. We are already close to that, as evidenced by this Washington Times interview April 6 (which I reported a month later) and this Homeland Security advisory dated April 7, 2009.

When I was a student at Ohio Northern University, I lived on the west end of a large open space on campus. I could see the sunrise (or a moment or two after, because of buildings and trees in the distance). I once had a horrific dream where I saw the sun rise, on which was emblazoned a black swastika. In the midst of the Red menace when I went there, that would have seemed ridiculous; but it convinced me then that Fascism would be a greater threat to this country than Communism ever was.

This is one dream that I do not want to come true.

(Source of the Reichstag fire account: William Shirer, Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, volume II)

* Update 12/2: I have encountered some skepticism about this claim, because it suggests that I am a so-called "Truther". There is considerable evidence gathered by professional architects, engineers, and demolition experts that the World Trade Center could not have fallen the way it did solely from the planes crashing themselves through the buildings. The collapse of each building, in their professional opinion, and from films I have seen of controlled demolitions, suggest that the crash was supplemented by a controlled demolition. See the 911 Architects and Engineers for Truth site for this evidence. Also see my Dec. 2 post.

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