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I grieve deeply to see how America has failed to meet the present urgent challenge– indeed the very challenge that our Founders were most concerned that America should be able to meet. These are dark days for any true American patriot.
WHAT MAKES A TRUE PATRIOT
The true patriot is the one who loves the heart and soul of his country. In America –the nation whose essence is said to be an idea– that heart and soul is the system of government given us by our Founders and the democratic spirit embedded in it. It is that system and that spirit that have allowed Americans, for more than two centuries, to live as free people in a society that, by the standards of human history, has been reasonably decent.
The true patriots are not defined by their enthusiasm for the victories of American militarists, but by their devotion to those principles for which –as we declare every Memorial Day– so many Americans have laid down their lives: principles of limited government, human rights, and the rule of law.
The true patriots are not those who wrap themselves in the banner descended from what Betsy Ross sewed, but those who carry forth that “Spirit of ‘76″ enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the spirit that made our forebears willing –in the name of liberty and of the proposition that governments are instituted to serve the people and derive their just powers from the people’s consent–to put their lives on the line.
THIS IS THE VERY THREAT OUR FOUNDERS WARNED US AGAINST
Now there has arisen –from within the American political system– the very kind of threat that our Founders feared most: a lawless and usurpatious presidency systematically assaulting our constitutional system.
The picture of presidential lawlessness could not be clearer. The case has been made powerfully and in detail by responsible and knowledgeable Americans– by people like Bruce Fein, Elizabeth de la Vega, Glenn Greenwald, John Dean. They show the unmistakable pattern of conduct by which the heart of America –”a nation of laws, not of men”– is being destroyed by this Bush regime.
(There’s no point here in going through the litany of lies and crimes and usurpations that are already fully exposed in news accounts, in books, in court findings. Anyone who has been paying attention –and is willing to know this dark truth– must by now know it. And anyone genuinely seeking such knowledge can readily find it.)
This is the very danger the Constitution was created to counter. The whole structure our Founders gave us was organized to help Americans prevent precisely what this regime has been doing.
And now we can see: at all the levels of the American body politic, America has failed to rouse itself to fight the battle our Founders intended for us to fight.
The people have failed. The free press has failed. And now we can see clearly that the Congress has failed. America has proved itself unworthy of the heritage handed down to us.
THE FAILURE OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE
Our Founders knew that we, the people, would need to embody “republican virtue” to be the kind of citizenry required to preserve such a noble experiment as the American democracy. We would need to practice the “eternal vigilance” that is the price of liberty. We would have to be ready, in Jefferson’s words again, to refresh “the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
We the people, in the face of this brazen crimes and lies of this Bush regime, should have been out in the streets in our millions. We should have been raising a deafening hue and cry, demanding our America back.
But, except for a relatively small fringe, the American people have stood by and let our birthright as free Americans be stolen from us. (And nearly a third of us still regards loyalty to this criminal ruling group to be a virtue– enough to hold an entire political party hostage to this evil.)
The American people have failed– failed to understand what a gift the Founders gave us, failed to care enough to rouse ourselves to protect that cherished heritage.
THE FAILURE OF THE FREE PRESS
Our Founders knew that the purpose of the free press was to help the public to protect the integrity of its democracy against the rise of dark and tyrannical powers. Our Founders knew that, if our precious liberty was to be preserved, it would be essential that nothing could stop the people’s being told when the power entrusted to their leaders is being abused.
But, again, except for some individual cases around the edges –like Bill Moyers, Keith Olbermann, and lately the New York Times editorial page– the media have failed to do their job. They do not help the American people to understand that we are now facing a crisis unprecedented in American history.
This rise of a lawless, fascist power in the White House, is a HUGE story–as important in its way as the crisis of World War II. But the mainstream media do not sound the alarm.
A generation ago, the press treated the lawlessness of Watergate as a big story. Now here we are in a situation that John Dean, who ought to know, called WORSE THAN WATERGATE three years ago, before so much of the criminality of this regime had been so well exposed, and the mainstream media pretend this assault on the rule of law –on our whole democratic culture– is not occurring. They do not trumpet to the American people that the heart of our nation is imperiled like never before in our history.
A decade ago, the media found the question of oral *** in the Oval Office so important as to warrant months of almost round-the-clock coverage. But now, with a list of scandals longer than one’s arm adding up to a pattern of systematic crimes and lies committed by an executive who claims to be above the law and claims to be beyond the reach of Congress and the Courts, the media treat this mortal peril to the soul of America as of less import than was a stain on a blue dress.
The media fail us by ignoring the elephant in the room and allowing falsehood to continue to reign.
THE FAILURE OF THE CONGRESS
Our Founders saw to it that the Congress was given certain powers to enable it to deal with a president who puts himself above the law. Last fall, when the American people turned control of Congress over to the opposition party, it appeared that the necessary confrontation might be in the cards. And until the last couple of months, it was possible to believe that, under that opposition, the Congress might be gathering momentum toward such a meaningful constitutional battle with the usurpatious president.
But now it has become clear, through a series of cave-ins, that the opposition Democrats have no will to fight.
Clearly, this is not what the Founders had in mind. The Constitution is about controlling the play of power, and it sets up the arena where –if the war to preserve the system’s integrity against a lawless president must be fought– the members of Congress are supposed to become warriors.
That this is the most essential, the most inescapable, of Congress’s responsibilities, is demonstrated incontrovertibly by the oath of office the Founders placed –word for word– in our founding document. With that oath, our Founders mandated that everyone holding power in the United States government make one sacred promise: to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
In this, the Congress has failed. The Republicans continue to defer to the president as their leader, treating him as if he –not the Constitution– deserved their loyalty and support. And while the Democrats complain weakly, when the chips are down they repeatedly back down rather than fight.
While the Bushites are making war on the system, the Democrats are pretending that we’re at peace. While this president continues to proclaim precisely the kind of powers that our Founders thought essential to keep out of the executive’s hands, lest the democracy collapse into tyranny, the Democrats have refused to challenge him fully.
The warriors on whom our Founders counted have quailed in the face of this unpopular but combative president. They have proved themselves too weak in message and vision and courage to speak boldly the truth about this crisis. They have shrunk from the necessary combat to save the soul of America.
WHAT WOULD CONSTITUTE SUCCESS
And let us be clear: the criterion for success is not necessarily that the criminals in power be successfully impeached. Perhaps there are good reasons, at this stage in the second term of this presidency, why impeachment is not the best course. Perhaps in any event impeachment could not succeed.
But success at least requires that the crimes of this regime be fully exposed, that the forces that have assaulted our constitutional democracy be discredited and repudiated, that this presidency be stripped of all the moral authority and respect that Americans customarily extend to the office.
Even where the Democrats cannot prevail in terms of a contest of raw political power, every one of these showdowns is an opportunity to further expose the overall pattern of lies, crimes, and blunders that have so damaged this country. At the very least, the Democrats should be winning major moral victories that consistently push this regime deeper into the mire of shame it so richly deserves.
Thus disgraced –even without impeachment– the regime can be drained of its power, and treated as the temporary blotch on American history that it is.
Instead, the failure of the opposition to stand up and fight has led, in recent months, to an increase in the regime’s confidence and in its power to dominate our national affairs. That is clear confirmation of Congress’s –and America’s– major failure, and it is a disgrace.
What does it say about what has happened to the spiritual and moral culture of America that we have so far so badly failed this crucial test? What does it mean that at this time of crisis, we have a people that protesteth not, a media that telleth not, and an opposition that fighteth not?
It causes me such pain, such grief, such sadness to see the America I love –that creation on this continent that was one of humankind’s greatest historic achievements—under such assault, and none of the major components of our body politic with enough vision and courage and passion to fight to protect and preserve our sacred birthright.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspects of the cell tower siting debate in Wendell have been the absence of discussion about some of the most disturbing details. The U.S. government in 1996 passed the Telecommunications Act (recall that a democrat occupied the White House at the time), limiting state and local zoning authorities' jurisdiction over the construction, modification and placement of wireless communications towers. And while some people have made valiant efforts to illuminate the very real health risks of cell technologies (e.g. resident Robbie Lepzer), the extent of the suppression of legitimate studies showing health concerns remains obscured. Still more ominous on the cell tower landscape however might be the coming 'Homeland Security' cell towers agenda to be implemented in the not-so-distant future.
Expropriating the Science
To begin with, AT&T has consistently shown up at cell tower hearings—in other Mass towns, at least—wielding 'irrefutable' science. At a public hearing in Conway (2002) on the proposed cell tower abutting the Conway Elementary School, AT&T sent in a team of experts to "set the record straight." The meeting was poorly advertised, and it happened very quickly (and the rushed hearing tactic is used quite successfully to bulldoze public interests in favor of corporations; the nuclear industry providing the best example).
One of the 'experts' who presented in favor of AT&T's wireless technologies was Joshua Cohen, a Ph.D. from the Harvard Center of Risk Analysis (HCRA). However, AT&T never disclosed their business relationships with this Harvard affiliated institution. The Conway select board allowed AT&T to deceive the public without guaranteeing a balanced discussion by also providing independent or public presenters.
The Harvard Center for Risk Analysis (HCRA) is an industry front funded by over 100 of the world's largest corporations (including American Tower). Mr. Cohen -- in his PhD capacity -- failed to disclose that AT&T and the Wireless Technology Research Foundation (and others) fund HCRA. (Local newspapers never disclose such conflicts of interest, because they deny that any conflict exists -- since that might affect advertising revenues.)
Mr. Cohen forgot to tell Conway residents that the HCRA advisers and executives have numerous interlocking business relationships with major cell tower interests like Radian Corporation, a subsidiary of ONEX Corporation "a leading manufacturer of communication towers and the only independent manufacturer of tall broadcast towers in North America."
Mr. Cohen failed to disclose the fees he has received from AT&T -- and other telecoms interests -- to join their executive entourage and -- through his credentials and the power of the association with Harvard University – to deceive the public about the objectivity and honesty of the science he speaks for.
Indeed, in a letter to Harvard President Dr. Barry Bloom expressing professional and ethical objections to the substantial commercial ties of the HCRA, Michael Jacobson, Ph.D, executive director of the Washington D.C. Center for Science in the Public Interest, wrote that "the Center's ties to industry are so substantial as to undermine its credibility as a bonafide educational institution committed to the search for unbiased truth." Dr. Jacobson urged Harvard to sever it ties to the HCRA.
David Ropeik, HCRA's Director of Communications – and a leading member of the Society of Environmental Journalists – is a regular contributor to National Public Radio. An entire chapter in his book discounts the problems of wireless technologies and cell towers without introducing or discussing the huge volume of evidence indicating the negative health effects. It is a ruse, and it is funded and advertised by the media, and carried by NPR, precisely because it serves corporate interests.
Unlike others concerned about the potential health risks of wireless technology -- but cowed by the science -- I am unwilling to tow the corporate line by taking the position that the "science is uncertain." Take asbestos, DDT and PCBs – and ignore the most blatant examples of tobacco and radioactivity – and you will find that the use of these substances continues in some parts of the world on the basis that "there is no scientific consensus" on the health effects. Is it surprising, given that objective studies are not funded? Or that researchers are predominantly funded by military and corporate entities?
GE continues to fund studies that set out a priori to prove that PCBs are not carcinogenic. Ditto for the companies and consequences of wireless technologies. But cell phones cause brain tumors. Electromagnetic radiation disrupts living tissues at the most basic level: the cell. Children (and the fetus) are highest risk. Microwave technologies and electromagnetic energy are used by the military as integral components of weapons systems precisely because they are detrimental to life.
Evidence of the health risks abounds. It is buried, suppressed, hidden, unreported. It is more insidious, in fact, in that these corporations already know the answers, but need to recoup huge capital and R&D investments, and the profits of a burgeoning, new, exiting, technology. Isn't the industry resistance to research alone reason for serious concern?
NETRAD Coming to a Tower Near You
Cell towers, cell phones, and the 1996 Telecoms Act are just the beginning. At least 15 universities in teaming partnerships with government agencies and private corporations are currently battling for highly competitive National Science Foundation research dollars ($17 million NSF dollars over 5 years, with $17 million matching funds from industry partners) focused on 'climate and weather sensors' to be mounted on the lowest rungs of cell towers. The program is called NETRAD (Network Electronic Telecommunications Radiation).
The Office of Homeland Security is helping to peddle the NETRAD program, with the objective of implementing a national "weather and atmospheric surveillance" grid that enables detection, for example, of biological agents. (There are all kinds of other imaginative uses however, like monitoring radiation releases from nuclear plants, for various insidious possible purposes.) Advanced miniaturized sensors will be coupled to rapid signal processing and computing technologies, and to some centralized national control and monitoring center. Further, cell towers will most likely be outfitted with miniature video monitors for high-resolution area (earth & sky) surveillance and monitoring. (What kinds of surveillance are we really talking about? And against who? Or what? Ask U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft...)
One of leading teams is comprised of the universities of Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico and Colorado State, with industry partners Raytheon, M/A-Com and Vaisala. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) and the National Severe Storms Laboratories are two of the leading federal agencies involved. Indeed, the UMASS Microwave Infrared Remote Sensing Labs (MIRSL) are involved in all kinds of military programs dealing with surveillance, sensors, and weather-as-a-weapon technologies, but these are euphemistically described as "weather monitoring and characterization" technologies in reportage by local newspapers; when a grant is awarded to MIRSL it is always and unquestioningly billed as "good for the local economy."
The cell tower industry, more broadly, is seeking any and all viable "tenants" to occupy the real estate they now control, consisting of over 100,000 cell towers installed in the US already, with thousands more planned. Cell phone technologies infrastructure currently occupies the apex -- illuminating people and earth below with long wavelength/ tissues penetrating radiation -- and the NETRAD censors will occupy the base – illuminating the sky – leaving (typically) hundreds of vertical feet of cell tower infrastructure for other military or "civilian" technologies: all kinds of communications, surveillance, RADAR and tracking technologies are being considered for national "surveillance and security" deployment.
Who is American Tower? American Tower claims they are "the largest independent owner, operator and developer of broadcast and wireless communications sites in North America." American Tower's Chairman, Steve Dodge, is also on the board of Directors of companies called Nextel – a major digital communications technologies provider – and Sensitech – a corporation that produces state-of-the-art sensors and monitors. Mr. Dodge is also on the board of directors of the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, another of the sponsors of the Harvard Center for Risk Analyses.
In their 2002 Annual Report, Mr. Dodge noted rather matter-of-factly: "we do not believe that the landscape of wireless will be limited to today's companies. We would not rule out potential government sponsored applications for wireless technology related to homeland security." In October 2001, American Tower paid $150,000 in civil penalties related to certain alleged environmental permitting and filing violations in the County of Santa Clara in California. In 2002, American Tower collected $ 548,923,000 in rental and management revenues.
The bottom line is that cell tower technologies are lethal to living systems, especially children, and that research into the negative health and environmental effects has been suppressed or intentionally sidelined. The cell technology irradiates everything below it and the energy is fairly high power. That means that energy transmitted on waves at the cell phone transmit frequencies is bouncing around being deflected and/or absorbed, but dissipated in any case, but whatever is on the ground, or in its path, below it. For that reason alone, cell technologies should be prohibited. And too there are the millions of birds dying annually due to flying into cell tower structures. On top of these concerns, considering issues of health, democracy and civil liberties, the implications of the plans described above are staggering.
Cell phones users and non-users might also be interested to know that the raw material that enables cell phones to operate comes primarily out of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Some 80% of world supply of Columbo-tantalite – essential for cell phones, computers and interactive technologies like Sony Playstations – comes out of the Congo, where U.S. special forces have operated with impunity, sowing terror, and where over 4 million people have died in the past 4 years. From start to finish, the cellular technologies are hostile to democracy, the environment and public health and safety.
keith harmon snow is an independent investigative journalist living in Leverett. With B.S.E.E and M.S.E.E. degrees from the University of Massachusetts, Microwaves and Antennas specialty, he was formerly employed as Engineer, Microwaves and Antennas, and then Manager, Communications Business Development, with GE Aerospace Electronics Laboratory, Syracuse, NY.
Tel: 413 549 5318 / allthingspass.com
may41970 wrote:Back before I was banned at the WRH Messageboard, "Ender" and others there used to harrangue me because I talked about using agressive, peaceful civil disobedience to bring about change. Oh man, did they lay into me for that. When I talked about Gandhi, John Lennon, MLK, Rosa Parks - they responded with words about how only violence works.
Baby held in locked room at airport dies
A 14-day-old infant traveling here for heart surgery died at Honolulu International Airport on Friday after he, his mother and a nurse were detained by immigration officials in a locked room, a lawyer for the boy's family said.
The Honolulu medical examiner's office yesterday identified the infant as Michael Futi of Tafuna, American Samoa's largest village, which is located on the east coast of Tutuila Island. Autopsy findings have been deferred.
According to police, the child died at 5:50 a.m. It is unknown why immigration officials detained the mother, the nurse and the child.
Scott Ishikawa, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said the child went into respiratory failure while in the customs office, which is located near the baggage claims area of the overseas terminal. Airport paramedics were called about 6:10 a.m., he said.
The group arrived on a Hawaiian Airlines flight that landed at 5:30 a.m.
"We were later told the baby was coming here for heart surgery," Ishikawa said.
Attorney Rick Fried said the child had come to Hawai'i from American Samoa for heart surgery.
The boy's family plans to file a wrongful death lawsuit, Fried said.
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