On Friday, President Barack Obama extended the state of "national emergency" that dates from Sept. 14, 2001, when George W. Bush issued a "Declaration of National Emergency by Reason of Certain Terrorist Attacks." --  No evidence was presented, or even named.  --  The president simply asserted in a letter published on the White House website that "The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues."[1]  --  COMMENT:  The president's action on Friday was the ninth time the state of national emergency has been extended.  --  The ordinary dictionary definition of "emergency" is "a sudden, generally unexpected occurrence or set of circumstances demanding immediate action."  --  But this neo-Orwellian "national emergency" has lasted for nine years and has no end in sight.  --  The New York Times took no note of the extension.  --  Neither did the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times,  or indeed any media, except for a few scattered blogs.  --  BACKGROUND:  Sheldon Wolin of Princeton University, in a book entitled Democracy Incorporated, argued two years ago that an attempt "to reshape the political system" in the name of "fighting terror" is well underway in the United States (pp. 69-74).  --  Wolin called the new system "inverted totalitarianism" because it is "seemingly one driven by abstract totalizing powers" and "is one that professes to be the opposite of what, in fact, it is" (pp. 44-46).  --  The genius of this system, Wolin believes, lies in "lies in wielding total power without appearing to, without establishing concentration camps, or enforcing ideological uniformity, or forcibly suppressing dissident elements so long as they remain ineffectual," Wolin writes (p. 57).  --  In the new system, economics dominates politics and citizens are displaced by lobbyists.  --  September 11 plays a key role in justifying the reconstitution of the nation's identity.  --  Congress no longer acts as a coequal branch of government, but acts as a sort of corporate board.  --  Warfare is normal (this state of affairs dates to the Cold War), and concentrated media ownership virtually blacks out protests as war is used to frighten an unmobilized citizenry and cultural battles like the current stir over Islamophobia provide a simulacrum of politics.  --  The key components of the power elite are "capital, the very rich, small business associations, large media organizations, evangelical Protestant leaders, and the Catholic hierarchy," according to Wolin (p. 185).  --  What the population is trained to call "conservatism" is really a sort of plutocratic oligarchism.  --  Domestic needs are subordinated to the requirements of global strategies and the needs of corporations.  --  In 2008 he predicted that inverted totalitarianism would probably survive military defeat and public scorn of its leader, and events seem to be bearing him out....


1.

LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT ON THE CONTINUATION OF THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO CERTAIN TERRORIST ATTACKS

By President Barack Obama

White House
September 10, 2010

 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2010/09/10/letter-president-continuation-national-emergency-with-respect-certain-te

Dear Madam Speaker:    (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act, 50 U.S.C. 1622(d), provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date.  Consistent with this provision, I have sent to the Federal Register the enclosed notice, stating that the emergency declared with respect to the terrorist attacks on the United States of September 11, 2001, is to continue in effect for an additional year.

The terrorist threat that led to the declaration on September 14, 2001, of a national emergency continues.  For this reason, I have determined that it is necessary to continue in effect after September 14, 2010, the national emergency with respect to the terrorist threat.

Sincerely,

BARACK OBAMA