When does the perception of legality trump morality and ethics?

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 8, 2013

The dire consequences of having a lawyer as President of a country are well-known by now. According to many lawyers, legality, or the perception of legality trumps morality and ethics. Sometimes even in the absence of legality, immoral and unethical acts are committed and justified with little or no opposition from those who, in other cases, sustain the power of the laws when they benefit their baseless explanations.

The notion that a person or a person on behalf of a country or a group of people can award himself the power to murder others who he thinks are a threat, has no legal, moral or ethical standing. Lawyers, however will tell you the opposite. They will tell you that killing someone whose guilt is yet to be proven can be legal in some cases. They use criteria that is supposedly contained in international, constitutional and national security laws used as justification to execute someone without proving guilt or intention to commit a crime, and in doing so, the right to have due process and the benefit of being tried by a jury of peers is illegally denied.

The latest example of what I call the ‘idiocy of legalities’ is the perception expressed by Christopher Swift, Assistant Professor of National Security Studies at the University of Georgetown. During an interview where he was questioned about the legality, morality and ethics used to support the murder of Americans and thousands of innocents with drones, Swift poses that such action must be analyzed through three different microscopes. First, the legal aspect, where he stands along the murderous policies of the United States government.

In the case of Anwar al-Awlaki — an American citizen assassinated in Yemen by a drone attack — “it met international law,” says Swift, because the man was in a country which authorized the U.S. to use drones in the fight against Al-Qaeda. As we all know by now, al-Awlaki was a U.S. asset in the region. He was an agent of the U.S. government who dined at the Pentagon just days after the 9/11 attacks. He was a member of al-Qaeda, a terrorist organization created by the U.S. government back in the 1970s.

“It also meets constitutional legality,” adds Swift. He says that a U.S. president can order the death of a fellow citizen “even if he is in a foreign country that is at war.” Mr. Swift bases his assumption on the debunked claim that al-Awlaki was plotting to attack United States or an American ally. That claim comes from the same U.S. government who the cleric used to work for, in which case the people in need to be tried and or assassinated would be the members of government who sponsored, kept secret or aided al-Awlaki to supposedly carry out such attacks. In fact, there is a legal mechanism to do that very same thing when people are accused of Treason, which is what a group of hand-picked, high-level government official engage into.

Swift’s position on this issue shows three things. First, he is, at least publicly, a gullible loser who trusts his government. Second, he would kill anyone before awarding him the proper due process, just because there is a law that says so. Third, the perception of legality and constitutionality, as they were understood in the framework of the U.S. Constitution, has been changed by so-called legal experts, because while the document guarantees due process to anyone accused of a crime, those who read, study and interpret the law do not believe such right should be respected in some cases. To sum up, nowhere on the U.S. Constitution the government is allowed to capture, hold indefinitely or murder citizens without a trial, and any law created by politicians that says the contrary is simply unconstitutional. But lawyers make up laws and interpretations of the laws so that it is perceived that such actions are legal and constitutional.

“The Supreme Court upheld that it is legitimate to kill a U.S. citizen without violating the Fifth Amendment as long as it involves an imminent threat,” asserts Swift. The fact that the Supreme Court upholds the prerogative that the government gave itself to kill citizens at home or abroad does not have any legal, moral or ethical standing. Murder is always a crime and the idea that some questionable, bogus threat justifies murdering someone are really threatening to the legal pillars that sustain the United States as a Republic. Just because something is perceived or interpreted as legal, which is not the case here, does not make it constitutional, moral or ethical.

Mr. Swift then analyzed the legality of enhanced interrogations, better known as torture. In the case of the crimes committed by the previous administration, Swift does find the standing to call it illegal. “The authorization of the use of torture during the mandates of George W. Bush is completely illegal,” said Swift. It is important to remember that many of the torture sessions carried out by the United States government, which have been proven not to be useful tools to obtain relevant intelligence, ended up in the death of those who were tortured. In this sense, Swift sees murders committed by people flying high-tech toys as legal, while condemning murder by methods such as water boarding. Double standard?

When questioned about whether the Obama administration should change its strategy in its supposed attempt to fight terrorism, Swift quickly pointed out what according to him is the relevant aspect of the discussion. “The debate should not focus on the legality of drone attacks, but on its long-term effectiveness. How effective will the fight against terrorism be when done with a remote control? Not effective at all. The military success of the Army is not contributing to political stability that is what the U.S. intends to achieve in Yemen and Afghanistan.”

Clearly, Mr. Swift and the U.S. government have a lot in common. For example, they believe that the universal right to life does not exist when a person has brown skin, wears a turban and lives in a country thousands of miles away from the U.S., where he expresses hatred towards American politics. Also, legality and constitutionality are not what the founding documents of the United States say they are, but whatever lawyers say it is; no matter how badly those interpretations of what is legal or constitutional oppose the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Last but not least, legality trumps morality and ethics. One could even risk a guess and say that for people like Barack Obama, a constitutional lawyer himself, and Christopher Swift, the trait of humanity is simply meaningless if there is a legal backdoor that can be crossed to destroy it.

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No Shade of Grey on the Right to Keep and Bear arms

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | JANUARY 18, 2013

Life is a carousel, a big screen where events appear, pass by, and, due to human nature, repeat themselves throughout history. A person only needs to look back 25, 50, 100 years or a millennium — depending on how much one wants to review — to find out that what’s happening today has already taken place.

Case in point, governments disarming citizens ‘for their own safety’. Why can’t a population realize that disarming THE PEOPLE is the first step that an elected government takes towards crushing them in order to maintain the monopoly of force?

Citing some examples:

China: Murdered 76,702,000 people;
USSR: Murdered 61,911,000 people;
Germany: Murdered 20,946,000 people;
Cambodia: Murdered 2,035,000 people;
Turkey: Murdered 1,883,000 people;
Poland: Murdered 1,585,000 people;
Pakistan: Murdered 1,503,000 people;

All of these populations were either lightly armed or completely disarmed with respect to their governments military power. This fact is a very important one. Being armed in only helpful if one can equal the power of that who posses a threat.

For those of you not familiar with the history of disarmament, murder by government is called DEMOCIDE and all advanced civilizations in human history have gone through it. Bar none.

Overall, governments have murdered between 262,000,000 and 350,000,000 in just the 20th century. If you think it can’t happen again take a look at history, the continuously moving carousel we all ignore on a daily basis even though it is the best source of information.

When it comes to the Second Amendment, I have to agree with judge Andrew Napolitano: There are no shades of grey. We either have it, or don’t have it.

There can’t be a Second Amendment to own a handgun, but not to own a semi-automatic rifle; especially because the right was written with no limitations. The creators of the Bill of Rights in the United States and similar documents in other parts of the world understood that society would evolve, and that throughout that evolution people’s liberty and freedom would be challenged.

There can’t be a Second Amendment to hunt deer, but not to hunt tyrants. Hunting tyrants is the real goal behind giving people the constitutional right to own firearms. It doesn’t matter how much the Government says it is all about hunting. It is not.

There can’t be a Second Amendment to defend our home, but not to defend our country. In many U.S. States, a home is a castle. If a stranger enters that home to steal, injure or kill someone, the homeowner has the right to shoot the intruder without asking questions. Why couldn’t THE PEOPLE apply the same criterium to defend their nation-state?

An even more important question to ask is, why should law-abiding citizens have their Second Amendment taken away — progressively or all at once — because insane people are pharmaceutically induced  to act violently? Should the authorities be more concerned with eradicating the pharmaceuticals that cause sane and insane people to act violently, as supposed to taking away the right to defend ourselves?

When it comes to the right to defend ourselves, the right to keep and bear arms has no shade of grey. We either have it or don’t have it. PERIOD! Those people who can’t stand that their neighbors own firearms to defend themselves from whatever threat, should move to England, North Korea or Mexico.

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Democide: When your Government Kills You

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | FEBRUARY 23, 2012

When the books of history are written and those books cite the greatest threats ever faced by humankind, they usually mention, war, famine, natural disasters, and so on, but those who write history books always forget the largest threat that has endangered humans in the last 100 years or so. This threat is Democide. Democide is the murder of any person or people by a government, including genocide, politicide, and mass murder. Democide is not necessarily the elimination of entire cultural groups but rather groups within the country that the government feels need to be eradicated for political reasons and due to claimed future threats. This term seems to have been coined by political scientist R. J. Rummel, although it was apparently used 40 years earlier by Theodore Abel.

Rummel coined the term and this helped to account for the explicit murder of people through methods that weren’t necessarily inherent to genocide as it was understood. This meant that people who were killed in democidal actions weren’t really counted as having been killed by government. What a useful creation has this been. The fact that society has a term to measure the brutality of the State throughout the past century or more, makes it even clearer to review why the writers of history did not set up a proper way to measure their own crimes. Apparently, the “scholarly classes”, who have been almost always riding along with governments — in all shapes and forms — weren’t able to properly identify murder in the hands of the State. It took a political scientist — the term is credited to Rummel — , or a writer if you attributed it to Abel’s book The Sociology of Concentration Camps, Social Forces Vol. 30, No. 2 (Dec., 1951), pp. 150-155, to help us quantify mas murder by the State.

As it turns out, neither disease not hunger nor war are the main causes of mass murder, although in many cases these situations are also caused by out of control States — more on this later — Democide is. So let’s take a look at history to see how powerful, out-of-control States have killed not millions, but hundreds of millions of their citizens just because they could and how this turns them into the number one threat to human society. No other threat, natural or man-made has ever killed more people in the last century.

No matter how carefully I think about my college years and the courses I took in two different countries, I can’t remember ever hearing about Democide. I never even heard about the main cause of human death in the history of society. Although the following accounting only shows human death by government in the last 100 years, ancient history shows that Democide, despite its lack of identification, has been present throughout human existence. I don’t know of any record that kept tabs on how many people were killed by their own kings or pharaohs back then. The term Democide is so new, that it isn’t even recognized by my spell check tool.

Conservatively, Democide is responsible for the death of at least 262 million people. This figures account for people killed mostly during the 20th century, but also includes some from the 21st century. I’ll leave it to each reader to find a way to put this number in perspective, context or to measure it in their own terms in order to make sense of it. Right now, let’s go case by case in order to add up the millions of people killed by their own governments.

China alone killed 76,702,000 of its people between the years of 1949-1987. The country has been for many decades under the rule of the Communist Party, which is directly responsible for the oppression and murder of all of these people. Some say the Chinese rulers even show pride for their crimes and admit to them. Before Mao arrived to power, the Chinese rulers had already killed around 3,468,000 people.

The USSR, in power over a region that includes what we know today as Russia is responsible for murdering 61,911,000 of its citizens between the years of 1917-1987.

Western colonialists in recent history do not escape murder of people by the millions. The powers that control most of the world today, which launched conquest campaigns all over the planet killing locals and later their own citizens, are responsible for a total of 50,000,000 murders. Most of these happened in the 20th century, although the way things are going, there is no reason to think that these powerful forces will outdo themselves in the 21st century.

In the case of Germany, while the country was under the rule of Adolf Hitler between the years of 1933-1945, the government murdered a total of 20,946,000 people, most of whom were not Jews. Depending on what book or encyclopedia is consulted, the number of Jews murdered by Nazi mandate was about 6.000,000. So as abhorrent as the Jewish genocide seems, an even greater genocide happened to non-Jewish people under Hitler.

In the case of Japan, the country saw most of its Democide during the years of the monarchy, which was responsible for the murder of 5,964,000 people between the years of 1935-1945.

Meanwhile in Cambodia, infamous Pol Pot and his accomplices from the Khmer Rouge, who were put in place and funded by the US government, were responsible for killing 2,035,000 people between 1975-1979. This number was back then about a third of the Cambodian population. Maybe this number should be put under the American tab.

Murder by the Turkish government now comes into view. Between 1909-1918, Turkey murdered 1,883,000 of its own as well as Armenian people.

Vietnam came just short, murdering 1,670,000 people between 1945-1987.

In Europe, Poland also has its own massacre record. The government in there killed 1,585,000 people between 1945-1948.

Pakistan does not escape murder by the millions either. The repressive regimes that have ruled the country killed 1,503,000 people between 1958-1987.

The nation of Yugoslavia mostly under dictator Josip Broz Tito killed at least 1,072,000 people as accounted between 1944-1987.

In the lower but not less murderous places of history appear countries like North Korea, with 1,663,000 murdered people, Mexico with 1,417,000 killed and Russia with 1,072,000 murders.

As someone rightfully put it, Government is winning the war against humanity.

It is important to explain that the conservative total of 262,000,000 murders by government does not include the deaths of people who were direct victims of military actions — military casualties. Those would amount to some 88,000,000, taking the total to about 350 million deaths by Government action.

It is also extremely important to say that all of these murders by government happened under the premise that such action — Democide — was illegal. No government had ever claimed that Democide, under any circumstance was correct, moral or legal. Except that now the United States government has done such a thing. Under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, the US government has given itself the legal prerogative to murder any and however many of its citizens under the excuse of National Security.

If illegal Democide was able to end the lives of between 262,000,000 and 350,000,000 people in just a century or so, can you imagine what legalized Democide will be able to accomplish in the next 100 years?

If you are not shocked by now, please let me try one more time. The previous accounting of murder by government does not include secret government operations such as false-flag terror, sterilization campaigns, poisoning with chemicals in the food and water, laboratory-created disease and so on. That we’ll leave for another time.

By the way, the source for this article is called history.