Wednesday, April 04, 2012

It's Absurd But US Intelligence And Security Apparatus Have Labeled My Daughter An al-Qaida Sympathizer - NDAA Comes Home To Roost

Having a daughter branded as a terrorist, or sympathizing or associating with terrorists is one probability most citizens feel will never happen to them.

Like pigs feeding at the trough, many Americans are so involved in gorging themselves on the slop that's doled out to them they fail to see that there is a probability of each of them being singled out as the next side of bacon by the modern day out of control, massive, make it up as you go, mostly corporate controlled US security apparatus and police state.
"The security and surveillance state does not deal in nuance or ambiguity. Its millions of agents, intelligence gatherers, spies, clandestine operatives, analysts and armed paramilitary units live in a binary world of opposites, of good and evil, black and white, opponent and ally. There is nothing between. You are for us or against us. You are a patriot or an enemy of freedom. You either embrace the crusade to physically eradicate evildoers from the face of the Earth or you are an Islamic terrorist, a collaborator or an unwitting tool of terrorists. And now that we have created this monster it will be difficult, perhaps impossible, to free ourselves from it. Our 16 national intelligence agencies and army of private contractors feed on paranoia, rumor, rampant careerism, demonization of critical free speech and often invented narratives. They justify their existence, and their consuming of vast governmental resources, by turning even the banal and the mundane into a potential threat. And by the time they finish, the nation will be a gulag." 
Sound far fetched? It's not because it has happened to my politically active daughter Alexa O'Brien. Her only transgression was to question America's political institutions and actively involve herself in forming an organization to reform US election laws. Specifically the organization she founded was attempting to get corporate money out of politics and reform the financing of political campaigns. The organization US Day Of Rage became one of the founding organizations involved with the Occupy Wall Street Movement in the spring and summer of 2011.

She has also been outspoken and active in her support for Bradley Manning, Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. She is a blogger, journalist, social media wizard and contributed posts to blogs like WikiLeaks Central. To name just a few of her entirely legally protected political activities. She also preached and maintained a strict policy and adherence to nonviolence in the course of all of her politically involved activities including those with US Days Of Rage and the Occupy movement.
"Alexa O’Brien, a content strategist and information architect who co-founded the U.S. Day of Rage, an organization created to reform the election process and wrest it back from corporate hands, was the first plaintiff to address the court. She testified that when WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, she discovered that the company was attempting to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals and websites as well as jihadist ideology."
Seems like one citizen fed-up with the corruption of our political institutions exercising her constitutional rights?  It doesn't matter if you agree with her politics or means for her to be allowed to do what she sees as what should be done, by the way. It's generally called free speech and freedom of assembly. But her activism cost her her income, security and job and put her personal reputation and possibly even her personal freedom on the line. What would you do if it were your daughter, friend or associate, or even Malia Obama.... Mr President?
'This is what the US police state looks like when it's fully brought to bear on one citizen determined to change it.'
When I visited her in New York in July 2011 we talked about her plans and involvement in the coming occupy movement and US Day Of Rage. Civil disobedience and nonviolence was discussed extensively. We talked and argued about reforming government. We laughed about the mostly right wing internet chatter that had begun to paint US Day of Rage and the Occupy Movement as hippies and potentially riotous troublemakers. Basically, it appeared the movement probably consisted of a few hundred supporters and computer and social media aware activists at the time. There were legitimate concerns that when the occupy wall street demonstration was scheduled to start on September 17, 2011 no one would show up. 

She voiced her support of US government institutions, but felt they had become so corrupted by money and the right-left conundrum of phony political positions that it was time for direct action. She believed direct action was the only path remaining if there was any hope of saving the republic. This moved her and her comrades to conceive and develop the idea of occupying New York's financial district. Based loosely on the idea of the occupations that took place during the Arab Spring.

Neither of us realized at the time that the occupy movement would strike a chord with the masses in the way that it did and would become the massive reform movement it is today that has literally changed and fuels our national conversation about needed political reform. It shows you what a few concerned and determined citizens can do given the bravery, will power, work ethic and intelligence to take on a corrupt state.

In the course of her involvement with the Occupy Wall Street Movement and with the US Days Of Rage the US intelligence apparatus was taking notes of course. Falling over themselves to brand anyone they could as somehow remotely connect to generic international terrorism and to justify their existence and pay checks they began to focus on her organization US Day Of Rage and the occupy movement's activities.

The mammoth self-perpetuating wheels of the police state are now turning.

This proves that laws like the NDAA are dangerous and most definitely unconstitutional. This is the same law that was fathered in part by several 'progressive' Democrats and signed by constitutional lawyer and President Barack Obama. It gives the government almost unlimited power to arrest and detain US citizens who are determined to be 'terrorists', associated with terrorists or who in some government intelligence contractor's bureaucratic mind 'substantially supported al-Qaida, the Taliban or associated forces'.  

Alexa is now bravely involved as one of the plaintiffs along with Chris Hedges, a journalist; Daniel Ellsberg, who is known for releasing the Pentagon Papers; Noam Chomsky, a well-known writer; Icelandic MP Birgitta Jonsdottir; Tangerine Bolen, founder of; Kai Wargalla, deputy director of Revolution Truth and founder of Occupy London in a lawsuit to block the implementation of the section of the NDAA that allows for detention of citizens based on conjecture and without due process. Dubbed the 'freedom seven' by their lawyers they fight not only for their individual rights and freedom but for everyone's

If you would like to help Alexa O'Brien with financial support with her expenses in covering the Bradley Manning proceedings you can contribute here.

Quotes from Chis Hedges article 'Someone You Love: Coming to a Gulag Near You' which originally appeared in Truthdig

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