“When they come… they come at what you love.” – Michael Corleone, The Godfather III
Many were shocked by the nastiness of the British government – with America’s approval – holding Glenn Greenwald’s partner under an anti-Terrorism law for nine hours during which time they interrogated him and stole his property. As the Editor in Chief of the Guardian puts it:
The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes – and, increasingly, it looks like “when”.
Some were also surprised that the FBI would target Barrett Brown’s mother, the action that provoked Brown to make a YouTube video that would land him in prison.
I was surprised by neither action, nor should you be.
You should not be surprised because you should know what Western states like the United States and the United Kingdom have become in the world today – hit squads for a transnational elite, the global 1%. They have no allegiance, they have no care for legality, and they have no real legitimacy. And what’s more, they know it. It’s about power, which is an end not a means to an end.
This political and economic system is most comparable to how the Mafia is organized, in essence we live in a protection-racket state. The racketeers on Wall Street and in the corporate sector chisel money out of the economy using various scams, a part of which is then funneled into campaign contributions for politicians who make sure the security forces – DoD, NSA, FBI – get nice budgets. The security forces secure the business interests of the racketeers at home and abroad. One hand washes the other. If anything goes wrong, the government will bail out the racketeers or cover up for excesses of the security forces. It’s a pretty good deal if you are getting a piece of the action. Wall Street and Washington D.C. never had a recession, let alone a Great Recession. It’s not a democracy. It’s not even a republic. When people challenge the Mafia state there really is no alternative but to destroy them because no reasonable argument can be mustered that such a system is in the interests of 99% of the population. Critics must be marginalized or annihilated.
Otherwise people might start asking questions like what’s the point of all these bullshit jobs? Why, in a “free market” allegedly based on opportunity and competition does the richest 1% of the population have more financial wealth than the bottom 95 percent combined?
The answer isn’t because the rich create value or most of what Americans do at work is so essential, but rather the goal of the kleptocratic elite and their Mafia state is to keep people busy and indebted while looting as much as possible. Guess what? It’s working. Even after the scheming collapsed on itself in 2008, the button pushers and bagmen in D.C. went to work. Now the 1% have become richer than they were before the crisis.
So there is no choice really. When journalists like Barrett Brown expose the corporate intelligence firms snaking government contracts and protecting Big Business from journalists, or Glenn Greenwald exposes the security services for grossly violating the Constitution – the gloves come off. Your mother, your partner, whoever they can get to to hurt you. When they come… they come at what you love.