Cho, Lanza, Bales, Ridgway and the One Percent
| by John Stanton
“Too much and too long, we seem to have surrendered community excellence and community values in the mere accumulation of material things. Our gross national product … if we should judge America by that – counts air pollution and cigarette advertising, and ambulances to clear our highways of carnage. It counts special locks for our doors and the jails for those who break them. It counts the destruction of our redwoods and the loss of our natural wonder in chaotic sprawl. It counts napalm and the cost of a nuclear warhead, and armored cars for police who fight riots in our streets. It counts Whitman’s rifle and Speck’s knife, and the television programs which glorify violence in order to sell toys to our children.
Yet the gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages; the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom nor our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. And it tells us everything about America except why we are proud that we are Americans.” Robert F. Kennedy, executed in 1968
( December 17, 2012, Virginia, Sri Lanka Guardian) The American Suicide Gunman has joined the ranks of the Jihadist Suicide Bomber. Both are products of their cultures.
And the naysayers in the USA claim that the country does not produce anything of value anymore.
That is incorrect.
Americans are Earth’s number one, hands-down top dog killers. Americans produce the world’s top murderers/suicide gunmen (both government sanctioned and freelance). We play the most violent games with glorious military/paramilitary overtones and undertones. We populate the globe with advanced weaponry either selling it to the good, the bad and the ugly or we use it to destroy seen and unseen enemies and things.
We even wipe out wolves with glee justifying the slaughter on behalf of those most American of Americans, the rancher and farmer. According to the New York Times in December of 2012, “Yellowstone National Park’s best-known wolf, beloved by many tourists and valued by scientists who tracked its movements, was shot and killed on Thursday outside the park’s boundaries. The wolf, known as 832F to researchers, was the alpha female of the park’s highly visible Lamar Canyon pack and had become so well known that some wildlife watchers referred to her as a rock star. The animal had been a tourist favorite for most of the past six years. “She is the most famous wolf in the world,” said Jimmy Jones, a wildlife photographer who lives in Los Angeles and whose portrait of 832F appears in the current issue of the magazine American Scientist.Wildlife advocates say that the wolf populations are not large enough to withstand state-sanctioned harvests and that the animals attract tourist money.”
American’s nearly drove their own mascot, The Bald Eagle, to extinction.
The USA, in fact, does not discriminate in its creation and use of violence. Everything is literally “game.” We treat ourselves just as violently as, say, we treat the Iraqis, Iranians, Syrians, Afghans, Wolves, Children, et al. We do not, in fact, take good care of each other in the USA. In fact, the One Percent is setting itself the task of cutting away unemployment benefits, social security, medicare and public education. Such is the ruse of the alarmist Fiscal Cliff. The moniker should be the Auterity Cliff.
At any rate, when a nation believes in the puffery and propaganda of mainstream media (One Percent Owned and Operated) allowing its leaders to engage in wars of folly around the globe, while its own infrastructure collapses, it is clearly symptomatic of a serious national cognitive malady. Americans are so immersed in themselves and the unreality of nonsensical things that they just “don’t want to talk about IT.”
IT is the reality of life in all its splendor and disgust. War, politics, economics, crime, cultural dynamics and a host of other critical subjects are ignored or hidden from view. Dancing with the Starsgets more discussion time than the latest US military casualties in Afghanistan (Mike Guillory and Nelson Trent on December 14, 2012) or a police officer shot down in the line of duty (Chris Parson of Missouri on December 15, 2012).
Now late in 2012 there is much grief, as there should be, over the child killings at Sandy Hook in Newtown Connecticut. A narrative will be found or made, of course, to sooth the collective consciousness. Mental disability is on call as it always is. The American Flag is lowered yet again. Might as well keep it at half mast since more madness is sure to follow.
What is the USA going to do in response to Adam Lanza’s killing spree? What strategies, operations and tactics can be designed and employed stop the next suicide gunman who will no doubt attempt to set a new domestic record for confirmed kills?
The battlefield is literally everywhere now, even at the bucolic K-4 level of Newtown, Connecticut. National security has truly gone “beyond traditional distinctions” as President Obama stated in his National Security Strategy of the USA, 2010. Obama probably did not have in mind the classroom. But the USA is still officially a nation at war and remains under a state of emergency. How to defeatthe Killer Elite of America before they strike (5thGeneration Warfare)?
As it is now, the standard script is being followed. Talking heads on national television networks will try to sooth the mass consciousness. Pundits and think tank dwellers yack away. More guns will be sold. The pro-gun and anti-gun lobbyists and lawyers will be flocking to state and federal government offices to protect their client’s interests (jobs too). Politicians will cry and rant. Congressional resolutions will be passed condemning Lanza. Security professionals will swoop down on anxious school administrators with shake and bake security systems that include forced entry and ballistic/blast resistant doors and windows. Turnkey security solutions will include cameras connected to profiling software like TRAPWIRE.
Perhaps no one under 18 should allowed to handle a gun unless the parent/guardian is legally bound to accept liability for the child’s actions to include prison or being stripped of all assets. Soon, a “Sandy Hook Law” creating higher hurdles for gun owners/sellers will appear at the state or federal level. It will be ineffective of course.
Should all schools be required by the Department of Homeland Security to have a TSA type security system in place?
How about genetic testing of all newborns to determine the probabilities for mental disabilities? Tag those who show a disposition for mental health trouble with RFID’s and include those students who seem remote and quiet. Load ’em up with chemicals.
Maybe homeschooling through the Internet and World Wide Web is an option? Revamp the Education Industrial Base. No more warehousing kids at the K-12 level.
Better still, take a good hard look at America’s culture of violence which has been amplified by over a decade of mind numbing war and bloodthirsty video games.
A national discussion must ensue.
American All Star Killers
Staff Sargent Robert Bales of the US Army walked off his base in Afghanistan early in 2012 and executed 16 Afghan nationals. That figure included nine children and three women. Apparently he was under stress after seeing comrades killed in action. He had received a severe concussion of the type a number of American contact football players are subjected to over the course of their playing years from youth to high school and college to professional levels.
Seung-Hui Cho executed 32 members of the Virginia Tech college community in 2007. Additional casualties included 17 wounded. Cho committed suicide after the carnage.
Adam Lanza executed 26 Sandy Hook Elementary students and staff in December 2012. The Newtown, Connecticut slaughter included 20 children aged 10 and under. Lanza committed suicide after murders.
Gary Ridgway, The Green River Killer, was convicted of executing at least 49 people (confirmed kills said the prosecution) in Washington State during the mid-1980’s. Prostitutes and runaway adolescents were his primary prey. Ridgway lives in prison.
The Office of the Presidency of the United States of America, the Commander-in-Chiefs’ Office, reserves the right to detain without due process and/or execute American citizens under section 1021 (b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act. According to Judge Katherine Forrest (USDC, New York) writing in September of 2012, “the stakes get no higher: indefinite military detention–potential detention during a war on terrorism that is not expected to end in the foreseeable future, if ever. The Constitution requires specificity–and that specificity is absent from § 1021(b)(2).”
The Commander-in-Chiefs’ Office also blesses the use of remotely piloted aerial vehicles to execute alleged terrorists. Yet data shows those most often remotely murdered are civilians. “Civilian casualties accounted for 74 percent of the death toll…” based on a study of 24 remotely piloted aerial vehicle attacks from 2008 to 2011. Women and children are included in the 74 percent figure. That data was analyzed and reported on by Gareth Porter of Truthout in August 2012.
Creative Destruction at Home and Abroad: The One Percent Doctrine
The MIT Center for International Studies reports that between 2003-2011 150,000 to 400,000 Iraqi civilians were collaterally killed by US military forces. The 2003 invasion of Iraq resulted in at least 1.5 million internally displaced in Iraq with another 1 million fleeing to Syria, now the site of another bloodbath involving outside powers and sectarian strife.
According to the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention there were 16,799 homicides in the USA in 2011. Murder is the 15thleading cause of death in the USA. The weapon of choice used in 11,493 of those homicides was a handgun or rifle.
The US led the world in arms sales in 2011 accounting for nearly 80 percent of the world’s total sales. According to the Campaign to Ban Landmines From 1969 to 1992, the United States exported 4.4 million antipersonnel mines, mostly to Afghanistan, Angola, Cambodia, Iraq, Laos, Lebanon, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Rwanda, Somalia, and Vietnam. US made or supplied APLs have been found in 32 countries, including Afghanistan.
According to the US Bureau of Justice Statistics, “About 6.98 million people were under some form of adult correctional supervision in the U.S. at year end 2011. This was the equivalent of about one in 34 U.S. adults (or about 2.9 percent of the adult population) in prison or jail or on probation or parole…”
Zoltan Grossman of Evergreen College reports that since 1890 the US has used military or paramilitary forces some 140 timesincluding the violent suppression of American Labor Unions and protests against racial discrimination. US forces executed 300 Lakota Native Americans at Wounded Knee in 1890. US Marines were sent to Chili, Argentina, and Haiti to protect business interests from 1891-1892. From 1918 to 1922 US forces were sent to fight the Bolsheviks in Russia. The US fought against Serbia in 1919 on Italy’s behalf. In 1943 in Detroit, Michigan, the US Army was sent in to quell an African American rebellion.
“The US Justice Department on Tuesday announced a $1.9 billion settlement with British-based HSBC on charges of money laundering on a massive scale for Mexican and Colombian drug cartels. The deal was specifically designed to avert criminal prosecution of either the bank, the largest in Europe and third largest in the world, or any of its top executives. Even though the bank admitted to laundering billions of dollars for drug lords, as well as violating US financial sanctions against Iran, Libya, Burma and Cuba, the Obama administration avoided an indictment by means of a deferred prosecution agreement.
Not a single leading executive of a major bank has been prosecuted, let alone jailed, for fraudulent activities that triggered the present crisis, leading to the destruction of millions of jobs and the decimation of working-class living standards in the US and around the world. The Treasury Department, headed by former New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the federal regulatory agency charged with policing major banks including HSBC, vetoed any prosecution on the grounds that a serious legal blow to HSBC would jeopardize the financial system,” said the World Socialist Website.
There are 16.4 million poor children in the USA according to the Child Defense Fund. “Nearly eight million are uninsured and more children were killed by guns in 2008-2009 than US military personnel in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to date.”
John Stanton is a Virginia based writer specializing in national security matters. His most recent book is The Raptor’s Eye, Reports from Washington, DC, the Capitol of the American Empire (the usage of capitol is taken from the book The Hunger Games.