Monday, June 13, 2011

We no longer have freedom; there is only the appearance of freedom.

By Chris Hedges
In Franz Kafka’s short story “Before the Law” a tireless supplicant spends his life praying for admittance into the courts of justice. He sits outside the law court for days, months and years. He makes many attempts to be admitted. He sacrifices everything he owns to sway or bribe the stern doorkeeper. He ages, grows feeble and finally childish. He is told as he nears death that the entrance was constructed solely for him and it will now be closed.
Justice has become as unattainable for Muslim activists in the United States as it was for Kafka’s frustrated petitioner. The draconian legal mechanisms that condemn Muslim Americans who speak out publicly about the outrages we commit in the Middle East have left many, including Syed Fahad Hashmi, wasting away in supermax prisons. These citizens posed no security threat. But they dared to speak a truth about the sordid conduct of our nation that the state found unpalatable. And in the bipartisan war on terror, waged by Republicans and Democrats, this ugly truth in America is branded seditious.

The best the U.S. government could offer as evidence of Fahad’s crimes was that an acquaintance who stayed in his apartment with him while he was a graduate student in London had raincoats, ponchos and waterproof socks in luggage at the apartment and that the acquaintance eventually delivered these to al-Qaida. But I doubt the government is overly concerned with a suitcase full of waterproof socks taken to Pakistan. The reason Fahad Hashmi was targeted was because, like the Palestinian activist Dr. Sami Al-Arian, he was fearless and zealous in his defense of those being bombed, shot, terrorized and killed throughout the Muslim world while he was a student at Brooklyn College. Fahad was deeply religious, and some of his views, including his praise of the Afghan resistance, were to me unpalatable, but he had a right to express these sentiments. More important, he had a right to expect freedom from persecution and imprisonment because of his opinions. Facing the possibility of a 70-year sentence in prison and having already spent four years in jail, much of it in solitary confinement, he accepted a plea bargain on one count of conspiracy to provide material support to terrorism.
It has been a year since his 15-year sentence was pronounced in a New York courtroom. He is now held in Guantanamo-like conditions in the supermax ADX [Administrative Maximum] facility in Florence, Colo. He is isolated in a small cell for 22 to 23 hours a day. He has only extremely limited contact with his mother, father and brother, often going weeks without any communication. Between his transfer to Florence last August and this March he was permitted only one phone call. The rule of law in America, especially if you are Muslim, fits Kafka’s grim parody. The tyranny we impose on those held in Guantanamo, Bagram and the secret CIA “black sites” we impose on ourselves. This is and always has been the disease of empire. Empire imports the crude and brutal tools of control and violence back to the homeland. It creates internal as well as external colonies.
Read entire article here:


  1. Freedom has been steadily eroded these past few decades, and the worst is that we welcome it all with a smile.

    It'll end with the elite being able to use us as cattle, to be butchered at their whim.

    Great post, keep 'em coming.

  2. Freedom has always on the decline, its been getting even worse now though

  3. Agree! We have maybe 5% of freedom and even that will be taken away soon

  4. good read

  5. Rules might be harsh, but they make up the society. And I think they represent the society's face. It's state, and it's future.

  6. You can have society and progress without stripping away all the civil liberties. And it's not the face or the voice of the people, it's the few in power. You could say they represent us but you would only be partially right. They have already moved past telling us what we can do to telling us what we can say and view. If something is not done they will eventually try to control what we can think.
    Humanity is by no means humane, they seek dominion over all things and if dominion cannot be attained they find ways to remove the problem.
    Don't kid yourself the governments do not care about our well-being they just care about keeping us under control any way possible. Sometimes it can be with a smile and a tax cut other times it will be with a riot squad and tear gas.
    Here is something for you to think about....
    The US government has contingencies should the public ever revolt. They even have areas set aside to detain American citizens for speaking out against the government.