U.S. Imperialism Abroad Creating Police State At Home


As The U.S. Empire Spreads Abroad It Becomes A Police State At Home

by Sherwood Ross


As America’s empire spreads abroad, it becomes ever more the police state at home. The methods used for the suppression of foreigners by military force and violence are eventually mirrored in the “homeland.”

In an article last September 25th titled “It Is Official: the US Is A Police State,” author Paul Craig Roberts, Assistant Treasury Secretary during the Reagan years, wrote, “’Violent extremism’ is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. In this morning’s FBI foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with ‘the material support of terrorism’…”

The FBI raids at home are reminiscent of U.S. military raids overseas. In Iraq, for instance, labor union offices were raided and rifled and labor leaders imprisoned by the Occupation forces. Their “crime” was to oppose sweetheart contract deals with private oil firms.

The vast U.S. prison system, which houses 2.4 million Americans, may be compared with the Gulag the U.S. has built abroad. America today is the World’s Jailer. As Allan Uthman reported on AlterNet, in 2006 the Bush regime began building “detention centers” to warehouse inmates for unspecified “new programs” when the Army Corps of Engineers gave Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown & Root nearly $400 million. What we do abroad, we do at home.

Adopting police state tactics on Americans the U.S. Empire first used on subjects abroad has a long history. When Filipinos rebelled against U.S. rule after their country was “liberated” from Spain, captured resistance fighters were subjected to water torture. Twenty years later, imprisoned American pacifists who opposed the Wilson administration’s entry into World War One were hung by their hands, and had running hoses shoved in their faces.

In its editorial of July 25th, The Nation magazine denounces America’s use of “secret armies, covert operations…offshore torture centers, out-of-control armed corporations, runaway military spending, wars by fleets of robots, wars by assassination—and all the other features of the imperial presidency…”

The magazine has long sought to end these practices. It’s still a great idea but now it’s a tad late. The Reactionary Elite that runs America is powerful. Congress rubber-stamps President Obama’s five wars of aggression abroad and enacts laws at home that scorch individual liberty. The result is the emergent police state.

The other day I watched people entering a bus station in Orlando, Florida, submit to a body scan by two security officers who had no probable cause whatever to search them. Americans boarding trains and planes now accept such scans routinely. In area after area, Americans are accepting violations of their privacy in the name of “national security” with hardly a murmur of dissent. The Bush regime created “watch”(75,000 names) and “no fly”(45,000 names) lists that restrict individuals’ air travel–and those searched and/or stopped from flying can complain all they like because it won’t do them any good.

Robert Johnson, an American citizen, Naomi Wolf reports in her book “The End of America”(Chelsea Green), described the humiliation factor of being strip searched when he attempted to board an airplane: “I had to take off my pants. I had to take off my sneakers, then I had to take off my socks. I was treated like a criminal.” This has now become a commonplace ordeal for countless numbers of Americans. Even at the height of World War Two, such invasions of personal rights would have been unthinkable.

Fear of government, unlike anything I have ever known in my lifetime, appears widespread. How do I know people are fearful? Because many readers call me “courageous” (which I definitely am not) for challenging the government, revealing that they truly do fear to speak out.

David Cole, a professor at Georgetown Law School, writes in The Nation that Congress last May reauthorized provisions of the misnamed “Patriot Act” that “permit the government to obtain ‘roving’ wiretaps without identifying the person or the phone to be tapped, (to)demand records from libraries and businesses without establishing any reason to believe the target is involved in criminal, much less terrorist, activity; and (to)use surveillance powers initially restricted to agents of foreign governments or terrorist organizations against ‘lone wolves’ not affiliated with any such group or government.” This is an echo of the ECHELON system the U.S. and its British Commonwealth allies have employed since World War Two to eavesdrop on the entire planet, track dissenters, and steal business secrets.

Cole also writes Attorney General Eric Holder will now allow FBI agents “to rummage through citizens’ trash, conduct searches of computer databases and repeatedly use surveillance squads to track people without any suspicion of individual wrongdoing or court approval.” (Just like the body searches at the bus terminal.) The absence of court approval is significant in that a court is the only legal bulwark a citizen has against unbridled police power. And now that’s gone. The peoples of Afghanistan and Iraq have suffered far worse at the hands of American-led military.

The fact is, when the Empire goes to war, the life of its individual citizen is devalued and degraded—not only on the battlefield, where it is often sacrificed for all the wrong reasons, but at home as well. It’s happening here. The right to form unions freely is scrapped in defiance of the vast majority of workers who want one. The public treasury is looted by Congress to bail out the bankers over the 100-to-one protests of constituents. Foreign wars are waged over the wishes of the popular majority who want them ended.

As liberty after liberty is being circumscribed or eliminated, the common man and woman are being reduced to the common serf. Harold Laski, a former chairman of the British Labor Party, once noted, “We live under a system by which the many are exploited by the few, and war is the ultimate sanction of that exploitation.” Imperialism—whether practiced by Spain in the 16th century, England in the 18th century, Soviet Russia, Imperial Japan, and Nazi Germany in the 20th century, or America today—is a gangrene that expands tyranny at home with the equivalent velocity that it spreads war abroad.

About the Writer: Sherwood Ross is director of the Anti-War News Service. He formerly worked as a columnist for daily newspapers and wire services. All donations to his news service cheerfully accepted. Reach him at [email protected]


  1. Kirby, if you meant you want an oldtime “colonial” Revolution as in 1776, you would have to lift your hand against fellow Americans. That’s what those who made 9/11 did; they initiated a revolution by force and violence (I don’t buy the 9/11 Report) and killed thousands at home and killed and wounded millions abroad. There’s been no stopping them, either, as Obama spreads their wars to country after country. There is a better approach than bloodshed and violence and you don’t have to look any further than Poland to see how well it worked. We need to start massive anti-war demonstrations here, especially by veterans. Lincoln’s veterans were opposed to the war of 1898 against Spain but they were not sufficiently strong to prevent it.Veterans today must do better. Sherwood

  2. Kirby: look at how Irish started in 1916. I too wonder how screwed up things will have to get.

  3. When are we going to get an oldtime colonel Revolution going on the type
    that make 3% the solution I am sick of these FAKE jews running the game.
    I say instead of going after washington we go after the head of the snake.
    you vets are our last option. I wonder how fxxkd the worlds gotta get. fellas.

  4. Audry, you make a good point about U.S. aid to Israel. Given Israel’s policy of ghettoizing its Arab populations I don’t see how it is entitled to a dime of U.S. aid, much less military aid to assist them in the suppression that is going on in Gaza and elsewhere.– Sherwood

  5. The ADL/FBI showed the American people and the world at Waco that Talmudic “LAW” enforcement is the so-called “LAW” being ENFORCED, with the so-called CONSTITUTION {1860 – Ceased to Exist} not being upheld…Due Process, 4th Amendment…etc. When the rothschilds prosecuted the “CIVIL WAR” the braindeadgoy bled out, and in March of 1933…the “DEAL” was sealed. Stupid never changes True, regardless [http://www.crimesceneinterrogatory.com/?p=5] .. of the “Jew – Stupid” braindeadgoy…Talmudvision watching couch potatoes. Please don’t believe me, PROVE ME WRONG!!! [http://mantiqaltayr.wordpress.com/2011/07/25/its-the-zionism-stupid]…If the “evidence” was water, we’d all be drowning in it.

    That would be 800 ft. deep water….Sherwood, with your “JEWISH” lead boots on….

  6. You think its bad now? Wait until WW3 starts – probably later in the year when America’s ‘ally’ Israel attacks Iran – the FEMA camps will be full to bursting then.

  7. Read or watch Robert Fisk, Soldier or Warrior. To understand the change recall Trang photo of ’72 showing the vietnamese boy running down the road covered in napalm burns. Less than 9 yrs later a famous movie (An Officer & A Gentleman) w/an even more infamous song that ended w/the words “cuz napalm sticks to kids.” From there on its not soldiers or warriors it was all mercenary mindset w/parallel training ongoing in LE community. Indoctrination. Major Gen. Smedley Butler said it best, War IS a Racket.

  8. Law Enforcement is passing the point of militarization & is moving into the domain of mercenary. Shooting unarmed persons, peaceful war veterans, protestors, taser abuses, handcuffing 5 yr olds, etc. When we were soldiers that was military & LE was police. Then soldiers became warriors, military regiment moved into LE. Then warriors became hired mercenaries = corporate enforcers abroad. LE went from officer to soldier to warrior & is beginning its final stage, hired mercenary = corporate enforcers @ home.

  9. Dear Sherwood, obviously, you are either a Jew yourself, or a politically-correct fool.

    Put simply, Jews are engaged in a race war against the non-Jewish balance of humanity; at stake is the world.

    Surely you cannot be so naive as to think that Obama’s imperial agenda is his own? Surely you cannot be so naive as to think that Bush’s imperial agenda was his own? Surely you cannot be so naive as to simply dismiss what happened on Netanyahoo’s last visit to Congress, for example?

    You ask for “even a little evidence”? What the hell is wrong with you? The “evidence” is all around you, Sherwood. If the “evidence” was water, we’d all be drowning in it.

    The false-flag attacks of 9/11 and the consequences are all the “evidence” any reasonable person should need – especially someone who can put these events into proper Historical context You disagree? You prefer the “shit happens” theory, rather than what you can see with your own two eyes?

    Please provide some specific examples of the type of “evidence” you’d need to see. Thanks.

  10. the majority of the issues is with the police…which is being militerized. looking at the progression todays policeman looks and acts like a soldier under fire in the middle of battle. which is why the people must expose this trend.

  11. Dear Nelson, I wouldn’t believe there could be so many people so infected with idiotic anti-semitism as the readers of Veterans Today except that you all keep writing this garbage about Jews taking over the world and controlling your lives and destinies. The nation’s recent wars have all been undertaken by non-Jewish presidents and by legislatures made up overwhelmingly of non-Jews, so what are you talking about? How about naming the ten top Jews bent on “Jewish world rule”, supported by even a little evidence.– Sherwood

  12. It’s all about PNAC, of course, the Jewish supremacist agenda for Jewish world rule. And you certainly can’t run the world from any kind of political platform even remotely resembling a “constitutional republic”; thus the police state. Our Jewish supremacist Masters, having masterminded and carried out 9/11, took an all-or-nothing gamble, and must now push forward relentlessly, crumbling world economies and other consequences be damned.

    Unless there’s some kind of catastrophic natural disaster (e.g., Yellowstone supervolcano takes out 1/3 of the U.S.); or unless the U.S. economic decline becomes catastrophic; or unless there’s some kind of massive spiritual awakening (and the benighted Goy masses stop helping the Jews destroy them), or unless Russia and China finally start pushing back in a meaningful way, our Jews will rule this world, completely. And what a hellish place it will be then…even worse than now.

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