The Mountain of Data Showing How Authoritarian Democrats Have Become
by Glenn Greenwald, Oct 19, 2021
From the video:
Now, if you favor allowing unseen bureaucrats in the United States to issue punishments to American citizens in secret with no recourse and no need to prove their guilt in trial, in court in a hearing, how is it even possible for you to deny that you’re authoritarian, wanting the no fly-list imported from the first war on terror onto domestic soil and used against your political enemies, as two key Democrats, two of the most powerful congressional Democrats not only advocated but succeeded in doing, is the very crux of what authoritarianism is.
We’ve seen over and over this authoritarianism manifest itself in what the Democratic Party wants. I’ve spent all year reporting, for example, on how the Democratic-controlled Congress has been summoning the executives of Google, Facebook and Twitter before them, calling them to be interrogated and Democrats explicitly telling them that unless they start censoring the internet even more than they already have in accordance with the views of the Democratic Party, the ideology of the Democratic Party about what is and isn’t hate speech, what is true and what is false, then these companies will be punished with legal and retaliatory reprisals.
It has become one of the main priorities of the Democratic Party, if not the main one. To have their enemies silenced, to have these tech companies do what the Constitution prohibits them from doing directly, which is censoring our political discourse and alignment with what the Democratic Party wants. Just yesterday, at my Substack, where you can read the article, I wrote, what probably is an article I spent the most time reporting on in the last year, which was all of the different ways that American civil liberties have been trampled in the name of fears of Jan. 6, exploiting Jan. 6, calling it an insurrection, claiming it in the words of Joe Biden’s speechwriters, the greatest attack on American democracy since the Civil War.
Things like the no-fly list, things like keeping Americans in prison with no trial and incredibly harsh and brutal conditions. Giving more money to the Capitol Police, increasing spying powers and detention authorities to the security state, that Democrats revere and continue to trust. But the purpose of the article is to demonstrate that even with this large mountain of abuses of civil liberties abuses we’ve seen carried out in the name of investigating Jan. 6 and punishing those responsible and investigating and surveilling the ideology that allegedly fostered it, the worst abuse of all this standing or select one six committee itself that is currently chaired by the very same congressman, Bennie Thompson, who called for Americans to be placed on the no-fly list with no trial of any kind, and his vice chair is Congresswoman Liz Cheney, who has a long history, as does her family, of instituting authoritarian policies as part of the first War on Terror and now as part of the second one.
And what makes this committee so pernicious that Democrats have placed all of their bets in, essentially, because the Justice Department, even though it’s led by Merrick Garland, has not indicted or charged a single American, not one, with sedition or inciting insurrection, or attempting or conspiring to kidnap or kill political officials, or any of the other hysterical, deranged accusations that rained down upon them from the media and from the Democratic Party, the Justice Department hasn’t charged any of them with that, just like the Mueller investigation never charged a single American with being guilty of the conspiracy that the media told Americans they should believe for five years, which is that members of the Trump campaign criminally conspired with Russia.
And so they have a huge problem, which is that the Justice Department is not prosecuting what happened on January 6th as sedition or treason or as nsurrection, nor are they claiming that anyone attempted to murder or kidnap AOC or any of the other political officials who self-victimized so melodramatically for all this time, and so this committee is what they’re placing all their bets in to be able to investigate private citizens, and that’s what makes it so pernicious. The Constitution assigns the power to investigate private citizens for crimes or suspected crimes to two branches of government: the executive branch, the Department of Justice and FBI, and the judiciary. Congress has no power to do what it’s doing here.
They do have the power to investigate, in certain cases when, for example, they need to do it in order to assert oversight authority over the executive branch. So if they investigate the Iran-Contra scandal or what happened at Benghazi or with the evacuation of Afghanistan, they’re carrying out their constitutional role to determine whether or not the executive branch functions properly and legally. They also have the power to investigate if it helps them write or rewrite new laws, or if they want to rewrite regulations governing the financial industry or Silicon Valley, they can summon the leaders of those companies to help them understand what’s happening to rewrite laws. But that’s not what’s going on with this Jan 6 committee.
They are issuing incredibly invasive subpoenas to find out what people were emailing and saying and where they were going and what their political associations are based solely, solely, on the fact that they applied for a permit to hold a protest against what they believed were irregularities in the 2020 election.
And ironically, the most important precedents that make clear how unconstitutional it is for Congress to haul before it private citizens to interrogate them about potential crimes and about their political associations, come from the McCarthy era, which, whatever you think of the communist threat, is exactly what the House un-American Activities Committee and Joseph McCarthy tried to do, as well, abuse congressional power to investigate what they considered insurrectionary crimes, and the Supreme Court twice said that Congress lacks the constitutional authority to do that. And yet here you have under Nancy Pelosi’s aegis, with Adam Schiff on board with Adam Kinzinger, with Liz Cheney, with Bennie Thompson with the whole crew, Jamie Raskin.
Abusing congressional power to persecute and haul before it private people based solely on their ideological inclinations and on their constitutional right to assemble and to protest if crimes were committed on Jan. 6 or in connection with that, the job of investigating that is with the Justice Department in the judiciary where these citizens have all kinds of safeguards, not with Congress, where they have none.
But all of this that we’re seeing, this attempt to force companies to censor the internet, the resurrection of the no fly list. This persecution in the name of Jan. 6 is all the byproduct of this authoritarian faction that is becoming more authoritarian by the minute, showing that Democrats revere the CIA and FBI, love the corporate media, place their faith in all kinds of institutions, including tech monopolies, to censor the internet, even place faith in the government to do that.
This is an authoritarian mindset that has convinced them that their cause is so just that their political adversaries are so threatening that any of the measures they undertake in the name of winning are inherently just and that whatever agencies are available or whatever centers of power they can exploit in order to advance those causes, whether it be the CIA and FBI, or tech monopolies, or the government, or congressional authorities becomes their ally. And that is why we are seeing these incredibly disturbing trends where Democrats are becoming increasingly authoritarian.
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