Main Core Blues: Stranger in a Strange Land

Everybody I met seemed to be a rank stranger;
No mother or dad, not a friend could I see.
They knew not my name,
And I knew not their faces.
I found they were all rank strangers to me.
-- Albert Brumley

Posting here will be slow for a few days. I'm at large in the increasingly strange place that the militarists and their media enablers have dubbed the "Homeland" -- a sinister, un-American moniker which I never heard used in reference to the United States before 9/11: the "new Pearl Harbor" which Don Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney and their fellow Dominationists openly longed for in the years before the attack. I've already had my luggage ransacked by the "Department of Homeland Security," who had a nice time unwrapping birthday presents, rifling through books and generally making merry with the bones of our civil liberties. All of this preceded by the now-familiar ritual humiliation of airport security: rows and rows of cowed people, stripping off their shoes, coats, belts, jewelry, opening their bags, and above all, watching their tongues, in case some "unseemly" exercise of their freedom of speech keeps them off the plane -- or lands them in jail.

Yes, the American people will be good and broken-in when "Main Core" -- the government data-base with 8 million "potentially suspect" citizens (and counting) marked for detention or "special attention" -- gets up and running after the next new Pearl Harbor. As we first noted back in March 2004:

...for more than 20 years, men named Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld have been working hard – and spending billions of public dollars – on secret strategies to ensure their personal survival when the hellmouth of catastrophe swallows everyone else.

But do let's be fair. The yellow-feathered Washington warriors aren't only looking out for their own backsides – they've also included their closest corporate cronies in the escape plan. In fact, the whole jolly crew intends to preserve their wonted rank of wealth and privilege even as their fellow citizens are roasting in nuclear fires or howling in clouds of gut-chewing microbes, as The Atlantic's James Mann reports this month.

Operation Anal Cover began in 1981, after affable frontman Ronald Reagan and CIA headman George H.W. Bush took office. The Reagan-Bush team immediately began serious preparations for nuclear war with the Soviet Union, including a first-strike "decapitation" plan to take out the Kremlin leadership in one swift blow. Naturally, they feared the Red dastards were thinking along similar lines, hoping to turn the fabulous Ron into a little spot of hair dye and rouge on the Oval Office carpet.

Thus was born an elaborate scheme to set up a secret government, hidden in hardened bunkers, capable of waging war and controlling the civilian populace – without any fussy bother from Congress or other elected representatives of the suckers out there. Instead, three separate teams of insiders were formed, each with a figurehead Cabinet member – placemen like the Agriculture Secretary – who would be "guided" by an all-powerful chief of staff. Dispersed around the country, the teams would use special communications links to rule the nation, for as long as the appointed über-chiefs saw fit.

Vice President Bush helped construct this secret machinery, working cheek-by-jowl with Colonel Oliver North – the beginning of a beautiful relationship that would fully blossom in the Iran-Contra scam, when the plucky pair shipped guns to Islamic extremists in Iran to fund an illegal terrorist war against Nicaragua's democratically elected government. North would later expand Anal Cover to deal with contingencies beyond nuclear war, such as "terrorist attacks" and "civil disturbances" – including large-scale protests against an unpopular military action – with concentration camps for tens of thousands of "dissidents," as the San Francisco Bay Guardian reports.

For two of the über-chief posts, the White House picked Bush's former comrades from the Nixon Administration: Dick Cheney, now a rightwing Congressman, busy slashing social programs for lazy peons and condemning the terrorist Nelson Mandela; and Don Rumsfeld, now a top corporate executive hawking laxatives to the hoi polloi. At regular intervals, Cheney and Rumsfeld would disappear from sight and repair to the secret redoubts, where they practiced running the country through arbitrary rule.

The program, created by a presidential decree and never submitted for Congressional approval, was financed by a secret slush fund, pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars each year. It edged briefly into the light during the first Bush administration, when allegations were raised about – what else? – financial corruption, funneling the program's public money to private cronies in sweetheart deals.

The program lapsed during the Clinton interlude, but roared back to life after the "new Pearl Harbor" that Cheney and Rumsfeld had been publicly yearning for, to "catalyze" the American public into supporting their plans for "radical transformation" of American society into a more aggressive, militarized state, as detailed in the publication of their private think-tank, Project for a New American Century, in September 2000.

Just minutes after the attacks on September 11, 2001, Cheney reactivated the "secret government," sending selected government officials – including, yes, the hapless Agriculture Secretary – into the long-prepared hidden bunkers. Cheney himself still periodically disappears into "secure, undisclosed locations," along with squads of bureaucrats, no doubt to "practice" emergency measures for the next big terrorist attack – the one that Iraq war leader General Tommy Franks tells us will cause "the unraveling of the Constitution" and the "militarizing of our country," reports. (For more, see Deep Cover: Hidey Holes for the American Elite.)

To paraphrase Kris Kristofferson: in our great, glorious, constitutionless "Homeland," freedom's just another word for...nothing.

Anyway, I'll be posting when and as I can. Next week, though, there will be a relentless flurry of posts, when I take a turn guest-blogging for Air America, with cross-posts appearing here. But do keep stopping by over the next few days; you never can tell when something might turn up.