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A Personal Experience with a “True Patriot”

patriot bird

"patriot bird by Bellevue Fine Art Repro (Scott), on Flickr

I’ve written a few different posts here, and I’ve finally joined to be a member. I told the FDL people that I still would like to keep my identity separate from my screen name for a variety of reasons. I am an attorney working in Texas, which is probably too much information as it is. I am Jewish (at least, my dad was, making me not so kosher in more traditional circles). That narrows it down pretty much as much I care to let it. The reason I need to maintain some degree of anonymity is because this is still something of the “lion’s den” down here in Texas. I do work in the Energy industry, with some pretty big names in the hydrocarbon industry. And I get to rub shoulders with some pretty big hosses. They may not pay much mind to me – with armies of attorneys around them, its easy to be lost in the shuffle when you’re not the big kahuna that plays golf with them. And I like to keep it that way. These are not “my” clients. They are simply clients of attorneys I work with on a regular basis to assist them with specific things.

I can’t discuss specific things. I can’t disclose specific confidences. But when a fellow attorney starts blabbing about politics, I can certainly listen, and when they say things that are rather amazing or outrageous, I see no reason to “protect” those personal opinions. Out of professional courtesy and respect, I will never disclose names, or titles. And I would not want to make it too easy to draw a link between myself and my screen name. But some things are worth sharing with the FDL community. Even with names and titles and locations redacted. I won’t be “sourcing” what I am sharing, so this is purely anecdotal. Take of it what you will, and discard what you choose to discard. I seek only to share within certain bounds and read what others with similar or different experiences care to share.

Let me start with the end first, that way the rest of it will at least make some sense. I think that it is entirely possible that President Obama is prolonging the wars and keeping the troops deployed for more than one reason. I know we mock and joke about his “11th Dimensional Chess” bullshit… and I think most of it is bullshit that comes out of his political campainging. But, I also recognize that even this “empty suit” sock puppet may have a few good reasons for doing what he is doing. Even if those “good” reasons are very self-serving. All of us here have witnessed how the President appears to be captive to a Military-Industrial complex and Financial Vampire oligarchy. I think he stepped into that captivity the moment he became a “viable” candidate. They approached him and did a deal. That is how he edged Hillary. He promised them more than she did or could. But I think even he is not willing to risk the worst possible outcome of doing deals with the devil. Even he, if at all possible, may be trying to avert a more desperate situation from occurring. It is possible that if he were to “bring all the troops” back home that a far greater problem may ensue. That what we know to be a de-facto hijacking of the Presidency by these interests may mushroom into a full-blown coup or civil war.

I would not have drawn such a preliminary conclusion, but for the conversation I had with an attorney in the Energy industry that has ties to the military.   His comments echoed several other comments I have heard from many other former military men who now run companies or act as senior executives or Board members of companies in various parts of Texas.

Let me set the scene a bit.  There is a senior attorney (my peer), (who does play the golf), who is a white male.  There is a hispanic female attorney much more junior in the room.  And there is myself.  Going through the stuff we go through, and discussing the legal matters we need to discuss.    We are looking at certain documents and reports.  And the topic of national security comes up.  And the discussion about what this nation is doing/not doing right/wrong with respect to that.  I make a general observation that the war on terror is about as effective as the war on drugs – which is to say completely ineffective.  The senior attorney demonstrates his biases by claiming that the Government doesn’t do enough spying.  The junior hispanic female attorney heartily agrees with him.  He proceeds to make the following comments, not exactly in this order, (all of which the junior hispanic female readily agrees with, in a sickening sycophantic manner):

1. That he believes in the Constitution as the supreme law of the land. (With which I agree)

2. He believes America has been sold out to foreign powers and special interests, (if he means Wall Street and the MIC, then I agree)

3. He believes the only solution is for America to be ruled by its own “Hitler” – he clarifies that the whole “Jewish” thing (he does not realize I am Jewish) was because the “rats” (his words) had taken advantage of Germany and made themselves a target.  He then goes on to say that “Hitler gave them a chance to leave, an he didn’t just close the borders and kill them. He gave them a chance first…” (At this point, I am quietly gritting my teeth, realizing that arguing with him while I am angry will do no good)

4. He believes that the only motivator for change in America is FEAR.  Machiavelli-style.  That Americans will not respond to economics, but to fear.  And that they can’t think for themselves.  So they need a tyrant to dictate the law to them.  To “restore” the Constitution, he advocates the establishment of an American Hitler to FORCE change.  At the point of a gun.

5. (At this point, I am being as tactful as possible, being at “his” firm, and explaining the obvious problems with the tearing apart of the Constitution to support it, the way that such tactics will results in a civil war, etc…) He proceeds to say, “Good.  The Civil War is inevitable.  It will come.  When people protest, you don’t let them. You kill them.  With the military.  People won’t stand still with an M-1 tank bearing down on them.  He then laments that such a plan won’t work as long as the military stays abroad.  The Military has to come home in order for the Coup to truly take place.

6. Probing more, I gather this from him – the Military is comprised of  “True Patriots” who will topple a President they feel has betrayed the Constitution.  He (and other former servicemembers-cum-CEOs of private companies that I’ve met) have shared this same sentiment many times.  I think there is a real movement afoot in the military to seize the reigns of power.  Wait a minute – they appear already to have so done.  They get the wars they want, how they want, now.  And they get the budget they want, how they want, already.  But this attorney is telling me that a large movement of Americans on the “right” side of the spectrum want the boys and girls home, not to end the Wars, but to have them here, Stateside, for the inevitable coup!

I would dismiss this guy under other circumstances, but (1) this is not the first time I’ve heard people with large wads of cash and corporate power make the same comments, (2) General Smedley Butler was approached by the corporate titans of his day (DuPont, Dow, Wall Street, etc) to lead such a coup against FDR, (3) the Tea Party has arisen, with Koch-funding, to express the need to “Water the Tree of Liberty with Tyrant’s blood”, (4) the Military has increasing grown Evangelical and Zenophobic as an institution , (see Jeff Sharlett, and Jeremy Scahill), (5) the military has allowed far greater rates of enlistment of members of hate groups to fight in the prolonged wars,

7. He goes on to say that the person who will fill this role must be non-brown.  According to him, that is the only way to ensure that the person is a “True” American.  (The hispanic female junior attorney has so far nodded, smiled, heartily agreed, and ecstatically said “that is SO true…” to everything he has said.  Which tells me that she either sold out long ago or is making the decision to sell out now).  He then laments “affirmative action” as the cause of all problems, and that multiculturalism is the root of all evil.  He laments that people have lost their way as “True Americans” and that now, the only thing that will work is FEAR and TYRANNY.  That a strong person must seize power and FORCE people to become TRUE AMERICANS or DIE (in the name of the Constitution, of course!).

8. He advocates the use of nuclear weapons to eradicate the Middle East of ALL Muslims.  He is adamant that Muslims are worse than Jews in America (but only by a little bit, apparently).

What am I to make of all this?  When I say to him, “Well, I would be surprised if the military would orchestrate a coup, no matter what some service members might feel” he responds with “Well, the Black military would support Obama.  But there are plenty of “True Patriots” in the military.  That same phrase, used again.

I’ve heard it used too often here in Texas by former military now turned executive.  He even made the point that the best way to kickstart this civil war is to use a foreign power to do the dirty work for the True Americans.  I probed a bit to learn what he meant.  He basically said, “Well, we will get a terrorist to drop a bomb on Washington, D.C. to decapitate the snake.  Just like we started to do already…” and then he trailed off.    He appeared unwilling to say more about the “what we started to do already” part.

He suggested that I join him and his comrades in this endeavor.  I told him it wasn’t my cup of tea.  He seemed pretty cocksure of himself. He was in the company of other attorneys, and figures that everything said in a law firm is privileged and confidential.  Which, to a degree, it is.  But when he talked of bombing D.C., killing elected officials, and a military coup, what right does he have to think its privileged?   If he had shown me battle plans and details and names and lists of targets, I would have already reported him to the authorities.

But here is the catch.  He is okay with the national security apparatus in place.  He is okay with the PATRIOT Act.  He doesn’t seem fazed by such brazenly open commentary.  I think I know why.

Because if I were to “turn him in” to the authorities, they probably would lock me up.  Because THEY ARE HIM.  AND HE IS THEM.  The “authorities” are probably already sharing this mindset with guys like this.  When this much money (Citizens United) can be unleashed into the halls of power, naked and in light of day, and the Financial Vampires and MIC can so brazenly loot from the public and impose a restriction of rights upon us all, then it is likely that this “coup” he was talking of is already at least a decade into its plan.  If not longer.   Some might argue that when Ronnie Reagan was president, this coup was already well under way.  Others might argue that the killing of JFK and RFK were a key part of this coup (those men couldn’t be bought or turned, and threatened some aspect of the puppet masters’ strategy too much).

I don’t know.

I do know that this kind of brazen talk has become increasingly commonplace.  On Glenn Beck.  On Faux News.  In Sarah Palin’s mouth.  Or Michelle Bachman’s mouth.  In the mouths of Tea Partiers at astroturf rallies.  In the commentaries of talking heads on ClearChannel AM stations and Roger Ailes’ paid goons.  It is spoken from the mouths of millions of members found from a laundry list of hate groups.  It is the common parlance of Republican elected officials to use military metaphors, violent metaphors, (cross-hairs on political opponents, “lock and load”, “rally the troops”, “conquer Washington”) or refer to the assassination or hanging of political opponents (look at the reactions of right-wingers to Julian Assange and Bradley Manning) or the constant refrain of the lynch-mob verbiage (“hang em high, string em up, hang em by the balls”).   It is very common around the state here in Texas.   Be it in the mouth of the local auto mechanic who talks openly about seeing an armed revolution while I’m sitting in the damn waiting room of the shop, or a wealthy attorney with a wealthy energy company client described herein.   And so many in between.  But this time, it was filled with too much bravado, certainty, and ease.  It felt eerie and bizarro to hear such brazen language so openly spoken.  It made me fear Sarah Palin just a wee bit more, and it made me wonder about the German people who quietly accepted such talk when they heard it not so long ago.

Is this attorney with influence and money just talking big?  Or is he aware of something and so cocksure of something that he doesn’t even feel timid in bragging about it?  I don’t know.  But I do know this.  The more I hear talk like this, the less sure I am of how much we want the more radical element of our armed forces stateside.   Do we want a large concentration of white-supremacist, Christian Identity special forces congregated in our homeland?  With tanks, munitions, and infantry tactics?  Do we want that when we already have a highly Evangelicalized Air Force that controls the unmanned drones, spy satellites, and air defense systems?  (More Sources here).

I felt obliged to share this experience here at FDL simply to give people a chance to think about these issues.   Perhaps I felt a bit frustrated that I was not in a position to do a damn thing about this individual.  The client and its executive leadership are quite chummy with this individual and his colleagues.  I don’t know to what extent they all share the exact same thinking, but it is clear he has no problem speaking of it in the presence of some of their employees or other third-party agents.  I’ve heard this talk before, and I was dealing with people who are accountable to nobody but themselves. They run corporations and are independently wealthy.  They run for public office (and some have won) at the state and local and federal level.  Be they in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, or other cities in Texas.  When the governor of the state can so brashly talk about Secession, and there are no consequences, then I suppose the entire motif and mythology of a new civil war is considered romantic and heroic.  It is openly glorified in the halls of power in this state.  The idea that the military would depose a President that did not see the world through its eyes is not a new one.  And I suppose that President Obama perhaps is dealing with this right now.  After all, JFK was shot in Dallas.  Perhaps Texas has the greatest network of “True Patriots” and they feel quite at home here being so open about their intentions.

If so, this gives a slightly different perspective on the President.  If he is surrounded by jackals at all times, and realizes that he took an office that is already a figurehead position, then he probably has to be very careful how he operates in that context.  I don’t intend to make apologies for his cowardice, or excuse his actions (the killing of civilians with drones or other implements of war is not excusable, the craven retreat from the Peace Process, and the willingness to give assassination orders on American citizens, the decision to allow the abuse of Bradley Manning and the subsequent firing of officials who criticize it, etc, etc).  I am not going to defend his decision to obey his masters.  But I will at least consider and concede that he might be a captive man.  That his honor and integrity, while noble in intention during the campaign, may have been too weak or immature to have given him the resolve to stay true to that honor and integrity in the face of the jackals.

Were he to stand up to them, and end this silent coup, I am sure horrible things would transpire as a reaction.  But he would be a hero for doing it.   America doesn’t need its own Hitler.  It needs its own heroes.  Everyone of us will have to step up and be prepared to do the right thing (whatever that may be) in the face of naked aggression.  I can only hope that the words I heard were bluster and nothing more.  But I have a sick feeling in my stomach that they are far more than that.  And that the national security state is already largely aligned with those words.  Thus, the braggart uttering them will not be punished by the law.  Rather, the person offended by them (myself) would be punished.  Just as Bush, Cheney, et al go free, the one who exposes the war crimes, Bradley Manning, is made to suffer.

I truly believe, now, that Bradley Manning is the symbol of everyperson.  He is the representation of a decent American trying to do the decent thing.  And he is being made to suffer horribly for that.  And he is the lesson to the rest of us.  Shut up, and tow the line.  Or end up like him.  See no evil (or ignore it if you do see it), Hear no evil (or speak nothing of it if you hear it), and Do No Evil (or do not stop the ones doing the evil if you are too unwilling to do the evil yourself).  The new American Way.

Make of it what you will.  But I daresay that others here at FDL have had similiar personal experiences.   It would be great if the other Texas-based members were willing to offer input on anything they’ve seen or heard akin to my experiences.   Is this more rampant than we have been willing to admit to ourselves?  Do we all see the same thing?

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Attorney and Activist in Texas