Crossposted at The Left End of the Dial.

Interesting piece from a Libertarian blog, From Reason to Freedom:

Dateline: September 12, 2008
Emergency Address and Press Conference by President George W. Bush
The Oval Office, White House

“My fellow Americans, ever since that terrible tragedy of September 11th, 2001 – we’ve been on the alert. Your government has taken every measure possible to secure the safety and security of all Americans – the safety and security of our Homeland.

But – as you well know – tragedy has struck again. America has suffered another terrorist attack. One unforeseen by even our best and concerted intelligence efforts. One made even more horrible by following on the anniversary of the first 9-11.

Two low grade nuclear devices were detonated yesterday in Los Angeles. Although the damage to infrastructure – roads, buildings, pipelines was minimal – the death toll was not. Seven years ago 3,000 Americans lost their lives. Twice that number of souls – 6,000 men, woman and children have perished in this heinous, cowardly and despicable attack. Thousands more are expected to follow.

We cannot – and will not – let this assault on our Homeland go unpunished. Those who have sown the wind shall now reap the wind whirl. I have ordered our Military Chiefs of Staff to draw up an appropriate but devastating response. We have credible intelligence about who the perpetrators are – but due to vital National Security concerns – I cannot share any specific information with you. That information will be shared at the appropriate time.

But, my fellow Americans, these are dark and drastic times. And drastic times demand drastic measures.

In order to combat this unprecedented threat against our great nation – unprecedented steps must be taken.

And so, effective immediately, I have issued Executive Order 1000 – General Martial Law.

Until this crisis passes – and make no mistake – pass it shall – the Constitution has been temporarily suspended. Again – make no mistake – we are still a Democracy – a Republic. But we must now be a Republic willing – and able – to defend itself.

Defend itself against enemies without conscious, without morals, without mercy.

Ruthless enemies – who have proven they will stop at nothing to bring down not only our country and our way of life – but an entire civilized society as well.

Enemies who are the personification of evil itself.

I have given authority to The Department of Homeland Security, The Department of Justice and FEMA – to coordinate with special military units and arrest and detain any and all terrorist suspects. Make no mistake – this will not be a witch hunt. We have identified those people most likely to further harm our nation – the evil doers – and we will make sure they don’t get a third chance to inflict misery upon our people or our land.

Executive Order 1000 also mandates all firearms be surrendered to local, state and Federal authorities. We cannot risk these weapons falling into the hands of those whose intent is the absolute subjugation of the American people.

Further, until we are once again secure in our homes, in our streets, in our cities – a moratorium on general elections has been imposed. We cannot guarantee the safety of those exercising their right to vote. Do not be alarmed – this moratorium is just for the upcoming general election. I assure you that as soon as humanly possible – we will once again exercise our greatest franchise – the right to vote.

There are other areas covered by Executive Order 1000 – a full accounting has been given to the major news outlets. All Americans will be made aware of what to expect within the next few hours.

I have not taken these steps lightly. I have spent the better part of this day on my knees praying for Divine guidance. And I truly believe that God will lead us out of this desert of destruction and into a glorious time of peace and security.

I urge all Americans to stay calm and go about your daily business. Executive Order 1000 will have minimal effect upon the lives of most of you. Obey all legitimate orders from your local, state and Federal authorities. They are there to help – help us all find our way through these dark and tumultuous times.

I also ask every American to pray. Pray for the six thousand souls martyred for the sake of liberty. Pray for the sick and dying. Pray for our country – that we may arise from the ashes of Los Angeles better, stronger and more grateful for the blessing that God has bestowed upon our great nation. And please – pray for me – that I may have the wisdom and strength to continue my duties as your President.

Thank you – and may God Bless America!”


Epilogue – Some Years Later:

Executive Order 1000 was never rescinded. The true perpetrators of the dirty bomb attack were never found. Rumors abound that it was not Islamic Terrorists – but to publicly say so is a violation of the new “Presumed Intent Laws.” Statements presumed to intentionally cause harm to National Security are banned. Violations are brought before a Speech Tribunal and adjudicated without trial.

We are at constant war with Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Pakistan. Iraq is still “Occupied” and still a cause of constant concern, loss of life and financial drain.

Military conscription is mandatory. It now applies to both men and women up to the age of 40. Deferments are given only to pregnant women and mothers of young children.

Europe has essentially turned their backs on us. American embassies have been officially closed. The US Dollar trades at one fifth the Euro. The Yen trades at double the Euro.

China has annexed Taiwan. Stretched beyond their limits – the United States said little and did less. “Best not to anger a waking giant” was how it was put.

Mass detention centers have been established in Wyoming, Montana and Alaska. The right to a “fair and speedy trial” has been eliminated. Incarcerations are for the “duration at the pleasure of the government.”

Owning a firearm is now a federal felony.

A new federal crime – Citizen Flight – carries the penalty of life in prison without parole. Too many of the best and brightest had packed up and moved to South America. (Which incidentally is enjoying a new renaissance of prosperity and freedom.)

Every citizen must have a valid Federal ID – presentable upon demand. Those caught without one are immediately sent to “Citizen Emergency Centers” until their identities can be ascertained.

Presidential elections have not been resumed. Congress is elected – but all candidates must first be vetted by the newly formed Executive Committee of Congressional Integrity, chaired by First Citizen Rove. Citizen Rove also oversees the inspection of all electronic voting devices – made mandatory by Executive Order.

Congress is essentially an advisory body. All laws must be approved by the Executive Branch, which now enjoys the right of final and absolute veto.

The Federal Courts exist to defend whatever edicts are pronounced from Washington. The Supreme Court no longer meets.

There’s a new Cabinet Level Post – The Department of Information Control. Sean Hannity is its first Czar. All news must first pass through a complex and intensive verification process. This includes the Internet, which is now under Federal control. All ISP’s must be licensed. All internet traffic is monitored. Every e-mail and web search carries a specific machine identifier, traceable to the user.

George W. Bush remains as President – but the office is now called The Unitary Executive.

The Constitution is officially what George W. called it back in 2005 – “nothing but a goddamned piece of paper.”

Hail to the Chief!

I’ve been a huge fan of dystopian literature practically all of my literate life. Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World are of course the classics in the genre. On film, Terry Gilliam’s Brazil is top-notch. I’ve also really enjoyed the films Blade Runner and THX-1138.

Basically, dystopias are works of fiction that present possible alternative scenarios that contain elements of our current social and political situation, and which (hopefully) most of us would find undesirable. The lives of those portrayed in dystopian literature are often bleak and filled with terror. The models for the genre include the standard totalitarian regimes such as the former Soviet Union and Nazi Germany. Orwell’s novel 1984 takes Soviet-styled society to its extreme,depicting what would have in the mid-20th century been futuristic technology as a means for maintaining control over the thought processes of the masses. Brave New World takes the eugenics movement (which was quite acceptable in “polite society” at the time Huxley wrote his book) to its logical conclusion. Dystopias, then, are a form of social commentary and serve as warnings of what might come to pass if we are not sufficiently vigilant in guarding our liberties.

The scenario certainly has a good deal of plausibility given the current post 9/11 political climate – including the reckless criminal behavior of the current administration, the corruption and weakness found in the current Congressional leadership, and of course the cultishness displayed by Bu$hCo’s followers.

Who would the protagonist or protagonists be who would dare to question the regime? What actions would that individual or individuals take, and what would lead them to act? What obstacles would they face (both external and psychological)? What means would they have at their disposal?

I imagine that a good dystopian story would leave the reader hanging. Whether the outcome for the protagonist(s) is tragic or provides some glimmer of triumph, the ending would leave the reader with more questions than answers. On the one hand, the usual formula for dystopian novels and films requires the social and political status quo to remain in place at the end. On the other hand, dystopian authors and film makers typically leave evidence of cracks in the system that point the way for an eventual overthrow.

Of course the reality is that our Constitutional republic (or what is left of it) is facing a real threat – one centered in the Oval Office and abetted by DC cronies. The potential exists in the near term for a US that is effectively a dictatorship, and one in which the government is in a state of perpetual war, in which the populace lives in a constant state of (largely free-floating) fear and anxiety,  and in which the nation is in serious economic decline. Perhaps we’re not there yet, but the warning signs are certainly present and have been for some time.

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