By Hans Vogel
The world is becoming unsafer by the day. Before the end of November, half a billion new terrorists will be added to the list kept by the US government.
On November 30, one day before the Lisbon Treaty is scheduled to take effect, the ministers of justice of the EU's 27 member states will sign yet another security agreement with the US. It is supposed to be an essential weapon in the global “War on Terror” the US claims to be fighting.
Under the new agreement, the US government will get access to all the banking data of all Europeans. This means that from December 2009, every single financial transaction done by every single European banking customer will come under the scrutiny of the US authorities. Henceforth, whenever the US government suspects a European “citizen” of supporting terrorism, it can request all his or her banking data, including all bank statements as well as any and all personal data connected with the account.
No doubt, many people will fail to see much harm in this, because “they have nothing to hide.” But such an attitude is based on the assumption the US is governed by benign, rational individuals, controlled by an elaborate system of checks and balances.
In fact, this is obviously not the case. If any conclusion can be drawn from recent history, it is that the US government does not act benignly, neither towards it own citizens nor to those of other nations. Especially not toward those of other nations, one should say. US policies are vindictive, vicious, ruthless, deceitful, destructive and murderous. Since the end of World War II, the number of people killed worldwide by the US government, directly or indirectly, runs in the millions. It is safe to say the US government finds itself in the same league as the Nazis and the Stalinists. And don't let anybody retort that the millions of victims of US violence have died to make the word safe for democracy, or that their deaths were somehow necessary or inevitable or some such nonsense.
Today, under the very eyes of an indifferent world, hundreds of innocent Afghans, Pakistanis and Iraqis are being slaughtered every day by US bullets, bombs and missiles, just like during the 1960s and 70s every day hundreds were being killed directly or indirectly by US violence in Indochina and Latin America.
Within a few weeks, US authorities will gain full access to some of the most private data of all inhabitants of the European Union and this should be cause for alarm. After all, from a moral point of view the EU leadership (and of the 27 member states) is just as evil and corrupt as the US government.
With the list of organizations that the US whimsically qualifies as terrorist constantly growing, the likelihood of a European “citizen” making a donation to such a group likewise increases. By the same token, the list of individuals the US has been putting on terrorist lists already runs in the millions. In fact, by employing the usual mix of lies, cajoling, blackmail and bullying in order to impose its paranoid rules on air traffic worldwide, the US government has already turned every airline passenger into a terrorist suspect.
Anybody who believes this is normal or acceptable should do some serious soul searching.
Heaven knows how the US has managed to persuade the Europeans to go along and sign the newest agreement. It is a mystery why the Europeans should have lent a willing ear at all to the US fairy tales about terrorism, because it means they will be sacrificing their sovereignty, or rather, what remains of it.
The only explanations one could possibly offer is that European politicians have no idea who they are dealing with, and are weak kneed. Or they are being blackmailed. There is no other logical explanation why European nations, some of them proud states with a long history of fiercely defending their sovereignty, would sign away their sovereign rights and hand them to a rogue state like the US.
Given that under previous agreements, European governments have already approved extraditing their own citizens to the US and given that all European governments collaborate with the secret CIA rendition flights taking kidnapped individuals to US-controlled or operated torture centers all over the world, all Europeans will soon be fair game.
The true purpose of the entire “War on Terror” can only be to terrorize peaceful, law-abiding citizens and to browbeat them in order to impose harmful legislation. For thousands of years governments have had to face underground opposition, some of it well-organized and with a propensity to violence. The best way to counter such a threat is to go about it in utter secrecy. Mind you, secret services are supposed to do their work in secret, so that no one will notice. Indeed that is what they have been doing throughout history in most of the world, especially in democratic countries. However, the US and its acolytes have been bombarding the world on a daily basis with alarmist fairy tales for almost a decade now. According to all official US reports, the increase of terrorism outpaces any efforts to combat it. However, despite having the biggest military and security budgets in history, with unlimited technological resources at its disposal and a staggering panoply of legal controls on every single activity by every single citizen, the US still claims to be losing the struggle.
This is clearly a lie. Because, whenever nations are losing a war, they will publicly deny this in the most emphatic manner. Conversely, when nations are claiming for years on end that they are losing, it has got to be be a lie. Therefore it can be safely said the “War on Terror” is a hoax.
The danger of the new agreement between the US and the EU is that nobody will know if what he or she is doing may land him in a US jail or in some distant torture center. Suppose you sympathize with a European group giving aid to the civilian victims of NATO bombing campaigns in Afghanistan. You buy a T-shirt for 20 Euros and you forget about it. Then the US government puts the group (whose T-shirt you are wearing) on the list of terror organizations and requests its banking details. As soon as the US government gets these, it has the names of everyone who has ever made donations to the group. Then your name appears and together with all the other names coming up, it is put on the terror suspect list. In the eyes of the US government, you have become a supporter of terrorism and an enemy of the (US) state. Now, nothing stands in the way of your being extradited to the US by your own (European) government. If you are lucky, that is. If not, you may end up in the worldwide US Gulag. You may get kidnapped and put on a rendition flight to a dungeon in Uzbekistan or some other hell hole, where you will be tortured in the most horrible way. Neither your government nor the European Commission will lift a finger to prevent this.
You can be sure this sort of thing is going to happen. Not systematically, but it will inevitably. Soon, rumors will start circulating, and fear will come to dominate the everyday lives of all EU citizens.
However there may be a lighter side to it all. Since your government no longer protects your life and liberty, but on the contrary has betrayed you and given the US (with its abysmal human rights record) the right to prosecute you on trumped up and false charges, you are no longer bound by any obligations to your government. It could mean, for instance, you now have sound legal grounds to stop paying taxes.
You have in fact been turned into a terrorist and an outlaw and you may thank the EU Commission and your national government for that. However, it may be a consolation to realize you are not alone. All the other 500 million inhabitants of the EU have become terrorists just like you.
Alexey Navalny returned to Russia on January 17. He was detained upon arrival at the Sheremetyevo Airport. A court arrested Navalny for 30 days