Thursday, October 1st, Cindy Sheehan arrived in St. Louis, armed with righteous indignation and her new book, "Myth America: 10 Greatest Myths of the Robber Class and the Case for Revolution!" Still recovering from flu severe enough to require a hospital visit; Sheehan explained her case for 'revolution,' from a passage in her new book.
"Am I calling for an armed insurrection? Hardly, and only because I don't think it's possible or probable that an armed revolution would be successful and as in all armed conflicts, many innocents get caught, intentionally or unintentionally in the crossfire. I am urging for what Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called: A Revolution of Values."
She spoke about the prejudicial class distinction in our alleged 'classless society,' namely the 'Robber Class' composed of multinational corporations, fawning politicians and media celebrities, vs. the 'Robbed Class' which is everyone else. Her book goes on to discuss the ten 'myths' of our society, and how they 'rob' us of a democracy. In short, she is 'bearing witness' to the last death knells of our civil liberties.
Just back from Pittsburgh, she spoke about the G20 talks, the G20 protests and the multiple abuses by various police agencies 'for our own protection.' Although not arrested herself this time; Sheehan witnessed arrests of young people, with federal, state and local police geared up in military, Robocop garb, implementing multiple 'torture' strategies and devices on people whose only crime was using their 1st amendment rights. Not only did they teargas protesters and bystanders alike, but the authorities used two other prominent tools; one an acoustic weapon called the LRAD, and the other a simple but effective 'snatch and grab.'
Verifying what other online journalists present at the G20 visit to Pittsburgh witnessed; she vented against the newest toy in the 'homeland security arsenal.' It's simply called LRAD, Long Range Acoustic Device. The LRAD has been used in Iraq and is now sanctioned for use on civilians in the US by the Obama administration for 'crowd control.' It emits a sound measured between 145 to 151 dB, (depending on the model) according to the manufacturers' own web site.
According to various agencies including the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), any sound which is 85 dB or higher will cause permanent noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The company that manufactures this allegedly benign 'crowd management tool' is American Technology Corporation. This device is marketed using the following description:
"The Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) is a highly directional acoustic array that is designed for long range communication and unmistakable warning. The LRAD device can issue a verbal warning and has the capability of following up with a deterrent tone TO INFLUENCE BEHAVIOR OR DETERMINE INTENT."
The federal Department of Homeland Security has budgeted monies for the purchase of LRAD devices by most local police departments.( Source: DHS Doles Out Fed Cash to Deploy Military LRADs in US Cities). It has already been used on civilian populations in San Diego by Sheriff Bill Gore, on rowdy citizens at a 'townhall meeting.
Based on observations by Sheehan and other activists such as Minnesota based independent journalist, Melissa Hill, the LRAD was used in multiple neighborhoods including those far away from the G20 venue or any citizen protests. According to Hill, police actively confiscated cameras, cell phones, or any other device which could record their actions. Yet, in spite of their best efforts photos and videos leaked out into the net. You Tube videos by Hill and others, documenting both military and police abuses are abundant.
In addition to the LRAD torture device used against citizens, we had the 'snatch and grab,' aptly named as this involved the instantaneous kidnapping of people by unidentified officers in military camouflage uniforms. In a video easily found online, (You Tube--Military Arrest or Snatch & Grab at G20 Protest); two such officers have dragged someone off the street, shoved him in an unidentified car to be sent to some unknown destination. These scenes are more reminiscent of the STAASI Secret Police, than downtown Pittsburgh. No explanation has been provided by Mayor Luke Ravenstahl, Governor Ed Rendell, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano or President Obama.
Upon further investigation, I found that the 'security' for this event was controlled and coordinated by the Secret Service. This fact was confirmed by Governor Ed Rendell's press secretary, Gary Tuma. Here is the email response to that issue dated 10/2/09, from Tuma:
Planning for the G-20 was headed by the federal government, specifically the US Secret Service with assistance from the FBI. All law enforcement activities were at the direction of the federal government. Therefore, these questions should be directed there.
Sheehan concurred. The Secret Service is now under the jurisdiction of the Department Of Homeland Security, whose head is DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano. Napolitano in turn, reports DIRECTLY to President Obama. Though coordinated through multiple agencies; the responsibility for this temporary martial law and suspension of the constitution lies directly with the President. No 'far right wing conspiracy' here; just the simple chain-of-command.
Sheehan was not surprised by any of these events. She has come to expect such treatment. She ties the assault on our civil liberties to the assault on our economy. In her book she quotes Mayor Anselm Rothschild;
"Permit me to issue and control the money of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws."
Sheehan also goes on to quote President Obama when he issued the statement, "Credit is the lifeblood of our economy." Sheehan's concern with credit and money is not based on materialism, in fact she brags about not owning anything, any property, any cars, etc. Her preoccupation with money truly focuses on power and those who wield it. Referring back to Senator Durbin's confession that ...the banks own congress; Sheehan knows that those who control the money--control the world. This is exactly why the protests outside the G20 were so important, and why the jack booted response coordinated and ordered by the Oval Office is so dangerous. The G20 participants included individual leaders such as presidents, prime ministers, kings, military dictators and their respective finance officers and private bankers. These are the people who decide who will find work, who will lose jobs, who will have healthcare, who will die from medical neglect, in short, who will live and who will die.
So, while President Obama ran off to Copenhagen in an effort to secure Chicago as the next Olympic venue; Sheehan spoke of homeless citizens being arrested--for vagrancy. After the First Lady and her international counterparts enjoyed an afternoon of shopping in the crisp autumn air; her fellow Americans were breathing in teargas poisoned winds, courtesy of the Oval Office. In an age where 'bearing witness' can bring indefinite detention based on the whim of ANY president; we find this strident contrast in styles--Sheehan the idealist who peppers her substantive speeches with profanity borne out of grief and frustration, and Obama the pragmatist whose eloquent yet empty words match this 'Marie Antoinette' moment. Somehow, I prefer the plain truth, the 'revolution of values,' over 'cake.'