The Rubicon (Rubico, in Italian Rubicone) is an ancient Latin name for a small river in northern Italy. In Roman times it flowed into the Adriatic Sea between Ariminum and Caesena. The actual modern identity of the water-course is uncertain, it is usually identified as the Pisciatello in its upper reaches and then the Fiumicino to the sea.
The river is notable as Roman law forbade any general from crossing it with a standing army. The river was considered to mark the boundary between the Roman province of Cisalpine Gaul to the north and the Roman heartland to the south; the law thus protected the republic from internal military threat.
When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon in 49 BC, supposedly on January 10 of the Roman calendar, in pursuit of Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus he broke that law and made armed conflict inevitable. According to Suetonius he uttered the famous phrase alea iacta est ("the die is cast").1 Suetonius also described how Caesar was apparently still undecided as he approached the river, and the author gave credit for the actual moment of crossing to a supernatural apparition.
The phrase "crossing the Rubicon" has survived to refer to any person committing himself irrevocably to a risky course of action, another way of saying crossing the point of no return. It is also in limited usage as to its original meaning of using military power in the homeland.
SOURCE - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RubiconAbout Paul Craig Roberts
Paul Craig Roberts is the John M. Olin fellow at the Institute for Political Economy, research fellow at the Independent Institute and senior research fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. A former editor and columnist for The Wall Street Journal, he writes a political commentary column for Creators Syndicate. He also writes a monthly economics column for Investors Business Daily . In 1992, he received the Warren Brookes Award for Excellence in Journalism. In 1993, he was ranked as one of the top seven journalists by the Forbes Media Guide .
He was distinguished fellow at the Cato Institute from 1993 to 1996. From 1982 through 1993, he held the William E. Simon chair in political economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. From 1981 to 1982, he served as assistant secretary of the Treasury for economic policy. President Reagan and Treasury Secretary Regan credited him with a major role in the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981, and he was awarded the Treasury Department's Meritorious Service Award for "his outstanding contributions to the formulation of United States economic policy." From 1975 to 1978, Dr. Roberts served on the congressional staff where he drafted the Kemp-Roth bill and played a leading role in developing bipartisan support for a supply-side economic policy.
In 1987, the French government recognized him as "the artisan of a renewal in economic science and policy after half a century of state interventionism" and inducted him into the Legion of Honor.
SOURCE - http://www.townhall.com/opinion/contributors/paulcraigroberts.html
Bush Has Crossed the Rubicon
Paul Craig Roberts | January 16 2006
Dictatorships seldom appear full-fledged but emerge piecemeal. When Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon with one Roman legion he broke the tradition that protected the civilian government from victorious generals and launched the transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Fearing that Caesar would become a king, the Senate assassinated him. From the civil wars that followed, Caesar’s grandnephew, Octavian, emerged as the first Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus.
Two thousand years later in Germany, Adolf Hitler’s rise to dictator from his appointment as chancellor was rapid. Hitler used the Reichstag fire to create an atmosphere of crisis. Both the judicial and legislative branches of government collapsed, and Hitler’s decrees became law. The Decree for the Protection of People and State (Feb. 28, 1933) suspended guarantees of personal liberty and permitted arrest and incarceration without trial. The Enabling Act (March 23, 1933) transferred legislative power to Hitler, permitting him to decree laws, laws moreover that "may deviate from the Constitution."
The dictatorship of the Roman emperors was not based on an ideology. The Nazis had an ideology of sorts, but Hitler’s dictatorship was largely personal and agenda-based. The dictatorship that emerged from the Bolshevik Revolution was based in ideology. Lenin declared that the Communist Party’s dictatorship over the Russian people rests "directly on force, not limited by anything, not restricted by any laws, nor any absolute rules." Stalin’s dictatorship over the Communist Party was based on coercion alone, unrestrained by any limitations or inhibitions.
In this first decade of the 21st century the United States regards itself as a land of democracy and civil liberty but, in fact, is an incipient dictatorship. Ideology plays only a limited role in the emerging dictatorship. The demise of American democracy is largely the result of historical developments.
Lincoln was the first American tyrant. Lincoln justified his tyranny in the name of preserving the Union. His extra-legal, extra-constitutional methods were tolerated in order to suppress Northern opposition to Lincoln’s war against the Southern secession.
The first major lasting assault on the US Constitution’s separation of powers, which is the basis for our political system, came with the response of the Roosevelt administration to the crisis of the Great Depression. The New Deal resulted in Congress delegating its legislative powers to the executive branch. Today when Congress passes a statute it is little more than an authorization for an executive agency to make the law by writing the regulations that implement it.
Prior to the New Deal, legislation was tightly written to minimize any executive branch interpretation. Only in this way can law be accountable to the people. If the executive branch that enforces the law also writes the law, "all legislative powers" are no longer vested in elected representatives in Congress. The Constitution is violated, and the separation of powers is breached.
The principle that power delegated to Congress by the people cannot be delegated by Congress to the executive branch is the mainstay of our political system. Until President Roosevelt overturned this principle by threatening to pack the Supreme Court, the executive branch had no role in interpreting the law. As Justice John Marshall Harlan wrote: "That congress cannot delegate legislative power to the president is a principle universally recognized as vital to the integrity and maintenance of the system of government ordained by the Constitution."
Despite seven decades of an imperial presidency that has risen from the New Deal’s breach of the separation of powers, Republican attorneys, who constitute the membership of the quarter-century-old Federalist Society, the candidate group for Republican nominees to federal judgeships, write tracts about the Imperial Congress and the Imperial Judiciary that are briefs for concentrating more power in the executive. Federalist Society members pretend that Congress and the Judiciary have stolen all the power and run away with it.
The Republican interest in strengthening executive power has its origin in frustration from the constraints placed on Republican administrations by Democratic congresses. The thrust to enlarge the President’s powers predates the Bush administration but is being furthered to a dangerous extent during Bush’s second term. The confirmation of Bush’s nominee, Samuel Alito, a member of the Federalist Society, to the Supreme Court will provide five votes in favor of enlarged presidential powers.
President Bush has used "signing statements" hundreds of times to vitiate the meaning of statutes passed by Congress. In effect, Bush is vetoing the bills he signs into law by asserting unilateral authority as commander-in-chief to bypass or set aside the laws he signs. For example, Bush has asserted that he has the power to ignore the McCain amendment against torture, to ignore the law that requires a warrant to spy on Americans, to ignore the prohibition against indefinite detention without charges or trial, and to ignore the Geneva Conventions to which the US is signatory.
In effect, Bush is asserting the powers that accrued to Hitler in 1933. His Federalist Society apologists and Department of Justice appointees claim that President Bush has the same power to interpret the Constitution as the Supreme Court. An Alito Court is likely to agree with this false claim.
This is the great issue that is before the country. But it is pushed into the background by political battles over abortion and homosexual rights. Many people fighting to strengthen the executive think they are fighting against legitimizing sodomy and murder in the womb. They are unaware that the real issue is that America is on the verge of elevating its president above the law.
Bush Justice Department official and Berkeley law professor John Yoo argues that no law can restrict the president in his role as commander-in-chief. Thus, once the president is at war – even a vague open-ended "war on terror" – Bush’s Justice Department says the president is free to undertake any action in pursuit of war, including the torture of children and indefinite detention of American citizens.
The commander-in-chief role is probably sufficiently elastic to expand to any crisis, whether real or fabricated. Thus has the US arrived at the verge of dictatorship.
This development has little to do with Bush, who is unlikely to be aware that the Constitution is experiencing its final rending on his watch. America’s descent into dictatorship is the result of historical developments and of old political battles dating back to President Nixon being driven from office by a Democratic Congress.
There is today no constitutional party. Both political parties, most constitutional lawyers, and the bar associations are willing to set aside the Constitution whenever it interferes with their agendas. Americans have forgotten the prerequisites for freedom, and those pursuing power have forgotten what it means when it falls into other hands. Americans are very close to losing their constitutional system and civil liberties. It is paradoxical that American democracy is the likely casualty of a "war on terror" that is being justified in the name of the expansion of democracy.
REAL SOURCE - http://www.infowars.com/articles/ps/roberts_bush_crossed_rubicon.htm
Download a pair of documentaries to help understand and Save The World...
911: The Road to Tyranny (2002)
Martial Law 9/11: Rise Of The Police State (2005)
'Only a matter of time before terrorists use weapons of mass destruction'
Con Coughlin / London Telegraph | January 17 2006
Biological weapons pose a far more serious long-term terrorist threat to the West than nuclear weapons, according to Washington's leading counter-terrorism expert.
And Henry "Hank" Crumpton, the newly-appointed head of counter-terrorism at the US State Department, believes that it is simply a matter of time before international terrorist groups such as al-Qa'eda acquire weapons of mass destruction and use them in attacks.
In an exclusive interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Crumpton, who previously spent 20 years working for the Central Intelligence Agency, warned yesterday that the "war on terror" was likely to last for decades.
"This threat has changed the way we will fight wars in the future," he said.
"We are talking about micro targets such as al-Qa'eda which, when combined with WMD, have a macro impact. I rate the probability of terror groups using WMD [to attack Western targets] as very high. It is simply a question of time.
"And it is not just the nuclear threat that bothers me. I think, if anything, the biological threat is going to grow.
"As catastrophic as a nuclear attack would be, it would be self-contained. But if you look at a worst-case scenario for a biological attack, it would be difficult to determine whether or not it was a terrorist attack, and it would be far more difficult to contain."
After the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, Mr Crumpton, who was then a senior CIA officer, played a leading role in the campaign to overthrow the Taliban and destroy al-Qa'eda's operational infrastructure in Afghanistan, which relied heavily on covert operations.
After the war, allied forces found that al-Qa'eda had been working on anthrax programmes that it intended to use on western targets.
"They had hired a very experienced biologist to work on this. They were very serious about it and there is no reason to believe they have given up on their interest."
The fear that terrorist groups might be able to acquire WMD from rogue states such as Iran or Syria explains Washington's determination to confront Iran over its nuclear programme.
"If we look at the threat posed by Iran, they have links with Hizbollah [the Lebanese Shi'ite Muslim militia], which is a terrorist organisation with global reach, and they are actively pursuing WMD. And the leadership has made a conscious decision to defy international treaties. I am deeply troubled by this."
As for taking action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, Mr Crumpton insisted that "every option is on the table" - including military action.
"I would not rule out anything because of the particularly grave threat that we are facing," he said.
In a distinguished career with the CIA, during which he won four of the agency's highest awards, Mr Crumpton was a key figure in its covert operations against al-Qa'eda pre-September 11.
Referred to simply as "Henry" in the 9/11 Commission Report, Mr Crumpton tried to persuade the CIA to do more in Afghanistan to hunt down Osama bin Laden before the attacks, but two key proposals to tackle al-Qa'eda were turned down.
After the September 11 attacks, in which he lost many close friends, he was initially overwhelmed by sorrow.
"But that sorrow was soon replaced by anger, anger that al-Qa'eda could do this to innocent people - and the anger lasted for more than a year."
Mr Crumpton stresses the coalition's achievements in disrupting bin Laden's network. In his view, al-Qa'eda's infrastructure has been so badly damaged that it is now struggling to control the groups that would like to support it.
"They can't communicate with their supporters unless the odd courier breaks through. They can't get access to money and things like that. We have made life very difficult for them."
But despite the initial success achieved during the Afghan war in 2001, he expressed disappointment with the support Washington had received from its European allies since hostilities ended. "The job was not finished and it is not finished now." Bin Laden, who escaped to Pakistan, was "in all probability" still alive, he said.
The regime of President Assad in Syria also seriously threatens western security, he says. "The regime continues to support terror organisations. And we know that the Baathist leadership fled to Damascus taking with them money and terrorist expertise, and we cannot rule out the fact that some of that expertise related to WMD."
REAL SOURCE - http://www.infowars.com/articles/terror/only_matter_of_time_before_terrorists_use_wmd.htm
The Power of Nightmares...
The Power of Nightmares: Baby It's Cold Outside
Should we be worried about the threat from organised terrorism or is it simply a phantom menace being used to stop society from falling apart?
In the past our politicians offered us dreams of a better world. Now they promise to protect us from nightmares.
The most frightening of these is the threat of an international terror network. But just as the dreams were not true, neither are these nightmares.
In a new series, the Power of Nightmares explores how the idea that we are threatened by a hidden and organised terrorist network is an illusion.
It is a myth that has spread unquestioned through politics, the security services and the international media.
THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES
Three part series
Tuesday, 18 January, 2005
2320 GMT on BBC Two
I: Baby It's Cold Outside
II: The Phantom Victory
III: The Shadows In The Cave
At the heart of the story are two groups: the American neo-conservatives and the radical Islamists.
Both were idealists who were born out of the failure of the liberal dream to build a better world.
These two groups have changed the world but not in the way either intended.
Together they created today's nightmare vision of an organised terror network.
A fantasy that politicians then found restored their power and authority in a disillusioned age. Those with the darkest fears became the most powerful.
The rise of the politics of fear begins in 1949 with two men whose radical ideas would inspire the attack of 9/11 and influence the neo-conservative movement that dominates Washington.
Both these men believed that modern liberal freedoms were eroding the bonds that held society together.
The two movements they inspired set out, in their different ways, to rescue their societies from this decay. But in an age of growing disillusion with politics, the neo-conservatives turned to fear in order to pursue their vision.
They would create a hidden network of evil run by the Soviet Union that only they could see.
The Islamists were faced by the refusal of the masses to follow their dream and began to turn to terror to force the people to "see the truth"'.
The Power of Nightmares will be broadcast over three nights from Tuesday 18 to Thursday, 20 January, 2005 at 2320 GMT on BBC Two. The final part has been updated in the wake of the Law Lords ruling in December that detaining foreign terrorist suspects without trial was illegal.
SOURCE - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/3755686.stm
WATCH - http://www.thedossier.ukonline.co.uk/video_september11.htm
WATCH - http://www.documentary-film.net/search/video-listings.php?e=7
WATCH - http://www.archive.org/details/ThePowerOfNightmares
WATCH - http://www.kuro5hin.org/story/2004/10/24/115621/52
WATCH - http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=461187809452836609