The United Apostates of America
Land of high crimes and plunder
One can make a persuasive argument that this country was born illegitimately, being that the land was stolen. I don’t necessarily accept that it was; humans have been taking over land previously occupied by others since the dawn of time. In more recent times, see Israel, for instance. But I don’t blame Native Americans for feeling robbed.
While America 2.0 is a shell of its former self, a Banana Republic of a bad joke, it is still number one in something. That would be bragging. About how we’re “the best” country. About the joys of diversity, and how that is our indispensable “strength.” There’s still the old Manifest Destiny mindset there, only now we call it American Exceptionalism. And it’s evident even in those “Woke” leaders who badmouth the country for being “racist,” “transphobic,” and threaten to leave for parts unknown whenever Donald Trump runs for public office. If the past is any indication, our new deranged group of villainous Social Justice Warriors will soon be boasting of how we lead the world in transgender success stories.
For a land that was founded by Puritans, and experienced the strict moral rigidity of Calvinism, America has quite the tradition of immorality, including lots of officially sanctioned, outright theft. In my book Crimes and Cover-Ups in American Politics: 1776-1963, I detailed how the Union Army, under the demonic psychopath William T. Sherman, ran a huge grifting operation, as they swept through the south. Plenty of rape, and burning of crops, and destruction of homes, but also outright stealing of the personal property of the women in their wake. Not sure which came first, the raping or the plunder. At any rate, we are told by the stalwart, well educated court historians that these were the good guys in the conflict.
When Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House, the owner of the place, Wilmer McLean, would accuse the victorious Union troops of stealing much of his personal property. Like a bunch of Snidley Whiplashes, they even harassed a little girl living there, by tossing her beloved doll around. Union troops were documented as having shot family dogs in front of terrified children, and even to have destroyed or stolen their toys. These are the brave souls who were fighting to save the Union. And free the slaves. After raping many of them. Or, they were pathetic suckers who were as racist as the Johnny Rebs, and had no choice but to fight because they couldn’t afford the “rich man’s exemption.”
In my upcoming book, The American Memory Hole: How the Court Historians Promote Disinformation, I’ll document similar robberies done under the auspices of the flag. The “greatest generation”- the goodest of all good guys, we’re assured- stole a bunch of valuable loot from the Japanese during the WWII era. Now, the dirty sneaky rotten Japs had engaged in thievery themselves- the booty was an accumulation of stolen property over the centuries- but that didn’t exactly make it right. Kind of like how Steve Jobs stole from IBM to create Apple, and then Bill Gates stole from him to create Microsoft. Wartime thieving began in the unconstitutional Mexican War in 1846. The same behavior was apparent in Haiti, the Philippines, and wherever else our glorious troops could be found. War is profitable, from the soldiers to the bankers.
I’ll also talk about some truly horrendous, seldom mentioned atrocities by our troops against the American Indians. Lots of rape, and a curious practice of shooting at little children, getting as close as possible without hitting them. Just terrifying them. The theft of whatever property the Indians had. In one case, they slaughtered some Christian Indians, whose begging did them no good. They probably weren’t real Christians, anyhow. Not our kind of Christianity. And, in the ultimate irony, they proceeded to scalp some of the victims. They would do the same thing again in other under reported atrocities. At least we changed the name of the Washington Redskins.
Senator Joseph McCarthy, one of the most unfairly maligned political figures in American history, was investigating many interesting things during his brief reign in the spotlight. One of these was the possible theft of some $100 billion worth of gold from China, resulting from a typically unsavory deal made with the corrupt administration of Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934. We’ve all heard how the Nazis looted works of art, but it is acknowledged that we- the ultimate collection of Captain Americas- openly plundered a significant amount of German art. But this theft was “legal.” The 1945 Potsdam Agreement decreed that “all art collections, both public and private that dealt with themes of National Socialistic aggrandizement be confiscated in toto.” American leaders have a natural ability to justify anything.
We all know that FDR rounded up Japanese-Americans and put them in internment camps. But German-Americans and Italian-Americans were also sent to camps. And all of them had billions of dollars worth of property- homes and businesses- confiscated by the U.S. government. Which never paid them back. So they were such a “threat” that we had to steal their homes and businesses? We did that, not Hitler. Maybe they could make a movie about it. You’d just have to change a few things. Make the victims Black. And convert the villains into evil America First Nazi sympathizers. At least the Japanese were belatedly compensated. The Germans and Italians weren’t.
In Korea alone, from the time U.S. troops were first stationed there in 1945, through 1998, there were at least 100,000 crimes estimated to have been committed by those fighting for our freedom. Included were a significant number of rapes and robberies. These seem to be the two crimes of choice during times of war. Which is pretty much all the time for America. It’s an Uncle Sam thing, you wouldn’t understand. In Vietnam, the familiar pattern emerged. There was a veritable crime spree engaged in for much of 1967 by an elite “Tiger Force” U.S. Army division alone. In another case, future senator, presidential candidate, and romantic partner of actress Debra Winger Bob Kerry participated in a criminal raid on a hamlet. Sgt. Roy “the Bummer” Bumgarner was reputed to have killed some 1,500 in Vietnam. Sgt. Serial Killer.
In Iraq, we all saw the photos of the pretty, smiling American soldier girl posing next to dead Iraqis, and other pictures of naked male Iraqis with things like fluorescent bulbs and electric prods inserted in their rectums. Freedom isn’t free. Our troops plundered health care centers after bombing them. Then Bradley Manning blew the whistle on the multitude of war crimes, and the material was released through Julian Assange’s Wikileaks. Manning was prosecuted (eventually becoming Chelsea- a rare case of an unpopular transgender), and originally given a sentence fit for a serial killer (unlike the actual serial killer mentioned above, who served 97 months of probation and then reenlisted), until Barack Obama pardoned him. We all know what happened to Assange, whom Trump didn’t pardon.
During the first Gulf “War,” it is admitted that U.S. troops buried surrendering Iraqi troops alive with bulldozers. It’s hard to imagine a worse war crime than that, although our boys in Korea, Vietnam, Iraqi and Afghanistan did rape and murder a lot of thirteen year old girls. All’s fair in love and war. In Afghanistan, American troops were accused of running heroin labs. That seems like an odd thing for a freedom loving force to do. But so does raping 13 year old girls. And stealing anything that isn’t nailed down. Exactly how does rape advance the cause of freedom? Even if it’s not the rape of a child? According to Seymour Hersh, our troops raped Iraqi boys in front of their screaming mothers. It’s all on tape somewhere, never to be released.
We could ask the same question about theft. How does stealing the property of civilians advance the cause of freedom? How does it fit in to the concept of heroism? You’d think at least a few of those Union boys would have felt some sympathy for the women and children, and not stolen their jewelry, raped them, salted their land and burned their crops. As their diabolical leader William T. Sherman said, “War is hell.” I guess stealing what was left of valuable German art, after we bombed the beautiful city of Dresden, which held zero military value, was no worse than sending home Japanese skulls to family members as cherished souvenirs. Technically, they didn’t steal them. Just killed them. And what good is war, without murder?
All the theft doesn’t happen on the battlefield. How many politicians have been convicted of graft? How many were never caught? Is there an easier group to blackmail? From Abscam to the Keating Five, these well-paid “representatives” have shown repeatedly that they can resist everything except temptation, to quote Oscar Wilde. Outed by even our state controlled press, Bill and Hillary Clinton returned some $50,000 worth of items from the White House. Which they of course denied stealing, but somehow wound up with in their personal possession. That happens when you’re not poor or working class. Imagine that; being such thieves that you have to steal from the White House. No “mandatory minimum sentences” for them.
In the business world, thieves rule. While corporations will often monitor how many pens the common riff raff are walking off the job with, they don’t notice the far more expensive items like laptops, which wind up in the hands of the executive set. Holy reverends have been caught with their hands literally in the collection plate. When you look at the most successful “prosperity gospel” ministers, it’s obvious that they used all those donations from naive worshipers for irreligious purposes. With the outrageous fees doctors, hospitals, and lawyers charge, aren’t they engaged in theft? We feel ripped off by car dealers and repair shops, retail chains, plumbers, electricians, and nearly everyone else we contract with. Isn’t ripping off stealing?
Law enforcement across this country engages in widespread theft every day. Under asset forfeiture laws, the police have a right to confiscate your personal property, even when you haven’t been charged with a crime. Some parents have lost their homes, because their teenager sold pot under their roof. Vehicles are routinely stolen, not just by carjackers of color, but by police officers doing their “duty.” We found traces of marijuana in the back seat, so now we own the car. You were carrying too much cash, so we suspect you’re involved in drug trafficking. And so we have to confiscate your automobile. Do you want the terrorists to win? Come on down to the next police auction. You might get yourself a great deal.
Our fractional reserve banking system is built on theft. It is legalized counterfeiting. They don’t actually need reserves on hand- in other words, they aren’t required to have the actual funds they’re lending you. If you and I played under the rules of the Federal Reserve, we could lend out money to anyone, by simply creating it with the stroke of a pen. In other words, counterfeiting. Every loan is a theft, because they will collect on something they never gave you. And if you miss that fake mortgage or car payment, they’ll foreclose on you. Or send out a repo man. Put less politely, they’ll steal your property. As history has shown, they’re really good at that.
So on top of the massive corruption, the monumental dishonesty and hypocrisy, this land has a foundation of fraud- a history of official thievery. So it’s probably fitting that shoplifting has essentially been legalized in America 2.0. Why not? If the soldiers, and the politicians, and the executives, and the bankers, and the cops, can all steal with impunity, why not those who might have an understandable financial motive? Thou Shalt Not Steal kind of loses its meaning, when even pious clergy members are caught taking what isn’t theirs. I’m not saying we ought to cut off the hands of convicted thieves, as they still probably do in some “backward” countries. But we at least ought not to ignore, excuse, or sanctify certain kinds of stealing.
If those misrunning this crumbling land had the slightest moral compass, the least bit of morality, then they’d feel tremendous guilt about all the criminal activity they’d participated in. But I’ve yet to hear of a single deathbed confession. No Sauls turning into Pauls in this country. There used to be a moral foundation- albeit hypocritical- among the unwashed masses, if not the rich. At least they recognized that the Ten Commandments were something to strive to follow. They even quoted the Golden Rule, even if very few could hope to live up to it. Now the people, like their leaders, scoff at the Ten Commandments. Golden Rule? You mean he who has the gold rules?
Maybe we stole the country from the Indians. Maybe we stole parts of Mexico. I don’t think we stole Puerto Rico, but we sure didn’t rush to get their power back on a few years back. Somebody stole a lot to get the kind of unprecedented disparity of wealth we now have in this country. We all have a trace of larceny in us. We all love to get freebies. But those without any power in this society know the limits. And if they don’t, they are prosecuted. Unless they’re present day shoplifters in California. If our government was Catholic, it would require a long and intense confession of sins. I’m not sure what an adequate penance would be for such a lengthy legacy of lies, conspiracies, crimes and coverups. There’s a never ending supply of hidden history.