The Imperial Presidency & the National Security State on 1D4TW

It’s been a busy week on 1D4TW, with posts on AFRICOM, the invention of “the ugly AmeriKKKan,” cultural self-criticism, and the politics of race in the U.S. electoral campaign (Palin’s paean to the pale face, euphemizing whiteness and dehumanizing Obama). There will be more posts soon about AFRICOM (especially with a debate and struggle emerging that parallels what we have seen in anthropology around the Human Terrain System, except that the conflicts surrounding AFRICOM began and remained in  the broader public sphere from the start and deal with a wider range of issues). One of the targets of mounting anti-AFRICOM protests was kind enough to visit 1D4TW and post some lengthy retorts to the protests. Speaking of national security and imperial agendas, what one could argue form the social and cultural contexts of contemporary knowledge production, how many readers are familiar with:

  • the Insurrection Act of 1807?
  • Posse Comitatus?
  • the John Warner Defense Appropriation Act of 2007?
  • Halliburton’s construction of detention centres in the U.S.?
  • the deployment of a brigade returned from Iraq for potential U.S. crowd control?
  • InfraGuard?
  • that some legislators were threatened with the imposition of martial law if they did not vote for the Wall St bailout?

If few or none of these, you should have a look at the following posts, which rely on official documentation, Congressional coverage, and some experts’ opinions, usually with videos to accompany each. The broader cultural and historical issues have to do with the methods and mentality of empire being imported back home, a different form of imperial blowback, and the incipient political processes and cultural self-understandings unleashed within the U.S. under the pretext of the “war on terror.”