At the end of each year, a number of prophetic prognosticators attempt to predict the future based upon knowledge of the past. Today, I formally enter their ranks.

In previous years, it has sufficed to warn friends and co-workers of upcoming historical events, only to find that the memories of my friends, co-workers and the general populace is equivalent to the cerebral recall of a flailing student who crammed all night for an exam and is asked for an answer to one of its questions three weeks later.

The events upon which I proffer predictions are those that have displayed developed patterns. And my hypotheses are contingent upon a continuation of established courses.

1. Who will be the next president of the U.S.?

Her highness Hillary is a shoe-in for the Oval Office. I do not believe George W. Bush will willingly relinquish the seat to any other candidate. Upon entering the White House (again), Hillary will reign for eight years, at which time the 36-year dynasty between the Bush and Clinton families will be jeopardized unless Jeb gets the nod.

2. What will become of U.S. foreign policy?

The selection of Hillary as president is a result of many millions of dollars invested in propaganda, public relations and political grooming. Such an investment was made to protect the overseas investment in Iraq and augment antagonism toward Iran. The U.S. has aggressively targeted the Babylonian and Persian lands since WWII. Every president since Eisenhower has maintained the status quo. That won't change.

The Bush family escalated covert aggression with military invasions of Iraq. The Clinton administration maintained continuous military action in Iraq for eight years, including persuading Congress to pass legislation (Iraq Liberation Act of 1998) that paved the way for the junior Bush to follow in his dad's footsteps with a subsequent invasion to topple Saddam and take control of Iraq's oil industry through puppet leaders (for historical perspective see Iran, 1953-1979).

Hillary, who has defended her husband's policies in Iraq, will continue the status quo, ensuring the U.S. military maintains a permanent presence in a place where it is least desired. Bill has already admitted that a vote for Hillary means we get two Clintons for the price of one.

3. Freedom and civil rights

The American people will unfortunately see the rise of domestic oppression. The citizenry has failed to recognize U.S. subversion and oppression of nations around the globe. The rise of nations economically has typically been viewed as a threat to the dominance of the United States. Despite criticisms of America by a majority of the planet, the U.S. population prefers to pretend that our leaders are the world's moral superior. This belief has led to strong support for an out-of-control government that conducts secret deadly operations ad nauseam around the globe.

Such operations have seen a rise in secret kidnappings, imprisonment outside the U.S. to avoid legal ramifications, torture, murder and the consistent accusations of rampant upheaval of foreign governments caused by U.S. operatives.

Today, the CIA, which has a public history of acting outside of laws, ethics and the knowledge of the American people, has emerged publicly as a major power broker in the so-called War on Terror. It has positioned itself with a former chief serving as Secretary of Defense, a former leader of all intelligence agencies now in the No. 2 position in the State Department, the newly established Office of Homeland Security operates on its own with little Congressional oversight or binding authority, and the president's own father (who is also former CIA) is positioned in a place of supreme decision-making.

The results have been the death of Habeas Corpus, a near shutdown of answering FOIA requests, a war with Congress and the Justice Dept. over access to secret information, intentional destruction of evidence, a sabotage of the investigation into 9/11 and a complete disintegration of the balance of powers inherent in the three branches of government. Despite the public's suspicions of the course of totalitarianism, it can do little without the eyes and ears of an equally suspicious media.

Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Feb. 1, 2007 that he believes a plausible scenario for a U.S. attack on Iran would be a staged terrorist attack on American soil, setup and executed by our own government, then blamed on the Iranians. Senator Ron Wyden told me that he did not believe our government would do such a thing. It is apparent that neither the public's press nor its elected representatives believe Brzezinski &

and thus his words, spoken to deaf ears in the Senate, are lost to history.

In 2008, the American people will come to realize that the fear which led to acquiescence of liberties and augmentation of uncontrolled powers &

believing our security would be safeguarded &

is exactly what Benjamin Franklin warned against. He stated, "Those who sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither."

My hope for 2008 is that the citizenry will awaken to heed Franklin before it is too late.

is an author, columnist and the Content Editor of the Ashland Daily Tidings. He can be reached at .