First They Came for the Muslims

“First they came for the Muslims living abroad and I did not speak for I was neither a Muslim nor living abroad….”

Western justice and transparency

Anwar Awlaki and Barack Obama

Anwar Awlaki and Barack Obama  (Credit: AP)

On Saturday in Somalia, the U.S. fired missiles from a drone and killed the 27-year-old Lebanon-born, ex-British citizen Bilal el-Berjawi. His wife had given birth 24 hours earlier and the speculation is that the U.S. located him when his wife called to give him the news. Roughly one year ago, El-Berjawi was stripped of his British citizenship, obtained when his family moved to that country when he was an infant, through the use of a 2006 British anti-Terrorism law — passed after the London subway bombing — that the current government is using with increasing frequency to strip alleged Terrorists with dual nationality of their British citizenship (while providing no explanation for that act). El-Berjawi’s family vehemently denies that he is involved with Terrorism, but he was never able to appeal the decree against him for this reason:

Berjawi is understood to have sought to appeal against the order, but lawyers representing his family were unable to take instructions from him amid concerns that any telephone contact could precipitate a drone attack.

Obviously, those concerns were valid. So first the U.S. tries to assassinate people, then it causes legal rulings against them to be issued because the individuals, fearing for their life, are unable to defend themselves. Meanwhile, no explanation or evidence is provided for either the adverse government act or the assassination: it is simply secretly decreed and thus shall it be.

Exactly the same thing happened with U.S. citizen Anwar Awlaki. When the ACLU and CCR, representing Awlaki’s father, sued President Obama asking a federal court to enjoin the President from killing his American son without a trial, the Obama DOJ insisted (and the court ultimately accepted) that Awlaki himself must sue on his own behalf. Obviously, that was impossible given that the Obama administration was admittedly trying to kill him and surely would have done so the minute he stuck his head up to contact lawyers (indeed, the U.S. tried to kill him each time they thought they had located him, and then finally succeeded). So again in the Awlaki case: the U.S. targets someone for death, and then their inability to defend themselves is used as a weapon to deny their legal rights.

The refusal to provide transparency is also the same. Ever since Awlaki was assassinated, the Obama administration has steadfastly refused to disclose not only any evidence to justify the accusations of Terrorism against him, but also the legal theories it is using to assert the power to target U.S. citizens for death with no charges. A secret legal memo authorizing the Awlaki assassination, authored by Obama lawyers David Baron and Marty Lederman, remains secret. During the Bush years, Democratic lawyers vehemently decried the Bush DOJ’s refusal to release even OLC legal memoranda as tyrannical “secret law.” One of the lawyers most vocal during the Bush years about the evils of “secret law,” Dawn Johnsen (the never-confirmed Obama appointee to be chief of the OLC) told me back in October: “I absolutely do not support the concealment of OLC’s Awlaki memo . . . .The Obama administration should release either any existing OLC memo explaining why it believes it has the authority for the targeted killings or a comparably detailed legal analysis of its claimed authorities.”

Daily Beast report today says that the Obama administration “is finally going to break its silence” on the Awlaki killing, but here’s what they will and will not disclose:

In the coming weeks, according to four participants in the debate, Attorney General Eric Holder Jr. is planning to make a major address on the administration’s national-security record. Embedded in the speech will be a carefully worded but firm defense of its right to target U.S. citizens. . . .

An early draft of Holder’s speech identified Awlaki by name, but in a concession to concerns from the intelligence community, all references to the al Qaeda leader were removed. As currently written, the speech makes no overt mention of the Awlaki operation, and reveals none of the intelligence the administration relied on in carrying out his killing. 

In other words, they’re going to dispatch Eric Holder to assert that the U.S. Government has the power to target U.S. citizens for assassination by-CIA-drone, but will not even describe a single piece of evidence to justify the claim that Awlaki was guilty of anything. In fact, they will not even mention his name. As Marcy Wheeler said today:

This is simply an asinine compromise. We all know the Administration killed Awlaki. We all know the Administration used a drone strike to do so. . . .

The problem–the problem that strikes at the very heart of democratic accountability–is that the Administration plans to keep secret the details that would prove (or not) that Awlaki was what the Administration happily claims he is under the veil of anonymity, all while claiming that precisely that information is a state secret.

The Administration seems to be planning on making a big speech on counterterrorism–hey! it’s another opportunity to brag again about offing Osama bin Laden!–without revealing precisely those details necessary to distinguish this killing, and this country, from that of an unaccountable dictator.

The CIA seems to have dictated to our democratically elected President that he can’t provide the kind of transparency necessary to remain a democracy. We can kill you–they appear to be planning to say–and we’ll never have to prove that doing so was just. You’ll just have to trust us!

That, of course, is the heart and soul of this administration’s mentality when it comes to such matters, and why not? Between Republicans who always cheer on the killing of Muslims with or without any explanation or transparency, and Democrats who do so when their leader is the assassin, there is little political pressure to explain themselves. If anything, this planned “disclosure” makes the problem worse, since we will now have the spectacle of Eric Holder, wallowing in pomp and legal self-righteousness, finally defending the power that Obama already has seized — to assassinate U.S. citizens in secret and with no checks — but concealing what is most needed: evidence that Awlaki was what the U.S. Government claims he is. That simply serves to reinforce the message this Government repeatedly sends: as Marcy puts it, “We can kill you and we’ll never have to prove that doing so was just. You’ll just have to trust us!” The Yemen expert Gregory Johnsen added: “The US legal opinion on Awlaki is one thing, but it rests on assumptions made by the intelligence community, which won’t be revealed.”

This no longer seems radical to many — it has become normalized — because it’s been going on for so long now and, more important, it is now fully bipartisan consensus. But to see how extreme this all really is, to understand what a radical departure it is, just consider what George Bush’s neocon Ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk, told the Israelis in 2001, as flagged by thisGuardian Op-Ed by Mary Ellen O’Connell comparing Obama’s assassinations to Bush’s torture program:

The United States government is very clearly on the record as against targeted assassinations. They are extrajudicial killings, and we do not support that.

What George Bush’s Ambassador condemned to the Israelis’ face just a decade ago as something the nation was steadfastly against has now become a staple of government policy: aimed even at its own citizens, and carried out with complete secrecy. And those who spent years mocking the notion that “9/11 Changed Everything” will have no choice but to invoke that propagandistic mantra in order to defend this: what else is there to say?

Glenn Greenwald
Follow Glenn Greenwald on Twitter: @ggreenwald.More Glenn Greenwald

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Slip-Sliding Into Tyranny: The New American Way

As found on lewrockwell.com

Slip-Sliding Into Tyranny: The New American Way

by Charles Goyette

Recently by Charles Goyette: 3 Lessons From the European Mess

Pay close attention. This is how it happens…

President Obama found a moment of reduced visibility, in an unwatched hour on New Year’s Eve, to sign the latest assault on the Fifth Amendment. In signing the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 on New Year’s Eve, Obama knew the nation’s attention would be elsewhere, diverted by revelry, football, New Year’s Day, and a Monday national holiday.

In case you haven’t heard, the National Defense Authorization Act allows the government to detain people indefinitely – yes, it includes American citizens who can be taken even on our native soil and imprisoned – merely on the basis of accusations.

The measure is “so radical,” says Human Rights Watch, “that it would have been considered crazy had it been pushed by the Bush administration.” And although Obama appended a signing statement as he put his name to the act, solemnly assuring the nation that the power he insisted on having won’t be used recklessly, it is a political gesture that has no more force of a law than attaching a little yellow sticky note to the bill. If the clear language of the Constitution itself cannot bind the governing classes, it is hard to imagine a post-it note having much effect on the current or future presidents now that the indefinite detention of Americans without trial has been legislatively countenanced.

There you have it in a nutshell, the new American way: Guilty until proven innocent.

This is how once-free people slip into state tyranny and slide into martial law.

Political figures are always careful to paper over their power grabs with spurious legalities and midnight measures, granting themselves the rights they are appropriating. No matter how flimsy the pretext, no matter how forbidden the act, everything must be formalized and enabled. Overturned rights and the pretext of legality.

That is how the Fourth Amendment was trashed… marginalized by a document called the Patriot Act.

And now the Fifth Amendment is under attack.

But you shouldn’t be surprised. If the president of the United States can have you, an American citizen, assassinated on his own say so, how much of a shock is it to find that he can have you arrested and held without any of that pesky Fifth Amendment due process business?

Of course, in trying to outdo Bush, Obama has all along claimed the right to detain Americans without interference from the Bill of Rights. In making this extraordinary claim, Obama relied on the 10 year old Authorization for the Use of Military Force, the measure authorizing the pursuit of those responsible for 9/11. But now this broad interpretation of the authority to go after the likes of Osama bin Laden has been extended to nullify whole sections of the Bill of Rights. Obama’s reading of his authority, radical to begin with, has now been handed to him in a statute, codified in a pile of paperwork called the National Defense Authorization Act, and tucked right in with the Pentagon’s budget.

It’s all part of the forever war on terror, after all.

And if the assault on the Fifth Amendment weren’t enough, the Sixth Amendment was put on the table as well. Remember, that’s the one about “a speedy and public trial” and “an impartial jury.” Well, that’s all but flushed. Forget “speedy.” And “public” just left town. You can now be detained without a trial at all. Indefinitely.

America’s Slippery Slope

How many points on the line does it take to recognize our downward slope into state lawlessness? Do we really need more than just the state claiming the right to arrest and hold the people without due process? Does it take more than the state assuming the right to assassinate them?

Warrantless surveillance? Torture? The state secrets privilege? Critics of the National Defense Authorization Act say it makes it easier for the government to render citizens to fascist proxy states where they can be tortured. Is that enough points on the line to see where we are headed?

Can the slide into state militarism be seen in serial wars, all undeclared? In the trillions of war spending that won’t be refused? Or in drones prowling overhead in what used to be called “our country,” but has now been renamed with a term that echoes Nazi Germany:The Homeland?

Perhaps it is a slope that can be discerned in the threat of violence as the first tool of diplomacy. In the paramilitary forces and SWAT teams that are now part of virtually every federal department and agency. In the Freudian envy with which local police departments across the land ape the dress and manner of military operations. In the TSA Viper (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams that have now moved their surveillance of the American people beyond the airports and put them on the open streets of das Heimland.

It happens in every power grab in modern times. Like the National Defense Authorization Act, there is always a legalistic pretext upon which the power grab of the state relies. Lenin consolidated his control under the cover of a blizzard of legalistic decree-laws. Hitler promulgated his emergency decree “For the Protection of the People and the State” on the day of the Reichstag fire. That was followed by the “Enabling Act,” which declared that laws of the Reich could deviate from the constitution.

Paper pretexts all, slow-motion coups in the small hours conferring the appearance of legitimacy as they subvert the people’s freedom.

Of course, most of the national news media, the lapdog press, will miss the latest assaults on the Bill of Rights. But do not assume it’s because they were all hung-over. It’s easier to believe that they just don’t care. If there is any dissent at all about this power grab, it will not be because of the attack on your freedom. The national talk shows will see it as important only to the extent that it allows their favored team, red or blue, to move the ball down the field.

But where are America’s sworn defenders of the Constitution? With raised arms, all federal officeholders mouth the words, “I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same…”

Where are the Democrats who made that vow, those who were worked into a frenzy by the Patriot Act and Bush’s abuses of the Constitution, including warrantless eavesdropping?

Where are they now that Obama’s abuses are out-bushing Bush?

They are in the same silent space occupied by the Republicans who denounced Clinton’s unconstitutional and undeclared warfare until Bush went to war without a declaration.

It is a silent space large enough to accommodate all the Republican and Democrats alike who make empty vows of empty words.

Believing not one thing or the other, they make fitting companions for the cowards Dante described as hateful to both God and his enemies:

“The heavens, that their beauty not be lessened,
have cast them out, nor will deep Hell receive them –
even the wicked cannot glory in them.”

So pay close attention. This is how it happens.

January 12, 2012

Charles Goyette [send him mail] is the author of the New York Times bestseller The Dollar Meltdown: Surviving the Impending Currency Crisis with Gold, Oil, and Other Unconventional Investments, now available in paperback. And coming in February 2012,Charles Goyette’s Freedom & Prosperity Letter.

Copyright © 2012 Charles Goyette


THE INAUGURATION OF POLICE STATE USA 2012

2011 + 1 = 1933
By Michel Chossudovsky
GlobalResearch.ca
Sunday, Jan 1, 2012

THE INAUGURATION OF POLICE STATE USA 2012: Obama Signs the “National Defense Authorization Act “

With minimal media debate, at a time when Americans were celebrating the New Year with their loved ones,  the “National Defense Authorization Act ” H.R. 1540 was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The actual signing took place in Hawaii on the 31st of December.

According to Obama’s “signing statement”, the threat of Al Qaeda to the Security of the Homeland constitutes a justification for repealing fundamental rights and freedoms, with a stroke of the pen.

The controversial signing statement (see transcript below) is a smokscreen. Obama says he disagrees with the NDAA but he signs it into law.

“[I have] serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

Obama implements “Police State USA”, while acknowledging that certain provisions of  the NDAA are unacceptable. If such is the case, he could have either vetoed the NDAA (H.R. 1540) or sent it back to Congress with his objections.

The “National Defense Authorization Act ” (H.R. 1540) is Obama’s New Year’s “Gift” to the American People.

He justifies the signing of the NDAA as a means to combating terrorism, as part of a counter-terrorism agenda.  But in substance, any American opposed to the policies of the US government can –under the provisions of the NDAA– be labelled a “suspected terrorist” and arrested under military detention.

“Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.”

Barack Obama is a lawyer (a graduate from Harvard Law School). He knows fair well that his signing statement –which parrots his commitment to democracy– is purely cosmetic. It has no force of law.

The signing statement does not in any way invalidate or modify the actual signing by President Obama of NDAA (H.R. 1540) into law.

“Democratic Dictatorship” in America
The “National Defense Authorization Act ” (H.R. 1540) repeals the US Constitution. While the facade of democracy prevails, supported by media propaganda, the American republic is fractured. The tendency is towards the establishment of a totalitarian State, a military government dressed in civilian clothes.

The passage of  NDAA is intimately related to Washington’s global military agenda. The military pursuit of Worldwide hegemony also requires the “Militarization of the Homeland”, namely the demise of the American Republic.

In substance, the signing statement is intended to mislead Americans and provide a “democratic face” to the President as well as to the unfolding post-911 Military Police State apparatus.

The “most important traditions and values” in derogation of the US Constitution have indeed been repealed, effective on New Year’s Day, January 1st 2012.

The NDAA authorises the arbitrary and indefinite military detention of American citizens.

The Lessons of History
This New Year’s Eve December 31, 2011 signing of the NDAA will indelibly go down as a landmark in American history.

If we are to put this in a comparative historical context, the relevant provisions of the NDAA HR 1540 are, in many regards, comparable to those contained in the “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State”, commonly known as the “Reichstag Fire Decree” (Reichstagsbrandverordnung) enacted in Germany under the Weimar Republic on 27 February 1933 by President (Field Marshal) Paul von Hindenburg.

Germany’s President (Field Marshal) Paul von Hindenburg

Implemented in the immediate wake of the Reichstag Fire (which served as a pretext), this February 1933 decree was used to repeal civil liberties including the right of Habeas Corpus.

Article 1 of the February 1933 “Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State” suspended civil liberties under the pretext of “protecting” democracy:

“Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of association and assembly, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations, as well as restrictions on property rights are permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed.” (Art. 1, emphasis added)

Constitutional democracy was nullified in Germany through the signing of a presidential decree.

The Reichstag Fire decree was followed in March 1933 by “The Enabling Act” ( Ermächtigungsgesetz) which allowed (or enabled) the Nazi government of Chancellor Adolf Hitler to invoke de facto dictatorial powers. These two decrees enabled the Nazi regime to introduce legislation which was in overt contradiction with the 1919 Weimar Constitution.

The Reichstag Fire, Berlin, February 1933

The following year, upon the death of president Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler “declared the office of President vacant”  and took over as Fuerer, the combined function’s of Chancellor and Head of State.

Obama’s New Year’s Gift to the American People
To say that January 1st 2012 is “A Sad Day for America” is a gross understatement.

The signing of NDAA (HR 1540) into law is tantamount to the militarization of law enforcement, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Inauguration in 2012 of Police State USA.

As in Weimar Germany, fundamental rights and freedoms are repealed under the pretext that democracy is threatened and must be protected.

The NDAA is “Obama’s New Year’s Gift” to the American People. …

Today, January 1st, 2012, our thoughts are with the American people.

Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, Canada, January, 1st 2012

Source URL

H.R. 3166: Enemy Expatriation Act

AHHHHH, NOW I SEEE!!!!!!!  Obama wasn’t lying in his toothless signing statement for the NDAA.  They will take your citizenship away BEFORE they detain you.  Totally makes sense now.  I thought he was lying to me again.  Golly Shucks!!  Good to know the man can tell a truth once in a blue moon.  Here is the bill that revokes your citizenship. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h3166/show  You can actually read the bill there, as well as send a quick letter to your representatives.  I have received responses on the NDAA and SOPA from one of my senators and my representative.

From the Patriots Lament

http://patriotslament.blogspot.com/2012/01/hr-3166-enemy-expatriation-act.html

“Sunday, January 1, 2012

H.R. 3166: Enemy Expatriation Act

Breathe a sigh of relief! They weren’t telling us lies after all. The NDAA won’t allow for indefinite detention of American citizens…no no no, you silly little Americans.You will no longer be a Citizen!!!H.R. 3166Seems to me they are closing any loopholes they might have missed in the NDAA.This bill is one to watch, and we will be.

Update: Arctic Patriot has a good post on this with some information of the sponsors of this bill, folks that could use a little verbal wake-up call from us.
Sealing the Deal

Obama Signs NDAA Martial Law H.R. 1540

This is a good video illustrating what is going on.  History is repeating itself.  Take a gander.  The video has gone viral.  The bill was signed last night (31st), tonight (1st) it already has half a million views.  Don’t be the only one to not see your future (If you are an American)!

Go here to view the bill. http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h1540/show

How Congress is Signing Its Own Arrest Warrants in the NDAA Citizen Arrest Bill

Oops…Too late.

Sadly.

Naomi Wolf explains.

How Congress is Signing Its Own Arrest Warrants in the NDAA Citizen Arrest Bill

I never thought I would have to write this: but—incredibly—Congress has now passed the National Defense Appropriations Act, with Amendment 1031, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The amendment is so loosely worded that any American citizen could be held without due process. The language of this bill can be read to assure Americans that they can challenge their detention — but most people do not realize what this means: at Guantanamo and in other military prisons, one’s lawyer’s calls are monitored, witnesses for one’s defense are not allowed to testify, and one can be forced into nudity and isolation. Incredibly, ninety-three Senators voted to support this bill and now most of Congress: a roster of names that will live in infamy in the history of our nation, and never be expunged from the dark column of the history books.

They may have supported this bill because—although it’s hard to believe—they think the military will only arrest active members of Al Qaida; or maybe, less naively, they believe that ‘at most’, low-level dissenting figures, activists, or troublesome protesters might be subjected to military arrest. But they are forgetting something critical: history shows that those who signed this bill will soon be subject to arrest themselves.

Our leaders appear to be supporting this bill thinking that they will always be what they are now, in the fading light of a once-great democracy — those civilian leaders who safely and securely sit in freedom and DIRECT the military. In inhabiting this bubble, which their own actions are about to destroy, they are cocooned by an arrogance of power, placing their own security in jeopardy by their own hands, and ignoring history and its inevitable laws. The moment this bill becomes law, though Congress is accustomed, in a weak democracy, to being the ones who direct and control the military, the power roles will reverse: Congress will no longer be directing and in charge of the military: rather, the military will be directing and in charge of individual Congressional leaders, as well as in charge of everyone else — as any Parliamentarian in any society who handed this power over to the military can attest.

Perhaps Congress assumes that it will always only be ‘they’ who are targeted for arrest and military detention: but sadly, Parliamentary leaders are the first to face pressure, threats, arrest and even violence when the military obtains to power to make civilian arrests and hold civilians in military facilities without due process. There is no exception to this rule. Just as I traveled the country four years ago warning against the introduction of torture and secret prisons – and confidently offering a hundred thousand dollar reward to anyone who could name a nation that allowed torture of the ‘other’ that did not eventually turn this abuse on its own citizens — (confident because I knew there was no such place) — so today I warn that one cannot name a nation that gave the military the power to make civilian arrests and hold citizens in military detention, that did not almost at once turn that power almost against members of that nation’s own political ruling class. This makes sense — the obverse sense of a democracy, in which power protects you; political power endangers you in a militarized police state: the more powerful a political leader is, the more can be gained in a militarized police state by pressuring, threatening or even arresting him or her.

Mussolini, who created the modern template for fascism, was a duly elected official when he started to direct paramilitary forces against Italian citizens: yes, he sent the Blackshirts to beat up journalists, editors, and union leaders; but where did these militarized groups appear most dramatically and terrifyingly, snapping at last the fragile hold of Italian democracy? In the halls of the Italian Parliament. Whom did they physically attack and intimidate? Mussolini’s former colleagues in Parliament — as they sat, just as our Congress is doing, peacefully deliberating and debating the laws. Whom did Hitler’s Brownshirts arrest in the first wave of mass arrests in 1933? Yes, journalists, union leaders and editors; but they also targeted local and regional political leaders and dragged them off to secret prisons and to torture that the rest of society had turned a blind eye to when it had been directed at the ‘other.’ Who was most at risk from assassination or arrest and torture, after show trials, in Stalin’s Russia? Yes, journalists, editors and dissidents: but also physically endangered, and often arrested by militarized police and tortured or worse, were senior members of the Politburo who had fallen out of favor.

Is this intimidation and arrest by the military a vestige of the past? Hardly. We forget in America that all over the world there are militarized societies in which shells of democracy are propped up — in which Parliament meets regularly and elections are held, but the generals are really in charge, just as the Egyptian military is proposing with upcoming elections and the Constitution itself. That is exactly what will take place if Congress gives the power of arrest and detention to the military: and in those societies if a given political leader does not please the generals, he or she is in physical danger or subjected to military arrest. Whom did John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, say he was directed to intimidate and threaten when he worked as a ‘jackal’, putting pressure on the leadership in authoritarian countries? Latin American parliamentarians who were in the position to decide the laws that affected the well-being of his corporate clients. Who is under house arrest by the military in Myanmar? The political leader of the opposition to the military junta. Malalai Joya is an Afghani parliamentarian who has run afoul of the military and has to sleep in a different venue every night — for her own safety. An on, and on, in police states — that is, countries with military detention of civilians — that America is about to join.

US Congresspeople and Senators may think that their power protects them from the treacherous wording of Amendments 1031 and 1032: but their arrogance is leading them to a blindness that is suicidal. The moment they sign this NDAA into law, history shows that they themselves and their staff are the most physically endangered by it. They will immediately become, not the masters of the great might of the United States military, but its subjects and even, if history is any guide — and every single outcome of ramping up police state powers, unfortunately, that I have warned for years that history points to, has come to pass — sadly but inevitably, its very first targets.

LINKS:
National Defense Appropriations Act

Indefinite military detention for U.S. citizens now in the hands of a secretive conference committee
December 8, 2011 – by Donny Shaw
http://bit.ly/sxolqr

Ron Paul Calls National Defense Authorization Act “Slip Into Tyranny”

From the New American.

I cannot agree more, nor say it any better than this,

“The Bill of Rights has no exceptions for really bad people or terrorists or even non-citizens. It is a key check on government power against any person. That is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system. The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the Bill of Rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war, and the entire United States is a battlefield in the war on terror. This is a very dangerous development, indeed. Beware.”

People in the future who are studying American history (if they are allowed to do so honestly) will look back on this campaign and note that the American citizenry, befuddled by their television news, chose to dig their own graves when they voted for the grave diggers instead of for Ron Paul.

 

To view the bill go here http://www.opencongress.org/bill/112-h1540/show

Ron Paul Calls National Defense Authorization Act “Slip Into Tyranny” | Print |  
Written by Joe Wolverton, II
Friday, 30 December 2011 10:48
“A dictator enjoys unrestrained power over the people. The legislative and judicial branches voluntarily cede this power or it’s taken by force. Most of the time, it’s given up easily, out of fear in time of war and civil disturbances, and with support from the people, although the dictator will also accumulate more power with the use of force.” Those prescient words of Republican presidential candidate Congressman Ron Paul (R-Texas) are taken from his book Liberty Defined: 50 Essential Issues That Affect Our Freedom. The tyrannical assumption of power by the President and the cession of unheralded power to him by the Congress has taken place precisely as Dr. Paul warned.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is an unprecedented, unconstitutional, and unchecked grant of dictatorial power to the President in the name of protecting the security of “the homeland.” Ron Paul described the bill (soon to be signed into law by the President) as a “slip into tyranny,” one that will almost certainly accelerate “our descent into totalitarianism.”
What of the NDAA? Are there indeed provisions contained therein that so ferociously tear at the constitutional fabric of our Republic?
In a word — yes.
This liberty-extinguishing legislation converts America into a war zone and turns Americans into potential suspected terrorists, complete with the full roster of rights typically afforded to terrorists — none.
A key component of this reconciled bill mandates a frightening grant of immense and unconstitutional power to the executive branch. Under the provisions of Section 1021, the President is afforded the absolute power to arrest and detain citizens of the United States without their being informed of any criminal charges, without a trial on the merits of those charges, and without a scintilla of the due process safeguards protected by the Constitution of the United States.
Further, in order to execute the provisions of Section 1021 described in the previous paragraph, subsequent clauses (Section 1022, for example) unlawfully give the President the absolute and unquestionable authority to deploy the armed forces of the United States to apprehend and to indefinitely detain those suspected of threatening the security of the “homeland.” In the language of this legislation, these people are called “covered persons.”
The universe of potential “covered persons” includes every citizen of the United States of America. Any American could one day find himself or herself branded a “belligerent” and thus subject to the complete confiscation of his or her constitutional civil liberties and nearly never-ending incarceration in a military prison.
In his assessment of the danger inherent in such acts, Paul is in good company. This suspension of habeas corpus, a right central to Anglo-American freedom from despotism for over 500 years, was described by Alexander Hamilton as one of “the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.”
Congressman Paul eloquently expressed his assessment of such an assault on liberty:
The president’s widely expanded view of his own authority to detain Americans indefinitely even on American soil is for the first time in this legislation codified in law. That should chill all of us to our cores.
As reported by The Hill, in a phone message to supporters, Paul cited the Founders and their intent to bequeath to their descendants a government fettered in such a way as to threaten as little as possible man’s innate freedom:
The founders wanted to set a high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty. To lower that bar is to endanger everyone. When the bar is low enough to include political enemies, our descent into totalitarianism is virtually assured. The Patriot Act, as bad as its violation against the Fourth Amendment was, was just one step down the slippery slope. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act continues that slip into tyranny, and in fact, accelerates it significantly.
Adding insult to injury, Congress has stuffed the bill full of funding for illegal and unconstitutional foreign wars so that the American people will pay over $670 billion dollars for the privilege of being deprived of their God-given rights and for the building of the American empire.
This appalling story doesn’t end there, however. The NDAA’s rap sheet of crimes against the Constitution is long. As Congressman Paul explained:
The Fifth Amendment is about much more than the right to remain silent in the face of government questioning. It contains very basic and very critical stipulations about the due process of law. The government cannot imprison a person for no reason and with no evidence presented and without access to legal counsel. The danger of the NDAA is its alarmingly vague, undefined criteria for who can be indefinitely detained by the U.S. government without trial.
While all the foregoing is harrowing and enough to make any reasonable man fear for the future of this Republic, there is another aspect of the law that is perhaps more frightening still. That is the vagueness of the terms. Terms so ill-defined are ripe for the wresting and within the penumbras of these provisions could be found lurking the tools of tyranny. Wrenches that could force anyone into a predetermined “terrorist” hole.
Ron Paul sets forth the source of such chilling concern as contained in the NDAA:
It is no longer limited to members of al Qaeda or the Taliban, but anyone accused of substantially supporting such groups or associated forces. How closely associated, and what constitutes substantial support? What if it was discovered that someone who committed a terrorist act was once involved with a charity? Or suppose a political candidate? Are all donors of that candidate or supporters of that candidate now suspects and subject to indefinite detainment? Is that charity now an associated force?
Despite the bipartisan and bicameral support for the defense budget bill, President Obama originally vowed to veto the measure over his disagreement with the delegation of power over the cases of detainees.
He has since withdrawn his objection and has signaled his intent to sign the bill into law.
The crux of the White House’s opposition to the NDAA was President Obama’s desire that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) should have plenary power over the disposition of issues related to the custody and prosecution of all terror suspects detained domestically.
The Obama administration insisted that cutting out the FBI would reduce the overall effectiveness of investigations, as well as hamstring the efforts of intelligence officers from gathering reliable intelligence from those believed to be fighting against the United States in Afghanistan or Iraq.
Specifically, the White House promised to veto the legislation if it “challenges or constrains the President’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, [or] protect the nation.”
Such swords disguised as shields are reminiscent of the words of James Madison. The Father of the Constitution warned, “The means of defense against foreign danger historically have become instruments of tyranny at home.”
Again, Ron Paul finds himself in the company of the Founders. In his closing remarks, Congressman Paul cited very succinctly the indictment that should be handed down by the American people against the NDAA:
“The Bill of Rights has no exceptions for really bad people or terrorists or even non-citizens. It is a key check on government power against any person. That is not a weakness in our legal system; it is the very strength of our legal system. The NDAA attempts to justify abridging the Bill of Rights on the theory that rights are suspended in a time of war, and the entire United States is a battlefield in the war on terror. This is a very dangerous development, indeed. Beware.”