Somewhere I read the ‘indefinite detention without trial’ portion of the NDAA kicks in today…
Somewhere I read the ‘indefinite detention without trial’ portion of the NDAA kicks in today…
They codified the Police State when Obama signed the NDAA bill on New Year’s Eve. Now they are pushing through a disgraceful internet censorship bill. Currently Barack Obama’s Department of Commerce is spending our taxes and resources creating an Internet ID system. Both of my senators voted for the NDAA, and one of them is co-sponsoring PIPA. I voiced my concerns before the vote on the NDAA, where is my representation? How does this help my state? What citizens can my representatives claim to be supporting? Why is this happening?
What has happened to America?
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:
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
Naomi Wolf explains.
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.
Indefinite military detention for U.S. citizens now in the hands of a secretive conference committee
December 8, 2011 – by Donny Shaw
, Salt Lake City Independent Examiner
Rumors have been floating around the internet for the past week or so that Obama signed NDAA into law before Christmas. Well, he didn’t. But that doesn’t really matter now, because today he did.
We’re well down a dangerous path, here — trying to preserve our safety by trading away what makes us American. Being “suspected” of having connections to terrorism is not justification for removing our right to due process. Some people I respect voted for this, but I’m afraid I strongly feel that this is a really bad bill.
Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed…The Patriot Act, as bad as its violation of the 4th Amendment, was just one step down the slippery slope. The recently passed (NDAA) continues that slip toward tyranny and in fact accelerates it significantly. The main section of concern, Section 1021 of the NDAA Conference Report, does to the 5th Amendment what the PATRIOT Act does to the 4th. The 5th 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 due process of law. The government cannot imprison a person for no reason and with no evidence presented or access to legal counsel.
The dangers in the NDAA are its alarmingly vague, undefined criteria for who can be indefinitely detained by the US government without trial. It is now 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 supported a political candidate? Are all donors of that charity or supporters of that candidate now suspect, and subject to indefinite detainment? Is that charity now an associated force?The Bill of Rights has no exemption 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 Unites States is a battlefield in the War on Terror. This is a very dangerous development indeed. Beware.