EXCLUSIVE: OBAMA SIGNS NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT 2013 INTO LAW ON JANUARY 2, 2013: MARTIAL LAW COMES TO AMERICA

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THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES

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detained

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The First Amendment – Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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The Fourth Amendment – The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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The Fifth Amendment – No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

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The Sixth Amendment — Trial by jury and other rights of the accused.  In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district where in the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

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The Seventh Amendment – In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

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The Fourteenth Amendment – Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

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billrights

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BARACK OBAMA SIGNS NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR 2013 INTO LAW ON JANUARY 2, 2013

President Barack Obama has signed into law a $633 billion US defense spending bill that funds the war in Afghanistan and boosts security at US missions worldwide.

“I have approved this annual defense authorization legislation, as I have in previous years, because it authorizes essential support for service members and their families, renews vital national security programs, and helps ensure that the United States will continue to have the strongest military in the world,” Mr Obama said in a statement early on Thursday after signing the measure.

Mr Obama, who is on holiday in Hawaii, said that he signed the measure despite reservations.

“In a time when all public servants recognize the need to eliminate wasteful or duplicative spending, various sections in the Act limit the Defense Department’s ability to direct scarce resources towards the highest priorities for our national security,” the president said.

“Even though I support the vast majority of the provisions contained in this Act … I do not agree with them all,” he said in his statement, adding that he did not have the constitutional authority to approve piecemeal items within the sprawling bill.

“I am empowered either to sign the bill, or reject it, as a whole,” he said.

The measure was hammered out by House and Senate conferees last month after each chamber voted to approve separate versions of the bill.

It includes $527.4 billion for the base Pentagon budget; $88.5 billion for overseas contingency operations including the war in Afghanistan; and $17.8 billion for national security programs in the Energy Department and Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board.

The bill authorizes $9.8 billion for missile defense, including funds for a Pentagon feasibility study on three possible missile defense sites on the US East Coast.

It also extends for one year the restriction on use of US funds to transfer Guantánamo inmates to other countries, a limitation critics say marks a setback for Mr Obama’s efforts to close the detention center.

Mr Obama also signed a bill that boosts taxes on the wealthiest Americans, while preserving tax cuts for most American households.

The bill, which averts a looming fiscal cliff that had threatened to plunge the nation back into recession, also extends expiring jobless benefits, prevents cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors and delays for two months billions of dollars in across-the-board spending cuts in defense and domestic programs.

The Republican-run House approved the measure by a 257-167 vote late Tuesday, nearly 24 hours after the Democratic-led Senate passed it 89-8.

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STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT ON H.R. 4310: THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2013

For Immediate Release
January 03, 2013

Today I have signed into law H.R. 4310, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013.” I have approved this annual defense authorization legislation, as I have in previous years, because it authorizes essential support for service members and their families, renews vital national security programs, and helps ensure that the United States will continue to have the strongest military in the world.

Even though I support the vast majority of the provisions contained in this Act, which is comprised of hundreds of sections spanning more than 680 pages of text, I do not agree with them all. Our Constitution does not afford the President the opportunity to approve or reject statutory sections one by one. I am empowered either to sign the bill, or reject it, as a whole. In this case, though I continue to oppose certain sections of the Act, the need to renew critical defense authorities and funding was too great to ignore.

In a time when all public servants recognize the need to eliminate wasteful or duplicative spending, various sections in the Act limit the Defense Department’s ability to direct scarce resources towards the highest priorities for our national security. For example, restrictions on the Defense Department’s ability to retire unneeded ships and aircraft will divert scarce resources needed for readiness and result in future unfunded liabilities. Additionally, the Department has endeavored to constrain manpower costs by recommending prudent cost sharing reforms in its health care programs. By failing to allow some of these cost savings measures, the Congress may force reductions in the overall size of our military forces.

Section 533 is an unnecessary and ill-advised provision, as the military already appropriately protects the freedom of conscience of chaplains and service members. The Secretary of Defense will ensure that the implementing regulations do not permit or condone discriminatory actions that compromise good order and discipline or otherwise violate military codes of conduct. My Administration remains fully committed to continuing the successful implementation of the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and to protecting the rights of gay and lesbian service members; Section 533 will not alter that.

Several provisions in the bill also raise constitutional concerns. Section 1025 places limits on the military’s authority to transfer third country nationals currently held at the detention facility in Parwan, Afghanistan. That facility is located within the territory of a foreign sovereign in the midst of an armed conflict. Decisions regarding the disposition of detainees captured on foreign battlefields have traditionally been based upon the judgment of experienced military commanders and national security professionals without unwarranted interference by Members of Congress. Section 1025 threatens to upend that tradition, and could interfere with my ability as Commander in Chief to make time-sensitive determinations about the appropriate disposition of detainees in an active area of hostilities. Under certain circumstances, the section could violate constitutional separation of powers principles. If section 1025 operates in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement it to avoid the constitutional conflict.

Sections 1022, 1027 and 1028 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1027 renews the bar against using appropriated funds for fiscal year 2012 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I continue to oppose this provision, which substitutes the Congress’s blanket political determination for careful and fact-based determinations, made by counterterrorism and law enforcement professionals, of when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation, and in certain cases may be the only legally available process for trying detainees. Removing that tool from the executive branch undermines our national security. Moreover, this provision would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.

Section 1028 fundamentally maintains the unwarranted restrictions on the executive branch’s authority to transfer detainees to a foreign country. This provision hinders the Executive’s ability to carry out its military, national security, and foreign relations activities and would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. The Congress designed these sections, and has here renewed them once more, in order to foreclose my ability to shut down the Guantanamo Bay detention facility. I continue to believe that operating the facility weakens our national security by wasting resources, damaging our relationships with key allies, and strengthening our enemies. My Administration will interpret these provisions as consistent with existing and future determinations by the agencies of the Executive responsible for detainee transfers. And, in the event that these statutory restrictions operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will implement them in a manner that avoids the constitutional conflict.

As my Administration previously informed the Congress, certain provisions in this bill, including sections 1225, 913, 1531, and 3122, could interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States. In these instances, my Administration will interpret and implement these provisions in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct diplomacy. Section 1035, which adds a new section 495(c) to title 10, is deeply problematic, as it would impede the fulfillment of future U.S. obligations agreed to in the New START Treaty, which the Senate provided its advice and consent to in 2010, and hinder the Executive’s ability to determine an appropriate nuclear force structure. I am therefore pleased that the Congress has included a provision to adequately amend this provision in H.R. 8, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which I will be signing into law today.

Certain provisions in the Act threaten to interfere with my constitutional duty to supervise the executive branch. Specifically, sections 827, 828, and 3164 could be interpreted in a manner that would interfere with my authority to manage and direct executive branch officials. As my Administration previously informed the Congress, I will interpret those sections consistent with my authority to direct the heads of executive departments to supervise, control, and correct employees’ communications with the Congress in cases where such communications would be unlawful or would reveal information that is properly privileged or otherwise confidential. Additionally, section 1034 would require a subordinate to submit materials directly to the Congress without change, and thereby obstructs the traditional chain of command. I will implement this provision in a manner consistent with my authority as the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces and the head of the executive branch.

A number of provisions in the bill — including sections 534(b)(6), 674, 675, 735, 737, 1033(b), 1068, and 1803 — could intrude upon my constitutional authority to recommend such measures to the Congress as I “judge necessary and expedient.” My Administration will interpret and implement these provisions in a manner that does not interfere with my constitutional authority.

BARACK OBAMA

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OXFORD, MASS., ADOPTS ANTI-NDAA RESOLUTION

Written by  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American

A congressman other than Justin Amash has come out against the indefinite detention provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

On November 8, senior Democratic Whip Representative James P. McGovern (D-Mass.) sent a letter to leaders of the town of Oxford, Massachusetts, praising them for their passage of a resolution repealing sections of the NDAA that permit the president of the United States to order the indefinite detention of American citizens, denying them their constitutionally protected right of due process.

“I commend the Town of Oxford for its recent action in support of repealing Sections 1021 and 1022 of the Fiscal Year 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” McGovern wrote.

In October, citizens of Oxford, Massachusetts, almost unanimously passed the Oxford Restoring Constitutional Governance Resolution. In addition to outlawing the indefinite detention of residents of the city, the resolution states:

It is unconstitutional, and therefore unlawful for any person to:

a. arrest or capture any person in Oxford, or citizen of Oxford, within the United States, with the intent of “detention under the law of war,” or

b. actually subject a person in Oxford, to “disposition under the law of war,” or

c. subject any person to targeted killing in Oxford, or citizen of Oxford, within the United States.”

Unlike other cities where councilmen vote on resolutions, in Oxford, Massachusetts, citizens are empowered to consider and enact ordinances. In the case of the anti-NDAA resolution, 95 percent of those voting approved the measure.

People Against the NDAA (PANDA) reports:

Marla Zeneski, the Oxford resident who sponsored the resolution, along with the support of Worcester Tea Party Co-Founder Ken Mandile and PANDA Massachusetts, said:

“It took a long time and a big effort to gather these signatures due to the way our town is laid out as there is no single ‘common’ location where people of Oxford gather. But we persevered and I am so happy with the outcome! We are the first town in MA to pass this very important Resolution.”

And:

Benjamin Selecky, Team Leader for PANDA Massachusetts, praised the resolution and the efforts of local activists:

“Special thanks to everyone that helped Take Back the Town of Oxford. It was a team effort, and everyone’s contribution was critical to accomplishing the mission. As we celebrate the victory, let us not lose sight of the long road ahead of us. There is work that still needs to be done, but together, we will restore constitutional governance to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.”

President Barack Obama signed the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law on January 2, 2013, renewing the power to apprehend and detain Americans indefinitely granted in the previous year’s version.

As for the most unconstitutional parts of the NDAA 2012 that remain in effect, a bit of history is in order. On December 31, 2011, with the president’s signing of that law, the writ of habeas corpus — a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta — is voidable upon the command of the president of the United States. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is also revocable at his will.

One of the most noxious elements of the NDAA is that it places the American military at the disposal of the president for the apprehension, arrest, and detention of those suspected of posing a danger to the homeland (whether inside or outside the borders of the United States and whether the suspect be a citizen or foreigner). The endowment of such a power to the president by the Congress is nothing less than a de facto legislative repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, the law forbidding the use of the military in domestic law enforcement.

Furthermore, a key component of the NDAA 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.

Also, 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.

Other states and towns around the country should consider following Oxford’s example in shielding citizens from the NDAA as the annual renewal of the legislation is underway on Capitol Hill.

On June 14, by a vote of 315-108, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2014 version of the NDAA (HR 1960). Several amendments to the defense spending legislation were proposed, many of which were approved either by voice vote or en bloc. The first method of voting requires no report on how individual members voted, while the second method aggregates amendments, allowing them to be voted on in groups.

A few of the amendments represent significant improvements to the NDAA of 2012 and 2013. The acts passed for those years infamously permitted the president to deploy U.S. military troops to apprehend and indefinitely detain any American he alone believed to be aiding enemies of the state.

While the 2014 iteration doesn’t go far enough in pushing the federal beast back inside its constitutional cage, there are at least a few congressmen willing to try to crack the whip and restore constitutional separation of powers and shore up a few of the fundamental liberties suspended by the NDAA of the past two years.

First, there is the amendment offered by Representative Trey Radel (R-Fla.). Radel’s amendment requires the Department of Defense to submit to the Congress a report every year containing: (1) the names of any U.S. citizens subject to military detention, (2) the legal justification for their continued detention, and (3) the steps the Executive Branch is taking to either provide them some judicial process, or release them.

Radel’s amendment was passed by voice vote.

Next, an amendment offered by Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) would require the federal government, in habeas proceedings for U.S. citizens apprehended in the United States pursuant to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), to prove by “clear and convincing evidence” that the citizen is an unprivileged enemy combatant and there is not presumption that the government’s evidence is accurate and authentic.

The House approved the Goodlatte amendment by a vote of 214-211.

Finally, an amendment by Representative Paul Broun (R-Ga.) forbids the Department of Defense from killing a citizen of the United States by a drone attack unless that person is actively engaged in combat against the United States.

This trio of amendments represents a laudable attempt to restrain the power of the executive. As constitutionalists and civil libertarians are aware, recent occupants of the Oval Office have usurped sweeping unconstitutional powers, including the authority to target Americans for indefinite detention, to withhold from them their unalienable rights, and to kill American citizens who have been charged with no crime and been given no opportunity to defend themselves from the accusations that qualified them for summary assassination.

Despite these small victories in the battle to restore constitutionally protected liberty, the debate on the 2014 NDAA provided several examples of members of Congress violating their oaths of office by shrinking the scope of basic rights and expanding the power of the president to act as de facto (and now, de jure) judge, jury, and executioner.

As in so many other cases, the fundamental civil liberties protected by the Constitution will have to be preserved not by Congress, but by states and communities determined to undo the damage done by a federal government that acts where it has no authority.

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CALIFORNIA STATE ANTI-NDAA BILL PASSED; GOES TO GOVERNOR

Written by  Joe Wolverton, II, J.D. | The New American

The California State Senate on September 3 unanimously approved a bill to severely limit the federal government’s unconstitutional power to indefinitely detain citizens of the Golden State under provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

By a vote of 37-0, state senators expressed bipartisan support of the Bill of Rights and habeas corpus. The measure’s successful passage by both houses of the state legislature (the state assembly passed the bill by a vote of 71-1) is a victory for civil liberties and a remarkable demonstration of the ability of lawmakers from opposite ends of the political spectrum to work together.

The act — the California Liberty Preservation Act (AB 351) — will now go to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature or veto.

Originally sponsored by State Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, a conservative Republican (now running for governor), the bill’s senate sponsor was one of that body’s “most liberal lawmakers,” Mark Leno.

“Indefinite detention, by its very definition, means that we are abrogating, suspending, just throwing away the basic foundations of our Constitution and of our nation,” Leno said.

After being warned by some of his fellow Democrats that siding with Donnelly was tantamount to political suicide, Leno stood firm in defense of liberty.

“It doesn’t matter where one finds oneself on the political spectrum,” he said. “These two sections of this national defense act are wrong, unconstitutional and never should have been included.”

Grassroots support for the act comes from a broad, politically diverse coalition, as well.

AB 351 is backed by the Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee, the Tenth Amendment Center, the California American Civil Liberties Union, San Francisco Board of Supervisors president David Chiu, the Libertarian Party of California, and the Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors.

Specifically, if enacted, the bill would shield from federal assault several fundamental constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties, “including the right of habeas corpus, the right to due process, the right to a speedy and public trial, and the right to be informed of criminal charges brought against him or her.”

Relying on the 10th Amendment’s reservation to the states and the people all powers not specifically delegated to the federal government in the Constitution, the bill is a constitutionally sound expression of state sovereignty.

In a press release issued by his office after the committee approved his bill, Assemblyman Donnelly recognizes his duty to resist attempts by Washington, D.C., to deny Americans of their most basic freedoms.

“The NDAA gives the executive branch — under not only President Obama, but also every future president — unprecedented power to detain US citizens without due process. This runs counter to the very principles that make America great, and violates our nation’s commitment to the rule of law,” said Donnelly.

He continued,

We have a moral duty to protect Californians from the disastrous consequences made possible by NDAA. When Constitutional protections are ignored, racist hysteria allows vulnerable groups to be targeted. It was not long ago we memorialized the tragedy of Japanese American internment camps on the floor of the California State Assembly. I am grateful for today’s committee vote, which shows Californians that their representatives are serious about ensuring similar violations of freedom and human rights abuses never happen again within our State.

While the text of the bill lays out specific ways in which the NDAA denies citizens many of the most basic constitutionally protected civil liberties, the surprising scope of the NDAA is still unfamiliar to most Americans.

President Barack Obama signed the latest National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law on January 2, renewing the power to apprehend and detain Americans indefinitely granted in the previous year’s version.

The Fiscal Year 2014 version of the bill is currently working its way through Congress. At this time, many amendments that would have stricken some of the most pernicious provisions from the act have been defeated.

As for the most unconstitutional parts of the NDAA 2012 that remain in effect, a bit of history is in order. On December 31, 2011, with the president’s signing of that law, the writ of habeas corpus — a civil right so fundamental to Anglo-American common law history that it predates the Magna Carta — is voidable upon the command of the president of the United States. The Sixth Amendment right to counsel is also revocable at his will.

Furthermore, a key component of the NDAA 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.

On the face of the bill, it would seem that California’s state lawmakers are determined to protect their citizens from being seized and imprisoned under the provisions of the NDAA.

While AB 351, as well as Section 1029 of the current version of the NDAA purport to buttress the right to a trial for citizens and permanent residents, it does nothing to prevent their apprehension. Denial of habeas corpus (or a trial) comes later; it is the delirium, not the fever, in a manner of speaking.

Put simply, Californians would not need to worry about being held without charge if the president was not authorized in the same act to deploy the armed forces to round up the “suspects” and detain them indefinitely. Being apprised of the laws one is accused of having violated is important, but it’s the detention and the manner of it that must be of more immediate concern to those who are alarmed about the new world order being defined by the NDAA.

While the bill is not perfect, it is a significant step toward stopping the frightening federal attempt to legislatively repeal the Constitution. In a statement to The New American, the Tenth Amendment Center’s Michael Boldin praises the California state legislature for its courageous, bipartisan action.

California would be the second U.S. state to challenge this particular law, after Virginia last year. But the impact of such resistance by the massive Blue State could lead to a wave of resistance in others states, as happened after California voters first passed a law to nullify federal marijuana prohibition in 1996.
 
Civil libertarians view indefinite detention, otherwise known as internment, of Japanese Americans during World War II as a dark stain on American history.

And:

In passing bill AB 351, the California State Legislature took precisely the step that James Madison advocated states should take when the federal government oversteps its bounds — a “refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union. “

I commend the California Legislature for their broad bipartisan support of this bill, but the effort is far from over. Governor Brown must still sign the bill into law. If he does, other states will certainly follow California’s lead and prove once again, like Rosa Parks did, that saying “No” can change the world.

A call to Governor Brown’s office was not returned by press time.

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CALIFORNIA SENATE SAYS NO TO NDAA

Published on Sep 4, 2013

This week the California State Senate unanimously shot down the federal government’s indefinite detention powers in a 37-0 vote. Lawmakers are refusing to provide material support for the National Defense Authorization Act, and if the measure becomes law it will be difficult for the government to enforce indefinite detention in the state. Tangerine Bolen, founder and director for RevolutionTruth, has more on the NDAA.

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SENATOR MIKE LEE ON THE DRONE PROGRAM AND THE NDAA

Published on Mar 20, 2013

At CPAC, Sierra Adamson spoke to Senator Mike Lee about the use of drones on American citizens and how the drone program is used oversees. They also discussed the NDAA lawsuit currently going on and Senator Lee’s thoughts on the Federal Reserve.

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CARL MAYER: UPDATE ON THE NDAA LAWSUIT

Published on Mar 14, 2013

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The New York Times calls Carl Mayer: “A populist crusader and maverick lawyer.” (New York Times, October 15, 2004).

Mr. Mayer’s biggest impact was when he was profiled by Mike Wallace and Morley Safer on the CBS News Program “Sixty Minutes”. Mayer — then an elected Independent town councilman in Princeton, N.J. — went undercover and wore a wire to expose the rampant corruption and criminality endemic to New Jersey and, increasingly, American, politics.

On that program, the CEO of United Gunite Corporation (a construction company) was caught offering a cash bribe to a “Sixty Minutes” cameraman to stop his filming: a first in “Sixty Minutes” history.

The same CEO was subsequently indicted by the U.S. Attorney for New Jersey and cooperated in indicting corporate lobbyists and the mayors of several New Jersey cities, including Patterson and Irvington. The fallout continues as over ninty elected officials and corporate lobbyists have been sent to jail for bribery, extortion and other corruption charges.

Mr. Mayer dedicates his law practice, writing and electoral efforts to ending the tyranny of corporate power over American citizens.

He has written in law journals opposing efforts by corporations to use the Bill of Rights intended only for American citizens to shield corporations from accountability and legal sanction.

Mr. Mayer worked on the Nike v. Kasky case in the United States Supreme Court that successfully prevented Nike from using the First Amendment to continue deceiving consumers about sweat-shop labor used in Nike plants

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U.S. SUPREME COURT DENIES APPLICATION TO VACATE STAY IN NDAA LAWSUIT

by

February 21, 2013

The emergency stay which was placed on Judge Forrests’ injunction against Section 1021 and indefinite detention will remain in effect, after the U.S. Supreme Court denied an application to vacate. The NDAA remains in effect.

Now StopNDAA waits on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling.

Chris Hedges along with a group of journalists, activists, and academics, as well as a member of Iceland’s parliament filed an application, called an “Emergent Application to Vacate Temporary Stay of Permanent Injunction”[139] (docket 12A600,[140] with the U.S. Supreme Court on December 12, 2012. With the application the group asked the Supreme Court to lift the stay pending appeal order issued by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals on October 12, 2012 and thus to put back into effect District Judge Forrest’s order from September 12, 2012 which permanently enjoined enforcement of § 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The new application was filed with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who handles cases from the Second Circuit geographic area. She had the authority to decide the issue on her own, or share it with her colleagues.[18][72] The application submitted by plaintiff attorney Bruce Ira Afran stated: “Unless this Court lifts the stay, core constitutional rights will continue to be violated and the status quo that the military cannot detain civilians will be upended pending an appeal process that could take many months if not years.”[18] It also said that Americans are “in actual and imminent danger of losing their core First Amendment rights and fundamental Equal Protection liberties.”[141]

That application was denied by Justice Ginsburg in her individual capacity as a Circuit Justice on December 14, 2012.[18][142] In her order Ginsburg pointed out to the case Doe v. Gonzales,[18] in which Ginsburg said that the Court should hesitate to interfere with an appeals court that was proceeding on an expedited schedule to review a ruling against a federal law, and that, in any event, the Court should be cautious when such a law had been nullified in a lower court.[18]

However, Justice Scalia approved to convene a conference of the entire Supreme Court to consider lifting the stay and restoring the injunction.

Now, Justice Ginsberg and Justice Scalia have both said that they will NOT lift the stay – indefinite dentention under the NDAA still stands, and StopNDAA will have to wait on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling.

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NDAA: PRE-EMPTIVE PROSECUTION COMING TO A TOWN NEAR YOU

The potent charge of terrorism has been used to systematically curtail justice, writes author.

by Charlotte Silver

In the US, due process – one of the defining features of a democratic judicial process – continues to be badly bludgeoned: Obama fights tooth and nail to push through NDAA, which would allow indefinite detention of US citizens, and the definition of terrorism has expanded its unwieldy scope, casting a widening net that ensures more and more people are captured in its snare.

The US has pursued “domestic terrorism” by practicing pre-emptive prosecution, that is, going after individuals who have committed no crime but are alleged to possess an ideology that might dispose them to commit acts of “terrorism”. Maintaining that it can -and should – be in the business of divining intent, the government decimates crucial elements of the US justice system.

Thus, in cases where terrorism is charged, prosecutors need not prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, only the defendant’s potential for committing a crime need be established in order to convict.

Consider the case of Tareq Abufayyad, a young Palestinian man and recent college graduate who was detained at San Francisco International Airport when he was on his way to unite with his family, all of them naturalised citizens of the US. Tareq was deemed inadmissible merely on the grounds that he had the potential to become a Hamas-operative.

FBI Agent Robert Miranda, the lead investigator into the government’s case against the Holy Land Foundation, argued before the Immigration Judge presiding over Tareq’s case that, because he was a well-educated man from Gaza, a strong-hold of Hamas, Tareq would be “attractive to Hamas” as a future recruit.

It’s not hard to understand why David Cole, a professor of law at Georgetown University, concluded pre-emptive prosecution as an “inevitably speculative endeavour”.

Project Salam, an organisation devoted to monitoring and documenting the US Justice Department’s prosecution of terrorism cases, points out that the logic of pre-emptive prosecution – enthusiastically embraced after 9/11 – was derived in significant part from Dick Cheney’s infamous “One Percent Doctrine”. Ron Suskind explained Cheney’s reasoning:

“Even if there’s just a 1 percent chance of the unimaginable coming due, act as if it is a certainty…. Justified or not, fact-based or not, ‘our response’ is what matters.”

Commenting on the impact Cheney’s policy had on the role of evidence in judicial proceedings, Suskind writes:

“As to ‘evidence’, the bar was set so low that the word itself almost didn’t apply.”

Terrorism statutes

For the past 12 years, this wanton policy has been wielded primarily against Muslims in a frenzy of cases brought against US citizens and others in immigration, civil and criminal courts, with anguished and predictable devastation wrought on individuals and their families.

Frost Over the World – The ‘war on terror’
10 years on

“If they are sufficiently ‘Muslim’, they are sufficiently ‘predisposed’,” writes Steve Downs, civil liberties lawyer and founder of Project Salam, in Victims of America’s Dirty Wars.

In a telephone conversation with me, however, Downs noted that this policy has recently been extended to apply to those who hold other “ideologies”, namely leftists and anarchists. Downs pointed to a handful of cases, including the “Cleveland 5″, “RNC 8″ and “Nato 3″ that suggest the direction in which the policy of preemptive prosecution is going.

In the wake of 9/11, many states – including Illinois, New York, New Jersey and Oklahoma – passed terrorism statutes that included their own variations on the definition of terrorism. However, because it is the federal government that primarily handles cases of terrorism, states have rarely employed these laws.

Last year, for the first time, Illinois deployed its own statute against terrorism. Illinois’ terrorism law states:

“A person commits the offence of terrorism, when with the intent to intimidate or coerce a significant portion of a civilian population; he or she knowingly commits a terrorist act.”

The language used is vague, opaque and clearly lends itself to a chillingly broad landscape of prosecutorial action. But most significant, the statute does not require that an unlawful act be committed in order for a charge of terrorism to be brought against an individual in an Illinois court.

Indeed, civil rights lawyer Michael Deutsch believes, “The law could theoretically be used against labour strikes, acts of civil disobedience, demonstrations, and so on.” In other words, acts that should be protected under the First Amendment are not exempted from the definition of terrorism.

We have already seen how the domestic front of the “War on Terror” has effectively turned lawful acts, like contributing to charities in the Middle East, into illegal “material support” of Foreign Terrorist Organisations. Staggering attacks on democracy and liberty continue as a growing list of activities that are framed as terrorism.

The only time the Illinois statute has been used was against a group of Occupy activists.

On May 16, 2012, days before the NATO summit was scheduled to take place in Chicago, the local police raided an apartment and arrested nine Occupy activists who had come together from around the country to protest the convention.

Over the next few days, all but three were released. Those who remained behind bars were: Brian Church, 22, and Brent Betterly, 24, from Florida, and Jared Chase, 27, from New Hampshire.

On May 19, they were indicted under the state’s anti-terrorism statute and charged with conspiracy to commit terrorism and possession of explosives.

After announcing the charges, the State’s Attorney, Anita Alvarez, released a document to the press that introduced the three young men as “self-proclaimed anarchists” and “members of the “‘Black Bloc’ group”, and sketched out the plans they had been “conspiring” against the city of Chicago.

What the press release did not mention is that the group had been infiltrated and coached by two undercover police officers named “Gloves” and “Mo”.

Definition of terrorism

Utilising one of the classic tactics perfected in time-honoured counter-intelligence operations used to intimidate, threaten and entrap people engaged with political groups out of favour with the government (from the Black Panthers, environmental protection groups, and Communists to protesters of the Vietnam war and others), the cops convinced the young men to concoct Molotov cocktails and, as soon as they did, phoned into police headquarters – triggering the raid.

After the charges were announced, Deutsch, the lawyer representing the three men, told the press that the case was “even worse than entrapment”.

On the phone, Deutsch explained to me that this case fits within “the whole policy of pre-emptive prosecution, of creating the crime and then solving it”.

Entrapment is consistently employed in these cases. However, where the presence of entrapment may have seen a case thrown out in the past, the logic of pre-emptive prosecution arms the state with the ability to justify its actions and successfully circumvent that defence, as noted by Project Salam:

“When the defendant claims as a defence to have been entrapped in a crime manufactured by the government, the government counters with the claim that the defendant was ‘predisposed’ to commit the crime, which would negate the entrapment defence.”

On January 25, the Nato 3’s lawyers filed a motion in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, challenging the constitutionality of the state’s terrorism law. If the court agrees with them, the defendants will be charged with possession of explosives but will no longer face a 40-year prison sentence for terrorism.

While the Illinois court should find the law unconstitutional, the truth remains that the nebulous but potent charge of terrorism has been used to systematically curtail justice. In the words of Glenn Greenwald:

“It’s just a manipulative slogan legitimising all forms of American violence against Muslims and delegitimising any acts meaningfully impeding US will.”

As a New York Court of Appeals decision admitted last December, there is no real definition of terrorism beyond our “collective understanding” of it. But in the term’s meaninglessness lies its limitless power to undermine justice everywhere.

Charlotte Silver is a journalist based in San Francisco and the West Bank. She is a graduate of Stanford University.

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MONTANA HOUSE VOTES 98-0 TO APPROVE ANTI-NDAA BILL

by Nick Sibilla

February 27, 2013

In a huge win for the Bill of Rights, the Montana House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved a bill to ban indefinite detention in Montana by a vote of 98 to 0. Introduced by state Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, HB 522 would also “prohibit state cooperation with federal officials” who try to enforce the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).  The bill now heads to the state senate for approval.

During the second reading of the bill on Tuesday, Schwaderer noted that his bill would have a real effect on defending the right to due process in Big Sky Country.  This is “not a letter to Santa Claus,” he quipped.  The freshman representative also cited Printz v. U.S., a 1997 U.S. Supreme Court decision that held that state officials could not be commandeered by the federal government.  Indeed, since HB 522 prevents state officials from cooperating with federal agents, there is no legal conflict. After all, as Schwaderer noted, “there is no legal note attached to this bill.”

Montana joins a growing trend of both red and blue states working to defend due process.  So far, Hawaii and Virginia have passed anti-NDAA legislation, while the House of Representatives in Rhode Island and Michigan have overwhelmingly voted to support stopping indefinite detention.  Just yesterday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted unanimously against the NDAA, making it the 18th city to do so. On top of that, the Bill of Rights Defense Committee has toolkits and model resolutions for activists to defend liberty and human rights in their local communities.

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MONTANA VOTES 20-0 IN FAVOR OF ANTI-NDAA BILL

Activist Post

The anti-NDAA movement continues to gain traction. There is still much more work to be done as part of Operation Homeland Liberty, but People’s Blog for The Constitution highlights the latest development we can add to the victory column in Montana’s step toward resisting federal intrusion.

By a vote of 20-0, a bill that bans cooperation with federal agents over the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) has just passed the Montana House Judiciary Committee. Known as HB 522, the bill would also require the state’s attorney general to report any attempts by federal officials who try to enforce the NDAA. HB 522 is now one step closer to becoming law.

Additional details below with contact information for Montana legislators….

Introduced by freshman Republican state Rep. Nicholas Schwaderer, the bill has gathered over 20 Democratic and Republican cosponsors in the House, including the Speaker Pro Tempore Austin Knudsen and the chair of the Judiciary committee, Krayton Kerns.

Speaking at a committee hearing on Wednesday, Schwaderer articulated why he opposes the NDAA and indefinite detention: “There’s a lot of us on both sides of the aisle that feels that this flies in the face of habeas corpus and a free society and the better part of a millennium of human progress.”

View previous reports on how Montana and communities all across the nation are working to stop the NDAA and restore due process. You can find contact information for Montana legislators online.

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THE NDAA AND THE DEATH OF THE DEMOCRATIC STATE

By Chris Hedges

Posted on Feb 11, 2013

On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan where many huddled in the cold. The fate of the nation, we understood, could be decided by the three judges who will rule on our lawsuit against President Barack Obama for signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

The section permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, who “substantially support”—an undefined legal term—al-Qaida, the Taliban or “associated forces,” again a term that is legally undefined. Those detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due process until “the end of hostilities.” In an age of permanent war this is probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent, according to Section (c)(4), to any “foreign country or entity.” This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.

Section 1021(b)(2) was declared invalid in September 2012 after our first trial, in the Southern District Court of New York. The Obama administration appealed the Southern District Court ruling. The appeal was heard Wednesday in the Second Circuit Court with Judges Raymond J. Lohier, Lewis A. Kaplan and Amalya L. Kearse presiding. The judges might not make a decision until the spring when the Supreme Court rules in Clapper v. Amnesty International USA, another case in which I am a plaintiff. The Supreme Court case challenges the government’s use of electronic surveillance. If we are successful in the Clapper case, it will strengthen all the plaintiffs’ standing in Hedges v. Obama. The Supreme Court, if it rules against the government, will affirm that we as plaintiffs have a reasonable fear of being detained.

If we lose in Hedges v. Obama—and it seems certain that no matter the outcome of the appeal this case will reach the Supreme Court—electoral politics and our rights as citizens will be as empty as those of Nero’s Rome. If we lose, the power of the military to detain citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military prisons will become a terrifying reality. Democrat or Republican. Occupy activist or libertarian. Socialist or tea party stalwart. It does not matter. This is not a partisan fight. Once the state seizes this unchecked power, it will inevitably create a secret, lawless world of indiscriminate violence, terror and gulags. I lived under several military dictatorships during the two decades I was a foreign correspondent. I know the beast.

“The stakes are very high,” said attorney Carl Mayer, who with attorney Bruce Afran brought our case to trial, in addressing a Culture Project audience in Manhattan on Wednesday after the hearing. “What our case comes down to is: Are we going to have a civil justice system in the United States or a military justice system? The civil justice system is something that is ingrained in the Constitution. It was always very important in combating tyranny and building a democratic society. What the NDAA is trying to impose is a system of military justice that allows the military to police the streets of America to detain U.S. citizens, to detain residents in the United States in military prisons. Probably the most frightening aspect of the NDAA is that it allows for detention until ‘the end of hostilities.’ ”

Five thousand years of human civilization has left behind innumerable ruins to remind us that the grand structures and complex societies we build, and foolishly venerate as immortal, crumble into dust. It is the descent that matters now. If the corporate state is handed the tools, as under Section 1021(b)(2) of the NDAA, to use deadly force and military power to criminalize dissent, then our decline will be one of repression, blood and suffering. No one, not least our corporate overlords, believes that our material conditions will improve with the impending collapse of globalization, the steady deterioration of the global economy, the decline of natural resources and the looming catastrophes of climate change.

But the global corporatists—who have created a new species of totalitarianism—demand, during our decay, total power to extract the last vestiges of profit from a degraded ecosystem and disempowered citizenry. The looming dystopia is visible in the skies of blighted postindustrial cities such as Flint, Mich., where drones circle like mechanical vultures. And in an era where the executive branch can draw up secret kill lists that include U.S. citizens, it would be naive to believe these domestic drones will remain unarmed.

Robert M. Loeb, the lead attorney for the government in Wednesday’s proceedings, took a tack very different from that of the government in the Southern District Court of New York before Judge Katherine B. Forrest. Forrest repeatedly asked the government attorneys if they could guarantee that the other plaintiffs and I would not be subject to detention under Section 1021(b)(2). The government attorneys in the first trial granted no such immunity. The government also claimed in the first trial that under the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force Act (AUMF), it already had the power to detain U.S. citizens. Section 1021(b)(2), the attorneys said, did not constitute a significant change in government power. Judge Forrest in September rejected the government’s arguments and ruled Section 1021(b)(2) invalid.

The government, however, argued Wednesday that as “independent journalists” we were exempt from the law and had no cause for concern. Loeb stated that if journalists used journalism as a cover to aid the enemy, they would be seized and treated as enemy combatants. But he assured the court that I would be untouched by the new law as long as “Mr. Hedges did not start driving black vans for people we don’t like.”

Loeb did not explain to the court who defines an “independent journalist.” I have interviewed members of al-Qaida as well as 16 other individuals or members of groups on the State Department’s terrorism list. When I convey these viewpoints, deeply hostile to the United States, am I considered by the government to be “independent”? Could I be seen by the security and surveillance state, because I challenge the official narrative, as a collaborator with the enemy? And although I do not drive black vans for people Loeb does not like, I have spent days, part of the time in vehicles, with armed units that are hostile to the United States. These include Hamas in Gaza and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in southeastern Turkey.

I traveled frequently with armed members of the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front in El Salvador and the Sandinista army in Nicaragua during the five years I spent in Central America. Senior officials in the Reagan administration regularly denounced many of us in the press as fifth columnists and collaborators with terrorists. These officials did not view us as “independent.” They viewed us as propagandists for the enemy. Section 1021(b)(2) turns this linguistic condemnation into legal condemnation.

Alexa O’Brien, another plaintiff and a co-founder of the US Day of Rage, learned after WikiLeaks released 5 million emails from Stratfor, a private security firm that does work for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marine Corps and the Defense Intelligence Agency, that Stratfor operatives were trying to link her and her organization to Islamic radicals, including al-Qaida, and sympathetic websites as well as jihadist ideology. If that link were made, she and those in her organization would not be immune from detention.

Afran said at the Culture Project discussion that he once gave a donation at a fundraising dinner to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic organization. A few months later, to his surprise, he received a note of thanks from Sinn Féin. “I didn’t expect to be giving money to a group that maintains a paramilitary terrorist organization, as some people say,” Afran said. “This is the danger. You can easily find yourself in a setting that the government deems worthy of incarceration. This is why people cease to speak out.”

The government attempted in court last week to smear Sami Al-Hajj, a journalist for the Al-Jazeera news network who was picked up by the U.S. military and imprisoned for nearly seven years in Guantanamo. This, for me, was one of the most chilling moments in the hearing.

“Just calling yourself a journalist doesn’t make you a journalist, like Al-Hajj,” Loeb told the court. “He used journalism as a cover. He was a member of al-Qaida and provided Stinger missiles to al-Qaida.”

Al-Hajj, despite Loeb’s assertions, was never charged with any crimes. And the slander by Loeb only highlighted the potential for misuse of this provision of the NDAA if it is not struck down.

The second central argument by the government was even more specious. Loeb claimed that Subsection 1021(e) of the NDAA exempts citizens from detention. Section 1021(e) states: “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

Afran countered Loeb by saying that Subsection 1021(e) illustrated that the NDAA assumed that U.S. citizens would be detained by the military, overturning two centuries of domestic law that forbids the military to carry out domestic policing. And military detention of citizens, Afran noted, is not permitted under the Constitution.

Afran quoted the NDAA bill’s primary sponsor, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who said on the floor of the Senate: “In the case where somebody is worried about being picked up by a rogue executive branch because they went to the wrong political rally, they don’t have to worry very long, because our federal courts have the right and the obligation to make sure the government proves their case that you are a member of al-Qaida and didn’t [just] go to a political rally.”

Afran told the court that Graham’s statement implicitly acknowledged that U.S. citizens could be detained by the military under 1021(b)(2). “There is no reason for the sponsor to make that statement if he does not realize that the statute causes that chilling fear,” Afran told the judges.

After the hearing Afran explained: “If the senator who sponsored and managed the bill believed people would be afraid of the law, then the plaintiffs obviously have a reasonably objective basis to fear the statute.”

In speaking to the court Afran said of 1021(e): “It says it is applied to people in the United States. It presumes that they are going to be detained under some law. The only law we know of is this law. What other laws, before this one, allowed the military to detain people in this country?”

This was a question Judge Lohier, at Afran’s urging, asked Loeb during the argument. Loeb concurred that the NDAA was the only law he knew of that permitted the military to detain and hold U.S. citizens.

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THE STATE OF THE UNION: IS RULE OF LAW IN PERIL OR IS IT NO MORE?

Institute for Public Accuracy

February 11, 2013

CHRIS HEDGES, [email] just wrote the piece “The NDAA and the Death of the Democratic State,” which states: “On Wednesday a few hundred activists crowded into the courtroom of the Second Circuit, the spillover room with its faulty audio feed and dearth of chairs, and Foley Square outside the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan where many huddled in the cold. The fate of the nation, we understood, could be decided by the three judges who will rule on our lawsuit against President Barack Obama for signing into law Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act.

“The section permits the military to detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, who ‘substantially support’ — an undefined legal term — al-Qaida, the Taliban or ‘associated forces,’ again a term that is legally undefined. Those detained can be imprisoned indefinitely by the military and denied due process until ‘the end of hostilities.’ In an age of permanent war this is probably a lifetime. Anyone detained under the NDAA can be sent … to any ‘foreign country or entity.’ This is, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens. It empowers the government to ship detainees to the jails of some of the most repressive regimes on earth.

“Section 1021(b)(2) was declared invalid in September after our first trial, in the Southern District Court of New York. The Obama administration appealed the Southern District Court ruling.” Hedges is lead plaintiff in the NDAA lawsuit. His most recent book is The World As It Is: Dispatches on the Myth of Human Progress and he was part of a team of New York Times reporters who won a Pulitzer Prize.

MICHAEL RATNER, (mratner@ccrjustice.org) is president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights. He said today: “The rule of law is not in peril; it is no more. The country under Obama is utterly lawless. There is nothing legal or moral about murdering with drones or assassinations, continuing indefinite detention, military commissions and renditions. There is nothing legal or moral about attacking other countries such as Yemen, Pakistan or Libya. There is nothing legal or moral about a massive surveillance state. And then just to make sure no one reveals our evil we persecute and jail our truth tellers.  What you are seeing here is the recognition by the U.S. that it is weakening as a world power and it is striking out in ways that aren’t always rational but that are certainly inhuman and lawless.”

SHAHID BUTTAR, [email], is executive director of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. He said today: “The civil liberties abuses of the Bush administration, and their continuing extension by the Obama administration, have reduced our Constitution to a shadow of itself. This week’s State of the Union address offers a disturbing reminder that, in 2013, America can not be plausibly described as ‘the land of the free.’

“Our supposedly ‘free’ country imprisons more people than any other on Earth, including China — which has a much larger population, and a longstanding reputation for abusing rights.

“Our supposedly ‘free’ country actively suppresses dissent. Instead of enjoying meaningful First Amendment rights to speech, assembly, and the right to petition our government, the peaceful Occupy movement was targeted by federal and state authorities for surveillance, infiltration, disruption, and violent suppression. Occupy activists in several states, like peace activists, environmental activists, and labor organizers, have been charged (and in many cases, convicted) of terror offenses.

“In our supposedly ‘free’ country, the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures has collapsed. Congress recently approved mass warrantless wiretapping by the NSA, which operates not only in secret, but under a secret budget at a time when politicians claim to face a budget crisis. Meanwhile, the FBI unapologetically infiltrates faith institutions and peaceful activist groups, creating a national biometric identity scheme under cover of facilitating immigration enforcement, and faking the results of its forensic investigations. Even local police routinely work as spies, using drones and other military technology to monitor Americans for activities as ‘suspicious’ as drawing and taking notes.

“Our supposedly ‘free’ country also abuses more fundamental rights. Anyone, including American citizens, is subject to arbitrary military detention without trial or proof of crime, or outright assassination by the CIA, a secret civilian agency for which the White House has announced a nominee for Director whom the Senate should reject. Brennan refuses to acknowledge that torture (which the CIA recently conducted as a matter of policy before destroying much of the evidence) is a crime. Brennan has not, and can not, explain the national security justification for drone strikes given their profound strategic risks. And Brennan hasn’t even faced questions about the CIA training domestic police departments, like the NYPD, in violation of its statutory charter.

“Finally, our supposedly ‘free’ country practices unequal justice. While millions face prosecution for relatively minor offenses, the architects of U.S. human rights abuses include a federal appellate judge wielding a lifetime appointment and six figure government paycheck. Whistleblowers, like the NSA’s Thomas Drake and the CIA’s John Kiriakou, face prison sentences not for committing crimes, but for revealing them to the public.

“Neither the President nor his partisan critics are likely to note these issues this week, but Americans feel their impact every day. Under each of the past two presidents, executive fiat, enabling legislative statutes and judicial formalism have combined to shred our Constitution and transform America from a ‘land of the free’ into a land that loudly proclaims freedom while denying it to our own people.”

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NDAA – FIGHTING FOR EVERYTHING THAT DEFINES AMERICA

By Marianne Hoynes

February 7, 2013

This morning while most Americans were not paying much attention, a critical battle for our civil liberties, everything in fact that defines America, was being waged at the NY US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, in Foley Square.

An amazing group of patriotic Americans were facing down the Obama administration over the new law, NDAA, in Chris Hedges et al vs. Obama NDAA.

NDAA essentially allows military law to supersede civil law, which goes against the US Constitution. It gives dictatorial authority to the President of the US, not seen since before the signing of the Magna Carta. “There is no doubt as to the merit and structure of the bill”, said attorney for Chris Hedges, Carl Mayer, but section 1021 E is phrased in such general terms that it allows for the abduction of American Citizens by the US Government. It allows our government to hold citizens under military law indefinitely, with no right to due process, no right to an attorney or access to evidence, until the “end of conflict”, which is now defined as America’s War on Terror, and ongoing war on nebulous enemy combatants, now in its eleventh year with no end in sight.

Before this law, the US military could never have power over the American civilian population, or civil law. NDAA was written and backed by bipartisan support from the US Congress, and signed into law by Obama in 2012.

You might remember the AUMF (Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists), signed into law by George W. Bush. AUMF clearly does not allow the detention of any American citizen or legal resident of the US by the US military, even during wartime. Whereas Bush’s executive order exempts US citizens, Obama’s NDAA law does not.

We live under an administration that has named peace activists and those who speak up for the rights of Americans, like those who Occupy Wall Street, as terrorists. Chris Hedges, formerly of the NY Times and now an independent journalist, has cause for concern under NDA. So does every American and legal US resident who independently publishes articles or blogs that in any way criticize America’s actions at home or abroad; or even have their photo taken at a peace rally they just happen to be walking through, and are not even a part of.

The attorneys arguing on behalf of the Executive Office, Barack Obama, said that if Americans were arrested under NDAA, “they probably would not be detained for long, and Americans [or legal residents in detention] would be given plenty of time to convince the US Government that they were not Al Qaeda”.

Ask Al Jazeera cameraman, Sami Al-Hajj how well that worked for him. As Kevin Gosztola of Firedog lake reported today, “The government made some startling statements about Al-Hajj. Loeb (attorney for the US government) said Al-Hajj had used the claim that he was a journalist as a cover for something else. A person in a case like this cannot use being a journalist as a defense against indefinite detention. Al-Hajj told the US government, “I’m not the person who film[ed] Osama bin Laden, because at that time I was in Doha. And my passport says that, and my ticket with you also says that. I’m not the person. This is my job, and this is my business. If I get the chance now to film Osama bin Laden, I will.” He was released from Guantanamo Bay nearly seven years after he was detained by US forces.” He was completely vindicated.

Independent expression was once known as “free speech” protected under the US Constitution in the First Amendment. The Congress who drafted this law, as well as the President of the US, take the same oath of office as every American who serves in the US military. “That oath”, said famed whislteblower of the Pentagon Papers Daniel Ellsberg, “is an oath to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, not an oath to obey the Commander in Chief. The people who wrote and then ratified this bill, are not traitors, but are enemies of the US Constitution. They are violating their oath of office.”

Americans need to begin to pay more attention, before it is too late.

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LAWYER SUMS UP THE ENORMOUS STAKES OF THE NDAA INDEFINITE DETENTION LAWSUIT

By Michael Kelley  | Business Insider
Feb. 7, 2013

Hedges v. Obama, the lawsuit challenging the indefinite detention provision of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), continued Wednesday at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

A three-judge panel heard oral arguments regarding the indefinite detention clause of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which allow the U.S. military to indefinitely detain anyone who provides “substantial support” to the Taliban, al-Qaeda or “associated forces,” including “any person who has committed a belligerent act” in the aid of enemy forces.

A decision — whether to reinstate a permanent block of the provision or to overrule the injunction and affirm the clause — is expected in coming months. The clause is currently in effect (pending that decision), and the case is expected to go to the Supreme Court.

After the hearing, plaintiffs of the case held a panel in which attorney Carl Mayer gave a perfect summary of why this case is so important:

“In broad terms, the stakes are very high because what our case comes do to is: Are we going to have a civil justice system in the United States or a military justice system? The civil justice system is something that’s ingrained in the Constitution and was always very important in com batting tyranny and building a democratic society. And what the NDAA is trying to impose is a system of military justice that allows the military to police the streets of America, to detain U.S. citizens, to detain residents in the United States in military prisons, and — probably the most frightening aspect of the NDAA — it allows detention ‘until the end of hostilities.’

We’re now, by my count, [on] day 4,163 of this war, which is an open-ended war against al-Qaeda, the Taliban and now it’s defined as ‘associated forces’ in the NDAA.”

Mayer then noted that this “type of militarization of our justice system has occurred before,” citing the forced internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II.

“We’re trying to prevent a repeat of episodes like that,” Mayer said. “That’s what the case is about — it’s really about preserving our civil liberties and preserving our civil justice system, in broad terms.”

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Section 1021 of the NDAA is being challenged in the case, and it reads (in part):

The President has the authority to detain persons that the President determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, and persons who harbored those responsible for those attacks. The President also has the authority to detain persons who were part of or substantially supported, Taliban or al-Qaida forces or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act, or has directly supported hostilities, in the aid of such enemy forces.

The government has argued that section 1021 is merely an “affirmation” of the 2001 Authorization of Military Force (AUMF), a joint resolution passed a week after 9/11 that authorizes the government to indefinitely detain “those who planned, authorized, committed, or aided in the actual 9/11 attacks” as well as those who harbored them.

The plaintiffs argue, and initial judge Judge Katherine Forrest agreed, that the extra language added to the NDAA (i.e. “The President also has the authority…”) appeared to be a retroactive legislative fix “to provide the President (in 2012) with broader detention authority than was provided in the AUMF in 2001.”

As the War on Terror has extended, so has its global scope. The plaintiffs in Hedges v. Obama are attempting to block the U.S. military’s detainment powers on its own shores.

The bottom line, according to plaintiff lawyer Bruce Afran, is that the NDAA “is still unconstitutional because it allows citizens or persons in the U.S. to be held in military custody, a position that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held is unconstitutional.”

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IS THE NDAA LAWSUIT HEADED TO THE SUPREME COURT?

February 7, 2013

The NDAA lawsuit is one of the key topics I have written about over the past year or so.  For those of you that aren’t up to speed, one of the most popular posts I ever wrote was NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About.  Basically, Section 1021 of the NDAA allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without charges or a trial.  Journalist Chris Hedges and several others sued Obama on the grounds of it being unconstitutional.  Judge Katherine Forrest agreed and issued an injunction on it.  This was immediately appealed by the Obama Administration to a higher court, which promptly issued a temporary stay on the injunction.

Yesterday, oral arguments began in front of this aforementioned higher court; the 2nd Circuit.  As Chris Hedges states in the interview below, if they win the case then it will likely be brought in front of the Supreme Court within weeks.  On the other hand, if the Obama Administration wins and the Supreme Court refuses to hear the appeal, Hedges states: “at that point we’ve just become a military dictatorship.”

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americanflagbarbwire

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OBAMA SIGNS NDAA BILL ALLOWING INDEFINITE DETENTION; OBAMA ORDERS ASSASSINATIONS WITH NO OVERSIGHT

Published on Jan 5, 2013

Michael Ratner: Obama continues model of Presidential fiat, Congressional fiat, no due process, no trials, and indefinite detention.

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THE PEOPLE FIGHT BACK AGAINST THE NDAA

Infowars.com
Jan 2, 2013

David Knight breaks down anti NDAA legislation and “head fakes” being used by our national leaders.

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OPERATION GUN GRAB: COVERT CONTROL VIA 2013 NDAA TO REGULATE CIVILIANS AND VETERANS GUN OWNERSHIP

Susanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism
December 19, 2012

The Sandy Hook elementary shooting and false assertions of Peter Lanza’s connection to LIBOR are a complete distraction from the schemes of the US government to take guns from US citizens and veterans – hidden in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

In the Senate, as part of a defense cuts proposal is an amendment to curb the rights of US veterans to access guns. Senator Tom Coburn would like for the veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” to have the Department of Veterans Affairs decide that they would have their 2nd Amendment rights revoked and not be able to purchase or possess firearms.

Coburn said to the Senate: “We’re not asking for anything big. We’re just saying that if you’re going to take away the Second Amendment rights … they ought to have it adjudicated, rather than mandated by someone who’s unqualified to state that they should lose their rights.”

This amendment is part of a package of additions to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Senator Charles Schumer retorted: “I love our veterans; I vote for them all the time, they defend us. But if you are mentally ill, whether you’re a veteran or not, just like if you’re a felon, if you’re a veteran or not, and you have been judged to be mentally infirm, you should not have a gun.”

In September, Obama signed an executive order (EO) entitled, “Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families” with the supposed focus on strengthening “support for the emotional and mental health needs of our service members and their families.”

In this EO, Obama takes control over the evaluation of the mental health of our returning service men and women by providing US government controlled “effective mental health services for veterans, service members, and their families.” Obama is authorizing the coordination of the Departments of Veterans and the Department of Defense (DoD), as well as the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense to “transition” veterans back into “civilian life”.

Keeping in line with touting all veterans as mentally defective, substance abusers and suicidal, Obama demands that the VA and the DoD collaborate to provide proactive measures and a psychiatric pre-screen of returning service men and women to prevent erratic behavior. The DoD will “review all existing mental health and substance abuse prevention, education and outreach programs” within the military services and access their effectiveness.

During a private “roundtable” discussion at Fort Bliss in Texas, Obama met with members of the military and addressed active duty troops. The Obama administration’s focus is on identifying and “providing additional support” to soldiers who have been diagnosed with “post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)”.

Previously, the DoD have come out publicly to state that US veterans suffering from TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) are considered potentially violent and dangerous.

Doctors for the DoD claim CTE is an incurable disease soldiers may develop after having injured their brain in battle. CTE is explained as causing large bursts of anger and depression while having their vital motor skills and memory impacted; as well as being degenerative of whose effects can manifest themselves days, months or years after the initial trauma.

At Fort Detrick and Fort Bragg, in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the US military is conducting clinical trials on 2,000 solders to create a medical screen to detect a person’s propensity toward TBI/CTE by measuring biomarkers.

The Obama administration devised a report in 2011 entitled “Strengthening Our Military Families” that focuses on the mental stability of our US service men and women. It questions whether or not their exposure to battlefield conditions, TBI/CTE, and diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is causing them to be a potential danger to society. Hidden under bureaucracy of promising to develop governmental systems to aid veterans, the document is directed at identifying all veteran’s potential to become mentally incapacitated due to some psychiatric disorder which would cause them to become violent, depressed, aggressive and inevitably dangerous to society.

The EO also allocates the US government-sponsored use of local community mental health clinics, community health centers, substance abuse treatment facilities, and rural health clinics to assist the DoD in identifying veterans who may be suffering from mental illness and would therefore have federal agencies working with private sector health providers to ensure veterans get the psychiatric help they need in “a timely way”. Obama has ordered 15 “pilot projects” to be established to create an integrated mental health system wherein the DoD would have complete oversight. The DoD would also be at the liberty of defining the parameters of the objective need of mental healthcare of veterans.

The Secretary of Veterans Affairs (SVA) will employ 800 peer counselors by 2013 that will be controlled and disseminated by the DoD under directives of the SVA. Collaborative tools and monetary oversight will remain with the SVA as an estimate 1,600 mental healthcare workers is expected to be needed to deal with the issue of mentally ill veterans nationally.

A National Research Action Plan will be established by May of 2013 that will be sponsored by the US government to use biomarkers for “early diagnosis and treatment” of veterans who tested positive for a propensity toward TBI/CTE. Obama wants to integrate electronic data sharing of information about veterans and their predetermined mental status between federal agencies, academia and state-sponsored research facilities to create pharmaceutical and psychiatric answers to this supposed burgeoning problem.

The goal of the Obama administration is to devise a “comprehensive longitudinal mental health study with an emphasis on PTSD, TBI, and related injuries” to identify mental health issues in veterans and enroll veterans in a long-term plan coordinated with the Department of Veteran Affairs which will be directed by the DoD.

The creation of a Task Force to advise Obama on how to deal with mental illness and veterans will be established within 180 days of the EO. This Task Force will alone define specific goals on how to best combat veterans alleged fall into mental illness with specific regard to TBI/CTE and post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD).

The US government’s goal is to identify these veterans and label them with a progressive, unstable and degenerative disease so that they can refer them to mental hospitals for further evaluation and/or admittance.

The University of Pennsylvania study of the Clinton assault weapons ban concluded that the legislation had no effect on the naturally occurring decrease in gun-related violence because the ban only exempted gun and magazines that were manufactured prior to 1994. The statistical fact that mass shootings are so rare makes them impossible to attribute to the availability of guns to the American public.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices published a study that linked reports of violent behavior to 31 prescribed pharmaceutical drugs that are readily prescribed by the psychiatric community.

These drugs are more likely to cause violent behavior:

• Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq) antidepressant affecting serotonin levels
• Venlafaxine (Effexor) antidepressant for anxiety disorders
• Fluvoxamine (Luvox) antidepressant affecting serotonin levels
• Triazolam (Halcion) insomnia treatment, addictive
• Atomoxetine (Strattera) ADHD treatment, affects neurotransmitters
• Mefoquine (Lariam) malaria treatment, causes bizarre behavior
• Paroxetine (Paxil) SSRI antidepressant, causes severe withdrawal and birth defects
• Fluoxetine (Prozac) SSRI antidepressant, causes extreme violence
• Varenicline (Chantix) anti-smoking medication

Mainstream media hosts are pushing for the complete ban on assault weapons across the nation, claiming: “You don’t need them unless you want to be the next mass shooter!”

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DSG) has suspended the sale of sporting rifles in all of their stores. DSG has locations across the country, including in Newtown, Connecticut.

In a public statement, DSG said: “We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community. Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide. We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy.”

It is being investigated as to whether or not the gun Adam Lanza used during the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary was purchased at DSG.

The decision by DSG will last indefinitely.

Wal-Mart has stated that they will stop selling their Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M443 rifle, a military-based gun that resembles the gun used by Lanza.

Cerberus Capital Management, the private equity firm that owns the manufacturer of the Bushmaster has said they are selling off their financial investment in the corporation and returning any profits to the investors because: “It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level….It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators. There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take.”

Senator Joe Manchin, who was pro-gun, is now saying that something must be done about restricting guns after the Connecticut shooting.

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OBAMA GUN CONTROL TASK FORCE DISTRACTS FROM NDAA REVOCATION OF SECOND AMENDMENT

Susanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism
December 20, 2012

President Obama, speaking at the James Brady White House Briefing room, has announced the creation of an Interagency Gun Control Task Force. The initial action plan is to devise proposals on how to broach gun control legislation that will be favorable to passage within the Congress as well as ensure that gun-related violence be quashed after the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary.

The new task force, headed by Vice President Joe Biden, will include current Obama administration members, representatives of special interest groups, law enforcement and gun rights advocates.

It has escaped Biden’s memory that back in 2008, when assisting Obama in becoming elected for his first term as President, he convinced voters that Obama was a staunch supporter of the 2nd Amendment. In fact, Biden “guaranteed” that Obama “ain’t taking my shotguns, so don’t start buying that malarkey.”

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This task force is expected to produce viable proposals that can be included in the President’s State of the Union Address. Obama has vowed to stop gun-related violence with the assistance of public outrage filtered through political posturing to create binding legislation that will diminish the power of the 2nd Amendment.

With reports and studies, the new task force will use existing gun laws as a template in order to implement more stringent measures, cultural influences and mental health services to combat gun-related violence.

Obama referred to the 2nd Amendment as a “strong tradition of gun ownership that’s been handed down from generation to generation” which reveals how he plans to remove its power through Congressional approval of a bill that would revive bans on assault weapons, high capacity ammunition as well as creating circumstances that restrict gun sales at gun shows without background checks.

January of 2013 is the ideal timeframe to introduce this legislation and Obama applied verbal pressure to Congress, warning them that they must act accordingly to support this measure.

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Obama said: “The fact that this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. The fact that we can’t prevent every act of violence doesn’t mean we can’t steadily reduce the violence and prevent the very worst violence.”

Evoking the emotions of the nation, Obama asserted that: “There’s already a growing consensus for us to build from. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons. A majority of Americans support banning the sale of high-capacity ammunition clips. A majority of American support laws requires background checks before all gun purchases.”

On the WeThePeople website, a petition was initiated with the “goal . . . to force the Obama administration to produce legislation that limits access to guns” as well as a “national dialogue” to coerce the general public to support gun related deaths.”

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg postured himself with this statement: “With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it’s still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe.”

Bloomberg said that Obama’s “calling for ‘meaningful action’ is not enough” and he would like to see Obama “send a bill to Congress to fix this problem.” He asserted that “a national tragedy . . . demands a national response.”

As a member of the coercive network called Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), Bloomberg is one of 600 mayors across the nation that would like to see massive restriction of the 2nd Amendment under “commonsense reforms”. Bloomberg has contributed considerable financial donations to MAIG, along with the Joyce Foundation, a globalist Chicago-based non-profit organization started by Valerie Jarrett and Barack Obama.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will be authorized to prioritize and implement measures approved for action by the task force.
Creating measures to identify who the “dangerous people” are will get the “guns out of the hands” of those deemed unfit by the US government. Obama promises that this action will prevent “atrocities like the one in Newtown.”

Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence praised Obama’s initiative by stating: “The urgency with which the president is taking this issue on is a tremendous step forward. We are hopeful that the task force being led by Vice President Biden will produce real results in real time and we will do everything we can to be constructive partners in that effort.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein said last week that “the president will soon have legislation ‘to lead on’ in the gun control debate.” Feinstein is heading the march against the 2nd Amendment with the introduction of a bill into Congress in January of 2013. This document is just now being drafted with a proposal for the US House of Representatives.

Feinstein explains the bill “will ban the sale, the transfer, the importation, and the possession. Not retroactively, but prospectively. It will ban the same for big clips, drums or strips of more than 10 bullets. There will be a bill.”

Nancy Pelosi, House Minority Leader, jumped the “gun” when she announced that House Representative Mike Thompson would be leading the newly envisioned gun control task force. Thompson is a “gun owner, hunter, former co-chair of the Congressional Sportsman Caucus” which would give him the perfect credentials to head this task force, according to Pelosi.

Dueling gun control task forces will bring confusion and conflict on Capitol Hill, which appears to be the intention. Because while the American public are focused on which task force has the authority to ban which weapons, there is an amendment to the Fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act which states that veterans deemed “mentally incompetent” to have the Department of Veterans Affairs decide that they would have their 2nd Amendment rights revoked and not be able to purchase or possess firearms.

With this new bureacracy, it may prove an easy task to take guns from the “mentally incompetent” civilians until the 2nd Amendment is made useless.

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OBAMA WOULD CALL ON MILITARY TO DISARM AMERICANS DURING NATIONAL EMERGENCY

Army manual provides blueprint for confiscating guns of rioters and dissidents

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
January 2, 2013

The blueprint for how Americans would be disarmed during a declared civil emergency is contained in an Army manual that outlines a plan to confiscate firearms to prevent them falling into the hands of rioters or dissidents.

Given the imminent introduction of Senator Dianne Feinstein’s draconian gun control legislation, which would instantly criminalize millions of gun owners in the United States if passed, concerns that the Obama administration could launch a massive gun confiscation effort have never been greater.

In July 2012, the process by which this could take place was made clear in a leaked US Army Military Police training manual for “Civil Disturbance Operations” (PDF) dating from 2006. Similar plans were also outlined in an updated manual released in 2010 entitled FM 3-39.40 Internment and Resettlement Operations.

The document outlines how military assets will be used to “help local and state authorities to restore and maintain law and order” in the event of mass riots, civil unrest or a declaration of martial law.

On page 20 of the manual, rules regarding the use of “deadly force” in confronting “dissidents” are made disturbingly clear with the directive that a, “Warning shot will not be fired.”

“Restrictions on the sale, transfer, and possession of sensitive material such as gasoline, firearms, ammunition, and explosives will help control forces in minimizing certain forms of violence,” states the document on page 40.

The issue of gun confiscation is also covered in the manual, which makes clear that every effort will be made to prevent “rioters” and “dissidents” from having access to weapons.

“A main consideration in the conduct of civil disturbance operations is to prevent liquor, drugs, weapons, and ammunition from falling into the hands of rioters. Therefore, liquor stores, drug stores, sporting good shops, pawn shops, and hardware stores are main targets for looters and must be kept under close observation by means of foot and motorized patrols. Normally, businesses of this type must be identified in advance and included in emergency plans,” states the manual. (Emphasis added.)

The document also instructs soldiers to protect “control force personnel and civilian dignitaries in the disturbed area” from the violent behavior of “radical or extremist elements” by denying access to “armories, arsenals, hardware, and sporting good stores, pawnshops, and gunsmith establishments, or other places where weapons or ammunition are stored. To conserve manpower, consideration may be given to evacuating sensitive items, such as weapons from stores and storing them in a central facility.”

Urban warfare training drills focused on invading American towns and going door to door in gun confiscation exercises have been taking place for years. In 2009, a planned mock invasion of Arcadia, Iowa was scaled back by the Iowa National Guard after listeners to the Alex Jones Show threatened to protest the event.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Police, National Guard troops, and U.S. Marshals confiscated firearms. “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns,” New Orleans Police Superintendent Eddie Compass declared as he prepared to violate the Second Amendment. The National Guard conducted warrantless house-to-house searches, targeting not just Hurricane-hit areas under the pretext of stopping violent looters, but also high and dry homes that were not even affected by the storm.

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TROOPS ORDERED TO KILL ALL AMERICANS WHO DO NOT TURN IN GUNS

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ARMED UNITED STATES DRONES COMING TO AN AIRSPACE NEAR YOU BY 2015

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NDAA 2013: INDEFINITE DETENTION WITHOUT TRIAL IS BACK

Published on Dec 19, 2012

If you have been following the National Defense Authorization Act, it is no secret that the issue is anything but a roller coaster ride. Last month the Senate approved an amendment that would prevent the military from detaining American citizens suspected of terrorism without a trial, but on Tuesday lawmakers dropped that same ban. Tangerine Bolen, founder and director for RevolutionTruth, breaks down what the NDAA could mean for Americans.

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DETENTION PROTECTION PROVISION STRIPPED FROM NDAA BILL

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
December 20, 2012

On Tuesday, Congress removed a provision from 2013 NDAA that claimed to protect American citizens from unconstitutional detention by the military. The effort was spearheaded by Arizona Sen. John McCain.

“An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, unless an Act of Congress expressly authorizes such detention,” the provision declared.

The amendment was added by Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The House version of the legislation, however, did not contain language protecting citizens from detention. It was removed after a conference committee from both chambers worked out a unified measure.

“The decision by the NDAA conference committee, led by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to strip the National Defense Authorization Act of the amendment that protects American citizens against indefinite detention now renders the entire NDAA unconstitutional,” said Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

“I voted against NDAA in 2011 because it did not contain the proper constitutional protections. When my Senate colleagues voted to include those protections in the 2012 NDAA through the Feinstein-Lee Amendment last month, I supported this act,” Sen. Paul continued. “But removing those protections now takes us back to square one and does as much violence to the Constitution as last year’s NDAA. When the government can arrest suspects without a warrant, hold them without trial, deny them access to counsel or admission of bail, we have shorn the Bill of Rights of its sanctity.

“Saying that new language somehow ensures the right to habeas corpus – the right to be presented before a judge – is both questionable and not enough. Citizens must not only be formally charged but also receive jury trials and the other protections our Constitution guarantees. Habeas corpus is simply the beginning of due process. It is by no means the whole.

“Our Bill of Rights is not something that can be cherry-picked at legislators’ convenience. When I entered the United States Senate, I took an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. It is for this reason that I will strongly oppose passage of the McCain conference report that strips the guarantee to a trial by jury.”

In November, we reported that the amendment was essentially meaningless because there are no established rules allowing a citizen to exercise the right to a civilian trial, as guaranteed by the Constitution (specifically, the Sixth Amendment) and detained citizens have no way to gain access to lawyers, family or a civilian court after they are detained by the military.

Bruce Afran, a lawyer for a group of journalists and activists suing the government over the NDAA 2012, said the provision in 2013 NDAA in fact specifies military detainment.

“The new statute actually states that persons lawfully in the U.S. can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF]. The original (the statute we are fighting in court) never went that far,” Afran explained. “Therefore, under the guise of supposedly adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the AUMF to civilians in the U.S.”

“It’s a bunch of words, basically,” Dan Johnson, founder of People Against the NDAA, told Business Insider.

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SENATE AND HOUSE WORKING ON RESOLVING DIFFERENCES IN NDAA

Joe Wolverton, II, J.D.
New American
Dec 12, 2012

The fox has been put in charge of guarding the hen house.

Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) — author of the Enemy Expatriation Act — is leading the group of senators and congressmen working on the conference report (final version) of the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Last week, the Senate unanimously approved S. 3254, their version of the 2013 defense spending bill.

In May, the House, 299-120 passed H.R. 4310, the companion bill on that side of the Capitol.

Now, Lieberman will lead a crew of congressman in hammering out a compromise bill that can pass both houses and be presented to the president for his signature.

Lieberman isn’t the only fox put on patrol of the hens, however. He is joined on the conference committee by fellow senatorial warmongers John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

The practical effect of putting this claque in charge of the conference report means that Americans are all but guaranteed to still be considered potential suspects who could potentially be apprehended and potentially detained indefinitely under the bill’s provisions.

On the Senate side, not a single senator said a single word against the unconstitutional and unconscionable power given to the president in the NDAA to deploy U.S. armed forces to nab and detain American citizens living in the the United States based on nothing more substantial than his own suspicion that the detainee poses a threat to national security.

In fairness, Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced and managed to get passed an amendment to the Senate version of the NDAA that guaranteed the right to trial for any citizen or permanent resident of the United States imprisoned under the authority of the NDAA.

This proposal was met with significant criticism, however, by many writers and observers in the liberty movement.

Several articles warned that the Feinstein-Lee Amendment (co-sponsored by Senator Paul) made the situation worse by explicitly granting the president the authority he merely assumed in last year’s NDAA and the Authorization for the Use of Military Force(AUMF), upon which the NDAA is based.

For example, in its story on the passage by the Senate of the 2013 NDAA, RT writes:

“It might look like a fix, but it breaks things further. Feinstein’s amendment says that American citizens and green-card holders in the United States cannot be put into indefinite detention in a military prison, but carves out everyone else in the United States,” explains Chris Anders, an attorney with the Washington, DC legislative office of the American Civil Liberties Union.

According to Anders, the Feinstein Amendment has at least three serious faults that could pose problems starting next year. “It would not make America off-limits to the military being used to imprison civilians without charge or trial,” he writes, “…because its focus on protections for citizens and green-card holders implies that non-citizens could be militarily detained.”

“The goal should be to prohibit domestic use of the military entirely,” writes Anders. “That’s the protection provided to everyone in the United States by the Posse Comitatus Act. That principle would be broken if the military can find an opening to operate against civilians here at home, maybe under the guise of going after non-citizens. This is truly an instance where, when some lose their rights, all lose rights — even those who look like they are being protected.”

In a statement to The New American, Dan Johnson, director of People Against the NDAA (PANDA), explained his organization’s view of the Feinstein-Lee Amendment and the lack of real protections it affords:

The biggest thing about the [2012] NDAA was that you weren’t getting a trial…. Nothing in here says that you’ll make it to an Article III court so it literally does nothing. It’s a bunch of words, basically.

Bruce Afran agrees. Afran, a lawyer representing a group of journalists challenging the indefinite detention provision of the 2012 NDAA, told Business Insider, “The new statute actually states that persons lawfully in the U.S. can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF]. The original (the statute we are fighting in court) never went that far.” “Therefore, under the guise of supposedly adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the AUMF to civilians in the U.S.”

Given the tenor of speeches and statements made by Lee and Paul in support of their amendment, it would seem that the inclusion of the requirement for explicit authority to detain Americans in the Feinstein-Lee Amendment was intended as a sort of poison pill that would kill the chances of the NDAA to be upheld by the courts when and if new legal challenges are filed.

That explanation will not satisfy most constitutionalists, however. The fact of the matter is that the president has demonstrated that he will gladly use his “authority” to detain American citizens based on mere suspicion of associating with enemies of the United States, regardless of whether that authority is explicit or implied.

Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA sparked the constitutional controversy. Under that pernicious provision, the military was authorized to detain people “without trial until the end of hostilities.”

It also permits detainees to be tried by a military tribunal, transferred to a foreign holding facility, or to “an alternative court” — leaving a little window open for civilian trials.

Potential detainees, according to the act, include any person suspected of having “planned, authorized, committed, or aided” the 9/11 attacks, or having “harbored those responsible.”

The aspect of Section 1021 specifically challenged by Bruce Afran on behalf of his clients is the part that allows for the apprehension and detention of anyone who takes “part of or substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban, “or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the U.S. and its coalition partners.”

It is hard to imagine how this language could have been any broader or any more vague.

Left equally undefined in the act is whether these provisions apply specifically to citizens of the United States.

According to ProPublica, “Congress left that deliberately unspecified last year, essentially punting the issue to the courts.”

No provision in the act explicitly permitted or prohibited the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens. Last year’s version simply said that nothing in it could affect “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

Until now. The Feinstein-Lee Amendment altered the language for this year’s bill specifically granting that authority.

But, in fairness, it did exempt citizens and permanent residents from being held without trial.

That said, none of the senators or their spokesmen contacted by The New American could explain why not a single senator offered an amendment to cause the president to disgorge the extra-constitutional authority granted him by the NDAA. That authority, part of which is to send the Army to arrest Americans suspected of violating a law, is so vague that, were the law a city ordinance, it would be summarily thrown out by a state court.

Now Senators Lieberman, McCain, and Graham will work to correct the House’s failure to insert similar language into their version of the NDAA.

For his part, President Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA, but he performed a similar pantomime last year before signing the bill just before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

The solution to the collusion of the unholy trinity of courts, Congress, and executive to deprive all people of their constitutionally protected rights is for state legislatures to reclaim their sovereign right to nullify any unconstitutional act of Congress, including the NDAA.

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INDEFINITE DETENTION OF U.S. CITIZENS WITHOUT TRIAL IS TREASON

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Published on Dec 12, 2012

By now anyone who pays attention to politics knows that the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012 contained a provision that allows for the indefinite detention of U.S. citizens without charge or trial.

Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA states that anyone suspected of being involved in terrorism or “belligerent acts” against the U.S. can be detained by the military under the so-called Authorization for Use of Military Force, including American citizens.

In other words, the war on terror has been officially declared on U.S. soil and everyone is now considered a potential combatant in this war.

Senator Lindsey Graham pretty much summed it up when he said, “The homeland is part of the battlefield and people can be held without trial whether an American citizen or not.”

Even though this clause is a direct violation of citizen’s rights under the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, there was scarcely any dissent and hardly a peep from the corporate media when Obama signed it into law under the cover of darkness late on New Year’s Eve 2011.

This year Senator Rand Paul once again blocked the passage of the NDAA for 2013, which the Senate hoped to rush through before the Thanksgiving recess. Using a filibuster, Paul is attempting to force a vote on his amendment to exempt American citizens from the indefinite detention clause.

Rand Paul’s amendment simply reaffirms the 6th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: A citizen of the United States who is captured or arrested in the United States and detained by the Armed Forces of the United States pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.”

Compare that to the 6th Amendment of the Constitution: In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

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MICHIGAN HOUSE PASSES BILL BLOCKING NDAA DETENTION

The Tenth Amendment Center
Dec 6, 2012

A bill condemning detention provisions written into the National Defense Authorization Act and blocking any state cooperation with federal agents attempting to detain people in Michigan without due process unanimously passed the Michigan House Wednesday.

HB5768 declares, “no agency of this state, no political subdivision of this state, no employee of an agency of this state or a political subdivision of this state acting in his or her official capacity, and no member of the Michigan national guard on official state duty shall aid an agency of the armed forces of the United States in any investigation, prosecution, or detention of any person pursuant to section 1021 of the national defense authorization act…”

It passed 107-0.

Bill sponsor Rep. Tom McMillin was jubilant after the vote.

“My bill opposing NDAA’s indefinite detention, and taking away due process, and prohibiting the Michigan government from participating passed the House today. On to the State Senate,” he said.

A large coalition of grassroots activists spanning the political spectrum, including the Tenth Amendment Center, supported the bill and lobbied for its passage.

“There has been a lot of debate about the Feinstein amendment recently passed in the U.S. Senate. Will it really protect Americans from indefinite detention? Or is the language too broad? State actions like the one taken in Michigan today protect people no matter what they come up with in D.C.,” Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said. “Even if the Feinstein amendment sticks, it still expressly claims congressional power to pass legislation to detain people on U.S. soil. It is the duty of state legislatures to interpose and stop the progress of evil. And what can be more evil than government-sanctioned kidnapping? Don’t let caterwauling in D.C. distract you. Keep pressing your state lawmakers to take action.”

NULLIFICATION THE RIGHTFUL REMEDY

THE CODIFICATION OF TYRANNY: US GOVERNMENT CAN STILL “BLACK BAG” ANY AMERICAN

by Travis Holte | Global Research

The Senate passed the much ballyhooed Feinstein-Lee amendment 98-0, which supposedly partially nullifies the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing for Americans to be kidnapped by the government and disappeared without any charge or due process. Senator Rand Paul put out a press release declaring victory. But as Congressman Justin Amash points out, the wording of the amendment effectively codifies tyranny:

The heart of the Feinstein amendment:

“An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, UNLESS AN ACT OF CONGRESS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZES SUCH DETENTION.”

Well, that Act of Congress is the 2012 NDAA, which renders the rest of the Feinstein amendment meaningless.

I have some questions:

Why are Americans who are traveling, working, living abroad left out of this legislation?

Does one only have his rights when he’s within the sanctified borders of the U.S.?

Why is it not being argued that ALL PEOPLE have the right to due process?

Why are there libertarians celebrating this passage when rather than making us more free it really only further enshrines the idea that the State grants (and denies) us our rights?

NDAA 2013 PROPAGANDA

Abby Martin talks to the founder and director of Revolution Truth, Tangerine Bolen, about the latest news regarding the NDAA 2013 including renewed use of domestic propaganda and keeping Guantanamo prison open.

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NDAA 2013 – MEANINGLESS AND DANGEROUS AT WORST

Published on Dec 6, 2012

The US Senate has voted in favor of an act 98-0 that could imprison Americans. RT has been watching closely the discussions in Congress over the National Defense Authorization Act. Tangerine Bolen of Revolution Truth joins RT’s Kristine Frazao for more on what next year’s NDAA means and compares it to the current legislation, one that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial.

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NDAA: HOW FAR WILL THE GOVERNMENT GO

Published on Dec 5, 2012

On Tuesday, the US Senate voted 98-0 in favor of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013. After much debate and countless amendments considered, the bill is now making its way to a House/Senate Conference Committee where it will be fine-tuned. The bill includes details of military spending and also detaining American citizens without a speedy trial, so will Obama sign the NDAA into law?

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NDAA 2013 STILL ALLOWS INDEFINITE DETENTION WITHIN THE UNITED STATES

Published on Dec 5, 2012

On Tuesday, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 came one step closer to becoming law. The US Senate voted 98-0 in favor of the controversial act that could land American citizens behind bars. The NDAA has been challenged in court due to its explosive nature, in it if the president determines anyone an enemy combatant or found affiliated with enemy forces, including American citizens, they could find themselves imprisoned indefinitely by the US military. Carl Meyer, attorney with the Mayer Law groups, breaks down what the NDAA could mean for Americans.

2013 NDAA EXPANDS POWER OF MILITARY TO DETAIN CITIZENS

Kurt Nimmo
Infowars.com
November 30, 2012

In response to widespread outrage over the National Defense Authorization Act passed last year, Congress is said to be working on a more Constitution friendly version of the legislation. The latest version was overwhelmingly approved by the House Armed Services Committee on May 8 and introduced the following week.

“This year, through the incorporation of the Right to Habeas Corpus Act, the bill makes clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that every American will have his day in court,” a press release issued by the Armed Services Committee states.

Is the NDAA 2013 an improvement over the previous version? At first glance, it would seem so. Consider the following clause included in the bill:

Nothing in the AUMF [Authorization for the Use of Military Force] or the 2012 NDAA shall be construed to deny the availability of the writ of habeas corpus or to deny any Constitutional rights in a court ordained or established by or under Article III of the Constitution for any person who is lawfully in the United States when detained pursuant to the AUMF and who is otherwise entitled to the availability of such writ or such rights.

However, according to Bruce Afran, a lawyer for a group of journalists and activists suing the government over the NDAA 2012, this is merely smoke and mirrors.

Because there are no established rules allowing a citizen to exercise the right to a civilian trial, as guaranteed by the Constitution (specifically, the Sixth Amendment), detained citizens have no way to gain access to lawyers, family or a civilian court after they are detained by the military.

“The biggest thing about the [2012] NDAA was that you weren’t getting a trial … Nothing in here says that you’ll make it to an Article III court so it literally does nothing,” Dan Johnson, founder of People Against the NDAA, told Business Insider on Thursday. “It’s a bunch of words, basically.”

“The new statute actually states that persons lawfully in the U.S. can be detained under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force [AUMF]. The original (the statute we are fighting in court) never went that far,” Afran explained. “Therefore, under the guise of supposedly adding protection to Americans, the new statute actually expands the AUMF to civilians in the U.S.”

Although Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is being portrayed as a savior by offering up language that would “affirm the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution and limit the indefinite detention of Americans,” more than a few observers of his co-sponsored amendment to the NDAA say the effort does not go far enough.

On Thursday evening, the “Senate voted on Amendment No. 3018 to the National Defense Authorization Act sponsored by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah), and co-sponsored by Sen. Rand Paul, which protects the rights prescribed to Americans in the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution with regard to indefinite detention and the right to a trial by jury,” Paul’s Senate web page explainds.

“Senator Paul’s amendment – for all the good that it does – doesn’t go far enough. Read the text of the proposal again. There is not one word of repeal or abolition or revocation of the indefinite detention of Americans from the NDAA,” writes Joe Wolverton for the New American.

A previous attempt to placate critics of the NDAA resulted in the Gohmert Amendment (House Amendment 1126) stating that the NDAA will not “deny the writ of habeas corpus or deny any Constitutional rights for persons detained in the United States under the AUMF who are entitled to such rights.”

“This amendment, like the one offered by Senator Paul last week, displays an indefensible use of vague language that would make it vulnerable to challenge in any court in any state in the Union, but somehow adds to its appeal among the Republicans in Congress,” Wolverton comments.

A handful of efforts to make the NDAA constitutionally friendly are little more than a public relations gimmick to silence critics. The NDAA is essential if the government is going to silence critics and disappear activists and other enemies of the establishment.

The bottom line, Bruce Afran said, is that the latest iteration of the NDAA “is still unconstitutional because it allows citizens or persons in the U.S. to be held in military custody, a position that the Supreme Court has repeatedly held is unconstitutional.”

The indefinate detention section of the NDAA must be repealed entirely. Anything short of that is treason.

U-TURN: SENATE MOVES TO ELIMINATE INDEFINITE DETENTION PROVISION OF NDAA

Mac Slavo
SHTFPlan.com
November 30, 2012

To screams and protests from the American people, Congress overwhelmingly supported passage of the National Defense Authorization Act which, among other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial should they be arrested or held under suspicion of loosely-based definitions for domestic terrorism.

A super-majority 86% of Senators supported the measure, which was signed by President Obama while Americans partied on New Year’s Eve December 31st, 2011.

Now, under pressure from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), members of Congress have re-assessed their positions on the amendment which allows the government to snatch up American citizens domestically and hold them in similar fashion to Guantanamo Bay detainees.

Senators who likely failed to read the bill before they found out what was in it back in 2011, have made a u-turn on one of its most controversial provisions.

President Barack Obama opposed the measure, but ultimately signed it after an amendment to the act muddied the issue enough to make it debatable in courts. Obama pledged to never use the authority.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who helped write that amendment, declared Wednesday that it is not good enough, and recalled seeing Japanese Americans jailed in horse stalls at a racetrack when she was a girl.

I believe that the time has come now to end this legal ambiguity, and state clearly, once and for all, that the AUMF or other authorities do not authorize such indefinite detention of Americans apprehended in the U.S.,” Feinstein said.

“The federal government experimented with indefinite detention of U.S. citizens during World War II, a mistake we now recognize as a betrayal of our core values,” she said. “Let’s not repeat it.”

The amendment filed by Feinstein Wednesday would bar such detentions of citizens and green card-holders.

She was also backed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

It was not clear when the amendment would get a vote.

Of then ten Senators sponsoring the bill, eight of them voted in support of the legislation in December of 2011, including Sen. Feinstein.

While we are in full support of eliminating the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, as well as the ambiguous definitions for what is or is not a domestic terrorist as per the Patriot Act, the NDAA in its current form should never have been passed in the first place.

Is it not the responsibility of our elected officials to prevent ambiguity BEFORE a law is passed, especially when the questions being raised have to do with fundamental Constitutional issues like due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial?

For nearly a full year now, the Congress of the United States essentially granted the President a decree allowing him to utilize broad powers to detain anyone, for any reason, and for as long as he wanted. It was a power that President Obama himself railed against publicly, even pledging to veto the provision, though he ultimately failed to follow through on that pledge.

While President Obama “promised” never to use the provision to detain Americans, the fact is that such power should never be granted to any government, let alone a single individual.

RAND PAUL SINGLE-HANDEDLY TRIES TO STOP NDAA

Published on Nov 19, 2012 by RTAmerica

Just days before Thanksgiving, the US Senate was planning on taking a vote on the National Defense Authorization Act, but there has been a slight delay. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has proposed an amendment halting the vote. In it, Paul reaffirms the sixth amendment guaranteeing a fair a speedy trial to all Americans which has been threatened by the NDAA. Brian Doherty, senior editor for Reason.Com, give us his take on the latest development.

FEDERAL COURT RULES IN FAVOUR OF INDEFINITE DETENTION OF U.S. CITIZENS

Obama’s emergency stay on NDAA block extended

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
Oct 3, 2012

A federal appeals court has ruled that the US government can still indefinitely detain citizens should it wish to do so, under the Obama Administration’s National Defense Authorization Act.

The ruling came in the form of an extension of an “emergency” stay of a district court judge’s order that had previously struck down the defence bill’s provisions altogether.

Last month District Judge Katherine Forrest permanently blocked the NDAA provision, saying that “First Amendment rights have already been harmed and will be harmed by the prospect of (the law) being enforced.”

However, the very next day the Obama administration moved to appeal the decision in an attempt to reinstate the indefinite detention provisions. The administration characterized the ruling by Forrest as unconstitutional.

Federal judge in New York, Raymond Lohier, then granted the Obama administration an “emergency” stay that temporarily blocks Forrest’s ruling.

Late yesterday, a three-judge motions panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit extended that stay, supporting the administration’s appeal and intimating that Forrest’s ruling is flawed.

“We conclude that the public interest weighs in favor of granting the government’s motion for a stay,” Appeals Court Judges Denny Chin, Raymond Lohier and Christopher Droney wrote in athree-page order that also expedited the appeal.

All three judges on the panel were appointed to the appeals court by Obama.

The order continues:

First, in its memorandum of law in support of its motion, the government clarifies unequivocally that, ‘based on their stated activities,’ plaintiffs, ‘journalists and activists[,] . . . are in no danger whatsoever of ever being captured and detained by the U.S. military.’

Second, on its face, the statute does not affect the existing rights of United States citizens or other individuals arrested in the United States. See NDAA § 1021(e) (‘Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.’).

Third, the language of the district court’s injunction appears to go beyond NDAA § 1021 itself and to limit the government’s authority under the Authorization for Use of Military Force…

Concerned Americans have argued that the NDAA provision could see American citizens kidnapped and held indefinitely without charge.

The lawsuit that Judge Forrest ruled on was brought by activists and journalists, including former New York Times columnist Chris Hedges, who argued that the law was unconstitutional because it could see journalists abducted and detained merely for speaking their minds.

Hedges and the other plaintiffs successfully argued that some provisions of the indefinite detention clause are so vague they would chill free speech and restrict the ability to associate with individuals or groups labeled enemies by the government.

Critics have argued that the provisions also violate the Fifth Amendment, which specifically mentions due process of law, and the “equal protection” clause of the 14th Amendment which states that all people be treated the same under the law.

“This pernicious law poses one of the greatest threats to civil liberties in our nation’s history,” writes Brian J. Trautman. Under AUMF, “this law can be used by authorities to detain (forever) anyone the government considers a threat to national security and stability – potentially even demonstrators and protesters exercising their First Amendment rights.”

The federal government argues that the National Defense Authorization Act did not expand its authority beyond what already existed under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) , as interpreted by judges in Guantánamo Bay habeas corpus cases.

As we have documented throughout the course of the NDAA controversy, despite Obama issuing a signing statement promising not to use the indefinite detention provisions against U.S. citizens, his administration specifically pushed for those provisions to be applied to U.S. citizens in the first place.

As the NDAA’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor in December, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have protected Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.

“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”

In attempting to include the entire United States as a battleground under the NDAA, the Obama administration is merely extending its already established policy of targeting American citizens worldwide for state-sponsored assassination with no legal process whatsoever.

Given that the White House is already executing this policy at the global level, it’s no surprise that they are also keen to enforce it domestically

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Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, andPrisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.

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CARL MAYER: ON THE LAWSUIT AGAINST OBAMA’S NDAA AIMED AT U.S. CITIZENS

Alex also welcomes guest Carl Mayer, the attorney representing American Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges in his legal battle to keep President Obama’s power to send US citizens to military prisons without right to trial or attorney, or NDAA privilege, at bay.

OBAMA WINS RIGHT TO INDEFINITELY DETAIN AMERICANS UNDER NDAA

September 18, 2012

A lone appeals judge bowed down to the Obama administration late Monday and reauthorized the White House’s ability to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or due process.

Last week, a federal judge ruled that an temporary injunction on section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 must be made permanent, essentially barring the White House from ever enforcing a clause in the NDAA that can let them put any US citizen behind bars indefinitely over mere allegations of terrorist associations. On Monday, the US Justice Department asked for an emergency stay on that order, and hours later US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Raymond Lohier agreed to intervene and place a hold on the injunction.

The stay will remain in effect until at least September 28, when a three-judge appeals court panel is expected to begin addressing the issue.

On December 31, 2011, US President Barack Obama signed the NDAA into law, even though he insisted on accompanying that authorization with a statement explaining his hesitance to essentially eliminate habeas corpus for the American people.

“The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it,” President Obama wrote. “In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”

lawsuit against the administration was filed shortly thereafter on behalf of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and others, and Judge Forrest agreed with them in district court last week after months of debate. With the stay issued on Monday night, however, that justice’s decision has been destroyed.

With only Judge Lohier’s single ruling on Monday, the federal government has been once again granted the go ahead to imprison any person “who was part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners” until a poorly defined deadline described as merely “the end of the hostilities.” The ruling comes despite Judge Forrest’s earlier decision that the NDAA fails to “pass constitutional muster” and that the legislation contained elements that had a “chilling impact on First Amendment rights”

Because alleged terrorists are so broadly defined as to include anyone with simple associations with enemy forces, some members of the press have feared that simply speaking with adversaries of the state can land them behind bars.

“First Amendment rights are guaranteed by the Constitution and cannot be legislated away,” Judge Forrest wrote last week. “This Court rejects the Government’s suggestion that American citizens can be placed in military detention indefinitely, for acts they could not predict might subject them to detention.”

Bruce Afran, a co-counsel representing the plaintiffs in the case Hedges v Obama, said Monday that he suspects the White House has been relentless in this case because they are already employing the NDAA to imprison Americans, or plan to shortly.

“A Department of Homeland Security bulletin was issued Friday claiming that the riots [in the Middle East] are likely to come to the US and saying that DHS is looking for the Islamic leaders of these likely riots,” Afran told Hedges for ablogpost published this week. “It is my view that this is why the government wants to reopen the NDAA — so it has a tool to round up would-be Islamic protesters before they can launch any protest, violent or otherwise. Right now there are no legal tools to arrest would-be protesters. The NDAA would give the government such power. Since the request to vacate the injunction only comes about on the day of the riots, and following the DHS bulletin, it seems to me that the two are connected. The government wants to reopen the NDAA injunction so that they can use it to block protests.”

Within only hours of Afran’s statement being made public, demonstrators in New York City waged a day of protests in order to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement. Although it is not believed that the NDAA was used to justify any arrests, more than 180 political protesters were detained by the NYPD over the course of the day’s actions. One week earlier, the results of a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union confirmed that the FBI has been monitoring Occupy protests in at least one instance, but the bureau would not give further details, citing that decision is “in the interest of national defense or foreign policy.”

Josh Gerstein, a reporter with Politico, reported on the stay late Monday and acknowledged that both Forrest and Lohier were appointed to the court by President Obama.

U.S. TOTALITARIANISM LOSES MAJOR BATTLE AS JUDGE PERMANENTLY BLOCKS NDAA’S MILITARY DETENTION PROVISION

Zero Hedge

September 13, 2012

Back in January, Pulitzer winning journalist Chris Hedges sued President Obama and the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, specifically challenging the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force or, the provision that authorizes military detention for people deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”

Hedges called the president’s action allowing indefinite detention, which was signed into law with little opposition fromeither party “unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous.” He attacked point blank the civil rights farce that is the neverending “war on terror” conducted by bothparties, targetting whom exactly is unclear, but certainly attaining ever more intense retaliation from foreigners such as the furious attacks against the US consulates in Egypt and Libya. He asked  “why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens.” A few months later, in May, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of the authorization for military detention. Today, the war againt the true totalitarian terror won a decisive battle, when in a 112-opinion, Judge Forrest turned the temporary injunction, following an appeal by the totalitarian government from August 6, into a permanent one.

From Reuters:

The permanent injunction prevents the U.S. government from enforcing a portion of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions.

The opinion stems from a January lawsuit filed by former New York Times war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and others. The plaintiffs said they had no assurance that their writing and advocacy activities would not fall under the scope of the provision.

Government attorneys argued that the executive branch is entitled to latitude when it comes to cases of national security and that the law is neither too broad nor overly vague.

“This court does not disagree with the principle that the president has primacy in foreign affairs,” the judge said, but that she was not convinced by government arguments.

“The government has not stated that such conduct – which, by analogy, covers any writing, journalistic and associational activities that involve al Qaeda, the Taliban or whomever is deemed “associated forces” – does not fall within § 1021(b)(2).”

What is ironic, is that in the ongoing absolute farce that is the theatrical presidential debate, there hasn’t been one word uttered discussing precisely the kind of creeping totalitarian control, and Orwellian loss of constitutional rights, that the biparty-supported NDAA would have demanded out of the US republic. Why? Chris Hedges said it best:

The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.

But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.

He is 100% correct, and today, if it weren’t for his lawsuit, the saying that someone, somewhere in the world might possibly “hate America for its liberties” would have been the biggest lie conceivable.

Also, the total fascist takeover of America would now have been a fact.

Some other insights from Hedges, who explained back in January, just why he is suing Barack Obama:

This demented “war on terror” is as undefined and vague as such a conflict is in any totalitarian state. Dissent is increasingly equated in this country with treason. Enemies supposedly lurk in every organization that does not chant the patriotic mantras provided to it by the state. And this bill feeds a mounting state paranoia. It expands our permanent war to every spot on the globe. It erases fundamental constitutional liberties. It means we can no longer use the word “democracy” to describe our political system.

The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing, once again, to grant Obama a pass. But I won’t. What he has done is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous. The threat and reach of al-Qaida—which I spent a year covering for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East—are marginal, despite the attacks of 9/11. The terrorist group poses no existential threat to the nation. It has been so disrupted and broken that it can barely function. Osama bin Laden was gunned down by commandos and his body dumped into the sea. Even the Pentagon says the organization is crippled. So why, a decade after the start of the so-called war on terror, do these draconian measures need to be implemented? Why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens, as he did in the killing of the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen? Why is this bill necessary when the government routinely ignores our Fifth Amendment rights—“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”—as well as our First Amendment right of free speech? How much more power do they need to fight “terrorism”?

Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.

Today’s full ruling presented below in its entirety:

12-Civ.-00331-2012.09.12-Permanent-Injunction

NDAA RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL; WHITE HOUSE APPEALS

OBAMA APPEALS AGAINST COURT RULING THAT STRIKES DOWN INDEFINITE DETENTION OF AMERICAN CITIZENS

While claiming otherwise, White House has pushed for measure all along

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
Friday, September 14, 2012

Within 24 hours of a historic court ruling that struck down the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Obama administration has appealed the ruling, emphasizing once again how the White House – while claiming to be against the measure – has aggressively pushed for it at every turn.

On Wednesday, New York federal judge Katherine Forrest issued a ruling which blocked provisions of the NDAA that could have seen American citizens kidnapped and held indefinitely without charge.

The suit was brought by activists and journalists, including former New York Times columnist Chris Hedges, who argued that the law was unconstitutional because it could see journalists abducted and detained merely for speaking their minds.

In “permanently” halting the enforcement of the law, Forrest noted how the plaintiffs presented “evidence that First Amendment rights have already been harmed and will be harmed by the prospect of (the law) being enforced. The public has a strong and undoubted interest in the clear preservation of First and Fifth Amendment rights.”

However, the very next day the Obama administration reportedly moved to appeal the decision in an attempt to reinstate the indefinite detention provisions.

“This sent a chill down my spine,” writes Business Insider’s David Seaman. “In the midst of my interview with Tangerine Bolen, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions & coordinator of StopNDAA.org, she received an email from her lawyer to inform her that the Obama administration has already appealed yesterday’s historic court ruling.”

“For a man who doesn’t want the ability to order the military to abduct and detain citizens – without charge or trial – it is quite odd that his administration is appealing yet again,” he adds.

Indeed, as we documented throughout the course of the NDAA controversy, despite Obama issuing a signing statement promising not to use the indefinite detention provisions against U.S. citizens, his administration specifically pushed for those provisions to be applied to U.S. citizens in the first place.

As the NDAA’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor in December, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have protected Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.

“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”

In attempting to include the entire United States as a battleground under the NDAA, the Obama administration is merely extending its already established policy of targeting American citizens worldwide for state-sponsored assassination with no legal process whatsoever.

Given that the White House is already executing this policy at the global level, it’s no surprise that they are also keen to enforce it domestically by appealing this week’s ruling.

NDAA: THE MOST IMPORTANT LAWSUIT IN AMERICAN HISTORY THAT NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT

Posted on August 10, 2012

Despite a mainstream media blackout on the topic, the alternative media is abuzz with this week’s hearing on the constitutionality of the clearly unconstitutional NDAA.  In case you don’t remember, section 1021 of the NDAA, which Obama signed into law on December 31 of last year, allows the government to lock up U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial.  At the time of signing, Obama penned a pathetic letter to many of his outraged supporters where he basically said he signed it but he won’t use it.  Thanks pal!

In any event, the Administration is showing its true colors by appealing an injunction that judge Katherine Forrest issued against it in May.  The injunction was in response to the lawsuit filed by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges and others.  While the NDAA clearly vaporizes the 5th and 6th Amendments of the Constitution, I believe the real target is the 1st Amendment.  By having a law on the books that allows the government to arbitrarily lock anyone up and throw away the key, the government is actually trying to instill enough fear in people that they self-censor speech and become too afraid to criticize the criminal elite political and economic oligarchy.

Tangerine Bolen is one the lead plaintiffs in the suit against the government and she penned a powerful piece for the UK’s Guardian.  Here are some key quotes:

I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial.

In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported.

Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. At that time, twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law.

This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction.

I would also take the time to watch this short video from one of the co-counsels on the case as to exactly what the government is arguing in court.  Not a word from the mainstream media on the most important court case in American history.  One that will decide the fate of a law that will effectively dismantle at least a third of The Bill of Rights.

Please share this with everyone that cares about Liberty and The Republic.

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CHRIS HEDGES: NO OUTCRY WITHIN THE MEDIA ON NDAA

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WHAT MAKES THE NDAA LAWSUIT A STRUGGLE TO SAVE THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION

Time after time, Obama’s lawyers defending the NDAA’s section 1021 affirm our worst fears about its threat to our liberty

By Tangerine Bolen | guardian.co.uk
August 10, 2012

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Tangerine Bolen

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I am one of the lead plaintiffs in the civil lawsuit against the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the president the power to hold any US citizen anywhere for as long as he wants, without charge or trial.

In a May hearing, Judge Katherine Forrest issued an injunction against it; this week, in a final hearing in New York City, US government lawyers asserted even more extreme powers – the right to disregard entirely the judge and the law. On Monday 6 August, Obama’s lawyers filed an appeal to the injunction – a profoundly important development that, as of this writing, has been scarcely reported.

In the earlier March hearing, US government lawyers had confirmed that, yes, the NDAA does give the president the power to lock up people like journalist Chris Hedges and peaceful activists like myself and other plaintiffs. Government attorneys stated on record that even war correspondents could be locked up indefinitely under the NDAA.

Judge Forrest had ruled for a temporary injunction against an unconstitutional provision in this law, after government attorneys refused to provide assurances to the court that plaintiffs and others would not be indefinitely detained for engaging in first amendment activities. At that time, twice the government has refused to define what it means to be an “associated force”, and it claimed the right to refrain from offering any clear definition of this term, or clear boundaries of power under this law.

This past week’s hearing was even more terrifying. Government attorneys again, in this hearing, presented no evidence to support their position and brought forth no witnesses. Most incredibly, Obama’s attorneys refused to assure the court, when questioned, that the NDAA’s section 1021 – the provision that permits reporters and others who have not committed crimes to be detained without trial – has not been applied by the US government anywhere in the world after Judge Forrest’s injunction. In other words, they were telling a US federal judge that they could not, or would not, state whether Obama’s government had complied with the legal injunction that she had laid down before them.

To this, Judge Forrest responded that if the provision had indeed been applied, the United States government would be in contempt of court.

I have mixed feelings about suing my government, and in particular, my president, over the National Defense Authorization Act. I voted for Obama.

But the US public often ignores how, when it comes to the “war on terror”, the US government as a whole has been deceitful, reckless, even murderous. We lost nearly 3,000 people on 9/11. Then we allowed the Bush administration to lie and force us into war with a country that had nothing to do with that terrible day. Presidents Bush and Obama, and the US Congress, appear more interested in enacting misguided “war on terror” policies that distract citizens from investigating the truth about what we’ve done, and what we’ve become, since 9/11.

I, like many in this fight, am now afraid of my government. We have good reason to be. Due to the NDAA, Chris Hedges, Kai Wargalla, the other plaintiffs and I are squarely in the crosshairs of a “war on terror” that has been an excuse to undermine liberties, trample the US constitution, destroy mechanisms of accountability and transparency, and cause irreparable harm to millions. Several of my co-plaintiffs know well the harassment and harm they have incurred from having dared openly to defy the US government: court testimony has included government subpoenas of private bank records of Icelandic parliamentarian Birgitta Jónsdóttir; Wargalla’s account of having been listed as a “terrorist group”; and Hedges’ concern that he would be included as a “belligerent” in the NDAA’s definition of the term – because he interviews members of outlawed groups as a reporter – a concern that the US attorneys refused on the record to allay.

Other advocates have had email accounts repeatedly hacked, and often find their electronic communications corrupted in transmission (some emails vanish altogether). This is an increasing form of pressure that supporters of state surveillance and intervention in the internet often fail to consider.

I’ve been surprised to find that most people, when I mention that I am suing my president, Leon Panetta, and six members of Congress (four Democrats and four Republicans), thank me – even before I explain what I’m suing them over! And when I do explain the fact that I and my seven co-plaintiffs are suing over a law that suspends due process, threatens first amendment rights and takes away the basic right of every citizen on this planet not to be indefinitely detained without charge or trial, their exuberance shifts, and a deeper gratitude shines through newly somber demeanors. But this fight has taken a personal toll on many of us, including myself.

My government, meanwhile, seems to have lost the ability to discern the truth about the US constitution any more; I and many others have not. We are fighting for due process and for the first amendment – for a country we still believe in and for a government still legally bound by its constitution.

If that makes us their “enemies”, then so be it. As long as they cannot call us “belligerents”, lock us up and throw away the key – a power that, incredibly, this past week US government lawyers still asserted is their right. Against such abuses, we will keep fighting.

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President Obama who pledged to veto the National Defense Authorization Act signed it into law on December 31, 2011. Of course his promise was only for public consumption. It was the Obama administration all along that demanded the indefinite detention provisions be added while at the same time telling the America people he was fighting to protect their rights.

ALEX JONES: THE NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT IS NOW LAW

Alex Jones covers Obama’s signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, a draconian bill that will allow the military to arrest American citizens and put them in a secret labyrinth tribunal system where victims may be kept for years without access to due process of law or the protection of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution.

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OBAMA SIGNS DEFENSE BILL DESPITE ‘RESERVATIONS’

By JULIE PACE | Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama signed a wide-ranging defense bill into law Saturday despite having “serious reservations” about provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.

The bill also applies penalties against Iran’s central bank in an effort to hamper Tehran’s ability to fund its nuclear enrichment program. The Obama administration is looking to soften the impact of those penalties because of concerns that they could lead to a spike in global oil prices or cause economic hardship on U.S. allies that import petroleum from Iran.

In a statement accompanying his signature, the president chastised some lawmakers for what he contended was their attempts to use the bill to restrict the ability of counterterrorism officials to protect the country.

Administration officials said Obama was only signing the measure because Congress made minimally acceptable changes that no longer challenged the president’s terrorism-fighting ability.

“Moving forward, my administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded,” Obama said in the signing statement.

Signing statements allow presidents to raise constitutional objections to circumvent Congress’ intent. During his campaign for the White House, Obama criticized President George W. Bush’s use of signing statements and promised to make his application of the tool more transparent.

Obama’s signature caps months of wrangling over how to handle captured terrorist suspects without violating Americans’ constitutional rights. The White House initially threatened to veto the legislation but dropped the warning after Congress made last-minute changes.

Among the changes the administration secured was striking a provision that would have eliminated executive branch authority to use civilian courts for trying terrorism cases against foreign nationals.

The new law now requires military custody for any suspect who is a member of al-Qaida or “associated forces” and involved in planning or attempting to carry out an attack on the United States or its coalition partners. The president or a designated subordinate may waive the military custody requirement by certifying to Congress that such a move is in the interest of national security.

The administration also pushed Congress to change a provision that would have denied U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism the right to trial and could have subjected them to indefinite detention. Lawmakers eventually dropped the military custody requirement for U.S. citizens or lawful U.S. residents.

“My administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens,” Obama said in the signing statement. “Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a nation.”

Despite the changes, officials cited serious concerns that the law will complicate and could harm the investigation of terrorism cases.

For example, FBI Director Robert Mueller has said the measure would inhibit his bureau’s ability to persuade suspected terrorists to cooperate immediately and provide critical intelligence. He told Congress it wasn’t clear how agents should operate if they arrest someone covered by the military custody requirement but the nearest military facility is hundreds of miles away.

Other officials have said agents and prosecutors should not have to spend their time worrying about citizenship status and whether get a waiver while trying to thwart a terror attack.

The administration also raised concerns about an amendment in the bill that goes after foreign financial institutions that do business with Iran’s central bank, barring them from opening or maintaining correspondent operations in the United States. It would apply to foreign central banks only for transactions that involve the sale or purchase of petroleum or petroleum products.

Officials worry that the penalties could lead to higher oil prices, damaging the U.S. economic recovery and hurting allies in Europe and Asia that purchase petroleum from Iran.

The penalties do not go into effect for six months. The president can waive them for national security reasons or if the country with jurisdiction over the foreign financial institution has significantly reduced its purchases of Iran oil.

The State Department has said the U.S. was looking at how to put them in place in a way that maximized the pressure on Iran, but meant minimal disruption to the U.S. and its allies.

This week, Iran warned that it may disrupt traffic in the Strait of Hormuz – a vital Persian Gulf waterway. But on Saturday, Tehran seemed to back off that threat when a commander of its Revolutionary Guard said such discussion is a thing of the past and “belongs to five years ago.”

Iran also said Saturday that it had proposed a new round of talks on its nuclear program with the U.S. and other world powers. The invitation would come after the U.N. has imposed four rounds of sanctions. Separately, the U.S. and the European Union have imposed their own tough economic and financial penalties.

The $662 billion bill authorizes money for military personnel, weapons systems, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and national security programs in the Energy Department for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1.

The measure also freezes some $700 million in assistance until Pakistan comes up with a strategy to deal with improvised explosive devices.

Obama signed the bill in Hawaii, where he is vacationing with his family.

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OBAMA’S NDAA SIGNING STATEMENT

The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 31, 2011

Statement by the President on H.R. 1540

Today I have signed into law H.R. 1540, the “National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012.” I have signed the Act chiefly because it authorizes funding for the defense of the United States and its interests abroad, crucial services for service members and their families, and vital national security programs that must be renewed. In hundreds of separate sections totaling over 500 pages, the Act also contains critical Administration initiatives to control the spiraling health care costs of the Department of Defense (DoD), to develop counterterrorism initiatives abroad, to build the security capacity of key partners, to modernize the force, and to boost the efficiency and effectiveness of military operations worldwide.

The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists. Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Our success against al-Qa’ida and its affiliates and adherents has derived in significant measure from providing our counterterrorism professionals with the clarity and flexibility they need to adapt to changing circumstances and to utilize whichever authorities best protect the American people, and our accomplishments have respected the values that make our country an example for the world.

Against that record of success, some in Congress continue to insist upon restricting the options available to our counterterrorism professionals and interfering with the very operations that have kept us safe. My Administration has consistently opposed such measures. Ultimately, I decided to sign this bill not only because of the critically important services it provides for our forces and their families and the national security programs it authorizes, but also because the Congress revised provisions that otherwise would have jeopardized the safety, security, and liberty of the American people. Moving forward, my Administration will interpret and implement the provisions described below in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded.

Section 1021 affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) (Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section breaks no new ground and is unnecessary. The authority it describes was included in the 2001 AUMF, as recognized by the Supreme Court and confirmed through lower court decisions since then. Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not “limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any “existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” My Administration strongly supported the inclusion of these limitations in order to make clear beyond doubt that the legislation does nothing more than confirm authorities that the Federal courts have recognized as lawful under the 2001 AUMF. 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.

Section 1022 seeks to require military custody for a narrow category of non-citizen detainees who are “captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” This section is ill-conceived and will do nothing to improve the security of the United States. The executive branch already has the authority to detain in military custody those members of al-Qa’ida who are captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the AUMF, and as Commander in Chief I have directed the military to do so where appropriate. I reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat. While section 1022 is unnecessary and has the potential to create uncertainty, I have signed the bill because I believe that this section can be interpreted and applied in a manner that avoids undue harm to our current operations.

I have concluded that section 1022 provides the minimally acceptable amount of flexibility to protect national security. Specifically, I have signed this bill on the understanding that section 1022 provides the executive branch with broad authority to determine how best to implement it, and with the full and unencumbered ability to waive any military custody requirement, including the option of waiving appropriate categories of cases when doing so is in the national security interests of the United States. As my Administration has made clear, the only responsible way to combat the threat al-Qa’ida poses is to remain relentlessly practical, guided by the factual and legal complexities of each case and the relative strengths and weaknesses of each system. Otherwise, investigations could be compromised, our authorities to hold dangerous individuals could be jeopardized, and intelligence could be lost. I will not tolerate that result, and under no circumstances will my Administration accept or adhere to a rigid across-the-board requirement for military detention. I will therefore interpret and implement section 1022 in the manner that best preserves the same flexible approach that has served us so well for the past 3 years and that protects the ability of law enforcement professionals to obtain the evidence and cooperation they need to protect the Nation.

My Administration will design the implementation procedures authorized by section 1022(c) to provide the maximum measure of flexibility and clarity to our counterterrorism professionals permissible under law. And I will exercise all of my constitutional authorities as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief if those procedures fall short, including but not limited to seeking the revision or repeal of provisions should they prove to be unworkable.

Sections 1023-1025 needlessly interfere with the executive branch’s processes for reviewing the status of detainees. Going forward, consistent with congressional intent as detailed in the Conference Report, my Administration will interpret section 1024 as granting the Secretary of Defense broad discretion to determine what detainee status determinations in Afghanistan are subject to the requirements of this section.

Sections 1026-1028 continue unwise funding restrictions that curtail options available to the executive branch. Section 1027 renews the bar against using appropriated funds for fiscal year 2012 to transfer Guantanamo detainees into the United States for any purpose. I continue to oppose this provision, which intrudes upon critical executive branch authority to determine when and where to prosecute Guantanamo detainees, based on the facts and the circumstances of each case and our national security interests. For decades, Republican and Democratic administrations have successfully prosecuted hundreds of terrorists in Federal court. Those prosecutions are a legitimate, effective, and powerful tool in our efforts to protect the Nation. Removing that tool from the executive branch does not serve our national security. Moreover, this intrusion would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles.

Section 1028 modifies but fundamentally maintains unwarranted restrictions on the executive branch’s authority to transfer detainees to a foreign country. This hinders the executive’s ability to carry out its military, national security, and foreign relations activities and like section 1027, would, under certain circumstances, violate constitutional separation of powers principles. The executive branch must have the flexibility to act swiftly in conducting negotiations with foreign countries regarding the circumstances of detainee transfers. In the event that the statutory restrictions in sections 1027 and 1028 operate in a manner that violates constitutional separation of powers principles, my Administration will interpret them to avoid the constitutional conflict.

Section 1029 requires that the Attorney General consult with the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Defense prior to filing criminal charges against or seeking an indictment of certain individuals. I sign this based on the understanding that apart from detainees held by the military outside of the United States under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the provision applies only to those individuals who have been determined to be covered persons under section 1022 before the Justice Department files charges or seeks an indictment. Notwithstanding that limitation, this provision represents an intrusion into the functions and prerogatives of the Department of Justice and offends the longstanding legal tradition that decisions regarding criminal prosecutions should be vested with the Attorney General free from outside interference. Moreover, section 1029 could impede flexibility and hinder exigent operational judgments in a manner that damages our security. My Administration will interpret and implement section 1029 in a manner that preserves the operational flexibility of our counterterrorism and law enforcement professionals, limits delays in the investigative process, ensures that critical executive branch functions are not inhibited, and preserves the integrity and independence of the Department of Justice.

Other provisions in this bill above could interfere with my constitutional foreign affairs powers. Section 1244 requires the President to submit a report to the Congress 60 days prior to sharing any U.S. classified ballistic missile defense information with Russia. Section 1244 further specifies that this report include a detailed description of the classified information to be provided. While my Administration intends to keep the Congress fully informed of the status of U.S. efforts to cooperate with the Russian Federation on ballistic missile defense, my Administration will also interpret and implement section 1244 in a manner that does not interfere with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign affairs and avoids the undue disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications. Other sections pose similar problems. Sections 1231, 1240, 1241, and 1242 could be read to require the disclosure of sensitive diplomatic communications and national security secrets; and sections 1235, 1242, and 1245 would interfere with my constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations by directing the Executive to take certain positions in negotiations or discussions with foreign governments. Like section 1244, should any application of these provisions conflict with my constitutional authorities, I will treat the provisions as non-binding.

My Administration has worked tirelessly to reform or remove the provisions described above in order to facilitate the enactment of this vital legislation, but certain provisions remain concerning. My Administration will aggressively seek to mitigate those concerns through the design of implementation procedures and other authorities available to me as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief, will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future, and will seek the repeal of any provisions that undermine the policies and values that have guided my Administration throughout my time in office.

BARACK OBAMA
THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 31, 2011.

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OBAMA’S NDAA SIGNING STATEMENT IS MEANINGLESS

Administration itself demanded power to detain American citizens without trial

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Infowars.com

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Barack Obama’s signing statement that was added to the passage of the NDAA bill in an effort to dampen concerns over the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the bill is smoke and mirrors for a number of reasons – prime amongst them the fact that it was the White House itself – not lawmakers – who demanded Section 1031 be expanded to empower the government to detain U.S. citizens without trial.

On first reading, Obama’s signing statement appears to assuage fears that American citizens could be targeted for arrest and detention without trial.

“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,” wrote Obama.

However, the statement is meaningless for a number of reasons.

Firstly, even if Obama manages to fulfil one of the rare occasions on which he keeps his word, this does nothing to stop future administrations from exercising the power to indefinitely detain American citizens without trial.

Secondly, the Obama administration is already carrying out even more egregious measures than those supposedly authorized within the NDAA, by targeting American citizens worldwide for state-sponsored assassination with no legal process whatsoever.

Thirdly, Obama has reversed almost every single promise he made to get elected – his word is no good. Given the right civil emergency, Obama could turn to indefinite detention of citizens without hesitation.

Crucially, Obama’s promise that he will not use the law to detain Americans without trial is completely hollow – because it was his administration that demanded the power to do so in the first place.

As the bill’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor last month, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have precluded Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.

“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.

“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”

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If the Obama administration is so opposed to the idea of detaining Americans without trial, why did they push for such powers to be included in the final version of the National Defense Authorization Act?

It’s also necessary to highlight the fact that just because this bill has been passed into law, that shouldn’t bestow any kind of legitimacy to it given that indefinite detention is anathema to the bill of rights and the constitution. It was once a law that black people were not human – that doesn’t mean it’s right or should be given credence.

The passage of the indefinite detention provision is about sticking the final nail in the coffin of Posse Comitatus and openly declaring war on the American people. Is it any wonder that at the same time U.S. citizens are being targeted by the federal government, they are buying guns in record numbers?

By brazenly codifying the powers of a totalitarian state into law, lawmakers and the Obama administration have crossed the rubicon and laid down the framework for the nationwide implementation of martial law.

But that doesn’t mean it’s going to happen tomorrow, this year or even next. The next play will not be the mass round up of American citizens, the law first has to be legitimized by being used against a universally loathed figure, just as Obama’s assassination policy was first exercised to take out Al-Qaeda members like Abdulrahman al-Awlaki.

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OBAMA SAYS HE DOESN’T EVEN NEED NDAA TO INDEFINITELY DETAIN AMERICAN CITIZENS

J. D. Heyes
Natural News

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(NaturalNews) It’s called “Washingtonspeak,” and it’s different than the rest of the English language. President Obama used some of it last week when he agreed to sign the National Defense Authorization Act that allows, among other things, the military to detain American citizens indefinitely, to conduct secret kidnappings of suspected terror suspects (even if they are Americans living on American soil), and murder of same if said suspect is deemed a threat to national security. All without a trial. All without any deference to any other constitutional protection.

Very mindful of what the NDAA truly authorizes, Obama, in signing the legislation, said this: “The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists. Over the last several years, my Administration has developed an effective, sustainable framework for the detention, interrogation and trial of suspected terrorists that allows us to maximize both our ability to collect intelligence and to incapacitate dangerous individuals in rapidly developing situations, and the results we have achieved are undeniable. Against that record of success, some in Congress continue to insist upon restricting the options available to our counterterrorism professionals and interfering with the very operations that have kept us safe.”

“My Administration has consistently opposed such measures. Ultimately, I decided to sign this bill not only because of the critically important services it provides for our forces and their families and the national security programs it authorizes, but also because the Congress revised provisions that otherwise would have jeopardized the safety, security, and liberty of the American people. Moving forward, my Administration will interpret and implement the provisions described in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends and upholds the values on which this country was founded.”

The president went onto say that the provisions in question – specifically Sect. 1021, which he said merely “affirms the executive branch’s authority to detain persons covered by the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force.” He describes the provision as “unnecessary.”

President Obama stated: “Two critical limitations in section 1021 confirm that it solely codifies established authorities. First, under section 1021(d), the bill does not limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force. Second, under section 1021(e), the bill may not be construed to affect any existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.”

In other words, the president is using Washingtonspeak to say he already had the authority to do what the NDAA law merely “codifies.” So the danger that many Americans, lawmakers and advocacy groups are concerned about is why this president claimed the authority to kill an American citizen in Yemen earlier this year who had not actually carried out any terrorist attacks against the U.S., but was only suspected of wrongdoing.

Is that how it works in America today? No more checks and balances? Or, are there checks and balances so long as the president interprets and implements in a manner that best preserves the flexibility on which our safety depends?

“If President Obama were committed to Constitution and international legal norms, he would veto this bill. Instead, he seems more concerned about consolidating the power of the Executive Branch at the cost of our legal and human rights,” says the National Lawyers Guild. We agree. This is a terrible law, no matter how Obama and Co. try to spin it.

Sources:

http://obrag.org/?p=51825&cpage=1

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/01/w…

http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press…

http://www.naturalnews.com/034538_N…

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RAY MCGOVERN: NEW WORDING IN NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT IS A SERIOUS THREAT TO AMERICAN LIBERTIES

Exclusive: Though the 9/11 attacks occurred more than a decade ago, Congress continues to exploit them to pass evermore draconian laws on “terrorism,” with the Senate now empowering the military to arrest people on U.S. soil and hold them without trial, a serious threat to American liberties, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern

http://raymondmcgovern.com/Raymond_McGovern/Current.html

http://consortiumnews.com/2011/12/03/are-americans-in-line-for-gitmo/

Ambiguous but alarming new wording, which is tucked into the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and was just passed by the Senate, is reminiscent of the “extraordinary measures” introduced by the Nazis after they took power in 1933.

And the relative lack of reaction so far calls to mind the oddly calm indifference with which most Germans watched the erosion of the rights that had been guaranteed by their own Constitution. As one German writer observed, “With sheepish submissiveness we watched it unfold, as if from a box at the theater.”

The writer was Sebastian Haffner (real name Raimond Pretzel), a young German lawyer worried at what he saw in 1933 in Berlin, but helpless to stop it since, as he put it, the German people “collectively and limply collapsed, yielded and capitulated.”

“The result of this millionfold nervous breakdown,” wrote Haffner at the time, “is the unified nation, ready for anything, that is today the nightmare of the rest of the world.” Not a happy analogy.

The Senate bill, in effect, revokes an 1878 law known as the Posse Comitatus Act, which banned the Army from domestic law enforcement after the military had been used —and often abused — in that role during Reconstruction. Ever since then, that law has been taken very seriously — until now. Military officers have had their careers brought to an abrupt halt by involving federal military assets in purely civilian criminal matters.

But that was before 9/11 and the mantra, “9/11 changed everything.” In this case of the Senate-passed NDAA — more than a decade after the terror attacks and even as U.S. intelligence agencies say al-Qaeda is on the brink of defeat — Congress continues to carve away constitutional and legal protections in the name of fighting “terrorism.”

Detainees at Guantanamo Bay in 2002

The Senate approved the expanded military authority despite opposition from Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and FBI Director Robert Mueller — and a veto threat from President Barack Obama.

The Senate voted to authorize — and generally to require — “the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons” indefinitely. And such “covered persons” are defined not just as someone implicated in the 9/11 attacks but anyone who “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.”

Though the wording is itself torturous — and there is a provision for a waiver from the Defense Secretary regarding mandatory military detentions — the elasticity of words like “associated forces” and “supported” have left some civil libertarians worried that the U.S. military could be deployed domestically against people opposing future American wars against alleged “terrorists” or “terrorist states.”

The Senate clearly wished for the military’s “law and order” powers to extend beyond the territory of military bases on the theory that there may be “terrorsymps” (short for “terrorist sympathizers”) lurking everywhere.

Is the all-consuming ten-year-old struggle against terrorism rushing headlong to consume what’s left of our constitutional rights? Do I need to worry that the Army in which I was proud to serve during the 1960s may now kick down my front door and lead me off to indefinite detention — or worse?

My neighbors have noticed, after all, that I now wear a longish beard and, sometimes, even a hat like Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki. And everyone knows what a terrorsymp he was. “If you see something, say something!”

Worse still, a few of my neighbors overheard me telling my grandchildren that President Obama should be ashamed to be bragging about having Awlaki, an American citizen, and later his 16 year-old son murdered without a whiff of due process. “If you hear something, say something!”

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RON PAUL: THE NDAA REPEALS MORE RIGHTS

Ron Paul
Infowars.com

Little by little, in the name of fighting terrorism, our Bill of Rights is being repealed. The 4th amendment has been rendered toothless by the PATRIOT Act. No more can we truly feel secure in our persons, houses, papers, and effects when now there is an exception that fits nearly any excuse for our government to search and seize our property. Of course, the vast majority of Americans may say “I’m not a terrorist, so I have no reason to worry.” However, innocent people are wrongly accused all the time. The Bill of Rights is there precisely because the founders wanted to set a very 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 is its violation of the 4th Amendment, was just one step down the slippery slope. The recently passed National Defense Authorization Act (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?

Additionally, this legislation codifies in law for the first time authority to detain Americans that has to this point only been claimed by President Obama. According to subsection (e) of section 1021, “[n]othing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” This means 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.

The Bill of Rights has no exemptions 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.

Originally appeared at http://paul.house.gov

***

RON PAUL: NDAA BILL ASSURES ‘DESCENT INTO TOTALITARIANISM’

By Jonathan Easley | TheHill.com

GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul warned that the National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed by Congress this month, will accelerate the country’s “slip into tyranny” and virtually assures “our descent into totalitarianism.”

“The founders wanted to set a high bar for the government to overcome in order to deprive an individual of life or liberty,” Paul, the libertarian congressman from Texas, said Monday in a weekly phone message to supporters. “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 violations 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.”

The NDAA is the nearly $670 billion defense spending bill that covers the military budget and funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

One controversial provision mandates the detention of terror suspects and reaffirms the administration’s authority to detain those suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations.

“The Fifth Amendment is about much more than the right to remain silent in the face of government questioning,” Paul continued. “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 council. The danger of the NDAA is its alarmingly vague, undefined criteria for who can be indefinitely detained by the U.S. government without trial.”

“It is no longer limited to members of Al Qaeda or the Taliban, but anyone accused of substantially supporting such groups or associated forces,” Paul continued. “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?”

The White House initially threatened to veto NDAA because of the detainee language, saying it would tie the hands of law enforcement officials. But the administration dropped the veto threat before the bill passed the House, as the bill’s supporters argued that there were sufficient waivers.

“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,” Paul said. “That should chill all of us to our cores.”

“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.”

THE INAUGURATION OF POLICE STATE USA 2012. OBAMA SIGNS THE “NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT”

by Michel Chossudovsky | Global Research

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 relevant provisions pertaining to civil rights were carefully esconded in a short section of a 500+ page document.

The controversial signing statement is a smokescreen. 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 (contained in Subtitle D–Counterterrorism) 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 fact of the matter is that both the Executive and the US Congress are complicit in the drafting of Subtitle D. In this regard, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) revealed that it was the White House which had asked the Senate Armed Services Committee “to remove language from the bill that would have prohibited U.S. citizens’ military detention without due process”

Obama 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. Already in 2004, Homeland Security defined several categories of potential “conspirators” or “suspected terrorists” including “foreign [Islamic] terrorists”, “domestic radical groups”, [antiwar and civil rights groups], “disgruntled employees” [labor and union activists] and “state sponsored adversaries” ["rogue states", "unstable nations"]. The unspoken objective in an era of war and social crisis is to repress all forms of domestic protest and dissent.

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

“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.” (emphasis added)

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.

His administration “will not authorize” what? The implementation of a Law endorsed by the Executive and signed by the President of the United States?

Section 1021 is crystal clear. The Executive cannot refuse to implement it. The signing statement does not in any way invalidate or modify the actual signing by President Obama of NDAA (H.R. 1540) into law. It does not have any bearing on the implementation/ enforcement of the 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 Bill of Rights and 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. Barack Obama will down in history as “the president who killed Constitutional democracy” in the United States. .

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.

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 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.

***

WELCOME TO AMERICA POLICE STATE 2012: PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SIGNS CONTROVERSIAL NDAA

by Joe Gullo | Global Research

President Barack Obama signed the controversial National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law earlier today in Hawaii.

CNN reports Barack Obama “reluctantly signed a defense authorization bill, saying he was concerned about some in Congress who want to restrict options used by counterterrorism officials.”

Even before the bill was signed by Obama, there were mixed feelings on NDAA.

The bill only has a 2 percent approval rating on a poll conducted by OpenCongress.com. Only 8 people support the bill out of 395 voters.

Another poll, of 397 people, conducted by PopVox gives the bill a 9 percent approval rating and a 91 percent disapproval rating.

One of the more controversial aspects of the bill involves the ability for the President to detain United States’ citizens.

According to The International Business Times, “The bill affirms and codifies the U.S. President’s authority to indefinitely detain in military custody anyone, including U.S. citizens, suspected of terrorism or supporting terrorists.”

In a statement released after the signing of the bill, Obama says, “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.”

Obama says even though he signed the bill he does not agree with everything that’s included in the bill.

“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” Obama said.

[GR editor's Note: Obama's statement released after the signing is a smokescreen. it has no force of law. The White must abide by this law as confirmed by the CBS report]

CBS news reports, “If Mr. Obama violates any of the provisions in the bill, Congress could challenge the White House in court, which would have the final say in any dispute.”

The $662 billion bill includes tough sanctions against Iran over its nuclear program.

Sponsored by Republican Representative from California, Howard McKeon, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act on November 30th, House on December May 26th. Changes were made to the original House bill in the Senate. The House passed the changes on December 14th. The Senate approved their changes on December 15th. The bill was introduced on April 13th.

***

FINAL CURTAIN: OBAMA SIGNS INDEFINITE DETENTION OF CITIZENS INTO LAW AS FINAL ACT OF 2011

by Jonathan Turley | Global Research

President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country . . . and citizens partied only blissfully into the New Year.

Ironically, in addition to breaking his promise not to sign the law, Obama broke his promise on signing statements and attached a statement that he really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely.
Obama insisted that he signed the bill simply to keep funding for the troops. It was a continuation of the dishonest treatment of the issue by the White House since the law first came to light. As discussed earlier, the White House told citizens that the President would not sign the NDAA because of the provision. That spin ended after sponsor Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.) went to the floor and disclosed that it was the White House and insisted that there be no exception for citizens in the indefinite detention provision.

The latest claim is even more insulting. You do not “support our troops” by denying the principles for which they are fighting. They are not fighting to consolidate authoritarian powers in the President. The “American way of life” is defined by our Constitution and specifically the Bill of Rights. Moreover, the insistence that you do not intend to use authoritarian powers does not alter the fact that you just signed an authoritarian measure. It is not the use but the right to use such powers that defines authoritarian systems.

The almost complete failure of the mainstream media to cover this issue is shocking. Many reporters have bought into the spin of the Obama Administration as they did the spin over torture by the Bush Administration. Even today reporters refuse to call waterboarding torture despite the long line of cases and experts defining waterboarding as torture for decades. On the NDAA, reporters continue to mouth the claim that this law only codifies what is already the law. That is not true. The Administration has fought any challenges to indefinite detention to prevent a true court review. Moreover, most experts agree that such indefinite detention of citizens violates the Constitution.

There are also those who continue the long-standing effort to excuse Obama’s horrific record on civil liberties by either blaming others or the times. One successful myth is that there is an exception for citizens. The White House is saying that changes to the law made it unnecessary to veto the legislation. That spin is facially ridiculous. The changes were the inclusion of some meaningless rhetoric after key amendments protecting citizens were defeated. The provision merely states that nothing in the provisions could be construed to alter Americans’ legal rights. Since the Senate clearly views citizens are not just subject to indefinite detention but even execution without a trial, the change offers nothing but rhetoric to hide the harsh reality. THe Administration and Democratic members are in full spin — using language designed to obscure the authority given to the military. The exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032) is the screening language for the next section, 1031, which offers no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial.

Obama could have refused to sign the bill and the Congress would have rushed to fund the troops. Instead, as confirmed by Sen. Levin, the White House conducted a misinformation campaign to secure this power while portraying Obama as some type of reluctant absolute ruler, or as Obama maintains a reluctant president with dictatorial powers.

Most Democratic members joined their Republican colleagues in voting for this unAmerican measure. Some Montana citizens are moving to force the removal of these members who they insist betrayed their oaths of office and their constituents. Most citizens however are continuing to treat the matter as a distraction from the holiday cheer.

For civil libertarians, the NDAA is our Mayan moment. 2012 is when the nation embraced authoritarian powers with little more than a pause between rounds of drinks.

So here is a resolution better than losing weight this year…make 2012 the year you regained your rights.

***

HOW CONGRESS HAS SIGNED ITS OWN ARREST WARRANTS IN THE NDAA CITIZEN ARREST ACT

by Naomi Wolf | Global Research

I never thought I would have to write this: but—incredibly—Congress has now passed the National Defense Appropriations Act, with Section 1021, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The section 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.

***

NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT OUTRAGE CONTINUES TO GROW ONLINE

David Seaman, Credit Card Outlaw

This is day three of living in post-NDAA America.

In case you’ve been living under a particularly large and comfy rock, the NDAA is a radical and dangerous bill — which Barack Hussein Obama quietly signed into law on New Year’s Eve, while almost every American was preoccupied with New Year’s binge drinking. (His administration had previously vowed to veto the NDAA, before strangely reversing course and signing it into law. He issued a signing statement saying his administration would not use the controversial indefinite detention provisions. This promise, however, is not legally binding — and it also does not prevent future Presidents from detaining and torturing American citizens without right to a trial or attorney, and without bringing formal charges against them. The signing statement is the legal equivalent of a Post-it note affixed to a manuscript.)

How bad is this law, really? Here are some experts:

Presidential candidate Ron Paul on NDAA: “…bold and dangerous attempt to establish martial law in America.”

Rep. Justin Amash: NDAA was “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”

Amnesty International: “Provisions that were snuck into the bill with little notice from mainsteam media could spell indefinite detention without a hearing, keep Guantanamo open, and hinder fair trials.”

And Americans, despite some pro-Obama spin to the contrary, are definitely targeted by NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions. As Salon columnist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald explained: “Myth #3: U.S. citizens are exempted from this new bill: This is simply false, at least when expressed so definitively and without caveats. The bill is purposely muddled on this issue which is what is enabling the falsehood.”

The American broadcast media has been eerily silent on NDAA’s passage into law, despite the fact that foreign newspapers and broadcast networks have been covering this as one of their top international stories.

Yesterday, however, FOX News began to let NDAA mentions seep into their news coverage.  There is a grassroots movement to convince News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch to invite me on FOX News, so that I can discuss the dangers posed by the NDAA, and SOPA, which is a radical Internet censorship bill Congress plans to vote on later this month. (SOPA would make online criticism of NDAA subject to government censorship and deletion. Profoundly scary. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has warned that SOPA “would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.”)

But enough self-aggrandizing for one morning! Here are NDAA reactions from others around the Web — online outrage has been steadily growing, as Americans realize their cherished civil rights protections and Bill of Rights are now as obsolete as last year’s iProduct.

Rupert Murdoch: “Obama decision on terrorist detention very courageous – and dead right!” via his Twitter. Reactions to this rather contrarian view were not polite, to say the least.

Author Naomi Wolf, with a warning for Congress: “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.”

Tumblr user Raychel, who has posted reaction to NDAA: “Seeing as the NDAA now applies to American citizens, like I said, I don’t know if it’s such a great idea to expose myself to the point of my writings being published in an article ha ha! What are your thoughts on it?

I first found out about NDAA through my research on Ron Paul via YouTube. Watching debates, interviews, etc. I stumbled across a lot of videos that were definitely not getting enough hype. That being said, no I don’t think the traditional media has done it’s job of bringing it to the public’s attention. It’s done quite a good job of the opposite, actually. The media is showing us stories about missing pets, celebrities acting like banshees, and the top rated videos on YouTube (which obviously aren’t the Ron Paul videos I found, sadly!) I’ve noticed over the years that the media is definitely keeping secrets from the people. Things we deserve to know go unmentioned, but you bet if a dog saved a man’s life who was drowning THAT video would be ALL over the news and Internet for weeks!” (via email to Business Insider)

Jonathan Turley in The Guardian (UK): “President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.

Ironically, in addition to breaking his promise not to sign the law, Obama broke his promise on signing statements and attached a statement that he really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely.”

Petitions and online protests like this one, which call for the impeachment of Obama and recall of Senators who voted in favor of NDAA, are also beginning to appear.

This should be an interesting year. If you don’t see any future articles or tweets from me, you’ll know I’ve been relocated to the Guantanamo Beach Club.

NDAA – THE FIRST STEP TO THE DEATH OF INDIVIDUAL LIBERTIES

A group of journalists and activists made a statement at a court in New York against the National Defense Authorization Act. The group has filed a lawsuit against the Obama Administration and are determined to overturn the NDAA. The bill allows the US military to legally detain suspected terrorists indefinitely and without charge or trial – that includes American citizens.  Journalists covering terror threats and interviewing terrorists also fall under the umbrella. Raha Wala, an attorney with the law and security programm at Human Rights First talks to RT’s Kristine Frazao about some legal implications of the bill.

CHRIS HEDGES CHALLENGES NDAA IN COURT

Last week the case against the National Defense Authorization Act was presented to a judge in New York. One of the plaintiffs in the case has decided to sue the Obama administration claiming that by simply doing his job he could be arrested and detained indefinitely due to the nature of his work, reporting. Chris Hedges, columnist for TruthDig, joins us to explain how his day in court went.

WITNESSES TESTIFY IN CASE AGAINST NDAA

VIRGINIA WILL NOT COOPERATE WITH NDAA DETENTION

The Tenth Amendment Center
April 20, 2012

RICHMOND, Va. – On Wednesday, the Virginia legislature overwhelmingly passed a law that forbids state agencies from cooperating with any federal attempt to exercise the indefinite detention without due process provisions written into sections 1021 and 1022 of the National Defense Authorization Act.

HB1160 “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

The legislature previously passed HB1160 and forwarded it to Gov. Bob McDonnell for his signature. Last week, the governor agreed to sign the bill with a minor amendment. On Wednesday, the House of Delegates passed the amended version of the legislation 89-7. Just hours later, the Senate concurred by a 36-1 vote.

Bill sponsor Delegate Bob Marshall (R-Manassas) says that since the legislature passed HB1150 as recommended by the governor, it does not require a signature and will become law effective July 1, 2012.

Several states recently passed resolutions condemning NDAA indefinite detention, but Virginia becomes the first state to pass a law refusing compliance with sections 1021 and 1022.

“In the 1850s, northern states felt that habeas corpus was so important that they passed laws rejecting the federal fugitive slave act. The bill passed in Massachusetts was so effective, not one single runaway slave was returned south from that state. Today, Virginia joins in this great American tradition,” Tenth Amendment Center executive director Michael Boldin said. “When the federal government passes unconstitutional so-called laws so destructive to liberty – it’s the people and the states that will stand up and say, ‘NO!’ May the other states now follow the lead taken today by Virginia.”

NDAA NULLIFICATION BECOMES LAW IN VIRGINIA. EFFECTIVE JULY 1, 2012

The Virginia legislature once again approved House Bill 1160 (HB1160), what many refer to as the NDAA Nullification Act. The support was overwhelming, again. In the House today the vote was 89-7 and the Senate concurred a few hours later, 36-1.

The bill “Prevents any agency, political subdivision, employee, or member of the military of Virginia from assisting an agency of the armed forces of the United States in the conduct of the investigation, prosecution, or detention of a United States citizen in violation of the United States Constitution, Constitution of Virginia, or any Virginia law or regulation.”

According to an inside report, bill sponsor Delegate Bob Marshall spoke twice in support of the bill on the House floor today. Delegate Barbara Comstock (a long-time Patriot Act supporter) invoked Michael Chertoff and others as high government officials opposing HB 1160. Basically, she said state legislators have no business questioning the federal government.

Marshall responded with citations to a CRS report demonstrating the vagueness of the law, and its effort to circumvent the Treason Clause. He also noted that state legislators are to be watchdogs against the Federal Government.

In the Senate today, Senator Dick Black (R-Loudoun) and Senator Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) spoke in favor before the final vote.

THE FULL STORY

HB1160 originally passed the Virginia house in February by a vote of 96-4. It went to the Senate where opponents tried to hold it over until next year, effectively killing it. The vote was a tie- and failed. In two short days, thousands of grassroots activists contacted their Senators to support the bill and the next vote, taken quickly, was a different story – 39-1.

With minor amendments, the bill needed to go back to the House for approval. A number of parliamentary maneuvers were used to stall and kill the bill. Various votes to delay (“pass by”) actual approval were held. Eventually, the House rejected the Senate amendments and the bill was sent back to the Senate for another consideration.

Again, the grassroots got on board – and activists from groups across the political spectrum called and emailed their Senators to move the bill forward. The Senate, after a few days of jousting, “receded” from their original amendment by a vote of 37-1 in March, effectively passing the original House bill from the previous month.

HB1160 then went off to the Governor’s desk. Inside sources had been telling us at the Tenth Amendment Center that Governor Bob McDonnell did not want to sign this bill. Vetoing would certainly keep him in a good place with the establishment who supports NDAA detentions, but would also be a slap in the face of a huge portion of his own state’s population, considering the massive outpouring of support from the people there.

McDonnell had until mid April to sign or veto the bill. On the very last day, after some strong behind-the-scenes work by supporters and sponsors, the Governor announced that he recommended some minor amendments – and he would support that version of HB1160.

The bill’s sponsor, Bob Marshall, released the following statement:

Over the past few weeks, Governor McDonnell has heard from a number of Virginians regarding House Bill 1160, sponsored by Delegate Bob Marshall. During the consideration of this legislation and since its passage, he has expressed both the shared concern that Virginia does not participate in the unconstitutional detention of U.S. citizens and the desire that this legislation does not impact legitimate law enforcement activities.

Preserving public safety is the foremost priority of any government. Every day, state and local law enforcement personnel work together and work with the federal government to keep Virginians safe by fighting crime, responding to emergencies, and combating terrorism. The governor believes we must encourage and promote these collaborative efforts while ensuring that core constitutional principles enjoyed by all U.S. citizens are respected. He believes these standards are expected by all Virginians and want to take appropriate steps to reaffirm that position. In the governor’s view, this legislation now accomplishes that goal.

Since the legislation’s passage, staff has worked with the patron to come up with amendments that will achieve the goal of not supporting unconstitutional detentions while preserving the ability of law enforcement and our state defense forces to carry out their responsibilities. The amendments Governor McDonnell sent down achieve those goals, and Delegate Marshall has expressed his support for them. The governor hopes the General Assembly will support them, as well.

The bill is now expected to be promptly signed by Governor McDonnell.

May the other states now follow the lead taken today by Virginia.

UPDATE – according to sponsor Bob Marshall, because the legislature passed the bill as recommended by the Governor, a signature is not required. HB1160 becomes law on July 1st.

*******

To track Liberty Preservation legislation across the U.S., click HERE.

For model legislation to present to your local government, click HERE.

For model NDAA nullification legislation at the state level, click HERE.

Michael Boldin [send him email] is the founder of the Tenth Amendment Center. He was raised in Milwaukee, WI, and currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. Follow him on twitter – @michaelboldin, on LinkedIn, and on Facebook.

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