WASHINGTON — Congress stripped a provision Tuesday from a defense bill that aimed to shield Americans from the possibility of being imprisoned indefinitely without trial by the military. The provision was replaced with a passage that appears to give citizens little protection from indefinite detention.
The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 was added by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), but there was no similar language in the version of the bill that passed the House, and it was dumped from the final bill released Tuesday after a conference committee from both chambers worked out a unified measure.
On Tuesday, the Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, a yearly military spending bill.
Last year, the bill affirmed the U.S.’s authority to hold suspected terrorists indefinitely and without charges. The provision had generated plenty of controversy, particularly about whether U.S. citizens could be detained indefinitely. This year, the Senate bill says that citizens can’t be detained in the U.S. – but concerns remain about the scope of detention powers.
We’ve taken a step back, run through the controversy, and laid out what’s new.
Just after 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, the Senate did it again. By a vote of 98-0 (two senators abstained) lawmakers in the upper chamber approved the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Not a single senator objected to the passage once again of a law that purports to permit the president, supported by nothing more substantial than his own belief that the suspect poses a threat to national security, to deploy the U.S. military to arrest an American living in America.
As The New American reported, an amendment to the 2013 version of the defense spending bill passed by the Senate clarified the right to trial of “citizens and permanent legal residents” detained under the relevant sections of the revamped measure.
The amendment, known as the Feinstein-Lee Amendment, was cosponsored by Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), and Rand Paul (R-Ky.). In an interview Tuesday with The New American, spokesmen for Lee and Paul admitted that the amendment did not go far enough in the defense of due process, but said it was a step in the right direction.
“Colored by our experience with the due process amendment to the NDAA we offered in 2012, we knew that we would have nowhere near the number of votes needed to pass an amendment that guaranteed due process for all persons detained under the NDAA,” explained Doug Stafford, chief of staff for Rand Paul.
At first glance it looked like the 2013 version National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) did more to protect Americans against indefinite detention. We and several other news organizations reported as much yesterday.But on closer examination the new NDAA actually makes it EASIER to detain citizens indefinitely.
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.
“I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…”
So begins the Oath of Enlistment for the U.S. military, but in an explosive interview with a National Guard whistleblower shown below, soldiers are now being advised they will be ordered to break that oath should civil unrest erupt across the country.
Referred to only as “Soldier X” under promise of anonymity, an Army National Guardsman spoke via phone with Infowars Nightly News Producer Rob Dew regarding a recent briefing his unit underwent on actions the military would take in the event that an Obama election loss sparked rioting in America’s streets.
The soldiers were reportedly told “Doomsday preppers will be treated as terrorists.”
In addition, guns will be confiscated.
“They have a list compiled of all these doomsday preppers that have gone public and they plan to go after them first,” Soldier X said. He claimed those in charge are acting under the belief that preppers will be “the worst part” of any potential civil unrest.
Soldier X was also told that any soldiers in the ranks who are known as preppers will be deemed “defects.” He explained the label meant these soldiers would be treated as traitors. “If you don’t conform, they will get rid of you,” he added.
Unit members also warned not to associate with any fellow soldiers who are preppers.
Wade Hicks was en route to a US Navy base in Japan to see his wife when armed military guards informed him that they had other plans. Hicks, an American citizen with no criminal record, had just been put added to a federal no-fly list.
After being escorted off his plane during a routine re-fueling stop on the Pacific Island of Oahu, Hicks, 34, was left stranded in Hawaii this week. In an interview, he suggests that his opposition to a newly-created law that allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens at military prisons without charge or trial could be to blame for his mistreatment.
“I was very, very vocal about the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) and I did contact my representative” about it, Hicks tells talk show host Doug Hagmann. “I do believe that this is tied in some way to my free speech and my political view.”
But nationally-recognized constitutional law expert Jonathan Turley (the second most cited law professor in the country, one of the top 10 lawyers handling military cases, who has served as a consultant on homeland security and constitutional issues and is a frequent witness before the House and Senate on constitutional and statutory issues, who ranked 38th in the top 100 most cited ‘public intellectuals’ in a recent study by a well-known judge) said yesterday on C-Span (starting at 15:50):
It’s even worse than coming into your house. President Obama has just stated a policy that he can have any American citizen killed without any charge, without any review, except his own. If he’s satisfied that you are a terrorist, he says that he can kill you anywhere in the world including in the United States.
Two of his aides just were just at a panel two weeks ago and they reaffirmed they believe that American citizens can be killed on the order of the President anywhere including the United States.
You’ve now got a president who says that he can kill you on his own discretion. He can jail you indefinitely on his own discretion
“An evil exists that threatens every man, woman, and child of this great nation. We must take steps to insure our domestic security and protect our homeland.” – Adolf Hitler, proposing the creation of the Gestapo in Nazi Germany
Just over a week ago, we wrote of the challenge to Obama’s NDAA totalitarian bill. Hope remained that Chris Hedges’ view of the indefinite detention as “unforgivable, unconstitutional, and exceedingly dangerous” would bolster judgment. However, as Russia Today reports, 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. On Monday, the US Justice Department asked for an emergency stay on the previous Chris Hedges’-driven 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. It would appear the total fascist takeover of Amerika is drawing nearer by the day.
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.
The Obama administration had some harsh words Friday after a federal judge appointed by Obama said the government doesn’t have a right to indefinitely detain anyone even remotely associated with terrorist groups.Judge Katherine B. Forrest permanently blocked the government from enforcing the National Defense Authorization Act, claiming it was too vague and would have a “chilling effect” on free speech.
And now the Department of Justice is calling Forrest’s ruling “unprecedented,” arguing that the government has long had the authority to detain anyone it deems a threat to the county, The Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog reported Friday.
And on Monday, the Justice Department asked the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals to put the ruling on hold, according to Law Blog.
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 White House has asked the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals to place an emergency stay on a ruling made last week by a federal judge so that the president’s power to indefinitely detain Americans without charge is reaffirmed immediately.
On Wednesday, September 12, US District Court Judge Katherine Forrest made permanent a temporary injunction she issued in May that bars the federal government from abiding by the indefinite detention provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, or NDAA. Judge Forrest ruled that a clause that gives the government the power to arrest US citizens suspected of maintaining alliances with terrorists and hold them without due process violated the Constitution and that the White House would be stripped of that ability immediately.
Only hours after Judge Forrest issued last week’s ruling, the Obama administration threatened to appeal the decision, and on Monday morning they followed through.
At around 9 a.m. Monday, September 17, the White House filed an emergency stay in federal appeals court in an effort to have the Second Circuit strip away Judge Forrest’s ruling from the week earlier.
“Almost immediately after Judge Forrest ruled, the Obama administration challenged the decision,” writes Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist that is listed as the lead plaintiff in the case. According to Hedges, the government called Judge Forrest’s most recent ruling an “extraordinary injunction of worldwide scope,” and Executive Branch attorneys worked into the weekend to find a way to file their stay.
“The Justice Department sent a letter to Forrest and the Second Circuit late Friday night informing them that at 9 a.m. Monday the Obama administration would ask the Second Circuit for an emergency stay that would lift Forrest’s injunction,” Hedges writes. “This would allow Obama to continue to operate with indefinite detention authority until a formal appeal was heard. The government’s decision has triggered a constitutional showdown between the president and the judiciary.”
Attorney Carl Mayer, a counsel for Hedges and his co-plaintiffs, confirmed to RT early Monday that the stay was in fact filed with the Second Circuit.
“This may be the most significant constitutional standoff since the Pentagon Papers case,” Carl Mayer says in a separate statement posted on Mr. Hedge’s blog.
Rand Paul just endorsed a man who is deeply hostile to human liberty.
Perhaps that’s Rand’s idea of playing politics? Come to the table, strike a deal, get what you can. Trouble is, it’s tough striking a good deal when the guy on the other side of the table believes that the government should be allowed to claim — without having to produce any evidence whatsoever — that certain people are terrorists, and therefore should be detained indefinitely without any kind of due process.
That’s textbook tyranny.
Yes, I would have [signed the NDAA]. And I do believe that it is appropriate to have in our nation the capacity to detain people who are threats to this country, who are members of al Qaeda. Look, you have every right in this country to protest and to express your views on a wide range of issues but you don’t have a right to join a group that has killed Americans, and has declared war against America. That’s treason. In this country we have a right to take those people and put them in jail. If I were president I would not abuse this power. But people who join al Qaeda are not entitled to rights of due process under our normal legal code. They are entitled instead to be treated as enemy combatants.Mitt Romney
Except, if the government had any evidence they were really members of al-Qaeda and engaged in a war against America they could be charged with offenses under current laws and tried in front of a jury of their peers. As was proven when Judge Katherine Forrest struck down the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA as unconstitutional, the real detention targets are people like the ones who brought the case — writers, investigative journalist and whistleblowers: people like Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, Daniel Ellsberg, Jennifer Bolen, and Birgitta Jonsdottir.
As the sovereign debt crisis in Europe dominates media coverage of both financial and main street news, Washington’s deliberate cover up of a far more serious threat to the global economy stemming from the continuing crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant (beginning on Mar. 11, 2011) is now seeping out more rapidly from sources outside the captured and complicit mainstream news outlets.“You can’t stop the truth from leaking out about Fukushima, and [President] Obama actually came out with a statement at the start of this disaster and said that their nuclear experts did not feel that harmful levels of radiation would reach our shores,” Nuked Radio host Christina Consolo told TruNews.
Due to increasing reports of nuclear contamination found in pollen across the U.S. West Coast, babies with elevated becquerel levels of nearly 10 times normal (presumably from mother’s milk), and a statistically unusual number of children with flu-like symptoms who won’t respond to conventional medical protocol, the truth about Fukushima could easily break out into a national panic significant enough to trigger an economic collapse of the U.S. economy and dollar, according to Consolo.
That’s “what we found from Freedom of Information Act requests . . . transmissions between the U.S. government, the Chinese, the Russians and the Japanese from the beginning of the disaster until now, and that includes NRC (National Regulatory Commission) transcripts of phone calls,” Consolo explained.
“They were well aware of high the levels were, and that they were coming over here,” she added. “In fact, infants in California were exposed to 40,000 becquerels (symbol Bq: the human body has 4,400 Bq, on average, from decaying potassium) of iodine 131—that causes thyroid cancer—from Mar. 17 to the beginning of April.”
In a rare display of constitutional patriotism by a government authority, an Obama-appointed federal judge has put an indefinite block on the egregious National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). According to Bloomberg, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest of Manhattan, N.Y., ruled in favor of plaintiffs who earlier had sued the Obama administration over the bill’s unconstitutional arrest and detainment provisions, which provide no protection for American citizens.
The loosely-worded Section 1021 of the bill cunningly grants the president unrestrained authority to use military force in detaining practically anyone for any suspected “terrorist-related” activity, without warrant and without a trial (http://www.naturalnews.com). This section, which was the primary focus of the lawsuit, admittedly provides no protection for American citizens, and is patently unconstitutional no matter how you look at it.
“The statute at issue places the public at undue risk of having their speech chilled for the purported protection from al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and ‘associated forces’ — i.e., ‘foreign terrorist organizations,” said Forrest in her opinion. “The vagueness of Section 1021 does not allow the average citizen, or even the government itself, to understand with the type of definiteness to which our citizens are entitled, or what conduct comes within its scope.”
The House on Friday passed a defense bill that adds $8 billion for the military next year and approves indefinite detention for terror suspects, even if they are American citizens captured on U.S. soil.
Before voting on the overall bill, the House rejected an amendment by Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash), and Justin Amash (R-Mich) that would have barred indefinite detention and rolled back the mandatory military custody ratified in last year’s National Defense Authorization Act. The vote was 238-182.
“The frightening thing here is that the government is claiming the power under the Afghanistan authorization for use of military force as a justification for entering American homes to grab people, indefinitely detain them and not give them a charge or trial,” Amash said during House debate.
The $642 billion defense bill, passed in a 299-120 vote, completely abandons the deficit-cutting agreement that President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans backed last summer. Essentially, Congress mandated action on cutting spending by force of law, and then ignored their own legislative mandates. A more illustrative example of lawlessness is hard to find.
Instead of doing the budget cutting that hawks have objected to for months, the House voted to increase defense spending by $8 billion next fiscal year.
As far back as I can remember, the overarching message of the American social atmosphere has been one of idolization. Oh to one day join the ranks of the “professional class”; that 5% to 10% of our culture which enjoys unparalleled respect and an assumed position of knowledge, so much so that they are rarely even required to qualify themselves to anyone besides their own compatriots. The goal of every person I knew during my formative years with a desire to succeed was to one day hold in their hands an official looking embossed document announcing their ascension to the ranks of the intellectually anointed. I was never so keen on the idea…
That’s right. The plan in the House of Representatives seems to be to try to fool Americans into thinking that they are fixing the indefinite detention problems with the NDAA and the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, when in fact, they are doing nothing good.
Don’t be fooled!
Here’s how they hope their trick will work. H.R. 4388, which was sneakily mistitled as the “Right to Habeas Corpus Act,” states that no one in the United States will lose their habeas rights under the NDAA. That might sound like something good, but it’s meaningless.
The question with the NDAA was never whether habeas rights are lost. Instead, the question is whether and when any president can order the military to imprison a person without charge or trial. The NDAA did not take away habeas rights from anyone, but it did codify a dangerous indefinite detention without charge or trial scheme. And nothing in the proposed bill by Rigell would change it. The Rigell bill won’t stop any president from ordering the military lockup of civilians without charge or trial.
And there’s more. Not only is it a useless bill, but it could end up causing harm too. It doesn’t accurately and fully list who is entitled to habeas (for example, it doesn’t even mention American citizens traveling outside the country), which could end up causing confusion.
They are hoping you will fall for their trick and waste all your time and energy on something meaningless — and not fight for legislation that actually protects people from indefinite detention without charge or trial.
They are hoping you will ignore the bills that actually are first steps towards fixing the NDAA. Congressman Adam Smith and Sen. Mark Udall introduced H.R. 4192/S. 2175, which codifies a ban on the military imprisoning civilians without charge or trial or trying persons before military commissions within the United States, as well as repeals section 1022 of last year’s NDAA. Also, Congressman Ron Paul has sponsored H.R. 3785, which repeals section 1021 of the NDAA. Both are meaningful first steps towards fixing a problem.
Supporters of last year’s NDAA indefinite detention provisions hope you will fall for their trick. They want you to spend your time pushing for the Rigell bill, instead of working on something meaningful. For more information about our opposition to the bill, you can read the letter that we sent to congressional offices earlier this week. Retweet our tweet to Rigell to tell him to stop playing games with indefinite detention without charge or trial.
“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have” – Thomas Jefferson
Something odd and not quite as planned happened as America grew from its “City on a Hill” origins, on its way to becoming the world’s superpower: government grew. A lot. In fact, the government, which by definition does not create any wealth but merely reallocates it based on the whims of a select few, has transformed from a virtually invisible bystander in the economy, to the largest single employer, and a spending behemoth whose annual cash needs alone are nearly $4 trillion a year, and where tax revenues no longer cover even half the outflows. One can debate why this happened until one is blue in the face: the allures of encroaching central planning, the law of large numbers, and the corollary of corruption, inefficiency and greed, cheap credit, the transition to a welfare nanny state as America’s population grew older, sicker and lazier, you name it. The reality is that the reasons for government’s growth do not matter as much as realizing where we are, and deciding what has to be done: will America’s central planners be afforded ever more power to decide the fates of not only America’s population, but that of the world, or will the people reclaim the ideals that the founders of this once great country had when they set off on an experiment, which is now failing with every passing year?
As the following video created by New America Now, using content by Brandon Smith whose work has been featured extensively on the pages of Zero Hedge, notes, “we tend to view government as an inevitability of life, but the fact is government is not a force of nature. It is an imperfect creation of man and it can be dismantled by man just as easily as it can be established.” Unfortunately, the realization that absolute power corrupts absolutely, and absolute central planning leads to epic catastrophes without fail, seems a long way away: most seem content with their lot in life, with lies that their welfare money is safe, even as the future is plundered with greater fury and aggression every passing year, until one day the ability to transfer wealth (benefiting primarily the uber rich, to the detriment of the middle class which is pillaged on an hourly basis), from the future to the present is gone, manifesting in either a failed bond auction or hyperinflation. The timing or shape of the transition itself is irrelevant, what is certain is that America is now on collision course with certain collapse unless something changes. And one of the things that has to change for hope in the great American dream to be restored, is the role, composition and motivations of government, all of which have mutated to far beyond what anyone envisioned back in 1776. Because America is now saddled with a Government Out Of Control.
Watch the two clips below to understand just how and why we have gotten to where we are. Also watch it to, as rhetorically asked by the narrator, prompt us to question whether the government we now have is still useful to us and what kind of powers it should be allowed to wield.
If Nostradamus were alive today, he’d have a hard time keeping up with Gerald Celente. – New York Post
When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente. – CNN Headline News
There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.
Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute. – The Wall Street Journal
A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties. – The Economist
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