[ Updated 1-19-2012 ]
Mr. O’s X on the NDAA is Final Nail in Civil Rights Coffin
So much for the efficacy of preemptive Nobel Peace Prizes.
On the eve of 2012 New Years Day – with shockingly little media or public outrage – Peace Prize Laureate Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizing the U.S. military’s kidnapping and indefinite detention without trial of anybody anywhere in the world…including U.S. citizens.
Though he issued a ‘signing statement’ stating his intention to exempt U.S. citizens, future presidents – like, say, any of the knaves, frauds and crazies on the current GOP campaign trail – will not be bound by it.
‘Yes I Can’ Means ‘No You Can’t’
Mr. Obama’s tenure in the Oval Office has turned his campaign slogan ‘Yes We Can!’ – which his strategists cynically stole from the United Farm Workers’ historic ‘Si Se Puede!’ – inside out and upside down.
‘Yes’ to unlimited banker bailouts. ‘Yes’ to no prosecutions for past war crimes, domestic spying, torture or massive financial frauds.
‘Yes’ to keeping Guantanamo open. ‘Yes’ to massive family-shattering immigrant deportations (exceeding GWB’s record). ‘Yes’ to the permanent war economy. ‘Yes’ to escalating drone strikes on wedding parties and funerals worldwide. ‘Yes’ to a ‘nuclear renaissance’ with federal loan guarantees and the cover-up of Fukushima’s radioactive fallout in the U.S.. ‘Yes’ to bombing Libya. ‘Yes’ (as the first African-American president) to the continuing deployment of the U.S. Africa Command -also known as AFRICOM – to secure for American corporations access to the continent’s remaining resources. ‘Yes’ to saber rattling targeting China and Iran. The list goes on and on. Pick your own slate of favorites.
And now, ‘Yes’ to universal abduction, extraordinary rendition and ‘disappearance’ authority for the U.S. military over all residents of Planet Earth. The final assertion of Full Spectrum Dominance and Global Hegemony. Feel more free and secure now?
If you want to get a sense of what this kind of policy already means for African American residents of Harlem, see Stop-and-Frisk As a Weapon of Gentrification, a radio commentary by Glen Ford at Black Agenda Reports.
“There is ample anecdotal evidence that the relentless pressures of stop-and-frisk have substantially contributed to the mass exile of Blacks from New York.”
ICE raids and massive Hispanic immigrant deportations under Obama are another sobering example.
In this blog edition…
This edition offers links that explore these issues and ends with a video clip of third party presidential candidate Rocky Anderson.
The following comment seems to set the appropriate analytical tone:
The GOP is pleased that Romney is willing to take one for the team and go up against the first politician to amass a billion dollar campaign war chest. Romney will help Obama win another term, assuring that the GOP gets more regressive legislation passed than any GOP president could ever hope to. The added bonus is that the GOP won’t take the heat from the voters, thereby keeping control of both houses of Congress during Obama’s second term. This will in turn give Obama cover to push even more regressive legislation through. No political machine in the history of humankind has ever worked so efficiently to transfer wealth from the 99% to the 1%. As Warren Buffet observed, “my side is winning the class war”. By the time Obama’s second inaugural is held one year from tomorrow you can bet your last nickle that the class war will have been won by the 1%.
Posted by raydelcamino
Jan 19 2012 – 4:51pm as a comment on
Romney Loses his Cool with Occupier ‘America’s Right and You’re Wrong’
Chris Hedges Sues Obama Admin Over Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens Approved in NDAA
www.democracynow.org – Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges has filed suit against President Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the National Defense Authorization Act, which includes controversial provisions authorizing the military to jail anyone it considers a terrorism suspect anywhere in the world, without charge or trial. Sections of the bill are written so broadly that critics say they could encompass journalists who report on terror-related issues, such as Hedges, for supporting enemy forces. “It is clearly unconstitutional,” Hedges says of the bill. “It is a huge and egregious assault against our democracy. It overturns over 200 years of law, which has kept the military out of domestic policing.”
2012’s Civil Liberties Apocalypse Has Already Happened
by Harvey Wasserman and Bob Fitrakis – Common Dreams
In case you missed it, President Barack Obama has signed a death knell for the Bill of Rights. It’s a hell of a way to begin a year many believe will mark the end of the world.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) makes a mockery of our basic civil liberties. It shreds the intent of the Founders to establish a nation where essential rights are protected. It puts us all at risk for arbitrary, indefinite incarceration with no real rights to recourse.
The Act authorizes a $626 billion dollar defense budget (which does not include the CIA, special ops, various black box items, etc). Obama’s signing statement says it does address counterterrorism at home and abroad as well as Defense Department modernization, health care costs and more.
But it also includes Sections 1021 and 1022, bitterly opposed by the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch, among many others. The New York Times urged Obama to veto the bill because of them. The UK-based Guardian said NDAA 2012 allows allows for indefinite detention of US citizens “without trial [of] American terrorism subjects arrested on U.S. soil, who could then be shipped to Guantanamo Bay.” The Kansas City Star was equally blunt, stating that the NDAA is “trampling the bill of rights in defense’s name.”
Section 1021 reasserts the President’s authority to use the military to detain 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.” It also includes the military’s power to detain anyone who commits a “belligerent act” against the U.S. or its coalition allies under the law of war. Despite widespread public pressure, Obama did not veto the bill. In his signing statement he said: “I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation and prosecution of suspected terrorists.” Read more
Why I’m Suing Barack Obama
by Chris Hedges – TruthDig.org
Attorneys Carl J. Mayer and Bruce I. Afran filed a complaint Friday in the Southern U.S. District Court in New York City on my behalf as a plaintiff against Barack Obama and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta to challenge the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force as embedded in the latest version of the National Defense Authorization Act, signed by the president Dec. 31.
The act authorizes the military in Title X, Subtitle D, entitled “Counter-Terrorism,” for the first time in more than 200 years, to carry out domestic policing. With this bill, which will take effect March 3, the military can indefinitely detain without trial any U.S. citizen deemed to be a terrorist or an accessory to terrorism. And suspects can be shipped by the military to our offshore penal colony in Guantanamo Bay and kept there until “the end of hostilities.” It is a catastrophic blow to civil liberties. Read more.
10 Reasons the US is No Longer the Land of the Free
by Jonathan Turley
Every year, the State Department issues reports on individual rights in other countries, monitoring the passage of restrictive laws and regulations around the world. Iran, for example, has been criticized for denying fair public trials and limiting privacy, while Russia has been taken to task for undermining due process. Other countries have been condemned for the use of secret evidence and torture.
Even as we pass judgment on countries we consider unfree, Americans remain confident that any definition of a free nation must include their own — the land of free. Yet, the laws and practices of the land should shake that confidence. In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, this country has comprehensively reduced civil liberties in the name of an expanded security state. The most recent example of this was the National Defense Authorization Act, signed Dec. 31, which allows for the indefinite detention of citizens. At what point does the reduction of individual rights in our country change how we define ourselves?
Does US Senate Commit Treason with NDAA Bill?
January 1, 2012 5:45 am
by Jeanine Molloff – UK Progressive
December 1st, 2011, the US Senate accomplished the unthinkable–with the nearly unanimous passage of the National Defense Authorization Bill of 2012–they committed treason. Written and planned in secret by the Senate Armed Services Committee, the newly minted NDAA contains three sections which collectively sanctions indefinite detention of alleged terrorists or ‘terrorist sympathizers’–anywhere in the world including the US– and designates the military the duty to arrest, imprison and interrogate without benefit of counsel,’ accused civilians here on Main Street. Ironically, the abuse of civilian Iraqis by our military and by military contractors is coming to a locale near you. Theoretically, armed squads of US soldiers might be knocking on your door in the dead of night to take away Auntie Mame for her alleged ‘terrorist’ activities—at the ACLU. This bill potentially allows for the blatant political prosecutions of any dissenter using the military as a bully club to instill deep fear in any who dare to question our government’s motives.
No proof of wrongdoing is required and those accused are denied the due process right of trial by their peers, or the services of an attorney– and are subsequently relegated to the ‘military commissions justice system.’ As a result–the accused are reduced to the status of ‘unlawful enemy combatant,’ and are subject to the following actions: ‘extraordinary rendition’, ‘enhanced interrogation’ procedures, ‘indefinite detention to possibly a life sentence, and ‘presidential assigned extermination of target’ . These powers are then ‘given’ to the President to use at will, fully codified in law,while requiring in reality no proof other than presidential whim.
It is at this juncture that I find the timing of this bill suspicious–coinciding with the exponential growth of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, the recent implosion of both EU and US economies, the emerging body of proof documenting Wall Street’s enormous crimes, and the Super Committee threat to cut military funding. It almost looks like the robber barons of Wall Street ‘circling the wagons’ in a fit of legislative revenge against the rabble, namely you and I.
Obama pledges to exempt Americans from indefinite detention law
By Stephen C. Webster
Saturday, December 31, 2011
…The provision was just one part of a massive $662 billion defense spending authorization that funds the military, penalizes Iran’s central bank and freezes military aid to Pakistan, among other things.
The president’s opponents in Congress, including some Democrats, attached the indefinite detention provision to force the administration to either accept a much heavier load of terrorism suspects, many who would be heading to the Guantanamo Bay military prison, or veto the bill and stand accused of opposing funds for the troops.
President Obama issued a veto threat after a provision was added that required all terrorism suspects be automatically rendered into military custody — a fundamental change to the criminal justice system that members of the administration warned could stymie other agencies or put investigations at risk.
Obama agreed to sign it after language was left in the bill that allows the administration to dedicate terror prisoners to civilian courts instead of military custody. In its final form, the bill stipulates that all terrorism suspects are to be handled by the military unless the administration decides otherwise and explains its reasoning to Congress.
Obama Prepares to Authorize Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens for First Time Since McCarthy Era–Glenn Greenwald on NDAA
President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law – ACLU
December 31, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON – President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) into law today. The statute contains a sweeping worldwide indefinite detention provision. While President Obama issued a signing statement saying he had “serious reservations” about the provisions, the statement only applies to how his administration would use the authorities granted by the NDAA, and would not affect how the law is interpreted by subsequent administrations. The White House had threatened to veto an earlier version of the NDAA, but reversed course shortly before Congress voted on the final bill.
“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony D. Romero, ACLU executive director. “The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield. The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress, or internationally.”
Under the Bush administration, similar claims of worldwide detention authority were used to hold even a U.S. citizen detained on U.S. soil in military custody, and many in Congress now assert that the NDAA should be used in the same way again. The ACLU believes that any military detention of American citizens or others within the United States is unconstitutional and illegal, including under the NDAA. In addition, the breadth of the NDAA’s detention authority violates international law because it is not limited to people captured in the context of an actual armed conflict as required by the laws of war.
Published on Sunday, January 1, 2012 by CommonDreams.org
The Delusional Assumptions of Capitalism
by Doug Harvey
One of the more delusional aspects of capitalism is the idea that if one pursues the acquisition of private wealth with abandon, that this is somehow automatically “good” for human society.
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