Drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and John McCain (R-AZ) then passed in a closed-door meeting, the National Defense Authorization Act (S.1867) would "permit the federal government to indefinitely detain American citizens on American soil, without charge or trial, at the discretion of the President."
The "War on Terror" has officially come home. Welcome to "Battlefield America."
Senators Demand the Military Lock Up of American Citizens in a "Battlefield" They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window
While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself.
Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a "battlefield" and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.
The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night's Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.
In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will "basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield" and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial "American citizen or not." Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because "America is part of the battlefield."
The great (and successful) experiment in liberty is officially over. America is dead.
The Senate rejected an amendment to the bill sponsored by Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO) yesterday, that would have removed the language authorizing indefinite military detention of American citizens here in their own backyard.
[T]he Senate rejected an amendment to the 2012 defense authorization bill that would have removed a controversial provision authorizing indefinite military detention of terrorism suspects. Meanwhile, some conservatives are claiming there is no cause for alarm, a position to which National Journal lends credence by saying the provision "wouldn't apply to American citizens." Not so, says Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.), who calls it "one of the most anti-liberty pieces of legislation of our lifetime":
Although the bill says "the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States," Amash said the language is "carefully crafted to mislead the public."
"Note that it does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary," he wrote.
Comments by supporters of the bill confirm that it applies to people arrested on U.S. soil, including American citizens ... Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who sponsored the unsuccessful amendment aimed at removing the detention language from the bill, warns:
The provisions would require the military to dedicate a significant number of personnel to capturing and holding terrorism suspects — in some cases indefinitely — even those apprehended on U.S. soil. And they authorize the military to do so regardless of an accused terrorist's citizenship, even if he or she is an American captured in a U.S. city.
Last May the House approved its version of the defense authorization bill, which includes language defining the entire world as the battlefield in the war against Al Qaeda and requiring military detention of "foreign terrorists." President Obama has threatened to veto the bill if the final version includes restrictions on his discretion to treat terrorism suspects either as criminal defendants or as prisoners of war.
Republican Sens. Rand Paul (Ky.) and John McCain (Ariz.) battled on the Senate floor Tuesday over a proposed amendment to the pending defense authorization bill that could allow American citizens who are suspected of terrorism to be denied a civilian trial.
Paul argued the amendment, which is cosponsored by McCain, "puts every single American citizen at risk" and suggested that if the amendment passes, "the terrorists have won."
"Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism, well then the terrorists have won," Paul argued, "[D]etaining American citizens without a court trial is not American."
But McCain ended the conversation by suggesting the junior senator from Kentucky did not understand the gravity of the danger the U.S. faces from terrorism.
"An individual, no matter who they are, if they pose a threat to the security of the United States of America, should not be allowed to continue that threat," said McCain. "We need to take every stop necessary to prevent that from happening, that's for the safety and security of the men and women who are out there risking their lives ... in our armed services."
Yeah, that's it McCain. Wrap your fascism in flag.
What Authoritarians like McCain, Levin, Graham and the rest of their ilk could care less about is, the fact that 9/11 was neither a failure of law, nor a consequence of limited government. Not to mention that military detainment of American citizens in their own backyard is unconstitutional, and sets an incredibly dangerous precedent.
What the Washington Authoritarians want is, more power and control ... and they'll stomp all over your rights to get it.
The modern police state not only spits on everything the American revolutionaries fought for, but as noted by professor of international relations at Boston University and Vice Chairman of the U.S. Army War College Board of Visitors, Angelo M. Codevilla, it's the very definition of defeat.
Common sense does not mistake the difference between victory and defeat: the losers weep and cower, while the winners strut and rejoice. The losers have to change their ways, the winners feel more secure than ever in theirs. On September 12, retiring Texas Senator Phil Gramm encapsulated this common sense: "I don't want to change the way I live. I want to change the way they live." Common sense says that victory means living without worry that some foreigners might kill us on behalf of their causes, but also without having to bow to domestic bureaucrats and cops, especially useless ones. It means not changing the tradition by which the government of the United States treats citizens as its masters rather than as potential enemies.
The flood of authoritative commentary flowing from the U.S. government and the media soon washed common sense out of America's discourse. The conventional wisdom is foursquare in favor of the "War on Terrorism." But it defines that war in terms of an endless series of ever more sophisticated security measures at home ... Notably, this flood averts attention from the fact that sowing terror in order to get America to tie itself in rancorous knots is the principal element of several governments' foreign policy. It also discourages questioning the competence of the U.S. officials under whose guidance, in a single decade, America became the object in much of the world of a fateful combination of hatred and contempt.
[T]he attitudes and policies of the U.S. government ... are defeat itself.
[S]ecurity measures will not make us safe, and accustoming ourselves to them is our contribution to defeat.
The Obama administration has already threatened to veto The National Defense Authorization Act (S.1867) , but not over it's unconstitutional provisions. President Obama simply thinks the Executive branch should have to power all to itself.
President Obama has said he will veto the legislation, but only because he wants the power for himself, as opposed to Congress.
"Any bill that challenges or constrains the president's critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists and protect the nation would prompt the president's senior advisers to recommend a veto," the White House said in a statement.
National executive director of the Japanese American Citizens League, S. Floyd Mori, says the legislation creates the legal framework for internment without trial ... just like the concentration camps that imprisoned Japanese-Americans during World War II (FEMA Camps?).
The oldest generation of Japanese-Americans, those whose earliest memories were of their lives and families being upended by internment without charge or trial in concentration camps during World War II, at least take comfort in the hope that America is now committed to never inflicting that experience on any other group of Americans or immigrants. But our trust in that commitment is being shaken by a bill poised to go to the Senate floor that could once again authorize indefinite detention without charge of American citizens and others now living peacefully in our country.
We have reason to believe in the commitment of Americans to say never again to indefinite detention. In 1988, the Civil Liberties Act officially declared that the Japanese-American internment had been a "grave injustice" that had been "carried out without adequate security reasons." In other words, the indefinite detention of Japanese-Americans during World War II was not only wrong, but unnecessary.
A bill on the Senate floor raises the question of whether the Senate has forgotten our history. S. 1253, the National Defense Authorization Act, has a provision in it, unfortunately drafted by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and John McCain, R-Ariz., that would let any U.S. president use the military to arrest and imprison without charge or trial anyone suspected of having any relationship with a terrorist organization.
The troubling provision, Section 1031, would let the military lock up both Americans and noncitizens in the 50 states. There would be no charges, no trial, no proof beyond a reasonable doubt. All that would be required would be suspicion.
Although the details of the indefinite detentions of Japanese-Americans during World War II and the proposed indefinite detentions of terrorism suspects may differ, the principle remains the same: Indefinite detentions based on fear-driven and unlawfully substantiated national security grounds, where individuals are neither duly charged nor fairly tried, violate the essence of U.S. law and the most fundamental values upon which this country was built.
I disagree with Mr. Mori on this one point: The Washington Authoritarians haven't forgotten at all. To the contrary, like crack-addicts in need of another fix, they fiendishly seek more and more power. Unfortunately, our sheepish electorate acts as willing enablers.
Following an ACLU alert on the legislation, some pointed out that the text of the bill actually exempts Americans from being detained under the new "homeland battlefield" designation under the proviso that "the requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States."
However, as Republican Congressman Justin Amash told the The Grand Rapids Press today, the language of the bill is "carefully crafted to mislead the public."
"Note that it does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary," Amash wrote on his Facebook page.
The controversy over whether or not the text of the bill suggests the legislation applies to U.S. citizens is largely inconsequential given the fact that every piece of anti-terror legislation passed since 9/11 has been used against Americans, both at home and abroad.
Indeed, national intelligence director Dennis Blair openly stated last year that, "Being a U.S. citizen will not spare an American from getting assassinated by military or intelligence operatives."
As far back as December 2002, the Washington Post reported that a "parallel legal system" had been put in place under the auspices of the war on terror, in which terrorism suspects — U.S. citizens and noncitizens alike — may be investigated, jailed, interrogated, tried and punished without legal protections guaranteed by the ordinary system."
The "battlefield" provision of the NDAA is nothing new, it is merely an updating of existing policy that has been applied to American citizens on numerous occasions over the last decade.
The difference is that the danger of American citizens being detained without trial as terrorists on frivolous pretexts is an even greater danger now given that the Department of Homeland Security has characterized behavior such as buying gold, owning guns, using a watch or binoculars, donating to charity, using the telephone or email to find information, using cash, and all manner of mundane behaviors as potential indicators of domestic terrorism.
The Washington, DC Elites hate your freedom.
Combine the recent efforts by John McCain to create a police state with the revelations of Paulson's corruption (crony capitalism) and you can only conclude that worse is coming. How much worse? To me, it's a sure sign that the US is rapidly becoming a hollow state ... the end game for modern nation-states. What's a hollow state?
The hollow state has the trappings of a modern nation-state ("leaders", membership in international organizations, regulations, laws, and a bureaucracy) but it lacks any of the legitimacy, services, and control of its historical counter-part. It is merely a shell of a state that serves as a legal conduit and enforcement mechanisms for global financial interests to loot what's left of the state's economy. Corruption and violence are its only traits.
And for the icing on the "Battlefield America" cake ...
Last night, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared: "I have my own army in the NYPD, which is the seventh biggest army in the world."
Goodbye freedom, and thanks for all the fish.