11 Articles On Indefinite Detention | U.S. Government Now Asserts More Power Than Hitler or Stalin | George Bush and Obama have given themselves the arbitrary, unchallengeable power to declare anyone on earth — including American citizens — an “enemy of the state” and incarcerate them, indefinitely, outside of due process, in military custody.

11 Articles On Indefinite Detention

___________

 

CHRIS FLOYD
Empire Burlesque
December 5, 2011

Now what’s that little baby doing
Dressing up in banker’s clothes?

– Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings

Many people have commented on the Congressional vote to codify the authoritarian powers asserted by George W. Bush and Barack Obama, i.e., the arbitrary, unchallengeable power to declare anyone on earth — including American citizens — an “enemy of the state” and incarcerate them, indefinitely, outside of due process, in military custody.

There is, at this writing, an outside chance that Barack Obama might possibly veto this “enabling decree” — but only on the grounds that to accept Congressional approval of these tyrannical powers might encroach upon the presidential autocrat’s authority to do whatever he or she damn well pleases to anyone he or she wants to destroy. But in any case and every case, the bipartisan political ruling class is united in its steadfast determination to eliminate any last vestige of constitutional liberty or rule of law in the United States.

And whatever the outcome of this particular bill, the reality will remain the same: the President of the United States will continue to claim — and exercise — absolute arbitrary power over the life and liberty of every person on earth. As we’ve said here before, not even Adolf Hitler or Josef Stalin at their most megalomaniacal ever dreamed of asserting the kind of universal power now asserted by American presidents and the lickspittlish lackeys in the United States Congress.

There is, alas, no “news” in this. I wrote my first “If the Republic Had Not Died a Long Time Ago”piece several years ago. And Arthur Silber was one of the first (and one of the very few) to point out that the election of then-candidate Barack Obama would only bring  the retrenchment, expansion — and codification — of George W. Bush’s worst constitutional depredations. So it has proven, over and over and over.

But as the Congressional vote shows, one shouldn’t fetishize Obama (or Bush, as I was often guilty of doing in the past) as some kind of unique locus for the authoritarianism that is now, beyond all doubt, the essence and practice of the “American way” in the modern world. Both Bush and now Obama have, in many ways, only exemplified and made manifest the zeitgeist of the ruling elite. This is what they believe: the Constitution is a dead letter. The Republic is a dead letter. Might makes right. Mammon is God. Liberty is inconvenient. And any human being who does not belong to the elite or serve it with dog-like devotion is a piece of shit who can be abused, neglected, discarded or eliminated without the slightest shame or consequence. This is the mindset of our elites and their servitors.

But I want to say one further thing. Every one of these elites, every one of these bowing, scraping, enabling courtiers, is also a individual human being, born with the same inestimable worth and capacity for the same astonishing feats of love and comity that all individuals have in potentia. But they have given themselves over to systems and mindsets that are implacably inhuman. They are all in the process of self-murdering their own souls. It’s a horrible, sickening sight. And although I condemn their crimes and tainted minds with all the fury and outrage and scorn they deserve, I take no pleasure in this rage. I am heartsick, truly, at every soul lost to the machines — the War Machine, the Money Machine, the Power Machine — that rule our world.

___________

Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial

By Spencer Ackerman December 1, 2011 Wired.com/dangerroom

Here’s the best thing that can be said about the new detention powers the Senate has tucked into next year’s defense bill: They don’t force the military to detain American citizens indefinitely without a trial. They just let the military do that. And even though the leaders of the military and the spy community have said they want no such power, the Senate is poised to pass its bill as early as tonight. There are still changes swirling around the Senate, but this looks like the basic shape of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act. Someone the government says is “a member of, or part of, al-Qaida or an associated force” can be held in military custody “without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.” Those hostilities are currently scheduled to end the Wednesday after never. The move would shut down criminal trials for terror suspects. But far more dramatically, the detention mandate to use indefinite military detention in terrorism cases isn’t limited to foreigners. It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”

___________

Are Americans in Line for Gitmo?

December 3, 2011 By Ray McGovern Consortiumnews.com

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. 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 Alex Jones Channel

December 5, 2011

The impact of the Senate declaring war on Americans via the recent passage of S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act, and its utterly destructive attitude towards the Constitution and Bill of Rights remains key.

___________

Misreading the Fight over Military Detention: The Obama Regime Has No Constitutional Scruples

The amendment permits indefinite detention of US citizens by the US military

Paul Craig Roberts
Prisonplanet.com
December 5, 2011

During an interview with RT on December 1, I said that the US Constitution had been shredded by the failure of the US Senate to protect American citizens from the detainee amendment sponsored by Republican John McCain and Democrat Carl Levin to the Defense Authorization Bill.

The amendment permits indefinite detention of US citizens by the US military. I also gave my opinion that the fact that all but two Republican members of the Senate had voted to strip American citizens of their constitutional protections and of the protection of the Posse Comitatus Act indicated that the Republican Party had degenerated into a Gestapo Party.

These conclusions are self-evident, and I stand by them.

However, I jumped to conclusions when I implied that the Obama regime opposes military detention on constitutional grounds.

Ray McGovern and Glenn Greenwald might have jumped to the same conclusions.

An article by Dahlia Lithwick in Slate reported that the entire Obama regime opposed the military detention provision in the McCain/Levin amendment. Lithwick wrote: “The secretary of defense, the director of national intelligence, the director of the FBI, the CIA director, and the head of the Justice Department’s national security division have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the bill are a bad idea. And the White House continues to say that the president will veto the bill if the detainee provisions are not removed.”

I checked the URLs that Lithwick supplied. It is clear that the Obama regime objects to military detention, and I mistook this objection for constitutional scruples.

However, on further reflection I conclude that the Obama regime’s objection to military detention is not rooted in concern for the constitutional rights of American citizens. The regime objects to military detention because the implication of military detention is that detainees are prisoners of war. As Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin put it: Should somebody determined “to be a member of an enemy force who has come to this nation or is in this nation to attack us as a member of a foreign enemy, should that person be treated according to the laws of war? The answer is yes.”

Detainees treated according to the laws of war have the protections of the Geneva Conventions. They cannot be tortured. The Obama regime opposes military detention, because detainees would have some rights. These rights would interfere with the regime’s ability to send detainees to CIA torture prisons overseas. This is what the Obama regime means when it says that the requirement of military detention denies the regime “flexibility.”

The Bush/Obama regimes have evaded the Geneva Conventions by declaring that detainees are not POWs, but “enemy combatants,” “terrorists,” or some other designation that removes all accountability from the US government for their treatment.

By requiring military detention of the captured, Congress is undoing all the maneuvering that two regimes have accomplished in removing POW status from detainees.

A careful reading of the Obama regime’s objections to military detention supports this conclusion.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saps1867s_20111117.pdf

The November 17 letter to the Senate from the Executive Office of the President says that the Obama regime does not want the authority it has under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Public Law 107-40, to be codified. Codification is risky, the regime says. “After a decade of settled jurisprudence on detention authority, Congress must be careful not to open a whole new series of legal questions that will distract from our efforts to protect the country.”

In other words, the regime is saying that under AUMF the executive branch has total discretion as to who it detains and how it treats detainees. Moreover, as the executive branch has total discretion, no one can find out what the executive branch is doing, who detainees are, or what is being done to them. Codification brings accountability, and the executive branch does not want accountability.

Those who see hope in Obama’s threatened veto have jumped to conclusions if they think the veto is based on constitutional scruples.

__________

Washington’s Blog

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Obama Wants to Veto the Indefinite Detention Bill Because It Would Hold the U.S. to the Geneva Convention

I – like everyone else – am horrified by the Senate’s passage of legislation that would allow for indefinite detention of Americans.

And at first, I – like many others – assumed that Obama’s threat to veto the bill might be a good thing. But the truth is much more disturbing.

As former Wall Street Street editor and columnist Paul Craig Roberts correctly notes:

The Obama regime’s objection to military detention is not rooted in concern for the constitutional rights of American citizens. The regime objects to military detention because the implication of military detention is that detainees are prisoners of war. As Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin put it: Should somebody determined “to be a member of an enemy force who has come to this nation or is in this nation to attack us as a member of a foreign enemy, should that person be treated according to the laws of war? The answer is yes.”

Detainees treated according to the laws of war have the protections of the Geneva Conventions. They cannot be tortured. The Obama regime opposes military detention, because detainees would have some rights. These rights would interfere with the regime’s ability to send detainees to CIA torture prisons overseas. [Yes, Obama is still apparently allowing “extraordinary renditions” to torture people abroad.] This is what the Obama regime means when it says that the requirement of military detention denies the regime “flexibility.”

The Bush/Obama regimes have evaded the Geneva Conventions by declaring that detainees are not POWs, but “enemy combatants,” “terrorists,” or some other designation that removes all accountability from the US government for their treatment.

By requiring military detention of the captured, Congress is undoing all the maneuvering that two regimes have accomplished in removing POW status from detainees.

A careful reading of the Obama regime’s objections to military detention supports this conclusion. (Seehttp://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/legislative/sap/112/saps1867s_20111117.pdf)

The November 17 letter to the Senate from the Executive Office of the President says that the Obama regime does not want the authority it has under the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), Public Law 107-40, to be codified. Codification is risky, the regime says. “After a decade of settled jurisprudence on detention authority, Congress must be careful not to open a whole new series of legal questions that will distract from our efforts to protect the country.”

In other words, the regime is saying that under AUMF the executive branch has total discretion as to who it detains and how it treats detainees. Moreover, as the executive branch has total discretion, no one can find out what the executive branch is doing, who detainees are, or what is being done to them. Codification brings accountability, and the executive branch does not want accountability.

Those who see hope in Obama’s threatened veto have jumped to conclusions if they think the veto is based on constitutional scruples.

Police State Started Years Ago

Even if Obama’s threatened veto was for more noble purposes, the fact is that it would not change anything, because the U.S. government claimed the power to indefinitely detain and assassinate American citizens years ago.

For example, law school professor and National Lawyers Guild president Marjorie Cohn pointed outin 2006:

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 governing the treatment of detainees is the culmination of relentless fear-mongering by the Bush administration since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

Because the bill was adopted with lightning speed, barely anyone noticed that it empowers Bush to declare not just aliens, but also U.S. citizens, “unlawful enemy combatants.”

***

Anyone who donates money to a charity that turns up on Bush’s list of “terrorist” organizations, or who speaks out against the government’s policies could bedeclared an “unlawful enemy combatant” and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens.

Glenn Greenwald and Fire Dog Lake’s Emptywheel have also documented that the White House has believed for many years that it possessed the power to indefinitely detain Americans. See thisthisthis, and this.

I noted Friday:

The police state started in 2001.

Specifically, on 9/11, Vice President Dick Cheney initiated Continuity of Government Plans that ended America’s constitutional form of government (at least for some undetermined period of time.)

On that same day, a national state of emergency was declared … and that state of emergency has continuously been in effect up to today.

The Obama administration has also said for more than a year and a half it could target American citizens for assassination without any trial or due process.

In 2005, Chris Floyd pointed out that the ability of the government to assassinate U.S. citizens startedthe very week of 9/11:

On September 17, 2001, George W. Bush signed an executive order authorizing the use of “lethal measures” against anyone in the world whom he or his minions designatedan “enemy combatant.” This order remains in force today. No judicial evidence, no hearing, no charges are required for these killings; no law, no border, no oversight restrains them. Bush has also given agents in the field carte blanche to designate “enemies” on their own initiative and kill them as they see fit.

The existence of this universal death squad – and the total obliteration of human liberty it represents – has not provoked so much as a crumb, an atom, a quantum particle of controversy in the American Establishment, although it’s no secret.  The executive order was first bruited in the Washington Post in October 2001 …. The New York Times added further details in December 2002. That same month, Bush officials made clear that the dread edict also applied to American citizens, as the Associated Press reported.

The first officially confirmed use of this power was the killing of an American citizen in Yemen by a CIA drone missile on November 3, 2002. A similar strike occurred in Pakistan this month, when a CIA missile destroyed a house and purportedly killed Abu Hamza Rabia, a suspected al Qaeda figure. But the only bodies found at the site were those of two children, the houseowner’s son and nephew, Reuters reports. The grieving father denied any connection to terrorism. An earlier CIA strike on another house missed Rabia but killed his wife and children, Pakistani officials reported.

But most of the assassinations are carried out in secret, quietly, professionally, like a contract killing for the mob. As a Pentagon document unearthed by the New Yorker in December 2002put it, the death squads must be “small and agile,” and “able to operate clandestinely, using a full range of official and non-official cover arrangements to…enter countries surreptitiously.”

The dangers of this policy are obvious, as a UN report on “extrajudicial killings” noted in December 2004: ” Empowering governments to identify and kill ‘known terrorists’ places no verifiable obligation upon them to demonstrate in any way that those against whom lethal force is used are indeed terrorists… While it is portrayed as a limited ‘exception’ to international norms, it actually creates the potential for an endless expansion of the relevant category to include any enemies of the State, social misfits, political opponents, or others.”

It’s hard to believe that any genuine democracy would accept a claim by its leader that he could have anyone killed simply by labeling them an “enemy.” It’s hard to believe that any adult with even the slightest knowledge of history or human nature could countenance such unlimited, arbitrary power, knowing the evil it is bound to produce. Yet this is what the great and good in America have done. Like the boyars of old, they not only countenance but celebrate their enslavement to the ruler.

[Note from Washington’s Blog: 9/11 allowed those who glorify war to implement plans they had lusted after for many years (and see this), even though 9/11 happened because Dick Cheney was – at best – totally incompetent, and the government is now doing things which increase the risk of terrorism, instead of doing the things which could actually make us safer.]

***

This was vividly demonstrated in … Bush’s State of the Union address in January 2003, delivered to Congress and televised nationwide during the final frenzy of war-drum beating before the assault on Iraq. Trumpeting his successes in the Terror War, Bush claimed that “more than 3,000 suspected terrorists” had been arrested worldwide – “and many others have met a different fate.” His face then took on the characteristic leer, the strange, sickly half-smile it acquires whenever he speaks of killing people: “Let’s put it this way. They are no longer a problem.”

In other words, the suspects – and even Bush acknowledged they were only suspects – had been murdered. Lynched. Killed by agents operating unsupervised in that shadow world where intelligence, terrorism, politics, finance and organized crime meld together in one amorphous, impenetrable mass. Killed on the word of a dubious informer, perhaps: a tortured captive willing to say anything to end his torment, a business rival, a personal foe, a bureaucrat looking to impress his superiors, a paid snitch in need of cash, a zealous crank pursuing ethnic, tribal or religious hatreds – or any other purveyor of the garbage data that is coin of the realm in the shadow world.

Bush proudly held up this hideous system as an example of what he called “the meaning of American justice.” And the assembled legislators…applauded. Oh, how they applauded!

This is, of course, the real meaning of the famous Star Wars scene:

___________

No Wonder America’s Founders Distrusted Standing Armies

Chuck Baldwin
December 6, 2011

It is well documented that many of America’s Founding Fathers had a very real and deep-seated distrust of standing armies–and for good reason. They had just fought a costly and bloody war for independence, which had been largely predicated upon the propensities for the abuse and misuse of individual liberties by a pervasive and powerful standing army (belonging to Great Britain) amongst them. Listen to Thomas Jefferson: “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” Note that Jefferson identified both banking institutions and standing armies as being “dangerous to our liberties.” James Madison said, “A standing army is one of the greatest mischief that can possibly happen.” Elbridge Gerry (Vice President under James Madison) called standing armies “the bane of liberty.”

For the most part, the sentiments of our founders ring hollow to modern Americans who, ever since World War II, have glorified, idolized, and practically even worshipped the standing US military. But of course, with only isolated instances (which were almost always completely covered up by the mainstream news media) of the abuse of military power being committed against US citizens, the American people, as a whole, have no point of reference directing them to the sagacity of America’s founders on the subject. Indeed, who could even imagine that US military forces would ever be used against the US citizenry? After all, the media did a masterful job of covering up the most flagrant example of US military forces being used against US citizens when US military forces assisted federal law enforcement agencies in slaughtering the Branch Davidians outside Waco, Texas, on April 19, 1993. So, most Americans simply shut their eyes against that “painful truth” and chose to ignore the fact that it even happened.

Yes, there have been isolated instances of military personnel abusing their authority against American citizens (i.e., Waco in 1993, Kent State University in 1970), but overall the founders’ deep-seated distrust of standing armies has been replaced with deep-seated trust. But were our founders right to be distrusting of standing armies? And are we wrong to be so trusting of standing armies? Consider the following report by Dr. Andrew Bosworth.

“There is a shocking piece of legislation working its way through Congress. A Defense Authorization bill for 2012 allows for military detentions of American citizens on American soil. These can be indefinite detentions, with no trial.”

Bosworth quotes an ACLU (an organization whose efforts regarding the so-called “separation of church and state” issues I strongly oppose, but whose efforts regarding issues that can only be identified as an emerging police state I strongly support) statement as saying, “The U.S. Senate is considering the unthinkable: changing detention laws to imprison people–including Americans living in the United States itself–indefinitely and without charge.

“The Defense Authorization bill–a “must-pass” piece of legislation–is headed to the Senate floor with troubling provisions that would give the President–and all future presidents–the authority to indefinitely imprison people, without charge or trial, both abroad and inside the United States.”

Especially egregious are sections 1031 and 1032. They:

1) Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2) Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

Bosworth also notes that, “The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing.”

Bosworth goes on to say, “Even mainstream, apolitical Americans would be concerned about such a provision that, on its face, is unconstitutional. Ordinary Americans are already waking up to the specter of tyranny, and the NDAA for 2012 would accelerate that process.”

Near the conclusion of Bosworth’s report, he states, “As many Americans know, for over a decade there have been dozens of pieces of legislation and executive orders that have chipped away at the US Constitution, specifically at its Bill of Rights.

“The ‘war on terror’ was originally to be waged against foreigners in far-away lands, but Rep. Ron Paul was right, the anti-terror infrastructure is swinging around to be used against American citizens.”

See Bosworth’s report at:

http://tinyurl.com/7n9ddxf

I well remember when my friend LT CDR Ernest “Guy” Cunningham conducted his “Combat Arms Survey” to 300 active-duty Marines at the USMC’s Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, back on May 10, 1994. A couple of questions in this survey were especially revealing (and startling). John McManus picks up the story at this point: “One of the questions asked the Marines if they would be willing to be assigned to a ‘national emergency police force’ within the U.S. under U.S. command. The survey showed that 6.0 percent strongly disagreed, 6.3 percent disagreed, 42.3 percent agreed, 43.0 percent strongly agreed, and 2.3 percent had no opinion.”

Commenting on these results, Cunningham said, “Do you realize that 85.3 percent agreed with assigning troops to a mission that violates the Posse Comitatus Act?” Remember, these were active duty Marines back in 1994.

Responses to another question were even more startling. Cunningham’s question: “Consider the following statement: I would fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S. government.” The result: “42.3 percent strongly disagreed with this statement; 19.3 percent disagreed; 18.6 percent agreed; 7.6 percent strongly agreed; and 12.0 percent had no opinion.” This equates to approximately 61% of Marines saying they would defy orders to turn their weapons on US citizens in order to disarm them; 26% saying they would not disobey such orders; and 12% refusing to say one way or the other, which means you could probably add them to the 26% who would not disobey orders to turn their weapons on American citizens.

See McManus’ report at:

http://jpfo.org/articles-assd/29palms-mcmanus.htm

Not too long ago, I asked a retired US Army Major General what he thought the results would be today if CDR Cunningham gave that same survey to US Marines? He said he thought that the number of those refusing such orders would be much higher and the number of those complying with such orders would be much lower. Given the Levin/McCain bill currently working its way through the US Congress, I sure hope he’s right! And I also hope that we modern Americans were not wrong to discard our founders’ distrust of standing armies.

__________

Bringing the ‘War on Terror’ Home

Coleen Rowley

Global Research
December 6, 2011

U.S. intelligence says the terror threat from al-Qaeda is receding, but Congress keeps on expanding the scope of this “war” so as not to look “weak on terror,” now adding new military powers that could be used against American citizens, writes ex-FBI agent Coleen Rowley.

The political, military industrial, corporate class in Washington DC continues to re-make our Constitutional Republic into a powerful, unaccountable Military Empire.

The U.S. Senate has just voted 93 to 7 to pass the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2012, which allows the military to operate domestically within the borders of the United States and to possibly (or most probably) detain U.S. citizens without trial.

Bringing the ‘War on Terror’ Home capitol east 1 300x197U.S. Capitol Building

Forget that the ACLU called it “an historic threat to American citizens,” this bill is so dangerous not only to our rights but to our country’s security that it was criticized by the Directors of the FBI and the CIA, the Director of National Intelligence and the U.S. Defense Secretary!

For the first time in our history, if this Act is not vetoed, American citizens may not be guaranteed their Article III right to trial. The government would be able to decide who gets an old-fashioned trial (along with right to attorney and right against self-incrimination) and who gets detained without due process and put into a modern legal limbo.

Does anyone remember that none of the first thousand people the FBI rounded up after 9/11, and who were imprisoned for several months (some brutalized) were ever charged with terrorism? Does anyone remember that hundreds of the Gitmo detainees who were handed over to their American military captors in exchange for monetary bounties were found, after years of imprisonment, to have no connection to terrorism?

When in doubt about a case, what do you think the government will again do? Does it prefer to submit its evidence to a jury’s scrutiny and its witnesses to the trouble of being cross-examined in court by a defense attorney or would it be easier to have no questions asked and dump the accused into detainee prison without rights? I think we already know that answer from the nearly ten years of experience at Guantanamo.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, declared that suspected citizens open themselves up “to imprisonment and death” He added: “And when they say, ‘I want my lawyer,’ you tell them: ‘Shut up. You don’t get a lawyer.’”

Of course, the politicians will say we are just talking about a few cases. But in fact the sky’s probably the limit given the current legal ambiguity in the Patriot Act expansion of “material support for terrorism” to now include humanitarian aid and even mere advocacy speech without any need to prove an accused person intended to support any kind of terrorist violence.

The Department of Justice has been currently using this ambiguity for over a year to investigate 23 American citizens who are anti-war activists in Chicago and Minneapolis. Additionally, the “war on terror” will undoubtedly expand even more when it is de-linked from 9/11.

See “The War on Terrorism Congress Never Declared — But Soon Might” by Stephen I. Vladeck, a law professor, expert on these issues and associate dean for scholarship at American University Washington College of Law, which states:

“An individual may be detained for providing ‘direct support’ (which, in the government’s view, may be nothing more than minor financial or logistical assistance) in aid of ‘associated forces’ that are ‘engaged in hostilities against … coalition partners.’

“Thus, the NDAA effectively authorizes the military detention of any individual who provides such assistance anywhere in the world to any group engaged in hostilities against any of our coalition partners, whether or not the United States is in any way involved in (or even affected by) that particular conflict.”

Given this expansion of the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force contained in the 2012 NDAA to encompass undefined “associated forces,” we could witness the U.S. government targeting a large range of political dissidents, human rights activists, humanitarians, and maybe even “occupiers.”

The NDAA is deliberately confusing for political purposes but much is at stake. President Barack Obama’s determination as to whether or not he will veto the problematic 2012 war funding bill will determine how Benjamin Franklin’s glib response to the woman waiting outside the Constitutional Convention is ultimately answered. Franklin and other founding fathers had created “a Republic, Madam, if you can keep it.”

But a lawless Military Empire could now await where U.S. “emergency war powers” trump the Constitution, where the Commander in Chief becomes king for a term(s), the military enters into domestic police-state actions in violation of 130 years of Posse Comitatus law, and the Constitution becomes as quaint as the Geneva Conventions were for Alberto Gonzalez and the Bush Administration.

Corrupted, compliant politicians have already allowed their fears to get the better of them by going along with pre-emptive war in violation of the Nuremberg Principles and international law and torturing in violation of the Geneva Conventions and the Convention against Torture.

So why should they also not go for detaining American citizens without constitutional rights or trial?

You can tell President Obama he needs to live up to his threat to veto this legislation or you can sign Sen. Mark Udall’s petition.

Coleen Rowley, a FBI special agent for almost 24 years, was legal counsel to the FBI Field Office in Minneapolis from 1990 to 2003. She wrote a “whistleblower” memo in May 2002 and testified to the Senate Judiciary on some of the FBI’s pre 9-11 failures. She retired at the end of 2004, and now writes and speaks on ethical decision-making and balancing civil liberties with the need for effective investigation.

_________

Advertisements

About this entry