Imagine men in bleach white bio suits with medical masks show up at your door. You are suspected of carrying a communicable disease. You will now be arrested and held without due process, indefinitely.
The government could do this any day.
They have the “authority”. They have the personnel. They have the funding. Now all they need is the excuse.
The US House of Representatives approved an annual defense spending bill early Thursday after rejecting a proposed amendment that would have prevented the United States government from indefinitely detaining American citizens.
An amendment introduced in the House on Wednesday this week asked that Congress repeal a controversial provision placed in the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that has ever since provided the executive branch with the power to arrest and detain indefinitely any US citizen thought to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda or associated organizations.
“This amendment would eliminate indefinite detention in the United States and its territories,” Rep. Adam Smith (D-Washington), a co-author of the failed amendment, said during floor debate on Wednesday, “So basically anybody that we captured, who we suspected of terrorist activity, would no longer be subject to indefinite detention, as is now, currently, the law.”
“That is an enormous amount of power to give the executive, to take someone and lock them up without due process,” Smith added. “It is an enormous amount of power to grant the executive, and I believe places liberty and freedom at risk in this country.”
Pulitzer prize winning reporter Chris Hedges – along with journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, activist Tangerine Bolen and others – sued the government to join the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans.
The trial judge in the case asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys.
The government refusedto promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge.
The trial judge ruled that the indefinite detention bill was unconstitutional, holding:
H.R. 3304 (A bill to authorize and request the President to award the Medal of Honor to Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat of the United States Army for acts of valor during the Vietnam Conflict and to authorize the award of the Medal of Honor to certain other veterans who were previously recommended for award of the Medal of Honor. )
An act to authorize the President to award the Medal of Honor to Bennie G. Adkins and Donald P. Sloat of the United States Army for acts of valor during the Vietnam Conflict and to authorize the award of the Medal of Honor to certain other veterans who were previously recommended for award of the Medal of Honor.
It isn’t until you click the link for H.R. 3304 that you come to this page titled “Latest Title: National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014 “
“Today I voted against the National Defense Authorization Act. I am deeply concerned that Congress still has not prohibited President Obama’s ability to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens arrested on American soil without trial or due process.
Late Thursday night, the Senate passed the NDAA for Fiscal Year 2014, in a sweeping bill now being sent to the president which reports suggest he will sign.
The bill, is infamous for its language on indefinite detention, and “disappearing” of American citizens. Once again, the bill was past via Fast-Tracking while most of the country was sidelined on the Phil Robertson issue with Duck Dynasty.
This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right. (This is an updated version of an essay we wrote in February. Unfortunately, a lot of information has come out since then.)
The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:
The government admits that journalists could be targeted with counter-terrorism laws (and here). For example, after Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Chris Hedges, journalist Naomi Wolf, Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg and others sued the government to enjoin the NDAA’s allowance of the indefinite detention of Americans – the judge asked the government attorneys 5 times whether journalists like Hedges could be indefinitely detained simply for interviewing and then writing about bad guys. The government refusedto promise that journalists like Hedges won’t be thrown in a dungeon for the rest of their lives without any right to talk to a judge
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.
Back in September we, somewhat naively, penned “US Totalitarianism Loses Major Battle As Judge Permanently Blocks NDAA’s Military Detention Provision“ in which we said that “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 against 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.” Sadly, the “victory” lasted about 10 months. Today, US totalitarianism wins again.
U.S. APPEALS COURT THROWS OUT PERMANENT INJUNCTION THAT HAD LIMITED U.S.
GOVERNMENT’S USE OF INDEFINITE MILITARY DETENTION — COURT RULING
In other words, every legal decision will be binding… until Obama’s cronies in the 13 circuit courts of the appellate system get a tap on the shoulder. And good luck with the SCOTUS.
And with that, the time to be on the lookout for black helicopters is back.
A federal appeals court on Wednesday lifted a lower court order that would have prevented the U.S. military from indefinitely detaining people believed to have helped al Qaeda or the Taliban.
The 3-0 decision by a panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York was a setback for journalists, activists and others who had argued that the law put them in danger of indefinite detention.
It was a victory for the Obama administration, which said the practice is needed to fight terrorism.
In case you missed it, last Thursday our illustrious House of Representatives voted on an amendment that would have blocked the possibility for the President to lock up American citizens without a trial. Unsurprisingly, our so-called “representatives” once again voted against protecting the constitutional rights of the citizenry in the name of the Orwellian, never-ending “war on terror.” If you need a refresher on the NDAA and the authoritarian power it grants the executive branch, I suggest you read one of my most popular posts ever: NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About.
After the amendment’s failure, its sponsor Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash) correctly called out Republicans for their complete and total hypocrisy when it comes to “big government.” He stated:
“This is a vote against the United States constitution and it is a vote against due process. It is mind-boggling and extremely disappointing that the party who claims to fear big government overreach has voted against an amendment to prevent the government from indefinitely detaining individuals detained on U.S. soil –- including U.S. citizens.”
WASHINGTON — The U.S. House of Representatives voted again Thursday to allow the indefinite military detention of Americans, blocking an amendment that would have barred the possibility.
Supporters of detention argue that the nation needs to be able to arrest and jail suspected terrorists without trial, including Americans on U.S. soil, for as long as there is a war on terror. Their argument won, and the measure was defeated by a vote of 200 to 226.
Are you on the list? Are you one of the millions of Americans that have been designated a threat to national security by the U.S. government? Will you be subject to detention when martial law is imposed during a major national emergency? As you will see below, there is actually a list that contains the names of at least 8 million Americans known as Main Core that the U.S. intelligence community has been compiling since the 1980s. A recent article on Washington’s Blog quoted a couple of old magazine articles that mentioned this program, and I was intrigued because I didn’t know what it was. So I decided to look into Main Core, and what I found out was absolutely stunning – especially in light of what Edward Snowden has just revealed to the world. It turns out that the U.S. government is not just gathering information on all of us. The truth is that the U.S. government has used this information to create a list of threats to national security that the government would potentially watch, question or even detain during a national crisis. If you have ever been publicly critical of the government, there is a very good chance that you are on that list.
The following is how Wikipedia describes Main Core…
In a vote of 37-0 (1 absent), the Michigan Senate joined the growing list of of states and municipalities throughout America in passing their version of the Liberty Preservation Act, released by the Tenth Amendment Center. Senate Bill 94 (SB94) now proceeds to the Michigan State House. State Senator Rick Jones, the bill’s sponsor, and grassroots activists forged the bipartisan alliance against the federal law which applies the law of war and indefinite detention to anyone on U.S. soil.
After the bill’s passage in the Senate, PANDA Michigan’s Dennis Marburger vowed relentless opposition to all federal legislation which subverts the U.S. Constitution, saying:
“The very active and knowledgeable group of Michiganians fighting this egregious Federal overreach will not rest until there is real, tangible and viable state resistance to D.C.’s attempts to deny our rights and threaten our safety – whatever unconstitutional legislation, edict or judicial fiat our government employees use as an excuse.”
The unlawful mandates of the NDAA are sections 1021 and 1022 which allow the arrest, detention and/or transport to foreign prisons of anyone the federal government “suspects” is a terrorist. Those so imprisoned can be denied trial, access to an attorney, and the ability to even advise seomone they have been detained.
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which was used two years ago to allow the government to indefinitely detain anyone, including U.S. citizens, has been approved again by the U.S. Senate. This time, however, lawmakers had the chance to add protections for Americans accused of terrorist ties, and decided against it.
The controversial NDAA bill, which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens, was approved by the Senate despite White House threats to veto the legislation. Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has decried the law as an “abomination.”
The libertarian Republican voiced his concerns to a conference committee following the decision to give the present version of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) the go-ahead. Paul cited the committee’s decision to scrap an amendment that would have prohibited the indefinite detention of US citizens suspected of terrorist activities.
“It’s [the amendment] been removed because they want the ability to hold American citizens without trial in our country. This is so fundamentally wrong and goes against everything we stand for as a country that it can’t go unnoticed,” Paul told the committee. He went on to condemn the bill as an “abomination” that deprives US citizens of the right to a fair trial.
“When you’re accused of a crime in our country you get a trial, you get a trial by a jury of your peers, no matter how heinous your crime is, no matter how awful you are, we give you a trial,” he said.
Representative Ron Paul (R-TX) gave the following speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on December 20, 2012.
Mr. Speaker I rise to oppose what will be the final National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) I will face as a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives. As many of my colleagues are aware, I have always voted against the NDAA regardless of what party controls the House. Far from simply providing an authorization for the money needed to defend this country, which I of course support, this authorization and its many predecessors have long been used to fuel militarization, enrich the military industrial complex, expand our empire overseas, and purchase military and other enormously expensive equipment that we do not need and in large part does not work anyway. They wrap all of this mess up in false patriotism, implying that Members who do not vote for these boondoggles do not love their country.