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My fellow Americans

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I do not view myself as a paranoid, but as a realist. In my life I have watched the bubble of freedom slowly eroded in the United States.  Occasionally some action occurs that requires special attention. On Sept 11 2001 the wheels were set into motion to accelerate the elimination of freedoms of the citizens of the United States; with their consent.

Some could say that ten years after declaring war on the the United States the terrorists have come close to victory. If you can remember back to the days before Sept 11 2001 you might remember economic prosperity, a strong US dollar, opportunity for social advancement and peace. In the fog of post Sept 11 jingoism and panic the President of the US was given new executive powers to  “protect the nation”.

In the following ten years after Sept 11 those powers, the cost of implementing them, the cost of wars, one justified and one without merit have helped to destroy the economy of the nation. The politicians might blame welfare, they might blame illegal immigrants, they will blame anyone except themselves. They voted to increase spending and decrease revenue and that coupled with the extra ordinary expenses of two wars and “Homeland Security” have broken the bank.

To end 2011 the US government pulled another on over on the American people. Buried in the 2012 defense appropriation bill is one more major erosion to the civil rights of American citizens and legal immigrants. The language is subtile and some people do not see the danger. Here are the words from the final approved bill HR 1540. I have highlighted the relevant text.

Subtitle D—Counterterrorism

SEC. 1021. AFFIRMATION OF AUTHORITY OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES TO DETAIN COVERED PERSONS PURSUANT TO THE AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF MILI- TARY FORCE.

(a) IN GENERAL.—Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in sub- section (b)) pending disposition under the law of war.

(b) COVERED PERSONS.—A covered person under this section is any person as follows:

(1) A person who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored those responsible for those attacks.

(2) A person who was a 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, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces.

(c) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—The disposition of a person under the law of war as described in subsection (a) may include the following:

(1) Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

(2) Trial under chapter 47A of title 10, United States Code (as amended by the Military Commissions Act of 2009 (title XVIII of Public Law 111–84)).

(3) Transfer for trial by an alternative court or competent tribunal having lawful jurisdiction.

(4) Transfer to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.

(d) CONSTRUCTION.—Nothing in this section is intended to limit or expand the authority of the President or the scope of the Authorization for Use of Military Force.

(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

(f) REQUIREMENT FOR BRIEFINGS OF CONGRESS.—The Secretary of Defense shall regularly brief Congress regarding the application of the authority described in this section, including the organiza- tions, entities, and individuals considered to be ‘‘covered persons’’ for purposes of subsection (b)(2).

H. R. 1540—266

SEC. 1022. MILITARY CUSTODY FOR FOREIGN AL-QAEDA TERRORISTS.

(a) CUSTODY PENDING DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.

(2) COVERED PERSONS.—The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1021 who is determined—

(A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and

(B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.

(3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR.—For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1021(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1028.

(4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY.—The President may waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the President submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.

(b) APPLICABILITY TO UNITED STATES CITIZENS AND LAWFUL

RESIDENT ALIENS.—
(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States. (c) IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the President shall issue, and submit to Congress, procedures for implementing this section.

(2) ELEMENTS.—The procedures for implementing this section shall include, but not be limited to, procedures as follows: (A) Procedures designating the persons authorized to make determinations under subsection (a)(2) and the process by which such determinations are to be made. (B) Procedures providing that the requirement for military custody under subsection (a)(1) does not require the interruption of ongoing surveillance or intelligence gathering with regard to persons not already in the custodymor control of the United States.

(C) Procedures providing that a determination under

subsection (a)(2) is not required to be implemented until after the conclusion of an interrogation which is ongoing at the time the determination is made and does not require the interruption of any such ongoing interrogation.

(D) Procedures providing that the requirement for mili- tary custody under subsection (a)(1) does not apply when intelligence, law enforcement, or other Government officials of the United States are granted access to an individual who remains in the custody of a third country.

(E) Procedures providing that a certification of national security interests under subsection (a)(4) may be granted for the purpose of transferring a covered person from a third country if such a transfer is in the interest of the United States and could not otherwise be accomplished.

(d) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person, regardless whether such covered person is held in military custody.

(e) EFFECTIVE DATE.—This section shall take effect on the date that is 60 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and shall apply with respect to persons described in subsection (a)(2) who are taken into the custody or brought under the control of the United States on or after that effective date. 

 

As in all laws, the Congress passes them, the President signs and then the Courts can review them for constitutionality.

This law is ambiguous in it’s wording.

It suggests that if the US government or the military suspects you are a terrorist in some way you can be detained by them without recourse to the courts until the end of the “war on terror”. We know that war will never end, this is Orwellian warfare.

Some might suggest the the law exempts US citizens and legal residents:

Sec 1021 4(B)(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS.—The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

What is the definition of requirement?

requirement |riˈkwīrmənt|

noun

• a thing that is compulsory; a necessary condition: applicants must satisfy the normal entry requirements.

Therefore it implies that although it is not compulsory to retain US Citizens without trial, it is also not prohibited.

This section seems to conflict with the interpretation I read above.

Sec 1021 (e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.

To get a court to rule on this requires due process and a right to be heard in a court, something denied by the very fact the person who has been detained has no such right under this law.

This law, put into a defense appropriation, a must pass law, has continued to erode the rights of Americans. You will argue that you do not need to worry, you are not a terrorist. All it would take under this law is for a neighbor to accuse you of being an advocate of al-Qaeda, the Taliban or what ever new group they invent next. You are then arrested and although it is not required , you can then be detained and denied access to the courts.  This is a direct violation of the fourth and fifth Amendments to the US Constitution yet it was approved by Congress and signed into law.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and noWarrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It is also a perversion of the Fifth Amendment by claiming a perpetual state of war.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The amazing part is despite some fringe comments from both the extreme left and right wings of politics few are paying attention.
“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.”  ACLU
So much for Obama, he proved he is just one more agent for removing the civil rights of all Americans abet with equality.
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