Wednesday, December 21, 2011
The list of Senators who voted away the Bill of Rights...
Well, the Senate has decided to take a page from the glory days of “Uncle Joe” Stalin, driving a stake through what remains of the Bill of Rights. Undeterred by widespread criticism, it recently passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a draconian piece of legislation that declares American soil a battlefield and effectively abolishes the 5th Amendment, which protects U.S. citizens from being hauled off to the nearest Gulag in the middle of the night.
Particularly egregious are sections 1031 and 1032, which authorize the federal government to (1) indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens at home or abroad; (2) detain civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control; and (3) transfer to the Department of Defense investigative, prosecutorial, penal and custodial authority – powers now entrusted to the Department of Justice.
The legislation is deliberately vague, classifying as a potential terrorist anyone who “substantially supports” groups or “associated forces” that the chief executive declares to be enemies of the state. It is left up to the Ministry of Truth (i.e., the power elite) to interpret these overly broad terms.
All that is required for a one-way ticket to Guantanamo and a few sessions of “enhanced interrogation” is the allegation that you are in some way linked to something ambiguously defined as "terrorism” – for example, marching on Washington, protesting banker bailouts, objecting to Constitution-destroying laws and executive orders, or purchasing too many guns, too much ammunition or too many emergency canned goods.
As Gary Barnett, writing for LewRockwell.com, observes: “Who will the government thugs target first? They will target those who are willing to stand up to them. They will target those who expose the corruption and lies that are ever present in the political arena. They will target writers of truth. They will target protesters, and all those who actively dissent. They will target those who expose the state propaganda for what it truly is.”
As expected, congress and the White House are pooh-poohing citizen concerns about “the loss of constitutional rights,” sloughing off any criticism of the NDAA as overreaction and unpatriotic, anti-government hysteria.
But in a recent editorial, even the New York Times (no bastion of rightwing commentary) blasted the NDAA’s Big Brotherish language, arguing that the legislation contains “terrible new measures that will make indefinite detention and military trials a permanent part of American law” and “give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial.”
As Salon’s Glenn Greenwald points out, “. . . it’s the first time such powers [of indefinite detention] are being codified in a statute since the McCarthy era Internal Security Act of 1950 . . . .”
So what’s in store for the Land of the Formerly Free? Will the collapse of the economy or another Sept. 11 attack set in motion the Orwellian dictates of NDAA and its newly minted powers of indefinite detention? Will troops stationed across the land snatch citizens (marked as terrorists under the Act's nebulous language) who take to the streets en-mass to protest against bank closures, food shortages and violations of their individual liberties?
Which leads to a final, more ominous question: Where does the newly empowered police state lock up all those thousands of unruly citizens who choose to disobey its edicts? The answer is skin-crawlingly scary: Apparently, the Washington Ubermensch have long planned for such a contingency, constructing a nationwide network of 800 or so "detainment" camps run by FEMA.
These camps are not the fantastical imaginings of conspiracy wing-nuts; they are very real, as former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura and “Conspiracy Theory” TV host showed in a one-hour expose that aired last year on TruthTV. (Under pressure from someone or somewhere, the TruthTV episode “disappeared” into a digital black hole, but now can be seen here.) Of eyebrow-raising interest is a segment showing thousands of large coffin-shaped containers at a FEMA storage yard in Georgia.
Unfortunately, the free America we once knew appears to be vanishing quickly, replaced one piece of legislation at a time by a totalitarian police state, thanks in no small part to the complicity of an emotionally unstable cabal of senators who view all of us as would-be terrorists.
Every senator who voted (see list below) for this Constitution-killing abortion of a law should be arrested for treason, tried and convicted by a jury of his peers (a legal protection soon to be denied the rest of us) and carted off to the nearest hoosegow for a lengthy stay.
Here is the list of senators who voted to give the U.S. military the authority to arrest and imprison without charge their fellow citizens.