I didn’t post this article when I first saw it, because the bill it refers to seems too outrageously fascist to be true. I checked the source and discovered it was the eutimes, which in turn traced it back to Sorcha Faal, and his website, whatdoesitmean.com, a notorious disinfo site. But when I look again now, I can’t find that way of sourcing it! So I wonder: was there another senate bill as well that I was looking at, a similar one that was not true, or that used to be true and is no longer? I’m still puzzled as to how I went “off.” Such is the plight of utilizing the internet for research into “truth.” And, for going too damn fast all the time.
In any case, what I failed to notice in the first place was that the original article itself (if that’s indeed the one I saw) was from the ACLU. Info on this subject has now gone viral, but still no mention in the MSM. I follow this article with another one on the same topic from truthout.org.
Senators Demand the Military lock up American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Right outside Your Window.
November 23, 2011
by Chris Anders, Washington Legislative Office
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.
The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday.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.
I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?
The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.
But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.
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 solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.
In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.
The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.
Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
An Army spokesman in one of the detainee areas in Camp Delta at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on June 9, 2010. (Photo: Richard Perry / The New York Times)
Congress has a deserved reputation for cluelessness. Our leaders have a habit of ignoring real crises like housing, education, mass incarceration, and climate change, while contriving distractions like the budget debate that essentially froze Washington, DC for the past year.
In 2010, the Tea Party rejected the legitimacy of the DC debate, paving the way for the Occupy movement to do the same in 2011. And while those contrasting movements may compete on many issues, they share in common a rejection of Washington’s political establishment.
On Monday, the Senate will grapple with Congress’ latest bipartisan foolishness, the National Defense Authorization Act. Ironically opposed by both the White House and the Pentagon, it would expand preventive and arbitrary detention beyond Guantánamo Bay and the CIA’s shuttered black sites, importing it into the domestic United States.
The Senate Armed Services Committee, led by Senators Carl Levin (D-Michigan) and John McCain (R-Arizona), approved the bill despite its provisions for military detention of any suspect (even those apprehended within the United States) accused (not proven) of involvement in any terror-related offense. Presumably, military detention would include those accused of offenses as innocuous as “lying to a federal agent,” unrelated to actual terrorism yet classified as terror-related.
The most glaring problem with the committee’s legislation is its violation of our nation’s most fundamental values shared across our political spectrum.
First, the committee’s proposal accepts prosecutors as the arbiters of guilt. We have courts in America to check executive power. Impartial judges limit over whom the state may exercise its coercive power to deny freedom. We don’t trust prosecutors to make those decisions, because we presume innocence. Being considered “innocent until proven guilty” is a bedrock constitutional norm, a cornerstone in the edifice our Founders constructed to defend freedom from the potential tyranny that Levin & McCain casually invite.
On the one hand, racial and ethnic profiling in the wars on drugs, immigrants, and terror have already shredded the presumption of innocence. Millions of Americans routinely treated as presumptively guilty due to their race or ethnicity have been subjected to illegitimate prison sentences or deportation. But at least those cases involve a judicial process of some kind.
A separate fundamental principle restrains the military from operating domestically. Levin and McCain invite domestic military deployment.
Beyond its blatant violation of fundamental American principles, Levin and McCain also play loose with the system. Their bill passed the Armed Services Committee essentially in secret, without even a single hearing on their radical and seemingly Soviet-inspired proposal.
Moreover, their committee overstepped its jurisdiction, invading the spheres of the Judiciary and Intelligence Committees. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) and Dianne Feinstein (D-California), who chair those committees, raised their voices in protest–and Senator Mark Udall (D-Utah) introduced an amendment that would reverse Levin-McCain’s detention provisions. Even within a single, insular, tone deaf political party, the left and right hands actively work at cross purposes.
Republican complicity in Sino-Chinese inspired security policies, like the Patriot Act, is by now well established. The support from some Democrats for this proposal, however, reflects what is wrong with Washington–beyond policy.
In every election cycle since 1998, the electorate has loudly demanded to “throw the bums out.” In 2008, We the People rejected the Bush administration’s War on Terror to choose a candidate who, inspired by our Founders, pledged instead to “reject the false choice between liberty and security.” Congressional Democrats doubling down on Bush era abuses betray their own supporters.
We live in a nation where, apparently, we enjoy no electoral alternative to human rights abuses. Will the real Americans please stand up?
Even worse than the betrayal of Democrats, however, is the betrayal of Congress–by itself. Our Founders dedicated the Constitution’s first Article to Congress, to reflect its primacy after our revolution against a unilateral monarchy. The central theme of the Constitution is its system of checks & balances to limit executive power and prevent tyranny.
But rather than resist executive power, today’s congressional leaders actively expand it. Over the past decade, Congress has granted presidents from both political parties every power they have sought: the power to eavesdrop en masse on every American household without individualized suspicion, the power to ignore the Nuremberg principle and torture with impunity, the power to initiate unilateral war, and more.
Levin-McCain is substantively, procedurally, and structurally even worse: It actively outflanks the executive, granting powers that neither the White House nor the Pentagon want, and have even pledged to resist. Madison and Jefferson would each roll in their graves at Congress betrayal of their legacy.
The one positive aspect to Levin-McCain’s essentially Soviet proposal is the hope it offers to inspire unity among Americans. There may yet remain principles, even if merely as meager as the right to trial, on which we all can agree.
Torn between the Tea Party, Occupy Wall Street movement and alienated moderates, much of America shares a rejection of Washington’s habitual foolishness. And with these competing movements having already organized and mobilized so many diverse Americans, there has been no better time to come together.