The National Defense Authorization Act Has Passed the House: Freedom Lost

The House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (HB 1540) by a vote of 283-136. The Senate is expected to pass it tomorrow and the president will quickly sign off on this legislation. The threat of a veto by the president was never seriously considered to be anything more than a smokescreen since this legislation will give him power to make anyone “disappear” at his slightest whim. The Obama Rapture will be the ultimate display of both the abuse of power by our government against the people and the last vestige of any pretext that the American people are free.

The only thing that we are free to do is cower in fear. I have already been “notified” that people do not want to be overtly associated with me for fear of being put on the government’s list if this passes. Well it has passed for all intents and purposes and we only have ourselves to blame for voting “R’s” and “D’s” instead of voting for principles and leaders.

The supporters of Obama were also caught off guard by the president’s actions:

Raha Wala, an advocacy counsel for the group Human Rights First, called Obama’s decision “beyond disappointing.”

“By failing to veto this bill, President Obama will be compromising on national security and the rule of law,” Wala said. “Congress has shown that it’s incapable of exercising common sense judgment, and President Obama is apparently ready to appease this behavior.”

For those among you who do not see any consequences from this legislation, may your chains rest lightly on your shoulders. For those among you who understand the consequences of this legislation and choose to cower in fear, may your chains crush you. And for the politicians who will later say that they did not truly understand how this legislation could have so flagrantly erased freedom, may the charge of “traitor” be leveled against you in whatever court of law will eventually judge you.

David DeGerolamo

Military Detention Bill Set for Final Votes. Obama Drops Veto Threat

If Section 1032/1021 becomes law, it will signal congressional approval of the authority for the military detention of U.S. citizens that has already been advanced by the other branches of the federal government, as well as provide for legal codification for those powers, which may give the military, under Obama or any future President, more leverage to justify an expansive interpretation.

The language of the bill authorizes indefinite military detention without trial for anyone who has “substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” The key phrases there — “substantial support,” “associated forces,” “hostilities” — lay the groundwork for the military’s detention power to be extended beyond al-Qaeda and the Taliban to anyone providing support for potentially any group that is hostile towards the U.S., domestic or abroad. For example, if a lone-wolf domestic terrorist claimed allegiance to an activist group or cause, nothing in this prevents the military from labeling the entire group “hostile” and using this power to detain them without trial. And the consistent over reactions to social uprisings of the increasingly militarized police forces across the U.S. does not help assuage concerns that this language could be used to justify cracking down on legitimate, constitutionally protected political action.

As for what has been changed in the final bill, the following new language has been added to the section the Administration actually opposed, which would mandate that the military use the detention authority laid out in 1032/1021 on all non-U.S. citizen terrorism suspects:

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.

It’s not clear how that could be the case, given that it’s attached to a provision the sole purpose of which is to require the government to handle terrorism suspects in a specific way. But since the conference committee did talk with Administration officials during their secret meetings, it’s likely that this was pre-negotiated and will be enough to get Obama to sign the bill. As of this writing there has been no official statement from the Obama Administration on the final version of the bill. I’ll update this post as soon as there is.

Section 1032 of the NDAA

SEC. 1032. REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

(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 1031 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 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.

(4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary 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 custody or 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 session which is ongoing at the time the determination is made and does not require the interruption of any such ongoing session.

(D) Procedures providing that the requirement for military 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) 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.

      
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Brandt Hardin
9 years ago

The NDAA if passed will only go to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html

randysright
9 years ago

and yet where are all the Americans that should be dragging our politicians out in the streets to be tar and feathered. No US citizen should ever have to give up his/her constitutional rights for a fair trail, no matter how guilty they are.

Larry Porter
9 years ago

Add this EO to the bill and you have the job completed:
http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/sip-final.pdf?mid=55218
http://www.whitehouse.gov

This is straight from the pen of Goebbels. For those who keep telling me the military won’t turn on its own citizens, O. doesn’t need them. He and the other treasonous leaders from the Bush/Chenney era, have turned the entire law enforcement establishment across the country into their black boots/brown shirts. And if you don’t believe the police will turn on the citizens in time of what they perceive to be an uprising, you’ve been living on Mars before we even got there to establish a colony.

Brandt Hardin
9 years ago

The NDAA only goes to further stifle our Constitutional Rights without the approval of the Americans, just as the Patriot Act was adopted WITHOUT public approval or vote just weeks after the events of 9/11. A mere 3 criminal charges of terrorism a year are attributed to this act, which is mainly used for no-knock raids leading to drug-related arrests without proper cause for search and seizure. The laws are simply a means to spy on our own citizens and to detain and torture dissidents without trial or a right to council. You can read much more about living in this Orwellian society of fear and see my visual response to these measures on my artist’s blog at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2011/09/living-in-society-of-fear-ten-years.html