Archive for the ‘Carl Levin’ tag
“He will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law.”
These harsh words come courtesy of the executive director of the ACLU, formerly a supporter of the president but also just one of the many dissenters who have since have grown disillusioned with an administration tarnished by unfulfilled campaign promises and continuous constitutional violations . . .
When he signed the National Defense Authorization Act on New Year’s Eve, President Barack Obama said that he had his reservations over the controversial legislation that will allow for the indefinite detention of Americans. Now some of the president’s pals are expressing their agreement with Obama’s own hesitation, but say that the commander-in-chief should have thought harder before signing away the civil liberties of Americans.
Under the bill, which approves all defense spending for the 2012 fiscal year, certain provisions allow for the military detainment and torture of US citizens, indefinitely, essentially allowing for Guantanamo Bay-style prisons to be a real possibility for every American. As the act floated around Congress, an underground outrage erupted and activists attempted to keep the bill from leaving the House and the Senate, although a lack of media coverage largely left the matter hidden to the public. Despite this campaign, the legislation made it out of the Capitol Building and into the Oval Office last month, prompting advocates against the act to petition for the president to veto it.
Initially the Obama administration said the president’s advisers would recommend a veto, but later rescinded the threat. Senator Carl Levin eventually revealed that President Obama had insisted on adding the wording that has made NDAA such a target among activists who are frightened of the civil liberty-stripping capabilities . . .
One week after the president did ink the legislation, some of Obama’s old pals are saying they are in disbelief over how a former constitutional law professor could agree to such provisions that crush the law of the land.
President Obama’s action . . . is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero says in a statement. Such a charge not only carries much clout because it comes courtesy of the head of such an integral and reputable advocacy group, but Romero himself was praising the president three years earlier after he won the 2008 election. Now that same administration is doing everything Romero thought it wouldn’t.
“I believe he knows what he needs to do to restore the America we believe in, to get us on back on track, to give us back our America, an America we never stopped believing in but have sorely missed for the past eight years,” Romero wrote in 2008 in an op-ed that encouraged the president to follow through on his campaign promise of closing Guantanamo Bay. “Call me naive, but I honestly believe he wants to do it. He promised us that on the campaign trail, and I believe it was more than an empty promise,” wrote Romero.
Three-quarters of the way through his presidency, Obama has now only left Gitmo remain open, but is going to be able to send his own citizens to its torture cells . . .
“We are incredibly disappointed that President Obama signed this new law even though his administration had already claimed overly broad detention authority in court,” adds Romero. “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today.”
Other groups who had previously offered their endorsement to the president are saying they are upset as well.
It is deeply troubling that the NDAA became law with the detention provisions intact,” reads a statement from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR. “We believe it is unconstitutional for our military to become a police force that would hold American citizens indefinitely without the right to trial or even to hear the charges brought against them.
CAIR had long supported Obama for his protection of Muslim-American rights. Nearly one year ago Executive Director Nihad Awad told the media that the group welcomes Obama for his “decision to emphasize the fact that Muslims are contributing members of our society.” Only 12 months later, the group says they are now skeptical over how the president can now use his power to strip the rights of anyone.
This ill-conceived and un-American legislation will forever be seen as a stain on our nation’s history – one that will ultimately be viewed with embarrassment and shame,” adds the advocacy group.
Although the powers of the act indeed offer the president the ability to indefinitely detain people, citizens or non, Obama said during signing that he would not interpret the legislation to mean as such . . .
“I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens,” added the president in a statement that accompanied the signing of NDAA. “My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.”
That memo does not, however, mean future heads of state will necessarily be excluded from following the orders authorized by Congress. In fact, the ACLU’s Romero tells The Atlantic, The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield.”
“President Obama did pledge in a signing statement not to use this law to detain American citizens but this provides little comfort, as signing statements have no legal force and he has repeatedly failed to uphold similar promises in the face of political pressure — including his pledge to close Guantánamo within his first year in office,” adds the Center for Constitutional Rights in their own statement this week. “The law authorizes a future president, such as a President Romney, President Bachmann or President Perry, to use this authorization in the most aggressive manner available.
When he offered his John Hancock come signing time, the president acknowledged suspicious but went ahead with it anyway, noting, “The fact that I support this bill as a whole does not mean I agree with everything in it. In particular, I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists.”
“I guess promising that Americans wouldn’t be indefinitely detained, period, was too much of a stretch,” blogger Mary Wheeler adds.
Those very suspicions that Obama wrote of did not stop the president from following the plea of Congress though, less than a year until November elections make or break the legacy of the president.
If you ask many, though, that legacy has been tarnished by the NDAA.
“Our Founders were fearful of the military — and they purposely created a system of checks and balances to ensure we did not become a country under military rule,” Minnesota Senator Al Franken wrote of the bill on Huffington Post. Franken, a Democrat along with Obama, said he had agreed with parts of the bill but the controversial provisions alone were reason for him not to sign it.
“This bill undermines that core principle, which is why I could not support it.”
For Obama, that didn’t quite seem to matter as much.
Ron Paul Interview
Even at this 11th hour – when all of our liberties and freedom are about to go down the drain – many people still don’t understand that the indefinite detention bill passed by Congress allows indefinite detention of Americans on American soil.
The bill is confusing. As Wired noted on December 1st:
It’s confusing, because two different sections of the bill seem to contradict each other, but in the judgment of the University of Texas’ Robert Chesney — a nonpartisan authority on military detention — “U.S. citizens are included in the grant of detention authority.”
A retired admiral, Judge Advocate General and Dean Emeritus of the University of New Hampshire School of Law also says that it applies to American citizens on American soil.
The ACLU notes:
Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.
But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”
Another sponsor of the bill – Senator Levin – has also repeatedly said that the bill applies to American citizens on American soil, citing the Supreme Court case of Hamdi which ruled that American citizens can be treated as enemy combatants:
“The Supreme Court has recently ruled there is no bar to the United States holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant,” said Levin. “This is the Supreme Court speaking.“
Levin again stressed recently that the bill applies to American citizens, and said that it was president Obama who requested that it do so:
Under questioning from Rand Paul, another co-sponsor – John McCain – said that Americans suspected of terrorism could not only be indefinitely detained, but could be sent to Guantanamo:
U.S. Congressman Justin Amash states in a letter to Congress:
The Senate’s [bill] does not even distinguish between American citizens and non-citizens, or between persons caught domestically and abroad. The President’s power, in his discretion, to detain persons he determines have supported associated forces applies just as strongly to Americans seized on U.S. soil as it does to foreigners captured on a far away battlefield.
Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson – General Colin Powell’s chief of staff – says that the bill is a big step towards tyranny at home. Congressman Ron Paul says that it will establish martial law in America.
Indeed, Amash accuses lawmakers of attempting to intentionally mislead the American people by writing a bill which appears at first glance to exclude U.S. citizens, when it actually includes us:
Pres. Obama and many Members of Congress believe the President ALREADY has the authority the bill grants him. Legally, of course, he does not. This language was inserted to keep proponents and opponents of the bill appeased, while permitting the President to assert that the improper power he has claimed all along is now in statute.
They will say that American citizens are specifically exempted under the following language in Sec. 1032: “The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.” Don’t be fooled. All this says is that the President is not REQUIRED to indefinitely detain American citizens without charge or trial. It still PERMITS him to do so
Resolved: The World Hates Us For Our Freedom!
While written before the dasterdly Senate vote, Jim Kirwin’s analysis is excellent and should be read by all.
by Jim Kirwan
November 11, 2011
WE LET THE CONSTITUTION BE DESTROYED!
Thus reported the Washington Post already in 2002.
The war on terror has no doubt had unintended consequences onAmerican freedom. But recent talk has escalated the already prevalent fears of a police state, and the story is indeed compelling. When the best of the liberal leftists and the best of the conspiracy theorists agree, you know it’s at least going to be interesting.Today Alex Jones updated his promotion of the ACLU’s monitoring of Senate Bill 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act. The ACLU reported already last Wednesday, The bill itself specifically says that
“The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.”
This is the very language Amash says is misleading:
“Note that it does not preclude U.S. citizens from being detained indefinitely, without charge or trial, it simply makes such detention discretionary.”
After reading the text of the bill, I believe Amash is essentially correct. The two sections of the 680-page bill which have drawn all the attention are 1031 and 1032. Section 1031 gives “authorization”for detention, and 1032 gives the “requirement for military custody.”The special exemption for U.S. citizens is under section 1032, and specifically says it refers to “this section.”
This means it does not apply to the previous section in which lies an abuse just as egregious-the “authorization” to detain all “covered persons” in “disposition” which includes, Detention under the law of war without trial until the end of the hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force.-Sec.1031(c) (1) There is no exemption for U.S. citizens in this section.
This threat to our liberties-while it could be defended as only pertaining explicitly to 9-11 type terrorists is definitely an expansion of the Federal police and military power into the civilian life of the U.S. It is dangerous, and should be opposed on principle. Further, the bill was crafted secretly without hearing or debate by a liberal Democrat, Carl Levin, along with John McCain, and purports to besimply a Defense spending bill. Deep in its behemoth 680 pages lies this attackon civil liberties. Sen. Lindsey Graham bragged it will
“basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield.”
Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) seconded,
“America is part of the battlefield.”
But if America is declared a battle zone, then the rules of war apply in this land. This means de facto that some form of martial law applies.This means, as WaPo said at the beginning of this article, that there’s an alternate system-and perhaps it can apply to any of us. This has been going on already since 2001:” (1) “I am sometimes baffled by how quickly many people quickly assume that because they were not personally named in some piece of legislation, that somehow the provisions of that legislation do not and could not apply to them.
Having spent a great deal of time over the years dissecting changes to code & title and the ever popular “redefinition ofterms” used to change the entire common understanding of what a word or phrase means within these tortured constructs called legislation, I knowbetter. My recent article on S.1867 elicited comments to the effect that a few commenters’ had read the bill and that I was simply being inflammatory and emotional. Yes, of course. That must be it. Lest anyone forget: The insidious Patriot Act followed by
The Security Enhancement Act of 2003,
the infamous Military Commissions Act 2006,
followed by the John Warner Defense Authorization Act 2007 and,
which called for the suspension of habeas corpus (4th Amendmentdue process)
all of which gave the president the power to arbitrarily determine on his own, that any one of us was a “domestic terrorist”and going even further to
allow the president to strip us of our citizenship at his discretion with no oversight.
Each of these unconstitutional bills was a piece of the puzzle being constructed incrementally as the Constitution and our rights were being trashed. These anti-American laws were not the only affront to the Constitution, our rights and the advancement of the police state. Now why, you might be asking, would anyone want to give the president of the United States the arbitrary authority to strip any US citizen of their citizenship with noevidence other than his/her belief that one of us is a terrorist, or supports terrorism, without the evidence supporting that contention, or being officially charged with a crime? Most recently, Obama has approved a new program which allows him to authorize the targeted killing of people in foreign countries that the administration decides is a threat (to them) and includes targeting of UScitizens right here at home and abroad.
This program, which is nothing more than sanctified murder, is a violation of international laws which prohibit the killing of individuals outside of armed combat zones. The program will allow the CIA or the military the unchecked authority to murder at will, US citizens and others, around the globe without any evidence of crime, threat or violent activity towards the United States, other than they said so. The intent through all of these assaults on the Constitution andour protected rights has been to find the means to redefine any one of us as anon-military enemy combatant to facilitate the police state. Once redefined, once the definitive description of who and what we are has been altered to suit the government agenda, it is open season on any one of us.” (2) These two articles outline just part of the problem that this pending legislation (it won’t be voted on for awhile yet); presents for all of us. What is clear is that this SECRET piece of legislation was clearly TREASON.The Congress cannot write legislation that criminalizes free speech or thatends (without debate) their congressional duty to represent the public in thisgovernment. We already have a government that has stripped away so many things that it seems impossible to enumerate them all. (3)
But we might want to begin to think about some of what this could mean for the government, and for us: Given that the government now believes that they are living in a State that is suddenly filled withTerrorists, instead of loyal citizens.
There is no precedent for this government to assume the entire nation is potentially criminal, until each of us has proven that we are innocent, each and every time a government thug wants to talk to anyone here: This is unprecedented, and there is absolutely no reason for this behavior. Also we were in business with the US government. That arrangement has gone from paying the government a token percentage of what each of us earns to a whopping 85%^ of everything we make.
And on top of that we must ask government before we are “allowed” to do anything.
At the very least we must STOP paying taxes, because the entitythat is charging us those taxes is no longer legal.
We no longer have a Constitution; ergo we no longer have the Republic, in which this compact was created.
This government is a privately held corporation and not a government:
Officially it’s called United States Incorporated so there is no reason to pay them taxes, since none of us gave them permission to”privatize” us ~ so in reality they cannot and do not own us! They (USI) went to war illegally and unilaterally; then they sought to find a way to by-pass the legal system so that they could detain people without trials, primarily because they have NO EVIDENCE!
This government created the operation on 911 that gave them hypothetical reasons for war, without proof for any of their allegations. Now they want the effects of their WAR-Crime to spill over onto their critics of these global wars for Colonial power, for resources, and for pure unadulterated-greed.
Since that could not be done by using the existing court systemthey have set out to create a whole new and illegal system by SECRETLY writing new regulations and making new rulings without bothering about the actual international rules of war; which include torture and indefinite detention.
On top of all of this they have invented out of a file drawer in CIA headquarters something called Al Qaeda; which has never existed except as a CIA operational group, prior to 911.
Now in concert with Zionist television programming and films, as well as government psy-ops releases they would have the whole world believe that Al Qaeda actually exists:
That is just another lie to keep the public under their collective feather-beds.
But in practical terms what does it mean if we no longer have a functioning congress, legally binding courts, or even the supposed bedrock ofthe Republic-the Constitution?
That means that we don’t have a country anymore.
And since the government is no more ~ why would anyone chose to pay them taxes?
For that matter what does this do to all those corporations which this so-called government has supposedly backed since the founding of the country? On the bright side would be that without a government all corporate charters would be null and void and probably 80 % + of the corporations would be gone over night.
Without a functioning government who then owns all that land that the USG says belongs to them?
The government (USI) is limited to ten-square-miles INSIDE Washington D.C.?
Beyond that ten mile by ten mile square, this “government has no power at all, except whatever people choose to give it?
We have paid for all of it, from police equipment to the roads and bridges to the parks and open range; that all belongs to us, not to them.
The so-called cops are just rented uniforms that no longer come with either badges or names, so they too are corporate-slaves with no power of their own.
If you think that’s extreme then just remember that this government only “rules” by the consent of the governed and that hasn’t happened since Gee W. Bush stole the Tarnished House on 12-12-2000! Like it or not the USA has become just another cheap and backward Empire that has an ego the size of the Colossus of Rhodes (The 8th wonder of the World which has of course disappeared into the mists of history).
Moreover what will happen when someone finally tells our troopson the frontlines that “there is no longer a US Constitution!
No more freedoms (of any kind) exist in America and there is no reason to fight to protect a so-called country that doesn’t exist”?
Here’s what Obama himself has said about this topic! :
“My administration has begun to reshape the standards that apply to insure that they are in-line with the rule of law. We must have clear defensible and lawful standards for those who fall into this category.
We must have a thorough process of periodic review so that any prolonged detention is carefully evaluated and justified. Our goal is justify a legitimate legal framework for the remaining Guantanemo detainees that come out to be transferred. Our goal is not to avoid a legitimate legal framework. In our constitutional system prolonged detention should not be the decision of any one man. If and when we determine that the United States must hold individuals, to keep them from carrying out an act of war, we will do so within a system that involves judicial and congressional oversight. And so going forward my administration will work with congress to develop an appropriate legal regime so that our efforts are consistent withor values and our Constitution.
(The Threat that Obama says makes indefinite -detention necessary) Right now in distant training camps in other cities there are people plotting to take American lives.
That will be the case a year from now, five years from now, and in all probability ten years from now.” Watch the entire tape, because it is literal dynamite! (4)
I wonder if we can get them home before BLACK CHRISTMAS, 2011?
firstname.lastname@example.org 1) “Battlefield” USA: Senate Bill Turns Military on USCitizens
http://americanvisionnews.com/412/battlefield-usa 2) S. 1867 Just another brick in the police state wall
http://ppjg.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/5000/ 3) ENDING the USA
http://www.rense.com/general95/ending.htm 4) Rachael Maddow on Obama’s Indefinite Detention Ideas 5-21-09 -7min 42 sec Video