Friday, December 2, 2011

Observations from Amerika 12.2

It should come as no surprise that what follows occurred in the dark of night. I don't know how 93 US Senators, elected by the people of this nation, can look themselves in the face this morning. It boggles my mind how little media attention this whole thing has gotten.

Yesterday the Democratic controlled US Senate quietly passed the 680 page National Defense Authorization Act for 2012 (s.1867) by a vote of 93-7. Included in sections 1031 and 1032 of the bill is wording that for all purposes declares the whole of the United States, actually the whole world, a battle zone. As such the US Military could for the first time since the Civil War be allowed to detain United States Citizens within the US and hold them indefinitely without charge or trial. These same US citizens could conceivably face a military and not civil court. That is if they are given a trial at all. As it always seems today the purpose of the provisions is to make it easier to fight and prosecute terrorists but now it seems we are all suspect.

The sections are opposed by President Obama who promises he will veto the entire appropriations bill if they are included. Its is also opposed by the Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director Robert Mueller, and many retired military leaders. Friday morning the White House said the veto threat still stands.

"The bill is an historic threat to American citizens and others because it expands and makes permanent the authority of the president to order the military to imprison without charge or trial American citizens," said Christopher Anders, ACLU senior legislative counsel. It should be noted that a compromise was reached in order to pass the bill. The compromise? It only includes US citizens “if we want it too.” One can only wonder what any future President Dick Cheney would think of that.

It all reminds me of a quote....

“For once Benjamin consented to break his rule, and he read out to her what was written on the wall. There was nothing there now except a single Commandment. It ran: All Animals Are Equal But Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others.”

George Orwell, Animal Farm

Those voting against the bill were Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Mike Lee (R-UT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Rand Paul (R-KY), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Ron Wyyden (D-OR).

update - To clarify what "if we want it to" means.
A compromise amendment was passed which just pushes the entire matter down the road. The compromise simply leaves it to the Supreme Court to decide should some future president decide to assert the authority the bill specifically authorizes him to do. Our current crop of politicians can't even seem to get taking away our freedom right.


  1. This is the best quote I could find that relates to this, I remember I hearing it on the show and thinking I must remember this.

    There's a reason you separate military and the police. One fights the enemies of the state, the other serves and protects the people. When the military becomes both, then the enemies of the state tend to become the people. Commander William Adama - Battlestar Galactica

  2. Oh that's just perfect because I love that show.... thanks!