Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Do you trust your government to "do the right thing" here?

I told you about the Senate's NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) a week and a half ago, and how the bill would, essentially, strip American citizens of all civil rights due to the language in two clauses. In essence, the bill permits the president of the United States to become the final arbiter on any- and everyone within the bounds of the United States. He will be granted the legal (thought un-Constitutional) right to declare anyone a terrorist and thus have them bundled away to prison. --Y'know, kind of like we have seen Vladimir Putin do to all of his political enemies, or virtually all strong-man prime ministers, presidents, fuehrers, and so forth have done over the years. . . .

Well, they sent the bill to a closed session of a Joint Conference Committee. And the committee refused to eliminate any of the language.

Ready for the future of an absolute dictatorship, whether Democratic, Republican, or some other brand? We're almost there, at least in principle.

From Matt Hawes of the Campaign for Liberty:
On December 1, the U.S. Senate passed S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), by a vote of 93-7.

A slightly different NDAA, H.R. 1540, had already passed the U.S. House in May, and it has been reconciled with the Senate version in a closed session of a Joint Conference Committee.

The NDAA is passed annually to specify the budget and expenditures for the U.S. Department of Defense, but this year's version would essentially strip American Citizens of due process - protections that used to set us apart from despotic nations.

The Senate version of the NDAA declares the homeland to be part of the battlefield in the "War on Terror."

In simple terms, Sections 1031 and 1032 of S. 1867 allow American citizens to be detained indefinitely - without charges or trial - until the War on Terror is declared over.

There has been some recent confusion over what exactly the Senate bill actually stipulates.

In fact, when you call your representative and BOTH of your senators, as I'm about to ask you to do, the staff will probably give you one of two canned responses:

1.) "The Feinstein amendment #1456, which passed on Dec. 1 (by a vote of 99-1), says that no provision of Sec. 1031 can be taken to "affect existing law or authorities, relating to the detention of United States citizens." [Notice how they refuse to spell it out? I have this feeling, where there's smoke, there really is fire. . . . Remember the promises they made back when they passed the RICO (Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act? We were promised it would only be used against real gangster and mafia-style organizations. Not anyone else. But it didn't take long. I mean, what a handy tool to use against people like Randall Terry and Operation Rescue. Are we going to trust them with this law? --JAH]

In reality, this was added nearly unanimously at the last minute to appease those of us rightly opposed to these detention provisions. In the Congressional Record that day, there are arguments from Senators Lindsey Graham and Carl Levin, both of whom supported this amendment, stating they believe the President and Congress already have the authority to detain American Citizens, since the Supreme Court hasn't yet ruled otherwise. This is not the case, but it explains why the bill's main supporters did not oppose the Feinstein amendment.

2.) "It already exempts American Citizens. You should know that Sec. 1032 actually states: "The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States."

Don't fall for their cleverly chosen legislative language.

A careful reading of the suspect sections bears out that, while there is no requirement to detain an American citizen, the act thereof is not explicitly prohibited. By extension, it is actually permitted.

As if the above is not bad enough, the power to determine which American citizens will be indefinitely detained without charges or trial will be left to the President alone.

I'm certain you would agree that something as important as overturning longstanding American jurisprudence deserves to be the subject of a vigorous debate in a public forum.

But, late last week, the House, by an overwhelming majority (406-17), passed a motion that allowed this Joint Committee to meet in secret.

Last night, the House and Senate conferees emerged without having changed the offending detainee provisions of the NDAA.

And the section numbers (formerly 1031 and 1032) have been changed to 1021 and 1022.

A vote on the conference report could come as early as this Wednesday [that's tomorrow! --JAH] in the House of Representatives!

So I need your members of Congress to know where you stand immediately!

It is imperative you contact your representative and both of your senators today to urge them to vote NO on the NDAA (H.R. 1540/S. 1867) Conference Report unless Secs. 1021 and 1022 are removed or modified to explicitly exclude all U.S. citizens and lawful resident aliens.

In Liberty,

Matt Hawes
Vice President

P.S. Call your representative and senators today at 202-224-3121 to urge them to say NO on the NDAA Conference Report unless Secs. 1021 and 1022 are removed or heavily modified.

For additional details about this issue, click here. And, if you're able at this time, please chip in at least $10 so C4L can continue to fight the statists' attempts to shred more of our Constitution.
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