Friday, 2 December 2011

Congress' "Ministry Of Peace"

In an astonishing act of -- let's call a rose a rose -- creeping totalitariaism, Congress has passed a law that erases the distinction between citizens of the United States and so-called "enemy combatants," a charming turn of phrase cooked up by the Bush Administration to sidetrack pesky things like the overwhelming preponderance of international law and various treaties that many US Presidents (including Reagan!) signed in good faith.

While one could view this as an extended hangover from 9/11, or perceived "business as usual" on the part of a new administration trying to keep things flowing smoothly in the consensus department, this is a significant and ominous development in the liberties afforded to not only extralegal detainees, but UNITED STATES CITIZENS AS WELL.

Jose Padilla is an American Citizen

In accordance with what I've come to look at as standard operating procedure, this odious provision was quietly secreted away deep in the bowels of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, far from the sub-headings "MEAT" and "POTATOES."

What kind of traitor would raise objections to the 2012 Defense bill? Isn't "Defense" right there in the name, nancyboy?! You want us helpless?! It sounds like somebody forgot about a certain bright September day in 2001...

Then you take a step back, a deep breath, and whatever handful of colorful pills your doctor is experimenting on you with this week.

Barack Obama has an unsettling yen for video games. The practice of a glowing screen and joystick blowing Pashtuns, Pakistanis, and US Citizens living abroad (and possibly talking to a guy whose brother is a driver for a terrorist) into charred, reeking, ropy offal is very well documented. Given this track record, forgive me if the way in which this "compromise" has proceeded gives me the willies.

A "suspected terrorist," held without trial

The original, 200-proof 2012 NDAA was a full-court press by Republicans to lock up anybody, anytime (more or less). Obama, bless his heart, threatened to veto the monstrosity at the time. Via the Taiwan News:

The $662 billion annual Defense Authorization legislation also included a murky compromise on the issue of whether the US government may hold suspected terrorists, including American citizens, indefinitely without trial... 
Lawmakers feuded for much of the week on the legislation's affirmation of past judicial opinions that US citizens who sign on with Al-Qaeda or affiliated groups may be held indefinitely without trial. 
Senators repeatedly rejected efforts to exempt Americans from that fate, but ultimately voted 99-1 to embrace a face-saving compromise that left the volatile issue to the Supreme Court...Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin insisted that the high court had already ruled "there is no bar to this nation holding one of its own citizens as an enemy combatant."
As of this writing, CBS has some even more alarming tidbits:

The legislation would deny suspected terrorist, even US citizens seized within the nation's borders, the right to trial and subject them to indefinite detention.

Let's break that down: if you are suspected of being a 'terrorist,' you (a US citizen) can be seized, detained, held for as long as they want without even being charged with a crime. Trial? Nope. Release? Up to them.

Not to wax Tea-Partian, but let me make this as in-your-face-as-possible:



CBS continues:

The House-passed bill would limit [President] Obama's authority to transfer terrorist suspects from the U.S. naval facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to installations in the United States, even for trial. It also would make it difficult for the administration to move detainees to foreign countries. [Ed. - that last isn't such a bad thing, really, but still doesn't bar the CIA from engaging in "extraordinary rendition" to move suspects to friendly despotic governments for torture at so-called "black sites." If I sound like Alex Jones, I understand your reaction, but honest to god, Google any of the terms I put in square quotes.]
So what is a red-blooded American to do? Don a tight jumpsuit and leap from the rooftops to fight injustice?

Yes. But before you do that, head this direction (quick! you have an hour or two!):


#Occupiers will meet at Gallivan Center's Main St. entrance at 11 AM MST, clad in black hoods to represent the silenced citizens who have, and may in the future, become victims of "extralegal detention" as a result of this unconstitutional legislation. 

At 12 PM MST, they will march to the Federal Courthouse at 350 S. Main St. to protest radical and uncalled-for constraints on our constitutional rights.

Tara Bueche, Press Contact for #OccupySLC, can be contacted at

Be there or be square! I am, in fact, square, because I have an important job-related meeting at 11 AM :-(

1 comment:

  1. SLS, thank you for this post. I had a hard time reading it because the sentences were too long. Clip that sh*t.