Politics

The Government v. Everyone

December 17, 2011

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Thursday marked 220 years since the Bill of Rights was signed. As tribute, the US government fed the Bill of Rights through a paper shredder. This week they shoved forward two bills that would neuter the constitution. Then, almost as if they were deliberately giving the finger to the entire nation, the White House Tweeted:

Happy Bill of Rights Day! The US continues to stand with citizens & governments around the world who empower free expression.

US propaganda says we invaded Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11 to export democracy. Thursday marked the official end of the Iraq War. Our grand mission to export democracy was successful, because as of this week, it no longer exists here. We’ll have to move somewhere else to find it.

Like a Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robot, the feds came out with both fists swinging this week. On Wednesday the White House told reporters that Obama had rescinded his own public promises to veto SB1867, otherwise known as the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). That bouncin’ baby bill contains a clause permitting the feds to indefinitely detain anyone so much as suspected of having terrorist affiliations. On Thursday a Congressional committee held a hearing on amendments that would soften H.R. 3261, AKA the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). That particular legislative confection would give the feds a Great Firewall of China-level authority to shut down websites at whim.

“Thursday marked 220 years since the Bill of Rights was signed. As tribute, the US government fed the Bill of Rights through a paper shredder.”

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
One of the main things that got Barack Obama elected—other than his shimmering, hazelnut-colored skin—was public outrage over the Bush Administration’s indefinite detention of suspected terrorists at places such as Guantanamo Bay. So after Obama’s election, when reputed “conspiracy theorists” such as the portly porcupine Alex Jones would warn that the feds planned to declare martial law and corral US citizens into internment camps, they were roundly dismissed as wackadiddly paranoid schizos—and, of course, racists who couldn’t stand seeing a black guy get all the chicks.

It turns out that only the cuckoo clocks knew what time it is. Sections 1031-1032 of NDAA contain the prickly clauses about indefinitely detaining terrorists without judicial review. This passage…

The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

…would seem to exempt US citizens. But critics charge it is delicately worded—unlike foreign nationals suspected of terrorism, the US is not required to hold them indefinitely, but they are still permitted to do so.

According to Senator Lindsey Graham:

1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.

On Wednesday the House passed the bill 283-136. On Thursday—Bill of Rights Day—the Senate passed it 86-13. The bill now awaits Obama’s certain signature.

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