Monday, December 19, 2011

When I Was Young, Americans Couldn't Be Held Without Charges Or Trials

Constitution Free Zone
Way back, before 9/11 changed everything, people in this country had certain rights.  They were spelled out in the Bill of Rights and and the Constitution. A government of and by the people, through law guaranteed all US Citizens the right to know what they were accused of, a trial with a jury of their peers the right to an attorney and other rights. 

Since 9/11 we saw our law makers pass the Patriot Act without really reading it.  There was an Anthrax scare going on during congressional debate over the Patriot Act so no one wanted take the time.  Our so called leaders sold us down the river and traded a perceived safety for our freedoms.  The Patriot Act dramatically altered the way this country does business. Since then we have tortured people, made others disappear through "extraordinary rendition", allowed the president to assassinate US Citizens abroad, started a war without being provoked, and all of this for safety.  We are no longer free. Most of us still think we are free but we are mistaken. 

The National Defense Authorization Act which has passed both houses of congress and only needs the signature of President Obama will seal the deal. He had threatened to veto the legislation because of a provision by Sen. Diane Feinstein that would exempt US Citizens from the indefinite detention.  He seems to have found a way around that and says he will now sign it.

With Obama's signature, they can hunt us down, lock us up without charges and keep us locked up indefinitely. They have been doing this to enemy combatants under the Patriot Act but have kept those locked up off shore at Guantanamo Bay because of US laws on the main land. 

Both California Senators Boxer and Feinstein voted for the NDAA.  Our north coast Representative Congressman Mike Thompson voted against.  The militarization of our police forces and this constant eroding of our rights has changed this country.  That soaring eagle is now chained and shackled.  Most of congress should be fired for voting for this.  See how they voted.

Senator Al Franken said:
“These provisions are inconsistent with the liberties and freedoms that are at the core of the system our Founders established,” .  “And while I did in fact vote for an earlier version of the legislation, I did so with the hope that the final version would be significantly improved. That didn’t happen, and so I could not support the final bill.”

See a story from the Huffington Post that better explains the way it all went down.

The videos
A US Senator's response

Anonymous reaction

Jesse Ventura on the unfolding police state

Now doesn't all of that just make you feel safer?



  2. Tom, thanks for all of the links. This law, if challenged, would appear unconstitutional and unenforceable. Truly disappointing!

  3. Thanks for this. I've written to Sen. Boxor to express my dismay. (I borrowed a couple of sentences from you since they were so succinct) Feinstein is, I think a lost cause so I ommitted her. Anyway thanks.

  4. An hour later Sen Boxer responded:

    Thank you for writing to me about provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) concerning the military detention of enemy combatants. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

    I was deeply disappointed that the final version of the NDAA did not include important language authored by Senators Mark Udall (D-CO) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) regarding detainees that would have protected civil liberties while helping to keep us safe. During floor consideration of the NDAA, I voted for an amendment offered by Senator Udall that would have replaced the detainee provisions in the bill with a requirement for the Administration to report to Congress on detention authorities. Unfortunately, this amendment failed by a vote of 38-60.

    I also voted for an amendment offered by Senator Feinstein that would have clarified that mandatory military detention would apply only to terrorist suspects captured outside the United States. This amendment also failed by a vote of 45-55.

    I have now agreed to be a co-sponsor of S.2003, the Due Process Guarantee Act. This important bipartisan legislation would protect American citizens arrested within the United States from being held indefinitely by the U.S. military.

    I strongly oppose any expansion of military detention authority that erodes our civil liberties. However, I voted for the National Defense Authorization Act because it includes a number of provisions for our troops and their families, including a pay raise requested by President Obama and important health care benefits.


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