Americans can legally be kidnapped and held without trial
Source: Paul Joseph Watson
The Second Circuit court has overturned a temporary injunction which had blocked the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) – meaning Americans can now once again be kidnapped and held without trial.
In September 2012, United States District Court Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled that the indefinite detention provision of the NDAA was unconstitutional and blocked it permanently. However, within 24 hours of the ruling the Obama administration appealed lodged an appeal and the law has been under temporary injunction until now.
Americans can once again “legally” be snatched off the street and detained without trial based on the mere claim that they provided aid or support to terrorists, despite this being a total violation of habeas corpus.
The Tenth Amendment Center has a detailed breakdown of the ruling;
“In layman’s terms, Forrest put a stop to indefinite detention, and the Second Circuit overturned that. It also permanently prohibited Forrest from attempting to do so again, ordering her to proceed with the case consistent with their opinion. NDAA “indefinite detention” powers are alive and well.”
The group points out that the new Second Circuit ruling is completely incorrect because it claims that Section 1021 of the 2012 NDAA says nothing about the government’s ability to detain citizens.
In reality, section 1021 states, “Congress affirms that the authority of the President to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force . . . includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons . . . pending disposition under the law of war.”
The ruling stems out of Hedges v. Obama, a lawsuit filed in January 2012. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges and several other high profile figures brought the case in order to protest against the potential that the law could be used to harass outspoken journalists and political activists.
“Sadly, the “victory” lasted about 10 months. Today, US totalitarianism wins again,” laments Zero Hedge.
The U.S. House of Representatives approved the final version of the annual defense policy bill on Thursday, authorizing $633.3 billion in defense spending for 2013, easing limits on satellite exports and providing more Marines for embassy security.
The Republican-controlled House approved the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of 315-107. The measure must still be approved by the Senate before it can go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
The measure authorizes a Pentagon base budget of $527.5 billion, plus $88.5 billion for overseas operations, primarily the war in Afghanistan. The base budget includes $17.4 billion for defense-related nuclear programs at the Energy Department.
This may be the last Christmas of online shopping without paying sales tax.
A proposed online sales tax has been offered as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, much to the ire of opponents.
The Computer and Communications Industry Association, a group that opposes this move, says that an online sales tax will burden small businesses, “some of the most promising candidates for future economic growth.”
“This proposal, and other online sales tax collection proposals like it, would allow states to penalize the innovative e-commerce business model by targeting small online businesses as convenient sources (and collectors) of revenue,” said CCIA President and CEO Ed Black.
The Marketplace Fairness Act, and its House counterpart the Marketplace Equity Act, seek to clarify, and arguably overturn, a 1992 Supreme Court ruling that requires retailers to have a physical presence in a state in order to collect sales tax on goods.
“Severing the relationship between taxation and physical presence would be a fundamental transformation in how we consider taxes,” Black continued. “Such a significant step deserves more extensive consideration than attachment to the unrelated Defense Authorization bill.”
Still, a recent poll indicates that the majority of Americans support the idea, describing an online sales tax as “common sense”. They also feel that a tax for online purchases would encourage people to buy local and keep tax dollars in their community.
“Local retailers invest in their communities and play a significant role in the overall quality of life in the places we call home,” said Betsy Laird, senior vice president of global public policy for the International Council of Shopping Centers.
Collecting the tax across state lines however poses as a challenge for small businesses that sell their goods in multiple states.
“It is not the job of small businesses to collect taxes to provide tax revenue relief for state and local governments outside their jurisdiction,” Black said, suggesting that an online tax would protect existing businesses at the expense of consumers and growth.
Some Republicans are on board, with Wyoming Sen. Mike Enzi as “the most overlooked tax loophole.”
“We are optimistic that once the Marketplace Fairness Act is brought for a vote, it will have enough support to pass,” said Illinois Democratic Sen. Richard Durbin’s spokeswoman, Christina Mulka.
Both Sens. Durbin and Enzi have offered the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.
“Sen. Durbin is focused on working with his colleagues to try to get a vote on the bill before the end of this year, whether as a stand-alone bill or part of a larger piece of legislation,” Mulka said. “They are keeping all options on the table at this point.”
Source: Travis Holte Lew Rockwell Blog
The Senate passed the much ballyhooed Feinstein-Lee amendment last night, which supposedly partially nullifies the provision in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing for Americans to be kidnapped by the government and disappeared without any charge or due process. Senator Rand Paul put out a press release declaring victory. But as Congressman Justin Amash points out, the wording of the amendment effectively codifies tyranny:
The heart of the Feinstein amendment:
“An authorization to use military force, a declaration of war, or any similar authority shall not authorize the detention without charge or trial of a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States apprehended in the United States, UNLESS AN ACT OF CONGRESS EXPRESSLY AUTHORIZES SUCH DETENTION.”
Well, that Act of Congress is the 2012 NDAA, which renders the rest of the Feinstein amendment meaningless.
I have some questions. Why are Americans who are traveling, working, living abroad left out of this legislation? Does one only have his rights when he’s within the sanctified borders of the U.S.? Why is it not being argued that ALL PEOPLE have the right to due process? Why are there libertarians celebrating this passage when rather than making us more free it really only further enshrines the idea that the State grants (and denies) us our rights?
Source: Mac Slavo SHTFPlan.com
To screams and protests from the American people, Congress overwhelmingly supported passage of the National Defense Authorization Act which, among other things, allowed for the indefinite detention of Americans without charge or trial should they be arrested or held under suspicion of loosely-based definitions for domestic terrorism.
Now, under pressure from Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), members of Congress have re-assessed their positions on the amendment which allows the government to snatch up American citizens domestically and hold them in similar fashion to Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Senators who likely failed to read the bill before they found out what was in it back in 2011, have made a u-turn on one of its most controversial provisions.
President Barack Obama opposed the measure, but ultimately signed it after an amendment to the act muddied the issue enough to make it debatable in courts. Obama pledged to never use the authority.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who helped write that amendment, declared Wednesday that it is not good enough, and recalled seeing Japanese Americans jailed in horse stalls at a racetrack when she was a girl.
“I believe that the time has come now to end this legal ambiguity, and state clearly, once and for all, that the AUMF or other authorities do not authorize such indefinite detention of Americans apprehended in the U.S.,” Feinstein said.
“The federal government experimented with indefinite detention of U.S. citizens during World War II, a mistake we now recognize as a betrayal of our core values,” she said. “Let’s not repeat it.”
The amendment filed by Feinstein Wednesday would bar such detentions of citizens and green card-holders.
She was also backed by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Mike Lee (R-Utah), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).
It was not clear when the amendment would get a vote.
Of then ten Senators sponsoring the bill, eight of them voted in support of the legislation in December of 2011, including Sen. Feinstein.
While we are in full support of eliminating the indefinite detention provisions of the NDAA, as well as the ambiguous definitions for what is or is not a domestic terrorist as per the Patriot Act, the NDAA in its current form should never have been passed in the first place.
Is it not the responsibility of our elected officials to prevent ambiguity BEFORE a law is passed, especially when the questions being raised have to do with fundamental Constitutional issues like due process and the right to a fair and speedy trial?
While President Obama “promised” never to use the provision to detain Americans, the fact is that such power should never be granted to any government, let alone a single individual.
Is the government preparing to put down widespread civil strife or uprising? After four years of economic woe, and an all-time low approval rating for congress, many Americans are asking this question. With a government that’s seemingly out of control, conspiracy theories are popping up about what’s “really” going on – and there’s more truth to these theories than you might think. Get the facts before it’s too late and see what you should be concerned about.
Exhibit A: Recent NDAA revisions endorsed by President Obama enable the indefinite detainment of U.S. Citizens
- Passed every year, the National Defense Authorization Act often plays host to hidden laws too controversial to pass on their own – the detainment of U.S. citizens being one of them
- 7 individuals, from activists to a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter, have sued the president, claiming to be unable to carry out their work and activism for fear of violating the terms of the revisions
- President Obama’s response: “The only responsible way to combat the threat al-Qaeda poses is to remain relentlessly practical”
- His “serious reservations” about the provisions are overruled by the argument that “we have to fight al-Qaeda”
Exhibit B: The 2012 DHS/ICE order of 450 million rounds of ammunition can only mean one thing – civil war is near, and it’s time to prepare
- Why you should be concerned:
- These high-performance, hollow-point rounds are designed specifically for killing people!
- Such a large order of highly lethal bullets leads to questions about these organizations’ plans for the future
- The government has killed U.S. citizens engaged in terrorism abroad – maybe they’re arming their forces to assassinate citizens at home
- Taking the other side:
- The 450 million round order is actually a contract for the next 5 years – they don’t have to purchase that many rounds, nor can they exceed the order
- Buying in bulk can save the government millions of dollars
- Given the size and scope of these agencies, the order isn’t all that abnormally large
- The DHS operates many agencies, including the Coast Guard and Secret Service
- A lot of ammunition is needed for firearms training for the agents
- 65,000 – 70,000: Number of law enforcement agents who would use this ammunition
- This would provide 1,384 rounds per agent per year
- That’s only 155 rounds per month
Exhibit C: An increase in social network monitoring by the Feds shows the government is fearful of its constituents
- After the “Arab Spring” and the role social media played in it, our government is wary of the extent to which these networks can help spark revolutions
- Caryn Wagner, undersecretary of the DHS, explicitly stated that the agency has guidelines for monitoring social sites, and that all information is archived
- Senator Dianne Feinstein is concerned that intelligence agencies aren’t monitoring public social sites as much as they could
- Some keywords being monitored:
- Dirty bomb
- The other side:
- Mary Ellen Callahan, chief privacy officer at the DHS: “We have been doing required privacy compliance reviews that we publish on the website…every six months”
Exhibit D: The Increase of military training exercises on domestic soil in urban areas is evidence the government is preparing to deal with civil uprising
- Is this possible? Yes
- Is it legal for the Military to intervene in the circumstance of civil disorder or uprising? Yes
- Has this goal been confirmed by any government official? No
- Should we expect military intervention in the case of widespread civil strife not controllable by local authorities? Given the law written into the NDAA 2007, yes
- September 26, 2006: President Bush urged Congress to revise federal laws, allowing U.S. armed forces to enforce laws and restore order
- Response from the military?
- “No comment”
How Close Are We To Civil War?
- A look at the historic roots of civil unrest
- Lack of representation
- The American Revolutionary War was a direct result of colonists being unable to represent themselves
- There is a distinct lack of Congressional representation of minorities
- African Americans account for 12.2% of the population
- Only 8.2% of Representatives are African American
- Latinos account for 16% of the population
- Only 5% of Representatives are hispanic
- Asian Americans account for 4.8% of the population
- Only 1.6% of Representatives are Asian American
- At the founding of the U.S., each Representative represented 33,000 citizens
- Today, that number is greater than 700,000
- Only 10% of Americans are satisfied with the job Congress is doing
- Economic distress
- The massive Greek protests were a response to austerity measures and the 110 billion Euro bailout
- 3 people were killed in the protests
- Decline of American median wealth from 2005 – 2009:
- Hispanic households: 66%
- Asian households: 54%
- African American households: 53%
- White households: 16%
Bill mandates federal agency to respond to “funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuaries” being “overwhelmed”
Source: Paul Joseph Watson
The United States Congress has passed a bill which mandates the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to prepare for “mass fatality planning” and funeral homes, cemeteries and mortuaries being “overwhelmed” in the aftermath of a mass terror attack, natural disaster or other crisis.
The bill, H. R. 6566 or the Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act, was posted on the govtrack.us website this morning having been approved by the House on September 28.
The legislation amends the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to direct FEMA to “provide guidance and coordination for mass fatality planning, and for other purposes.”
Noting the necessity for emergency preparedness in relation to terror attacks, natural disasters and man-made disasters, the bill instructs FEMA to be sensitive to the fact that Jews and Muslims require bodies to be buried within 48 hours of death.
“Funeral homes, cemeteries, and mortuaries could be overwhelmed should mass fatalities arise from a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster,” states the legislation.
Should the bill be given the green light by the Senate, the full amended text to the Homeland Security Act will state;
“Preparedness for Mass Fatalities- In carrying out this section, the Administrator shall provide guidance to and coordinate with appropriate individuals, including representatives from different communities, private sector businesses, non-profit organizations, and religious organizations, to prepare for and respond to a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other man-made disaster that results in mass fatalities.”
“This is just one of those things that makes the stomach turn: the people who brought us the National Defense Authorization Act (authorizing the detention of US citizens on US soil) now deem it prudent to prepare for mass fatalities on US soil,” writes Simon Black.
“FEMA, as you may recall, is the same organization that couldn’t get bottles of water delivered to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina… and held up hundreds of seasoned volunteer emergency service workers from entering the city for several days of mandatory sexual harassment training.”
The legislation will only serve to stoke more paranoia that the federal government is preparing for mass civil unrest that could lead to a declaration of martial law and require lethal force to be used, as it was during Hurricane Katrinawhen police were ordered to shoot looters.
The Department of Homeland Security has been arming itself to the teeth over the course of the last six months, purchasing ammunition in jaw-dropping quantities.
As we reported last month, following controversy over its purchase of around 1.2 billion bullets in the last six months alone, the DHS has put out a new solicitation for over 200 million more rounds of ammunition, some of which are designated to be used by snipers.
Source: Abby Rogers Business Insider
The Obama administration had some harsh words Friday after a federal judge appointed by Obama said the government doesn’t have a right to indefinitely detain anyone even remotely associated with terrorist groups.
Judge Katherine B. Forrest permanently blocked the government from enforcing the National Defense Authorization Act, claiming it was too vague and would have a “chilling effect” on free speech.
And now the Department of Justice is calling Forrest’s ruling “unprecedented,” arguing that the government has long had the authority to detain anyone it deems a threat to the county, The Wall Street Journal’s Law
While claiming otherwise, White House has pushed for measure all along
Source: Paul Joseph Watson
Within 24 hours of a historic court ruling that struck down the indefinite detention provision of the National Defense Authorization Act, the Obama administration has appealed the ruling, emphasizing once again how the White House – while claiming to be against the measure – has aggressively pushed for it at every turn.
On Wednesday, New York federal judge Katherine Forrest issued a ruling which blocked provisions of the NDAA that could have seen American citizens kidnapped and held indefinitely without charge.
The suit was brought by activists and journalists, including former New York Times columnist Chris Hedges, who argued that the law was unconstitutional because it could see journalists abducted and detained merely for speaking their minds.
In “permanently” halting the enforcement of the law, Forrest noted how the plaintiffs presented “evidence that First Amendment rights have already been harmed and will be harmed by the prospect of (the law) being enforced. The public has a strong and undoubted interest in the clear preservation of First and Fifth Amendment rights.”
However, the very next day the Obama administration reportedly moved to appeal the decision in an attempt to reinstate the indefinite detention provisions.
“This sent a chill down my spine,” writes Business Insider’s David Seaman. “In the midst of my interview with Tangerine Bolen, a plaintiff in the lawsuit against the NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions & coordinator of StopNDAA.org, she received an email from her lawyer to inform her that the Obama administration has already appealed yesterday’s historic court ruling.”
“For a man who doesn’t want the ability to order the military to abduct and detain citizens – without charge or trial – it is quite odd that his administration is appealing yet again,” he adds.
Indeed, as we documented throughout the course of the NDAA controversy, despite Obama issuing a signing statement promising not to use the indefinite detention provisions against U.S. citizens, his administration specifically pushed for those provisions to be applied to U.S. citizens in the first place.
As the NDAA’s co-sponsor Senator Carl Levin said during a speech on the floor in December, it was the Obama administration that demanded the removal of language that would have protected Americans from being subject to indefinite detention.
“The language which precluded the application of Section 1031 to American citizens was in the bill that we originally approved…and the administration asked us to remove the language which says that U.S. citizens and lawful residents would not be subject to this section,” said Levin, Chairman of the Armed Services Committee.
“It was the administration that asked us to remove the very language which we had in the bill which passed the committee…we removed it at the request of the administration,” said Levin, emphasizing, “It was the administration which asked us to remove the very language the absence of which is now objected to.”
In attempting to include the entire United States as a battleground under the NDAA, the Obama administration is merely extending its already established policy of targeting American citizens worldwide for state-sponsored assassination with no legal process whatsoever.
Given that the White House is already executing this policy at the global level, it’s no surprise that they are also keen to enforce it domestically by appealing this week’s ruling.
US Totalitarianism Loses Major Battle As Judge Permanently Blocks NDAA’s Military Detention Provision
Source; Zero Hedge
Back in January, Pulitzer winning journalist Chris Hedges sued President Obama and the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, specifically challenging the legality of the Authorization for Use of Military Force or, the provision that authorizes military detention for people deemed to have “substantially supported” al Qaeda, the Taliban or “associated forces.”
Hedges called the president’s action allowing indefinite detention, which was signed into law with little opposition fromeither party “unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous.” He attacked point blank the civil rights farce that is the neverending “war on terror” conducted by both parties, targetting whom exactly is unclear, but certainly attaining ever more intense retaliation from foreigners such as the furious attacks against the US consulates in Egypt and Libya. He asked “why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens.” A few months later, in May, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled in favor of a temporary injunction blocking the enforcement of the authorization for military detention. Today, the war againt the true totalitarian terror won a decisive battle, when in a 112-opinion, Judge Forrest turned the temporary injunction, following an appeal by the totalitarian government from August 6, into a permanent one.
The permanent injunction prevents the U.S. government from enforcing a portion of Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act’s “Homeland Battlefield” provisions.
The opinion stems from a January lawsuit filed by former New York Times war correspondent and Pulitzer Prize winner Chris Hedges and others. The plaintiffs said they had no assurance that their writing and advocacy activities would not fall under the scope of the provision.
Government attorneys argued that the executive branch is entitled to latitude when it comes to cases of national security and that the law is neither too broad nor overly vague.
“This court does not disagree with the principle that the president has primacy in foreign affairs,” the judge said, but that she was not convinced by government arguments.
“The government has not stated that such conduct – which, by analogy, covers any writing, journalistic and associational activities that involve al Qaeda, the Taliban or whomever is deemed “associated forces” – does not fall within § 1021(b)(2).”
What is ironic, is that in the ongoing absolute farce that is the theatrical presidential debate, there hasn’t been one word uttered discussing precisely the kind of creeping totalitarian control, and Orwellian loss of constitutional rights, that the biparty-supported NDAA would have demanded out of the US republic. Why? Chris Hedges said it best:
The oddest part of this legislation is that the FBI, the CIA, the director of national intelligence, the Pentagon and the attorney general didn’t support it. FBI Director Robert Mueller said he feared the bill would actually impede the bureau’s ability to investigate terrorism because it would be harder to win cooperation from suspects held by the military. “The possibility looms that we will lose opportunities to obtain cooperation from the persons in the past that we’ve been fairly successful in gaining,” he told Congress.
But it passed anyway. And I suspect it passed because the corporations, seeing the unrest in the streets, knowing that things are about to get much worse, worrying that the Occupy movement will expand, do not trust the police to protect them. They want to be able to call in the Army. And now they can.
He is 100% correct, and today, if it weren’t for his lawsuit, the saying that someone, somewhere in the world might possibly “hate America for its liberties” would have been the biggest lie conceivable.
Also, the total fascist takeover of America would now have been a fact.
Some other insights from Hedges, who explained back in January, just why he is suing Barack Obama:
This demented “war on terror” is as undefined and vague as such a conflict is in any totalitarian state. Dissent is increasingly equated in this country with treason. Enemies supposedly lurk in every organization that does not chant the patriotic mantras provided to it by the state. And this bill feeds a mounting state paranoia. It expands our permanent war to every spot on the globe. It erases fundamental constitutional liberties. It means we can no longer use the word “democracy” to describe our political system.
The supine and gutless Democratic Party, which would have feigned outrage if George W. Bush had put this into law, appears willing, once again, to grant Obama a pass. But I won’t. What he has done is unforgivable, unconstitutional and exceedingly dangerous. The threat and reach of al-Qaida—which I spent a year covering for The New York Times in Europe and the Middle East—are marginal, despite the attacks of 9/11. The terrorist group poses no existential threat to the nation. It has been so disrupted and broken that it can barely function. Osama bin Laden was gunned down by commandos and his body dumped into the sea. Even the Pentagon says the organization is crippled. So why, a decade after the start of the so-called war on terror, do these draconian measures need to be implemented? Why do U.S. citizens now need to be specifically singled out for military detention and denial of due process when under the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force the president can apparently find the legal cover to serve as judge, jury and executioner to assassinate U.S. citizens, as he did in the killing of the cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen? Why is this bill necessary when the government routinely ignores our Fifth Amendment rights—“No person shall be deprived of life without due process of law”—as well as our First Amendment right of free speech? How much more power do they need to fight “terrorism”?
Fear is the psychological weapon of choice for totalitarian systems of power. Make the people afraid. Get them to surrender their rights in the name of national security. And then finish off the few who aren’t afraid enough. If this law is not revoked we will be no different from any sordid military dictatorship. Its implementation will be a huge leap forward for the corporate oligarchs who plan to continue to plunder the nation and use state and military security to cow the population into submission.
Today’s full ruling presented below in its entirety:
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