Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) have been the major supporters of the amendments added to the National Defense Authorization Act (FY 2012) (NDAA) which, in a nutshell, will allow the US government to have the power to lock up US citizens for life at Guantanamo Bay or other military prisons – without charge and without trial based upon suspicion of terrorism.
Should you be worried? Absolutely. Let me tell you about my little conversation I had less than two weeks ago with a government official while I was in Kansas City on business.
For those who are not aware, Kansas City – and Kansas in general – has a lot of military bases, therefore running across a military/government personel at the hotel I stayed at was not unusual.
My first evening there, I went out back of the hotel into the parking lot to have a cigarette. While standing there, another man appeared for a smoke as well. As is typical for smokers, especially when out by oneself, conversations start. This man mentioned he had been staying at this hotel for over a month now. Naturally, my response was to ask him the nature of his business, and he replied that he works for the Department of Defense.
A little bit of small talk ensues, which he openly bashed Democrats (no surprise there), how he loves working for the government, and his short stint as a civilian police officer (who he also bashed), then I decided, “What the hell….” Now, I had been reading up on this new amendment in the NDAA on the internet, and from some reliable sites, so I had a little bit of insight on it. But I wanted to hear this straight from Department-of-Defense-Democrat-Hating man. So, acting rather naively (which is so easy for a bottle-blond to do), I asked him:
“I have been reading on the internet something about a Defense Bill which will allow the military to arrest or detain any US citizen if they suspect them of terrorism. I mean any US citizen, such as your neighbor, your child’s school teacher, a member of your family, and so on. Is this true?”
With a gleam in his eye, and staring directly into my eyes, a little curl emerges from one corner of his mouth as he replies:
“Yes, it is. And I prefer my country to be this way.”
Needless to say, I sucked down the rest of my cigarette as fast as I could while commenting about the current weather, then hustled my ass inside.
Here is a video which explains better than I can about this Act and Amendment:
According to a Rolling Stone article which just came out today:
“… [Occupy] Protesters in fact should be keenly interested in the potential applications of this provision, which essentially gives the executive branch unlimited powers to indefinitely detain terror suspects without trial.
The really galling thing is that this act specifically envisions American citizens falling under the authority of the bill. One of its supporters, the dependably-unlikeable Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, bragged that the law “basically says … for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and that people can be jailed without trial, be they ‘American citizen or not.’ New Hampshire Republican Kelly Ayotte reiterated that ‘America is part of the battlefield.'”
I find this very disturbing. I, as thousands of others, support the Occupy Movement. I do not necessarily agree with all the demands, nor all the tactics therein, but I do agree and support the overall premise which is how the greed and corruption within our government and corporations are destroying our economy, our people, and the world. Very similar to how our country was founded – by a group of revolutionaries which did not agree with rule of the Kingdom of Great Britain, ergo the “Revolutionary War.”
Now here we are 236 years later protesting much as our forefathers did. No, the Occupy Movement is not declaring war, and it is certainly non-violent – at least on the part of the Occupiers. But the Movement is protesting based upon the First Amendment, which supports the right of the people to peacefully protest.
Now this amendment seriously threatens the safety and freedom of anyone protesting for any reason – not just the Occupy Movement. For example, recently, there was a large protest at the Capitol over the Keystone XL bill. Just mull this over for a while… our country is ruled by those with the most money. Period. Dot. Should a group of people develop into a movement which threatens the future of the greed, then the military may easily be ordered to detain those who are protesting, and be able to do so with impunity.
Yes, this sounds extreme, and I have to admit it probably is and most likely would not occur. However, the point here being that the government and military will have the right and capability to do so – thus placing this country technically into a military police state.
Is that how you want to live? I don’t. And I especially do not want our children to grow up living in a police state of any form.
The President needs to Veto this Act.
I will finish with another quote from the Rolling Stone article:
“It sounds paranoid and nuts to think that those people might be arrested and whisked away to indefinite, lawyerless detention by the military, but remember: This isn’t about what’s logical, it’s about what’s going on in the brains of people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain.”
Other sites with information:
Business Insider: The Media’s Blackout Of The National Defense Authorization Act Is Shameful
Business Insider: The New National Defense Authorization Act Is Ridiculously Scary
Huffington Post: Senate Votes To Let Military Detain Americans Indefinitely, White House Threatens Veto
Wired: Senate Wants the Military to Lock You Up Without Trial