Activism, Protests & Rights

The National Defense Authorization Act will allow the military to detain YOU | My chat with Dept of Defense man

John McCain and Lindsey Graham are among the senators pushing a provision to make the homeland "part of the battlefield," allowing the government to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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.

Red flag.

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

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10 replies »

  1. Mc Cain is a corporate hack of the highest order and would and does willingly allow US companies overseas who tax you and I for the privilege of acting as modern day privateers without the use of ships.
    We have to remember that the corporatists at the time of the revolution saw no problem with being supported by the military whenever the little folk got in the way. Similarly with McCain.

    He saw no problems with Freeport McMoran and it’s Indonesian Grasberg mine. He saw no problem with hundreds of thousands of tons of cyanide laced mill tailings being disposed of down to the oceans daily. He even saw no problems when local villager were killed by the military it hired.

    This issue of being carted away inside the USA must be a large issue. It speaks to what we are and should always be. Remember we even tried McVeigh. McCain would have likely rounded up everyone but McVeigh.

  2. The National Defense Authorization Act is scary stuff. it isn’t just the Occupy movement, or those opposed to the Keystone pipeline that need to be concerned….

    Because today, they may be targeting those people but tomorrow…..

    Well tomorrow they may set their sights on you. For whatever reason it is. Could be your religion, your race, your whatever….

    They just can’t imagine that Big Brother would ever turn on them……

  3. i do not actually “like” this post per se…i do like the info in it. yeah, guys like that are cold, dead, scary, and stupid…robots. the stooge defenders of the power. and then of course there’s these tea party idiots who haven’t a clue as to what/who they’re actually standing up for. it would be funny if it weren’t so sad, and so dire. we are standing at the edge of a subtle form of fascism…maybe already over it. keep the faith, keep the info circulating, and continue…

  4. This is an important post that I hope everyone reads. I’ve written several post about this issue as well concerning how the military can be used to suppress protest and civil arrest. It is a frightening turn in our democracy but only one peg of many that is taking our rights away in what I believe is a planned and concerted effort to effectively “enslave” the American people to corporate will. We have become drones, acquiescing our wills, going along with the program because it is easier. They may sound robotic but it’s the American people who are acting that way. Knowone wants to read anyone other than their favorite authos, read only one paper that fits their comfortable idealogy, watch only one network news, and dogmatic about thir views that will not even engage in debate if their think they might loss, and are willing to vote against their ownself interest because of prejudice. Well we better start paying attention and adding things up, because this is happening and I believe it will expand globally. This is not about money for the dangerous few in the 1% but about Power.

  5. I’ve long contended that the Gitmo “detainees” deserved to be tried ASAP and either found legally guilty and imprisoned, or released. It’s frightening that instead, we pass a law that potentially subjects any U.S. citizen to such detention. Citizens are entitled to know the charges against them, to have an attorney, to have a fair and speedy trial, to face their accusers in court, and to be convicted or exonerated by a jury of their peers. To circumvent this with a law that says a citizen can arrested and locked up indefinitely at the whim of some unnamed gestapo officer is unconstitutional at the very least. If U.S. law is invoked to arrest you, then it follows you are subject to and entitled to treatment under U.S. law. Any law that says otherwise is unconstitutional.

  6. Vetoing this bill is, indeed, a very tricky proposition. Though most would like to see military spending decrease, the problem is that within all military spending packages, you also have important spending for veteran health programs such as increased spending for homeless veteran programs and increased spending for VA claims processors to help ease the incredible backlog due to returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. These claims will only increase as time goes on and they are (and will be) valid claims which deserve to be fulfilled.

    I believe vetoing the bill is the right thing to do, however, if only to force a new one without the sneak attack against the American public, especially since the Line Item Veto was never passed.

  7. know how we will know when this actually begins to happen? people will just start disappearing.. especially the vocal, paranoid sounding ones. You don’t actually believe the government would SAY they are acting on this, do you? They seem to be going out of their way (for now) to assure people they are NOT actually going to do anything like this (now) law allows them to do.

    So it will start secretly & stay that way; just the way they want it to. The only thing that will be acknowledged in public is the supposed crime of the people they want to keep quiet.

    Be afraid – be VERY afraid!

  8. Why
    Why wast ur time trying (sucseeding) to take away ppl that might be the good guys u kno it’s gona bite u on the ass later so y I mean come on here guys I’m a freshman and I kno this is wrong to put it simply I feel that this is the last injustice to the ppl of the USA we are supposed to be one but why is there democrats and repulicens that’s makes no sense why have us divided ween we vote I have and will spread this to whoever may listein freind or foe so us citazens please stand behind me as I fight for the freedoms that are founding fathers fought for

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