"All the world's a stage we pass through." - R. Ayana

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Inauguration of Police State USA 2012

The Inauguration of Police State USA 2012
Obama Signs the “National Defense Authorization Act "



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By Michel Chossudovsky

 
  
With minimal media debate, at a time when Americans were celebrating the New Year with their loved ones,  the “National Defense Authorization Act " H.R. 1540 was signed into law by President Barack Obama. The actual signing took place in Hawaii on the 31st of December.

According to Obama's "signing statement", the threat of Al Qaeda to the Security of the Homeland constitutes a justification for repealing fundamental rights and freedoms, with a stroke of the pen.  The relevant provisions pertaining to civil rights were carefully esconded in a short section of  a 500+ page document.

The controversial signing statement (see transcript below) is a smokescreen. Obama says he disagrees with the NDAA but he signs it into law.

"[I have] serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists."

Obama implements "Police State USA", while acknowledging that certain provisions of  the NDAA (contained in Subtitle D--Counterterrorism) are unacceptable. If such is the case, he could have either vetoed the NDAA (H.R. 1540) or sent it back to Congress with his objections.

The fact of the matter is that both the Executive and the US Congress are complicit in the drafting of Subtitle D. In this regard, Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) revealed that it was the White House which had asked the Senate Armed Services Committee "to remove language from the bill that would have prohibited U.S. citizens’ military detention without due process"

Obama justifies the signing of the NDAA as a means to combating terrorism, as part of a "counter-terrorism" agenda.  But in substance, any American opposed to the policies of the US government can --under the provisions of the NDAA-- be labelled a "suspected terrorist" and arrested under military detention. Already in 2004, Homeland Security defined  several categories of potential "conspirators" or "suspected terrorists" including  "foreign [Islamic] terrorists", "domestic radical groups", [antiwar and civil rights groups],  "disgruntled employees" [labor and union activists] and "state sponsored adversaries" ["rogue states", "unstable nations"]. The unspoken objective in an era of war and social crisis is to repress all forms of domestic protest and dissent.

The “National Defense Authorization Act " (H.R. 1540) is Obama's New Year's "Gift" to the American People:  

"Moreover, I want to clarify that my Administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens. Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My Administration will interpret section 1021 in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law." (emphasis added)

Barack Obama is a lawyer (a graduate from Harvard Law School). He knows fair well that his signing statement --which parrots his commitment to democracy-- is purely cosmetic. It has no force of law.

His administration "will not authorize" what? The implementation of a Law endorsed by the Executive and signed by the President of the United States?

Section  1021 is crystal clear. The Executive cannot refuse to implement it.  The signing statement does not in any way invalidate or modify the actual signing by President Obama of NDAA (H.R. 1540) into law. It does not have any bearing on the implementation/ enforcement of the Law.



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"Democratic Dictatorship" in America


The “National Defense Authorization Act "
(H.R. 1540) repeals the US Constitution. While the facade of democracy prevails, supported by media propaganda, the American republic is fractured. The tendency is towards the establishment of a totalitarian State, a military government dressed in civilian clothes.

The passage of  NDAA is intimately related to Washington's global military agenda. The military pursuit of Worldwide hegemony also requires the "Militarization of the Homeland", namely the demise of the American Republic.

In substance, the signing statement is intended to mislead Americans and provide a "democratic face" to the President as well as to the unfolding post-911 Military Police State apparatus.

The "most important traditions and values" in derogation of  The Bill of Rights and the US Constitution have indeed been repealed, effective on New Year's Day, January 1st 2012.

The NDAA authorises the arbitrary and indefinite military detention of American citizens.



The Lessons of History


This New Year's Eve December 31, 2011
signing of the NDAA will indelibly go down as a landmark in American history. Barack Obama will go down in history as "the president who killed Constitutional democracy" in the United States. 

If we are to put this in a comparative historical context, the relevant provisions of the NDAA HR 1540 are, in many regards, comparable to those contained in the "Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State", commonly known as the "Reichstag Fire Decree" (Reichstagsbrandverordnung) enacted in Germany under the Weimar Republic on 27 February 1933 by President (Field Marshal) Paul von Hindenburg.

Implemented in the immediate wake of the Reichstag Fire (which served as a pretext), this February 1933 decree was used to repeal civil liberties including the right of Habeas Corpus.

Article 1 of the February 1933 "Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of People and State" suspended civil liberties under the pretext of "protecting" democracy: "Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of association and assembly, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations, as well as restrictions on property rights are permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed." (Art. 1, emphasis added)

Constitutional democracy was nullified in Germany through the signing of a presidential decree.

The Reichstag Fire decree was followed in March 1933 by "The Enabling Act" (
Ermächtigungsgesetz) which allowed (or enabled) the Nazi government of Chancellor Adolf Hitler to invoke de facto dictatorial powers. These two decrees enabled the Nazi regime to introduce legislation which was in overt contradiction with the 1919 Weimar Constitution.

The following year, upon the death of president Hindenburg in 1934, Hitler "declared the office of President vacant"  and took over as Fuerer, the combined function's of Chancellor and Head of State.




The Reichstag Fire, Berlin, February 1933


Germany's President (Field Marshal) Paul von Hindenburg





Obama's New Year's Gift to the American People


To say that January 1st 2012 is "A Sad Day for America"
is a gross understatement.

The signing of NDAA (HR 1540) into law is tantamount to the militarization of law enforcement, the repeal of the Posse Comitatus Act and the Inauguration in 2012 of Police State USA.

As in Weimar Germany, fundamental rights and freedoms are repealed under the pretext that democracy is threatened and must be protected.

The NDAA is "Obama's New Year's Gift" to the American People. ...



by Michel Chossudovsky, Montreal, Canada, January, 1st 2012







Police State USA and the NDAA:
Creating American Terrorists

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by Philip Giraldi



Defenders of the recently passed National Defense Authorization Act, which declares the entire world to be a “battlefield” against terrorism and authorizes the U.S. military to detain indefinitely anyone suspected of being a terrorism supporter, have claimed that the White House will only use its new power carefully and with due process.
Opponents note that the White House has never hesitated to use any new authority, no matter how outrageous, and that the trend of law enforcement and security agencies is to expand on powers granted, not to rein them in or limit them.


The track record of the Obama administration on civil liberties is particularly bad, as it has broadened its definition of war powers, reneged on its promise to close Guantanamo Prison, and supported numerous dubious terrorism prosecutions. It has also become adept at silencing critics through the repeated exploitation of the state-secrets privilege, which effectively dismisses any case accusing the government of abuse or malfeasance.

So let us accept that the government now has the power to send a team of military police to anyone’s home in any state in the Union and can demand that that person surrender without any recourse to a lawyer or judicial due process. The military can then detain the individual incommunicado for any length of time and can presumably send him to Guantanamo for special confinement, claiming that the reason for the detention is support of terrorism, which can be almost anything, including a letter to the editor of the local paper complaining about the goonery of the Transportation Security Administration.

Once in detention, the suspect only has such options as are granted to him by the military. He cannot see a lawyer, cannot invoke habeas corpus or other constitutional privileges, cannot confront any witnesses against him, and cannot challenge any information prejudicial to him even if it is hearsay or fabricated. In other words, the accused can be arrested for no reason and held indefinitely without any protections that enable him to push back against being detained. Most people would consider a criminal justice system that permits such detention ipso facto a police state.

Now let us accept for a moment that the White House and Justice Department are well-intentioned and will not use their newfound authority to detain anyone in a questionable fashion. The expanded powers will only be used to detain foreign terrorists who are caught in flagrante, more or less. That would be fine, perhaps, but for one small problem. Because the definition of a terrorism supporter has become enormously elastic, it can be stretched to include anything.

 If the whole world has become a battlefield, speaking out or acting against powerful vested interests can be dangerous because those interests can turn around and exploit the system to label one a terrorist. And once you are labeled a terrorist, your constitutional rights vanish and you might as well sit around and wait for that knock on the door — or, rather, for the door to be kicked in.

That is what House Resolution 3131 is all about. It is titled, in part, “To direct the secretary of state to submit a report on whether any support organization that participated in the planning or execution of the recent Gaza flotilla attempt should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization….” The bill then goes on to assert that the two flotillas in 2010 and 2011 opposing Israel’s blockade of Gaza were terrorist actions. But the only problem is that it relies on information from the Israeli Intelligence and Information Center to do so, meaning that Congress is deferring to a foreign government organization to make a judgment that directly impacts that selfsame government. And the Israelis are not shy about calling someone a terrorist, if it suits the narrative they are trying to present. They describe a Turkish organization involved in the first flotilla in 2010, known by its acronym IHH, as linked to al-Qaeda and Hamas based on evidence that no one else in the world accepts, apart from Congress, that is.

The Turkish vessel Mavi Marmara was clearly aiming to take on the Israeli navy, armed to the teeth with “100 metal rods, 200 knives, 50 wooden clubs, and a telescopic sight for a gun.” In reality, the rods were torn from the ships rails when the heavily armed Israeli commandos boarded at night from helicopters. The knives were pocket knives and utility knives from the vessel’s galley, and the clubs were broken from deck chairs to repel the attackers. I will not speculate on the telescopic sight, but there was not a real weapon anywhere on board. The Israelis killed nine Turks, shooting several in the head at close range, including an American citizen.

Congress has yet to express its outrage at the Israeli action — quite the contrary — and Hillary Clinton’s State Department has been silent, apart from warning the subsequent 2011 flotilla that the American embassy would do nothing to protect U.S. citizens aboard.

Regarding the second flotilla of July 2011, HR 3131 goes on to state that “Greek authorities boarded ships and took into custody several individuals, including Captain John Klusmire of the ship Audacity of Hope as it violated Greek Coast Guard orders by setting sail without permission.” Klusmire is a U.S. citizen who was not breaking any American law, it should be noted. He was later released by the Greek authorities.

The bill concludes with its “Sense of Congress,” surely an oxymoron if there ever was one: “the secretary of state shall submit … a report on whether any support organization that participated in the planning or execution of the recent Gaza flotilla attempt should be designated as a foreign terrorist organization … [to] include information on … the sources of any logistical, technical, or financial support for the Gaza flotilla ships, including the Audacity of Hope, that were to set sail from Greece on July 1, 2011.”

I personally know a number of organizations that provided material or financial support to one or both of the Gaza flotillas. I also personally know that none of those organizations support violence against the state of Israel and that the people behind them believed then and now that they were exercising their constitutional rights in speaking out and acting nonviolently against what they and most of the world regard as an illegal and immoral blockade of Gaza. But, if the bill passes in Congress, a bureaucrat in the U.S. Department of State will now be able to call those people and their associated groups “terrorists,” and Hillary Clinton will be able to confirm that judgment to Congress. Next step is the MPs at the door.

If people cannot see what a slippery slope all of this is, they not thinking very clearly. HR 3131 is admittedly still sitting in congressional committee, but it has some very powerful sponsors, including Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who heads the Foreign Affairs Committee and is a rabid supporter of Israel. The bill not only indicts whole groups of people exercising their constitutional rights and labels them “terrorists,” it even names one American who was, at the time, breaking no U.S. law. Klusmire’s only crime was to “set sail without permission” — in Greece. It was clearly a bogus charge manufactured to suit by a vulnerable Greek government desperately needing international loans and under pressure from the United States and Israel.

Klusmire’s real crime was to oppose a powerful interest group, the Israel Lobby. To do so these days is to invite a charge of terrorism support with the option of being arrested by the Pentagon and locked up somewhere at the pleasure of the president of the United States. How low have we sunk, Mr. Obama? You portray yourself as a man of honor and a defender of constitutionalism, but you have opened the gates to lawlessness and authoritarian rule. And even if you are as benign as you depict yourself, you have provided the legal tools for those who might follow you — the Gingriches, the Perrys, the Bachmanns, and the Santorums — to possibly do much, much worse.

Philip Giraldi is the executive director of the Council for the National Interest and a recognized authority on international security and counterterrorism issues. He is a former CIA counter-terrorism specialist and military intelligence officer who served eighteen years overseas in Turkey, Italy, Germany, and Spain. He was Chief of Base in Barcelona from 1989 to 1992 designated as the Agency’s senior officer for Olympic Games support.


Philip Giraldi is a frequent contributor to Global Research






From Global Research @ http://www.globalresearch.ca/PrintArticle.php?articleId=28441  and  http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=28792

 

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 For Christmas, Your Government Will Explain Why It's Legal to Kill You

 

Ha! Just kidding! It won't tell you that. That's classified!

Plaintiffs The New York Times Company, Charlie Savage, and Scott Shane (jointly, "NYT"), by their undersigned attorney, allege for their Complaint:

1.  This is an action under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") ... seeking the production of agency records improperly withheld by Defendant United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") in response to requests properly made by Plaintiffs.

***

4.  Given the questions surrounding the legality of the practice [of "targeted killing"] under both U.S. and international law, notable legal scholars, human rights activists, and current and former government officials [i.e., Democrats and Republicans] have called for the government to disclose its legal analysis justifying the use of targeted lethal force, especially as it applies to American citizens.

***

11.  Both before and after the death of [Anwar] al-Awlaki [who was blown up in Yemen], NYT duly filed FOIA requests seeking memoranda that detail the legal analysis behind [blowing people up]. To date, DOJ has refused to release any such memoranda or any segregable portions, claiming them to be properly classified and privileged and in respect to certain memoranda has declined to say whether they in fact exist.

***

35.  On September 30, 2011, the Washington Post described a [DOJ] "secret memorandum authorizing the legal targeting" of al-Awlaki, an American citizen accused of coordinating the Al-Qaeda operations in the Arabian peninsula. The article said that officials refused to disclose the exact legal analysis" such as "how they considered any Fifth Amendment right to due process." It also quoted a "former senior intelligence official" as saying the C.I.A. "would not have killed an American without such a written opinion."

***

44.  On October 7, 2011, Mr. Savage submitted a FOIA request [to] DOJ OLC seeking a copy of "all Office of Legal Counsel memorandums analyzing the circumstances under which it would be lawful for United States armed forces or intelligence community assets to target for killing a United States citizen who is deemed to be a terrorist."

45.  By letter dated October 27, 2011, [DOJ] denied Mr. Savage's request.

Summary:

  • The government dropped a bomb on a U.S. citizen,
  • who, though a total dick and probably a criminal, may have been engaged only in propaganda,
  • which, though despicable, is generally protected by the First Amendment;
  • it did so without a trial or even an indictment (that we know of),
  • based at least in part on evidence it says it has but won't show anyone,
  • and on a legal argument it has apparently made but won't show anyone,
  • and the very existence of which it will not confirm or deny;
  • although don't worry, because the C.I.A. would never kill an American without having somebody do a memo first;
  • and this is the "most transparent administration ever";
  • currently run by a Nobel Peace Prize winner.

From Lowering the Bar @ http://www.loweringthebar.net/2011/12/for-christmas-your-government-will-explain.html





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