That’s when you know spending is truly out of control. From the article,
In both the House and Senate versions of the legislation, defense lawmakers have inserted $74 billion toward a number of weapons programs “those that have outlived their usefulness” to the department, Panetta said in a speech at the National Press Club in Washington.
A federal district judge today, the newly-appointed Katherine Forrest of the Southern District of New York, issued an amazing ruling: one which preliminarily enjoins enforcement of the highly controversial indefinite provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act, enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Obama last December. This afternoon’s ruling came as part of a lawsuit brought by seven dissident plaintiffs — including Chris Hedges, Dan Ellsberg, Noam Chomsky, and Birgitta Jonsdottir — alleging that the NDAA violates ”both their free speech and associational rights guaranteed by the First Amendment as well as due process rights guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution.”
WASHINGTON — The White Housereleased rules Tuesday evening waiving the most controversial piece of the new military detention law, and exempting U.S. citizens, as well as other broad categories of suspected terrorists.
Indefinite military detention of Americans and others was granted in the defense authorization bill President Barack Obama signed just before Christmas, sparking a storm of anger from civil libertarians on the left and right.
The new rules — which deal with Section 1022 of the law — are aimed at soothing many of their gravest concerns, an administration official said. Those concerns are led by the possibility that a law that grants the president authority to jail Americans without trial in Guantanamo Bay based on secret evidence could easily be abused.
“It is important to recognize that the scope of the new law is limited,” says a fact sheetreleased by the White House, focusing on that worry. “Section 1022 does not apply to U.S. citizens, and the President has decided to waive its application to lawful permanent residents arrested in the United States.”
It also addresses a concern of the White House and advocates of civil law enforcement, insisting that even if a suspect is transfered to the military, the person can be shifted back if the administration believes it is important for national security.
Is it right to crush free speech as long as the message is offensive to you personally? Do peaceful protestors really present a legitimate threat to our national stability? Are they truly more dangerous than a corrupt government hellbent on assassinating the legal protections of our natural rights which have existed for centuries? Would any supporter of the jackboot methodology like to explain to me in a coherent manner why they believe their skewed world view should be shielded from sincere questions? Please, I can’t wait to witness the kind of ridiculous mental gymnastics required to make such arguments palatable. If this kind of ignorance wasn’t so destructive, it might actually be entertaining.
The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter if these activists were in Grand Central Terminal, on the streets, or busting through the doors of the Oval Office. While New York authorities will attempt to argue property loopholes in free speech protections for Grand Central, or national security because of the vulnerability of the terminal, really, this has nothing to do with either. This is about the removal of American voices from a room, and nothing more. If the message is going to be suppressed by the mainstream media, and shrugged off by representatives, then protesters must go to where the people are, and make the truth heard by whatever means necessary.
Ultimately, activism is about disturbing people’s normal mundane routines and shocking them out of their pop-culture stupor, even if for a moment. If we aren’t allowed to do that without constant police intervention, then the First Amendment is not being served, and then, my friends, we have a problem, a problem which should be forced down the throat of government with even more public action.
Located on page 428
(e) AUTHORITIES.—Nothing in this section shall be
construed to affect existing law or authorities, relating to
the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident
aliens of the United States or any other persons who are
captured or arrested in the United States.
No matter how you feel about NDAA, we should at least have accurate information.
Condemnation of President Obama is intense, and growing, as a result of his announced intent to sign into law the indefinite detention billembedded in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These denunciations come not only from the nation’s leading civil liberties andhuman rights groups, but also from the pro-Obama New York Times Editorial Page, which today has a scathing Editorial describing Obama’s stance as “a complete political cave-in, one that reinforces the impression of a fumbling presidency” and lamenting that “the bill has so many other objectionable aspects that we can’t go into them all,” as well as from vocal Obama supporters such as Andrew Sullivan, who wrote yesterday that this episode is “another sign that his campaign pledge to be vigilant about civil liberties in the war on terror was a lie.” In damage control mode, White-House-allied groups are now trying to ride to the rescue with attacks on the ACLU and dismissive belittling of the bill’s dangers.
For that reason, it is very worthwhile to briefly examine — and debunk — the three principal myths being spread by supporters of this bill, and to do so very simply: by citing the relevant provisions of the bill, as well as the relevant passages of the original 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), so that everyone can judge for themselves what this bill actually includes (this is all above and beyond the evidence I assembled in writing about this bill yesterday):
The Educated Response: Wow, this has far reaching geopolitical consequences and gives the American government the ability to kill terrorists without due process. I am against this because it will effectively make targeted killings such as Anwar al-Awlaki legal.
The Ignorant Alarmist Response: AMERICA IS NOW UNDER MARTIAL LAW! GOVERNMENT IS GOING TO TAKE YOU AWAY FOREVER! SAY GOODBYE TO YOUR FREEDOMS!
It’s almost like people are excited to live in a V For Vendetta/1984 civilization that they’ll take anything as evidence of the end of civil liberties. Shit is going down but it’s not this and not in the way you think it is.
My main problem with it is the wording seems to be vague, and I fear that it could be misused against american citizens because of said wording.
For noncitizens, such detention would be mandatory. And while news agencies from Reuters to the Huffington Post have recently reported that American citizens would be “exempt” from this requirement, the truth is more complicated. Military detention would still be the default, even for citizens, but at the discretion of the president, it could be waived in favor of handing over the case to domestic law enforcement. Under this law, if the Defense Department thinks you’re a terrorist, there would be no presumption of innocence; you would be presumed a detainee of the military unless the executive decides otherwise. Without such a waiver, again, even if you’re a citizen, you will never hear words like “alleged” or “suspected.” You will be an “unprivileged enemy belligerent,” with limited rights to appeal that status, no rights to due process, or to a jury, or to a speedy trial guided by the rules of evidence.
According to the “law of war” invoked by these sections of the NDAA, a person in military custody can be held indefinitely, without charge and without access to civilian courts. Perhaps most significant, with the suspension of constitutional provisions for due process, there would be no Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. During the Congressional debate over the NDAA, proponents like Senators Saxby Chambliss and Lindsey Graham argued that when we capture someone who is deemed an enemy, we must start with the presumption that “the goal is to gather intelligence” and “prosecution is a secondary concern.” In numbingly infantile terms, they declared that “the meanest, nastiest killers in the world” should be questioned for “as long as it takes,” without them “lawyering up.” This need to make “them” talk was cited repeatedly, endlessly, as the main justification for military detention, with references to “surprise” technologies to get prisoners to speak.
Congressional Tyranny, White House Surrender