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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: U.S. | Police State and Prisons
by Stephen Lendman
Police state lawlessness reflects official US policy. Numerous examples explain. Congress opposes fundamental freedoms.
It terrorizes most people. So do rogue US administrations. Washington is more ruthless today than ever.
Waging war on humanity is much worse. It's ongoing globally. It's reflected in congressional legislation.
Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF - September 2001) approved open-ended permanent wars. They rage out-of-control. They do so at home and abroad.
The FY 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) targets freedom. It prioritizes militarism and permanent wars. It authorizes over $600 billion for global belligerence, mass killing and destruction.
It's a portion of what America spends overall. Around $1.5 trillion or more annually goes for domestic and foreign militarism.
It's authorized when America's only enemies are ones it invents. It's on top of trillions of dollars of Pentagon waste, fraud and grand theft.
In December 2006, George Bush signed FY 2007 NDAA into law. Included were hidden sections 1076 and 333. Media scoundrels ignored them.
They amended the 1807 Insurrection Act and 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. They prohibited using federal and National Guard troops for law enforcement.
They did so except as constitutionally allowed or expressly authorized by Congress in times of insurrection or other national emergency.
Presidents can now claim emergency powers. They can declare martial law unilaterally. They can suspend the Constitution.
They can do it on alleged "national security" grounds. They can deploy federal and/or National Guard troops on US streets.
They can do it to suppress whatever is called disorder. It includes lawful peaceful protests. America's First Amendment permits them.
Congress and Bush acted unconstitutionally. They did numerous times throughout Bush's tenure. Things got worse under Obama.
On May 21, 2009, he addressed national security and civil liberties issues.
He lied saying his "single most important responsibility as president is to keep the American people safe." He's gone all out to harm them.
He falsely claimed Al Qaeda "is actively planning to attack us again (and) this threat will be with us for a long time..."
Uncharged detainees pose no threat whatever to America. Obama maliciously claimed otherwise. He offered no evidence proving it. There is none. Innocent victims rot in prison on his say. Others are at risk.
He said those "who cannot be prosecuted" will be held indefinitely without trial. Indefinitely means potentially forever.
Doing so violates America's 8th Amendment. It prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. It doesn't matter. Core rule of law principles are null and void. Diktat power replaced them.
In December 2011, Obama signed FY 2012 NDAA into law. For the first time in US history, it codified indefinite military detentions.
It authorized US presidents to order America's military to capture, arrest, and indefinitely detain anyone anywhere in the world. US citizens are as vulnerable as others.
Indefinite detentions remain the law of the land. FY 2013 NDAA reaffirmed them. So did FY 2014 NDAA.
Detaining people based on uncorroborated suspicions or none at all remains official US policy.
It has strong bipartisan support. It violates core democratic freedoms. They're vanishing in plain sight. Militarized injustice replaced them.
Presidents have unchecked authority. No one anywhere is safe. Abuse of power replaced rule of law protections. Tyranny is official US policy.
Foreign nationals and US citizens are vulnerable. They can be arrested for any reason or none at all. They can be indefinitely detained in military prisons.
In September 2012, Southern District of New York federal Judge Katherine B. Forrest blocked Obama's indefinite detention law.
She called it "facially unconstitutional: it impermissibly impinges on guaranteed First Amendment rights and lacks sufficient definitional structure and protections to meet the requirements of due process."
"If, following issuance of this permanent injunctive relief, the government detains individuals under theories of 'substantially or directly supporting' associated forces, as set forth in" NDAA's section 1021, "and a contempt action is brought before this court, the government will bear a heavy burden indeed," she added.
Section 1021 states in part:
"Congress affirms that the authority of the president to use all necessary and appropriate force pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons (as defined in subsection (b) ) pending disposition under the law of war."
"Covered persons" are defined as:
Anyone "who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."
In July 2013, the New York Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Judge Forrest's ruling. A three-judge panel did so unanimously.
They endorsed uncharged, untried indefinite detentions. Imprisoning US citizens and foreign nationals based on hearsay or nothing at all remains the law of the land.
FY 2014 NDAA reaffirmed what demands prohibiting. On December 26, Obama signed it into law. It went further than earlier. Enhancement of Capacity of the United States Government to Analyze Captured Records is authorized.
Doing so establishes new intelligence collecting. It enhances federal power. Indefinite surveillance is authorized.
The defense secretary is empowered to "establish a center to be known as the 'Conflict Records Research Center.' "
It's tasked with compiling "digital research database (information) including translations, and to facilitate research and analysis of records captured from countries, organizations, and individuals, now or once hostile to the United States."
It'll conduct research and analysis to "increase the understanding of factors related to international relations, counterterrorism, and conventional and unconventional warfare, and ultimately enhance national security."
The defense secretary is authorized to create an information exchange cooperatively with the director of national intelligence (DNI).
Doing so requires involvement of all 16 US intelligence agencies, as well as intelligence related operations.
Focus is on so-called "captured records." They're defined as "a document, audio file, video file, or other material captured during combat operations from countries, organizations, or individuals, now or once hostile to the United States."
They potentially include telecommunications, emails, text messages, web sites visited, medical history, financial records, and related information.
Ordinary information can be maliciously manipulated. It can be held against us. Potentially it becomes incriminating evidence.
It does if prosecutors say so. They're experts at creating indictments out of whole cloth. Truth or fiction doesn't matter.
Freedom is too precious to lose. More than ever it hangs by a thread. Constitutional protections don't help.
Alleged hostility is undefined. It's whatever Washington so designates. It includes nations, organizations and individuals. Anyone for any reason or none at all becomes a potential hostile entity.
FY 2014 NDAA sustains America's war on terror. It continues waging war on humanity. It jeopardizes everyone everywhere. It gives presidents more diktat power.
It further compromises fundamental freedoms. It makes everyone potential enemies. It pronounces guilt by accusation. It turns planet earth into a battleground. It does so unconstitutionally.
On January 29, 1788, James Madison commented in The Federalist No. 46 (The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared).
He said the way to combat federal overreach is by refusing "to cooperate with officers of the Union."
Resisting tyranny is a longstanding US tradition. Jefferson called doing so "obedience to God."
John Locke said when governments fail people their "trust must necessarily be forfeited, and the Power (shall) devolve into the hands of those that gave itâ€¦"
America's Declaration of Independence affirmed abolishing governments abusing their just powers derived from the consent of the governed.
Civil disobedience more than ever is essential. Henry David Thoreau affirmed "the right of revolution; that is, the right to refuse allegiance to, and to resist, the government, when its tyranny or its inefficiency are great and unendurable.
America today is more unjust than ever in modern times. Arguably it Resistance is a national imperative. The alternative is full-blown tyranny. It's what no one should accept anywhere anytime.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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