Americans who have been paying attention are outraged that Bush lied us into Iraq by making up false claims about weapons of mass destruction and pretending that Saddam Hussein had a hand in 9/11.
Many are disgusted that Obama got us into a war in Libya without Congressional authorization.
But as the ACLU noted yesterday, Congress is going even further … proposing handing permanent, world-wide war-making powers to the president – including the ability to make war within the United States:
A hugely important provision for Congress to authorize a new worldwide war has been tucked away inside the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The bill was marked up by members of the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) last Wednesday that poured into Thursday morning (2:45 a.m. to be exact).
A couple of minutes past midnight, Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) offered an amendment to strike Sec. 1034 — the new authorization for worldwide war provision — from the NDAA. Visibly angry that such a large sweeping provision had not yet had any public hearing whatsoever, he vigorously characterized it as a very broad declaration of war.
Rep. Garamendi was very concerned by the limitless geographic boundaries of the provision. Essentially, it would enable the U.S. to use military force anywhere in the world (including within the U.S.) in search of terrorists.
While a new authorization for worldwide war has had its first public debate, it unfortunately only lasted a hair over 10 minutes and occurred after midnight.
Though it is a very troubling expansion of war authority, it has been lingering for more than three years as a “sleeper provision,” and it is finally getting the attention of some members of Congress. We hope that further debate in Congress in the weeks ahead will allow for a more in-depth examination of unchecked authority to wage worldwide war, and what the outcomes of such a provision will yield.
As I noted in 2008:
An article in the Army Times reveals that the 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team will be redeployed from Iraq to domestic operations within the United States.
The unit will soon be under the day-to-day control of US Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command. The Army Times reports this new mission marks the first time an active unit has been given a dedicated assignment to Northern Command. The paper says the Army unit may be called upon to help with “civil unrest” and “crowd control”.
The soldiers are learning to use so-called “nonlethal weapons” designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals and crowds.
This violates posse comitatus and the Constitution. But, hey, we’re in a “national emergency“, so who cares, right?
(We’re still in a declared state of national emergency).
I noted a couple of months later:
Everyone knows that deploying 20,000 troops on U.S. soil violates Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.
And everyone understands that staging troops within the U.S. to “help out with civil unrest and crowd control” increases the danger of overt martial law.
But no one is asking an obvious question: Does the government’s own excuse for deploying the troops make any sense?
Other Encroachments On Civil Rights Under Obama
As bad as Bush was, the truth is that, in many ways, freedom and constitutional rights are under attack even more than during the Bush years.
Obama has presided over the most draconian crackdown on leaks in our history — even more so than Nixon.
As Marjorie Cohen – professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and past president of the National Lawyers Guild – writes at the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy:
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, who is facing court-martial for leaking military reports and diplomatic cables to WikiLeaks, is being held in solitary confinement in Quantico brig in Virginia. Each night, he is forced to strip naked and sleep in a gown made of coarse material. He has been made to stand naked in the morning as other inmates walked by and looked. As journalist Lance Tapley documents in his chapter on torture in the supermax prisons in The United States and Torture, solitary confinement can lead to hallucinations and suicide; it is considered to be torture. Manning’s forced nudity amounts to humiliating and degrading treatment, in violation of U.S. and international law.
Nevertheless, President Barack Obama defended Manning’s treatment, saying, “I’ve actually asked the Pentagon whether or not the procedures . . . are appropriate. They assured me they are.” Obama’s deference is reminiscent of President George W. Bush, who asked “the most senior legal officers in the U.S. government” to review the interrogation techniques. “They assured me they did not constitute torture,” Bush said.
After State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley criticized Manning’s conditions of confinement, the White House forced him to resign. Crowley had said the restrictions were “ridiculous, counterproductive and stupid.” It appears that Washington is more intent on sending a message to would-be whistleblowers than on upholding the laws that prohibit torture and abuse.
Torture is commonplace in countries strongly allied with the United States. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. A former CIA agent observed, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured, you send them to Syria. If you want someone to disappear – never to see them again – you send them to Egypt.” In her chapter in The United States and Torture, New Yorker journalist Jane Mayer cites Egypt as the most common destination for suspects rendered by the United States.
As I pointed out in March:
Former constitutional law teacher Glenn Greenwald says that – in his defense of state secrecy, illegal spying, preventative detention, harassment of whistleblowers and other issues of civil liberties – Obama is even worse than Bush.
Indeed, Obama has authorized “targeted assassinations” against U.S. citizens. Even Bush didn’t openly do something so abhorrent to the rule of law.
Obama is trying to expand spying well beyond the Bush administration’s programs. Indeed, the Obama administration is arguing that citizens should never be able to sue the government for illegal spying.
Obama’s indefinite detention policy is an Orwellian nightmare, which will create more terrorists.
Furthermore – as hard as it is for Democrats to believe – the disinformation and propaganda campaigns launched by Bush have only increased under Obama. See this and this.
And as I pointed out last year:
According to Department of Defense training manuals, protest is considered “low-level terrorism”. And see this, this and this.
An FBI memo also labels peace protesters as “terrorists”.
A 2003 FBI memo describes protesters’ use of videotaping as an “intimidation” technique, even though – as the ACLU points out – “Most mainstream demonstrators often use videotape during protests to document law enforcement activity and, more importantly, deter police from acting outside the law.” The FBI appears to be objecting to the use of cameras to document unlawful behavior by law enforcement itself.
The Internet has been labeled as a breeding ground for terrorists, with anyone who questions the government’s versions of history being especially equated with terrorists.
Government agencies such as FEMA are allegedly teaching that the Founding Fathers should be considered terrorists.
The government is also using anti-terrorism laws to keep people from learning what pollutants are in their own community. See this, this, this and this.
Claims of “national security” are also used to keep basic financial information – such as who got bailout money – secret. That might not bode for particularly warm and friendly treatment for someone persistently demanding the release of such information.
The state of Missouri tried to label as terrorists current Congressman Ron Paul and his supporters, former Congressman Bob Barr, libertarians in general, anyone who holds gold, and a host of other people.
And according to a law school professor and former president of the National Lawyers Guild, pursuant to the Military Commissions Act:
Anyone who … speaks out against the government’s policies could be declared an “unlawful enemy combatant” and imprisoned indefinitely. That includes American citizens.
Obama has refused to reverse these practices.
Land of free, home of the brave?
We the people = we the terrorists.
God help us!
Good for you Mr. Washington.
As any student of history knows, once the army becomes embroiled in domestic politics, off comes the velvet glove.
Those who are promoting this ‘new’ role for our armed forces, (remember the bonus marchers and General McArthurs role in their ‘dispersal’?) should also keep in mind that the armed forces also have been behind many of the Left wing coups in history. Those ‘terrorist’ Founding Fathers had army personnel swear an oath to uphold the Constitution for a very good reason. They had the memories of Britains quartering of troops in private citizens homes, and the resulting miseries, fresh in their minds. Those people were not fools. They knew perfectly well the paramount value of keeping the armed forces out of domestic affairs.
Expanding the role of the military into domestic affairs is a bald faced repudiation of the “Social Contract” that has guided the American Republic for over two hundred years. Once people begin to understand that, they’ll draw the proper conclusions.
“As any student of history knows, once the army becomes embroiled in domestic politics, off comes the velvet glove.”
I don’t know about that.
A military dictatorship might be preferable to the police state our current crop of civilian leaders have in mind.
After the last two civilian presidents we’ve had, a group of colonels might actually be preferable to this current crop of bozos…or navy captains or admirals…whatever.
How could it be worse?
The military brass are generally better people all around than the civilians currently in charge.
I’ll come out and say it. I’d rather be run by a military junta than the two fascist parties who are running things now and their intelligence apparatus.
Fuck civilian, oligarchic dictatorship. I welcome the military and hope they’ve got the guts to take over.
Well, I’ll just come out and say it: you are a complete fool. Name me a military junta or a nation where the military has domestic authority that is better than the US right now.
Again, you are a fool. A complete and utter imbecilic fool.
No, it isn’t better. Freedom is less. Those who are poor suffer more than the poor here.
I think your analysis is a little weak there buddy.
Oh good…and thanks…I’ll be leaving now-the country..
Another option is to participate in the political life instead of criticizing the two parties in question from the back of your couch.
You get what you vote for, and if the US political class mostly consists in dim-witted fanatics and corrupt officials, something needs to be said about who is electing them.
Considering your comment, I presume that you’re not voting for either side of the clown show. Perhaps not even voting at all.
Assuming so, you’re not exactly contributing to the political life either. Nor advocating refreshing ideas at the local or federal level.
The US was a democracy: any citizen can participate, and these citizens conveniently have guns in the event that they decide that they no longer can.
Last I laid foot in the US it looked and quacked like a police state, but the lunatics on TV were a sure sign that democracy was alive and well.
You get what you vote for.
I was told if I voted for John McCain the country would be headed for martial law. I voted for McCain anyway. So, this is my fault?
If you voted for McCain, you voted for that hillbilly Palin. So yes. You are to blame for being dumber than dirt.
one small step for congress, one giant step t’ward fascism
Wrong, George, wrong!!! The war is only targeting the US middle class, poor, ill, and elderly, and worldwide Russians, Chinese, blacks, Latinos, Indians, plus Muslims and non-evangelical Christians of all races. Our friends in England and Israel are not being targeted. Now you stand corrected, George!
Another ridiculous GW post filled with hyperbole, self-referencing, irrelevant and self-serving quotes.
The one thing missing, of course is Section 1034, which GW didn’t even bother to read.
And it’s not as if Section 1034 is some long, impossible to read piece of legislation, either. It’s three short, simple paragraphs for crying out loud.
Yet, GW didn’t even include it. Evidently, in GW’s world, a quote from GW himself back in 2008 seems more pertinent than the actual offending piece of legislation.
Read the damn legislation. Yes, there’s room for disagreement. It’s vague and I am skeptical of the need to “affirm” Presidential Authority. Personally, I hope it is stricken.
But to say “Congress is proposing a bill to allow world wide war in the US” is typical GW buffoonery.
Section 1034—Affirmation of Armed Conflict with Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Associated Forces.
This section would affirm that the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force(Public Law 107-40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note). This section would also affirm that the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force includes the authority to detain certain belligerents until the termination of hostilities.
The committee notes that as the United States nears the tenth anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the terrorist threat has evolved as a result of intense military and diplomatic pressure from the United States and its coalition partners. However, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces still pose a grave threat to U.S. national security. The Authorization for Use of Military Force necessarily includes the authority to address the continuing and evolving threat posed by these groups.
The committee supports the Executive Branch’s interpretation of the Authorization for Use of Military Force, as it was described in a March 13, 2009, filing before the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. While this affirmation is not intended to limit or alter the President’s existing authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force, the Executive Branch’s March 13, 2009, interpretation remains consistent with the scope of the authorities provided by Congress.
I beg to differ. The US is the only civilized nation to treat terrorist groups as military threats. Everyone else calls them, and treats them, as criminal conspiracies. Sure, the Mafia doesn’t fly planes into skyscrapers, but neither does alQuiada have its own air force or navy. When they tried to blow up the Cole, they used a speed boat. No matter your politics on the terrorism subject, American overreaction has done much more harm than good.
I’m sure the foreclosure crisis has put many of the victims within the lower US “caste” system directly under scrutiny for their outspoken criticism of Bank owned Federal Agencies and politicians. This police state shit is so lucrative, you’ll find that the most pro-fraud stooges up on Capital Hill (like that bloated hick from Alabama) are also hyper-facist on behalf of their Defense Contracting constituents.
So while we’re attempting to seize extraordinarily valuable real estate in Central Asia and Banksters are profit taking, major entertainment needs to keep the themes of terror and fear alive. The left and right are suprisingly similar in their vapor – a guy in fatigues with an AR15 is never going to be able to do the damage that a guy in a suit did when he said “sign here” or “vote for me”.
If this sentence doesn’t make your hair stand up on end, nothing will: “This section would also affirm that the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force includes the authority to detain certain belligerents until the termination of hostilities.” Using the word “belligerents” with no limitation on geographical location can include any of us who write critically about the U.S.’s fighting abroad. What does the word “detain,” mean? Gitmo II? And finally, “until the termination of hostilities.” Are you kidding me? A date that will never be reached.
So, the fact this is 3 short paragraphs is totally irrelevant in analyzing the provision and the unbridled power it gives the Executive to “detain” “belligerents” until such time as the Executive concludes there is a “termination of hostilities.” No, I would say if anything GW is a too reserved in his analysis and your brazen reply is most worrisome of all.
Mr. Duncan, I am a lawyer and that amendment is written with so many external references that it is impossible to understand without the full text of those references and an analysis by someone well versed in national security law. GW is given to hyperbole but he has documented his position in a more thorough manner than you have. This area of the law is replete with contradictions and deserves broader discussion certainly by Yves Smith or one of her cohorts who are adept in this area.
it creates the legal mandate to cook up all sorts of incidents to use an excuse to attack citizens – why would they say anything more explicit when they don’t need to?
That’s right, Dan. You tell ’em!
Now see if you can find something to justify my plans to foreclose on the entire city of Detroit, tomorrow.
That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
The USA is at a stage in an Orwellian nightmare that makes a lie to all the mythology of “exceptionalism”.
Bin Laden won.
Yep, with the help of people like Dan Duncan.
If they hate US cause we’re free, well we sure are taking care of that objection.
Or maybe he just played the role that was assigned to him?
In truth, the war on terror is a fiction conducted as a domestic theatre. For instance, it’s known where the money for al Qaeda comes from:
And yet, they allow the supposed enemies to keep their funding. There’s no ulitmatum to the house of Saud to stop the support, active or passive, backed up by an invasion, or at least a Seal raid. Elementary military doctrine says cut off the enemy’s resources. This is past military incompetence; this is keeping the game alive.
On the other note, that American combat troops are being stationed in the US, there’s this from Abu Dhabi:
Ghaddaffi has survived while other dictators have fallen in the Arab Spring by protecting himself with an army of foreign mercenaries, augmented by military refugees from Tunisia and Egypt. In other countries, the national military sided with their fellow proles when it came time to start shooting. In Libya, non-citizens are made part of the fight.
China put down the Tienamin Square demonstration with units of the PLA made up of Mongolians. The genocide in Bahrain is being carried out mostly by Sunnis from Saudi Arabia. This is nothing new: Cinco de Mayo commemorates the defeat of an army of mercenaries supporting a foreign dictatorship.
Is there any way to get the demographics of this unit? American citizenship is not required to join the US military. The officers can be trusted to see that serving with honor is about their careers, not their country. But it would be better if the rankers were dragged in by the economic draft rather than just visitors.
William Blum (“Killing Hope”) would congratulate your ability to speak truth to power..
Bahrain’s security apparatus has always been staffed with foreigners. They come from Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Pakistan (mostly Balochistan) and get a quick route to Bahraini citizenship.
The Bahrain security appartatus was basically built up by Ian Handerson, a Britisch citizen, who had put down the Mau-Mau rebellion in Kenia and Bahrain 1990 using torture.
Warning “Godwins Law Alert!”
I am going to be quoting some old news here.
The Emergency Decree
Feb. 28th 1933
SIGNED BY President Hindenberg in the presence of Chancellor Hitler and Minister von Papen.
“…Restrictions on personal liberty on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; 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, are also permissable by and the legal limits otherwise proscribed.”
Well, we’ve already had our Reichstag Fire and didn’t notice.
happened on 911..too many LIES about 911 also…
The 4th amendment was just destroyed.
The unmistakable sign of a dying empire: all political diplomatic, economic action, initiative, takes a back seat to pure, bare faced militarism, to armed agresion. When was the last time that a U.S. Sec. of State toured the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, moving things up, proposing new ideas, setting the ground for improvements in international relations, creating ties with other world powers? In fact, the last time we saw that was during the Clinton adm. The days were Nixon shocked the world with his ping-pong diplomacy, estabishing diplomatic relations with Red China, when Kissinger used to make the rounds beteween Cairo, Tel Aviv, Damas and Moscow, seem long gone. And at the end, all what’s left of the former greatest empire in Human History is an empty shell, a mock up of its old self; and military agresion to the outsiders and bread and circus to its own masses, at least while the bread lasts and the circus is still entertaining for them.
“The bellicose frivolity of senile empires”…Barbara Tuchman’s reference to Austria-Hungary before 1914.
“old men with beautiful manners…” -Ezra Pound, I think
There’s a LOT more to the “Nixon-Kissinger”-China story.
Read “Red Star Rogue”…
Drones Set to Invade National, State Parks http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/02/drones-set-to-invade-u-s-national-parks/
This article from 2010 is no longer available at Yahoo, but some searching would probably find other copies:
Feds under pressure to open US skies to drones http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100614/ap_on_bi_ge/us_drones_over_america
Congress voted for WW3?
Thankfully, GW blogger, truther and patriot is there to save the day and expose them…
Americans everywhere say thankyou.
Funny shit as always GW
Your enthusiastic sarcasm is appreciated comrade. However, your sarcasm would make more sense if it showed you had RTFA.
The latest on TSA scanning… some day these systems will be much more widely deployed. Just another sign of creeping authoritarianism.
Scientists Cast Doubt on TSA Tests of Full-Body Scanners
“Everyone knows that deploying 20,000 troops on U.S. soil violates Posse Comitatus and the Constitution.”
Sadly, saying “everyone” knows this is a huge overstatement. Many Americans of voting age have not read the Constitution since elementary school. They would have no clue even how to pronounce Posse Comitatus, much less know what it means. Politicians count on that.
We’ll only shoot those that deserve it.
Crony capitalism is the enemy – Can we use our military to attack that on US Soil?
Torture is commonplace in countries strongly allied with the United States. Vice President Omar Suleiman, Egypt’s intelligence chief, was the lynchpin for Egyptian torture when the CIA sent prisoners to Egypt in its extraordinary rendition program. A former CIA agent observed, “If you want a serious interrogation, you send a prisoner to Jordan. If you want them to be tortured
Human Rights are inversely proportional to the excess supply of humanity. Inside China you are about to see a decrease of excess supply by virtue of the one child tradition of one-child-ism. Simultaneously you will be witness to an increase in both quantity and quality of Chinese Human Rights. Will you also see a decrease in human rights within countries adjacent to China? Countries where there is the 9 child tradition? What is the current state of excess supply of humanity in your country? Expanding? You in a heap o’ trouble, Boy!
You can bet other people’s money on it.
You can bank on it
Welcome to ND 2.0 – check your liberties @ the security desk.
This was a cute blog listing “Obama Scandals.”
Obama’s a tool.A Potemkin-Progressive. A smooth, likable, engaging tool, but a tool nonetheless. (There’s my well-reasoned response.)
He’s a compromiser down to the core, a man who sees himself an facilitator between everyone at the table. But of course only the big boys have a seat at the table. But that’s ok, ’cause he doesn’t have the independant values to tell him it’s wrong.
“Many are disgusted that Obama got us into a war in Libya without Congressional authorization.” But, the press willingly goes along with the elite’s choice for President. So this little illegally-start-a-war thing can be overlooked, and the ICC will bring charges against the other guy etc.
For some reason, the Oathkeepers start looking better and better every day.
Hmm… I think this means social security is at risk, first to go with the collapsing tax base. All those payroll taxes will go into the general fund.
Rise up Seniors, and Seniors-to-be!
Raise your hand if you wanted to comment on this but were afraid of being labelled a terrerist because you might not be agreeing forcefully enough.
Interested ___ want to know.
(btw Dan Duncan, I think you’re safe…for now. You might want to adjust your reading though to only read authorized blogs.)
I’m safe too. I am THE oligarchic fat cat. The system works for ME. This is oligarch nation now! This MY world now! So bow down before me, you peasants! I foreclosed on your homes, I’ll cut your grandma’s medicare, I’ll privatize your social security, and I am going to make all of you MY serfs.
Is that clear?!
I would most respectfully submit that you don’t want to make them your serf sir. There was this very silly doctrine of noblesse oblige that might require nobles to take care of serfs and to allow them a place to live and enough to eat. I think, sir, you should rather give them nothing at all. Let the police take care of ’em sir.
Your most obedient and humble servant,
I like the way you think, Robby. I might make you chain gang leader.
Yes, I don’t want to feed and house these bastards. I’d rather send them all to labor camps in Alaska, let them sleep outside, and freeze to death by December. The only problem with that scenario is that I already bought all the land in Alaska (from Sarah Palin at a penny an acre, by the way). I plan to retreat there when MY Global Warming makes this whole country uninhabitable, and I really don’t want these bastards’ carcasses stinking up MY place.
Is that clear?!
Dang it! Did anybody bring a map? Please tell me that wasn’t the Rubicon River we crossed ten years back! Holy Shiite!
Blinded by greed and powerlust from top to bottom, our leaders are guided by AIPAC, who are masking their justified panic with outsize bravado. War on the American people is the inevitable conclusion.
“Where there is no vision, the people perish” (Isaiah)
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” George Santayana
The vision thing was from King Solomon (Proverbs 29:18)
I would only add; this is just the beginning — the real game hasn’t started yet. What we’ve been witnessing, the last decade or so, are pre-game warm-ups.
Any post that links Alex Jones’ site as evidence of their argument should automatically be called into question.
Yeah, it’s a pretty radical claim. He quote’s the governor.
Gov. Nixon addressed criticism of the report yesterday and defended the agency that produced it.
“Getting information, especially public information, out of our fusion center out to local law enforcement agencies is we do every day and we’re going to continue to do,” said Nixon. “Any way they take that information and can analyze what the threat levels are is important to make sure the public stays safe.”
He has since changed his mind, twice-
Nation of brats. I don’t like the green stuff, I want the orange, and make sure you spoon feed it to me.
This a good thing, when the next financial crisis hits those who oppose ANOTHER BAILOUT of Wall Street will be lined up and shot for their heresy…and any gold filings rifle butted out of their teeth.