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Monday, November 28, 2011

Senators Levin and McCain Channel Orwell

Nov 28th, 2011
by F. Grey Parker 

Hey, kids! This could soon be YOU!
Having spent the greater part of yesterday and today pointing out the fact that the McCain/Levin provisions in the annual National Defense Authorization Act, SB 1867, are among the most serious attacks on due process, trial by jury, habeas corpus and a free society in living memory, it was with more than a degree of revulsion that I read their joint op-ed in the Washington Post a short time ago.

In the land of Levin/McCain, up is down, white is black and, yes, freedom is slavery:
"We are concerned that much of the debate over these provisions demonstrates a basic misunderstanding of what this bill would do and attributes to it many things that it would not do."
Apparently, if we think something might be amiss, we are guilty of "misunderstanding."

Would you like to know what the Levin/McCain provision would and would not do? Here goes. If enacted, sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA would...

Fact: Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States.

Fact: Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself

Fact: Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

No, no, no, they say. We have it all wrong.
"The most controversial point involves the circumstances under which a terrorist detainee should be held in military, rather than civilian, custody. The bill provides that a narrowly defined group of people — al-Qaeda terrorists who participate in planning or conducting attacks against us — be held in military custody."
Ooooh. Well. That's different. Those subject to these provisions are "narrowly defined." They are "al-Qaeda." According to whom?
"It is the executive branch that determines whether a detainee meets the criteria for military custody, under procedures that this legislation allows the executive branch to develop."
Got it? That's the "criteria." It's the "executive" who decides. That's it. The "executive," whomever that may be, gets to establish the whole structure for a system of vast new powers with a single pen stroke. The Roman Caesars didn't have it this easy this fast. At least the ancient Roman Senate took substantially longer in times of far greater upheaval to give nearly God-like powers to their despots.

Senators Levin and McCain are clearly a little nervous. They seem to have, over the weekend, become aware that, despite the provisons having been agreed upon in secret committee, educated and activist Americans have actually read them. Their response? Blackmail:
"Congress has passed a defense authorization bill every year for five decades. This year’s bill includes pay raises for our troops, funding for equipment to protect them from roadside bombs, and medical care and other benefits for them and their families. It would be extremely unfortunate if disagreements over these detainee provisions prevented us from passing this bill and fulfilling those duties. But it would be tragic if this happened because of misunderstandings about what the bill says and does."
Therefore, if we have reservations about a bill that would provide for the creation of a Gulag culture in America, and in expressing said reservations might hold up the bill, we are being 'anti-troop.'

Of course, patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel... and the fascist.

With all due respect, this is evil. This must be stopped. If it is not, it is a nail in the coffin of our country.


  1. "Near the end of the day small men cast long shadows." Chinese Proverb

  2. welcome to the New World Order of Fascist Amerika

  3. So a person that blogs the truth as put forth by Mike Malloy and very few others can be targeted?

  4. I read the sections 1031 and 1032, but i don't see anything that says what this article is saying. I'm also pretty convinced that the bastards are out to get us, but in this particular law there is actually a section that says:

    (1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.

    Can somebody shed some light for me?

  5. Hello Anonymous and, well, Anonymous. I think this later post addresses what's at play here>>>

    The main thing to remember is that the language continuously says the DoD is not being given a "requirement" to regard suspects as "enemy combatants" and this is VERY different from a prohibition on citizen detention.

    In fact, throughout the pertinent text, it continues to defer to the "executive" to make these distinctions.

    And that's just nuts.

    What I keep asking my very conservative friends is this, "If Obama is as dangerous and power hungry as you suspect, do want HIM to potentially have this much power?"

    What I keep asking my very liberal friends is this, "If the next President is as arch as Bush 2, do want HIM to potentially have this much power?"

    It's pretty simple. The answers are both "no!"