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News for Norther Colorado and the world

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

More about NDAA: Indefinite detention of Americans

The issue of indefinite military detention of U.S. Citizens has become a hot topic. The amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act was crafted by John McCain, who should know better, Senator Levine and Dick Cheney (whom I thought was no longer a government official) and was rushed into consideration with little debate and no coverage by the main stream media (MSM)

In the aftermath, many articles have been written on the subject and many voices raised in rage and I will link to some of them below. You might also find it interesting to see how your congressional representatives voted on these issues. After all, the only way to get the point across is to boot them out of office. Strangely, this publication usually gets a press release every time one of our representatives completes a vote, plus an account from the opposing party so diametrically opposed that it is difficult to tell it is the same bill. This time not a single representative issued a press release about their vote on the NDAA. Some research shows that in Northern Colorado, representatives, Coffman, Tipton and Polis voted against the NDAA while Cory Gardner voted for it. Senators Bennet and Udall both voted for the senate version of the bill, but Udall tried to amend the amendment before and after the vote. His amendments failed. Here is the roll call on the first Udall amendment. I suspect the voting blocs were the same for the second round of amendments. Both  Bennet and Udall voted to amend but the issue lost 51-37. In spite of their reservation, both senators voted to approve the NDAA. I am disappointed, assuming there is some “political” reason for that vote rather than a valid moral reason.

Here is the roll call vote on the NDAA for both chambers, find your elected official and see if they value our constitutional freedoms.

Senate Vote on NDAA

House of Representatives Vote on NDAA 


Following are four looks at the aspects of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012



Three myths about the detention bill

By Glenn Greenwald

Condemnation of President Obama is intense, and growing, as a result of his announced intent to sign into law the indefinite detention bill embedded in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). These denunciations come not only from the nation’s leading civil liberties and human 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):

Myth # 1: This bill does not codify indefinite detention   

Read More 



Why a Constitutional Law Professor Cannot Sign NDAA, Allowing Military Detention of Americans

By Ralph Lopez

 There has never been a better time to take a close look at how we got here, with Obama, a former Constitutional law professor, about to sign a law which overnight turns the U.S. into a Third World country where anyone can be swept off the streets by the military to rot forever or even be killed. Some people say wearily that the new powers for the indefinite military detention of Americans are not new at all; that this is nothing the government cannot, and has not, already done.

What this misses is that the new government powers seek to codify, “hard-wire” if you will, an area of law which is in flux and far from settled in the courts. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) proclaimed in his momentous speech on the Senate floor that:

“1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”

Graham goes on to say that the proposed law is simply based on the “law of the land” in the Fourth Circuit Court decision in the case of Jose Padilla, the first American arrested in the US and declared an “enemy combatant” in the war on terror. Padilla was held for 3 1/2 years in isolation, tortured and given, according to his lawyer , some kind of hallucinogenic drug such as LSD. His attorney, Andrew Patel, said that after a time, according to brig staff, “Mr. Padilla’s temperament was so docile and inactive that his behavior was like that of a piece of furniture. Editor’s note: This sounds much like actions of “Big Brother” in Orwell’s “1984”

An examining psychiatrist, before his eventual trial, said that after the 3 1/2 years, Padilla exhibited “facial tics, unusual eye movements and contortions of his body.”  Read More 


Snopes,  the urban legend and rumor checking site had this to say:

National Defense Authorization Act

Claim; The National Defense Authorization Act would allow “the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens in their own back yard without charge or trial.”

Rated a mixture of true and false.  Read More  


 Obama’s failed human rights moment

More than 10 years after 9/11, US politicians are expanding the ‘War on Terror’ instead of scaling it back.

By Jonathan Hafetz

It is no news that President Obama has been a disappointment to civil liberties advocates (among other segments of the coalition that helped to elect him). But Obama may have hit a new low by retreating from his threat to veto the National Defence Authorisation Act (NDAA), the annual military appropriations bill passed by Congress last week.

The NDAA contains a number of highly problematic detention provisions that undermine the US’ traditions, commitment to human rights and security. Those provisions solidify indefinite detention, militarise US criminal justice and counter-terrorism policy, and entrench Guantanamo, making it more difficult to close the prison. The legislation paradoxically goes much further on these issues than anything Congress did during the Bush administration. More than a decade after 9/11, lawmakers appear intent on institutionalising and expanding the “War on Terror”, rather than scaling it back.

The NDAA, for the first time, legislates indefinite military detention. Under the bill, any person who is “part of” or who “substantially supports” al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or an “associated” group may be imprisoned without being charged with a crime.

Lower courts, to be sure, have construed an existing statute, the 2001 Authorisation for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to provide a similar detention power. But the NDAA for the first time expressly codifies indefinite detention, making this power more difficult to challenge and more easy to wield aggressively.

Military detention

The NDAA also for the first time mandates the military detention of covered terrorism suspects,

Read More




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