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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Obama should veto Defense Authorization Bill


The Defense Authorization Bill before congress has provisions that remove long standing constitutional protections for Americans and is another assault on our individual rights. These violations are being championed by those whose mantra has been “going back to the constitution.” The speak one thing and do the opposite. This is a very dangerous precedent. The bill also includes an amendment that would authorizeHere the use of torture. Torture is against international law and this would make the United States a terrorist nation. Here are some views about the current bill. You should be very concerned about this loss of civil liberties


The Media’s Blackout Of The National Defense Authorization Act Is Shameful

David Seaman

The broadcast media’s ignorance and unwillingness to cover the National Defense Authorization Act, a radical piece of legislation which outrageously redefines the US homeland as a “battlefield” and makes US citizens subject to military apprehension and detainment for life without access to a trial or attorney, is unacceptable.

Guys, this is far more important than Penn State’s Disgusting Creep of the Decade, or even Conrad Murray’s sentencing.

Call it what you will: a military junta, a secret invalidation of Americans’ civil rights, a Congress gone mad. Whatever it is, it needs to be covered by the press, and quickly.

Anderson Cooper, Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Neil Cavuto and the other handful of household names that mainstream America relies on for news should be talking about this non-stop.

I emailed producers and on-air talent at the three major cable news networks yesterday: not one of them was willing to step up to the plate and report on this appalling legislation, which would give Americans roughly the same protections as citizens in China or Saudi Arabia.



Setting the Trap | Justin Raimondo on the death of Posse Comitatus with today’s Senate vote

Levin-McCain bill would create a presidential dictatorship. Where is the outrage? Buried in the annual defense appropriations bill is a provision that would give the President the power to use the military to intern anyone — including American citizens — indefinitely, and hold them without charges or trial, anywhere in the world, including on American soil. The provision essentially repeals the longstanding Posse Comitatus Act, which prevents the military from engaging in law enforcement on US territory — the greatest fear of the Founders. Approved by a Senate subcommittee in secret hearings, the provisions open the road to a military dictatorship in this country — and for that we can thank Senators Carl Levin and John McCain, who introduced the measure. Both the FBI and the Pentagon came out against the Levin-McCain monstrosity. The Senate approved the bill earlier today…



Arrest McCain and Levin Now. Senate to Vote on Military Detention of Americans.

By Ralph Lopez (about the author)

Why would the Oath required by law to be sworn by US officers recognize a class of criminals, “domestic enemies” of the “United States Constitution,” if there were no such thing? Now Chris Anders, Legislative Counsel for the ACLU writes:

The bill was drafted in secret by Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) and passed in a closed-door committee meeting, without even a single hearing….

Anders warns us that the worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which is scheduled for a Senate vote on Wednesday, November 30.

The Senate will be voting on a bill that will direct American military resources not at an enemy shooting at our military in a war zone, but at American citizens and other civilians far from any battlefield — even people in the United States itself. Senators need to hear from you, on whether you think your front yard is part of a “battlefield” and if any president can send the military anywhere in the world to imprison civilians without charge or trial.



Jill Stein calls on Obama to veto defense authorization bill 

Opposes huge outlays, weakening of civil liberties

Jill Stein said today that if she were president she would veto the pending National Defense Authorization Bill as needlessly expensive and because it violates civil liberties by restricting the constitutional right to a fair trial. Stein is running for president as a Green Party candidate.

“Our constitutional liberties have been under attack over the past decade, a victim of this unending war on terrorism. Congress wants to authorize the indefinite imprisonment of American citizens, without charge, and that is wrong – and the very definition of un-American. If elected, I will restore our political and civil liberty protections,” said Stein.

The National Defense Authorization Act would eliminate protections against the use of the military against our own citizens on American soil, as articulated by the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878. It would also empower the president and our armed forces to detain U.S. citizens and others without trial based on unsubstantiated suspicions that such persons have been involved in the attacks of September 11, 2001, or have supported Al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or “associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” Individuals could also be tried before a military court or transferred “to the custody or control of the person’s country of origin, any other foreign country, or any other foreign entity.”

An amendment by Senator Udall to modify this section was rejected by the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.

Jill Stein also supports major cuts in the “massive, bloated military budget.” The Senate is voting this week on the full $682.5 billion Defense Authorization Bill. Passage of the bill would mean that the amount the U.S. spends on its military would nearly be the same as the rest of the world combined.

“America needs a peace dividend to invest in jobs, rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, pay off student loans, stop foreclosures on homes, and invest in renewable energy and conservation needed to stop the growing problem of climate change. The military budget needed major cuts ten years ago, and since then Congress has doubled it,” said Dr. Stein.

Even if Congress permits the 10% automatic defense reductions required in the wake of the deficit reduction super-committee failure, defense spending would actually continue to increase since the reductions are only cuts in reference to the rate of growth.

Stein pointed out that her views — unlike those of most of the Republican presidential contenders — are similar to traditional conservative beliefs that oppose a large military and the use of our defense forces as the world’s policeman. Stein noted that fifty years ago, President Eisenhower, the commander of the Allied Forces in WWII, warned the American people to be careful of the growing power of the military-industrial-Congress complex. The U.S. did not have a large permanent army or arms industry before then, always scaling the military back after a war.

“We need to bring our troops home not only from the Middle East but from most of the more than one hundred countries where we have bases. Our massive military budget actually increases the security threat to the American people by undermining economic security at home and distorting our foreign policy. It leads to the use of the military where it is an inappropriate and ineffective response that exacerbates hostilities better addressed by diplomatic means. Right-sizing the military would not only lead to a healthier economy at home but would also move us towards real security around the world.”


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