Galatians 4:16 asks “Am I therefore become your enemy because I tell thee the truth?”
It seems that Obama thinks so and wants to keep your mouth firmly shut under the threat of being arrested under his shiny new act which he had passed whilst you were out shopping.
The National Defence Authorisation Act HR1540, has been signed into law by a Democrat President on December 31st 2011. And why might that be so worrying? After all the same sort of act under the same name gets passed every year and no one much has been shouting about it.
This one should worry you, and everyone else, because unlike its previous incarnations this Act allows the state to detain American Citizens indefinitely, without access to Council, without knowledge of the crimes they are being arrested for, without recourse to due process, an independent judge an open court or trial before a jury of their peers. They can be hauled from their cars on the way to work or wakened by the Gestapo knock on the door simply because this government feels that they might be a risk due to “terrorism”. Whatever “terrorism” means. You won’t get much of a chance to ask! Due process is a thing of the past.
So, if the United States Government says a United States citizen is a member of Al-Qaida or whatever “associated force” or a “supporter” (whatever that might mean) of the “group” they deem to be a threat (which could mean anything they want) then you could be held in military custody without trial until the end of hostilities authorised for use of military force. Which pretty much means indefinitely. Are you being “unpatriotic” in the office or “difficult” in your dealings with authority? Are you being “awkward” or “inflammatory” in your blog posts?. Rub someone in power up the wrong way? Do you seek to question authority or state a truth they do not wish to hear? Well you could be in line for a one-way all expenses paid trip to some dank hotel in Poland with unrivalled water sport facilities.
Meaning that anything that is being said, or written, that the state takes a dislike to could be covered by this blanket damnation of “terrorism”. Now before you get all steamed up that it couldn’t happen here we should remember that it has actually happened before. Senator Joe McCarthy and his Committee on Un-American Activities (lovely catchall that) brought shame on his country back in 1950. At least I suppose then you had a “hearing”. Don’t expect one this time round.
Am I being a bit dyspeptic after Christmas? Perhaps, but I am not alone. General Charles Krulak and Joseph Hrau on ABC news said “current law empowers the military to detain people caught on the battlefield but this provision would expand the battlefield to include the United States”.
Others too see any change in the text as being more “cute” than substantive. Here below is the opinion of Glenn Greenwald at salon.com which I presume to quote directly.
“That section — 1022 — does not contain the broad disclaimer regarding U.S. citizens that 1021 contains. Instead, it simply says that the requirement of military detention does not apply to U.S. citizens, but it does not exclude U.S. citizens from the authority, the option, to hold them in military custody. Here is what it says:
The only provision from which U.S. citizens are exempted here is the “requirement” of military detention. For foreign nationals accused of being members of Al Qaeda, military detention is mandatory; for U.S. citizens, it is optional. This section does not exempt U.S citizens from the presidential power of military detention: only from the requirement of military detention”.
Even the witches at Salem got a trial.
Copyright David Macadam 2012