Enacting the NDAA: Limiting Protesters’ Rights

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MEDIA ROOTS — The U.S. blindly took another giant step further into tyranny last week—no, really.

In most corporate and, even, many independent news outlets, the public was kept up-to-date with the deaths of singer Davy Jones and conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart.  However, relatively little attention was given to the annihilation of Constitutionally-protected civil liberties executed by the National Defense Authorization Act, which went into effect  Wednesday, March 1.  On the very same day two celebrities coincidentally died from unexpected heart-attacks in the U.S., a bipartisan Congress carefully dealt orchestrated attacks against the First Amendment.

Instead of the anti-democratic new law merely taking effect, the House resolved to further the scope of the NDAA by preventing assembly near public officials guarded by the Secret Service.  Not only is the U.S. tradition of protesting at the White House under siege—now those vying to replace the presidency are also exempt from the ‘nuisance’ of protesters.  499 Congressional Representatives voted in favor of HR 347—the Federal Restriction Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act—only three voted against: Paul Broun (R-GA), Justin Amash (R-MI), and Ron Paul (R-TX).

The President signed the NDAA into law on New Year’s Eve, but hardly did a media firestorm result from the fact that the military is now legally able to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens solely based on suspicion.  That’s right.  Despite Presidential Policy Directive 14, future protesters at the White House could be locked up indefinitely, without due process of the law.  Of course, Attorney General Eric Holder has begun engaging in Orwellian semantical double-speak regarding due process in cases of arbitrary targeted killings when he spoke before law school students today at Chicago’s Northwestern University:

“Due process and judicial process are not one and the same, particularly when it comes to national security.  The Constitution guarantees due process, not judicial process.”

It’s a terrible precedent Holder is working to set with regard to due process, which may easily spread to the First Amendment and other rights once the Fifth Amendment is undermined.  Although, no one may be “deprived of life” without due process of law under the Fifth Amendment, Holder claims that due process “doesn’t necessarily come from a court.”

Author Naomi Wolf reminded the world the day before NDAA Day 1 that U.S. citizens are “sleepwalking into becoming a police state.”  She explained further:

“Overstated?  Let’s be clear: the NDAA grants the president the power to kidnap any American anywhere in the United States and hold him or her in prison forever without trial.  The president’s own signing statement, incredibly, confirmed that he had that power.  As I have been warning since 2006: there is not a country on the planet that you can name that has ever set in place a system of torture, and of detention without trial, for an “other”, supposedly external threat that did not end up using it pretty quickly on its own citizens.”

The American Civil Liberties Union is now calling on all U.S. citizens to pressure the Senate to clean up the NDAA.  People must specifically demand that no president ever be given the power to use the military far from armed conflict to imprison civilians indefinitely, especially within U.S. borders.  Additionally, no President should be required to put civilians into military custody without charge.  Chris Anders from the ACLU explains:

“The United States itself should be off-limits for the military to impose indefinite detention without charge or trial.  It would be unconstitutional for the president to apply the NDAA provisions here at home, but the Senate rejected explicit protections to reinforce the Constitution’s and the Posse Comitatus Act’s protections.”

But without much leverage other than the power of the vote, which most voters perpetually award to the same politicians they protest, U.S. civilian demands are easily dismissed, as the Democrat and Republican parties know they have monopolized the political process.  Perhaps, it’s time to boycott both corporate political parties responsible for so much oppression.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Chris Hedges is suing the President for signing the NDAA.  He, along with several other plaintiffs, such as Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, blame both political parties for the passing of this totalitarian law.  They suspect that the corporate state ensured its passage because of potentially imminent uprisings in the United States.  In Hedges’ own words:

“This demented ‘war on terror’ is as undefined and vague as such a conflict is in any totalitarian state.  The NDAA expands our permanent war to every spot on the globe.  It erases fundamental constitutional liberties.  It means we can no longer use the word ‘democracy’ to describe our political system.”

Chris Hedges on Alex Jones’ Infowars discusses the lawsuit.

***

Oskar Mosquito is a regular contributor to Media Roots.

Photo provided by Flickr user DVIDSHUB.

***UPDATE

Obama recently came out to issue new guidelines for the NDAA provision, but the move is simply a PR stunt.  It does not strip his absolute power of indefinitely detaining U.S. citizens.

Abby

2 thoughts on “Enacting the NDAA: Limiting Protesters’ Rights

  1. the following curletus practised or still practise it: Persia, Greece and Byzantium, India, The Arab and Islamic world.Another term that is very disturbing is sati: was a religious funeral practice among some Indian communities in which a recently widowed woman would have immolated herself on her husband’s funeral pyre.I hear in south east asia they also had some practices that most women would find very appalling nowadays. []“Even today, many married women still call their husbands shujin (master), send their daughters to charm school to learn how to be good wives and have no ambition to enter the world of overworked, stressed out salarymen. The ideal woman in the eyes of many is still the self-sacrificing good wife, wise mother. Child rearing is still regarded as the primary duty of women. Housekeeping is also important. Women are expected to do the cleaning and cooking and in many cases peel apples, get cigarettes and make coffee on the demands of their husbands. Outdated views of women endure in the highest levels of government. In January 2007, Japanese Health, Labor and Welfare minister Hakuo Yanagisawa was widely condemned when he called women birth-giving machines in a speech on the declining birth rate.Japanese women are very much into “cuteness” (kawaii): Mickey Mouse, Poohsan (Winne the Pooh) and Hello Kitty are all very popular among women.Japanese women who work as elevator operators, phone operators, office ladies and saleswomen sometimes talk in an unnaturally high voice that some Japanese regard as cute, polite and feminine but some Westerners and other Japanese find irritating. “Then there is this which I inadvertently came across whilst checking on that Swedish cake incident where sadly due to the artists lack of artistry the issue diverted from female genital mutilation to *cough cough* racism..[][Reader Discretion Highly Advised]“Following the controversy, Linde stated, I didn’t intend for anyone to feel embarrassed. But we’re talking about female genital mutilation is there any comfortable or cozy way to talk about it? Yes there is let me do so right now.I was vaginally infibulated in Omdurman, Sudan soon after my birth. Infibulation in my region of Africa in 1969 meant that the muscles inside the vagina were cut loose and reconfigured tighter’ (supposedly to incur purity’ as the Mullahs claimed that the Koran states: Woman is Impure ). After the tightening process, the vagina is stitched shut you grow up having your period through a straw which can take some women an entire month. On the outer lips of the vagina, seared in Arabic, they put the name of your father and his mosque on the left side the right side of my vagina was left blank for the name of my future husband to be seared on with a hot poker later. My clitoris was not removed, because my birth mother was an Oromo, not a Muslim and wouldn’t allow what Arab Muslims call the worm of unclean thoughts’ to be cut away. Thus I cannot speak on the horror of having no feeling, no clitoris. But protocol follows that years after this ritual at your wedding ceremony, the groom is given a small razor. This is to slit you open so he can begin penetrating you on the wedding bed’ a process that can take weeks.”That story is especially tragic because afterwards the victim went on to embrace the western whore archetype… eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek, double whammy.All in all I think it is safe to say islamic and asian curletus might possibly mistreat their women abit more so than other areas.One wonders where all this stuff came from… Maybe in the future one will wonder where the new form of female abuse, “The Wholescale Whore Archetype” came from. Seriously, where has it come from? Kind of just snuck in there and is now accepted as the antidote…




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