- Main Street Europe and America face protracted Depression
conditions. As a result, millions lost jobs, homes, incomes, and futures.
- Human misery is growing. So is public anger. Rage across
America and Europe reflect it. Gerald Celente explains the stakes, saying:
- "When people lose everything and have nothing else
to lose, they lose it."
- Draconian police state provisions were enacted to contain
them. Hundreds of secret Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) camps
may hold them. Martial law may authorize it, claiming "catastrophic
emergency" conditions. Senators blew their cover calling America a
- During WW II, loyal Japanese Americans were lawlessly
detained. Today, social justice protesters and others wanting change are
at risk. Political Washington's targeting them to assure business as usual
continues. Obama's fully on board.
- On December 14, the House passed the FY 2012 National
Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). On December 15, the Senate followed suit
- ironically on Bill of Rights Day.
- Obama will sign it into law. The measure ends constitutional
protections for everyone, including US citizens. Specifically it targets
due process and law enforcement powers.
- With or without evidence, on issues of alleged terrorist
connections posing national security threats, the Pentagon now supplants
civilian authorities. It's well beyond its mandate.
- Militaries exist to protect nations from foreign threats.
Its Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) applies solely to its own personnel
as authorized under the Constitution's Article I, Section 8, stating:
- "The Congress shall have Power....To make Rules
for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval forces."
- In America, state and local police, the Justice Department
and FBI are responsible for criminal investigations and prosecutions. No
longer on matters relating to alleged national security concerns.
- Henceforth, America's military may arrest and indefinitely
detain anyone anywhere, including US citizens, based on suspicions, spurious
allegations, or none at all if presidents so order dictatorially.
- Law Professor Jonathan Turley expressed outrage, saying:
- "I am not sure which is worse: the loss of core
civil liberties or the almost mocking post hoc rationalization for abandoning
principle. The Congress and the President have now completed a law that
would have horrified the Framers."
- "Indefinite detention of citizens is something (they)
were intimately familiar with and expressly sought to bar in the Bill of
- Other legal scholars agree about all alleged criminals
having habeas, due process, and other legal rights in duly established
- Military tribunals are constitutionally illegal. Since
June 2004, America's (conservative) High Court made three landmark rulings.
- In Rasul v. Bush (June 2004), the Court granted Guantanamo
detainees habeas rights to challenge their detentions in civil court. Congress
responded with the 2005 Detainee Treatment Act (DTA), subverting the ruling.
- In Hamdan v. Rumsfeld, the Supreme Court held that federal
courts retain jurisdiction over habeas cases. It said Guantanamo Bay military
commissions lack "the power to proceed because (their) structures
and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the
four Geneva Conventions (of) 1949."
- In October 2006, Congress responded a second time. It
enacted the Military Commissions Act (MCA). It subverted the High Court
ruling in more extreme form.
- Undermining fundamental rule of law principles, it gave
the administration extraordinary unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate,
torture and prosecute alleged terrorist suspects, enemy combatants, or
anyone claimed to support them.
- It lets presidents designate anyone anywhere in the world
(including US citizens) an "unlawful enemy combatant" and empowers
him to arrest and detain them indefinitely in military prisons.
- The law states: "no (civil) court, justice, or judge
shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider any claim or cause for action
whatsoever....relating to the prosecution, trial or judgment of....military
commission(s)....including challenges to (their) lawfulness...."
- On June 12, 2008, the High Court again disagreed. In
Boumediene v. Bush, it ruled that Guantanamo detainees retain habeas rights.
MCA unconstitutionally subverts them. As a result, the administration has
no legal authority to deny them due process in civil courts or act as accuser,
trial judge and executioner with no right of appeal or chance for judicial
- Nonetheless, Section 2031 of the FY 2010 NDAA contained
the 2009 Military Commissions Act (MCA). The phrase "unprivileged
enemy belligerent" replaced "unlawful enemy combatant."
Language changed but not intent or lawlessness to assume police state powers.
- So far, military commissions haven't tried Americans.
Henceforth, based on alleged national security concerns, they will be under
draconian FY 2012 NDAA provisions.
- Notably, Jose Padilla, a US citizen, was lawlessly held
over three and a half years in military and civilian confinement as an
alleged "enemy combatant." Charges against him were spurious.
Yet he was denied due process, tortured, brutalized, dehumanized, and transformed
in solitary confinement to mush.
- Emotionally destroyed ahead of his civil trial, his lawyer
said he resembled "a piece of furniture," unable to represent
himself properly in court. In military detention ahead of his court martial,
Bradley Manning's barbaric treatment may have left him less than fully
- A Final Comment
- For years, America's crept closer to totalitarian rule.
Notably, the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act eased surveillance
and death penalty restrictions, eroded habeas protection, and smoothed
the way for repressive measures to follow.
- Post-9/11, they proliferated. Constitutional protections
have been systematically eliminated. FY 2012 NDAA provisions destroy fundamental
Bill of Rights ones, including Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process
- The Fifth Amendment says, "No person shall be held
to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment
or indictment of a Grand Jury.."
- Moreover, no one shall "be subject for the same
offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb....be compelled (to
bear) witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property,
without due process of law...."
- The Fourteenth Amendment says, "All persons born
or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof,
are" US citizens.
- "No state shall make or enforce any law which shall
abridge the privileges or immunities of (US) citizens..nor shall any state
deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of
- Overall, America's Constitution protects against unreasonable,
arbitrary, or capricious laws not based on rule of law principles.
- Supreme Court rulings affirmed Bill of Rights protections.
In November 2008, Justice Anthony Kennedy sided with a majority ruling,
- "After carefully considering the relevance of the
10 inviolable rights that comprise the ideological foundation on which
our nation is built, the court finds that these basic freedoms remain important
for the time being, and should not be overturned."
- "Until such time as it can be definitively proven
that citizens no longer require the protections provided by the Bill of
Rights, it shall remain the principal legal guidance for the United States
- Under Obama and the 112th Congress, inviolability no
longer holds. Tyranny replaced it. America's no different than other totalitarian
states. As a result, no one challenging state power is safe.
- Denouncing imperial lawlessness can be criminalized.
So can defending right over wrong. Constitutional protections no longer
- People power alone can restore them. There's no other
- Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at
- Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and
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