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Author Topic: Homeland Security, Border Protection, and American Freedom  (Read 245086 times)
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1050 on: November 02, 2011, 10:56:29 AM »

It will be interesting to see how this develops. 
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1051 on: November 02, 2011, 11:27:17 AM »

I wonder if they conspired with the Huatree Militia.  rolleyes

So they got four geriatric gentlemen on conspiracy, what's the chance that one of them is an informer? Or was there some other intel gathered on their castor bean research?
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G M
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« Reply #1052 on: November 02, 2011, 01:09:40 PM »

So they got four geriatric gentlemen on conspiracy, what's the chance that one of them is an informer? Or was there some other intel gathered on their castor bean research?

From the article, they had an informant and some very incriminating statements, all you need in addition is an overt act to have a case.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1053 on: November 02, 2011, 01:13:10 PM »

What is the sit rep on the Huatree militia folks trial?

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G M
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« Reply #1054 on: November 02, 2011, 01:17:23 PM »

What is the sit rep on the Huatree militia folks trial?



http://abclocal.go.com/wls/story?section=news/iteam&id=8415879&rss=rss-wls-article-8415879

First guilty plea in Hutaree militia case
 
Updated at 09:42 AM today





 Joshua Clough



 
November 2, 2011 (CHICAGO) (WLS) -- On Wednesday afternoon, there will be one down and eight to go in the federal case of a militia group aimed at violently overthrowing the United States.


Defendant Joshua Clough will enter a guilty plea at 3 p.m. in a Detroit courtroom, according to records filed Wednesday with the federal clerk.

The high-profile domestic terrorism case includes charges against Thomas Piatek, of Whiting, Indiana, who is scheduled to stand trial with most of the others Feb. 7.



Story: Lawyer argues for Indiana militia member's release
 Piatek was arrested in west suburban Clarendon Hills last year after authorities say he and the Hutaree militia group planned to kill police officers, a bloody rampage intended to spark an overthrow of the federal government, according to prosecutors.

U.S. agents found guns and ammunition in Piatek's northwest Indiana garage and say that he was an active participant in the sedition plot. Piatek has been held in Michigan on the charges that include the planned use of weapons of mass destruction to carry out the attack.
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1055 on: November 02, 2011, 05:15:53 PM »

A part of the indictment of the geriatric gang. You do have to be a special kind of stupid to launch these sorts of conspiracies, particularly with what appears to be a fifth person in the room recording you, but I'm getting kinda tired of these half-fannyed "right wing" fruit loops being rolled out for the cameras. Aren't there any left wing folks running their mouths about violent stuff?

BACKGROUND OF THE INVESTIGATION

5. On March 17, 2011 the government's confidential human source (CHS1) consensually recorded a clandestine meeting involving members of a fringe group of a known militia organizationl with the fringe group calling itself the "covert group." The meeting occurred at the residence of Frederick W. Thomas (THOMAS) located at 2265 Dean Mountain Road, Cleveland, Georgia, 30528 1 and attendees at the meeting included THOMAS, Emory Dan Roberts (ROBERTS), and others. At the outset of this meeting, the attendees began discussing and then displaying various weapons each one was carrying on his person. THOMAS mentioned to the group that he had enough weapons to arm everyone at the table. ROBERTS and CHSl either did not have weapons, or did not make them visible.

6. THOMAS became the primary speaker for the meeting and began discussing overt and covert operations for the group. He mentioned a fictional novel he had read on-line in which an antigovernment group killed a large number of federal Department of Justice attorneys, and then he stated, "Now of course, that's just fiction, but that's a damn good idea. 1I THOMAS described a scenario in which he felt would be the "line in the sand" that would result in the activation of militias. THOMAS believed that soon, during a protest action, a protestor would be shot. It is his opinion the militias would act and respond by openly attacking the police. He then openly discussed having compiled what he called the "Bucket List" which is a list of government employees, politicians, corporate leaders and members of the media he feels needed to be "taken out" to "make the country right again." THOMAS told the group he sent the list to a web blog.

7. During the meeting, THOMAS made the following statements:

a. "The right people have to be taken down, and taken down soon."
b. "There is no way for us, as militiamen, to save this country, to save Georgia, without doing something that's highly highly illegal. Murder. That's fucking
illegal, but it's gotta be done."
c. "When it comes time to saving the Constitution, that means some people gotta die."

8. When murder was mentioned, ROBERTS said he knew people in Habersham County [Georgia] who had a substance that could kill people with a very small amount. CHS1 suggested ROBERTS was talking about ricin, and someone else agreed, adding that ricin is made from castor beans. The conversation then went into a discussion about castor beans and possible ways to obtain them.

9. THOMAS spoke of the need for the group to acquire more weapons, ammo, food, and survival gear and then discussed the need for the group to establish a silent means of taking people out. THOMAS suggested silencers for handguns, stating, "In order to do what we want to do, take out the right people, we have to have some silent means of doing it. That means suppressors on handguns."

10. THOMAS stated they needed to find a machinist with the ability to manufacture silencers and not register them with the ATF. THOMAS said this was necessary to prevent them from being traced back to an owner if they were lost. THOMAS also mentioned a gun store near the Georgia/South carolina border that manufactures silencers and he commented that they should consider "hitting the truck," meaning they should steal the silencers from the trucks.

11. On April 3, 2011, CHSI consensually recorded a meeting with THOMAS and ROBERTS at a restaurant in northeast Georgia. The attendees talked about acquiring ammunition and equipment, particularly silencers for firearms. THOMAS suggested that they buy, steal, make, or attack a manufacturer's truck in order to obtain the silencers. THOMAS also talked again about his "Bucket List" of people he thought should be killed. During the meeting, THOMAS stated that he thought they could "fight off a SWAT team." He also stated, "I've been to war, and I've taken life before, and I can do it again."

12. On April 16, 2011, CHSI consensually recorded another meeting of the "covert group, /I again at the residence of THOMAS located at 2265 Dean Mountain Road, Cleveland, Georgia, 30528. Attendees included CHSl, THOMAS, ROBERTS and others. During the meeting THOMAS discussed the need for the group to start moving forward with taking action in some of their previously discussed plans, including a number of assassinations on various government officials.

13. THOMAS also explained to the others present that he intended to model their actions on the plot of an online novel called Absolved. The plot of Absolved involves small groups of citizens attacking United States federal law enforcement
representatives and federal judges. THOMAS expressed his belief that they should conduct a number of assassinations on various government officials, and he particularly expressed a desire to kill Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees.

14. During the meeting, THOMAS made the following statements:
a. "Civilian government operatives is who we're going to be shooting at: IRS, ATF, FBI, and the COpS."
b. "Who is the primary topics, targets? DOJ. Everybody in DOJ. That includes judges, ATF, IRS, and the hierarchy thereof."
c. "I could shoot ATF and IRS all day long. All the judges and the DOJ and the attorneys and prosecutors."

15. On April 29, 2011 and April 30, 2011, CHS1 consensually recorded conversations between, CHS1, THOMAS and ROBERTS while traveling to and from a meeting held in south Georgia on 04/30/2011. During a conversation on April 30, 2011, THOMAS mentioned that, while at the meeting, he spoke to a second confidential source (CHS2) about acquiring silencers. THOMAS reiterated the need for the group to obtain silencers to shoot people quietly. THOMAS suggested they obtain unregistered, .22 caliber long rifles, cut them down and thread them to accommodate a silencer. During the ride, THOMAS asked ROBERTS whether he (ROBERTS) thought they should try to grow their group larger, "or stick to what we are planning on, assassinating 4 or 5 guys and that's it?" ROBERTS replied, "I think probably we need both."

16. On May 17, 2011, CHS1 met with THOMAS and ROBERTS to further discuss the group's plans. (This meeting was not recorded. ) CHS1 reported that THOMAS indicated the group was ready to move forward with acquiring silencers. At some point in the conversation, explosives were mentioned and THOMAS became very excited and said the group really needed to get some explosives. THOMAS mentioned that he is very disgruntled with the IRS and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). THOMAS indicated that he was considering driving to the Atlanta area to survey/locate IRS and ATF buildings.
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G M
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« Reply #1056 on: November 02, 2011, 05:58:13 PM »

A part of the indictment of the geriatric gang. You do have to be a special kind of stupid to launch these sorts of conspiracies, particularly with what appears to be a fifth person in the room recording you, but I'm getting kinda tired of these half-fannyed "right wing" fruit loops being rolled out for the cameras. Aren't there any left wing folks running their mouths about violent stuff?

Aside from the New Black Panther Party? I'm sure AG Holder will get right on them right after he sorts out "Gunwalker".
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G M
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« Reply #1057 on: November 28, 2011, 07:59:28 PM »

Stonewall: Napolitano, DHS Still Silent on Mohamed Elibiary

Posted By Patrick Poole On November 28, 2011 @ 11:45 am In Homeland Security | 15 Comments


It’s been nearly five weeks since I broke the story [1] exclusively at PJ Media: Homeland Security Advisory Council member [2] Mohamed Elibiary downloaded sensitive Texas Department of Public Safety reports from the Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest [3] (HS SLIC) database, then shopped them to at least one left-leaning media outlet. Elibiary claimed the reports represented a pattern of “Islamophobia” under GOP presidential hopeful Rick Perry’s watch.
 
As I reported, the publication declined to publish anything on the leaked materials — which were marked “For Official Use Only” (FOUO) — after finding that there was no “Islamophobia” to be found. TX DPS Director Steve McCraw confirmed to me that Elibiary had in fact accessed and downloaded his agency’s reports on the HS SLIC. Elibiary also serves on the TX DPS Advisory Council.
 
In the five weeks since, neither Secretary Napolitano nor the Department of Homeland Security has commented on the matter.
 
Before publishing the original article, I spoke with DHS spokesman Chris Ortman. After grilling me about the nature of my source, he immediately terminated the conversation after I asked him how and when Elibiary got access to the HS SLIC system, telling me he would have to get back to me.
 
Needless to say, I’m still waiting for that return phone call, despite follow-up emails.
 
The questions I am looking to get answered:
 

1) When did Elibiary get access to the HS SLIC system, and who approved it?
 
2) Why was Elibiary the only member [4] of the Homeland Security Advisory Council — he is one of 26 members — to get access to that system?
 
3) What is the status of the investigation requested by TX DPS Director McCraw [5] into Elibiary’s leaking his agency’s documents to the media?
 
4) What other sensitive government databases did/does Elibiary still have access to, since he works with other agencies (e.g., FBI, National Counterterrorism Center, Office of the Director of National Intelligence)?
 
5) Is there evidence that Elibiary leaked sensitive documents and reports to other media outlets?
 
Admittedly, I’m not alone in failing to get answers about the matter. When Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) questioned [6] Napolitano about Elibiary when she was before the House Judiciary Committee the day my initial report appeared, Napolitano feigned ignorance (we know her senior aides had been briefed by TX DPS the night before):
 

Gohmert: Secretary, were you aware that a week ago today, from his home computer, he accessed the SLIC database, got information off and has been shopping a story to national media on islamophobia … [inaudible] … at the Governor of Texas and the security folks in Texas. Were you aware of that?
 
Napolitano: No.
 
Gohmert: I’m telling you, it happened. Do we need to appoint somebody or will you have that investigated yourself, and if so, by whom?
 
Napolitano: Well, since I don’t know the facts, I’ll have to look into that.
 
In the video, Napolitano seemed unfazed that one of her top advisers was being accused of leaking sensitive intelligence for partisan political purposes, with corroborating evidence being given by the director of one of the top state homeland security agencies in the country. Was she lying about not knowing? If she wasn’t, it doesn’t speak well of her staff that they failed to inform her. Perhaps that’s something for Congress to take a look at as well.
 
But it isn’t just Congress that’s being stonewalled on the Elibiary matter.

More than two weeks ago, my colleague Erick Stakelbeck of CBN News contacted DHS spokesman Chris Ortman — the person who told me he would get back to me, and hasn’t — to ask many of the same questions for a video report [7]. The response? Here’s his report [8] about confronting the DHS stonewall:
 

When I spoke to Ortman last week, I was greeted with a heavy dose of skepticism. His general attitude seemed to be that this was a non-story being peddled by a lone right-wing blogger who had it in for Muslims (presumably my colleague Patrick Poole, the intrepid investigative journalist who broke [1] the story).
 
Still, Ortman promised to get back to me before my deadline. And he surely would have had I belonged to The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, or any of the other countless Obama-friendly, mainstream media mouthpieces.
 
Well, the deadline came and went. My report [7] on the Elibiary scandal aired on Tuesday’s The 700 Club for a viewing audience of 1 million. It was also picked up [9] by Glenn Beck’s website, The Blaze (50 million hits per month) and Fox Nation.com [10].
 

 
In short, this story is gathering steam, and much to the chagrin of Ortman and others in the DHS Public Affairs office, is not going away. To that end, I sent the following email to Ortman yesterday (Ed: 11/9):
 
Hi Chris,
 
Just wondering if you had found anything out yet on the Mohamed Elibiary leak case. My story aired yesterday, but I would still love to update it with some kind of statement from DHS. Fox, Glenn Beck and a few others have picked it up over the past 24 hours, so it would seem that this warrants some kind of explanation, e.g., Is Elibiary still on the DHS Advisory Council and are these charges being investigated?

He was also apparently the only member on the Advisory Council to be granted this kind of access to the database. Why? I think these are all very reasonable and relevant questions, regardless of whether a “right-wing blogger” broke the story. It seems that allegedly leaking sensitive government docs is a big deal, whether the perpetrator is a Muslim or not.
 
Thanks,
 
Erick
 
His response? More silence. Now, I’ve been doing this for a while and have been around the block a few times. This isn’t the first time I’ve been subjected to the trusty old “stonewall” tactic. But the charges against Elibiary are so egregious, and the implications for our national security so alarming, that it simply demands a response from someone at DHS.
 
So Stakelbeck too was promised answers by DHS, but none were forthcoming. On it’s face, it would seem in the department’s best interest to resolve the matter, if only to clear their adviser Elibiary. But there is more at work than meets the eye.
 
As I’ll report later this week, there may be substantial reasons why Napolitano and DHS want absolutely no investigation into Elibiary. As one source told me a few weeks ago:
 

For them to even ask whether Elibiary was a bad actor who has penetrated our highest and most sensitive intelligence and homeland security agencies has the potential for such catastrophic consequences … they don’t even want the question asked. The likelihood that there will be an actual investigation can be calculated between zero and none no matter how overwhelming the evidence.
 
The only way that Napolitano can succeed is if Congress refuses to act. In the coming days we will give them more reasons why they may want to look into this matter, and Elibiary’s involvement with other government agencies, much more closely.
 
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Article printed from PJ Media: http://pjmedia.com

URL to article: http://pjmedia.com/blog/stonewall-napolitano-dhs-still-silent-on-mohamed-elibiary/

URLs in this post:

[1] broke the story: http://pjmedia.com/blog/breaking-homeland-security-adviser-allegedly-leaked-intel-to-attack-rick-perry/

[2] member: http://www.dhs.gov/files/committees/editorial_0858.shtm#9

[3] Homeland Security State and Local Intelligence Community of Interest: http://www.dhs.gov/journal/leadership/2008/09/homeland-security-state-and-local.html

[4] only member: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2011/11/03/alleged-dhs-leaker-elibiary-the-only-adviser-given-access-to-sensitive-law-enforcement-database/

[5] requested by TX DPS Director McCraw: http://pjmedia.com/tatler/2011/10/30/texas-homeland-security-requests-investigation/

[6] questioned: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=354GJU3X54Y

[7] video report: http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2011/November/Homeland-Security-Advisor-Accused-of-Leaking-Docs/

[8] Here’s his report: http://blogs.cbn.com/stakelbeckonterror/archive/2011/11/10/stonewall-dept.-of-homeland-security-silent-on-elibiary-document-leak.aspx

[9] picked up: http://www.theblaze.com/stories/muslim-homeland-security-advisor-accused-of-leaking-documents-to-prove-islamophobia-damage-rick-perry/

[10] Fox Nation.com: http://tinyurl.com/brkt8gh
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1058 on: November 30, 2011, 05:48:38 AM »

Woof All:

I'm on the road and so my usual level of access to data is less than usual.  I've heard something about Sen. McCain has proposed a bill that would end posse commitatus?!?

Anyone have anything on this?
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G M
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« Reply #1059 on: November 30, 2011, 07:24:44 AM »

I'm not seeing anything thus far. Wading through the fever swamps these days?   grin
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bigdog
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« Reply #1060 on: November 30, 2011, 08:28:47 AM »

Woof Guro,
     I believe you are referring to this:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/senate-votes-to-let-military-detain-americans-indefinitely_n_1119473.html


Woof All:

I'm on the road and so my usual level of access to data is less than usual.  I've heard something about Sen. McCain has proposed a bill that would end posse commitatus?!?

Anyone have anything on this?
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1061 on: November 30, 2011, 10:07:25 AM »

From the detainment piece: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.)..."We are not a nation that locks up its citizens without charge."

With a degree in history, I am surprised she isn't aware of WWII.  This would be for cause where FDR's Executive Order 9066 was for ethnicity.

No one IMO likes waiving fair trial rights, but terrorism and war is different than crime.  It is good news that both support and opposition to this not partisan.  16 Democrats voted for the "harsh detainee rules": Sens. Bob Casey (Pa.), Kent Conrad (N.D.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Daniel Inouye (Hawaii), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Mary Landrieu (La.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W. Va.), Clair McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Mark Pryor (Ark.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.). plus Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.).

Minneapolis' Somali population had 24 al Qaida related arrests last year.  Carl Levin's Michigan is home to Detroit suburb Dearborn, MI which has the highest concentration of Arab and Islam of any American city (about 1/3 of 100,000) and some radical Islam problems.  Both Michigan Dems voted for it; neither of the MN Dems did.
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JDN
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« Reply #1062 on: November 30, 2011, 10:28:22 AM »

This is truly a terrible law and should be vetoed.

A declaration of war by congress is one thing.  What is "terrorism"?  Something the administration in power defines?  At least a declaration of war usually has an identifiable beginning and end.  With terrorism.... 
Where do you draw the line?

I have no sympathies for terrorist or traitors if proven guilty, but arresting and holding an American Citizen indefinitely without basic constitutional privileges
based upon someone's say so is terribly wrong.  The concept is fraught with danger far worse than any possible terrorist act.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1063 on: November 30, 2011, 12:11:40 PM »

"Where do you draw the line?"

Yes.  Draw the line.  We are at war.  Traditional punishments don't apply to suicide bombing.  What is an after the fact answer for suicide bombing?  The last big one brought us two wars and 10 years in Afghanistan.

What is "terrorism"?  - Really?  Still confused after all these years, all these attacks?  9/11, WTC-I, Cole, embassies, London, Madrid, Bali.  Anyone remember Munich?

These aren't either party's political opponents we are housing at Guantanamo.

This rule doesn't say lock anyone up, it says don't tie the hands of the people we elect and choose to protect us. 

It is a harsh rule, so don't have even casual contact with known terrorists.  If you call a known terrorist by accident, hang up quickly.  If you go to their meeting by mistake, try to get out, stay off their mailing list and speed dial.  We are at war.

2 of the Dem senators leading the effort were from Michigan which was both a stronghold and a target. LAX was a target too, IIRC.  Would you like it protected, then these are the tools.  Senators on key committees see intelligence that we don't see.  You would think the heavy number of liberty seeking peace loving Democrats alone, along with those liberty hating war mongering Republicans would demonstrate that current, known threats are still quite strong.

Proof beyond all reasonable doubt doesn't apply in war and the fight against homegrown terrorism is certainly the hardest war to fight.
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G M
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« Reply #1064 on: November 30, 2011, 12:30:04 PM »

I'm torn on this. In light of this administration's destruction of the rule of law/mainstreaming Chicago-style "gangster govenment" my faith in our institutions has been serious damaged.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1065 on: November 30, 2011, 01:02:06 PM »

Torn makes sense and so does distrust. The gunrunner op makes you wonder.  I hate the airport security drill and being their subject.  Still, we give them the tools.  How would you prove the Delray Beach Florida residents with expired visas in the summer of 2001 were going to blow up airplanes, catch them with a box cutter?  A meeting in Hamburg, a camp in Afghan?  I don't know but I wish we had disrupted them.  If enough pieces of the puzzle form around you, I want tools to be available for your detention.  If you are innocent but carrying too many pieces of the puzzle and too close to the people who are involved, there is no good answer to that, it may take time to sort that out.  Every drone strike and every war hits innocent people too. I really don't believe we will fill Guantanamo with peace seeking, law abiding citizens.

Indefinitely only means we hold will you until radical Islam quits its war against us.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1066 on: November 30, 2011, 05:48:00 PM »

I do not like this at all.

BD, without limitation on anyone else, may I ask you to take the lead on keeping an eye on WTF this is about?
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prentice crawford
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« Reply #1067 on: November 30, 2011, 06:06:47 PM »

Woof,
 McCain continues to show his true colors when it comes to pushing for government powers that Stalin would be proud of, but his constituents seem to be death, dumb, and blind to it and he keeps getting reelected, so I hope if any innocent citizens get caught up in this, that they are from AZ.
                                                                     P.C. 
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G M
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« Reply #1068 on: November 30, 2011, 06:14:33 PM »

Well, Arizona has had some not so innocent citizens that waged jihad.

http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/only_on_fox/homegrown-terrorism-5-4-2011

Arizona has a long history of being a hotbed of terrorist activity, particularly al Qaeda -- including an infamous first.
 
"The first al Qaeda cell in the United States was located right here in Arizona in Tucson," says Poole.
 
The 9-11 commission report contains 59 references to terrorist activity in Arizona. It also mentioned the existence of a CIA/FBI report titled "Arizona's Long Range Nexus for Islamic Extremists." The report has still not been made public.
 
"We have a number of examples of terrorist operatives who have crossed the border."
 
According to Poole, our state's border with Mexico is apparently attracting terrorist infiltrators.
 
"We also know that back in June 2010, two terrorist operatives out of Bangladesh were arrested attempting to cross the border in Naco," says Poole.
 
But it's been the dramatic increase in homegrown terror that worries Poole the most.
 
"In the past year what we've seen is a full out effort by al Qaeda to recruit Americans… not just with Anwar Al-Awlaki and his internet postings and internet videos, but al Qaeda itself under Al-Awlaki auspices has been producing magazines English language magazines called Inspire."

**Then again, any attempt to secure the border will get the full fury of Buraq and Holder's DOJ.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1069 on: November 30, 2011, 08:23:11 PM »

Of course, sir. 

I do not like this at all.

BD, without limitation on anyone else, may I ask you to take the lead on keeping an eye on WTF this is about?

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DougMacG
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« Reply #1070 on: November 30, 2011, 11:00:32 PM »

I should add that my support for any enhanced police power in the name of terrorism includes this caveat : any law enforcement officer or government official who uses this power for purposes other than what is specified and intended shall also be detained indefinitely at Guantanamo.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1071 on: December 01, 2011, 05:59:15 AM »

"I'm torn on this. In light of this administration's destruction of the rule of law/mainstreaming Chicago-style "gangster govenment" my faith in our institutions has been serious damaged."

No small statement this.  I would add it show intellectual integrity.
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G M
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« Reply #1072 on: December 01, 2011, 06:53:56 AM »

Well, if you told me a year ago that multiple federal agencies would conspire to violate various federal laws to import firearms into a friendly country to create a loss of life to justify new gun control laws, I'd have said "NFW".

It's one thing to have some people within an agency that go outside the lines, but when those in positions of authority of those agencies don't tell the political appointees to go pound sand when this idea was floated and then try to crush the line level whistleblowers, this says very bad things about where we are as a nation.

The feds are supposed to be the gold standard for LE. If we can't count on that, then I fear our very foundations are turning to sand under our feet.
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G M
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« Reply #1073 on: December 01, 2011, 08:00:43 AM »

http://volokh.com/2011/11/30/defense-bill-will-allow-president-to-indefinitely-detain-american-citizens/

Defense bill will allow President to indefinitely detain American citizens

David Kopel • November 30, 2011 4:11 pm


H.R. 1540, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012, has already passed the House, and is currently before the Senate. One section of the bill gives the President the authority to detain indefinitely American citizens, picked up on American soil, because they are allegedly supporting the enemy:
 

SEC. 1034. AFFIRMATION OF ARMED CONFLICT WITH AL QAEDA, THE TALIBAN, AND ASSOCIATED FORCES.
 Congress affirms that—
 (1) the United States is engaged in an armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces and that those entities continue to pose a threat to the United States and its citizens, both domestically and abroad;
 (2) the President has the authority to use all necessary and appropriate force during the current armed conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated forces pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 23 1541 note);
 (3) the current armed conflict includes nations, organization, and persons who—
 (A) are part of, or are substantially supporting, al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or
 (B) have engaged in hostilities or have directly supported hostilities in aid of a nation, organization, or person described in subparagraph (A); and
 (4) the President’s authority pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 11 107–40; 50 U.S.C. 1541 note) includes the authority to detain belligerents, including persons described in paragraph (3), until the termination of hostilities.
 
Yesterday the Senate rejected an amendment by Senator Mark Udall (D-Colo.) that would have stricken the detention provisions, and required the Executive branch to submit a report (within 90 days) on the the legal and practical issues involving detention, and required Congress to hold hearings on the detention within the next 45 days after receipt of the report.
 
The bill also includes provisions to prevent civilian trials of prisoners currently held at Guantanamo. The Obama administration is threatening to veto the bill, although the objections appear to involve Guantanamo-type issues, and not the expansion of the executive’s detention powers. [Note: The bill version quoted above is the version as passed by the House and sent to the Senate. It is the latest version available on Thomas. The numbering for some sections may be different in earlier versions of the bill.] Kudos to Senator Udall, one of the few genuine civil libertarians in Congress, for taking the lead on this issue.
 
UPDATE: A commenter points out that, according to Senator Carl Levin, it was the Obama administration which told Congress to remove the language in the original bill which exempted American citizens and lawful residents from the detention power. See the C-Span video of the debate on the floor of the Senate, at 4:43:29. This is not the Obama I caucused for in Feb. 2008.
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« Reply #1074 on: December 01, 2011, 08:11:50 AM »

http://volokh.com/2004/04/21/detainees-and-unlawful-combatants-vs-pows/

Detainees and unlawful combatants vs. POWs:

Eugene Volokh • April 21, 2004 11:26 am


My post about Guantanamo brought several messages about this perennial issue. Some complained that the Administration is trying to have it both ways by coming up with some novel category of non-POW detainees. Others didn’t complain about the Administration’s actions as such, but simply suggested that the courts could come up with a dividing line for habeas purposes — POWs don’t get habeas review, detainees do. Such a line, they pointed out, would reduce the burden on the court system to manageable limits, since the great majority of the hundreds of thousands of enemy soldiers that would be detained during a major war would be POWs.
 
     I’ve blogged about this general question before, but it seems worth mentioning again; so here are a few thoughts.
 
     1. There’s nothing at all novel about the concept of an enemy detainee who isn’t a POW. To the best of my knowledge, the practice of civilized nations has long recognized that there are two categories of wartime military captives. The first involves (more or less) soldiers who were fighting in uniform within organized command structures; these are generally seen as being entitled to “prisoner of war” status, which means (a) humane treatment, (b) limits on certain kinds of interrogations, and (c) immunity from being tried for actions that consist of “lawful warfare,” e.g., shooting at our soldiers (while fighting in uniform within organized command structures). Usually shooting at a U.S. soldier is murder or attempted murder, and voluntarily being part of a group that goes to shoot at a U.S. soldier is conspiracy to commit murder. But if you’re doing it while fighting in uniform within organized command structures, you get immunity from that sort of punishment — though you may still be detained as a POW for the duration of the war, and in some measure beyond the cessation of hostilities.
 
     The second category, which I stress again has long been recognized by “the laws of war” — in America, it dates back to the Revolutionary War, as the Supreme Court recognized in Ex parte Quirin — is that of unlawful combatants. The quintessential examples are spies and saboteurs, but more generally it also includes soldiers who do not fight in uniform within organized command structures. Unlawful combatants are generally not protected in the ways I describe above; they have many fewer rights (I speak here of rights under international conventions and conventional practice) than lawful POWs. In particular, unlawful combatants may be tried and often executed for their unlawful conduct; they don’t have the “lawful combatant” immunity from murder laws, for example.
 
     “Enemy detainees” is a good term to cover both categories, both POWs and unlawful combatants; though since POWs have a familiar name (POWs), “detainees” has often been used during this conflict to refer specifically to unlawful combatants. So the Administration’s conduct is amply precedented, and generally consistent with American (and, to my knowledge, world) military traditions and “the laws of war.” It’s possible that the Administration has erred in classifying some detainees as unlawful combatants rather than POWs; and there’s debate about whether it has complied with some of its duties under the Geneva Convention to provide a “competent tribunal” (a military tribunal, mind you, not a civilian one) for determining whether those detainees about whose status there’s a legitimate dispute are entitled to POW status. But that’s a matter of implementing the unlawful combatant vs. POW distinction. The distinction itself is very well accepted.
 
     2. This also suggests, I think, that it doesn’t make much sense for purposes of American constitutional law, or the American law of habeas corpus, to provide habeas to unlawful combatants but not to POWs. The distinction is a matter of miiltary practice and treaty law, not of U.S. constitutional law. What’s more, it doesn’t make a huge deal of sense. Unlawful combatants and POWs are both deprived of their liberty by U.S. forces. Both can claim that they really weren’t enemy soldiers, but were caught by mistake. If anything, the detainees who are detained on the grounds that they are thought to be unlawful combatants are likely to be more dangeorus than the POWs.
 
     The conditions of confinement might be somewhat different, especially as to the degree of interrogation to which the detainees are being subjected. (The U.S. has agreed to provide humane treatment to the detainees — consistently, of course, with the need to maintain security — so that potential difference between unlawful combatants and POWs doesn’t much come into play.) But I don’t see why this distinction should make a difference to deciding who’s entitled to habeas and who isn’t, especially since this distinction has historically been an artifact of treaty law and traditional military practice, not a matter of domestic constitutional obligation. More broadly, the historical U.S. constitutional practice has long been to treat all detainees alike for purposes of U.S. constitutional law.
 
     3. Now there is of course one important potential difference, which I alluded to in the first item. Once an unlawful combatant is tried and convicted for his unlawful actions, then he does stand in a different position from the POWs: He’s not just being detained as a prophylactic measure for the duration of hostilities (however long that might take), but he’s being imprisoned for a longer time as a punishment, or even being executed. At that point, there’s a more credible case for civilian court review. I think it’s probably still pretty weak, for various reasons. But he can no longer be squarely analogized to the bulk of other detainees.
 
     But none of the Guantanamo detainees has been tried yet on those grounds. Perhaps most won’t be. Nor is there any obligation — certainly no obligation under U.S. constitutional law, but I think not even under international treaties — to try the unlawful combatants immediately, or within some time of their detention. Since even perfectly lawful combatants may be detained indefinitely, without trial, unlawful combatants may likewise be detained indefinitely, until their trial (or until the government decides, as it may wish to, to release them or reclassify them as lawful combatants).
 
     The current litigation thus isn’t challenging punitive detention or execution, which hasn’t taken place. Rather, it’s challenging prophylactic detention — the very sort of thing that was indeed done to German and Japanese soldiers captured during World War II. And, for the reasons I mentioned above, there’s no reason in the U.S. Constitution or U.S. habeas corpus law for treating challenges to detention filed by alleged unlawful combatants more favorably than similar challenges filed by lawful combatants.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1075 on: December 01, 2011, 10:29:20 AM »

Yes, GM's response knocked me off my chair - a Nixon going to China moment.  Maybe we take up drug legalization during his unexplained softness.   wink

The plot thickens on the Kopel post last paragraph update.  The first story left the impression that the house and Senate were giving powers to the administration that they would veto, but their objection is allegedly not directed at that. This needs to be sorted out.

I don't like to be on the side of limiting freedom, especially arguing alone to limit freedom in America, but there is some burden on the opponents to say how you will then fight large scale terrorism.

Sending it back to committee or running a 40% deficit in terror fighting successes for a dozen years doesn't work in this case if the need is now.

Rand Paul video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rghhz_t5POo&feature=player_embedded
He is the lead opponent and makes great points, but the speech was already written with his opposition to the Patriot Act, to the Iraq war and to any power that goes beyond traditional law enforcement.  That does not answer the threat IMO.  If they blow up the Superdome this winter like the Oklahoma City bombing and then track back the clues for a couple of years and maybe catch and prosecute two guys.  It doesn't work that way; suicide bombers are immune to prosecution and the timeline is backwards.  We don't know about the destruction until after it happens; the 'law enforcement' operation must be conducted in advance of 'the crime' or it is of no value.

Hypothetical: It is the summer of 2001 again.  We are partly onto the hijacker plot to destroy the largest symbols of America.  We have about half the pieces of the puzzle put together and are missing the other half.  Your team is in charge of disrupting the operation.  Assume these players are American citizens this time, not Saudi nationals on expired visas that cops pulled over and let go.  But each player and each piece of the puzzle looks small when viewed alone and the larger plan looks like a fantasy when articulated to a local judge.  I want the operation disrupted.  No one wants abuse of the powers but I want emergency powers to be available.

I don't know what liberty Rand Paul refers to if we live in terror. 

Ten years since the Patriot Act (Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism), it wasn't ordinary Americans who lost liberties, it is the ones with unexplained contacts and cooperation with enemies sworn to destroy us.  When you take up the cause of the enemy at a time like this while we are actively under attack, your 'citizenship' is a bookkeeping error to me.  If you are fully innocent and uninvolved and your contact with a known terrorist was accidental, I sincerely doubt your detention will be permanent.  It is the people operating in the gray areas such as meeting regularly with (free speech?) and/or supporting in small ways the forces of our destruction that have the potential to lose rights here. 

I am grateful to be on this board where questions like this are brought forward and scrutinized.
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bigdog
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« Reply #1076 on: December 01, 2011, 10:41:24 AM »

Senators Demand the Military Lock Up of American Citizens in a “Battlefield” They Define as Being Right Outside Your Window
 UPDATE III: The Senate rejected the Udall amendment 38-60.

While nearly all Americans head to family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving, the Senate is gearing up for a vote on Monday or Tuesday that goes to the very heart of who we are as Americans. 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.

The Senate is going to vote on whether Congress will give this president—and every future president — the power to order the military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians anywhere in the world. Even Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) raised his concerns about the NDAA detention provisions during last night’s Republican debate. The power is so broad that even U.S. citizens could be swept up by the military and the military could be used far from any battlefield, even within the United States itself.

The worldwide indefinite detention without charge or trial provision is in S. 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act bill, which will be on the Senate floor on Monday. 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.

I know it sounds incredible. New powers to use the military worldwide, even within the United States? Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead, that the president is pulling all of the combat troops out of Iraq and trying to figure out how to get combat troops out of Afghanistan too? And American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea? And why now?

The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics. The White House, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act are harmful and counterproductive. The White House has even threatened a veto. But Senate politics has propelled this bad legislation to the Senate floor.

But there is a way to stop this dangerous legislation. Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) is offering the Udall Amendment that will delete the harmful provisions and replace them with a requirement for an orderly Congressional review of detention power. The Udall Amendment will make sure that the bill matches up with American values.

In support of this harmful bill, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) explained that the bill will “basically say in law for the first time that the homeland is part of the battlefield” and people can be imprisoned without charge or trial “American citizen or not.” Another supporter, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) also declared that the bill is needed because “America is part of the battlefield.”

The solution is the Udall Amendment; a way for the Senate to say no to indefinite detention without charge or trial anywhere in the world where any president decides to use the military. Instead of simply going along with a bill that was drafted in secret and is being jammed through the Senate, the Udall Amendment deletes the provisions and sets up an orderly review of detention power. It tries to take the politics out and put American values back in.

In response to proponents of the indefinite detention legislation who contend that the bill “applies to American citizens and designates the world as the battlefield,” and that the “heart of the issue is whether or not the United States is part of the battlefield,” Sen. Udall disagrees, and says that we can win this fight without worldwide war and worldwide indefinite detention.

The senators pushing the indefinite detention proposal have made their goals very clear that they want an okay for a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown. That is an extreme position that will forever change our country.

Now is the time to stop this bad idea. Please urge your senators to vote YES on the Udall Amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act.

UPDATE I: Don’t be confused by anyone claiming that the indefinite detention legislation does not apply to American citizens. It does. There is an exemption for American citizens from the mandatory detention requirement (section 1032 of the bill), but no exemption for American citizens from the authorization to use the military to indefinitely detain people without charge or trial (section 1031 of the bill). So, the result is that, under the bill, the military has the power to indefinitely imprison American citizens, but it does not have to use its power unless ordered to do so.

But you don’t have to believe us. Instead, read what one of the bill’s sponsors, Sen. Lindsey Graham said about it on the Senate floor: “1031, the statement of authority to detain, does apply to American citizens and it designates the world as the battlefield, including the homeland.”

There you have it — indefinite military detention of American citizens without charge or trial. And the Senate is likely to vote on it Monday or Tuesday.

UPDATE II: The debate on NDAA has begun. Your Senator needs to hear from you RIGHT NOW! >>

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bigdog
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« Reply #1077 on: December 01, 2011, 11:10:41 AM »

http://defensesystems.com/Articles/2011/11/29/Senate-NDAA-Udall-amendment-fails.aspx

Terrorism detainment provision overshadows 2012 defense bill
By Amber CorrinNov 30, 2011
The Senate has taken up the 2012 Defense Authorization Act, which will fund and dictate policy for the Defense Department for the fiscal year, and so far debate has been dominated by a provision that allows the military to indefinitely detain citizens suspected of terrorism in the U.S. and around the world without going through the U.S. justice system -- even on American soil.

The Senate has also approved an amendment providing for the inclusion of the National Guard as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

This week's floor action thus far has overshadowed other parts of the bill expected to be debated, including the approval of funding for Joint Urgent Operational Needs and the acquisition of cyber defenses. The bill also calls for, and discussion is expected about, the development of capabilities that detect previously unknown cyberattacks.

The controversial detainee language in the Senate defense bill sparked tension on and beyond the Hill, with Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.), in particular going head to head on the Senate floor Nov. 29.

Paul, along with Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who sponsored a failed amendment striking the bulk of the detainee language, argued that the provision dealing with the handling of suspected terrorists could be a threat to civil liberties. Udall stressed the opposition of high-profile figures like Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and former FBI Director Robert Mueller, who have publicly expressed concern over the measure.

“Should we err today and remove some of the most important checks on state power in the name of fighting terrorism? Well, then the terrorists have won,” Paul said. “Detaining American citizens without a court trial is not American.”

But McCain and others who supported the measure, including Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.), argued that the measure is vital to protecting U.S. security in wartime.

“An individual, no matter who they are, if they pose a threat to the security of the United States of America, should not be allowed to continue that threat,” McCain said. “We need to take every step necessary to prevent that from happening, that’s for the safety and security of the men and women who are out there risking their lives ... in our armed services.”

Udall’s measure was defeated 37-61 Nov. 29. The Senate will continue to debate the bill and is expected to vote on it soon.

The overall bill budgets for $663 billion in military spending for military personnel, weapons systems and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1. The House passed its own version of the defense authorization in May.

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bigdog
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« Reply #1078 on: December 01, 2011, 11:19:59 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/the-medias-blackout-of-the-national-defense-authorization-act-is-shameful-2011-12

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

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.

Bloggers and the ACLU's analysis have already made the work easy for you guys. Even an ADD segment producer can do the math:

- Pay special attention to Section 1031 of the bill.

- This bill violates the Posse Comitatus Act (18 U.S.C. § 1385), as it will allow federal military personnel to engage in domestic law enforcement. This is profoundly unconstitutional and scary.

- Also read Sen. Lindsey Graham's chilling defense of the offending provision in this bill, calling to make the homeland a "battlefield." Has anyone told these guys that Osama bin Laden and his deputies are dead? Those still alive are running from drone strikes on a daily basis. So who exactly are we fighting against? Are you protecting us from a handful of (almost entirely peaceful) college kids at the Occupy protests? If so, martial law and throwing out 200+ years of basic civil rights seems rather excessive.

- Finally, as the ACLU points out, you won't have any trouble booking an expert talking head who will tell you how dangerous and counterproductive the National Defense Authorization Act is: "The Secretary of Defense, the Director of National Intelligence, the Director of the FBI and the head of the Justice Department’s National Security Division have all said that the indefinite detention provisions in the NDAA are harmful and counterproductive." Book one of them on your program, and do it quickly. The Senate has already rejected an amendment which would have banned the indefinite detention provisions from the bill.

Please, do your jobs. This is the kind of story that wins journalism awards and makes careers. It's the kind of story that makes viewers trust you.

UPDATE: To the mainstream media's credit, Keith Olbermann of Current TV has now mentioned the NDAA's harmful provision, and I've been told that Dylan Ratigan of MSNBC is drawing attention to it as well. A good start, but not nearly enough.

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bigdog
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« Reply #1079 on: December 01, 2011, 11:25:10 AM »

http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:S.1867:

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DougMacG
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« Reply #1080 on: December 01, 2011, 11:30:07 AM »

Answering some ACLU arguments:

ACLU: "American citizens and people picked up on American or Canadian or British streets being sent to military prisons indefinitely without even being charged with a crime. Really? Does anyone think this is a good idea?"

Sounds like innocent people picked up randomly - no, no one thinks that is a good idea.

"The answer on why now is nothing more than election season politics."

Election season politics?  Not actionable intelligence.  What poll says people want this?  Assuming they are not in on intelligence briefing and many of the 61 Senators were, I would say they are willing to say anything.

"Hasn’t anyone told the Senate that Osama bin Laden is dead..."

Mission Accomplished, Deja Vu?

"...a worldwide military battlefield, that even extends to your hometown."

Yes, my hometown I wrote yesterday had 24 al Qaida related arrests last year and is an active recruiting point for operations at home and overseas.  We were also home to where Zacarias Moussaoui learned to land jet airliners in an equal opportunity, career advancing, training center.  And the Imams demanding buckle extensions.

Whose hometown is not affected by terrorism??

ACLU suing the Bush administration over the Patriot Act: http://articles.cnn.com/2003-07-30/justice/patriot.act_1_lawsuit-challenges-patriot-act-searches?_s=PM:LAW  "The ACLU filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Michigan on behalf of six mostly Arab and Muslim-American groups."

So far, heavy hitters here are the only ones favoring the other powers but drawing a line at this one.

I don't know the right answer to this at all but current policy is that we will relentlessly chase to the furthest corners of the earth with all means possible including UAV attacks in sovereign countries killing suspected terrorists along with known innocents, but we will not stop you if you hide right here in plain sight.
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1081 on: December 01, 2011, 06:03:11 PM »

Great coverage on the issue by bigdog.

This story about the Obama administration's view does not mention the bill.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_TARGETED_KILLING?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2011-12-01-10-42-54

Dec 1, 1:27 PM EST

Obama lawyers: Citizens targeted if at war with US

By MATT APUZZO
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. citizens are legitimate military targets when they take up arms with al-Qaida, top national security lawyers in the Obama administration said Thursday.
...
U.S. citizens don't have immunity when they're at war with the United States.

Johnson [Pentagon lawyer] said only the executive branch, not the courts, is equipped to make military battlefield targeting decisions about who qualifies as an enemy.


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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1082 on: December 01, 2011, 07:52:08 PM »

I'm exhausted by another long day of work, but very glad to see that we are working together to get and stay on top of this.  Keep up the good work gentlemen!
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1083 on: December 02, 2011, 11:30:57 AM »

I heard Glen Beck today outraged by this clause today.  He makes the distinction I noticed from the Pentagon lawyer story that the determination has shifted from the military to the DOJ.

There must be another way of strengthening the hand of those disrupting cells and attacks by citizens inside our borders using imperfect information short of proof beyond all reasonable doubt in a public court but short of indefinite detention judged solely by the DOJ.  Ideas?
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 03:02:53 PM by DougMacG » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #1084 on: December 02, 2011, 12:47:52 PM »

http://paul.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=399
« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 06:24:50 PM by bigdog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1085 on: December 02, 2011, 03:00:43 PM »

Looking at bigdog's link I think my earlier post is wrong.  The controversial provision is NOT in the bill that passed, if I now understand it correctly.  Senators vote differently depending on how the roll call is taken or did they get that many calls last night? I will come back to repair that post of mine.  Another version of the story:

http://www.huntingtonnews.net/14849

Detainee Amendment Defeated in Senate; Sen. Paul Forced Voice Vote to Prevent Erosionn of Constitutional Rights

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 14:25 Special to HuntingtonNews.Net
Sen. Rand Paul prevented the passage of an amendment that would have further eroded Americans' constitutional rights. Offered to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal 2012 (S.1867), amendment No. 1274 would have allowed the U.S. government to detain an American citizen indefinitely, even after they had been tried and found not guilty, until Congress declares an end to the war on terror.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1086 on: December 02, 2011, 06:12:59 PM »

Gentlemen:

For the purpose of aiding the value of this forum as a research tool, please remember to put something specific in the Subject line of your posts.

Too tired at the moment to read all this.

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bigdog
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« Reply #1087 on: December 04, 2011, 08:54:30 AM »

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/45539772/ns/us_news-the_new_york_times/
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G M
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« Reply #1088 on: December 06, 2011, 11:18:01 AM »

Prosecutor Warns Not to Ignore al-Shabaab Threat
IPT News
December 6, 2011

http://www.investigativeproject.org/3323/prosecutor-warns-not-to-ignore-al-shabaab-threat

 

U.S. policymakers need "to take al-Shabaab seriously" when the Somali terror group talks about targeting the United States, longtime federal prosecutor W. Anders Folk told the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

He emphasized that Al-Shabaab, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the larger al-Qaida organization share a common ideology: one marked by virulent hostility towards America.

Al-Shabaab's ideology "is almost word for word similar to what we heard from al-Qaida pre-9/11 and what we have heard post-9/11. What we hear is an ideology that endorses murder of innocent civilians," Folk said in an interview. "We see al-Shabaab training their recruits in tactics and techniques similar to what recruits learn in Afghanistan and Pakistan."


As with al-Qaida, al-Shabaab recruits receive military training and Islamist religious indoctrination. They are taught skills that "have been constants from terrorist training camp to terrorist training camp," Folk said.

According to an investigative report issued in July by the House Homeland Security Committee's majority staff, Shabaab-related federal indictments "account for the largest number and significant upward trend in homegrown terrorism cases" filed by the Justice Department, with at least 38 cases unsealed since 2009.

Folk, who prosecuted many of those as an assistant United States attorney for Minnesota from 2005-10, joined the Minneapolis law firm Leonard, Street and Deinard. He emphasized that al-Shabaab's strategic goals are not limited to seizing power in Somalia.

The July 2010 twin bombings in Kampala, Uganda which killed 76 people demonstrated that al-Shabaab "is operational outside Somalia," Folk said. "They have actively sought out through the Internet and other digital media recruits from the West, [and] we've heard at least one of these recruits discussing a call to jihad by individuals in the United States."

Folk was referring to Abdisalan Ali of Minneapolis, identified by al-Shabaab as the suicide bomber in an Oct. 29 attack in Mogadishu that killed 10 people. "My brothers and sisters, do jihad in America, do jihad in Canada, do jihad in England, anywhere in Europe, in Asia, in Africa, in Australia," Ali said in an audiotape message released by al-Shabaab.

He was the third Somali-American since October 2008 to blow himself up while fighting for al-Shabaab. The House Homeland Security Committee concluded that 40 or more Americans have joined the group, with at least 15 of them dying while fighting alongside al-Shabaab. "Nowhere near that number of Americans have been killed fighting with any other foreign terrorist group," the panel said. "At least 21 or more American Shabaab members overseas remain unaccounted for and pose a direct threat to the U.S. homeland."

Asked about assertions that al-Shabaab is too small to endanger the United States, Folk responded that said many people believed the same thing about al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) right up to Christmas Day 2009, when Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian national, tried to carry out a suicide attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 using explosives concealed in his underwear.

The attempted attack on the plane, which was flying from Amsterdam to Detroit, showed that AQAP could no longer be dismissed as a purely regional threat. Folk believes that al-Shabaab, which has made numerous threats against the United States, could also develop its own capability to target this country.

The failure to prevent Abdulmutallab from boarding Flight 253 offers a "sobering" assessment of the gaps in U.S. security procedures, he said.

Abdulmutallab's father, a prominent Nigerian businessman and former cabinet minister, had repeatedly warned U.S. officials that Umar was dangerous. He tried to persuade American diplomats that as a radicalized Muslim who had dropped out of school in Great Britain and traveled to Yemen, a hotbed of radicalism, his son posed a threat.

U.S. officials said the information provided by the father was not specific enough to take away Umar's visa or place him on a no-fly list. He was instead put on a lower-security "watch list," allowing him to board the U.S.-bound flight he attempted to bomb hours later.

In Somalia, a country without a functioning central government, U.S. security officials face much greater challenges in obtaining information about jihadist threats. Somalia "lacks any infrastructure, any real central government," Folk said. "There's no passport control, no border or customs, no central computers to monitor whether people are coming and going through the country."

Al-Shabaab Continues Recruiting Americans

Perhaps no community has been more heavily impacted by al-Shabaab activities in the United States than Somalis in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Since September 2007, more than 20 men,most of them ethnic Somalis, left the Twin Cities and traveled to Somalia to train with al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab's recruiting includes Internet videos aimed at glamorizing its activities. They celebrate the deaths of "martyrs" in fighting for jihad and ridicule their enemies in Somalia and the West.

In Minneapolis, al-Shabaab also used its American recruits to recruit new jihadists, Folk said. One of those he prosecuted was Mahamud Said Omar. A Somali-American and legal permanent resident of the United States, Omar was extradited back to America from the Netherlands in August to stand trial on charges of providing material support for terrorism.

The first group of Minnesota men to go to Somalia to join al-Shabaab left in December 2007. According to a federal affidavit outlining the government's case against Omar, he "provided money to members of the conspiracy to facilitate their travel to Somalia and told the men that he would support them financially in Somalia."

In January 2008, Omar traveled from Minnesota to Somalia, where he visited some of the Minnesotans at an al-Shabaab safe house, the affidavit said. He stayed there overnight and provided money to support operations there and purchase an AK-47 assault rifle. Omar returned to Minneapolis, and in August 2008, he allegedly accompanied two Shabaab recruits from Minnesota to the airport to begin their travel to Somalia.

According to Folk, a violent, tumultuous one-week period in the fall of 2008 serves to illustrate the power of al-Shabaab's jihadist message.

On Oct. 29, 2008, one of the men who had left Minnesota the year before and had stayed at the same safe house as Omar participated in one of five simultaneous suicide bombings in northern Somalia which killed 20 people. He was Shirwa Ahmed, 26, who drove a Toyota truck packed with explosives into an office of the Puntland Intelligence Service. A naturalized U.S. citizen, Ahmed became the first American suicide bomber in Somalia.

Prosecutors say that a few days after Ahmed blew himself up, Omar hosted a gathering for several men who were about to leave Minneapolis for Somalia. Two of those who attended the gathering left the Twin Cities days later to join al-Shabaab.

This combination of mass-casualty terror followed by additional jihadist recruitment provides the best evidence of the power of al-Shabaab's message, Folk told the IPT. It tells the American people "everything you need to know" about the effectiveness of the rhetoric al-Shabaab uses to recruit new members.

Federal authorities wiretapped Omar's telephone while investigating the disappearances. Investigators say they recorded conversations in which he expressed concern about the "uproar" over the disappearances and said he might leave town.

Omar left the United States in late November 2008.

A federal grand jury indicted Omar in August 2009 for providing material support to terrorism. Arrested by Dutch authorities several months later, Omar was extradited to the United States in August. He pled not guilty and remains in jail awaiting trial.

Despite a continuing U.S. government campaign against al-Shabaab, the group shows no signs of ending its efforts to recruit Americans. Folk believes that Omar Hammami (AKA Abu Mansur al-Amriki), a Muslim convert from Alabama who is a senior al-Shabaab commander, "is a great PR tool to recruit Westerners," telling people that "You too can come over to Somalia and enjoy great success and power like I did. You can speak English and that'll work just fine."

In order to defeat al-Shabaab, "you have to have a multi-pronged attack," he added. This approach would range from outreach to Somali communities in the United States, to "expanding bases in the Horn of Africa," and "the increased use of drone surveillance and drone strikes as a way to kind of get at the root of the problem in Somalia."

In addition, the federal government must use "all means at its disposal, including electronic surveillance, and all of the other tools" law enforcement has "to identify whether there are criminal conspiracies in the United States reaching back to Somalia to support Shabaab."

Al-Shabaab has many reasons to continue recruiting Americans, because they provide an important source of manpower for the terrorist enterprise. The Minneapolis recruits have worked in "all aspects" of the al-Shabaab's operations, Folk said, including combat, suicide bombings and military recruitment. In addition, Americans could prove useful in attaining another Shabaab goal – striking the United States.

"Travel documents are quite important because it's difficult to get into the United States," he said. "If you have U.S. travel documents, it reduces the barriers to entry."
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bigdog
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« Reply #1089 on: December 07, 2011, 04:32:32 AM »

http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/12/05/the-national-defense-authorization-act-is-the-greatest-threat-to-civil-liberties-americans-face/
« Last Edit: December 07, 2011, 11:01:23 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
bigdog
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« Reply #1090 on: December 07, 2011, 05:04:22 AM »

http://gawker.com/5865089/20-things-you-should-know-about-americas-most-horrifying-new-law

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/02/us/senate-declines-to-resolve-issue-of-american-qaeda-suspects-arrested-in-us.html?_r=1 (from a link in the above article)
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Body-by-Guinness
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« Reply #1091 on: December 08, 2011, 09:23:15 AM »

Insider: $56 Billion Later, Airport Security Is Junk

By Spencer Ackerman Email Author December 6, 2011 |  6:30 am |  Categories: Crime and Homeland Security
Follow @attackerman


The Department of Homeland Security has spent billions since 9/11 trying to keep dangerous people and dangerous explosives off airplanes, and treating us all air travelers like potential terrorists in the process. But according to a former security adviser to a leading airline, the terrorists have changed the game — and the government hasn’t yet caught on.

According to Ben Brandt, a former adviser to Delta, the airlines and the feds should be less concerned with what gels your aunt puts in her carry-on, and more concerned about lax screening for terrorist sympathizers among the airlines’ own work force. They should be worried about terrorists shipping their bombs in air cargo. And they should be worried about terrorists shooting or bombing airports without ever crossing the security gates.

Brandt says aviation security needs a fundamental overhaul. Not only is the aviation industry failing to keep up with the new terrorist tactics, TSA’s regimen of scanning and groping is causing a public backlash. “From the public’s perspective, this kind of refocusing would reduce the amount of screening they have to put up with in the United States,” Brandt tells Danger Room, “and refocus it where it’s needed.”


In the new issue of the CTC Sentinel, a wonky security newsletter published by West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center, Brandt all but indicts his former industry and its government protectors. “Government regulators suffer from a lack of imagination in anticipating and mitigating emergent and existing threats” to air travel, he writes.

Think first about what aviation security is. Since 9/11, it’s largely been a line of defense ahead of a departure gate to keep dangerous people and dangerous materials off a plane. By Brandt’s calculations, it’s cost $56 billion since 9/11. In one sense, it’s worked as planned: No planes have been blown up or hijacked for a decade.

But the last several years’ worth of plots on the friendly skies indicate the terrorists have switched their game plans. In January, a suicide bomber didn’t try to board a plane at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport. He detonated before going through security, in the crowded entranceway, killing 35 people and wounding over 150 more. Last fall, al-Qaida’s Yemen branch skipped the boarding call and shipped bombs packed in printer cartridges back to the States.

Less conspicuously, terrorists have started to infiltrate the airlines and airports themselves. Rajib Karim, for instance, worked as an IT specialist for British Airways. But inspired by al-Qaida YouTube preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, Karim offered to help al-Qaida sneak bombs aboard planes at London’s Heathrow airport, and claimed to have support from sympathetic airport workers. The airlines and airports barely conduct employee background checks, Brandt claims — and of course, none of those employees need to go through a “porno scanner,” get a pat-down or have their luggage rifled through.

Speaking of those scanners: We all remember how on Christmas Day 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab packed explosives into his underwear and headed on a flight to Detroit. That plot that failed only because of Abdulmutallab’s inability to light himself on fire. That’s how we got the invasive new scanners, which seek to catch the explosives or components that traditional metal detectors miss. But Brandt says they’re not so great: They “detect only two popular explosive compounds,” he writes. (He declines to name them in the interest of public safety; the Department of Homeland Security opted not to comment on Brandt.) Explosives detection equipment “is also not designed to detect the components of improvised incendiary devices (IIDs), making the use of these correspondingly attractive to terrorists.”

TSA is trying to get away from its stigma of being the guys who grope and photograph you. It’s taking the porno out of the scanners by getting rid of the “nude” imaging displays. Its director, John Pistole, talks about becoming an “intelligence driven” agency that compiles behavioral profiles of potential terrorists and — someday — targeting its toughest screening on only those who fit the profile. Kids no longer have to take their shoes off before boarding a plane.

Just one problem, according to Brandt: The behavioral science is no panacea. “The scientific community is divided as to whether behavioral detection of terrorists is viable,” he writes. According to the Government Accountability Office, TSA put together a behavioral profiling program “without first validating the scientific basis for identifying suspicious passengers in an airport environment.” Even if the science was sound, the office found last year, TSA officers “lack a mechanism to input data on suspicious passengers into a database used by TSA analysts and also lack a means to obtain information from the Transportation System Operations Center on a timely basis.”

Pistole talks about creating a “robust and multi-layered system” of defense, in case a certain measure fails. That’s a worthy effort, but it needs even more layers, Brandt argues. Abdulmutallab boarded his flight in Amsterdam — taking advantage of its relatively lax security, a harbinger of threats to come. ”Given that most aviation-focused attacks are likely to originate outside the U.S., it would seem to make more sense to upgrade screening for U.S. airline operations at those airports,” Brandt says.

None of this is going to be easy, or cheap. Brandt proposes that the government subsidize airlines for better employee background checks or explosives detection tech. But that’s could strike taxpayers as a bailout.

On the other hand, he and Pistole actually share the same headspace, so it’s possible that TSA will buy his overall critique. “The best defense is still developing solid intelligence on terrorist groups interested in targeting aviation,” Brandt says. Beats treating us all like terrorists.

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/unsafe-skies/
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1092 on: December 08, 2011, 10:49:09 AM »

In support of one of the points BBG's posted article makes, I remember getting a ride to the airport with an Afghani taxi driver.  As is my wont, I started a friendly conversation with him: "Its so hard to tell what is going on over there, what do you make of it?" etc.  Amongst the things I gleaned from the conversation was that the time and way he came in to the US should have made him a high risk candidate for his first job: working at the airport loading cargo.

 shocked shocked shocked
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DougMacG
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« Reply #1093 on: December 12, 2011, 08:14:50 PM »

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/see-becks-passionate-interview-with-allen-west-over-indefinite-detention-bill-stance/
« Last Edit: December 12, 2011, 08:17:39 PM by DougMacG » Logged
Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1094 on: December 13, 2011, 04:50:26 PM »

Answer, no-- but interesting questions are presented nonetheless.

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/did-federal-agents-really-raid-a-mormon-food-storage-facility/
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bigdog
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« Reply #1095 on: December 16, 2011, 09:09:14 AM »

http://www.businessinsider.com/ndaa-set-to-become-law-the-terror-is-nearer-than-ever-2011-12#ixzz1gf5oyjR6   angry angry huh sad

It turns out that destroying the American democratic republic was easy to accomplish, historians will write someday. Simply get the three major cable news networks to blather on about useless bull**** for a few days, while legislators meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sister, the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Internet censorship bill straight out of an Orwellian nightmare

And there is more on this, including Obama repealing his veto threat. 

Is our work here done, or is there a new beginning? 
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1096 on: December 16, 2011, 10:43:11 AM »

Ummm , , , what is wrong with SOPA?  I see not one specific accusation, let alone any specifics, in the article. 

Nor is there much specific in the article about NDAA.   Does the author agree or disagree with the notion that those that war on the US fall outside of ordinary criminal due process? 

Be clear, I am DEEPLY concerned about what I have been hearing about NDAA.  The silence of the Pravdas is deafening.  But I sure would like to see some specifics , , ,
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bigdog
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« Reply #1097 on: December 16, 2011, 07:54:52 PM »

Mother Jones' take on NDAA:
http://motherjones.com/mojo/2011/12/defense-bill-passed-so-what-does-it-do-ndaa
« Last Edit: December 17, 2011, 12:53:26 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
DougMacG
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« Reply #1098 on: December 17, 2011, 11:25:33 AM »

Compromise language: "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States."

I am still confused by the status of the controversial clause, holding indefinitely (or not) US citizens taken on US soil believed to be terrorists, and perhaps the confusion is intentional in the compromise language.  This author is saying (if I am reading him correctly) that the other media's take on it is wrong and that the actual meaning will have to be determined in the courts once a President acts on it.
---------
Quoting the Mother Jones author: "It does not, contrary to what many media outlets have reported, authorize the president to indefinitely detain without trial an American citizen suspected of terrorism who is captured in the US. A last minute compromise amendment adopted in the Senate, whose language was retained in the final bill, leaves it up to the courts to decide if the president has that power, should a future president try to exercise it. But if a future president does try to assert the authority to detain an American citizen without charge or trial, it won't be based on the authority in this bill.

So it's simply not true, as the Guardian wrote yesterday, that the the bill "allows the military to indefinitely detain without trial American terrorism suspects arrested on US soil who could then be shipped to Guantánamo Bay." When the New York Times editorial page writes that the bill would "strip the F.B.I., federal prosecutors and federal courts of all or most of their power to arrest and prosecute terrorists and hand it off to the military," or that the "legislation could also give future presidents the authority to throw American citizens into prison for life without charges or a trial," they're simply wrong.

The language in the bill that relates to the detention authority as far as US citizens and permanent residents are concerned is, "Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States."

As I've written before, this is cop-out language. It allows people who think the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks gives the president the authority to detain US citizens without charge or trial to say that, but it also allows people who can read the Constitution of the United States to argue something else. "
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #1099 on: December 17, 2011, 11:40:02 AM »

It seems to me that the author is trying to bring intellectual honesty to the issue.

IF what he says is accurate, my first reaction is that I cannot say the NDAA as written is a terrible thing, indeed it may have merit-- but as is always the case with anything, I reserve the right to evolve in my opinion. 

That said, I strongly dislike how this thing was hurried through without a proper discussion with the American people-- or within the Congress for that matter.  These are important issues, and it should not be so hard for citizens to know what a bill says or to inform their elected representatives of their thoughts on the matter.
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