Ten years ago.
On October 26, 2001 President George W. Bush signed the USA PATRIOT Act into law. This bill authorized warrantless wiretapping, “sneak and peek” searches of American property without notification, and the seizure of “any tangible thing” relevant to a terrorism investigation in addition to many other provisions. This bill was renewed and expanded in scope by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2011. Since its inception and to this day, independent reporting has revealed that the authority granted by the bill has been abused in almost every possible dimension.
Ten years ago.
On November 13, 2001, President George W. Bush signed the Military Order on the Detention, Treatment, and Trial of Certain Non-Citizens in the War Against Terrorism. This order authorized the creation of secret military tribunals for the detention, treatment and trial of non-citizens deemed “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” in the war on terror. These tribunals are appointed at the discretion of the President. Further, the President granted his office the sole authority to determine who is subject to these tribunals via designation as a “terrorist” or “enemy combatant”. Both these tribunals and the designation of “terrorists” or “enemy combatants” operate without public knowledge or independent scrutiny.
Five years ago.
On June 29th, 2006 the Supreme Court ruled that such military tribunals were unauthorized under existing federal law and were in conflict with the Geneva Convention. Less than five months later, on October 17, 2006 the United States Congress and President George W. Bush created and formalized such authority by passing and signing the Military Commissions Act of 2006.
Three years ago.
On December 1st, 2008 the Department of Defense planned to train and deploy over 20,000 troops across the continental United States for potential future civil unrest, peacekeeping, and “mass-casualty” scenarios. The target year for deployment is 2011.
On September 30th, 2011 an American citizen abroad in Yemen was killed by a predator drone at the order of President Barack Obama. No charge, trial, or evidence has been provided or promised by the President.
One month ago.
On November 17th 2011, Occupy movements across the country were simultaneously violently dismantled and evicted by local authorities. It was later revealed that President Barack Obama, through the Department of Homeland Security, had coordinated and advised mayors around the country on how and when to best suppress their own people.
On December 1st, 2011 the United States Senate passed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 that designated the territorial United States as a militarized “war zone”. Section 1031of the NDAA permits the President to detain ANY UNITED STATES CITIZEN indefinitely without evidence, charge, or trial so long as they are named a terrorist in the secret and inscrutable process named above. Should a citizens detained as such ever actually be charged and tried, they would go through a secret military tribunals rather than a United States court. This militarization of civil law would be the final act in the long degrading of the 133 year old Posse Comitatus Act which was passed to separate the military from domestic law enforcement.
President Barack Obama has threatened to veto the NDAA but not out of concern for the citizenry’s civil liberties. This is not accurate. President Barack Obama’s administration specifically requested the removal of protection for United States citizens from such detention powers and claimed anything less would interfere with his office. Rather, the President’s veto threat is “because the extraordinary powers it would hand him are in some cases less sweeping and more constraining than what he has asserted for himself via frustratingly secret Office of Legal Counsel memos”.
On December 7th, 2011 the United States House of Representatives voted to close hearings on the NDAA’s controversial provisions from public viewing or record. The bill is expected to pass without serious opposition.
On December 8th, 2011 I learned that the pentagon has given over $500M in military weapons to city police this year for FREE, military drones are planned for domestic surveillance in the near future, and that even PBS is openly questioning whether we live in a police state.
I don’t know what fresh attack the government will bring upon the people of our country tomorrow but I do know that it is coming. Join your friends, family, and countrymen in resistance so that our government may remain for, of, and by its people.
“THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated.”
– Thomas Paine, The American Crisis No. I (published 23 December 1776)