Dissenters on the Endangered List?

A look at new legislation within the National Defense Authorization Act that appears to infringe on our Democratic right to dissent.

I have been working on a memorial painting/installation for the victims of the Argentian "Dirty War." Up to 30,000 Argentians were "dissappeared" between 1976 and 1983 in a systematized action that is now qualified as state terrorism. Many of the prime players have recently been arrested, tried and sentenced but this does not undo the horrific years, the lives lost, the families ruined and the long term effects of a culture of fear.

During the process of researching this work, reading through the lengthy files of the CONADEP report, I have been impressed that the military junta in power during that time period "sold" the abductions, the torture, the incarceration and eventual executions — as "a war on terror." The victims, people from numerous walks of life, mostly young people, were guilty of little more than attending political rallies ... if that. Perhaps they has expressed displeasure with the administration or knew someone who did. In a word, at most, they were dissidents ...

The history is appaling and one wonders that such actions could be carried out so brazenly and with impunity. Why would the populace allow such a complete departure from justice? How could normal people become so care-less, let alone merciless? How can countrymen torture and kill fellow countrymen and feel justified in these actions?

Scroll forward to present day America, the land of freedom. Free speech being among the most sacred. Most of us may have never heard of NDAA. We live in a world of acronyms and, like phone numbers, there are way too many to commit to memory.

The National Defense Authorization Act is a federal law that specifies the expenditures and budgets of the U.S. Department of Defense. On Dec. 31, 2011, President Obama signed the act into law and it included some very alarming provisions. The Writ of Habeus Corpus is a writ (as distinct from right) that essentially guarantees that an accused person can request that a jailer produce a court order informing him or her as to why he is being detained. It is the provision by which we are able to demand a fair trial with a jury.  Infringement on this writ was one of the fomenting factors of the American Revolution.

Citizens, legal residents and foreign visitors may request this writ from a judge. All are entitled to due process, including a fair trial before a jury of their peers. Congress may suspend the writ only "when in cases of rebellion or invasion, the public safety may require it."

Members of belligerent armed forces are subject to military law and are not covered by the Writ of Habeus Corpus ... provided they were captured in the theater of war. Citizens and lawful aliens may NOT be locked up without the writ if they are apprehended outside of the theater of war. Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA apparently make it lawful for a person to be locked up without knowing why and "without trial until the end of the hostilities" (a vague date indeed).

If the Supreme Court ruled to overturn the incarceration, and they likely would, it still could take years for the person to move through the existent legal process to gain freedom. I am not a constitutional scholar, and I am not a paranoid nut, but this law furthers the groundwork for the sort of extra judicial punishment that is evidenced in repressive fascist states. As I read it, anyone the government decides is a threat to the safety of the public, may be arrested and imprisoned, indefinitely, without even explanation as to why ... and without a trial ... until "hostilities" are over.

Since the new "theater" of war has become the entire planet (Global War on Terror), the hostilities never need end.

I hope I am over reacting. If not, and to the extent I am onto a potentially huge invasion on our rights as citizens ... we may be seeing the last days of a land of the "Free" and the people who dare to speak up will indeed be "The Brave."

Now, a bit more than a decade into the twenty-first century, apparently, major legislation in our own country is undermining our right to dissent. I would like you to read this article on the tenth ammendment and specifically on the NDAA section pertinent to this issue.

Then post comments.


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mau August 24, 2012 at 08:39 PM
FYI off topic but another example of how Obama's interests and actions are for the elitist ruling class. it seems Obama is picking up where Clinton left off. Regulating and controlling our food supply. "In 2009, in a classic revolving-door move, President Barack Obama appointed former Monsanto VP and head lobbyist Michael Taylor as Deputy Commissioner for the FDA — the board tasked with regulating Taylor’s own industry." "Obama has appointed Monsanto chief lobbyist as senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. This is the same man that was in charge of FDA policy when GMO's were allowed into the US food supply without undergoing a single test to determine their safety. He had been Monsanto's attorney before becoming policy chief at the FDA [and then] he became Monsanto's Vice President and chief lobbyist. This month he became the senior advisor to the commissioner of the FDA. He is now America's food safety czar."
Brian Carlson August 25, 2012 at 01:41 AM
Mau... Yes off topic but if that's true...it is a great example of collusion. Monsanto is spraying coca crops in the drug wars, and the overspray hurts villagers with legal crops. head of the FDA? Great...now we can all sleep safely. Topic for another blog.
Brian Carlson August 25, 2012 at 01:48 AM
NoB..... Well sheeeeeeooooooot. Them sounds lahk fahtin words. A lot of the boomers were as right as yourself actually. But some of us did stupid things like oppose fighting in a civil war, Vietnam, a place with no strategic value.... A proxy war which ended up killing millions of people. We were so deluded. And civil rights....what the heck was that about? Women were making even less relative to men at that point and the idea of female Secretary's of State let alone potential Presidents was not in the mind of the conservatives. More than half the country voted for Obama, if I recall, and that puts you in a minority NoB.
David Tatarowicz August 25, 2012 at 06:52 PM
@NObama 2012 ------- You're a Man, yes You Am, or so you tell Yourself So LOL
mau August 26, 2012 at 07:23 PM
Again, this is FYI. Up to this point we still have quite a diverse selection of garden seed. You can still purchase Heritage seed and save your own for your own use. In fact the US has quite stock pile of seed. And Seed Saver's Exchange has kept this practice going. But if Monsanto and other seed producers have their way, that will be a thing of the past. My brother who is a farmer told me what a problem it is already to buy corn and soy bean seed from other sources. http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2009-12-14-monsanto-practices_N.htm http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_21049.cfm


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