This is day three of living in post-NDAA America.In case you’ve been living under a particularly large and comfy rock, the NDAA is a radical and dangerous bill — which Barack Hussein Obama quietly signed into law on New Year’s Eve, while almost every American was preoccupied with New Year’s binge drinking. (His administration had previously vowed to veto the NDAA, before strangely reversing course and signing it into law. He issued a signing statement saying his administration would not use the controversial indefinite detention provisions. This promise, however, is not legally binding — and it also does not prevent future Presidents from detaining and torturing American citizens without the right to a trial or attorney, and without bringing formal charges against them. The signing statement is the legal equivalent of a Post-it note affixed to a manuscript.)
How bad is this law, really? Here are some experts:
Presidential candidate Ron Paul on NDAA: “…bold and dangerous attempt to establish martial law in America.”
Rep. Justin Amash: NDAA was “carefully crafted to mislead the public.”
Amnesty International: “Provisions that were snuck into the bill with little notice from mainstream media could spell indefinite detention without a hearing, keep Guantanamo open, and hinder fair trials.”
And Americans, despite some pro-Obama spin to the contrary, are definitely targeted by NDAA’s indefinite detention provisions. As Salon columnist and constitutional lawyer Glenn Greenwald explained: “Myth #3: U.S. citizens are exempted from this new bill: This is simply false, at least when expressed so definitively and without caveats. The bill is purposely muddled on this issue which is what is enabling the falsehood.”
The American broadcast media has been eerily silent on NDAA’s passage into law, despite the fact that foreign newspapers and broadcast networks have been covering this as one of their top international stories.
Yesterday, however, FOX News began to let NDAA mentions seep into their news coverage. Which reminds me, folks! There is a grassroots movement to convince News Corporation chief Rupert Murdoch to invite me on FOX News, so that I can discuss the dangers posed by the NDAA, and SOPA, which is a radical Internet censorship bill Congress plans to vote on later this month. (SOPA would make online criticism of NDAA subject to government censorship and deletion. Profoundly scary. Google co-founder Sergey Brin has warned that SOPA “would put us on a par with the most oppressive nations in the world.”)
This Murdoch direct appeal isn’t too crazy a request, by the way: I’ve been on FOX twice before, once on FOX’s now defunct nationally syndicated morning show (which was a nightmare; dishonest producers), and then on FOX News proper (amazing experience; everyone was ‘nice,’ and the anchor even personally walked me out of the building after the show to talk more about the issue we were discussing on-air — passionate journalism!).
But enough self-aggrandizing for one morning! Here are NDAA reactions from others around the Web — online outrage has been steadily growing, as Americans realise their cherished civil rights protections and Bill of Rights are now as obsolete as last year’s iProduct.
Rupert Murdoch: “Obama decision on terrorist detention very courageous – and dead right!” via his Twitter. Reactions to this rather contrarian view were not polite, to say the least.
Author Naomi Wolf, with a warning for Congress: “I never thought I would have to write this: but – incredibly – Congress has now passed the National defence Appropriations Act, with Amendment 1031, which allows for the military detention of American citizens. The amendment is so loosely worded that any American citizen could be held without due process. The language of this bill can be read to assure Americans that they can challenge their detention – but most people do not realise what this means: At Guantanamo and in other military prisons, one’s lawyer’s calls are monitored, witnesses for one’s defence are not allowed to testify, and one can be forced into nudity and isolation. Incredibly, 90-three Senators voted to support this bill and now most of Congress: A roster of names that will live in infamy in the history of our nation, and never be expunged from the dark column of the history books.
They may have supported this bill because – although it’s hard to believe – they think the military will only arrest active members of Al Qaida; or maybe, less naively, they believe that ‘at most’, low-level dissenting figures, activists, or troublesome protesters might be subjected to military arrest. But they are forgetting something critical: History shows that those who signed this bill will soon be subject to arrest themselves.”
Tumblr user Raychel, who has posted reaction to NDAA: “Seeing as the NDAA now applies to American citizens, like I said, I don’t know if it’s such a great idea to expose myself to the point of my writings being published in an article ha ha! What are your thoughts on it?
I first found out about NDAA through my research on Ron Paul via YouTube. Watching debates, interviews, etc. I stumbled across a lot of videos that were definitely not getting enough hype. That being said, no I don’t think the traditional media has done it’s (sic) job of bringing it to the public’s attention. It’s done quite a good job of the opposite, actually. The media is showing us stories about missing pets, celebrities acting like banshees, and the top rated videos on YouTube (which obviously aren’t the Ron Paul videos I found, sadly!) I’ve noticed over the years that the media is definitely keeping secrets from the people. Things we deserve to know go unmentioned, but you bet if a dog saved a man’s life who was drowning THAT video would be ALL over the news and Internet for weeks!” (via email to Business Insider)
Jonathan Turley in The Guardian (UK): “President Barack Obama rang in the New Year by signing the NDAA law with its provision allowing him to indefinitely detain citizens. It was a symbolic moment, to say the least. With Americans distracted with drinking and celebrating, Obama signed one of the greatest rollbacks of civil liberties in the history of our country … and citizens partied in unwitting bliss into the New Year.
Ironically, in addition to breaking his promise not to sign the law, Obama broke his promise on signing statements and attached a statement that he really does not want to detain citizens indefinitely.”
Petitions and online protests like this one, which call for the impeachment of Obama and recall of Senators who voted in favour of NDAA, are also beginning to appear.
This should be an interesting year. If you don’t see any future articles or tweets from me, you’ll know I’ve been relocated to the Guantanamo Beach Club.
Continue the conversation, follow me: I don’t write articles every day, but when I do, they are on subjects you should know about. You can follow me on Google+ or on Twitter to see my newest posts and keep in touch. I publish content and editorial opinion regarding NDAA and SOPA on my Google+ account that you won’t find anywhere else.
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