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Sunday, 27 November 2011 10:50

Senate to Vote on Defense Authorization Act Nov. 28: So Loaded Obama Might Veto It? We May Get to See.

By:  wendy davis

Behind closed doors, Senators Carl Levin and John McCain have added a couple new sections to the NDAA that could find Americans arrested, locked up indefinitely without charge, and being shunted into the military tribunal system, were there in fact, any charges ever brought.


The ACLU is not just fooling around with their title: Senators Demand the Military Lock Up citizens in the ‘Battlefield’ They Define as Being Outside Your Window’.

“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.”

(Yes, the ‘even Ron Paul’ mention is gratuitous, IMO.  But that’s a whole ‘nother subject, and not for today.)

Let’s look at what objections the White House apparently has:

“Any bill that challenges or constrains the President’s critical authorities to collect intelligence, incapacitate dangerous terrorists, and protect the Nation would prompt the President’s senior advisers to recommend a veto,” the White House said in a statement.

The Administration strongly objects to the military custody provision,” the White House said, noting that it could apply to people in the United States. That “would raise serious and unsettled legal questions and would be inconsistent with the fundamental American principle that our military does not patrol our streets.”

If enacted, sections 1031 and 1032 of the NDAA would:

1)  Explicitly authorize the federal government to indefinitely imprison without charge or trial American citizens and others picked up inside and outside the United States;

(2)  Mandate military detention of some civilians who would otherwise be outside of military control, including civilians picked up within the United States itself; and

(3) Transfer to the Department of Defense core prosecutorial, investigative, law enforcement, penal, and custodial authority and responsibility now held by the Department of Justice.

The ACLU continues (sorry for the cut-paste nature of this diary; I’m jammed in RL):

“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.” (my bold)

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.”

So; anyone want to say ‘domestic terrorists’?  Will protesters continue to be labeled ‘terrorists’ as per a 2003 FBI memo that pretty much conflated protesting with ‘terror’:

“A confidential FBI memorandum sent to over 15,000 local law enforcement agencies in October urged them to “be alert to these possible indicators of protest activity and report any potentially illegal acts to the nearest FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.” Among the “criminal activities” of protesters catalogued in the memo are “use of the internet to recruit, raise funds, and coordinate their activities prior to demonstrations” as well as “[d]uring the course of a demonstration … using cell phones or radios to coordinate activities or to update colleagues about ongoing events.”

Other examples of criminal activity cited include using tape recorders and video cameras, which “may be used for documenting potential cases of police brutality and for distribution of information over the internet”; wearing scarves and sunglasses “to minimize the effects of tear gas and pepper spray as well as obscure one’s identity”; and wearing “layered clothing” as a form of “body protection equipment.”

The implications of the memo are sweeping. There is hardly anyone among protest demonstrators who has not worn sunglasses, layered clothing or used a cell phone. By making an amalgam of these commonplace activities with “more aggressive tactics,” including terrorism, the FBI has made millions of people the potential subjects of police surveillance.” (my bold)

Mitch Green writing at new economic perspectives has penned a ‘Letter to the Winter Patriot’, anticipating the day the military will be called in to break up Occupies around the nation.

He reminds them of their oaths to protect and serve, and the inherent conflict in these times:

“Those that take this oath seriously are faced with a terrible conflict.  You must battle internally between the affirmation that you will place your body between the social contract embedded in the Constitution and those that seek its destruction, while maintaining your loyalty to the government you serve and the orders issued by its officers.  Sadly, society has placed a twin tax upon you by asking that you sacrifice both your body and your morality.  This tax has been levied solely upon you overseas, and soon they’ll come to collect domestically.  Your government in its expression of corporate interests relies upon your tenacity to endure, and your relentless willingness to sacrifice.  And so you do.

Now, more than ever we need your sacrifice.  But, I’m asking you to soldier in a different way.  If called upon to deny the people of their first amendment right to peaceably assemble and petition their government for a redress of grievance, disregard the order.  Abstain from service.  Or if you are so bold, join us. Make no mistake: The consequences for such decisions are severe. You will be prosecuted under the full extent of the law.  But sacrifice is your watch word.”

If the NDAA passes with sections 1031 and 1032 intact, will Obama veto it, and why or why not?   Before you vote, remember (deleted: you know what you need to know before you vote…).

From Obey (with thanks) at in answer to my posting the ACLU piece there:

“Matt Taibbi sums it all up nicely:

‘… when we abandoned our principles in order to use force against terrorists and drug dealers, the answer to the question, What are we defending? started to change.

The original answer, ostensibly, was, “We are defending the peaceful and law-abiding citizens of the United States, their principles, and everything America stands for.”

Then after a while it became, “We’re defending the current population of the country, but we can’t defend the principles so much anymore, because they weigh us down in the fight against a ruthless enemy who must be stopped at all costs.”

Then finally it became this: “We are defending ourselves, against the citizens who insist on keeping their rights and their principles.”’

Matt’s  final sentences about the pepper-sprayed US Davis students said it perfectly:

“Bravo to those kids who hung in there and took it. And bravo for standing up and showing everyone what real strength is. There is no strength without principle. You have it. They lost it. It’s as simple as that.”

Stay strong and loving, and know that we will prevail.  We must!

(cross-posted at

Last modified on Tuesday, 06 March 2012 16:35


[-] Lazy KGB 2011-11-27 15:02   (permalink)
I don't get McCain. Or Levin, really.

Or maybe I do ... I guess I don't get their occasional stands against stuff.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-27 15:20   (permalink)
Replying to: Lazy KGB
Not sure I take your meaning, kgb. I guess you could say McCain and Levin are against just about every Constitutional right we used to think we had. And they seem to stand four-square with assholedom.

I did click the permalink and paste it in, but I didn't even think to check it after I mocked it up. Thanks; need to learn how to get word-wrap to function, too.

And beg again for the tags to be below somewhere.

Anyone want to join me in a mutiny over it? |8)|
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[-] kgb999 2011-11-27 15:43   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
I mean occasionally - or at least in the not-so-distant past - both McCain and Levin have taken reasonably laudable stands that would seem the 180-degree opposite from this shit.

I don't get how one person can do things that seems so incompatible with stuff they've done previously. We call it hypocritical ... but it's really something different.

(re the tags, see here):
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-27 16:22   (permalink)
Replying to: kgb999
LOL! Had to switch to Firefox again; I can't even get in with the captcha thingie. ;o)

I remember McCain waaay back not being quite so vitriolic and hateful; Levin? I figure it's about Israel and 'anything that might be construed to help' prevent that nation being 'wiped off...yada yada.. Just a guess.

Neo-fascism. Then there was that report in the Army Times a couple of years ago about one brigade in Iraq being sent 'home' to...keep the peace here. Ya know...'the peace'? It may have been when they figured the immigrants wuz about to get cranky.
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[-] Lazy KGB 2011-11-27 15:04   (permalink)
FYI. If you use the "permalink" (next to Oby's comment) ... you can make the link in your post go directly to the Obey comment you are referencing.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-29 16:05   (permalink)
Mark Udall's amendment stripping out 1031 and 1032 just failed 37-61, not that it stripped enough vile stuff.

Can't think Obama really will veto it; we'll see what comes out of conference committee, but if he were guaranteed that his veto *couldn't be sustained*, who knows? This is getting seriously messed up.

Here's the roll call.
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[-] kgb999 2011-11-29 19:13   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
*sigh* I didn't figure it was going to pass.

When I first moved up here, our guys were some of the few that protested this kind of crap ... now we've got a couple of suck-ass buttkissers. Crapo ... what's in a name?
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-29 19:50   (permalink)
Replying to: kgb999
Nah, I didn't figure it would pass, either. EW and others (some guest on Amy Goodman) are focused on Gitmo detainees; me: my hair's on fire about the broad sweep domestically as well. Not that it isn't just codifying current policy anyway... One more step toward revolution, I guess.

Just fyi, I saw this report on OIRA yesterday; DD wrote it up today. Not shocking except that the putatively progressive 'Center for Progressive Reform' liked Cass Sunstein before this, lol!

Getting harder and harder to be a good and dutiful Obama supporter. Unless you disregard everything, and think about Herman Cain as your prez, I guess. ;o)

Which guys do you mean? Your Senators and Reps? Your gov is pretty good, yes? Sorry about my memory...
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[-] Lazy KGB 2011-11-29 22:12   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Heh. I've been watching a livestream of the OccupyLA site 'cause they might get evicted tonight. Nothing really going on ... so they had a *&%! general assembly.

Started having flashbacks to how I felt watching the "first" Star Wars (which is technically the fourth movie, but Lucas made the third book into a movie first ... because the first three books sucked ass, really, and he was hoping for a hit .... and now nobody can figure out what anybody else actually means when they say the "first" Star Wars movie any more). Just saying ... couldn't they have gone with the drum circle or something?

I have now discovered something more mind-numbing than a city council meeting ... a city council meeting where everything is broken into four word phrases and hollered back at you. Yikes.

And yeah. The domestic stuff is what's got me most about it too. Ordinarily, I'd think "there's no way that's constitutional" ... but our Supreme Court is fully corrupt. Not looking to them for help.

I read Sunstein's "Nudge" just a little bit before Obama got elected. At the time I thought it was a great book for anyone who has to implement choice-architecture - particularity user interfaces. Then he got the job and the book took on a whole different light. He's got this psycho theory of "Paternalistic Libertarianism" ... heavy on the paternalistic light on the libertarian. Basically boils down to the government tricking people into doing what the policy makers want - and he's OK with disinformation to get it done.

And at this point the whole lot of 'em suck. I thought Otter was pretty good when he was congressman (at least on the whole anti-police state stuff) ... but he's a horrible governor.
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[-] Lazy KGB 2011-11-30 02:10   (permalink)
Replying to: Lazy KGB
So. They shut down LA and Philly.

Watching some guy with a fake press pass streaming the arrests. The cops keep coming up to him ... he keeps showing it. Awesome.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-30 06:30   (permalink)
Replying to: Lazy KGB
Re: the domestic stuff...

Once I found that Marcy Wheeler had written about the 2012 NDAA a week or more ago, I read it (scanned would be closer to the truth) and wondered why she seemed pretty sanguine about it. Same for her short blog announcing that the Udall Amendment went down (so did Rand Paul's 'end the AUMF for iraq, of course). So I went back again last night, and a reader had directed her to sections 1031 and 1032...she said, "interesting".

Without rereading her first piece, I wasn't sure, but it seemed as though she had missed all that. Didn't know what to say, but by this mornin', Larue was all over my diary praising Marcy, la la la...(he really loves her, understandably). Above, I had mentioned to someone that I kinda sorta thought she may have missed the domestic implications; dunno what Larue saw...

But when I got up, I went back to EW's house and pasted in a lot of the info and concerns I'd seen. At washingtonsblog, there were those who said the bill absolutely said it didn't apply to US citizens, but that's deceptive once you add the other ingredients. Plus what they are now admitting to in public.

But Carl Herman said that coupled with the 2003 and 2006 military commissions act, it's scary biscuits. And my guess is that more states will be passin' laws about filming police behaviors and busts soon.

Mic check humor was fun. But why the Star Wars ping? Don't know much about the movies or the books (another way I am unamerican, eh wot?) ;o)

Your take on Sunstein tracks; his photos show his face as smug and self-righteous and any of I've seen for awhile.

Gah; haven't read about LA and Philly yet. Guess I'll go poke around. Just got an email from ryan cook (fdl supply dude) reminding me there's another 'webinar' tonight. Arrrgggg. Will ya write me an excuse, dad? I do feel a headache coming on...or a seizure...and am picturing making the noose, winding, winding.... ;o)
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-30 08:14   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Instead...I watched the hang video a coupla times. Enjoy:

I can't make it work!!!!!

Hang circles rather than drum circles?
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[-] kgb999 2011-11-30 10:20   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Interesting. When a user is not logged in, the system doesn't turn links into links.

Curious. If this works.

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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-30 10:25   (permalink)
Replying to: kgb999
I should have been logged in; wuz usin' Firefox, got no 'need ta login' messages...

I'll try this one:

Odd-bodkins; it worked. Another X-file.
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[-] Lazy KGB 2011-11-30 10:18   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
Marcy is really good at focusing in on the minutiae of the point she wants to make. But she has some serious tunnel vision. I appreciate her for meticulously documented breakdowns - not so much for her ability to hone in on the most crucial elements of a situation in deciding what to focus on.

Also. if you aren't BMAZ or WO (who isn't *nearly* as sharp on Stuxnet as they seem to think, BTW), in my experience she isn't really going to pay any attention to anything you post.
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-30 10:36   (permalink)
Replying to: Lazy KGB

I did get to thinking that maybe there were additions she hadn't seen, as she wrote it up on the 21st, I think it was. Dunno how close to debate they can change stuff...but yeppers; she move on already to another thread. And I, after all, am 'small fry'. She did take time out a few weeks ago to call Des 'immoral' on one of her trade deals; pretty heavy charge.

Hmmm...Although...I did tell Larue tis mornin' that we should seriously cut off our fucking noses to spite our fucking faces, after he claimed no one should support nuffin' never if Rand Paul introduced it... ;o) What idiocy. Yeppers; keep that war in Eye-rack goin' cuz he's an asshole....

First I'd read about those 'extra treats' was at aclu, looking for more OWS Legal stuff.

The ALEC protests start today; kinda nice to see First Americans getting so involved. Looks like it might get pretty dicey, esp. as their websites aren't hiding much.
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[-] kgb999 2011-11-30 11:20   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
The guy seems like a total dumbass ... did Rand Paul introduce something worthwhile?
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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-30 11:31   (permalink)
Replying to: kgb999
To end the AUMF for Iraq. It failed. Jeebus. Nopers; vote against it on accountta assholetude. That'll show em, by gum.

Tried googlin' for a page about, and man...did I get side-tracked readin' some major Dumb-assitude here and there. This bill was painted as 'republican' since some Dems objected.... sheesh....
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[-] kgb999 2011-11-30 12:06   (permalink)
Replying to: wendy davis
That's called STRATERGY!

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[-] wendy davis 2011-11-30 12:16   (permalink)
Replying to: kgb999
Or mebbe...self-destructive BIGOTRY!

(cry, laugh, sigh)
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