May 22, 2012
“What if the American people woke up, and understood that the official reasons for going to war are almost always based on lies and promoted by war propaganda in order to serve special interests?” – Congressman Ron Paul
Nary a week seems to go by around this here site where we don’t mention the insidious indefinite detention provisions of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), signed under the cover of New Year’s Eve by President Obama without as much as a whimper of dissent from the mainstream media. We’ve been trying to counter that whimper with a constant roar of protest here at Lions of Liberty (did I just do a Lion metaphor? Oh yeah I did!). There have certainly been some positive grassroots developments in battling the NDAA in the past half year or so. Whether it’s the formation of grassroots groups such as P.A.N.D.A. (People Against National Defense Act), attempts by states to nullify indefinite detention, or the recent ruling of a Federal Judge blocking the indefinite detention provisions, it’s clear that resistance to this egregious violation of our natural rights is strong.
Just when we are starting to make some progress against the 2012 NDAA both in raising public awareness and measurable legal victories, those creepy Congress critters are already at it again, hard at work on the 2013 version of the NDAA. The NDAA is an omnibus bill that comes up every year in order to fully fund the armed forces, including present military action abroad. As with nearly every major bill, Congressman use the opportunity of such a large and important bill to sneak in all sorts of shady little provisions, knowing that almost everyone will vote for the final bill, or else face the heinous charge of not “supporting the troops”. Maybe it’s just me, but sending our troops across the globe to fight in multiple illegal, unsustainable wars while military suicides exceed combat deaths doesn’t sound like “supporting the troops”, but hey what do I know? I’m just some dude with a website and a passion for liberty.
Wouldn’t you know it, Congress has already gone and passed the first version of the 2013 NDAA, which includes all sorts of Tasty Tyranny Nuggets (consider this an official Copyright, in case I one day find myself hawking Tasty Tyranny Nuggets cereal on the black market in my local FEMA Camp.) As this latest version creeps it’s way through the Senate and eventually to the desk of the POTUS, let’s stop and take a look at a couple exciting new editions to this year’s bill.
1. An Amendment that would strike the current ban on “domestic dissemination” of propaganda by the State Department, essentially legalizing taxpayer funded war propaganda within the United States. As if we weren’t subjected to enough war propaganda from our Cable News
ProfiteersProviders, with constant fear mongering and calls for war on Iran and just about anyone else that might look at us funny, this Amendment will cut out the middle man and allow the State Department to deliver its’ lies directly to us! Score one for efficient government. Speaking of war…
2. As Representative Dennis Kucinich has warned, the 2013 NDAA essentially authorizes a war against Iran. No wonder they need all that propaganda! In Section 1221, a “DECLARATION OF POLICY” towards Iran, declares that
It shall be the policy of the United States to take all necessary measures, including military action if required, to prevent Iran from threatening the United States, its allies, or Iran’s neighbors with a nuclear weapon.
Not to be outdone, Section 1222, ” UNITED STATES MILITARY PREPAREDNESS IN THE MIDDLE EAST”, ramps it up with specifics:
A) pre-positioning sufficient supplies of aircraft, munitions, fuel, and other materials for both air- and sea-based missions at key forward locations in the Middle East and Indian Ocean;… (B) maintaining sufficient naval assets in the region necessary to signal United States resolve and to bolster United States capabilities to launch a sustained sea and air campaign against a range of Iranian nuclear and military targets.
It doesn’t get much clearer than that, now does it? Not only does the 2013 NDAA authorize war with Iran and fund the preparations for such a war, it even authorizes the propaganda needed to go with it, for what will surely be a hard sell to a war-weary American public.
The one provision in the 2013 NDAA that, on the surface, looks like a positive is an amendment that supposedly reaffirms the right of habeas corpus , actually does nothing of the sort. The Gohmert amendment states that the NDAA does not
deny the writ of habeas corpus or deny any Constitutional rights for persons detained in the United States under the AUMF who are entitled to such rights.
You see that little trick there? You are entitled to habeas corpus rights, as long as you are entitled to them. However, sections 1021 and 1022 of the 2012 NDAA stripped those rights, and the 2013 version does nothing whatsoever to change that. According to Steve Vladeck, of American University’s law school,
“[T]he Gohmert Amendment does nothing whatsoever to address the central objections…. [I]t merely provides by statute a remedy that is already available to individuals detained within the United States; and says nothing about the circumstances in which individuals might actually be subject to military detention when arrested within the territory of United States…. Anyone within the United States who was subject to military detention before the FY2013 NDAA would be subject to it afterwards, as well…”
There was one amendment offered that would have explicitly prohibited indefinite detention, the Amash-Smith Amendment, also co-sponsored by Ron Paul. That was, of course, predictably shot down.
We can never relent in the fight against growing tyranny both at home and abroad. The first step to solving problems on as grand a scale as the extraordinary powers granted by the 2012 and 2013 NDAAs is to make people aware that there is a problem in the first place . We know by now that the revolution will not be televised, and nor will the tales of tyranny that necessitate it.
Help us restore the Bill of Rights. Help us stop a war. Help us spread the word on the NDAA.