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So It Has Come To This?Salem-News.com
Can any of us consider this new law as anything other than an absolute betrayal of the oath of office that states clearly the necessity to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States?
(WASHINGTON, DC) - There has been a vicious sneak attack on American liberties! No, I am not talking about 9/11 nor the real conspiracy that killed JFK, but one that JUST happened. Late in 2011 Congress passed overwhelmingly, and Pres. Obama signed into law literally on New Year's Eve, what is normally a routine funding measure for the military for the upcoming year, called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).
But this year, attached to that bill was a measure that is a catastrophic assault on everything we hold dear about our founding documents, and in particular, the Bill of Rights. Sens. Snowe and Collins voted in favor, and Reps. Pingree and Michaud voted against this monstrosity.
What was so monstrous? Take a look at this: NDAA permits the arrest and imprisonment of any person if they are merely accused (not convicted in court) of having some alleged connection somewhere with terrorism, making "enemy combatants" of American citizens by simple declaration, not in court with evidence, or right of defense against charges, and the normal safeguards to protect against false accusations. No hearing, no bail, no trials, no witnesses!
To whom can this apply? (in part) to "associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners, including any person who has committed a belligerent act or has directly supported such hostilities in aid of such enemy forces."
So, what is a "belligerent" act?
Being a whistle-blower that exposes criminal activity or demonstrable lying by government officials?
Engaging in Constitutionally guaranteed rights to free speech, peaceful assembly or demanding a redress of grievances, like Occupiers?
Documenting abuses by those who have flagrantly violated their oath of office?
Providing humanitarian assistance to those in foreign countries acting in opposition to US-backed dictatorial regimes? It does not specify. It leave such questions open.
Folks, To be imprisoned indefinitely without trial or recourse is called slavery! In contrast, the Bill of Rights, Article V says (in part) "No person shall . . .be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Article VI says "In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed . . .and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the Witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense."
Article XIII (after the Civil War) states: "Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction" (like Guantanamo?)
Jefferson said: "I consider a trial by jury as the only anchor ever yet imagined by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." Can any of us consider this new law as anything other than an absolute betrayal of the oath of office that states clearly the necessity to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States?
Are we expected to accept this state of affairs and simply say "Oh, well, it doesn't apply to me"? ORWELL is more like it, as in George Orwell whose book "1984" portrayed a society whose authoritarian government turned language upside down and rewrote history books to censor out any opposing thoughts. Apparently now, instead of "Liberty and Justice for All," we are being assigned a government that imposes "One empire, under surveillance, with deceit and oppression for all."
For assistance in opposing this assault, see Bill of Rights Defense Committee (www.bordc.org)
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