In the days of the old Soviet Union, people considered enemies of the state could disappear at any time. Rarely would families learn the fate of their loved ones, who were shuttled off to gulags and tortured or simply shot in the head and deposited in a hole in the ground.
The American people are certain that such a thing couldn’t come to America. After all, we have the Bill of Rights.
But it did, under the guise of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), passed in 2011. Section 1032 of the bill essentially provided the president with the imprimatur to make Americans disappear into military detention without charges or trial. The NDAA also established all the world as America’s battleground – even U.S. soil.
The act allows the military to indefinitely detain anyone the government determines has consorted with al-Qaida- or Talban-linked terrorists or those who committed “belligerent acts” against the United States.
Supporters of the law – and that included President Barack Obama, Insane Senator John McCain and his trained monkey Senator Lindsey Graham – claimed the president already held that authority, stating it was granted in the Authorization to Use Military Force to George W. Bush (and by extension, all subsequent presidents) to make war on terrorists around the globe. The 2011 NDAA, supporters said, just codified it into law.
Graham was co-sponsor of the original NDAA and he made it quite clear at the time what lawmakers have in mind:
“If you’re an American citizen and you betray your country, you’re not going to be given a lawyer.”
Now under the guise of attempting to rein in the president’s war-making ability and having Congress resume its authority to declare war, a bipartisan bill is in the works that would even broaden the scope of the president’s power to make people disappear. According to The Intercept, the new Corker-Kaine AUMF allows the president to decide that he has the power to use force against any “organization, person, or force” essentially at will, by designating them as associated with previously named enemy groups.
More from The Intercept:
Here’s how it works: The Corker-Kaine AUMF codifies an expanded list of entities against whom the president is authorized to use force. They are “the Taliban, al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, and designated associated forces.” The associated forces designated by the bill are Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula; Shabab; Al Qaeda in Syria; the Haqqani Network; and Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
Then when the bill is passed, the president is invited to designate additional “associated forces” to the list. And going forward, the president can add more at any time. All he needs to do is inform “the appropriate congressional committees and leadership” that he’s doing so.
Nothing in the bill’s language protects American citizens – whether captured abroad on American soil – from being arrested, placed into a military prison and left there to rot. And all this by a simple designation from the president.
Broadly interpreted, even columnists and journalists – like us at Personal Liberty – could be designated as having provided “assistance” to terrorists by simply opining on American war policy. Some commenters to our articles have made that very claim.
And when we look at who the previous regime considered potential terrorists, according to its own missives — people who opposed Obama’s policies; people who stockpile food; people who oppose one-world government; Christians; military veterans returning from overseas engagements; people unhappy with the government’s actions at Waco, Texas, and Ruby Ridge, Idaho; and people opposed to gun control – we see that the president’s power to make a host of people disappear is essentially universal.
Much liberty and freedom has been sacrificed in the interest of “keeping us safe” in the years since 9/11. If any period in the U.S. ever exceeded the past 17 years in terms of liberty lost, it would only be the period just prior to, during and immediately after the war to prevent separation.
In the wake of 9/11, the District of Criminals passed the “Patriot Act” — how appropriate, and what clever word play. The result of a bill passed is always the exact opposite of what its name implies.
Also sprouting in the wake of 9/11 were the Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration grope, feel and steal cabal. Neither has captured a “terrorist.” We also got greater National Security Agency snooping. All have served to make every American a suspected criminal — subject to unlawful searches and seizures – and to greatly restrict travel and freedom and liberty in the U.S.
In the eyes of our government, we are all terrorists now and subject to permanent imprisonment or extermination. This is just one more law to make it all “legal.”