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Bye, Bye Miss American Pie, er . . . Democracy. Not With a Bang, but a Whimper!

COMMENT: As not­ed by blog­ger David Sea­mon, the demise of Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy took place amid the volu­mi­nous, flat­u­lant pon­tif­i­ca­tion of U.S. media pun­dits, a pro­found dis­trac­tion in the event.

With very lit­tle notice from politi­cial or media insti­tu­tions and/or indi­vid­u­als, the Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act has incor­po­rat­ed some fea­tures that would allow the vir­tu­al elim­i­na­tion of civ­il lib­er­ties as we have come to know them.

This as Amer­i­can ora­cles such as Hillary Clin­ton lec­ture oth­ers about their “democ­ra­cy.”!

The essence of the NDAA text is this: pro­vi­sions in that act will per­mit the gov­ern­ment to “dis­ap­pear” trou­ble­some infor­ma­tion and/or indi­vid­u­als at will and vir­tu­al­ly with­out recourse on the part of the vic­tim.

The bill was orig­i­nal­ly threat­ened with veto by the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, but recent­ly endorsed for sign­ing by the Pres­i­dent.

“NDAA Set to Become Law: The Ter­ror is Near­er than Ever” by David Sea­mon; Busi­ness Insid­er; 12/14/2011.

EXCERPT: It turns out that destroy­ing the Amer­i­can demo­c­ra­t­ic repub­lic was easy to accom­plish, his­to­ri­ans will write some­day. Sim­ply get the three major cable news net­works to blath­er on about use­less bull**** for a few days, while leg­is­la­tors meet in secret behind closed doors to rush through the Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act of 2012 (NDAA), and its evil twin sis­ter, the Stop Online Pira­cy Act (SOPA), which is a clever name for an Inter­net cen­sor­ship bill straight out of an Orwellian night­mare. . . .

I have no idea why Con­gress is push­ing through anti-Amer­i­can leg­is­la­tion that is not only incom­pe­tent, but open­ly bel­liger­ent.

I have no idea why an Amer­i­can media black­out on NDAA is still in effect — Ander­son Coop­er, Chris Matthews, Bill O’Reil­ly and the oth­er broad­cast “jour­nal­ists” have been dis­gust­ing­ly silent on what is undoubt­ed­ly the most impor­tant news sto­ry of the past decade.

The sin­gle most impor­tant news sto­ry since Sep­tem­ber 11th, 2001.

Com­bined, NDAA and SOPA sim­ply destroy Amer­i­can democ­ra­cy. That isn’t hype. That isn’t exag­ger­a­tion.

With­in a few days, your free­dom of speech will be gone — post some­thing con­tro­ver­sial online, and the gov­ern­ment can legal­ly “dis­ap­pear” it.
Annoy the gov­ern­ment too much, or crit­i­cize Con­gress’ infi­nite wis­dom and mer­cy, and you may find your­self in mil­i­tary prison for the remain­der of your life, with­out access to a tri­al or attor­ney. Even if you’re an Amer­i­can cit­i­zen on US soil.

This is a brave new world. Watch what you say. Be mind­ful of who you asso­ciate with.

You may crit­i­cize your gov­ern­ment with­in the pri­va­cy of your own home, amongst close fam­i­ly or friends, but do not post neg­a­tive com­ments online. Do not assem­ble. Do not protest. Do not agi­tate. Do not give “com­fort” to the “ene­my.”

This is a sad day for all of us. All of our mil­i­tary spend­ing, all of our fortress­es and moats, and it turns out democ­ra­cy was attacked from with­in, the his­to­ri­ans will write some­day. We did­n’t even see it com­ing.


7 comments for “Bye, Bye Miss American Pie, er . . . Democracy. Not With a Bang, but a Whimper!”

  1. But sup­port­ers of the bill say that all those com­plaints are just hys­ter­i­cal myths:

    Fri­day, Dec 16, 2011 5:56 AM Cen­tral Stan­dard Time
    Three myths about the deten­tion bill
    By Glenn Green­wald

    Con­dem­na­tion of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma is intense, and grow­ing, as a result of his announced intent to sign into law the indef­i­nite deten­tion bill embed­ded in the 2012 Nation­al Defense Autho­riza­tion Act (NDAA). These denun­ci­a­tions come not only from the nation’s lead­ing civ­il lib­er­ties and human rights groups, but also from the pro-Oba­ma New York Times Edi­to­r­i­al Page, which today has a scathing Edi­to­r­i­al describ­ing Obama’s stance as “a com­plete polit­i­cal cave-in, one that rein­forces the impres­sion of a fum­bling pres­i­den­cy” and lament­ing that “the bill has so many oth­er objec­tion­able aspects that we can’t go into them all,” as well as from vocal Oba­ma sup­port­ers such as Andrew Sul­li­van, who wrote yes­ter­day that this episode is “anoth­er sign that his cam­paign pledge to be vig­i­lant about civ­il lib­er­ties in the war on ter­ror was a lie.” In dam­age con­trol mode, White-House-allied groups are now try­ing to ride to the res­cue with attacks on the ACLU and dis­mis­sive belit­tling of the bill’s dan­gers.

    For that rea­son, it is very worth­while to briefly exam­ine — and debunk — the three prin­ci­pal myths being spread by sup­port­ers of this bill, and to do so very sim­ply: by cit­ing the rel­e­vant pro­vi­sions of the bill, as well as the rel­e­vant pas­sages of the orig­i­nal 2001 Autho­riza­tion to Use Mil­i­tary Force (AUMF), so that every­one can judge for them­selves what this bill actu­al­ly includes (this is all above and beyond the evi­dence I assem­bled in writ­ing about this bill yes­ter­day):

    Myth # 1: This bill does not cod­i­fy indef­i­nite deten­tion


    Myth #2: The bill does not expand the scope of the War on Ter­ror as defined by the 2001 AUMF


    Myth #3: U.S. cit­i­zens are exempt­ed from this new bill


    Even if it were true that this bill changes noth­ing when com­pared to how the Exec­u­tive Branch has been inter­pret­ing and exer­cis­ing the pow­ers of the old AUMF, there are seri­ous dan­gers and harms from hav­ing Con­gress — with bipar­ti­san spon­sors, a Demo­c­ra­t­ic Sen­ate and a GOP House — put its insti­tu­tion­al, statu­to­ry weight behind pow­ers pre­vi­ous­ly claimed and seized by the Pres­i­dent alone. That cod­i­fi­ca­tion entrench­es these pow­ers. As the New York Times Edi­to­r­i­al today put it: the bill con­tains “ter­ri­ble new mea­sures that will make indef­i­nite deten­tion and mil­i­tary tri­als a per­ma­nent part of Amer­i­can law.”

    What’s par­tic­u­lar­ly iron­ic (and reveal­ing) about all of this is that for­mer White House coun­sel Greg Craig assured The New Yorker‘s Jane May­er back in Feb­ru­ary, 2009 that it’s “hard to imag­ine Barack Oba­ma as the first Pres­i­dent of the Unit­ed States to intro­duce a pre­ven­tive-deten­tion law.” Four months lat­er, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma pro­posed exact­ly such a law — one that The New York Times described as “a depar­ture from the way this coun­try sees itself, as a place where peo­ple in the grip of the gov­ern­ment either face crim­i­nal charges or walk free” — and now he will sign such a scheme into law.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 20, 2011, 2:21 pm
  2. In 50 years minori­ties will own the U.S., being in the major­i­ty, just as they do now in your Cal­i­for­nia that you deem lost. I don’t see that as a hope­less sit­u­a­tion, but I do see that as a hope­less sit­u­a­tion for white supre­ma­tism in the U.S.A.

    Posted by Adam Kraus | December 21, 2011, 12:59 pm
  3. Sad & omi­nous news to be sure, Dave.
    How­ev­er, though, I am also see­ing a sil­ver lin­ing on the hori­zon as well:
    1.)Scott Walk­er is get­ting ham­mered by his oppo­nents in the Bad­ger State right now. Even some Repub­li­cans are start­ing to back away from him now.
    2.)Have you, by any chance, come across any news from Min­neso­ta? The state GOP is start­ing to IMPLODE over there...... http://www.minnpost.com/dailyglean/2011/12/05/33563/minnesota_gop_in_turmoil
    3.)The OWS move­ment is still grow­ing.
    4.)A large num­ber of peo­ple have come out against SOPA in recent weeks; fact is, vast­ly out­num­ber­ing its sup­port­ers! Hell, even Google and Yahoo! have opposed it.
    5.)NDAA oppo­si­tion is grow­ing, too. Last I checked, already 25,000 peo­ple had signed the bill.

    Things may look bleak.......and they kin­da are. =( But this is our chance to REALLY start hit­ting hard. Let’s spread the word so more peo­ple can wake up to real­i­ty as it is. I’m ready. Are you guys? =)

    Posted by Steven l. | December 21, 2011, 2:30 pm
  4. [...] Bye Bye Democ­ra­cy… This entry was post­ed in Mil­i­tary-Indus­tri­al Com­plex, Police State, Total­i­tar­i­an­ism and tagged CIA, Civ­il Lib­er­ties, Coleen Row­ley, Dave Emory, FBI, NDAA 2012, Stop Online Pira­cy Act, Susan Lin­dauer. Book­mark the perma­link. ← Marine Le Pen invitée de « C/Politique » sur France 5 [...]

    Posted by FBI Whistleblower Coleen Rowley, Patriot Act Victim Susan Lindauer and radio personality Dave Emory on NDAA 2012 | Lys-d'Or | December 22, 2011, 1:15 pm
  5. 2007: Hal­libur­ton sub­sidiary KBR receives $385 Bil­lion con­tract to build domes­tic deten­tion camps in U.S.


    On tonight’s New Year’s Eve sign­ing of the NDAA into law — rem­i­nis­cent of George H.W. Bush’s Christ­mas Eve par­dons of Iran-Con­tra crim­i­nals — these Halliburton/KBR camps are the “reser­va­tions” Mr. Oba­ma is speak­ing of hav­ing tonight (as in “Indi­an Reser­va­tions” or “Japan­ese Intern­ment Reser­va­tions”):


    1984: Rex 84 was the first plan to relo­cate U.S. dis­si­dents into deten­tion camps. This plan was draft­ed by NSC oper­a­tive Oliv­er North.


    Posted by R. Wilson | December 31, 2011, 8:49 pm
  6. @R. Wil­son: Def­i­nite­ly true about Rex 84, although I do believe it was orig­i­nal­ly tar­get­ed against so-called ‘non-whites’, aka, African-Amer­i­cans and Chi­canos, because of its ori­gins in the King Alfred Plan, and I betcha most of the peo­ple tar­get­ed at first would prob­a­bly be Latin Amer­i­can immi­grants and Arabs, although I don’t doubt some black & white left­ies could be thrown in as well, espe­cial­ly if they were involved in O.W.S. or any oth­er sim­i­lar move­ment.

    Posted by Steven l. | January 1, 2012, 12:57 pm
  7. Oh great, the Supreme Court appear just made its first rul­ing on the secret expan­sive eaves­drop­ping pro­gram start­ed after 9/11. And in a 5–4 deci­sion the court ruled that the pro­gram can­not be chal­lenged in court because it’s a secret pro­gram and, there­fore, the plain­tiffs don’t have any evi­dence that they were being spied upon. Big Broth­er’s all see­ing eye prefers to avoid scruti­ny:

    Supreme Court Thwarts Chal­lenge to War­rant­less Sur­veil­lance

    By David Kravets

    A divid­ed Supreme Court halt­ed a legal chal­lenge Tues­day to a once-secret war­rant­less sur­veil­lance project that gob­bles up Amer­i­cans’ elec­tron­ic com­mu­ni­ca­tions, a pro­gram that Con­gress even­tu­al­ly legal­ized in 2008 and again in 2012.

    The 5–4 deci­sion (.pdf) by Jus­tice Samuel Ali­to was a clear vic­to­ry for the Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion, which like its pre­de­ces­sor, argued that gov­ern­ment wire­tap­ping laws can­not be chal­lenged in court. What’s more, the out­come marks the first time the Supreme Court decid­ed any case touch­ing on the eaves­drop­ping pro­gram that was secret­ly employed in the wake of 9/11 by the Pres­i­dent George W. Bush admin­is­tra­tion, and even­tu­al­ly cod­i­fied into law twice by Con­gress.

    A high court major­i­ty con­clud­ed that, because the eaves­drop­ping is done secret­ly, the Amer­i­can Civ­il Lib­er­ties Union, jour­nal­ists and human-rights groups that sued to nul­li­fy the law have no legal stand­ing to sue — because they have no evi­dence they are being tar­get­ed by the FISA Amend­ments Act. Some of the plain­tiffs, which the court labeled “respon­dents,” are also jour­nal­ists and among oth­er things claimed the 2008 leg­is­la­tion has chilled their speech and vio­lat­ed their Fourth Amend­ment pri­va­cy rights.

    The act, known as §1881, autho­rizes the gov­ern­ment to elec­tron­i­cal­ly eaves­drop on Amer­i­cans’ phone calls and e‑mails with­out a prob­a­ble-cause war­rant so long as one of the par­ties to the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is out­side the Unit­ed States. The com­mu­ni­ca­tions may be inter­cept­ed “to acquire for­eign intel­li­gence infor­ma­tion.”

    The FISA Amend­ments Act gen­er­al­ly requires the For­eign Intel­li­gence Sur­veil­lance Court to rub­ber-stamp ter­ror-relat­ed elec­tron­ic sur­veil­lance requests. The gov­ern­ment does not have to iden­ti­fy the tar­get or facil­i­ty to be mon­i­tored. It can begin sur­veil­lance a week before mak­ing the request, and the sur­veil­lance can con­tin­ue dur­ing the appeals process if, in a rare case, the secret FISA court rejects the sur­veil­lance appli­ca­tion.

    “Yet respon­dents have no actu­al knowl­edge of the Government’s §1881a tar­get­ing prac­tices. Instead, respon­dents mere­ly spec­u­late and make assump­tions about whether their com­mu­ni­ca­tions with their for­eign con­tacts will be acquired under §1881a,” Ali­to wrote.

    Join­ing Ali­to were Chief Jus­tice John Roberts, and Jus­tices Antho­ny Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

    In dis­sent, Jus­tice Stephen Brey­er said stand­ing should have been grant­ed. He said that the spy­ing, “Indeed it is a s like­ly to take place as are most future events that com­mon­sense infer­ence and ordi­nary knowl­edge of human nature tell us will hap­pen.”

    Sign­ing the dis­sent were Jus­tices Ruth Bad­er Gins­burg, Ele­na Kagan and Sonia Sotomay­or.


    But even if the Supreme Court sided with the ACLU on Tues­day, that does not nec­es­sar­i­ly mean the con­sti­tu­tion­al­i­ty of the FISA Amend­ments Act would have been lit­i­gat­ed. That’s because the only issue before the high court was whether the plain­tiffs had the legal stand­ing to bring the case. Because they don’t, the case is over.

    Had the jus­tices gone the oth­er way, the law­suit would have returned to a New York fed­er­al court­room where, if past is pro­logue, the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion like­ly would play its trump card: an asser­tion of the pow­er­ful state secrets priv­i­lege that lets the exec­u­tive branch effec­tive­ly kill law­suits by claim­ing they threat­en to expose nation­al secu­ri­ty secrets.

    The courts large­ly defer to such claims. But in a rare excep­tion in 2008, a San Fran­cis­co fed­er­al judge refused to throw out a wire­tap­ping law­suit against AT&T under the state secrets priv­i­lege. The AT&T law­suit was lat­er killed any­way, because the FISA Amend­ments Act also grant­ed the phone com­pa­nies retroac­tive legal immu­ni­ty for their alleged par­tic­i­pa­tion in the NSA spy­ing pro­gram.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | February 26, 2013, 2:50 pm

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