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IPFS News Link • Police State

Detaining US citizens: How did we get here?

• al Jazeera

Aziz Rana, professor of constitutional law at Cornell University, explains the significance of provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorisation Act that define the entire world as a battlefield, allowing for open-ended detainment of US citizens, without a trial.

Rana tells Al Jazeera that these provisions are merely the latest round in a long battle between Congress, the executive branch, and rights activists.


5 Comments in Response to

Comment by PureTrust
Entered on:

How did Bonnie and Clyde get away with the things that they did back in the early 1930s? There were lots of reasons that combined to make it sort of easy for them.

Part of the the B&C success was attributed to the fact that the rural American people were not prepared for war, right on their own property, right at home. The American populace had already been lulled into a form of "stupidness" and pacification. And part of this was pressured into their lives by Government.

Anyone in America can read the Constitution and the Federalist and Anti-federalist papers. What is written there is being defied by our Government today.

The Federalists wanted big Government. But if they saw our Government today, they would want things similar to what the Anti-federlists wanted - little Government. Why? Because above all, they wanted freedom.

When you see a President and Congress actively going against the plain words of the Constitution, thereby breaking their Oath of Office, can you trust them to NOT become like Hitler and Stalin? Can you trust them? even though there seems to be every righteous reason for them to do what they are doing?

It isn't right to break the foundational law of the Constitution and their oaths of office when there is another way. What is that other way? Supply middle-class Americans with military-type training, automatic rifles and pistols, plenty of ammo, and the right to use them to protect all of us against terrorism.

If Government won't do this simple thing, if they instead plunge us into the complacency of the 1930s so that every terrorist (yes, Bonnie and Clyde were terrorists) can attack us successfully, then government is the real terrorist.

By the way JV, it is easy for you to set up a little free website where you can post all your letters. Set it up a blog-style, where you have more room to explain what you are saying. Sometimes I find it difficult to understand exactly what you are driving at, especially when you jump from point to point without any indication that you have made the jump. Then list the website address here in FP along with your shorter comments.

Comment by Venancio Tan
Entered on:

I totally agree with JV that the issue here is not Freedom but the survival of the State. I am aware that he is lawyer with a rich background like I have in the practice of law. The U.S. Supreme Court is consistent in its landmark rulings that the State has a pre-emptive right to defend itself against the individuals who use their liberty and freedom to destroy it.

Many learned men, some of them even Professors of Law that I have been acquainted with both in the academe and in the practice of law, are supposed to know this. But they DON’T KNOW, if they happened to be Leftists, or sympathizers of the radical Revolutionary Left whose agenda is to destroy the Government or the State.

So my advice is, just take their contradictory comments like that proverbial fly in the ointment!

Comment by Joseph Vanderville
Entered on:

I sent a letter to the Editor to warn the public. Somehow, it was blocked – suppressed. The title was: This Protest That We Must Protest Against. Among others, it put the revolutionary crusade of Libertarians in extremis, alongside with that of the violent Revolutionary Left, in question.

Had this appeared on the front page, it would have enlightened the confused public why arrest and detention laws like the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the 2012 fiscal year, authorizing the government to detain suspects without trial are coming out of the legislative mill of Congress. For the ordinary American in the street, this recent development is not easy to understand.

The Executive Department will also come out with more decrees or executive orders in the days ahead for inland security. There will be more police raids as subversive activities and threats to national security continue to escalate. This threat to our liberty and freedom rises in tandem with the rise of incessant attacks against the Government and the State. You don’t have to go anywhere to find out for yourself relentless attacks of the State and Government in the name of liberty and freedom.

For example, in this website, you don’t have to go to the front page – you read them right here. The revolutionary anger is so intense that a dose of Valium is needed to calm down seared nerves so that you can have a sense of what is being dished out behind this burning rage directed towards the Government and the States and the national security measures adopted for survival.

You might not have probably noticed that the revolutionary Left – and now their Libertarian in extremis allies who have their own revolutionary crusade – have already declared that a protest is not legitimate unless there is violence and mayhem and even murder. To them, no change is possible without bloodshed. They are citing the world’s bloody revolutions, including the Great American Civil War as proof of their valid declaration that blood must first drench the street and dead bodies must be collected for a hero’s burial, before any change could be achieved.

This intensified the need for more security measures like the passing of the NDAA that re-enforces the Patriot Act, as amended. Islamic terrorists and Al Qaeda inland operatives are just waiting in the wing for the right opportunity to jump in as the Government is preoccupied in dealing with domestic terror. Do we know that we are the hotdog in this sandwich of terror? I really doubt it.

But make no mistake about it. Aside from Al Qaeda, this nation is presently at war with this enemy within.

Protest is free speech, a freedom of expression. But when protest burns the American flag, draws blood – claims thousands of innocent victims – let alone maims people for life and damages property worth a considerable fortune, it is a protest that we must protest against. We must protest against this protest not only vehemently but with a final collective resolve if we want to remain a viable, not a destroyed or a destructive society on the planet.

Otherwise, I will not be surprise if more of these protests being "watched by Homeland Security" will lead us all to concentration camps.

What I have written to the Editor cannot fit in a small brain. It is so big even this website cannot accommodate its size.

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me tell you -- the issue here is NOT freedom [that’s for small brains]. It is survival!

Comment by Sue Riley
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Is The Passed Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (retroactive) To Detain Americans?

 The Defense Authorization Act of 2012) appears more threatening to Americans than Hitler's (1933 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS. Hitler's laws set time limits that Germans could be incarcerated for e.g., Serious Disturbance of the Peace and Rioting. But Senators Carl Levin and John McCain’s bill broadly mandates holding Americans indefinitely in Military Custody for being a Belligerent.

Why should anyone be surprised President Obama insisted on indefinite detentions of U.S. Citizens in The Defense Authorization Act? It was widely known that Obama gave a speech in May 2010 at a Security Conference that proposed, incarcerating anyone in indefinite detention without evidence of wrongdoing that government deemed a “combatant” or likely to engage or support a violent act in the future; including U.S. Citizens.

Now that Obama has signed The National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, Obama like Hitler, will have the power to arrest members of Congress, drag U.S. Citizens off the street and from their homes to be imprisoned indefinitely based only on Government’s premise someone is a “Combatant” or Belligerent” having or likely to engage in or support a violent act in the future or do something that (might) threaten National Security.

Now that Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012, could millions of lawful U.S. activists be subject to indefinite military detention. When you examine Obama’s May 2010 speech, it appears Obama wanted (retroactive power) to incarcerate anyone that government alleged had (prior) committed or supported violent acts on the premise he or she is likely to engage in or support violent acts in the future: some U.S. activists may be vulnerable because no activist knows what other activists or groups they associated or networked did in the past or might do illegally in the future domestically or overseas. U.S. Government need (only allege) a person; group, organization or former inmate—has committed or might commit a violent act or threaten U.S. National Security to order Indefinite Detention of Americans in military custody with no evidence whatsoever.

Historically when countries have passed police state laws like S.1867, many Citizens abstain from politically speaking out; visiting activists websites or writing comments that might be deemed inappropriate by the Government, i.e. cause someone to be investigated or detained in Military Custody. Are some writers dead-meat with Obama’s signing of S. 1867? It is foreseeable any “American” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against any entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners may under the Patriot Act and The Defense Authorization Act of 2012 be deemed by U.S. authorities a “Combatant or Belligerent” or someone likely to engage in, support or provoke violent acts or threaten National Security. U.S. Government can too easily allege an author’s writings inspired Combatant(s) or Belligerent(s) in the past; could in the future or currently, to order an author’s indefinite military detention. It is problematic that indefinitely detained U.S. Citizens not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel that are interrogated, will be prosecuted for non-terrorist (ordinary crimes) because of their (alleged admissions) while held in Indefinite Military Detention. Obama will have the power to override the U.S. Constitution. Obama will have the power to detain indefinitely any American without probable cause or evidence. What American will dare speak out against the U.S. government now that Obama has signed The Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

Obama appears to be centralizing the power of federal Government, by getting legislation passed that U.S. government can potentially use to intimidate and threaten any individual or corporation. Hitler got passed similar laws shortly before the burning of the German Parliament building blamed on the communists: immediately after the fire, Hitler used his prior passed police-state laws to coerce corporations and influential Citizens to support passage of fascist legislation e.g., the (1933 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS / DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE that suspended provisions of the German Constitution that protected Citizens’ freedoms and civil liberties. Senators Carl Levin and John McCain’s (Defense Authorization Act of 2012) appears more threatening to Americans than Hitler’ (1933 DISCRIMINATORY LAWS. Hitler’s laws set time limits that Germans could be incarcerated for e.g., Serious Disturbance of the Peace and Rioting. But Senators Carl Levin (D) and John McCain’s ® bill broadly mandates holding Americans indefinitely in Military Custody for being a Combatant or Belligerent. A U.S. Police State Government can use The Defense Authorization Act; and Patriot Act that includes more than 350 civil asset forfeiture laws to threaten or seize the assets of any corporation or individual; to strong-arm U.S. corporations, institutions and others to support government actions including passage of more Police State (Fascist) legislation that will intimidate, threaten and curtail the civil liberties of Americans.

Immediately Below: Compare The 1933 Nazi Decrees with Senators Carl Levin and John McCain’s National Defense Authorization Act of 2012.

 1933. ROBL. I 83.


Note: Based on translations by State Department, National Socialism, 1942 PP. 215-17, and Pollak, J.K., and Heneman, H.J., The Hitler Decrees, (1934), pp. 10-11.7

In virtue of Section 48 (2) of the German Constitution, the following is decreed as a defensive measure against Communist acts of Violence, endangering the state:

Section 1

Sections 114, 115, 117, 118, 123, 124, and 153 of the Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until further notice. Thus, restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press, on the right of assembly and the right of association, and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic, and telephonic communications, and warrants for house-searches, orders for confiscations as well as restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed. 

Section 2

If in a state the measures necessary for the restoration of public security and order are not taken, the Reich Government may temporarily take over the powers of the highest state authority. 

Section 4

Whoever provokes, or appeals for or incites to the disobedience of the orders given out by the supreme state authorities or the authorities subject to then for the execution of this decree, or the orders given by the Reich Government according to Section 2, is punishable—insofar as the deed, is not covered by the decree with more severe punishment and with imprisonment of not less that one month, or with a fine from 150 up to 15,000 Reichsmarks.

Whoever endangers human life by violating Section 1, is to be punished by sentence to a penitentiary, under mitigating circumstances with imprisonment of not less than six months and, when violation causes the death of a person, with death, under mitigating circumstances with a penitentiary sentence of not less that two years. In addition the sentence my include confiscation of property.

Whoever provokes an inciter to or act contrary to public welfare is to be punished with a penitentiary sentence, under mitigating circumstances, with imprisonment of not less than three months.

Section 5

The crimes which under the Criminal Code are punishable with penitentiary for life are to be punished with death: i.e., in Sections 81 (high treason), 229 (poisoning), 306 (arson), 311 (explosion), 312 (floods), 315, paragraph 2 (damage to railroad properties, 324 (general poisoning).

Insofar as a more severe punishment has not been previously provided for, the following are punishable with death or with life imprisonment or with imprisonment not to exceed 15 years:

1. Anyone who undertakes to kill the Reich President or a member or a commissioner of the Reich Government or of a state government, or provokes to such a killing, or agrees to commit it, or accepts such an offer, or conspires with another for such a murder;

2. Anyone who under Section 115 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious rioting) or of Section 125 (2) of the Criminal Code (serious disturbance of the peace) commits the act with arms or cooperates consciously and intentionally with an armed person;

3. Anyone who commits a kidnapping under Section 239 of the Criminal with the intention of making use of the kidnapped person as a hostage in the political struggle.

Section 6

This decree enters in force on the day of its promulgation.

Reich President                                                                                                 Reich Chancellor                                                                                                Reich Minister of the Interior                                                                                    Reich Minister of Justice




Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

      And you thought only the Brits suffered the ravages of inbreeding.

      It's hard to imagine that, at the dawn of the 21st century, this sort of perverse sociology could least in a "developed" nation. There's no limit to what the most vile and ignorant of our species is capable of, when it comes to perpetuating their pathetic power base. It's way past the time to do much about any of this:  This staarted so long ago that most folks don't even know it's happening; it takes some effort to figure this out; and, it takes a modicum of intelligence to sort through the lies and manipulative political malfeasance that led us down this path and perpetuates the systemic betrayal of what, at one time, was the greqtesst nation in the history of the world. God might forgive us - History will not!