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The McCain-Lieberman Police State Act

Written by Subject: Police State
The McCain-Lieberman Police State Act - by Stephen Lendman

If enacted, it will advance what this writer addressed in a December 2007 article titled, "Police State America - A Look Back and Ahead," covering numerous Bush administration laws, Executive Orders (EOs), National and Homeland Security Presidential Directives, edicts, and various illegal acts targeting designated domestic and foreign adversaries, dissent, civil liberties, human rights, and other democratic freedoms.

Straightaway post-9/11, George Bush signed a secret finding empowering the CIA to "Capture, Kill or Interrogate Al-Qaeda Leaders." He also authorized establishing a covert global gulag to detain and interrogate them without guidelines on proper treatment.

Other presidential directives ordered abductions, torture and indefinite detentions. In November 2001, Military Order Number 1 empowered the Executive to capture, kidnap or otherwise arrest non-citizens (and later citizens) anywhere in the world for any reason and hold them indefinitely without charge, evidence, due process or judicial fairness protections of law.

The 2006 Military Commissions Act authorized torture and sweeping unconstitutional powers to detain, interrogate and prosecute alleged suspects and collaborators (including US citizens), hold them (without evidence) indefinitely in military prisons, and deny them habeas and other legal protections.

Section 1031 of the FY 2010 Defense Authorization Act contained the 2009 Military Commissions Act, listing changes that include discarding the phrase "unlawful enemy combatant" for "unprivileged enemy belligerent." More on that below.

Seamlessly, Obama continues Bush administration practices and added others, including:

-- greater than ever surveillance;

-- ruthless political persecutions;

-- preventively detaining individuals ordered released - "who cannot be prosecuted," he said, "yet who pose a clear danger to the American people;"

-- a secret "hit list" authorizing CIA and Pentagon operatives to kill US citizens abroad based on unsubstantiated evidence they're involved in alleged plots against America or US interests;

-- weaker whisleblower protections;

-- state secrets privilege to block lawsuits by victims of rendition, torture, abuse or warrantless wiretapping; and

-- other anti-democratic measures.

Now, the March 4 S. 3081: Enemy Belligerent, Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010 to interrogate and detain "enemy belligerents who commit hostile acts against the United States to establish certain limitations on the prosecution of such belligerents, and for other purposes."

On the Senate floor, John McCain explained it, saying "we still don't have a clear mechanism, legal structure, and implementing policy for dealing with terrorists who we capture in the (alleged) act of trying to bring about attacks on the United States and our national security interests at home and abroad."

These suspects have no right to "Miranda warnings and defense lawyers. Instead, the priority and focus must be on isolating and neutralizing the immediate threat and collecting intelligence to prevent" any attacks.

"I (also) believe we must establish a system for long-term detention of terrorists who are too dangerous to release, but who cannot be tried in a civilian court" because no evidence exists to convict them.

At a March 4 press conference, Senator Joe Lieberman told reporters:

"These are not common criminals. They are war criminals. Anyone we capture in this war should be treated as a prisoner of war, held by the military, interrogated for information that will protect Americans and help us win this war and then where appropriate, tried not in a normal federal court where criminals are tried but before a military commission."

S. 3081 Provisions

The bill imposes harsh police state measures, including:

-- targeting anyone worldwide, including US citizens, "suspected of engaging in (or materially supporting) hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners through an act of terrorism, or by other means...;"

-- placing such individuals "in military custody for purposes of initial interrogation and determination of status in accordance with the provisions of this Act;"

-- transporting them to intelligence officials for more interrogation;

-- determining who may be a "high-value detainee (HVD);"

-- further interrogating those individuals by a "High-Value Detainee Interrogation Group (HVIG)....utiliz(ing) military and intelligence personnel, and Federal, State, and local law enforcement personnel....;"

-- having HVIGs submit their determination to the Defense Secretary and Attorney General after consulting with the Directors of National Intelligence, FBI, and CIA. "The Secretary of Defense and Attorney General (will then) make a final determination and report (it) to the President and the appropriate committees of Congress. In the case of any disagreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Attorney General, the President will make the determination;"

-- designating seized individuals "unprivileged enemy belligerent(s);"

-- denying them Miranda rights:

-- deciding on a "Final (status) Determination" within 48 hours, "to the extent practicable;"

-- letting the President establish HVD interrogation group operations and activities, including whether detainees "meet the criteria for treatment as a high-value detainee for purposes of interrogation....," including the potential threat held individuals pose:

(1) for an attack against America, its citizens, US military personnel or facilities;

(2) their potential intelligence value;

(3) membership in or affiliation with Al Qaeda; and

(4) "such other matters as the President considers appropriate."

Pending final determination, detainees "shall be treated as unprivileged enemy belligerent(s)," defined as:

"An individual, including a citizen of the United States (to) be detained without criminal charges and without trial for the duration of hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners in which the individual has engaged, or which the individual has purposely and materially supported, consistent with the law of war and any authorization for the use of military force provided by Congress pertaining to such hostilities."

An "unprivileged enemy belligerent" means anyone (with or without evidence) suspected of "engag(ing) in (or materially supporting) hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners," including alleged Al Qaeda members.

Raised Concerns

Designating individuals "unlawful enemy combatants" or "unprivileged enemy belligerents" places them in legal limbo, contrary to international law, the Constitution, and three recent Supreme Court decisions:

-- Rasul v. Bush (2004) establishing US court system jurisdiction to decide if Guantanamo-held non-US citizens were wrongfully imprisoned;

-- Hamdi v. Rumsfeld (2004) granting US citizen Yaser Hamdi and other Guantanamo detainees habeas rights to challenge their detentions in federal courts; and

-- Hamdan v. Rumsfeld (2006) denying Guantanamo military commissions "the power to proceed because (their) structures and procedures violate both the Uniform Code of Military Justice and the four Geneva Conventions signed in 1949."

Obama-ordered preventive detentions (against uncharged persons) and S. 3081 violate international law, the Constitution, and the above Supreme Court decisions.

Writing for the Jurist Legal News & Research, University of Utah Law Professor, Amos Guiora, calls the proposed bill "the latest example of panic-based legislation" in the wake of the (false flag) December airplane bombing and whether alleged 9/11 suspects will be tried in federal or military courts - Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and others falsely charged based on tortured-extracted confessions.

Holding detainees through "end of hostilities in the terrorism paradigm is a euphemism for indefinite detention....subject(ing) an extraordinarily broad group of persons" to cruel and inhumane treatment based on unsubstantiated charges, and denying them due process and judicial fairness.

Guiora calls the proposed law:

"a fundamental miscarriage of justice created by the unconstitutional denial of the right to counsel, the right to remain silent, the right to be free from arbitrary, let alone indefinite detention, and the right to a day in court." Unfortunately, too often "legitimacy and justification take a back seat" to expediency and the political climate of the times.

As a result, innocent victims are unjustly arrested, called terrorists, interrogated, tortured, indefinitely detained and denied all rights despite constitutional and international law protections.

"Republicans and Democrats alike have failed to articulate, create and implement a lawful interrogation, detention and trial regime for post-9/11 detainees. That is shameful and reflects negatively on two Presidents, the Congress and the Supreme Court."

The major media also. Their reports hype the threat, pre-determine guilt, and influence public opinion to believe government-charged individuals are dangerous, guilty, and should be confined to deter "terrorism."

Yet the Constitution's Fifth Amendment states:

"No person shall....be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law....;" and

The 14th Amendment reads:

No "State (may) deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Yet in a climate of fear and intimidation, everyone is potentially vulnerable to legislative lawlessness if congressional timidity lets S. 3081 pass in an election year.

According to Guiora, it comes down to "the rule of law or the rule of fear." Protecting American citizens and national security is one thing. Discarding core legal principles to do it reflects the worst elements of police state justice.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://prognewshour.progressiveradionetwork.org/

http://lendmennews.progressiveradionetwork.org/

3 Comments in Response to

Comment by Alice Lillie
Entered on:

 Ross Wolf's question is exactly the one I had: In the light of this, why in the heck is Sarah Palin supporting John Mc Cain?

I think it's because she owes him one big time and her support is payback, but that is no excuse! If she cared two hoots about freedom she would never support him. She might simply not speak out about his candidacy. That would be enough payback.

I also wonder, if she supports Mc Cain, why the heck did she endorse Rand Paul?

Does she have a clue?

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

Is Sarah Palin being set up to be marginalized?

Why is Sarah Palin helping Sen. McCain campaign's after he just introduced, S.3081, The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010” possibly the most Tyrannical Bill in Modern U.S. History?

Comment by Ross Wolf
Entered on:

Re: The “Enemy Belligerent Interrogation, Detention, and Prosecution Act of 2010.”

Government too easily can use Sen. McCain’s bill S.3081 to arbitrarily disappear Americans—without probable cause. Political Opinions you already expressed against Government could in the future under S.3081 be used by U.S. Authorities to deem you a “hostile” “Enemy Belligerent” to cause your arrest and indefinite detention. McCain’s bill will drive lawful political activists underground, perhaps creating the domestic terrorists he said we needed to be protected from. How might Americans respond should Government use this bill to take away their loved ones, family members and friends on mere suspicion?

Under S.3081, an “individual” need only be Suspected by Government of “suspicious activity” or “supporting hostilities” to be dragged off and held indefinitely in Military Custody. Government will have the power to detain and interrogate any individual without probable cause. Government need only allege an individual kept in detention, is an Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent suspected of; having engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners; or has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners. How could one prove to Government they did not purposely do something? “Materially Supporting Hostilities” against the United States could include any person or group that spoke out or demonstrated disapproval against an agency of U.S. Government. It is foreseeable many Americans might go underground to Resist Government Tyranny. The Definition for Unprivileged Enemy Belligerent: (Anyone Subject to a Military Commission)

At least under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needed probable cause to detain a person indefinitely. Passage of S.3081 will permit government to use mere suspicion to curtail an individual’s Constitutional Protections against unlawful arrest, detention and interrogation without benefit of legal counsel and trial. According to S.3081 Government is not required to provide detained individuals U.S. Miranda Warnings or even an attorney.

Similar to fascist laws in other countries, S.3081 if passed will frighten Americans from speaking out. S.3081 is so broadly written, it appears any “individual” who writes on the Internet or verbally express an opinion against or an entity of U.S. Government or its coalition partners might be detained on the basis he or she is an “unprivileged enemy belligerent”, “supporting hostilities against U.S. Government.” 

See McCain Senate bill S.3081 at:
assets.theatlantic.com/static/mt/assets/politics/ARM10090.pdf

FYI: below is enclosed a copy of “Hitler’s Discriminatory Decrees signed February 28, 1933.” Although the Nazi Decrees are written differently than S.3081 they bring America to the same place crushing free speech and personal liberty. Note how the Nazi Government similar to U.S. S.3081 has in Section (1) and (4) suspended personal liberty and shutdown Free Speech, to intimidate Citizens speaking out against Government:

See 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.”

Similar to McCain’s S. 3081, but using different wording the Nazi Government in Section (4) see below, suspended Constitutional rights, ordered the arrest of Citizens for any Act that might incite or provoke disobedience against state authorities. McCain’s S. 3081 instead mentions detaining and prosecuting Individuals for “supporting hostilities” against U.S. Government. S.3081 is so broadly written anti-war protesters Tea Party Groups might be arrested and detained just for attending demonstrations.

See Section 4Whoever 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.

McCain’s S.3081 mentions “non-violent acts" supporting terrorism in the U.S. and or emanating from America against a foreign government or "U.S. ally." "Non-violent terrorist acts" are covered in the Patriot Act to prosecute Persons that support “coercion to influence a government or intimidation to affect a civilian population.” However U.S. activists and individuals under S.3081 would be much more vulnerable to prosecution, if (charged with suspicion) of “intentionally providing support to an Act of Terrorism”, for example American activists cannot control what other activists might do illegally they network with domestically or overseas. Under the Patriot Act, law enforcement generally needs probable cause to detain or prosecute someone. But under S.3081, law enforcement and the military can too easily use “hearsay” or informants to allege “suspicious activity” to detain an individual. It is problematic under S.3081 that detained individuals in the U.S. not involved in terrorism or hostile activities, not given Miranda Warnings or allowed legal counsel will be prosecuted for ordinary crimes because of their alleged admissions while in military custody.
Historically” it is foreseeable under S.3081 erroneous informant information will be used under S.3081 to detain innocent Individuals. Other governments have used lying informants to imprison and execute political opposition.

Notably, McCain’s S.3081 mandates merging Federal, State and local police and subsequently the U.S. Military to detain and hold Individuals in the U.S., even without probable cause. Interestingly a Rand Report prepared for the Army, recently made public, appears to suggest that U.S. Government develop a Local, State and Federal U.S. "National Police Stabilization Force (merging) State law enforcement with the Feds. What could happen to State Rights and what Laws and Jurisdiction would be used to prosecute state Citizens arrested by a National Police Stabilization Force? A National Police Force could potentially be sent by the President into any State with the approval of its governor, against the wishes of its Citizens? To clarify the Rand Corporation report visit: www.wnd.com/index.php

It should be expected under S.3081 that government would use an individual’s phone call and email information to allege without probable cause “suspicious or hostile activity against the United States.” It does not appear U.S. Government will stop wiretapping Citizens' electronic communications. Just recently Pres. Obama's signed Executive Order EO 12425 that put INTERPOL above the United States Constitution. Obama’s Executive Order authorized INTERPOL to act within the United States without being subject to 4th Amendment Search and Seizure laws. It would appear INTERPOL may now tap American phones and emails without a warrant. And that U.S. Police can use INTERPOL to circumvent the Fourth Amendment to arrest Americans and or forfeit their property by bringing INTERPOL into a criminal or civil investigation. Government can too easily take an innocent person’s hastily written email, fax or phone call out of context to allege “suspicious activity” or that a crime or violation was committed to cause an arrest or Civil Asset Forfeiture.

DECREE OF THE REICH PRESIDENT FOR THE PROTECTION OF THE PEOPLE AND STATE

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.

Who ever 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


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