It’s Official: We Are North Korea now

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And Obama might as well start calling himself Dear Leader:

Indefinite military detention of Americans became the law of the land Saturday, as President Barack Obama signed a defense bill that codified that authority, even as he said he would not use it.

The National Defense Authorization Act states how the military is to be funded, but also includes a number of controversial provisions on arresting and holding suspected terrorists, which at first drove Obama to threaten a veto.

He retreated from that threat after Congress added provisions that took the ultimate authority to detain suspects from the military’s hands and gave it to the president. Congress also clarified that civilian law enforcement agencies — such as the FBI — would still have authority to investigate terrorism and added a provision that asserts nothing in the detention measures changes current law regarding U.S. citizens.

Still, the signing on New Year’s Eve as few people were paying attention angered civil liberties advocates, who argue that the law for the first time spells out certain measures that have not actually been tested all the way to the Supreme Court, including the possibility of detaining citizens in military custody without trial for as long as there is a war on terror.

“President Obama’s action today is a blight on his legacy because he will forever be known as the president who signed indefinite detention without charge or trial into law,” said Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The statute is particularly dangerous because it has no temporal or geographic limitations, and can be used by this and future presidents to militarily detain people captured far from any battlefield,” Romero added. “The ACLU will fight worldwide detention authority wherever we can, be it in court, in Congress or internationally.”

The administration was especially sensitive about the law and about reaction to the president signing it. In addition to enacting the measure while few people were paying attention — and many opponents still had hopes the president would veto the bill — the White House added a signing statement specifying that the Obama administration would not detain Americans without trial. The White House also sent out a notice to its online community highlighting Obama’s complaints with the law, in a tacit admission that many of the president’s more ardent supporters despise the detention provisions.

“I have signed this bill despite having serious reservations with certain provisions that regulate the detention, interrogation, and prosecution of suspected terrorists,” Obama said in the signing statement.

Presidents issue such statements when they feel a law conflicts with the executive’s constitutional powers. Obama criticized them during the Bush administration, but has found the practice useful on a handful of occasions.

In this case, Obama argued that the changes Congress made to the bill affirm only authorities that the Bush and Obama administrations have already claimed in fighting terrorism. But he noted that the codification of those powers in law was unnecessary and perhaps harmful. And he insisted he would not use the powers to detain citizens without trial.

“I want to clarify that my administration will not authorize the indefinite military detention without trial of American citizens,” Obama wrote. “Indeed, I believe that doing so would break with our most important traditions and values as a Nation. My administration will interpret section 1021 [of the bill] in a manner that ensures that any detention it authorizes complies with the Constitution, the laws of war, and all other applicable law.”

Civil liberties advocates like Romero pointed out that once the provisions are law, however, they will be available to a President Newt Gingrich or Mitt Romney or any future president, who could choose to use the powers granted more aggressively.

“We are incredibly disappointed that President Obama signed this new law even though his administration had already claimed overly broad detention authority in court,” said Romero. “Any hope that the Obama administration would roll back the constitutional excesses of George Bush in the war on terror was extinguished today.”

Because of the provisions specifying that the new legislation does not change current law, the new law leaves the authority it grants open to interpretation and to the possibility — albeit in very difficult circumstances — of someone challenging a detention through the courts.

“Thankfully, we have three branches of government, and the final word belongs to the Supreme Court, which has yet to rule on the scope of detention authority,” Romero said. “But Congress and the president also have a role to play in cleaning up the mess they have created, because no American citizen or anyone else should live in fear of this or any future president misusing the NDAA’s detention authority.”

Obama also said he will not abide by the law’s requirement to detain terror suspects using the military.

“I reject any approach that would mandate military custody where law enforcement provides the best method of incapacitating a terrorist threat,” Obama said. “While section 1022 is unnecessary and has the potential to create uncertainty, I have signed the bill because I believe that this section can be interpreted and applied in a manner that avoids undue harm to our current operations.”

Finally, he rejected a number of other provisions, saying the White House is concerned they interfere with the president’s constitutional powers and ability to fight terrorism.

“My Administration will aggressively seek to mitigate those concerns through the design of implementation procedures and other authorities available to me as Chief Executive and Commander in Chief, will oppose any attempt to extend or expand them in the future, and will seek the repeal of any provisions that undermine the policies and values that have guided my Administration throughout my time in office,” Obama warned.

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42 COMMENTS

  1. I’d have to disagree. I think the worst two Presidents were Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt (in that order). After that it gets hard for me. In my life I’d have to say George W. “Shrub”; I think he may have been worse than Johnson.

    • The Chimp is without doubt the worst since FDR – because no other president since FDR has so utterly transformed the country and its people. The Chimp fast-tracked this country to out-of-the-closet fascism. He appealed to the worst instincts of the degenerate mob – to their mindless, unreasoning hate, their fear – their lust to hurt someone (anyone). He is the classic bully – and he made psychopathy mainstream.

      Obama merely took the ball and ran with it.

  2. This action cannot rank Obama as the worst president that title belongs to faciast ronnie reagan and then followed closely by w

    • How so?

      I agree with you in re The Chimp. He not only made Obama possible, he set the precedents being exploited by Obama. Reagan was far from perfect, but compared to The Chimp, he was almost Jeffersonian!

  3. And where was congress when this cra* was written? Beholdin’ to the extreme elements who are in fact their favorite contributors, of course.

  4. With respect 2 the U.N. Small Arms Treaty as it should NOT affect American rights & liberties. Did every1 4get the recent decisions of the Heller & the McDonald Courts? The 2d. Amend IS A PRIVATE RIGHT HELD BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE & not otherwise. It seems logical 2 me that some significantly positioned organization should take the miscreants promoting the disarmament of Americans to task in the Supreme Court…again. How many times do we have 2 do this!! I have little faith in the S. Ct. acting constitutionally responsibly, however, the only other alternative is 4 Americans 2 simply ignore government when it acts without its delegated authority & this is a stellar example of their unlawful arrogance. We will have 2 address this problem eventually…it is far better 2 do so b4 the blood begins 2 be spilled & there is no time like the present. I also have no faith in our weak kneed population 2 stand the line in the face of the obvious dangers, but as Ben Franklin noted; they that are unwilling to preserve safety & liberty deserve neither.

    • Actually D, what Franklin said was closer to ‘those who were willing to give up essential liberty for a measure of safety deserve neither’, but we knew what you meant. The problem is that B.O. has already promised Sarah Brady that his administration will “work under the Radar” to restrict gun rights in this country. We’ve already seen what these people are capable of with Eric Holder’s “Fast and Furious” debacle. If B.O. gets a second term, he doesn’t have to worry about the wrath of the voters and we already know what his and Biden’s records look like on the 2A subject. Neither of them ever met a gun ban they didn’t like. But they’re being real silent about it because they know it’s the one issue Americans will hand them their ass over.

      We have several SCOTUS justices over 70 and you can bet that the next prez will be appointing at least two more for life. If B.O. does the appointing you already know what we’re going to get. With Kagan and Sotomayor already on the bench, the Heller and McDonald decisions, and the 2nd Amendment with them, will be gone faster than the dew on a sunny July morning.

  5. North Korea? Don’t flatter yourselves! America is the Fourth Reich. Compare the Homeland Security Act with Germany’s Enabling Act, that legitimised Hitler’s seizure of absolute power.

  6. papatriot and honestann are right and d oberdorf is wrong. If you read the constitution it is very specific on this matter. This should be taken to court as fast as possible. I would hope that the court, as it is today, would throw this out.

    • Unfortunately, the Supreme Court gets it’s power and authority from the constitution, so when you allow them to interpret the constitution, they’re interpreting their own scope of power and authority, and I wonder how that will turn out?

      They are also appointed by those in the executive branch and although the theory was that they would be seperate and therefore checks and balances, in practice that’s hardly how it works out is it?

      Not very often does the gov’t (supreme court) disagree with the gov’t (the president or congress).

      • Excellent points Don. We now have a symbiotic relationship between the judicial and executive branches to form “public policy” that is expedient for governance; the Constitution be damned. Congress is more than happy to let the other branches of government do their job for them. It frees up more time for cocktail parties and campaign fundraising. The parasites are all in this together and they are bleeding us to death.

  7. Mr Peters finds it so easy to stand back & lob scathing criticism the the president for making a nearly “impossible” decision whith extreme reservations. He proves the conventional wisdom that it is very easy for someone with a single issue, a single concern, & an extremely limited point of view, to lambaste a decision that is a hundred times more complex & must take into consideration hundreds of different conflicting “interests” in terms of this nation’s national & international interests. As much as I, myself, was upset by the decision he made, I certainly don’t know all the possible ramifications of this decision… I highly doubt the supremely critical Mr. Peters does, either. And to bold-facedly declare Obama “the worst president in history” based on that particular decision is simply ludicrous, at best! Be glad, Mr. Peters that you aren’t responsible for the actual decision itself, & can simply sit back & take your pot-shots…

    • Bush tried this too – and now Obama has done it. We are no longer a truly free nation, and he IS one of the worst for this and a myriad of other reasons. He can shove his “reservations” where the sun doesn’t shine – he & Bush should both be in jail for treason.

    • As much as I, myself, was upset by the decision he made, I certainly don’t know all the possible ramifications of this decision… I highly doubt the supremely critical Mr. Peters does, either.

      What unadulterated nonsense! Perhaps you also believe that church officials agonized over how to torture people in order to “save their souls” in Spain a few hundred years ago. Or that Stalin agonized over the effect of starving huge numbers of Soviet citizens who resisted his rule.

      Some actions are just plain evil. That would include Obama’s signing of this horrible bill. Any attempt to claim otherwise is pure wishful thinking.

    • d oberdorf – you drank the kook-aid brother. Complex issue? That’s how the gov’t talks. Oh it’s too complex an issue for a mere citizen to understand, so we’ll take care of it for you.

      I have a pocket constitution in my bag. Pretty easy document to read and it was written so that anyone could understand it since the gov’t was to be of and by the people.

      Decisions like these are not to be subjective. The role of the president is part and parcel in his oath of office: to preserve, protect and defend the constitution.

      Meaning in order to make any decision he simply has to reference the constitution and find the authority. If he does not, then it’s a veto.

      The gov’t, like an umpire in a baseball game, should almost be unnoticeable if he’s doing his job right. The whole purpose of the constitution was to limit the discretionary power of gov’t. The gov’t’s not supposed to do much except protect our rights.

      As for Obama being the worst president. I might have to agree with you on that one. He’s just as bad as all the others who – like you – didn’t understand the role of the president and so just made it up as they went along.

    • What is “impossible” about refusing to sign a law that consigns every fundamental right, every element of due process, into the trash?

      I’m being “supremely critical”?

      You bet your ass!

      He could very simply have said: No, I will not sign a law authorizing the president, or the military (or their agents) to “indefinitely detain” any American citizen without due process, without being advised of the specific charges against them, those charges to be backed up by evidence and affirmed by a court/jury prior to any detention whatsoever. It is important to pursue criminals – but it is more important to prevent the government of the United States from becoming criminal, which it would by definition if it is granted the power to seize and arrest a person without charge, without any presentation of evidence, without giving the accused any opportunity to formally contest the charges and evidence against him. I can think of nothing more un-American, nothing more dangerous than that. Hence, I will not sign any law to that effect.

      Instead, he vitiated the rule of law – and made random arrests subject to his (or his successors’) whim. Which means, we are now living in a country exactly like North Korea, or any other such country where arbitrary arrest and detention is official government policy.

      And you defend him for this.

      God help us.

    • Conflicting interests? This is cut and dry simple. It doesn’t get any more simple unless your concern as president is your own pocket and your own hide.

      The only conflicting interest here is being scared of being JFK’d. And if that’s what the president is scared of he should have never taken the job IMO. A president scared of standing up and preserving the *basic* principles of the USA is no president at all.

      As to worst president? Easy call. Obama is the worst until the next president if the present trend continues. The trend is consistently worse presidents who spend more and work to destroy more liberty and centralize power (political and economic).

    • Well “d” as in duhhh, oberdorf, the president did not have to make “a decision that is a hundred times more complex & must take into consideration hundreds of different conflicting “interests”. Mr. Obama claims to be a Constitutional scholar and took an oath of office swearing to uphold and defend our Constitution. He should have vetoed this bill without a moment’s hesitation because it is a direct affront to our Supreme Law of the Land. His approval of this bill proves that he is not only the worst sort of president, but a mendacious ophidian as well, because he didn’t keep his solemn oath. He has already ordered the murder of one U.S. citizen and his teenage son without due process of law. What more proof do you need of this man’s evil lawlessness?

      • Oooh! Boothe can I please reuse that lovely phrase “mendacious ophidian”?

        It will save the F-word for those times it’s really appropriate.

        Fine phrasing, sir!

    • Oberdorf, you supercilious ass. You have no understanding — oh, to hell with it. Enjoy your nap.

      I had no real hope that Obama wouldn’t sign this bill. Mostly I wondered what was taking him so long. Now I know; he was waiting for New Year’s Eve. Like what, he’s hoping to sneak it past?

      Even as he is signing it, he snivels about having “serious reservations”. He’s saying in effect that he’s aware it’s bad law. Then, to add insult to injury, he promises he won’t mandate that icky part about military custody of Americans. Well, gosh, that’s a relief.

      He didn’t even have the ba- courage to own his own actions. He does this terrible thing even as he is trying to squirm out of taking responsibility for it. I guess he never heard of that saying so beloved by politicians since time immemorial: If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit. I’d have respected him a lot more if he hadn’t groveled even as he was signing this abomination, if he had at least pretended he was on our side.

      Well, no, I wouldn’t, but I wouldn’t have felt so disgusted with this weakling, this slimy sellout artist.

      But why sign it at all? What, was somebody holding a gun to his head? Then I got to wondering if maybe there *is* a gun to his head. Why *wouldn’t* he reject it for all the reasons that Eric wrote above? He has shown by his response all along that he knows how bad it is, and yet, he signs it. Why?

      I can think of two possibilities.

      1. In a recent exchange in here on the FEMA camps I wrote that maybe the feds know something we don’t know. I think they know that the euro will tank, and then the dollar. It’s one thing to speculate, like the LRC economists have been doing; I think the feds KNOW. They know the meme that global leaders may still find a way to fix Europe is so much eyewash, because they are all talking to each other. They can’t have missed that the Black Friday gun sales broke the previous high by a third. The Occupys, the growing rejection by the people of business-as-usual election fixes and the Ron Paul surge. The low voter turnouts, the record disapproval percentages in the polls. I think they’re getting ready for a global collapse, getting ready for what will follow when the first cry goes up, “Why is the store out of milk?” and “Why is my bank closed on a Tuesday?” They’re getting ready for a gotterdaemerung, when that big Indiana Jones boulder comes rolling toward them, and the NDAA is part of getting ready, and the camps. I think as they see all that coming, Washington is no longer perceiving the Bill of Rights as inviolate, — assuming they ever did — but as a luxury. That is why, though NDAA may stick in his throat, Obama felt he had no choice but to sign it.

      But ever the political animal, he wants to somehow not be blamed for it.

      2. The global elites — Soros, et al — are forcing his hand. They are telling him that if he wants them to bankroll a second term, he will play like the obedient puppet they hired him to be, and he’s just ambitious enough to do their bidding and to hell with the rights of the people. To the end that the elites are preparing for that same boulder.

      I don’t know about that one, though. That may be extreme. He may deserve more credit than that.

      (And it would not surprise me if Obama chose not to run for a second term. He has to know he’s out of his league. He can’t be so arrogantly oblivious as to not know that …)

      I don’t know if I’m right about any of this. My intuition often outruns my analytical faculty, such as it is. I will probably feel like a big goober, posting this.

      But I do know I’m more scared than I have ever been.

      • Gail, I hope we all end up “feeling like big goobers” and everything turns out rosily! But I agree with your last line wholeheartedly! This indeed is a perilous time.

      • You and I are both scared, Gail. Not paralyzed, though; I’m doing what I can to make sure my immediate AND extended family will be fed and defended.

        Now’s the time; food, high-speed lead, gold, and silver are still cheap enough to afford. Take a trip to Mexico–or look online–and stock up on any medications you need. Get a good supply of antibiotics. Buy some things to barter.

    • Surely you can step back from partisanship–which in itself is foolish, considering there IS no real difference between the Party(ies)–and look at this law in principle.

      Consider its meaning. It is the reversal of 800 years of Western jurisprudence; since the Magna Carta we’ve had trial by jury, habeas corpus, due process, and the presumption of innocence.

      Now, no more. It is the apotheosis of tyranny.

      You won’t feel it right away. They won’t start “disappearing” people en masse immediately. But the “law” is in place–and they WILL use it.

      And it will not be for some high-minded “complex”, unfathomable reasons too difficult for us mere sheep to understand; no, it will be for the age-old, simple, easily understood reasons. They will use it for POWER, to hold it and keep it.

      And you, dear fool, will suffer along with those of us wise enough to understand the horrors now.

  8. What is rarely mentioned by anyone, anywhere, ever… is that these proclamations are utterly INVALID and VOID. When congress passes an act, bill, statute or anything else that violates the constitution (including the ammendments), it is NULL, VOID, INVALID, ILLEGAL, UNLAWFUL and UNCONSTITUTIONAL. The ONLY way any provision in the constitution can be changed or eliminated is by constitutional ammendment… PERIOD.

    What this and endless other actions of congress and administration and federal agencies are doing is pure predatory criminality by a bunch of predators. This is often called “color of law”, which means “taking actions as if they are law when they are not”.

    The only reason these predators can get away with this is… the justice system is controlled by THEM. They have made it completely clear that they are predators, and they will cooperate with other powerful predators by not prosecuting them. In effect, these predators have taken control of what used to be the federal government of the USA, and are now operating it as a purely criminal cartel.

    Yes, for practical purposes “on the ground” it often doesn’t matter much whether these laws and provisions are valid or void, because they steal our money via taxes to pay other predatory thugs to arrest and imprison us regardless of whether an action is lawful and constitutional or not. So in practice, from the lowest to highest level of government, their actions are actually and technically criminal activities (kidnapping, torture, theft, fraud, abuse, etc).

    At this point, almost the entirety of the federal government (as well as state, county and local goverments to somewhat lesser extents) are NOTHING more than organized predatory crime cartels. And that is indeed the state of the modern world. SICK.

      • I don’t. I claim 25 on my W-4 and the criminal cartel wants another $8000 from me for the last few years. At first I tried to explain to them how, I have fiscal responsibilities and if they take my money, I can’t just borrow more or print more or take more like the gov’t does. Now I don’t even bother communicating with them at all.

        Eventually, they’ll garnish my wages because my employer has no sense of right or wrong, no character, no balls, no honor or they’ll steal it from my bank account, because my bank is complicit in their criminal activities but they will in fact have to take it. I will not give it willingly.

        • Every time you accumulate more than $1700 in your checking or savings account, convert that into a one-ounce gold or platinum wafer or coin, and keep it well hidden. Don’t leave anything in your bank accounts. In fact, don’t HAVE a bank account. The banks just act as government spies against you and everyone else. Get smart. Take your paychecks to the bank your paychecks were written on, and CASH THEM.

      • Mark- no personal abuse, please.

        And try to keep your posts factual. Telling people to “do some research” isn’t very helpful. Maybe state exactly what you think they’re neglecting, etc.

        Thanks –

  9. Well said PA…I wonder what those members of congress will think when they themselves are detained. Perhaps they will see the error of their ways on the way to the ovens.

    • unfortunately the only congessman who in the future might be detained in this way would be ones like ron paul who would vote against this. this eventually will become a way of silencing ‘enemies of the state’ (a corrupt fascist state)

      • The entire Congress AND White House own this garbage, however, I will say that there were three failed attempts by Democrats to stymie the component in question, Section 1021e.

        I’m not pro one Big Corporate Party or the other, but thought it would be good if people understand the details behind this ugly legislation.

        The spirit of the Founding Fathers must be reborn in the citizenry. The Government has become the instrument for our demise.

        • The government is bad, certainly. What’s worse, though, is the indifference – the who cares? complacency – of the masses.

          Can you imagine that it was just 40 years ago a president was forced from office in disgrace because he (gasp!) lied about the political shenanigans of his underlings? Today, the president asserts the power to have any citizen he wishes arrested (and murdered) at his whim – and there’s barely a blip on the radar screen.

          All that’s missing now is a person such as Cheney, say,who is willing to use that power.

          He’s coming… depend upon it.

  10. Once Constitutional law is usurped, despite “statements of intent”, the stage is set for abuse of authority. The original “intent” for social security and income tax are similar examples of GOVT GONE WILD…do anything to just get the law passed – then ‘super size” it later. Perhaps this is what the FEMA camps are for – all guised under protection from ourselves and for the untouchable “bogeyman” named terrorism. The similarites to Hitlers slow and steady rise to abusive power are blatant and undeniable. Corruption counts on an uninformed populace – and by the time the sheeple in general become aware, the noose is too tight to shed. Peace be with you, my fellow Americans.

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