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Linda_Owl's avatar

Are you aware that President Obama signed the NDAA Law today?

Asked by Linda_Owl (7728points) December 31st, 2011

To say that I am terribly disappointed that Obama made the decision to sign this bill into law, is an understatement. This law effectively turns the US into a fully-fledged Police State (& suspends our Constitutional Rights), with its own Secret Police in the form of the Dept. of HomeLand Security. The NDAA Law gives the power to the government to hold ANYONE (civilian or not) who has been accused as a terrorist. These individuals have no right to legal council & they can be held for as long as the government wants them to be held, & these people have no right to see what evidence was used to so accuse them of terroristic activities & the government does not have to tell their families where they are being held. I cannot believe that he fooled me for such a long time. I thought that he had America’s best interests at heart & I voted for him. Now I find that he is just another politician, self-serving, ego driven, arrogant, & power hungry. This is a sad day for the US. We have no leader & none of the Republican want-to-be nominees have any contact with the reality with which the average American has to live on a daily basis.

You can read it at this link for yourself.

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27 Answers

judochop's avatar

I hope that the people stand up. Even if it means getting knocked down and kicked a few times.

Berserker's avatar

That’s a really scary law. :( I remmeber hearing about that a bit ago, and thinking, eh he won“t pass that. Well damn. :(

augustlan's avatar

Yep, and it sucks.

King_Pariah's avatar

It amuses me that people had that much faith he wouldn’t sign it in. I am not surprised in the slightest that he would do so. To me today’s liberal politicians want the US utterly and thoroughly ruled by the gov’t including almost all aspects of your everyday life (like new stupid driving law in California, just waiting for those with dwarfism and those shorter than 4’9” to start rallying against it), and today’s conservative politicians want corporations and the wealthy to control the US for their own selfish benefit. It’s a lose lose situation and this country needs to start all over again from scratch unfortunately/fortunately. Or just burn, I’d enjoy that.

SmashTheState's avatar

Hear that? It’s the sound of chickens returning to the roost. When you create an aggressive, authoritarian empire bent on crushing the human spirit, their dirty tricks and jackboots will not long remain solely outside its borders.

“If a nation values anything more than freedom, it will lose its freedom; and the irony of it is that if it is comfort or money that it values more, it will lose that too.”Somerset Maugham

Dutchess_III's avatar

Here is a little more objective article from CNN on the signing of the bill.

flutherother's avatar

‘No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions… except by the lawful judgement of his peers’ says the Magna Carta of 1215 which limited the power of rulers to act like dictators and which has, up until now, been part of the law of the United States.

“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 D. Romero, ACLU executive director.

The men who flew planes into the World Trade Centre are the cause of this, but the American people sat back and let it happen. Shame on you.

Tuesdays_Child's avatar

No surprise that Congress passed this or that President Obama signed it…...

“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

Benjamin Franklin

Berserker's avatar

I wonder if this going to make Stephen Harper all horny, and he’s gonna want to follow haha.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@flutherother I deny that we sat back and let it happen. Some of us, maybe—but not all of us. There have been protests, there has been an outcry. That no one in government listened, that no one in the media covered it, is certainly shameful. But the shame is not evenly distributed among all Americans.

jerv's avatar

That boy folds like origami.

Between him disappointing his supporters and the Republicans failing to get anyone they can all stand behind, I almost wonder if we will have a nominess from either major party in the 2012 election!

King_Pariah's avatar

Ross Perot, this is your chance….

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

there any wonder this hasn’t been a long time coming? The US was only a stone throw away from Stalin, Hitler, and many other authoritarians. Toss in a little fear (terrorist style) and the sheep become chickens, from then on, they become lamb chops made to order by the government.

With this law, you can be spirited away for exercising your 1st amendment rights, if the government deem it “terrorist in nature”, worked for Pinochet, why not for Uncle Sam.

Linda_Owl's avatar

For those of you who have responded to my question (and for anyone else who might be interested), the link below will take you to an excellent article by Glenn Greenwald about the NDAA bill that Obama signed into law yesterday. It is a long article & it requires you to really think about what you are reading – but it clearly shows that the wording of the bill is vague enough to be interpreted just about anyway that the government wants to interpret it. Then when you combine this bill with the Patriot Act & reinforce it with the highly secret Dept. of HomeLand Security….. you end up with one of our most precious freedoms being gone & we won’t get it back. Once the government has been granted powers to this extent, they do not give them back. This will be used to intensify the brutality of the attacks on the OWS protestors or any other protestors. America will never be the same as it used to be.

RareDenver's avatar

I’m no expert in US law but surely the Supreme Court won’t actually allow this?

ACLU Article

Linda_Owl's avatar

For @RareDenver , the ACLU has been trying (ever since this whole NDAA thing started under former President Bush) to get this stopped, but they have not been successful. Our so-called ‘Supreme Court’ has shown itself to be for sale to the highest bidder in its decision making. They are the entity responsible for putting corporations in the position to be able to buy our election processes due to the SC decision to grant ‘person-hood’ to corporations. It would take a Constitutional Amendment to prevent the corporations from being able to pour money into election campaigns & Congress is not going to pass a Constitutional Amendment because they know that the money would dry up & no longer be available. The Congress of the US is made up (with a few exceptions) with greedy politicians who are self-serving, ego driven, arrogant, & totally out of touch with the reality that the average American lives with on a daily basis. With the signing of this newest incarnation of the NDAA bill, it will quash the protestors such as the OWS protestors, because to participate in such protestors will put the individual in the position of possibly being arrested for ‘terroristic acctivities’ & held without recourse to legal representation, until such time as the government decides to let them go & there will be nothing that these people can do. As I stated previously, America will never again be the same as it once was.

Linda_Owl's avatar

If you still have doubts about what I am saying, you can check this link.

RareDenver's avatar

on a side note when I first saw the word ‘terroristic’ I thought that can’t be a real word, Google Chrome doesn’t think so either. Reminds me of Jebediah Springfield’s ‘embiggens’

RareDenver's avatar

Glad I live in backward Europe

Linda_Owl's avatar

For @RareDenver , terroristic may not be a legitimate word according to Chrome & Google, but it is as far as Law Enforcement is concerned. I had a neighbor who got arrested after he got into a fight with a relative & the charge the Police lodged against him was for making “terroristic” threats against his relative. He ended up with just a fine, but this was years ago here in Texas.

SavoirFaire's avatar

@Linda_Owl & @RareDenver The issue with the Supreme Court is not money—it’s standing. In general, one has to prove that a law has harmed you in an unconstitutional way to get it struck down, but anyone imprisoned under this law will have no access to a lawyer or courts. Thus anyone with standing lacks the ability to bring suit.

The argument that this law antecedently harms individuals by limiting what are supposed to be inalienable rights might work, but it would take careful legal planning to make sure it goes before the right people. I hope someone tries it, and I hope the Supreme Court takes on the case. I actually think that this court would want to overturn the law. But we’ll see.

RareDenver's avatar

@SavoirFaire I would have thought an organisation such as the ACLU would have the resources to get this to the Supreme Court

SavoirFaire's avatar

@RareDenver You can have all the resources in the world and it doesn’t matter if you don’t have legal standing to file suit in the first place. It’s easy for me to say that there might be an argument to be made in terms of antecedent harm. It’s another thing to work out what that argument might be, compose the required documents, and then convince a judge not to dismiss the whole thing. If the ACLU can get the case started, they can probably get it to the Supreme Court. The problem, though, is getting it started in a way that is legally permitted.

SmashTheState's avatar

Here in Ontario, Mike Harris – who was once the premier of Ontario and the poster boy for sado-conservativism – introduced the Orwellian “Safe Streets Act.” Among other things, it made it illegal to squeegee car windows and introduced anti-begging legislation which was worded so vaguely that police could use it against anyone. One of our members (I was the spokesperson for the Ottawa Panhandlers’ Union for seven years) who was a paraplegic in a wheelchair was issued tickets under the SSA for “aggressive panhandling” for example. While the SSA was and is blatantly unconstitutional, the Harris regime – and all the governments thereafter – have kept it on the books for through a variety of tactics.

The most obvious problem, of course, is that anyone on the wrong end of the SSA is going to be a street kid, a beggar, an itinerant merchant, and so on. None of them have any fucking money. Constitutional challenges cost a lot of money. The few lawyers who do pro bono legal work around civil liberties tend not to take on cases which are unpopular with the well-heeled champagne liberals who they’re trying to impess.

A number of anti-poverty NGOs finally scrimped and saved and begged and borrowed enough money to challenge the Safe Streets Act. It took more than two years to wind its way through the various courts and appellate courts until it finally reached the Supreme Court of Ontario. After months of proceedings draining off the NGOs’ money and the resources of the handful of lawyers willing to throw away years worth of time on the project… the government simply dropped the troublesome SSA tickets which were the basis of the constitutional challenge, sending everyone back to square one, minus all that time and money. No one since has managed to launch another challenge, knowing the government can bleed them dry and then simply drop the tickets again.

The State has effectively infinite resources. Those of us fighting them have fuck-all. Challenging the State in its own courts is a fool’s game, since it’s all rigged in the State’s favour. If it wasn’t, the State would change it to make it so. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the State’s legal machinery to stop the State when it really wants something.

Hypocrisy_Central's avatar

Maybe if the party of Twiddle Dumb see everyone’s displeasure in this law, they can use it to unseat the party of Twiddle Dee, by promising to strike it down once elected.

jerv's avatar

@Hypocrisy_Central Do you think either party will believe promises any more though?

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