You may have missed it, but another big chunk of your liberty has just been taken away from you.
A new law gives the federal government and the executive branch far-reaching powers that strip you of rights that were guaranteed to citizens in the U.S. Constitution.
President Obama signed it into law on Friday afternoon before the Christmas Weekend. A clever maneuver to ensure it went missed by most of us. A nice little holiday gift from Uncle Sam.
HO HO HO!
The law is called the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), one of those nifty little titles that sounds so patriotic and necessary, but really steals your rights from you.
Under the NDAA:
- Our government can detain anyone they claim was “part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces, under the law of war until the end of hostilities.”
- The U.S. government can extradite accused terror suspects, even Americans, to other nations to undergo questioning and face charges of other nation’s tribunals.
- The military can arrest and detain suspects, as opposed to law enforcement.
- The accused have no right to bail, bond, or the due process of law.
These powers are not just scary, they violate at least five sections of the U.S. Constitution.
They turn the United States more into what we used to be fighting against – an oppressive regime that violates human rights. We are becoming what we once said we stood against.
And for what? To fight a war on terror that has been going on for more than a decade now. A war that has allowed politicians to sap our freedoms from us, bit by bit. That has been used to remove our guarantees of due process.
We now live in a country where a citizen can be accused of wrongdoing by the government (they don’t even have to say what crime that person supposedly committed), detained unlawfully, and held without the opportunity for bail for as long as authorities wish.
Is anyone freaked out about this?
If not, you should be. Today, Uncle Sam is herding suspected terrorists into detainee camps without charging them, and holding them for years without trials. This law makes it possible for the Justice Department or the Pentagon or the President, to detain anyone they suspect of helping the enemy until hostilities are concluded.
We don’t even know who the enemy is. We can’t define what the battlefield is, or who the good guys and bad guys are. Hell, we ARM the bad guys much of the time, only later realizing they’re bad.
How can our government be trusted with such powers? How long before citizens who criticize the war are considered as having helped the enemy?
The NDAA is one more step – a giant one – toward a nation where our rights are no longer granted to us, they are simply on loan from the government. Where they can be stripped and reinterpreted, suspended, and violated under the name of “defense”.
There is a bogeyman we should be frightened of, but it’s not the terrorist. We should be petrified of our own government.
Merry frickin’ Christmas.