Friday, 02 December 2011 15:32

Indefinite Military Detention of U.S. Citizens Equals Stormtroopers

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nazisave americans from a senate run amok.

and they wonder why americans across the nation have taken to the streets in anger, in despair, in outrage. in their infinite ignorance and arrogance the united states senate has decided that the our constitution doesn’t really matter.

unless president obama vetoes it, an amendment to our national defense bill passed by the senate allows american citizens to be seized and detained by the military on u.s. soil, in their own homes and neighborhoods, and detained indefinitely if some amorphous entity decides to suggest that you may be a “terrorist”.

no jury, no lawyer, no trial, no calls to loved ones. they can vanish you forever if some unknown unnamed scumbag at some unknown location chooses, and there’s nothing that you can do about it.

let’s see, when has something like this happened in recent history that you may recall? well, there’s nazi germany. or the former soviet union. and look how well they turned out as civilizations.

this despicable law is the product of some really contemptible people who we need to vote out of office before they intimidate america into blind obedience and silence.

the abuse of such authority by people with power is inevitable. it is the power to silence opposition, to suppress free speech, to intimidate, to foster fear and submission, and it is everything we as americans should despise.

this law is unconscionable.

the hacks who righteously defend this shredding of our most basic rights say that this is a matter of national security in the war against terror.

sane people would say this is the exact opposite, that this is a law that creates national insecurity.

sane people would say that if this is the new law of the land then we really have become the very thing we’re supposed to be fighting against.

sane people would say that enough is enough, that we’d rather not have armed soldiers kicking in our doors without warrant or right.

sane people would say that there’s a vested commercial interest in engaging in a war without end, which this law has been created to insure and continue.

sane people would say that this is a hysterical attempt by small people to cling to power in the guise of defending our country, as they drape their venal selves in the flag and call themselves patriots.

sane people would be disgusted and outraged.

let me point out that this trampling of our rights knows no political boundaries. it is the bastard child of members of both the political parties. while there was near universal support among republicans, a democrat, senator levin of michigan co-authored this atrocity and led a handful of democratic career politicians in joining the asylum, including our own mary landrieu. i’d expect such rampant idiocy from david vitter, but landrieu’s vote is, to me, the saddest one of all. it appears that these democrats who cut and ran were more worried about their re-election chances than defending the constitution, and shame and ignominy on them.

but even worse is the idea that in their out-of-touch-with-reality world of washington, this is somehow perceived as acceptable.

this law can be twisted like a pretzel to imply that anyone speaking out against this, or any, war is supporting and giving aid and comfort to the “enemy” and fostering terrorism, if some unscrupulous political hack, overripe general, or connected global corporate interest decides it’s in the interest of “national security” to punish unpopular but free speech, or organized and lawful political opposition.

but of course, i could be overstating all this, because everyone knows that there are no unscrupulous political hacks or military contractors or power-hungry nutjobs who think that anyone who disagrees with them is a commie or a terrorist, are there? are there?

if you think i’m alone in my opposition to this, think again. the secretary of defense, the head of the fbi, the president of the united states don’t want anything to do with this stinking law. but why should we listen to them on this issue even if not on others?

well, i can think of two good reasons instantly.

  1. without this law, they have succeeded where their predecessors have failed. they actually got osama bin laden. they actually got anwar awl-aleki. they actually secured from these victories intelligence that has set international terrorism back and put real terrorists on the defensive for the first time in a decade.
  2. they say they don’t need this law and they don’t want it because it adds nothing to our ability to stop real terrorism and only terrorizes our citizens. they say that in order to win an unorthodox war like this, what’s needed is flexibility, not restraints, in the ability to move effectively, gather legitimate information and continue rolling up victories against real terrorists.

in other words, if it’s working don’t fix it. we’ve turned the tide without it.

the career politicians say that the actions included in the new law have been used in the war all along, and that the law changes nothing.

that is a lie. it’s a lie because it’s a distortion of the truth for political gain. the truth is that some of the practices may have been used before, but without them being law, and have always come to light and been challenged and debated in the light of day.

the truth is that if this senate decree does become law, if it actually becomes a codified and approved government policy, whomever sits in the seats of power in the future can mute those voices that would challenge, debate, and seek to protect our rights. the truth is that they can send their stormtroopers out in the middle of the night and shackle those voices. the truth is ugly.

the world is changing right now in ways that are uncertain and worrisome and stimulating all at once. people around the world and here in the u.s. are taking to the streets because they’ve been oppressed, or feeling oppressed, to the point where there’s nothing left for them to do but take to the streets and demand change, to demand something better for themselves and their loved ones.

this law could be used to silence their voices as well, and that would be a crime against god and man. tea partiers wanting to hang onto their rifles, wall street occupiers wanting an end to corruption and greed, all could be anointed “terrorists” if it serves the purposes of those in power seeking to hold onto power at all costs, as long as they don’t pay the cost themselves.

the power-mad and twisted respond to such challenges to the status quo they way they always have throughout history: suppression, fear, and men in uniforms with guns. there’s nothing new and everything ugly about this.

my hope, however, is that history has taught us something else. the harder the power hungry try to cling to power with an iron grip, the more of what they seek to control ultimately slips through their fingers.

so if you’re as outraged as i am, please call or write the white house and urge the president to veto this atrocious attack on our constitutional and god-given rights.

you can send him your message online at , and you can call the white house at 202.456.1111.

it’s not too late.

whatever america needs, it isn’t armed soldiers roaming our streets looking to drag away our citizens into secret gulags.

because if that day is today, then not only have the terrorists already won, they’re really the guys we thought were protecting us. and what’s left of the constitution is meaningless.

arroyo-sid arroyo 

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Sidney Arroyo

Sidney Arroyo is a progressive political activist and consultant who has worked on numerous campaigns in the New Orleans area.

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